Picture Perfect: Summer in New Jersey 2011

Summer. Remember it?  It wasn’t all that long ago, and it will be here again before we know it.

This summer The Jersey Girl readers submitted photos that they felt represented “Summer in New Jersey.”

The following were some of our favorites from the summer of 2011.  Take a break from the snow, short days, and cold weather and remember what summer was like – just a few months ago.

"A Shore of Possibilities" by Michelle Cino

From the photographer:  Whether you are hopping into the thrilling ocean with your friends, building a magical sandcastle with your brother, or simply admiring the view with your boogie board, summer in New Jersey means enjoying the pleasurable beaches in every way you can.  The possibilities for delight at the Jersey Shore are endless!  

"Looks Like a Flower" by Annette Villaverde

From the photographer: It was taken in my backyard, I had put water out for the butterflies and birds because of the heat (today it reached 102 degrees) and instead to my amazement the bees were drinking the water and skating along the surface, I didn’t know bees were this agile (they must be visiting from the shore 😉  Their reflection in the water looks like  a flower, bees are amazing. 

"The Sun Sets After the Storm" by Andrea Speziale

From the photographer: My photo represents Jersey because even after a hurricane, the Jersey shore is as calm and beautiful as ever.

"Hot Coals" by Wesley Wey

From the photographer: I like how this picture represents summer in the form of nostalgic outdoor parties/BBQ and lazy afternoons spent with friends. 

And from NSNJ photographer, Christina Rudczynski:

"Cheers" by Christina Rudczynski

From the photographer: Summer in New Jersey is about getting people together, whether it is during holiday weekends or just any weekend.  They can get together at the Jersey shore, someones backyard or just at a park.  Wherever it is, there are always games, BBQ’s, sometimes bonfires, swimming and of course food and DRINKS…adult drinks and/or kiddie drinks…it doesn’t matter! What does matter is getting the people you love and care about around you and having a good time….and THAT is New Jersey.

~Melissa
The Jersey Girl

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Picture Perfect: Art OUTSIDE of the Sugarloaf Craft Festival, Too

Twice a year (in October and March) the Sugarloaf Craft Festival comes to central New Jersey. Hundreds of talented artists and craftsman bring their handmade creations to the exhibit center in Somerset.  I go each time with my mom, and each time we find things that we (didn’t know until we saw them) just can’t live without.  My walls and shelves, purse and accessory drawers are adorned with finds from the festival.

To our delight, one of our favorite (and local NJ) artists, John DiAmicis was again in attendance at the festival and we picked up something special from his booth.  (I can’t tell you what it is, because it is a surprise gift for someone who just might be reading this blog.)

Actually, most of the things we picked up this time around were gifts.  Well, gifts and food.  So, I realize after the fact, that I don’t have many photos to share from the festival itself.  (Don’t want to ruin any holiday surprises!)

You’re going to have to take my word that the things there were, once again, pretty cool, and that there truly is something for every age, taste, price range, and interest at the Sugarloaf Craft Festival.

A little bit of winter in the fall.

The photo I do have to share with you on this Picture Perfect Sunday was taken yesterday just outside our visit at the festival, on our way back to the car.  The snow had been falling for a few hours already, and it began to stick in a thick, heavy coat – over everything.  Tree branches were weighed down, and the autumn hues of amber and orange were peaking their way through the thick snow.  This photo is from just outside the exhibit center; inspired by the artists at the festival – where there was art in every direction and from wall to wall – I snapped a photo of art myself.

The festival is in town through today, October 30th.  They’ll be back again in the spring.  You can visit their website or the Notes on the State of New Jersey calendar for more details.

~Melissa
The Jersey Girl

Have You Been Taking Pictures this Summer?

What does summer in NJ look like to you?

Sadly, July is nearing to its end already which means it will be August and then September before we know it. I’m certainly not trying to rush the summer away, but the good news is that this does also mean that you should have taken a lot of pictures so far for this summer’s Picture Perfect: Summer in New Jersey photo contest!  If you haven’t, then what are you waiting for?

Reminder:  this year, winning photographs will be published here in a special blog post AND displayed on the Notes on the State of New Jersey main page!

For a look at last year’s winners, click here.

Contest Guidelines:

*Submit up to 2 photos per person.

*Photos must be emailed to Melissa at
melissa.morris11 (at) gmail.com with SUMMER in the subject line.

*Please include your name, address and phone number in the body of the email. 

*Photos must be received by September 8th.

*Photos must be taken this summer in New Jersey to qualify for the contest (date and location of photo should be included with submission as well as a title and a brief explanation as to why you think the photo represents “Summer in NJ”).

*By submitting photos, you agree that they may be used for publication on The Jersey Girl website, the Notes on the State of New Jersey site, and/or any promotional materials.

*All published photos will always be credited to the artist.

*Winners will be announced here and on the NSNJ website, as well as on our twitter and facebook pages.

~Melissa
The Jersey Girl

Picture Perfect: Summer “Stuff”

My summer "stuff" on the Asbury Park beach.

This Picture Perfect Sunday I want to share a photo I took earlier in the week. It’s not a rolling landscape or a breathtaking sunset; it’s just my beach towel and bag, my summer “stuff.”

These items are old, and worn, and I absolutely love them.  They’re only used in the summertime, and their wear is strictly – and proudly – from their use on the beach and at the pool.  Just the site of these items reminds me that it is a time to unwind, relax, and enjoy.

I couldn’t think of a more appropriate photo to share with you, on this fine, summer, Picture Perfect Sunday of the holiday weekend.

Hoping you unwind, relax, and enjoy today…

~Melissa
The Jersey Girl

Picture Perfect: Sunset Sunday in Hazelton, PA

Yesterday, a family reunion took me out to Pennsylvania.  I got to tour the Eckley Miners’ Village and see what living conditions were like for my family who worked in the coal mines.  I don’t have too much information (yet) about this side of my family, and being there in PA, where they all first settled when they came to this country was very inspiring.

The sun sets on a fabulous family weekend.

We ate dinner at the Top of the 80s restaurant in Hazelton, PA.  There, we had a beautiful view throughout the evening – complete with a sky that rained skydivers.  As the sun set, I knew I had to try to capture this breathtaking moment of a very special weekend.  Once I saw the photo on my computer this afternoon, it screamed “Sunset Sunday” and I just had to share it with you…

~Melissa
The Jersey Girl

Picture Perfect: Spring Lake

Spring Lake, NJ

On a warm and sunny day last weekend, just as the summer (unofficially) began, I spent the afternoon walking around Spring Lake – the town, and the lake itself.  There, couples rested on benches and enjoyed the peaceful afternoon, families rode their bikes around the lake, teens fished with their friends, and runners from the Spring Lake Five celebrated their morning run.

I, of course, had my camera handy and snapped as many photos as I could that captured the serenity of the day.  I think this one sums up what I experienced most…

Have a Picture Perfect Sunday!

~Melissa
The Jersey Girl

Picture Perfect: Summer in New Jersey Photo Contest, 2011

I’m happy to announce the start of the 2nd annual Picture Perfect: Summer in New Jersey photo contest.

This year, winning photographs will be published here in a special blog post AND displayed on the Notes on the State of New Jersey main page!

For a look at last year’s winners, click here.

What does summer in New Jersey look like to you?

Contest Guidelines:
*Submit up to 2 photos per person.
*Photos must be emailed to 
Melissa with SUMMER in the subject line.
*Please include your name, address and phone number in the body of the email.
*Photos must be received by September 8th.
*Photos must be taken 
this summer in New Jersey to qualify for the contest (date and location of photo should be included with submission as well as a title and a brief explanation as to why you think the photo represents “Summer in NJ”).
*By submitting photos, you agree that they may be used for publication on The Jersey Girl website, the Notes on the State of New Jersey site, and/or any promotional materials.
*All published photos will be credited to the artist.
*Winners will be announced here on the website.

Good luck!

~Melissa
The Jersey Girl