flat rock brook birds of prey presentation.

This past weekend, during what I considered my birthday weekend and therefore an extension of my birthday, I attended a Flat Rock Brook birds of prey presentation in Ercel Webb Park.

IT WAS INCRED. I love birds and birding and all things bird and have been waiting for the opportunity to see one of these presentations. I saw their recent presentations at Lincoln Park and another park I forgot on social media and couldn’t wait for the chance to go to one myself.

THIS WAS MY CHANCE.

I do think that these presentations are probably intended for children and like…FINE. But I signed up and I went and I saw some birds and you’re never too old to learn something new and hang out with birds. Deal with it.

On Saturday afternoon I headed over to Ercel Webb Park and I was super pumped. First of all in my mind this particular park was called “Lafayette Park” because it’s by Lafayette Pool/Aquatic Center/whatever. I feel like I have even referred to it as “Lafayette Park” and other people have known what I was talking about.

It’s not called “Lafayette Park.” Sorry.

JK I LOOKED IT UP AND IT IS REFERRED TO AS “LAFAYETTE PARK” IN A LOT OF PLACES ON THE INTERNET. There must be some kind of transfer of power/responsibility going on but I’ll have to look into that another time because THIS IS ABOUT THE BIRDS. But PS “Friends of Ercel Webb Park” helped get this event going and introduced the birds and bird pros.

As I was walking over I saw two hawks flying over MLK Drive. I am NOT LYING, they were there. I don’t know what kind but I DO know they weren’t seagulls or turkey vultures because I checked. I CHECKED. So I was super pumped that I saw some birds on my way to see more birds.

When I arrived at the park I saw that they had a cute little pumpkin patch set up for the kids. Since I AM a kid and I had registered myself for the event I took a pumpkin and I don’t regret it. I love pumpkins.

They provided Thanksgiving stickers to put on the pumpkin which I felt was very inclusive and respectful to this most valuable but often ignored November holiday. Great work!

After securing my pumpkin and stickers I proceeded to an open area where there were circles spray painted on the grass, 6ft apart. This was the first place I saw circles like this in person! I’ve seen pics of them doing it in parks in NYC but never experienced it for real and I liked it.

I laid out my blanket, put some turkey stickers on my pumpkin, and took out some knitting to work on while I waited impatiently for the birds to be revealed.

They really built up the suspense with the bird reveal because they had the birds in dark boxes! I’m no expert but I do know that birds feel safe and calm and probably like it’s time to take a nap when they’re in a dark, enclosed space. My pet budgie really likes it and I think he’s qualified to tweet for all birds.

It felt like actual years went by but it was finally time to take the birds out and I’ll tell you all about what I learned!

tilly – eastern screech-owl.

Tilly the Eastern Screech-Owl was napping HARD when they took her out of her box. Since she’s nocturnal it was during her sleep time.

Tilly ended up with Flat Rock Brook because she got attacked by a cat and is blind in one eye. She wouldn’t be able to live her badass screech owl life in the wild, so she lives a badass screech owl life as a bird ambassador and I think that seems okay with her.

During Tilly’s time in the spotlight she started to wake up and move around a little and she was really, REALLY cute.

But also a fierce predator that dines on small rodents and insects. YUM.

Toward the end they played a screech owl sound for us. They said they were going to play it before they played it and I was like “OMG Tilly is gonna LOSE IT!” because that’s what my pet bird does when I play pet bird sounds.

Tilly did not lose it and actually didn’t even notice. I guess she’s just too cool for school.

titus – american kestrel.

Titus, on the other hand, LOST IT. As soon as they took him out of his little box he was yelling and flapping and seemed completely outraged.

Sorry I couldn’t get a good pic of Titus but he was a lovely bird.

Kestrels as a species maybe get a little outraged sometimes, I’m not sure. They’re a type of falcon and were described as “feisty.” They’re common in cities, so be on the lookout!

I also learned that Titus was hit by a car and had one wing that didn’t heal correctly so he couldn’t be released back into the wild. Because he can’t fly. HE IS A BIRD AND CAN’T FLY. HOW RUDE OF THE WORLD.

Honestly I think he’s still pretty pissed about it and I guess I would be too.

jones – red tailed hawk.

Jones! Hello! I love you!

Before they took Jones out they were like, “Just want to warn you, this thing is huge.” And they took her out and SHE WAS HUGE.

I’m used to seeing these guys in the sky in the field behind my parents’ house, up in tall trees at Lincoln Park, and in every state I’ve ever traveled, soaring over the highway. They’re all around!

But it’s super nuts to see one so close because they are ENORMOUS. So large and beautiful and perfect and asking to be my best friend.

Sure!

Loving. It.

Poor Jones was shot by a shotgun and honestly if I remember correctly I have met other hawks that were similarly disrespected. LIKE WHY?!

Additionally Jones has a female Red-tailed Hawk friend named Ramona she lives with, and SHE got hit by a car. I’m so glad there’s a place for the birds to live that will take care of them and watch out for them and also bring them out into the community to hang out with me and other children.

josephine – great horned owl.

Josephine the Great Horned Owl was hurt by garbage humans in a slightly different way. She was found as an owlet, and because she was very, very young, she imprinted on the (not owlet professional caregivers) people that were taking care of her and never learned how to live that owl life.

So now she needs human assistance to live some kind of owl/person hybrid life. SHE IS LIVING A LIE.

But she was very beautiful. VERY. And the most amiable of all the bird ambassadors, I guess because she was the most comfortable around humans and/or didn’t feel like taking a nap like Tilly.

They talked a bit about bird body language with Josephine, I think as a way to highlight how comfortable she seemed compared to the other guys. She really was just hangin out, owling around. And stuff.

I study my pet bird’s body language very closely and I think he wants me to get out of his face most of the time so I found this part very interesting.

And then it was over! It went by so fast! It also started to get cold as the sun went behind the buildings around the park, so I was ready to pack it up and go home.

I can’t wait for there to be another bird presentation in a local Jersey City park. I don’t care if it’s the same birds and bird pros and the same presentation with the same information, I will go INFINITE TIMES.

MAYBE I’LL SEE YOU THERE.

john g. slaby’s slow summer macadam at deep space gallery.

This past weekend we attended the opening for John G. Slaby’s show “Slow Summer Macadam” at Deep Space Gallery and it was the highlight of our Saturday night.

I’ll go ahead and say it: Saturday was the best day of our collective lives in 4 years. Things are looking up! It was also a beautiful day weather-wise in the northeast. People were out and about, and they were PUMPED. An art opening was the perfect place to be!

And the art was GREAT. I’m no profesh and my opinion does not matter but as a casual art observer I was INTO IT.

skies.

Almost all of the pieces I really enjoyed had some aspect of a colorful sky in them. Like a super bright cloudless blue or a post-sunset twilight pink/purple. The paint colors for the skies took me to A PLACE.

animals.

Many of the pieces of art had animals! You know how I feel about animals, you guys. So each of the following pieces of art will come with an unsolicited personal story about an animal or two. You’re welcome.

Bats!

This one with the bats was my most favorite in the whole show. I LOVE THESE BATS. Maybe it’s because I’m still feeling a residual “spooky time of the year” feeling. It’s a good feeling to feel.

Part of the theme of the show was this nostalgia regarding growing up in a rural/suburban kind of place and being out and about with pals getting into trouble or wishing there was maybe just a tiny bit of trouble to get into but it was too boring for even that to happen. I guess that’s my personal interpretation of that kind of nostalgia. BUT part of being outside when the night falls and you’re hoping for some (good) trouble is that the bats start to come out! Like they’re flying around in their super fun erratic way and you’re like, “THE NIGHT HAS ARRIVEDDDDD!”

Also I just learned a bit about bats in a webinar I attended a couple of weeks ago that Wild Bird Fund put on. Completely unrelated to art but I learned some cool stuff about bats and what “torpor” means and what to do if you find a sleepy/injured/acting weird bat to help it. So like, I’m flying high on bats right now.

Bird nest and mouse!

My second favorite painting was this one of a “School” sign featuring a huge mess a bird made just by living there and a cute little mouse looking on in the bottom corner.

I just love how the bird nest is all haphazard and the bird(s) just went to the bathroom all over the whole thing. Because that’s what birds do. I love birds but they’re a huge mess.

It’s a super mundane every day thing, the bird mess on a public building, and I found a weird comfort in looking at that. Kind of like when I see pigeons roosting (also making a HUGE mess) under the awnings over top of bodega windows. Birds are just hanging out and watching us and making a mess. That’s their life.

The tiny mouse peeking in also made me glad. I currently have a mouse in my house and for now he’s my friend. He hasn’t eaten anything or chewed anything or even made a mess so I’m not mad at him. I also only see him once a week or so. Anyway I love the mouse. Yes, I knowingly live with a mouse. I SAID he stays out of the way. Deal with it.

The last of the animal friend paintings I noticed was this one that includes a TON of animal friends looking on.

I talked to Slaby a little about the animals and how much I loved them and he mentioned he included them because animals are always around and observing us. And he’s right! I love that. I don’t know what else to say besides, “I love that.” Hopefully that’s enough. Even in a city the animals are always around.

This painting looked like it had raccoons in it and I was like, “I have two raccoons that live on my roof and hang out on my fire escape!” Then I realized that sounds weird. Maybe. But then the artist was like, “Yeah raccoons are cool, they’re so BAD.” But like good bad because they are HILARIOUS and ADORABLE. I said the “hilarious and adorable” part inside my head but I feel we were on the same page regarding general raccoon bad-assery and I was pleased.

scary catholic.

“Scary Catholic” is a genre of art I invented and some of Slaby’s art in this show fit the description. Maybe I didn’t invent it. I don’t know. Google it.

There was a small section of “Scary Catholic” that looked different from the other art. I believe he said it was inspired by a childhood of Catholic school and altar boy duties.

The artist graciously welcomes chatting next to the Scary Catholic.

One of the pieces was a rosary made out of skateboard wheels, YOU KNOW I loved that.

But “Scary Catholic” is scary because Catholicism is scary to me. Religion in general is terrifying but Catholicism does a good job of making stuff look super creepy and sometimes bloody. But also very richly colored! Which makes it art!

This leather jacket is so badass but I’m still scared of the Jesus. Or whoever.

influence.

I’m totally going to paraphrase because I had a few drinks and didn’t write this down, but another topic Slaby was kind enough to discuss with us was the concept of influence and how certain ideas/cultures end up in places that seem unlikely. He talked about growing up near Wilkes-Barre, PA in the 90s before the internet as we know it now, and how it took “someone visiting their cousin in the city and then bringing it back” for him and his friends to learn more about skateboarding culture.

This was relatable, as I also lived in the middle of nowhere with limited outside influence and I remember the first time I made friends with kids from Bergen County at Rutgers and I was like “Where are they GETTING these clothes because I NEED them” <Goes to Garden State Plaza for the first time in 2004 and buys all of Bebe>. I mean skateboarding and North Jersey Mall Culture are two completely different things but like, I GET it. It has to come from somewhere, when you’re from nowhere. And that was a mind blowing thing to make art about.

macadam.

I should have asked about this as well but I had no idea what “macadam” meant. I googled it just now and it says “Because of the historic use of macadam as a road surface, roads in some parts of the United States (as parts of Pennsylvania) are often referred to as macadam, even though they might be made of asphalt or concrete.” So I guess that makes sense. There was one piece that was very… road inspired. PS Pennsylvania is HAVING A MOMENT right now.

I really liked the texture!

And I guess you do need asphalt/concrete/macadam for the skateboarding. As I’ve said before I’m a skateboarding admirer to the core but I don’t REALLY know anything about it.

So that was the show! I also got these really fun skull stickers. Not part of the show, but now part of my life.

John G. Slaby’s Slow Summer Macadam is at Deep Space Gallery until 11/29. Slide into their DMs on Instagram at @deepspacejc to set up a time to visit and GET UR BUTT THERE.

ghost of uncle joe’s 2020.

I went to Ghost of Uncle Joe’s 2020 on Saturday evening and it…was fun. That’s all I really have to say about it as I 100% dropped the ball on taking notes. I didn’t even get any acceptable photos.

What a nightmare.

The event itself wasn’t a nightmare. Just my handling of it as a classically trained journalist. Even thought blogs aren’t journalism and no one should ever believe they are.

UNLESS YOU MEAN LIKE A SPOOKY HALLOWEEEEEN NIGHTMAREEE?!

Because it WAS that.

If you would like more in-depth, researched, and professional coverage of Ghost of Uncle Joe’s as a whole please see my post from last year.

As for this year I will say: I loved the Jimmy Eat World cover band. Like give me Jimmy Eat World in any capacity and I will be fully satisfied.

I also loved the cool backdrops to take photos in front of. I should have tried harder to get good photos but I didn’t and that’s on me. The backdrops provided were fantastic and I could have probably gotten some fun stuff.

The event was BYOB which I also loved but maybe that contributed to me not taking good notes or photos. I did drink like three homemade iced Irish coffees and no less than 26 Michelob Ultras.

Finally, they had a fun little cartoon ghost mascot wearing a leather jacket this year and OBVIOUSLY I’m obsessed with his cute little cartoon ass so I got a tote bag with him on it. And that was a victory.

That’s all I got. Sorry.

ghost of uncle joe’s dress rehearsal.

Last night we attended the Ghost of Uncle Joe’s “dress rehearsal” at Corgi Spirits and we had a grand evening.

In 2020 we have lost a lot of the good things left in this sick sad world and I was scared that the annual Ghost of Uncle Joe’s event would be one of the fallen. But lucky for us the ol ghost is back in a big way this year, despite COVID and social distancing and the overall downfall of our society.

Ghost of Uncle Joe’s is going to happen over two weekends this year! There’s a Ghost of Uncle Joe’s tonight! A Ghost of Uncle Joe’s tomorrow! A Ghost of Uncle Joe’s next Friday! And a cherry on top Ghost of Uncle Joe’s next Saturday on actual Halloween!

I’m obviously going on Halloween.

Here’s the schedule for your informaish:

But in addition to these future Ghosts they did a little warm up Ghost last night.

The cover bands were Bob Dylan, The Kinks, Janis Joplin, and Green Day. There were also “special guests”advertised but I didn’t stay the whole time so I don’t know who that ended up being.

And I’m sorry.

I mostly went for Janis Joplin because I LOVE singing Janis for karaoke and I was pumped to see another group of folks be excited about pretending to be Janis and her band.

And I wasn’t disappointed! The Janis cover band was great! I made a ton of Instagram story videos and tagged my mom in them. Just because.

Corgi was set up safely and comfortably with tables spread out and Adirondack chairs. I haven’t been spending enough time sitting in Adirondack chairs these days and that’s a real problem.

They make gin at Corgi and that’s pretty much all they serve so that’s what we were drinking!

I enjoyed a couple of Raspberry Beret cocktails (gin, raspberry syrup, lemon juice, egg white) but then switched over to Cafe Arancia cocktails (gin, espresso, coffee liqueur) and those were AMAZING. Super into coffee in cocktails these days.

It was a really fun Thursday night and it made me very happy that we could hang out and drink and watch live music safely and responsibly.

Check out the Ghost of Uncle Joe’s, by Dancing Tony, this weekend and next weekend at The Historic Jersey City Harsimus Cemetary! You can get tickets here.

distort “reaching for the steal”at deep space gallery.

It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for! Jersey City’s own Distort at Deep Space Gallery. I attended the opening last night and it was freakin fantastic. But TECHNICALLY the opening is all weekend so you should prob get your ass over there.

I was incredibly beyond excited to get back to a semi-normal-feeling Deep Space weekend opening. Like, it was the evening and people were THERE and we could look at art and also CHAT. I realized that perhaps IT WAS THE CHATTING I’D MISSED MOST.

I’ve been to a few of their openings in normal times and one or two during post covid times. Or like WITHIN covid times. The times we live in. And during covid times they have done a great job of keeping it to only a certain number of people inside, making sure they wear masks and sanitize their hands, and overall just following the basic rules that keep us all alive.

And I applaud them!

This time around, because it was a local artist more people know about and I think they expect more people, they are more strictly observing a reservation policy just to keep things organized. So email them at deepspacejc@gmail.com or DM them on Instagram at @deepspacejc to make one! RUN DON’T WALK!

As always the artist was in attendance so we could ask him questions but this time I was too busy catching up with some pals I haven’t seen in a while. We’re hoping to maybe go back for a bit on Sunday and I can ask my questions then. Oh shit better make a reservation…

As for the show…LOVED IT. I guess I always “love” everything I write about but just know I don’t write about things I don’t love unless they really, really outrage me.

It’s true that I love bright, loud, vibrant colors, but the slightly muted colors of Distort’s work also appeal to me. They gray tones combined with blues/greens/purples actually remind me of my best bird pal the pigeon, in the best way. Like they look gray but when you look close at some of them you can see the greenish-purple sheen of their feathers.

AND IT IS BEAUTIFUL.

I also like the use of cityscapes in the background or foreground or randomly in the paintings. I think I recognized Philadelphia? Maybe I just thought I saw it because it’s in my mind because I’m going there next week? Something to ask if we go back on Sunday. Still need to make a reservation.

Wait JK I lied about that. There is a live Zoom tour by Distort at 3:10pm on Sunday October 4. That’s where I got “Sunday” from. Jeez I need to start writing shit down. You can register at thejcast.com/jcast-live

I believe that some of the work is on a canvas of a kind of metal, and some of it is etched to make designs with some of it also being painted. It’s cool! I like the combination of the two and can’t remember seeing it anywhere else, besides other times I’ve seen this type of work by Distort around the town.

There were also fun/exciting/mind blowing 3D elements around both of the rooms.

The walls were painted to look like exposed brick and then some kind of plastery(?) material was used to make it look like parts of the wall were soft or liquidy or like curtains or something and got pulled to the side to expose the exposed brick parts of the wall.

AND since it is OFFICIALLY SPOOKY SEASON it was a nice spooky touch to have a creepy hand reaching out of one wall.

And some creepy heads coming out of another.

These probably weren’t nods to spooky season and were likely meant to convey something else but they made me happy either way.

This one made me unhappy because it’s “a little kid getting a gun on Xmas morning” kinda vibe. I think maybe it was supposed to make me unhappy. But I’m terrified…TERRIFIED of guns so gun arts always make me very nervous. I feel as if the gun is able to jump out and kill me. Which is perfectly rational, you guys. Guns are awful.

This one I loved because I made a little joke about the woman crying and holding her shoes in it and was like, “This is me on a Saturday night at Rutgers.”

Har har I think only I thought it was funny. Very good piece, either way.

Oooo this was a very fun and interactive tiny hall/tunnel made of mirrors to look into. VERY FUN. VERY INTERACTIVE.

And of course, lady lib. LADY LIB 4EVA. LADY LIB IN EVERY ART SHOW EVER. LADY LIB 4 PREZ.

Also be sure to browse the shop downstairs when you walk in! They have a ton of records, housewares, jewelry, and clothes. A WHOLE BUNCH OF COOL STUFF.

They’ve just done a bit of reorganization in the shop and it looks great!

The opening weekend for Distort “Reaching for the Steal” at Deep Space Gallery continues today Oct 3 12pm-11pm and tomorrow Oct 4 12pm-8pm. RSVP AND GO TO THERE.

rally for liberty state park…again.

Not this past Saturday because I was at a wedding but LAST Saturday we attended a rally for Liberty State Park. I haven’t posted about it until now because I wanted to be very thorough and look things up and fact check like what people do in REAL JOURNALISM. As a classically trained journalist sometimes I like to do that. But it does take a lot of work, so not like, EVERY time.

As you can see, this took over a week to post so I guess I made the right choice in not pursuing a journalism career. Also in the end you’ll see that it’s mostly my opinion so who even cares.

This is the third time that we have gone to protest to protect Liberty State Park on behalf of the Friends of Liberty State Park. Their big issue is preventing the Caven Point section of the park from being developed by the nearby golf course. Caven Point is a natural area where a lot of migratory birds hang out. As well as a ton of other animals like harbor seals and also shanimals.

Yes, I hang out there.

The protests are always held in the southern part of the park, close to Caven Point. To me this part of the park feels like the most “state park” part of the park. I think it’s the parking lot.

On the way in, we noticed an odd box truck with screens on both sides, playing a commercial for Liberty State Park. This commercial seems okay on the surface, but it is not okay. This commercial is a trap. It was created by Liberty State Park for All, an organization that receives funding from Paul Fireman, billionaire and face of the movement to turn Caven Point into 3 holes of the Liberty whatever golf course.

This group has been working on blatantly misleading the community into thinking that Friends of Liberty State Park are somehow against keeping the park maintained and available to everyone. They’ve targeted citizens in Wards A and F (Greenville and Bergen Lafayette, respectively) to try to convince them that the Friends of LSP are against cleaning up the park and developing the park for the community, and that they only care about birds.

You know how much I care about birds. But the whole “bird” thing turned into a whole rude AF target for Liberty State Park for All. Like making fun of people for liking birds and wanting to protect birds. OKAY COOL THANKS JUST MAKE FUN OF THE BIRDS THAT’S REALLY HELPING SHIT, YOU GUYS.

The thing is, it’s very obviously not just about the birds. They just had to find something to focus on, to pick at. To create the narrative that we’re protesting against something that would actually benefit people and therefore we’re being lame for only thinking about birds. But making Caven Point part of a golf course wouldn’t benefit people at all. It certainly wouldn’t benefit “the public.” The public that lives in Jersey City and across the state.

It is a private golf course. It would not benefit the public in any way. Even if Paul Fireman expanded the golf course into Caven Point AND gave Liberty State Park private billionaire money to build some public stuff, like basketball courts, the public would still suffer. There are public funds for things like basketball courts, pools, amphitheaters, and everything else in the OG LSP “Master Plan.” We don’t need to make a deal with the devil madly fiddling away on top of a golf hole to get them. Are they called “golf holes?” I don’t know.

As we entered the park, there were “counter protesters.” I put this in quotes because there is reason to believe that they weren’t actual protestors and were paid to appear and protest. All of their signs were the same, in the same handwriting and said the same thing. As if someone had made them and passed them out. When directly asked what they were protesting for or against…they had no idea.

Everyone has a right to protest of course. And it’s fine, they weren’t doing anything wrong. But it’s suspicious that they were present under such conditions. IAs if they were being paid to participate, or were iuuuuuuu false information, or even worse were given no information at all. Which is actually what seemed like was happening. And it was creepy and weird and dare I say dystopian, just like the intentionally misleading commercial on the box truck.

We arrived at the protest to save Caven Point with a small sign in hand and took some pics with lady lib and then we were ready to protest.

Sadly it seemed like there were less people there than the last time we went to protest in January. And that could be for many reasons, COVID being the biggest one I guess. It was a Saturday, it was hot, people are just over it, etc. I don’t think there were less people because some of the people that were for protecting Caven Point last time are now against protecting Caven Point, but I didn’t have time to conduct an official survey. I think it was just people being people. And not showing up. That’s a people thing.

But the people that DID show up were great and there were a few really awesome speeches from some great NJ folks. I’ll share with you my notes:

Sam Pesin, President of Friends of LSP – “We’ll get started soon, you enjoy the sun!” I liked that nice little welcome.

Assemblywoman Annette Chaparro – “Some people can’t afford The Shore or Great Adventure and this park is that for them.” This was so beautifully Jersey and I couldn’t agree more.

I didn’t make proper note of who said this but I have the line, “In the dark halls of the statehouse…” in my notes and I think that was a clever dramatic device on someone’s part. Nice work.

“If you don’t show interest in politics, politics will stioll show an interest in you,” said Assemblyman Raj Mukherji. Also, “If they tried to do something like this in Central Park hell would freeze over. Why would we let it happen here across the river?!” YEAH.

Although he’s recently been a little questionable as far as likability in certain circles, circles that touch my personal circle as far as Jersey City society Venn Diagrams go, Mayor Fulop does say “Trenton” with a full-on NJ accent, “Tren-in,” like the “t” is silent, and that always makes me happy. And I’m sorry I guess. But I was glad he was there and for his support on this partcular issue at least. For now.

The mayor.

Ward E Councilman James Solomon appeared in an NJCU hat and I wrote in my notes he was “tryna be eyyyyy cool JC guyyyy,” emphasis my own. In the end he did reference the hat and also that he teaches at NJCU which I didn’t know so I guess I revoke my mean girl comment. Although I still haven’t forgiven him for the time when I used to live downtown and he knocked on my door and tried to engage me in some kind of political process when I was very hungover and clearly wearing my pajamas. That was too much for me. But I still like him, he’s doing good things. It’s fine. I’ll be fine. Ward E is Downtown, for your records.

I’d like to pause and say that Dancing Tony dutifully sanitized both mics and mic stands in between speakers. Thank you. HE RUNS FREAKIN FUN YOU GUYS.

New Jersey NAACP Armed Forces and Veterans Chair (and acting Environmental and Climate Justice Chair) Keith Bodden came out with a pile of literal hats (and a literal hat assistant man) to show all the different “hats” he has worn in his life and still wears now. I LOVED IT A TON YOU GUYS.

HATS!

I have in my notes that Frank Gilmore was the “best guy” but I guess I was tired at that point and I didn’t write down why. But just know that he freakin killed it.

A local 8th grade student came up and read a letter to the editor she wrote. She did a beautiful job and was very composed and well spoken, I felt proud! I got a little tearful when she brought up some things about the birds. You guys know I love birds. The whole time I was like, “maybe we need to make it less about the birds so people can’t tease us about the god damn birds,” but then I was like, “well…I do like the birds.”

Speaking of birds, Shayna Marchese also spoke a bit about the birds! She’s a photographer who takes AWESOME pics of birds in NJ. All birds all the time. I LOVE HER INSTAGRAM GO TO THERE. A TON of the birds she captures are within Liberty State Park and Caven Point specifically so you can really see what the area has to offer as far as nature, even in such an urban setting.

@shayna.marchese on Instagram GO NOW!

I don’t know when the next vote for the LSP Protection Act is, and I couldn’t find it online! I did find some information in all of the following locations, and I encourage you to check them out. I do think they will be updated once they have a date in mind.

Friends of LSP

Baykeeper of NY/NJ

BAYKEEPER + Good Boi

covid test up the nose.

I haven’t been writing here much because I’ve been busy with something else in my free time and maybe I’ll tell you what it is someday but maybe you don’t even care. Today I WILL tell you about getting a covid test up the nose.

It’s actually called a…ugh whatever I can’t find what it’s actually called right now. So it’s called covid test up the nose.

“Goes up your nose”

I had heard that this test was “uncomfortable” so of course I was scared. I was also told IUD insertion was “uncomfortable” and it was a searing pain that radiated from my cervix out into my entire body. So no I don’t really trust the medical claim of “uncomfortable.”

There is a testing center on Marin Blvd in Jersey City that I’ve walked by and seen out the window of an Via on my way to Target so I knew it was there. The internet said it was open 8am-3pm so we decided to head over during my lunch break.

The line is usually very long and goes out the gate and around the block so in my mind I was like “the line will show us where to go.” But when we got there, there was no line and we did not know where to go. There weren’t even clear signs. It was like they were trying to hide it. Maybe they were.

In a hidden back corner of the parking lot we saw a woman emerge from a nondescript white trailer holding an official looking paper and we were like “there!”

No line!

We entered the trailer and there was no wait. We gave our IDs to the gals taking the IDs and got ready to get a covid test up the nose.

My boyfriend went first and the test caused him to sneeze everywhere. This was unfortunate because he had his bandana pulled down to uncover his nose for the covid test up the nose so it seemed like he was sneezing all over the whole trailer. And in a way he was.

The calm before the sneeze.

The ID gals were shocked and terrified and yelled, “Ah! Put on your mask!” And as he ran out of the trailer they generously sprayed Lysol everywhere.

That was a tough act to follow but I gathered my courage and obediently sat in the chair for the doctor gal to give me a covid test up the nose.

She said she was going to “take a sample while counting to 5,” and I was like “okay.”

The moment of truth had arrived and she shoved the swab up my nose. And honestly it wasn’t that bad. I took a big dramatic breath and closed my eyes to steel myself and she was probably like <eye roll> because it just felt like falling into water and getting water up your nose because you were surprised and unprepared to blow air out your nose.

My own personal test

Like it was just a water up your nose burning feeling. And she counted to 5 and I think that helped me get through. Bedside manner is v important my friends. Chair side manner?

This shit is free so go get it! I mean why not? I love free shit and we never, EVER get free health shit in this land of the free home of the Brave so why not take advantage. My phone insisted on capitalizing “Brave” there so I left it. Have some respect.

Here’s where you can find places to get tested in NJ: Covid Test NJ

Please don’t sneeze all over the trailer and scare the ID gals.

summer emo night at porta jersey city.

Guys, I was already having a hard time and then my bird died so I haven’t written about Emo Night at Porta yet. Emotionally I just couldn’t bear to really rave about something I wanted to give a rave review to. But it happened almost a week ago so I’ll tell you a bit about it now before it turns into like ten years ago.

Emo night! Porta Jersey City! Phil Nasty! Drink specials! Rooftop! Woo!

Just trying to get myself pumped here.

Honestly it was a really great night. You know I LOVED the emo night back in January and I wasn’t even drinking back then. So this one was like EVEN BETTER and as I mentioned my birdie died but at this point she was just sick but I was still very sad so it was nice to be out for a couple of hours and also leave her alone and quiet which is what the vet recommended but I couldn’t resist peeking in her little cage every 2 minutes to check on her.

So yes, I needed a drink. Thanks for asking.

They had an awesome looking cocktail that I should have gotten but didn’t and I still feel residual regret about it. There was cold brew involved which I’m always on board for.

Another drink special was Miller Light in a can but it was in a BLACK CAN because this is EMO and we are SAD and also…I’m sad about my bird. So I drank the black can.

We ordered our usual 14 1/2 which is the spiciest, meatiest pie in town and we love it so much. In two towns, because it’s also better than all the spicy-meaty choices in Hoboken. So there.

I did have some leftovers but my pal put them in her tote and then I forgot them when I left and they were lost forever.

I was too sad about my bird. I couldn’t be trusted. My mind was not right.

Music was also included in emo night! Music was the whole point of emo night! Don’t act like you forgot!

Phil Nasty played the greatest emo bangers this side of 2005 and everyone had the time of their lives singing along at the top of their lungs. It’s just the way we roll.

As a special added bonus there were fun little song quotes on sticks for taking pictures. I was super super super (SUPER X3!) excited when I saw them and no one else got excited at first and I felt like a loser but then people did so it was okay. Maybe I should care less about being a loser but if I did I guess I wouldn’t be emo. So in the end I DID fit in?

Anyway I loved it. Loved every second. I’m so glad to be back in the world and I am grateful for every second. I felt happy and lucky to be up on the roof with a bunch of pals and like-minded jersey city individuals. It was a beautiful evening and PERFECTLY socially distanced so don’t think for a SECOND that they blew it there because they def KILLED IT and gov murph himself would be proud AF.

Marianne and Phil and Porta and probably some other really cool fun fab folks did a great badass job and I’m so pumped I went.

Whew, okay. Glad I got to tell you about that and give it the enthusiasm it deserves. Gonna go cry more about my bird now bye.

outdoor workouts.

When I was in college I worked as a cheerleading instructor at summer cheerleading camps. Every year during our training “Work Week” one of our lectures (like a LEARNING lecture) would always involve the presenter saying “And you’re going to want to take some of your regular workouts outside.” As in we should 1 – do regular workouts and 2 – they should be outdoor workouts. To help us get ready to work outside all summer.

I think they probably noticed this but I was NOT doing ANY kind of REGULAR workout. I was doing the cheerleading practice I had a few times a week and also jumping around at this instructor job but that was it. I wasn’t into working out. I did not want to work out at all. Definitely not outside. But definitely not at all.

Hi I’m 19 years old and def don’t work out.

So this (learning) lecture always made me laugh, is what I’m saying. In my mind I was like they’re trying to indoctrinate me into living a lifestyle of exercise addiction! These are unfair working conditions! The patriarchy!

I’ve always been prone to the dramatic. This is not what they were doing. Although the patriarchy does do this. So beware!

But these days I work out regularly and was beyond excited when places I like and new places I wanted to try started hosting outdoor workouts.

It’s a workout! In the outdoors!

The workouts I’ve gone to have been socially distanced and people wear masks. Most people don’t wear a mask the whole time, which seems okay because we’re socially distant but I’m not a doctor. I wear mine for as long as I can stand it but sometimes during cardio or if it’s scorching hot out I have to take it off for a breather.

I’d like to think I have perfect post COVID social decorum but I’m only human after all.

barre burn.

The first outdoor workout I attended was a barre burn class held by a gal Morgan that teaches at JC Barre. I had never gone to a class there but I met Morgan while drinking frozen rum drinks on Newark Ave Bourbon Street and her class sounded right up my alley.

And it is. It’s in Enos Jones Park and there is lots of shade so that’s great for the stifling hot days. The class is a mix of circuit cardio type stuff and tradish barre hold and shake type shit but obvi we don’t have a barre so there’s an added challenge. I recommend this class to all and brunch at White Star after is always a good plan.

PS you can see people skateboarding while you work out and sometimes they do cool shit and that’s obviously my favorite thing.

do it all.

JaneDO, my first workout love, who I credit with getting me back into moving around and not being out of breath after walking up stairs, also has outdoor class!

They started them in Hoboken first and I was like <sideways judgemental stare> but now they have them in JC too and I am glad. Also in Montclair! One day if I have a car I’ll go to Montclair.

The JaneDO JC outdoor workouts are at Roberto Clemente Field which is a baseball field and those little league kids have some nice grass to play on. Lucky.

But we also get to work out on the grass! They run their “Do It All” class which is, and I quote, “Pretty much whatever the instructor feels like doing.” And it’s great! Different every time, which is important for the body and the brain. I think.

It’s just really nice to be outside and be around other people. Working out at home makes me lazy and distracted and I feel like I don’t work out as hard or get as much out of it, physically AND mentally.

Working out is a big part of my day every day because it helps me stay calm and it makes me feel like I have my shit together. These are two very important elements that are necessary for me to get through the day. Working out at home doesn’t calm or inspire me the same way that I am calmed and inspired working out in person among others.

Outdoor workouts have that! ALL OF THAT!

Come join workouts with JaneDO on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7am, weather permitting. Or with Morgan on Saturdays at 11am, weather also permitting. Or don’t, I’m not the boss of you.

902 brewing.

On Sunday I went to 902 Brewing with some pals and I’m pretty sure we liked it.

It was too hot to live on Sunday but I had made a commitment to check out 902 Brewing and I needed to stay true to myself and the rigorous social schedule I impose upon myself at all times. I even had to wear a beach hat to a non-beach location to shade my fair face from the sweltering sun.

I’m about to get really Jersey City-specific but 902 Brewing was kind of hard to find. It’s by the Garfield Light Rail stop, in the sense that you can see the Garfield Light Rail stop from there, but it would prob take like 10 minutes to walk over, if you took the light rail.

It’s actually walkable (and not by my usual insane “walkable” standards, just by normal person standards) from my home on The Hill. I didn’t walk though because I was so hot.

I was so incredibly hot.

They have a really nice space inside and I’m excited to go back there in the distant future when we are once again permitted to hang out indoors. As I was looking around I said out loud, to no one, “I haven’t been to a brewery in SO LONG!”

As if I haven’t not been ANYWHERE in so long. Quick eye roll at myself. Back to work.

I chose the Chilltown Crusher pilsner lager and it was fab. I’ve been drinking almost exclusively pilsners and lagers in my old age, I can’t really take the intensity of an IPA anymore. It was good! My pal chose a flight which I think was very wise and I do regret not flight-ing but I can’t win them all.

After we grabbed our drinks we set off on a precarious journey up many stairs. The stairs were the only downfall. For whatever ridiculous reason I live in constant fear of getting hurt so it honestly made me scared to climb these stairs in a long skirt while holding a beer. The long skirt was my own fault though. And the stairs weren’t any more scary than other stairs. It’s just me that was scared of the stairs.

This is a me problem.

Once safely on the roof the view was awesome! I was kind of surprised, because it’s a short building, but luckily there aren’t many other buildings around it and there are no taller buildings blocking the view straight through Liberty State Park. You can see the skyline! Not sure how long that view will last but it was nice to soak it up while it’s there.

At some point they came and checked in on us and we ordered more drinks and that was great too. “They” meaning the employees who were very sweet and hospitable. This meant I didn’t have to go down and back up the stairs I was clearly terrified of. We stayed for a few drinks and enjoyed the view and then we were on our merry way.

I would suggest that you check out 902 Brewing for yourselves. It’s located at 101 Pacific Ave in Jersey City, and they’re open W-F 3-10pm, Saturday 12-10pm, and Sunday 12-6pm. Maybe I’ll see you there. Be careful on the stairs.