March 26, 2011

At The Elan with Notes on the State of New Jersey photographer, Christina Rudczynski


The Elan
Thursday night, I attended the grand opening of the new reception hall in Lodi, The Elan.

Ari Starkman, owner of The Elan, was there to energetically greet and welcome guests to his open house.  During the event, I had a great time chatting with Kelly Adams from RSVP to Me and Sophie Stone  from the Paramus Post.  The food was delicious and the entertainment from Uptown Swing got everyone on their feet. Anyone looking to have a wedding or other banquet event will definitely want to check out The Elan in Lodi!

The sugar bowl I painted at The Clay Pot!


My Sugar Bowl
Back in January, I went to The Clay Pot in Spotswood on a snowy Saturday.  I painted a sugar bowl (the colors of my kitchen), and left it there to be fired.  It was ready for pick up in just a couple of days.  My friend, Lauren, picked up the sugar bowl for me, when she got her own pottery piece,  but because of (lots of) snow and busy schedules, she and I just recently connected.

It was definitely worth the wait! I am very pleased with the way that my sugar bowl came out and I’m looking forward to going back to The Clay Pot and making another piece!

Best of Jersey
My copy of New Jersey Monthly’s Best of Jersey issue  arrived today.  Once again, Walter Bauman Jewelers has been voted as the Best Jewelry Store in NJ.  (Yay!)  I’m going to get myself a cup of coffee, and sit back with the magazine to see what other great NJ individuals and businesses made the list this year!

The Jersey Girl

Having a Blast

I’ve got to say, what I get to do is a lot of fun.  Really.  As the new project (Notes on the State of New Jersey) is developing, I get to visit my favorite NJ locations and research new ones.

Last week, I went back to Pier Village in Long Branch to McLoone’s Pier House to see old friend, Donny G, play an acoustic set for an intimate crowd.  Then this week, I went up to Garwood to see new friends, This Noise Inside My Head (great name, right?), play a rockin’ set – for the very first time! They’re just getting their feet wet, but I think we’ll be seeing some pretty awesome things from them in the near future.

The Notes on the State of New Jersey website is still developing, contributors are working on some great pieces, we’re speaking to new advertisers, and it’s all coming together nicely!

I’m off to research a question that was submitted to the site by a reader.  If you have a question of your own about New Jersey, be sure to ask us!

Ask a question.  Be a part of history!

Hope you are having as much fun as I am!

The Jersey Girl

A Weekend of Good Food and Good Friends

Trying to figure when these postcards were issued...

I got to spend some time walking around (as it snowed) in Somerville on Saturday evening.  There, I visited one of the largest antique malls in the state,  Somerville Center Antiques.  The folks there were friendly and extremely helpful.  I wandered around booth after booth of collectibles, and eventually found an old (though I haven’t figured out exactly how old) 1 cent Thomas Jefferson postcard.  And officially started my collection of Thomas Jefferson memorabilia!

Tapastre in Somerville, NJ

After antiquing, and just a few blocks away, I had dinner at Tapastre.  The menu, cleverly organized by countries including France, Italy, Turkey, and Greece, offered a large selection of tapas-style dishes.  I thought the Seared Scallops, with a bacon pesto and blue cheese cracker, were especially delicious.

Sunday brought a great work session (and pizza!) with good friend and web developer, John Conde in Jackson.  We made some updates to the Notes on the State of New Jersey website and more additions are on the way shortly.  We’re almost ready to start posting the articles.  It’s very exciting!

Then, I got to catch up with old friends at Taste in Red Bank where, again, I had a variety of small plates – though this time with a much more American feel.  The Buffalo Deviled Eggs seemed like a pretty unusual idea to me, but they tasted great!

Now, its back to work and back to checking the weather forecast.  We’re under a storm watch again, and it looks like this next storm could be messy.

Be safe and have a great week!

The Jersey Girl

Notes on the State of New Jersey is live!

Thanks to the talented John Conde, Notes on the State of New Jersey is officially up and running!   We met in Freehold yesterday, at Moores Tavern, to iron out a few more details and features of the new website.  Contributors are at work on compelling, upcoming content.  Links are working.  And…we’re on our way!
I am very excited (if you couldn’t already tell!) about this project because through it, we will be working to keep New Jersey’s history alive while also preserving present-day New Jersey experiences.  Inspired by the book written by Thomas Jefferson in 1781 called Notes on the State of Virginia, which was written as a series of answers to queries about the state from an inquiring party overseas, this project will answer questions about the Garden State and its history in a similar fashion.  We’ll also be highlighting and promoting the state’s contemporary attractions, destinations, and the accomplishments of notable individuals.
It’s going to be a lot of fun!
Bookmark the site.  Submit some questions.  Be a part of history.

The Jersey Girl

Please stay tuned…

Our new, expanded and more comprehensive online format (which can also be found through the address, will be up and running soon.

In the mean time, if you (or someone you know) might be interested in writing about, or taking photos of, the fabulous things happening in New Jersey, please send me a direct email message and let me know a little bit about yourself.  Our online project is expanding, and we are looking for skilled writers and photographers who are interested in employing their talents to share their knowledge of, and love for, the Garden State.

Also, if you have any New Jersey events that you would like to share, please feel free to email that information directly to

The Jersey Girl