The Warming Trend Issue
The Stayin’ Alive Issue
The New & Improved Issue
EDGE People

Joanna Gorczyca, MSW, MPA, LNHA Administrator/Director of Senior Services

FIVE STARS FOR BROTHER BONAVENTURE

While “shopping” for a nursing home for a loved one, consumers are likely to be impressed by Brother Bonaventure’s five-star rating on the Nursing Home Compare page on the Medicare website. Compared to other nursing homes, “Brother B” scored higher in health inspections, staffing and most importantly, quality of resident care. Joanna Gorczyca, MSW, MPA, LNHA Administrator/Director of Senior Services, who works tirelessly to maintain order and quality of care, says, “It’s something we’re very proud of and we’re going to work hard to keep it.”

 

Max Loeffler, founder and creator of Bumbles Dolls, right

BUMBLE DOLLS FOR ALL

Max Loeffler, founder, and creator of Bumbles Dolls, recently donated 100 dolls to the children inpatients at Trinitas. The following week, his sister Natasha Loeffler, brought 100 more to the Cancer Center and the Connie Dwyer Breast Center for patients. Loeffler, whose mother Vanessa Loeffler, the wife of Dr. Abu Alam, is the founder of the Teddy Bear Foundation for Achondroplasia. Loeffler’s daughter Theodora, was born with achondroplasia, a hereditary, congenital form of skeletal dysplasia commonly known as dwarfism. As Max watched medical professionals take care of his sister and began volunteering at a local hospital, he was inspired to help make a difference in a bigger way. And soon, Bumble Dolls were born and have made their way around the country. Now, we’re lucky to have them at Trinitas.

 

Geraldine Cruz, Palliative Care Director

NURSE OF THE YEAR

Congratulations to Geraldine Cruz, Palliative Care Director, who won Nurse of the Year in the category of Adult Health recently at the NJ March of Dimes Nurse of the Year Awards.

 

 

 

 

Nancy DiLiegro, PhD, FACHE Vice President of Clinical Operations and Physician Services, Chief Clinical Officer

SENIOR CAREERIST AWARD-WINNER

Congratulations to Nancy DiLiegro, PhD, FACHE Vice President of Clinical Operations and Physician Services, Chief Clinical Officer, the recipient of the 2020 Senior Careerist Award. She was honored by The New Jersey American College of Healthcare Executives Regent Advisory Council Awards Committee at the Annual Regent’s Breakfast and Awards Program on January 31, 2020, at the Hyatt Regency Princeton.

 

 

 

 

Trinitas EMS, Dr. Raffee Matossian, EMS Medical Director

MOBILE HEALTHCARE PROGRAM OF THE YEAR

Trinitas EMS was awarded the 2019 “Mobile Healthcare Program of the Year” award at the 20th Annual EMS Awards Program recently during the National Conference on EMS in Atlantic City. Dr. Raffee Matossian, EMS Medical Director, accepted the award from Deputy Commissioner of Health Christopher Neuwirth.

 

Minette’s Angels, the Connie Dwyer Breast Center

ANGELS AMONG US

Minette’s Angels, a non-profit foundation dedicated to funding efforts to provide programs and services to breast cancer patients, came to the Connie Dwyer Breast Center at Trinitas to make another generous donation to support our efforts.

 

 

 

 

 

Elizabeth Police Department PBA, Local 4

PINK LIVES MATTER

Our friends at the Elizabeth Police Department PBA Local 4 came up with a creative way to support Trinitas. For Breast Cancer Awareness Month, they made fancy patches with a pink border and sold 400 of them to the public for $5 each. During the two-day, sold-out sale, they collected $2,000 and donated it for breast cancer patients at Trinitas. Thank you to our local heroes in blue for incorporating some pink!

 

Entertainment on the Edge

Friday • June 14 • 8:30 pm

Prudential Center Luis Miguel 2019 North American Tour

The winner of the Best 2018 Tour at both the Latin Grammys and American Music Awards, Luis Miguel has sold more than 100 million albums. He won his first Grammy as a teenager for a duet with Sheena Easton, becoming the youngest male Grammy winner at the age of 14.

 

Sunday • June 16 • 7:00 pm

Prudential Center Wisin Y Yandel Como Antes Tour

The iconic Latin duo is on its first U.S. Tour since 2013, which includes a spring stop at The Rock. To this day, they are the first Reggaeton artists to win a Grammy. Their 2018 album The Big Leagues has become a huge hit.

 

Saturday • June 29 • 9:00 pm

Newark Symphony Hall R&B Music Museum All White Dance Party

Dress in white and dance the night away to old-school jams from the 70s and 80s in support of the R&B Music Museum.

 

Tuesday • July 2 • 7:30 pm

Prudential Center New Kids On the Block The Mixtape Tour

The iconic boy band, now in their 40s, will be joined on stage by special guests Salt-N-Pepa, Tiffany, Debbie Gibson and Naughty By Nature. The group has been touring on and off for a decade after breaking up for 13 years, and was a hit last New Year’s Eve on Times Square.

 

Thursday • June 20 • 8:00 pm

State Theatre George Takei Where No Story Has Gone Before

The former Star Trek star invites his audience to join him on a personal journey that includes a Japanese internment camp, an iconic role on a legendary series, and a second career as a social media star and advocate for justice.

 

Friday • June 21 • 7:30 pm

NJPAC Iyanla Vanzant Acts of Faith Remix Tour

The Emmy-winning spiritual teacher and life coach brings her life-altering solo event to Prudential Hall in celebration of the 25th anniversary of her best-selling book, Acts of Faith.

 

Saturday • July 6 • 3:00 & 8:00 pm

UCPAC United Vincie Cultural Group of Brooklyn Caribbean Cultural Extravaganza

The Hamilton Stage lights up with the sights and sounds of the islands to promote divergent cultures and social synergy. The events include folk songs, choral speeches, dramatic skits, story-telling, folk dancing, poems, steel drum music, stand-up comedy, arts & crafts and fashion. Each performance also includes an authentic Caribbean meal.

 

Saturday • July 13 • 8:00 pm

NJPAC Bring It! The Dance Battle Tour

Legendary coach Diana Williams of the popular Lifetime series Bring It! comes to Prudential Hall this summer with an eye-popping hip-hop majorette competition. And yes, the audience gets to vote for the winners.

 

Tuesday • July 16 • 8:00 pm

Prudential Center Electric Light Orchestra Live 2019

Jeff Lynne’s ELO comes to Newark with its legendary live show. The band’s chart-topping hits include “Livin’ Thing,” “Telephone Line,” “Xanadu” and “Don’t Bring Me Down.” ELO’s fusion of rock and classical music sold more than 50 million albums.

 

Saturday • July 20 • 8:00 pm

UCPAC Lance Bass Pop 2000 Tour

The former NSYNC star hosts a trip down memory lane with help from O-Town, Aaron Carter, Ryan Cabrera, Tyler Hilton, and Nitty Green and Riff.

 

Friday • August 2 • 7:30 pm

Saturday • August 3 • 1:30 & 7:30 pm

Paper Mill Playhouse New Voices of 2019 Learn Your Lessons Well

Summer Musical Theater Conservatory students are directed and choreographed by Paper Mill Playhouse’s professional artistic staff in this fully produced, original concert.

 

Saturday • August 10 • 7:30 pm

Sunday • August 11 • 7:30 pm

Prudential Center Sean Mendes 2019 Tour

Mendes was originally scheduled for one night at The Rock, but recently added a second date. The Canadian singer/model is an international sensation and last was included among Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People In the World.

 

Wednesday • August 14 7:30 pm

Prudential Center Kiss End of the Road

This is it, they claim. After 45 years of recording the iconic band is calling it a career and mounting one last tour. Kiss pioneered in the over-the-top hard rock stage show and has sold over 100 million records.

 

Tuesday • September 10 • 8:00 pm

State Theatre The Piano Guys Live On Stage

The YouTube sensations come to New Brunswick with an innovative mix of classical and pop music. All eight of their albums have topped the Billboard New Age chart.

 

Sunday • September 15 • 8:00 pm

Prudential Center Backstreet Boys DNA World Tour

The iconic boy band is on its biggest arena tour in more than a decade in support of their new 2019 album DNA. The record has already spun off three hits, including “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.”

 

Sunday • September 29 3:00 pm

NJPAC Arlo Guthrie Alice’s Restaurant Tour

The celebrated folk singer recorded the 18-minute Alice’s Restaurant in 1967 at the age of 19. The performance opens with Arlo’s daughter, singer-songwriter Sarah Lee Guthrie.

 

For the Kids

 

May 29 to June 30

Paper Mill Playhouse Beauty and the Beast The Broadway Musical

A gorgeous production, based on the Academy Award–winning animated movie, featuring stunning costumes and sets, spectacular dance numbers, and, of course, a fairy-tale ending. Check website for dates and times.

 

Thursday • June 13 • 6:30 pm

State Theatre Wednesday • July 24 • 7:00 pm

Prudential Center JoJo Siwa D.R.E.A.M. Tour

The Nickelodeon and YouTube personality—and former Dance Moms star—makes two stops in our area on her 2018–19 tour.

 

September 6 to 21

UCPAC Into the Woods

Jared Milan stars in Stephen Sondheim’s popular musical, which intertwines Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault fairy tales. Check the UCPAC web site for dates and times.

 

Editor’s Note: For more info on these listings log onto the following web sites:

Kean Stage • keanstage.com

NJPAC • njpac.org

Newark Symphony Hall • newarksymphonyhall.org

Paper Mill Playhouse • papermill.org

Prudential Center • prucenter.com

State Theatre • stnj.org

Union County Performing Arts Center & Hamilton Stage • ucpac.org

 

Water Lines

As humankind probes the universe wondering, Are we alone? we seek out water…for water means life. No less meaningful is how we regard water on our own planet. Although we don’t always take care of it the way we should, we understand its profound importance. Perhaps that is why we have so much to say about it…

 

A drop of water, if it could write out its own history, would explain the universe to us.

—Lucy Larcom, Educator

 

Thousands have lived without love. Not one without water.

—W.H. Auden, Poet

 

You can’t trust water: Even a straight stick turns crooked in it.

—W.C. Fields, Comedian

 

All water has a perfect memory and is trying to get back to where it was.

—Toni Morrison, Author

 

Water is fluid, soft and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield.

—Lau Tzu, Philosopher

 

Life in us is like the water in a river.

—Henry David Thoreau, Philosopher

 

Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.

—Ryunosuke Satoro, Author

 

No water, no life. No blue, no green.

—Sylvia Earle, Oceanographer

 

Laughing Matter

A serious look at fish-out-of-water comedy.

By Luke Sacher

There is nothing remotely amusing about a fish-out-of-water experience. We’ve all been there at one time or another. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time, ill-equipped to cope with unfamiliar circumstances or unpredictable people, is at best deeply unsettling and, at worst, totally harrowing.

Unless, of course, it’s happening to someone else. In that case it’s hilarious.

My first boss out of college, a TV commercial director, advised me one day: “There are no small jobs, only small people.” I sardonically replied: “What about big jobs and big people? Or small jobs and big people? Or big jobs and small people?” He glared at me and said, “Okay, philosopher… now go pick up my dry cleaning.”

That small job led to bigger and better things, so his observation was sound and his point well made. Since then, I have adhered to my own version, which is when a window of opportunity opens, jump through it…just make sure you’re on the ground floor when you do. Needless to say, there is an entire genre of fish-out-of-water workplace comedy that runs counter to this kind of career advice. It’s the first of five I invite you to explore.

  1. The Patience of Job

In My Cousin Vinny (1992), Joe Pesci plays a street-smart personal injury attorney from New York City who finds himself in a Deep South courtroom defending his young cousin on what looks to be a slam-dunk murder charge. Vinny has three major problems: near total incompetence, absolutely no trial experience and a severe case of cultural tone deafness—which collectively earn him the contempt of the judge, played by Fred Gwynne. Vinny finally gets a grip on his situation when he begins listening to the movie’s other fish out of water, his girlfriend Mona, played to Oscar-winning perfection by Marisa Tomei.

In Spy (2015), Melissa McCarthy plays Susan Cooper, a dowdy, 40-something CIA desk analyst who is thrust into the role of field operative after super spy—and love of her life—Bradley Fine (Jude Law) is neutralized in a plot involving black market nuclear weapons. Imagine Moneypenny stepping in for James Bond. Or better yet, a ribald mix of Homeland, The Sum of All Fears, the Three Stooges and the Marx Brothers. Like Vinny, “Coop” finds a way to avert disaster and make us laugh while figuring out what separates an amateur from a pro.

Jerry Lewis, whom I knew and with whom I worked, starred in The Patsy (1964). When an A-List Hollywood pop and movie star perishes in a plane crash, his parasitic flunky managers, agents, producers and writers lose their meal ticket, and need to groom a replacement fast. Enter Stanley Belt, a bellboy at their hotel. The film has four unforgettable scenes: the singing lesson, the barber shop, the recording session, and Stanley lip-synching his hit song “I Lost My Heart in a Drive-In Movie” on an American Bandstand-style dance show. The final scene would do Fellini proud.

  1. Boys Will Be Girls

In the world of fish-out-of-water comedy, the best man for the moment is often a woman. After all, how hard can it be? Slap on some makeup, don a few glad rags, slip into a pair of heels, raise the pitch of your voice…and you’re good to go. What could possibly be the downside? Just don’t ask Michael Dorsey (aka Dorothy Michaels in Tootsie), Daniel Hilliard (aka Euphegenia Doubtfire) or Joe and Jerry (aka Jospehine and Daphne in Some Like It Hot).

In Tootsie (1982), Dustin Hoffman’s out-of-work actor finds fame and fortune disguised as a soap opera diva. The charade creates profound chaos in Dorsey’s personal life, but he learns valuable lessons about feminine empowerment and winds up a better man for it. In Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), Robin Williams masquerades as an over-the-top Scottish nanny in order to stay in the lives of his children after a messy divorce. It is difficult to imagine any actor other than Williams pulling off such a ludicrous character; in fact, Mrs. Doubtfire herself has a hard time keeping it together, both literally and figuratively.

Saving the best for last, Billy Wilder’s masterpiece Some Like it Hot (1958) features Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon as a pair of jazz musicians who witness a Chicago mob rubout. They save their skins by joining an all-female orchestra (featuring Marilyn Monroe) headed for a winter gig in Miami. Once in Florida, Curtis’s character pursues Monroe by impersonating an heir to the Shell Oil fortune (employing a spot-on Cary Grant impersonation). Meanwhile, Lemmon’s Daphne is romanced—with a disturbing degree of success—by an actual millionaire, played by Joe E. Brown. It all works out in the end, sort of—I won’t spoil the ending for those who haven’t seen it yet.

For the record, pretty much every modern (post-Shakespeare) gender-bender comedy—from Victor/ Victoria (which is based on an early German film) to TV’s Bosom Buddies to Big Momma’s House—traces its origin to Charley’s Aunt, an 1892 British farce by Brandon Thomas, which has been adapted for the screen no less than 13 times and remains a staple of repertory theater.

  1. Out of Body Experiences

We’ve all had those odd moments when we don’t quite feel ourselves. But imagine finding yourself one fine morning transplanted into an entirely different body? That brings us to our third genre or fish-out-of-water comedies. The one we all grew up with was Freaky Friday, which features a petulant teenage daughter and her mom swapping bodies for 24 hours. Mary Rodgers’s award-winning 1972 children’s novel has been adapted and updated for stage, screen and TV five times—and has starred Jodie Foster & Barbara Harris (1976), Gaby Hoffman & Shelley Long (1995), and Lindsay Lohan & Jamie Lee Curtis (2003). One of the first—and best—was Goodbye Charlie (1964), the story of a Hollywood screenwriter and notorious lothario Charlie Sorrell. Charlie is murdered by the producer husband of one of his trysts…and comes back to life as “lotharia” Virginia Mason, played to the nines by Debbie Reynolds. Goodbye Charlie began as a Broadway play starring Lauren Bacall, in 1959. Switch, the 1991 Blake Edwards film starring Ellen Barkin, was essentially a remake.

One of the big hits of Spring 2019 was the out-of-body comedy Little, the story of a bullying executive who wakes up in her own 13-year-old body and must return to the school were she was originally bullied. As with Freaky Friday, a lot of the comic burden is shouldered by a young actor—in this case, Monai Martin, who is brilliant.Little also works because its title plays off the champion of out-of-body fish-out-of-water films, Big (1988), the Penny Marshall classic starring Tom Hanks. After a humiliating “too short to ride” experience at a traveling carnival, 13 year old Josh Baskin gets his wish to be “big” from a fortune telling machine, and wakes up as a 30 year old man, who must flee his own home after being mistaken by his mother as the kidnapper of her son. Josh’s childlike imagination and honesty brings him instant success, wealth and romance as a toy industry executive, but after a few weeks of grownup fun, he realizes that being big isn’t quite the picnic he thought it would be…and longs to be a kid again.

The movie’s iconic scene is Josh’s “chopsticks” duet with his boss (Robert Loggia) on the giant keyboard at FAO Schwarz. But perhaps the one that best depicts the essence of man-child humor is when Hanks shows up to an office party in a ridiculous rented tuxedo and gags on a “sophisticated” hors d’oeuvre. I detested caviar and quail eggs when I was 13, and still do. And no one’s going to make me eat them ever again because I’m big now.

  1. City Mouse, Country Mouse

The reversal of fortune, whether positive, negative or a mixed bag of both, is a time-honored device for putting characters in places they are ill-equipped to navigate. When those characters move from the city to the country, or vice-versa, we find that their strengths become weaknesses, their weaknesses become strengths and, of course, comedy ensues. One of the biggest hits on Netflix right now, in fact, is the Canadian sitcom Schitt’s Creek, which relocates ruined video-store tycoon Johnny Rose (Eugene Levy) and his formerly jet-setting family to the last piece of real estate he owns: a no-tell motel in a backwater town of the same name. Newhart (1982–90) found famed how-to author Dick Louden (Bob Newhart) running a moreupscale establishment in a picturesque Vermont town, but dealing with an even loopier cast of characters.

Although countless film comedies have featured reversals of fortune—Trading Places (1983) being perhaps the most successful—television, it turns out, is an especially welcoming medium for this fish-out-of-water genre, seeing as it allows for the quirkiness factor to develop over many seasons. One of the first shows to really get it right was Green Acres (1965–71), in the mid-60s. One day, attorney Oliver Wendell Douglas (Eddie Albert) looks out from his Manhattan penthouse, declares to his glamorous and eccentric wife Lisa (Eva Gabor) “I hate it!” and drags her unwillingly to a farm in Hooterville. There he is plagued by a parade of unforgettable idiots, including conniving junkman Mr. Haney, the childless Ziffels (who have raised their pig Arnold as a child), farming expert Hank Kimball (who can never finish a thought), and the brother-sister home renovation team of Alf and Ralph (who can never finish a home renovation). The underlying gag in the series is that everyone in Hooterville thinks Oliver is a dope—something he can never quite wrap his mind around.

Green Acres was the brainchild of CBS producer Paul Henning, who simply flipped the script of his earlier hit, The Beverly Hillbillies (1962–71). After Jed Clampett (Buddy Ebsen) accidentally strikes oil on his dirt patch in the Ozarks, he moves his family to California’s most exclusive address, a neighborhood of “swimming pools and movie stars.” They live next door to the Drysdales, an obsequious banker who will do anything to prevent the Clampetts from moving their deposit to a competitor, and his wife, who detests them. Though utterly lacking in guile and sophistication, Jed, Granny, Ellie Mae and Jethro end up outsmarting, outlasting or repulsing the endless stream of con-men and -women who arrive at their mansion hoping to separate them from their millions. Jethro (Max Baer Jr.) and Granny (Irene Ryan) do most of the comic heavy lifting in a series that was the #1 show on television twice and in the Top 20 eight years out of nine.

  1. You’re Not From Around Here

Imagine how much fun you’d have if you could shed the constrictions of time, space and the laws of physics. That kind of thinking produced classics classic tales such as Gulliver’s Travels, Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz and Rip Van Winkle. It has also engendered some of the funniest films and television series in history. Too many even to mention, in fact. From this idea came the inspiration for the hit sitcoms My Favorite Martian (1963–66), starring Ray Walston and Bill Bixby, and Mork & Mindy (1978–82), starring Robin Williams and Pam Dawber—as well as the Conehead family (Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtin), who debuted in a 1977 SNL sketch. I should probably add to this list the 2000 Star Trek send-up, Galaxy Quest, where a group of hammy human actors find themselves beamed onto a real alien spaceship. The rule of thumb in each case was that casting, not costuming, is crucial to pull off a fish-out-of-water comedy about extraterrestrials.

That certainly accounts for the success of the NBC series 3rd Rock from the Sun (1996–2001), which starred John Lithgow, Kristen Johnston, French Stewart, Joseph Gordon-Levitt. They play a quartet of aliens living in a Cleveland suburb, tasked with observing the inhabitants of an insignificant planet called Earth. Not quite comfortable in their human skins and never blending in as well as they think, the characters rarely miss an opportunity to hold a slightly cracked mirror up to American culture. Actually, it was Gore Vidal who broke important comic ground in this category with Visit to a Small Planet, first written in 1956 for television, reworked as a Broadway show in 1958, and then as a 1960 feature film starring Jerry Lewis—worth watching just for the scene in the beatnik night club with Buddy Rich.

In addition to the extraterrestrials there are the “supernaturals,” whose extraordinary powers make them a tricky fit for civilized society. Among the funniest of these fish out of water comedies was Hancock (2008), the story of a destructive, alcoholic superhero played by Will Smith who needs a PR flack to burnish his image. The original comic supernaturals, of course, were America’s 1960s sweethearts, Elizabeth Montgomery and Barbara Eden, who played more familiar mythological characters: a witch and a genie.

Bewitched (1964–1972) and I Dream of Jeannie (1965–70) featured pretty much identical plots. A beautiful blonde witch meets and marries a mere mortal advertising executive and a beautiful blonde genie is found by a NASA astronaut whose capsule splashes down near a desert island. Ignoring the fantasies of virtually every mid-century male television viewer, both men feebly lay down the same ground rule…no hocus-pocus.

The similarities did not end there. Both shows used every state-of-the-art technical trick to push the envelope on the time-honored rules of visual comedy: Make something larger or smaller than it normally is, make something do what it normally doesn’t, put something where it normally isn’t. The genius of these shows is that Samantha Stephens and Jeannie were essentially the straight men, while Darren Stephens (especially the first one, Dick York) and Tony Nelson barely kept it together executing the big physical comedy. And then there were the supporting characters, some of whom were in on the joke and others who weren’t. You had to feel for poor Gladys Kravitz, who kept seeing inexplicable things next door, and whose husband Abner thinks that she’s been swallowing too much mouthwash. Or poor Dr. Bellows, the NASA psychiatrist, who is made to doubt his own sanity so often that he almost takes it in stride: “Major Nelson…it’s snowing. On your house. Only on your house. In Cocoa Beach. In the middle of July.”

Often at this point in a feature story, the writer begins a paragraph with “In conclusion…” I don’t think one can when discussing this topic. First of all, I could write an entire book (or shoot a two-hour documentary) about fish-out-of-water comedies and still barely scratch the surface. Second, and perhaps more important, doesn’t all comedy originate in one way or another from this construct? Think about the book or film or TV show or play that never fails to make you laugh…my guess is that the humor originates from a character finding himself or herself in an uncomfortable or unfamiliar place. A good writer knows when to stick to the basics—and how to grab an audience and activate its funny bone.

I’m more than a bit biased by my personal affection for fish-out-of-water humor, but to me, its sheer immensity demands an entire book or a two-hour documentary to be covered adequately. Here, after 2,500-plus words, I’ve just scratched the surface. Perhaps it’s best to end by asking What have we learned today? Something that I discovered researching and writing this article is that virtually all comedy originates, in one way or another, from a fish-out-of-water situation—dating back to ancient Greece.

Think about the book, film, TV show or play that never fails to make you laugh…my guess is that the humor originates from a character finding himself or herself in an uncomfortable or unfamiliar place and, against all odds, emerges both triumphant and a better person for the experience. Pakistani-American comedian and actor Kumail Nanjiani, a fish out of water himself, might have said it best when he observed that “being a fish out of water is tough…but that’s how you evolve.”

Extemporals

Transport wacky characters through time and you may strike fish-out-of-water gold. In Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989), the fate of the future world hinges on the ability of two bone-headed Southern California teenagers—played by Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves—to complete a show-and-tell project for their World History class. With the help of George Carlin and a time-traveling telephone booth, they fetch Beethoven, Napoleon, Billy the Kid, Joan of Arc, Sigmund Freud, Abraham Lincoln and Socrates for a grand spectacle in the school auditorium.

Lost in America

Fish-out-of-water comedy works particularly well when characters find themselves out of their element, yet still close to home. In Lost In America (1985), Albert Brooks and Julie Hagerty play David and Linda, successful Los Angeles yuppies who respond to a sudden professional setback with a bold stroke of dementia: they cash out of their house and hit the road in a Winnebago to find themselves “like in Easy Rider.” Who could have predicted that, at a stop in Las Vegas, she turns out to be a degenerate gambler who loses their entire nest egg at the roulette wheel? Lost In America does a superb job of holding a mirror up to American society from top to bottom, as David and Linda suffer the endless indignities of a minimum-wage existence.

Out of Africa

Unless you are a Native American, chances are good that you are descended from someone who was the ultimate fish out of water: a stranger to North America. The actual U.S. immigrant story is not inherently funny (especially not these days)…unless of course, you decide to mine it for humor. Think about Crocodile Dundee or Moscow On the Hudson or Borat. The humor doesn’t come so much from the awkward struggles of the newcomer as it does from the Americans who are trying to make them feel welcome (or unwelcome). Perhaps the best example is Coming to America (1988). Eddie Murphy stars as Akeem, an over-pampered African prince who leaves his homeland of Zamuda and arrives in outer-borough New York, where he and his best friend Semmi (Aresneio Hall) must rough it while Akeem searches for a suitable wife. “What better place to find a queen than the city of Queens?” The logic turns out to be unassailable.

2nd Jetty

“The merry band of chefs are the equivalent of jazz musicians… constantly improvising, cooking with spontaneity, reacting to an ingredient in the moment.”

By Andy Clurfeld

It’s lunchtime on a  Tuesday, and Kyle Hopfensperger and Dan Pollard are talking dinner.

Specifically, what’s going to be on the menu for dinner at 2nd Jetty Seafood in Sea Bright, where fishes are the star, Kyle is the chef-owner and Dan is the forager of the finest specimens that come from our waters.

“We talk every day,” Kyle says.

“Sometimes four times a day,” Dan notes.

“If he’s closing at 5:00, I’ll call Dan at 4:50 to get in more for that night, if I think we need it,” adds Kyle.

“And if he doesn’t call then, I’ll call him,”  Dan says, as they both laugh.

Dan manages Lusty Lobster, a wholesale-retail seafood enterprise based in Highlands, right over the Highlands-Sea Bright Bridge from 2nd Jetty. He’s as critical to the operation of the restaurant—which sits across a narrow stretch of Ocean Avenue from the Atlantic Ocean and catty-corner from the entrance to Sandy Hook—as Kyle’s cohorts in his kitchen, chefs Daniel Ciambrone and Bruce Buzzelli.

On this day, Dan Pollard is prepped and ready: “On Tuesdays, I go through all my sheets—my fish sources, locals like Viking Village, Bivalve Packing, Barnegat Oyster Collective—and figure out what I need and what I can get for my store and my special people.”

His “special people” are his chefs. He gets in touch with some of the very best chefs in New Jersey, those in particular who specialize in seafood, and lets them know what’s coming out of the water that week. Kyle listens as Dan recites and jumps, immediately, on the kampachi.

“Kampachi! Yes!” he says, scoring the buttery, sushi- grade fish that’s a kind of extra-exquisite yellowtail.

“I can get you sushi fluke – that’s local, out of Viking Village,” Dan says. He gets another nod from the chef, who’s already talking about doing a raw-fishes special on one of the “surfboard” platters made from the wood of fallen trees especially for 2nd Jetty by Doug Rella, of Brick. After all, his personal fish forager has Bambalam oysters, among others, on the bill of available local fare.

“Dayboat mahi, really good tuna, domestic sword—” “Yup, yup, yup.”

“Black sea bass?”

“For sure! We like to do a whole roasted fish.” “East Coast halibut? Scallops?”

“Do it, do it; I’ll figure it out.”

Dan smiles. Once upon a time, much of Lusty Lobster’s wholesale business came from high-volume shore restaurants. “But the business has changed,” he says. “The new chefs, and their creativity, mean eating out is not about prime rib anymore. I’m not buying the frozen stuff; I’m buying all fresh.”

He’s selective, too, sourcing, for one example, tuna from “ten different sources so I get the best. I won’t buy garbage.”

They’re riffing now, fast and furious, as Kyle talks about making jalapeno jam and dragon sauce and Dan muses about uni and how the political unrest in Venezuela is affecting the supply of primo jumbo lump crab.

 Now it’s my turn to think about dinner. For in a couple of days, I will be popping into 2nd Jetty to see what this collaboration between chef and fish forager brings to the table…

We’ve ordered so many appetizers that we consider annexing another table on which to place them. That would be unfair to everyone else in the main dining room of 2nd Jetty Seafood, a space that’s equal parts retro, nautical and scrubbed-clean galley. Unfair, clearly, though it might reference the casual-cool attitude found at, say, a neighborhood joint on the outskirts of Belfast, Maine, which would well-serve the mission of the crew that makes 2nd Jetty the best seafood restaurant in New Jersey.

The kitchen has a plan to avoid space-encroachment: one of those custom-made surfboard platters. On it, we find a tower of tuna, fluke sashimi, a sweep of oysters, scallops topped with uni, a circle of salmon, and a tian of sliced avocado stuffed with pickled onion and radish. It’s gorgeous. It’s quickly decimated.

First, the Bambalam oysters, their slurpy salinity finishing cunningly with a flash of sweetness, come dotted with green roe and rosy-orange tobiko and turn an oyster-avoider at my table into an oyster-eater. Those Barnegat scallops may be rich and dense, yet they rival the uni for meltability. Credit a spare sprinkle of black lava salt, micro-chop of cucumber and a spray of lemon juice for reining in the richness. Fluke, so ethereal it looks shaved rather than sliced, is the sandwich meat between a rasher of cucumber matchsticks and a schmear of the jalapeno jam that had me curious. More of a chunky, mouth-warming preserve, it stunned me with its compatibility to the bristling fish. Maybe it was the base of frothy aioli, glowing with the color and flavor of turmeric and citrus, that brought it all balance. It contrasted quite nicely with the poke-esque cubes of tuna tossed in soy and yuzu and threaded with verdant green seaweed and a chop of fiery chilies. Speaking of seaweed, the chef team leaned slices of salmon that would make a sushi master proud against a haystack of lighter lime ‘weed, and finished the plate with cucumber in another form: a pert, tart-spiced relish. P.S.: The avocado package was a terrific palate cleanser.

Kyle Hopfensperger, Dan Ciambrone, Bruce Buzzelli and their chef-colleague Francisco Lopez have, by all accounts, fun blowing out the insides of raw coconut to make coconut shells for poke. I can’t spoil their fun by telling you the how-to story before they can. But the results are the kind I most appreciate: With bluefin tuna (on this night) cubes rolled in a sprightly ginger-citrus sauce and micro-cilantro leaves sprawled on top, the poke needs only the speckle of black sesame seeds to taste finished. You can, if you’d like, play around with the accompanying fried wontons and slivers of avocado, or go daring and dip the tuna into bubbles of sambal- laced dragon sauce, hot wasabi aioli or sweet-tart hoison.

Once you’re a regular at 2nd Jetty, you’ll do the fish tacos every other time you visit. Mahi-mahi? Sold… just like Kyle said to Dan Pollard. Juicy chunks of the meaty fish rest on shredded cabbage tossed with marinated tomatoes and cilantro, a twirl of pickled red onion on top. I try to roll this all up in the soft taco, but I’m not always successful in sopping up the juices from the lemon and lime the fish is seared with, nor the sunset- color aioli striping the ensemble. I’ll keep trying.

I do ask for a spoon to help me with the lobster sauce keeping company with the crab-stuffed salmon—crab, mind you, that’s been chunked up with cornichons, parsley, and dill in a mustard-mayo mix. I keep that spoon handy to scoop up the Caribbean rice, made with basmati and zapped with pico de gallo and shards of spinach. That’s doing right by a couple of seafood staples, ol’ salmon and crab. So is making a mini-mountain out of grilled bluefin as it buttresses a pineapple-seaweed salad. Dab the tuna in the avocado mousse, for good measure.

I may have fallen hardest for 2nd Jetty’s cooked version of the scallops, given their even, caramel-color sear and pitch-perfect plate partners of red quinoa and wild mushroom mix. And I did take advantage of a spot of jalapeno jam, which didn’t play favorites among its mates. Lots of love in that dish.

2nd Jetty typically has homey desserts—crumbles and cobblers, pies and puddings. Try the Key lime pie, silky and tart and maybe not Marie Jackson-at-Flaky-Tart sublime, but nothing ever will be that divine, or a cinnamon-scented bread pudding, which usually comes with berries.

Do know that nothing at 2nd Jetty is ever exactly the same twice. That’s because Kyle and his merry band of chefs not only cook seasonally, they are the equivalent of jazz musicians: constantly improvising, cooking with spontaneity, reacting to an ingredient in the moment.

No wonder their collaborator, Dan Pollard, works so hard to get them the best: Fishes, once out of water, need true friends at the end of the line. 

Need To Know

2nd Jetty Seafood isn’t your typical summer-at-the-shore spot. It’s just as popular with locals as it is with seasonal residents and daytrippers. It’s a BYOB. It also—and this is new-news,  as 2nd Jetty starts its third season— takes reservations for inside seating.

Manager Jack Murphy, who runs front-of-the-house operations, often books musicians who perform live outside in summertime. He also books the “kitchen table,”  which is a terrific place to have a small party. The “table” is—what else? I mean, these guys are all surfers!—an old surfboard set up in a small room that looks into the kitchen. You can watch the jazz-chefs perform as you dine.

The space, once upon a time, held a bar, and the back room of the lanky restaurant still sports a bar-counter. If you’d like to BYOB and pour yourself a glass back there, maybe grab an app or three, just tell the folks at check-in. Whether it’s during so-called slow times in November or March, or in peak-summer months when the world rolls off Sandy Hook into 2nd Jetty, the crew is friendly, welcoming and helpful.

 

2ND JETTY SEAFOOD

140 Ocean Avenue, Sea Bright

Phone: (732) 224.8700 • 2ndjetty.com 

Major credit cards and reservations accepted. For information about hours and menu prices (which reflect current market prices) please call, visit the website or email 2ndjettyseafood@gmail.com. The Lusty Lobster is located at 88 Bay Avenue, Highlands. 732-291-1548; www.bestlobster.com.

 

Wheels of Fortune

New Jersey played a major role in the evolution of the car industry.

By Mark Stewart

Between 1900 and 1950, more than four dozen makes of automobiles were produced in New Jersey. During that time, the industry underwent enormous changes and car manufacturing in the Garden State changed with it. At the height of the automotive boom, car companies employed more than 15,000 people in the state. They assembled vehicles and made many of their components. Those vehicles literally went all over the world.

Depending on how you define “automobile,” the beginning of New Jersey’s history in car manufacturing could date all the way back to 1868. In that year, Oberlin Smith (right) of the Ferracute Machine Company in Bridgeton unveiled a steam-driven horseless carriage. More than 100 curious Bridgetonites gathered to watch Smith demonstrate his new machine. Unfortunately, the control lever came off in his hand and the vehicle careened all over Main Street, scattering the crowd. Smith built another horseless carriage six years later. This time it crashed into a pond.

The Garden State got back into the automotive race three decades later. Thomas Edison’s work in the area of power storage in the 1890s resulted in a car battery that could run a buggy 100 miles. Edison (above right, with Henry Ford) entered into negotiations with Studebaker to co-produce cars in 1902, but the deal fell through and the company began marketing gas-powered vehicles instead. Edison started his own company in Newark to make electric delivery wagons (aka trucks), but production was sporadic because it was reliant on the number of finished batteries that could be delivered from his West Orange lab, and that proved difficult to forecast. Edison sold the company in 1911 having turned out 1,750 vehicles.

Edison’s greatest contribution to automotive history may actually have been a conversation he had with a struggling young carmaker in Detroit. Recognizing the inherent limitations of battery-powered automobiles, Edison encouraged Henry Ford to keep working on his gas-powered, four-cylinder engine. Ford later recalled that, “No man up to that time had ever given me any encouragement.”

New Jersey’s dual status as a deep-water shipping port and the eastern terminus for the railroads made it a natural place for car manufacturing. Its lenient corporate tax structure in the early 1900s only added to its appeal. In the first decade of the 20th century, New Jersey saw a number of carmakers come and go, including Prescott Auto in Passaic, Walter Automobile in Trenton, Standard Motor in Bayonne, Vandewater & Co. in Elizabeth and Canda in Carteret. Motorcars were way out of reach of most Americans during this era, so these start-ups were fighting over shares in a very narrow market. A few carmakers did manage to survive by targeting the ultra high-end market: Mercer in Trenton, Crane in Bayonne and Simplex in New Brunswick. Mercers (named after their home, Mercer County) were on the road well into the 1920s, but all three companies eventually went under.

For a time, the high-end Duesenberg was built in a state-of-the-art facility in Elizabeth. The plant, which employed more than 1,000 workers, made the first car with a Chrysler nameplate and later produced Durants. Unfortunately the company was out of business by the end of the 1920s.

The ’20s did see a significant increase in car ownership among Americans. The economy was booming and efficiencies in production had lowered the pricing on many models, most famously Ford’s Model T. Model T’s were produced in great numbers in Ford’s two-story Kearny plant, which opened near the end of World War I and employed upwards of 8,000 workers. They churned out hundreds of cars daily. Kearny was strictly an assembly plant; nothing was “made” there. Components made elsewhere (mostly the Midwest) were shipped to New Jersey, where workers got them rolling off the line and onto trains and delivery barges. Automotive assembly, in fact, is where the Garden State ultimately made its greatest mark in the American car story.

The ubiquitous Model T was assembled in Kearny until the late-1920s, when the Model A (right) came online. Ford sold Kearny to Western Electric and opened a 35-acre plant in Edgewater (below), designed by Albert Kahn. It was famous as the first building in the U.S. to use structural “mushroom” columns. At its height, the 1,500-foot Edgewater assembly line could roll a finished Model A onto a transport barge at the end of the pier in 48 minutes, start to finish. In 1932, the Model B went into production, followed by the Ford Coupe in 1936, and the Deluxe Coupe Convertible and Ford Mercury in 1938. During World War II, the Edgewater plant was switched over to military production and contributed more than 100,000 Jeeps and light trucks to the war effort—many of which were delivered to the Soviet Army in 1943 and 1944.

During the 1940s and early 1950s, the Edgewater plant was the area’s largest employer, providing thousands of jobs. In 1955, the factory was sold and production moved north, to a plant in Mahwah. Mahwah operated until 1980 and was the largest auto plant in the country in the mid-1950s. At that time, Ford also had a plant in Metuchen, which made Lincoln and Mercury models. The plant later built some of the company’s most popular vehicles, including Mustangs and Rangers. The infamous Pinto was made in Metuchen, too.

General Motors, which incorporated in New Jersey in 1908, did not become a major player in the Garden State until the 1920s. The company owned a large tract of land in Bloomfield, which it used to stage overseas deliveries of its cars. However, GM did not build its first assembly plant in New Jersey until 1937, when it opened an enormous factory in Linden that produced Buicks, Oldsmobiles and Pontiacs. One year later, GM opened a plant in Ewing Township, just north of Trenton, which made parts for the Linden plant. Among New Jersey’s many “famous firsts” is the debut of an industrial robot in North America. That happened in 1961 at the GM plant in Ewing.

During World War II, the Ewing factory was switched over to the production of torpedo bombers. Linden, which was located next to a commercial airport, also contributed to the war effort, turning out fighter planes for the military, including the legendary Wildcat (left). Linden made cars until 2005, focusing on SUVs beginning in the 1990s.

Today, the automotive industry is alive and well in New Jersey, but cars are no longer made here. We are voracious consumers—a close second to California in terms of vehicles per capita. There are approximately four million cars registered in the state along with another two-and-a-half million other vehicles, mostly commercial. There are slightly more than seven million New Jersey residents of driving age, making our average a shade under one vehicle per driver.

1889

Decades before the big auto plant opened in Elizabeth, the city laid claim to a couple of important developments in automotive technology. In 1889, J.F. and T.E. Connolly built a gas-powered engine to run streetcars. It didn’t occur to them to attach it to a buggy; six years later, the Duryea brothers of Springfield, MA made this leap and opened the first automobile company in America. Also in 1889, the Riker Electric Vehicle Company was founded in Elizabeth by Andrew Riker, who had been tinkering with electrically powered vehicles since 1884. Rikers won several important road and track races in the 1890s, before the company was sold in 1901.

Running Out

Is water insecurity a New Jersey problem?

By Mark Stewart

In Israel, water treatment facilities recycle household wastewater to meet nearly half of the country’s agricultural needs. In Australia, water is treated as a commodity, leading to a 50 percent drop in residential and business consumption. In Singapore, water flows to five million people through a combination of importation, wastewater recycling, desalinization and an ingenious system of rainwater collection. In the mid-2000s, the Bush family (more specifically the W. Bush family) purchased more than a quarter-million acres of land in Paraguay, atop one of the largest aquifers in the western hemisphere. A bungled 2014 cost-cutting decision in Flint, Michigan, exposed residents to catastrophically high levels of lead.

You’ve heard about Flint. What you may not have heard is that other cities in other states are facing issues with the quantity, quality and reliability of their water supply. The same is true in many rural areas. That’s because “water insecurity” is one of the least talked-about issues…until it impacts you.

How is water insecurity measured? It’s not, at least not officially. For now, common sense and logic must suffice; transparency and information are critical. For example, say you live in a state where one in five kitchen taps produces water that contains trace amounts of perfluorooctanoic acid (aka PFOA), a chemical linked to cancer and low birth rates—as well as accelerated or delayed puberty and a reduction in the effectiveness of vaccines. You might think, Hey, my water is only 80 percent secure. Or Wow, my water is 20 percent insecure. Either way of measuring would be perfectly valid since, again, there is no accepted yardstick at the moment.

Would it surprise you to know that the aforementioned state is New Jersey and, according to a 2017 report issued by the Environmental Working Group, we had the highest prevalence of PFOA in our tap water of any state in the nation?

So, yeah, water insecurity does impact you—because you’re not sure if you are in the 20 percent or the 80 percent, are you? Either way, it kind of makes you wonder what else is trickling through your faucets.

No Doubt About Drought

When most of us hear the words water insecurity, we think about people living under life-threatening drought conditions. They seem very far away and so do their troubles. And to some extent they are, because we are unlikely to run out of drinkable water in our lifetimes, or even our grandchildren’s lifetimes. Thus it is only natural to believe that you are insulated from the misery of drought-stricken populations.

But those other parts of the world that are facing the very real prospect of running out, well, they are already affecting you. For instance, between 2006 and 2011, a vast region of the Middle East was hit with an historic drought. It killed off livestock and destroyed crops. Families abandoned their farms, local businesses failed and people flooded into already overcrowded cities—overwhelming infrastructure and creating social, political and religious unrest. That country was Syria, which was plunged into a full-blown civil war by 2012. That war, in turn, took more than 500,000 lives and triggered a mass migration that has altered the economic and political landscape of dozens of countries, including our own. Water scarcity did not “cause” the crisis in Syria, but it unquestionably served to ignite long-existing tensions within the country and the region. That, in turn, created complex, expensive challenges for the United States that you and your grandchildren will be paying for in one way or another for the foreseeable future.

Which other parts of the world are in real danger of lacking enough water for people to drink and grow food? According to a 2016 study, four billion people live in places where they experience serious water stress a month or more every year. When you see that number you tend to picture third-world villagers huddled in remote desert enclaves. But a surprising number of people in this category live like we do. In fact, 14 of the 20 world’s largest metropolitan areas (i.e. “megacities”) have experienced drought conditions or water scarcity in the past few years. More than a third are in Asia.

However, most are not. And some familiar and even picturesque cities have encountered unprecedented water crises. In the spring of 2018, the four million residents of the drought-stricken South African city of Cape Town were asked to stop flushing their toilets and to limit showers to once or twice a week. They had already been rationed down to 13 gallons per person per day—about one-eighth of the 100 gallons a day we New Jerseyans consume. Three years earlier, the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil simply turned off its water for 12 hours a day. If it hadn’t, it faced the prospect of a “Day Zero,” which is a frightening term for the moment people turn on the taps and nothing comes out.

Not-So-Funny Farms

For the record, humans technically need about four gallons a day to survive (drink, cook and clean). That’s less than three flushes of your low-flow toilet. If that makes you feel guilty about the 100 gallons you use every day, don’t. It’s important for each of us to be prudent about our water use, but those 100 gallons are a drop in the bucket. Residential water use accounts for maybe three or four percent of total consumption. Agriculture takes upwards of 70 percent, while use by industry and energy producers makes up the rest.

If guilt is your thing, however, you could cut down on California-produced almonds and pistachio nuts, which take a trillion gallons annually to grow—about 10 percent of the state’s agricultural water supply, according to the Pacific Institute, a global water “think tank.” Or take a pass on your next cheeseburger.

Growing crops like alfalfa to feed dairy cows and cattle consumes upwards of 2.5 trillion gallons of water a year in California’s agricultural heartland. The least water-intensive crops in the U.S. include sugar beets, beans, onions and garlic.

If you really want to feel bad about your impact on a region’s water supply, then it’s time to return to South Africa. A bottle of South African wine, by the industry’s own estimate, takes almost 200 gallons of water to produce. Some quick math suggests that the country’s wineries “export” over 400 billion liters of water annually. That is about three times as much as is required to satisfy the need of every South African who currently lacks easy access to water. Part of the country’s problem is its position on the map; the irrigation water that evaporates does not return to the land in the form of rain, as in most wine-growing regions. Instead it blows out into the ocean, where it stays.

Obviously, at some point, the human race will have to start prioritizing which crops are worth the water and which aren’t. That will almost certainly happen within our lifetimes. As the planet’s population expands, the demand for food will continue to slurp up the lion’s share of the global supply of fresh water.

Today there are more than 800 million people around the globe who do not have access to a clean water supply. The potential for extreme social and political unrest exists wherever these conditions do. On the bright side, that number is actually way down from where it was a generation ago. New technology and better education have cut the percentage of people consuming unsafe water by two-thirds. That is still far too many, but at the moment the statistics are headed in the right direction.

Some of the more high-profile work in this area has been done by charities attached to worldwide celebrities. Perhaps the most notable is Water.org, which was co-founded by actor Matt Damon in the early 1990s. Water.org has focused on promoting market-driven solutions to clean water and sanitation, which is a fancy way of saying that Damon et al. believe that reliable access to safe water is key to breaking the cycle of poverty in many areas—which in turn promotes better health, education and economic opportunity. One of the organization’s most successful tools has been the creation of micro-loans to fund household water and toilets for people who could not otherwise afford them.

Closer to Home

So are we running out of water? Are we likely to face a situation here in the Garden State where access to the water we need for drinking, cooking, bathing and growing Jersey corn and tomatoes is significantly curtailed? The answer is No, but with the caveat that other parts of the country may not have it so good.

Anyone who has flown into Las Vegas over a long stretch of time can’t help but notice that its main source of drinking water (and power), Lake Mead, is slowly disappearing. The lake is not a lake at all; it is part of the Colorado River and was the country’s largest reservoir up until a few years ago. Las Vegas itself has done a decent job with water conservation. But downstream, 20 million people in Nevada, Arizona and California depend on Lake Mead, as do vast swaths of the nation’s most productive farmland. A combination of increasing drought and demand—and reduced snowmelt in the Rocky Mountains—has dramatically reduced the amount of water that flows down the Colorado River and into Lake Mead. So far, the main inconvenience has been to local boat- and marina-owners, but there are a lot more folks who stand to lose if the water level continues to fall.

Elsewhere in America, historically low levels on the Rio Grande have put cities such as El Paso on the at-risk list for clean drinking water. Somewhat closer to home, in Georgia, the city of Atlanta receives much of its water supply from West Point Lake, which was created on the Chattahoochee River on the Alabama-Georgia border. West Point Lake nearly ran dry a decade ago. Meanwhile, Georgia, Alabama and Florida are tangled up in court over water rights, which could negatively impact the Big Peach. Residents of Salt Lake City are rightfully worried about lower snowfall totals, which diminish the annual runoff that replenishes their water supply. Miami is game-planning for rising sea levels, which threatens to contaminate its aquifer.

These examples may seem distant, yet just as in the other water-stressed regions of the world, “out of sight, out of mind” doesn’t really apply. Take Nebraska, for example, which experienced an extreme drought seven years ago. The Platte River hit historically low levels, threatening its agriculture industry, which supplies the nation with wheat, corn and soybeans. Another drought of that magnitude could push things to an unpleasant tipping point—and change your grocery bill for the worse.

Here in the land of plenty, it has been two years since the DEP put any drought restrictions on New Jerseyans. And most major cities in the northeast are being smart about their water usage. The world may be getting progressively thirstier, but for now at least, here the water is fine. 

 

Editor’s Note: Mark Stewart edited the 2011 book Clear Choices: The Water You Drink.

 

Kids and Water

For babies and toddlers, the threat of contaminated water rises to the level of a national emergency. In areas where old pipes taint the supply and families do not filter their tap water, blood lead levels test consistently high. Lead exposure in early childhood has a direct impact on intelligence, which creates a huge burden for the national economy down the road, and also limits an individual’s earning power in adulthood. Many parents and caregivers in areas where the water quality is poor opt instead to feed their children juices and sugary drinks. Unfortunately, they increase the likelihood of childhood and adult obesity, and the diseases that result from it.

 

Good to the Last Drop

Cape Town narrowly avoided Day Zero. The spring rains returned in 2018 and got the city’s reservoirs back to 60 percent. Cape Town began construction on four desalinization

plants and a new water-recycling facility. Each is expensive to build and operate, all the more so since they were started hastily, in the midst of a crisis. The future looks brighter for Capetonians, if for no other reason than they have reprogrammed themselves to consume about 40 percent less water. Old habits die hard, of course, but the near-death of their city will likely serve as a looming reminder of the value of conserving every drop.

 

Liquid Gold

 

 

Want to make a realtor’s heart pound? Just add water.

By Christine Gibbs

Location. Location. Location. To the water lover in search of the perfect first home, next home, or vacation home, an ideal location must be close to the edge, so to speak—whether it be ocean, lake, river, bay, stream or even pond. The mere mention of waterfront or water view in a property description elevates a  home to an entirely different category. Who among us hasn’t clicked on one of these idyllic listings, if only for fun or inspiration?

Samuel Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner would find himself right at home in New Jersey, a state surrounded on three sides by rivers, bays and ocean, overflowing with water-friendly opportunities. The Jersey Shore is the headliner, with 141 miles of valuable land on or overlooking the Atlantic, stretching from Perth Amboy in the north to Cape May Point in the south—and including Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, Atlantic, and Cape May counties. The lake country of northern New Jersey competes as the “other” Jersey Shore, with a total of 400 significant bodies of water, or 1,700 if you include small ponds and reservoirs. One estimate by The New Jersey Leisure Guide claims 4,100 freshwater lakes, ponds, impoundments and reservoirs covering about 61,000 land acres, most of which are privately owned or controlled.

As for rivers, approximately 240 run through our state, with a dozen or so considered to be notable. With few exceptions, the surrounding real estate carries a significant premium.

What is it about water that makes it a primal attraction? There are some hypotheses that, because mankind has evolved from sea creatures that managed to crawl from the ocean millennia before our bipedal ancestors inherited the earth, we yearn to return to our liquid roots. By whatever means our forerunners managed to evolve from swimming to crawling to walking, the human connection to water is undeniably strong. About 70% of our body at birth is water and so is 70% of the earth’s surface. Our search for water is not just earthbound; we have been looking for decades into the far reaches of the universe with the understanding that, if we find water we have a good chance of finding life. Little wonder then that so many of us seek to make our homes close to water, whether our reason is biological or spiritual or both.

It Comes With a Price

Whether you’re a surfer dude, a river rat, a lake girl, or just someone who feels renewed by the sight and sound of water, there is a home for you in New Jersey. Indeed, according to a recent Zillow online report, there are over 2,900 waterfront homes for sale in the Garden State. But check your pocketbook first. Prices range from almost $10 million for an opulent 17,000 square foot home in Rumson to less than $200,000 for a modest ranch in Forked River.

Once you have decided on a water-adjacent future, paying attention to certain details is critical to ensure that you make a prudent choice. The typical water lover is also a sun worshipper (in other words, a friend to fair weather), so think about the north/south orientation of the house and its outdoor living space. A southern exposure gets sun for the better part of each day, which makes it attractive to not only a water lover, but also a solar heating advocate. The cooler filtered light of a north-facing home, on the other hand, might appeal more as a refuge from the sultry New Jersey summers. Next item to consider is the home’s east/west orientation. If you are an early riser, you might prefer an eastern exposure. Imagine sitting on your deck cradling your favorite breakfast beverage while watching a dazzling ocean sunrise. On the other hand, if you would rather be stirring some drinks on the deck at dusk, then facing west might be the perfect way to end your day with a spectacular sunset.

Life by the water does demand other more serious due diligence. One item of concern for a prospective buyer involves the riparian rights that are attached to any property adjacent to a body of water. Traditionally, riparian rights are the deeded rights and privileges of the landowner to make reasonable use of the water feature “as it flows through or over the property”— including access for swimming, boating, fishing and construction of docks, piers and boat lifts. The operative word is deeded, in that it demands a close read of property documents, especially for older, more historic sites. Importantly, title companies do not insure water rights. In fact, riparian rights are often so vaguely recorded in deeds and other public records, if at all, that the services of an attorney who specializes in such matters may be warranted.

The final and perhaps most obvious consideration when contemplating the joy of waterfront living is a realistic assessment of the area’s storm history and worst-case potential. No fewer than 114 major storms have slammed into various parts of New Jersey, including Hurricane Donna (1960), Tropical Storm Floyd (1999), and Tropical Storms Irene (2011) and Sandy (2012)— as well as myriad lesser nor’easters and cyclones. Thankfully, New Jersey has never been ravaged by a Tsunami, but don’t tell that to the Sandy survivors who had a wall of water wash through their homes, or wash their homes entirely away. They are still recovering financially from (and stormproofing defensively against) a possible future disaster. And for the record, storm devastation is hardly limited to ocean frontage; the dreaded storm surge where high winds force tidal water to swell inlets. Estuaries and other bottlenecks have brought extensive and often unexpected flood damage in its wake.

A Fluid Market

The total estimated value of waterfront homes in the United States in June 2018 was $134 billion. Interestingly and somewhat surprisingly, according to a Forbes article published at that time, waterfront sales in the U.S. market ”aren’t what they used to be.” The story cited the fact that the sale-price premium is now 36% (over a similar, non-waterfront home) as opposed to the 54% premium estimated six years earlier, in 2012. That’s still a nice bump, but also a decline.

What might account for this? Zillow cites superstorms, climate change, and changing taste since the housing crash that began in 2007. Needless to say, everyone has an informed opinion and, needless to say, they don’t all line up very well. For instance, in his book High Tide on Main Street: Rising Sea Level and the Coming Coastal Crisis, oceanographer John Englander maintains that “Property values will go underwater long before property actually goes underwater.” Trulia paints a more positive picture, citing statistics such as median waterfront home sales in New Jersey increasing 30% over the past year, with the price per square foot rising from $794 to $858.

A realistic appraisal of the waterfront market in New Jersey would not be complete without some input from experienced New Jersey property experts. Dori Morgan, a Realtor Sales Associate with the Weichert Agency in Sparta—whose own home is a private lakefront residence on Lake Mohawk—is very bullish on the almost totally lakefront market in her part of the world. In fact, she estimates that a listing with lake frontage can command up to double the price of any comparable, whereas lake views can add $20,000 to $100,000 to the listed price. With around 20 lake communities in Sussex County alone, Morgan claims, “There is a lake waiting for anyone on any budget looking for a relaxed lifestyle.” Her prognosis for the near-term market is positive based on a recent surge in lakefront sales. Like the true lake girl she is, she points out that “living here is like living inside a snow globe…with a lake and mountain vista that changes with every season.”

Further south on the Jersey Shore, Stephen Smith is also a waterfront homeowner, in Sea Bright, and an agent in the highly successful Gloria Nilson Rumson office. Monmouth County is true waterfront country in that it boasts valuable real estate all along the Jersey Shore, as well as alongside historic rivers such as the Shrewsbury and Navesink, which form the Rumson peninsula. Smith estimates that waterfront properties in general average approximately 40% higher in value. He is impressed with the degree of risk tolerance that has evolved post-Sandy, which he attributes to the well- designed and  -engineered plans and codes that have guided the teardown, rebuild and elevation projects that have helped to restore the waterfront.

New construction today is viewed as more desirable than the once venerable Shore cottages, and high-rise condominiums have become a booming market niche, especially those with ocean  views and access. The rewards of his chosen profession stem from the emotional satisfaction he derives from “matching my client’s dreams with the perfect home in the perfect spot—waterfront or otherwise.”

On a personal note, decades ago I happened to have lived next door to the mega-mansion mentioned earlier in this story—in what was, at the time, the charming circa 1900 caretaker’s cottage. My home was situated on a bluff fronting the Shrewsbury River across from Sea Bright with an unobstructed view of the Atlantic. It seemed to be the best of both worlds: river frontage plus ocean vista. I miss it still when I’m feeling nostalgic or water-deprived. Except when a hurricane or nor’easter is rolling in. My advice is pay attention to the “water” part of waterfront and never underestimate the forces of nature.

Despite storms and surges—and financial drawbacks such as higher real estate taxes, higher insurance premiums, and higher maintenance expenses—the lure of living close to water will always command a premium. We turned what I thought was a handsome profit when we sold our house; today I don’t even want to think about what it would cost!

Whether you hunger after a beachfront bungalow, a riverside lodge, or a lakeshore retreat; whether you are looking for waterfront or water view; whether you prefer rustic or refined; whether you prefer a condo to a cottage; whether you like boating more than swimming, jetskiing more than parasailing, ice skating more than ice boating, or idleness more than exercise…something out there has your name on it—including the 11 waterside developments in New Jersey that specialize in custom new-build models that check all your waterfront boxes.

If you have been waiting for what seems like forever for your waterside dream to come true, maybe the time is right to take a deep breath and make the plunge. If not, remember you can always test-drive waterfront living in a rental. Just make sure to start checking the listings way before the season starts. You’ll have some competition.

Wind and Water

The goal of Feng Shui is to harmonize people with their surroundings. Translated into English, Feng Shui actually means wind-water, so it comes as no surprise that its fundamental principles dictate that living near a water feature can affect a homeowner’s emotional well being. Ideally, the front door should face the water to assure the proper flow of energy. Locating near smaller, more manageable bodies of water is recommended, whereas a site too close to a powerful water source (like the ocean) can result in feelings of being overwhelmed or drowning. Feng

Shui associates even the smallest water element with wealth and money. So if you’re suffering from sticker shock at the average waterfront markup, you might want to consider adding a simple water feature to your current residence, even one as tiny as a garden fountain.

The Water’s Fine

According to real estate specialists  Collateral Analytics, making a checklist is helpful in comparing one waterfront property to another. The more boxes you check, the better.

  •   Unspoiled view
  •   Water depth (for swimming or boating activities)
  •   Water quality and purity
  •   Audible features (such as the sound of breaking waves or a rushing stream)
  •   Type of water body (lake, ocean, river, pond, etc.)
  •   Fishing quality and access
  •   Average seasonal water and air temperatures

 

A Familiar Ring to It

In the halls of the Trinitas Wound Center, sounds of success.

By Yolanda Navarra Fleming

Among the many iconic lines from the 1946 holiday classic It’s A Wonderful Life, perhaps the most memorable is “Every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings. That’s a matter of faith, of course—and also, why not “her wings” am I right? In the Wound Center at Trinitas, there is no question about the meaning of a ringing bell. It signals that yet another patient has been healed.

Since a past director of the Wound Center found the bell in her garage and offered it to help celebrate patients being discharged, there have been thousands of among them some of the daunting, chronic cases. The Wound Center’s Clinical Coordinator, Kimberly Lee, CRN, MSN, CWCN, (left) vividly recalls a young girl being treated for a diabetic foot wound.

“She was so delighted that day that she made a video call to her father so he could watch her ring the bell,” says Kim, who has worked at the Wound Center for 13 years. “They were very close, so it meant as much to him as it did to her. They were both crying. They took pictures with the staff and we were all teary-eyed.

“Hearing the bell also gives patients in the waiting room a boost of hope that they might be the next to ring it.”

A Comprehensive Approach

The award-winning Wound Center has a 95 percent healing rate thanks to the latest technologies and years of intense study and hands-on experience. Lee’s team includes Dr. John Pepen (right, top), Dr. Georgios Kotzias (right, middle) and Dr. Morteza Khaladj, DPM, FACPPM (right, bottom)—all skilled in a wide range of healing strategies, including Vacuum-Assisted Closure (VAC) and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy.

VAC removes infectious material and promotes the growth of new blood vessels to prepare for grafting. The Apligraf Living Skin Device creates a biological dressing for limb-threatening venous leg ulcers and other wounds that don’t heal easily. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy treats an array of clinical conditions that require increased exposure to oxygen, such as diabetic foot ulcers, pressure ulcers and venous leg ulcers.

“It’s an adjunctive treatment for patients with complicated wounds that are not responding to conservative treatment,” says Dr. Pepen, Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine specialist, who also performs acute care surgery. Inside the Hyperbaric chamber, he explains, a patient breathes 100 percent oxygen. This improves the elimination of certain poisons, such as carbon monoxide, as well as strengthening the body’s response to infection and supporting tissue growth and wound healing.

Many patients are diabetic and acquire wounds as a result of neuropathy, which is nerve damage that can make the hands and feet numb, adds Lee.

“Most diabetic patients have neuropathy and can’t feel things on their feet because of it,” she says. “If there’s a wound on the bottom of the foot, it often gets worse before they even know it’s there. Then the wound becomes infected and spreads to the toes; the patient doesn’t notice it until their toes are black. If they’re swollen from fluid overload, all they have to do is bang into something and they have another wound.”

After two weeks of hyperbaric treatments, the doctor re-evaluates. But hyperbaric treatment works best when other aspects of a patient’s care plan are closely tended to, including not missing treatments. Next-day appointments are an option for all patients.

For diabetics in particular, regulating blood sugar levels and good nutrition are crucial. That’s why Michelle S. Ali, MPA, RD, Director of Food & Nutrition Services has joined the wound care team.

“Some patients live on a fixed income and don’t have the ability to shop or prepare elaborate meals, which means they are not eating adequately,” she says, adding that it takes a physical assessment to determine the nutritional risk of such patients, and then to attempt to guide them on food selections to make improvements. “It may be as simple as adding a cup of milk to a meal or adding peanut butter to a milkshake, in a case where the patient is consuming adequate protein but needs to increase their overall caloric intake when significant weight loss is identified.”

According to Ali, recommendations of vitamins and mineral supplements may also be essential to a patient’s healing process.

Every Day a New Challenge

Newark resident Theresa Billings, a 53-year-old with Multiple Sclerosis and poor circulation, has been a patient of the Wound Center since 2017. Her dependence upon a motorized wheelchair to get around means that for most of the day, she’s sitting with her feet down, which makes her prone to leg wounds.

“Theresa came to us with very large venous stasis ulcers,” says Wound Center Clinical Coordinator Kimberly Lee. “We have gotten them a lot smaller, but sitting all day does not help venous disease. The legs are supposed to be elevated when not walking.”

“I’m healing slowly,” says Theresa. “Dr. Pepen has tried to stay a step ahead and it’s finally getting to where he wants it to be.”

Although getting to appointments during the winter has posed a challenge, Theresa doesn’t mind going for treatment. 

“It’s pleasant,” she says. “Everyone is very friendly and professional and respectful, but also funny. They work so well together and treat each other like family. I’ve never been in a hospital like that. I like everybody on the whole team because they treat patients with integrity and understanding, and they have a lot of empathy. I love that.”

 

Trinitas Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine Center

The center is located in the Medical Office Building, 240 Williamson St., Elizabeth.

For more information, call 908.994.5480 or visit WoundHealingCenter.org.

Lost & Found

My long road back to Capoeira.

By Chelsea Gould

Nearly 15 years have passed since my first encounter with Capoeira. I was taking a walk on the beach in Siesta Key on one of those gentle, lazy days on the Gulf Coast of Florida. My attention was drawn to a group of men and women, dressed in white, gathered at the water’s edge. There was singing and clapping and music and shouts of joyous encouragement. They had formed a circle around two women who looked as if they were dancing or sparring, or possibly something in between. They moved with incredible grace—jumping, spinning, kicking, cartwheeling in the sand.

This was clearly a martial art, I remember thinking, but with a definite emphasis on art.

The participants ranged widely in age and body type. I had no idea what I was watching but I wanted to get involved. I worked out who the leader was, began asking questions and, a week later, I walked into a nearby studio and attended my first Capoeira class.

I am a former dancer. I am graceful and athletic and adventurous. Alas as luck (and genetics) would have it, I did not keep my dancer’s body past my 20s. I had tried yoga and aerobics classes to stay in shape, but they weren’t a good fit. I could sense the other women judging me. I felt excluded. The space felt unkind. My first Capoeira class was an inclusive experience: The group was genuine and warm and welcoming. They walked me through some of the basic steps and were gentle and supportive the first time I entered the roda (circle) to “play” a classmate. Capoeira was part dance, part game—they actually call the confrontations “games.” I kept coming back and learning and playing and feeling more and more comfortable in my own skin. And I began to notice small changes in how my clothes fit.

Life throws you curve balls. Just as I was finding my groove on the laid-back west coast of Florida, I had to relocate to New Jersey. I went through some career changes, health issues and personal stuff (etc., etc.) and never pursued Capoeira after coming north. Besides, I was in the land of cross-fit now—the thumping, screaming, grunting, snorting, sweating, tire-chucking craze that transforms Garden State housewives into stronger (and often scarier) version of themselves.

When in Rome, right? So yes, I went all-in and, you know what? Cross-fit was good for me. I shed 80 pounds in two years and could probably have handled myself in a bar fight. It was maybe a little too competitive for my personality, but I certainly couldn’t argue with the results. Cross-fitting gave me an outlet for my frustration and pushed me beyond my comfort zone. I enjoyed working out in a group and cheering everyone on.

In 2012, I was living with family near the ocean about 18 inches above sea level when Hurricane Sandy pushed six feet of water through our house. We scattered and coped as best we could, relocating thousands of miles apart. My life, which was never particularly predictable (thanks to a bipolar condition) was turned completely inside-out. I bounced around and actually spent more than a year in a halfway house situation. It was imperfect at its best and nightmarish at its worst. And you can probably guess what happened: In the years that followed, those 80 pounds returned, and then some. Five-foot-five and 185 pounds had been far from ideal, but it was doable. I was now 5’5” and 275.

And then one day I rediscovered Capoeira.

It was a Facebook pop-up, an ad for a women’s roda. I don’t know why but in my post-Sandy haze I had forgotten how much I loved Capaoeira and how good it had been for my body and soul. I enrolled in a local class and re-experienced that amazing, welcoming environment. I still had the muscle memory from my Florida days and felt comfortable relearning the steps. I had been too embarrassed about my weight to join an exercise class, but in Capoeira class we worked out ways to kick and dodge and move my large body without injuring myself. I stopped worrying about whatan athlete should look like. When I got winded I took a break and learned the instruments and songs the group played. I was home again. Why did I ever leave?

According to Kasey Sanders (above), who has taught Capoeira in New Jersey for nearly a decade, its appeal is tied to its status as a non-violent martial art. “It allows the players to work out their aggression, but in a fully expressive way. People come to Capoeira to experience its many flavors—it’s partially that it’s a martial art, but also that it encompasses dance, music, health and wellness, and also community building.”

Those who view Capoeira as a New Age workout trend get the vibe, but they shouldn’t gloss over the history. As a martial art it goes back to 16th century Brazil, when slaves had to camouflage their fighting practice to look like dance. Its rhythmic roots, meanwhile, stretch back even further, to ancient times. Fast forward to the present, where suddenly Capoeira is ubiquitous, having gained great momentum internationally in the past 30 years. It is now the fighting style of choice for movie superheroes from Black Panther to Daredevil to Spider-Man. You’ve seen it perhaps without even knowing it.

I won’t be appearing in a Marvel blockbuster anytime soon, so my interest in Capoeira is more about its less heroic benefits. The movement style engages your core, as all the abdominals are firing during a workout. The most basic step in Capoeira is ginga (sway in Portuguese). It’s an escape move from which most of the other steps flow. It’ll be the first thing you learn. It activates the quads, calves and glutes. The biceps, traps and delts are fired up by the overhead movements, such as headstands, handstands and cartwheels. Ginga alsoimpacts your balance by controlling how your weight shifts back and forth. Capoeira promotes strength, stamina, coordination and fitness with every movement sequence. And it offers a superior level of cardio, burning approximately 700 calories per one-hour class.

That is not to say you’ll want to fast-track your way to the most strenuous stuff. According to Jim Dunleavy, PT, DPT, MS, Doctor of Physical Therapy and Director of Rehabilitation Services at Trinitas, like all types of movement activities, a person needs to first find out what his or her body will safely do.

“As we age, our joints and muscle get less flexible,” he warns. “We also lose a small percent of our muscle tissue each year due to the aging process. Anyone who wants to try a martial art such as Capoeira should check with their doctor and get a functional examination from a physical therapist to ensure that it would be safe to engage in such an activity.”

As you push yourself beyond traditional movements, with time, you can feel your confidence grow as your skill level improves. The roda is part martial arts arena and part circular support system, creating positive community with your classmates as you demonstrate progress in your skills and learn from your fellow capoeiristas.

For me, Capoeira also helped reduce stress. It is a unique workout. The euphoria I’ve felt after class is indescribable. The added bonus is that I enjoy the artistic and cultural components of Capoeira almost as much as the physical ones. You are immersing yourself in an intriguing part of Brazilian music and history in a joyous, playful way that teaches self-defense skills and yet, at the same time, promotes unity and non-violence. Not always easy to understand as an outsider, but what’s not to like, right?

I should mention that newbies are not expected to pull off Black Panther moves on the first day of class. It takes a while before the handstands and cartwheels come. If you are a natural athlete or have dance training, that can speed the process along. Either way, you will feel the physical and spiritual benefits after your first couple of classes. Even skeptics admit there is something different about getting into Capoeira. And they are correct. It’s not just about the cool fighting moves. A true capoeirista is someone who embraces the culture, learns the songs and ultimately can play all the instruments.

Looking back, it makes cross-fit seem practically barbaric.

Make Your Move

As you gain experience and proficiency in Capoeira, your style will be your own. It will reflect your unique personality in ways no other martial arts can. A year or so after you start, you will be good enough to earn your first belt grade, or corda. It can take a decade or more to attain mestre (master) status, but capoeiristas are qualified to teach before reaching that level, usually after seven years or so of training and study. If you are thinking about joining a class, ask about the level of training the teacher has.

Sealed Response

Fish skin is making a splash in the battle against wounds.

By Jim Sawyer

Wound healing specialists are learning to appreciate fish skin as a useful tool in their medical practices as opposed to just a delicacy served in sushi restaurants. Two years ago dried fish skin was approved by the FDA for the first time as a wound care treatment, which isn’t so strange, considering pig-intestine and fetal cow skin compounds have also been approved for medical use.

Fish skin, however, is special because it’s high in Omega3 fatty acids, which offer natural anti-inflammatory properties. Since millions of years of evolution have made fish skin resistant to bacterial colonization, it functions as a natural matrix for human skin that requires little processing. Some fish species are better suited to this technology than others. Kerecis Ltd., an Icelandic supplier that has been producing fish skin for wound treatment since the early 2010s, uses Atlantic cod exclusively. Cod has also been the fish skin of choice at the Wound Center at Trinitas Regional Medical Center in Elizabeth for patients with venous and arterial wounds.

“It’s perfect for a deep wound that’s not level with the rest of the skin, for instance, a dog bite,” says Dr. Georgios Kotzias, DPM, AACFAS, who specializes in, among other things, foot/ankle surgery, minimally invasive surgery, sports medicine, diabetic wound care, and diabetic limb salvage at the Trinitas Wound Center. “The fish skin covers the wound and fills in any missing tissue to reduce soft tissue deficit, which allows your body to heal more naturally, and evens out the scar. The graft enables drainage, allowing for faster healing. Cod skin happens to be thicker and more resilient. It holds better and for a longer period of time.”

The need for skin substitutes may arise depending on the location and depth of a wound, the likelihood of infection, and the availability of a human donor (i.e. cadaver skin). Before it can be used, says Dr. Kotzias, “the cod skin is processed and dried, then sterilized and processed without damaging the growth factors. They soak it in saline and then secure it to the wound with a special dressing and adhesive tape that is perforated to allow the wound to properly drain.”

Not surprisingly, one of the first groups to field-test fish skin was the U.S. military. Medics used fish skin for initial treatment of battlefield injuries and burns before transferring soldiers to full-service hospitals.

In the United States, more than six million people are being treated for chronic wounds at any given time. Most are diabetics or suffer from vascular disease, but the number also includes a wide range of traumatic injuries and burns, as well as unexpected complications from routine procedures. The number of chronic wound patients is likely to grow as the population ages. Individuals who fall into this category face profound uncertainty: the five-year survival rate is a tick above 50 percent, as compared with breast cancer, which has seen its survival rate climb to more than 85 percent.

The more complicated the wound, the more effective the “fish solution” maybe, as it permits the ingrowth of fibroblasts (the most common cells of human tissue) and keratinocytes (the skin cells that produce keratin), which help to bind a patient’s own skin cells around persistent, chronic wounds. The hope is that the wider use of fish skin will bring the survival rates up, as the traditional graft options do not perform well in infected areas—in part because pigs and cows are biologically close to us and therefore susceptible to similar infections. We split off from fish on the evolutionary tree a half-billion years ago, which has obviously worked out well for us in innumerable ways.

For now, the wide use of fish skin in wound healing faces an upstream battle. Insurance companies are slow to embrace (and cover) costly, new procedures, while hospitals tend to be super-cautious about changes in areas where infections are being aggressively treated. That being said, the initial goal in wound treatment is to reduce inflammation; it is the first step in turning a chronic wound into a treatable injury. If fish skin continues to prove its worth in this regard, it may become a more common tool in the medical tackle box. 

 

Editor’s Note: Yolanda Navarra Fleming contributed to this article.

 

Casting About

One of the most closely held secrets in the world of fishing is that that good fiction on the sport is harder to hook than an Apache Trout. Let’s see…there’s Melville and Hemingway and…yeah, it’s kind of a short list. Whether you’re shopping for yourself or the angler in your life, these books should be at the top of your list.

Looking Through Water

Bob Rich • 2015

A retired Wall Street mogul uses a fishing trip to help his troubled grandson. The author is a fly fishing and open-water fishing expert who also happens to be the head of the Rich Products food company. Proceeds from books sales go to support wounded veterans as part of Project Healing Waters.

 

Gone Fishing

Tamera Will Wissinger • 2013

This one is for younger anglers. A daylong father-son-and-daughter fishing trip unfolds in a novel structured as a series of poems. Fun line drawings and a “poet’s tackle box” at the end of the book are charming bonuses.

 

The Golden Catch

Roger Weston • 2011

As the cover screams, this book is part of the popular Frank Murdoch series. Weston’s action hero, a former CIA assassin, tangles with a Korean mob boss and must employ his skills as a Bering Sea crabber to survive. The author spent many years as a commercial fisherman.

 

Double Whammy

Carl Hiaasen • 1987

Who knew that big-money bass fishing contests had a dark and deadly underbelly? Hiaasen’s hero R.J. Decker learns the hard way, with help from a half-blind hermit with a taste for fresh road kill. Yikes!

 

The River Why

David James Duncan • 1983

A fishing tale wrapped in a coming of age story, The River Why follows the travels of Gus Orviston, who develops a new appreciation for the environment and passion for life. Duncan’s novel is regarded as one of the generation’s best books about the American West.

 

The Old Man and the Sea

Ernest Hemingway • 1952

Was the movie, which earned Spencer Tracy an Oscar nomination, better than the book? What heresy! The story of an aging Cuban fisherman in an epic battle with a marlin was the last big novel published during Hemingway’s lifetime and won him a Pulitzer Prize.

 

Moby-Dick

Herman Melville • 1851

Inspired by Melville’s whaling voyage in his early 20s, Moby-Dick endures as the greatest fishing story ever told. Not bad for a book that bombed during the author’s lifetime. It’s also an imaginatively constructed study of good and evil, cultural diversity and the existence of God, along with copious amounts of detail on whaling and sailing. The percentage of middle school students who claim to have read this book in its entirety—but who actually skipped over the “boring” chapters—will never be known. English teachers usually guess one or two kids per classroom make it cover to cover.

 

Shutter Speed: Ron Galella

You have to be quick to capture celebrities in the wild. Montville’s Ron Galella knows a thing or two about that. He was a paparazzo long before you’d ever heard that word—and became more recognizable than many of the stars he shot during his spectacular 50-year career.

Allen & Keaton
September 12, 1972 • NYC Woody Allen and Diane Keaton at a ‘A Tracy and Hepburn Film Memoir’

Steve McQueen
April 15, 1973 • Montego Bay, Jamaica Steve McQueen on location filming Papillon

Lennon & Jagger
March 13, 1974 • Century City, CA Mick Jagger and John Lennon at Film Institute Lifetime Achievement Awards honoring James Cagney

Redford
May 15, 1974 • NYC Robert Redford at Mary Lasker’s cocktail party for Wayne Owens

Elvis
June 25, 1974 • Philadelphia Elvis Presley leaving Philadelphia International Airport

Cher
November 20, 1974 • NYC Cher during Romantic and Glamorous Hollywood Design Exhibition at Metropolitan Museum of Art

Pacino & De Niro
February 14, 1982 • NYC Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro attend Night of 100 Stars Gala at the New York Hilton Hotel

Madonna & Penn
August 13, 1986 • NYC Sean Penn and Madonna break for lunch from the rehearsals for the Lincoln Center workshop production of Goose and Tomtom at the Mitzi Newhouse Theatre, Lincoln Center

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ron Galella’s work is in the collections of the Modern Museum of Art in New York and San Francisco, the Tate Modern in London and the Helmut Newton Foundation Museum of Photography in Berlin. Newsweek once called him a “paparazzo extraordinaire.” Debbie Harry, one of Galella’s favorite subjects, wrote to him that “any photographer that is fascinated with people, and then is able to catch them live, not in a studio set up, has a real gift.” He is sharing that gift in Shooting Stars, a collection of untold stories and rarely seen candid photos of entertainment and society icons. Sued by Jackie Onassis (another all-time favorite) and socked in the jaw by Marlon Brando, Galella has many a tale to tell—from his early life in the Bronx to his remarkable red carpet adventures.

Community Events

Community Events

 

We welcome the community to our programs that are designed to educate and inform. Programs are subject to change.

 

SEMINARS

 

Visit www.TrinitasRMC.org for seminar listings or check for updates on our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/TrinitasRMC.

 

THURSDAY, JUNE 13 • 6:00 PM

Diabetes & Sleep: Control Your Blood Sugar with Better Sleep

Dr. Vipin Garg, FCCP, FAASM, Program Director of the Comprehensive Sleep Disorders Center at Trinitas, will talk about how adequate healthy sleep can reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes.

Morris Ave. Medical Center, 2042 Morris Ave, Union NJ. Parking: 2052 Morris Ave, Union NJ – Handicapped accessible. To register, call 908.994.5139.

Light refreshments will be served.

 

SPECIAL PROGRAMS

 

Health Services with Women In Mind

Trinitas helps provide women access to vital health services with a focus on preventive measures. These include educational programs and cancer screenings. Programs offered in English and Spanish.

To learn more about these services, contact Amparo Aguirre, (908) 994-8244 or at amaguirre@trinitas.org

 

Ask the Pharmacist: Medication Management

Free of charge, by appointment only. Monthly on the 4th Tuesday, 11:30 am – 1:00 pm Call (908) 994-5237.

 

TRINITAS HEALTH FOUNDATION EVENTS

 

THURSDAY, JUNE 20 • 8:00 AM

11th Annual Andrew H. Campbell Sporting Clays Tournament

Hudson Farm Club, Andover, NJ

 

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 23 • 8:00 AM

Annual Golf Classic & Spa Day

Fiddler’s Elbow Country Club, Bedminster, NJ Oasis Day Spa, Bedminster, NJ

For more information about the Foundation or to learn more about its fundraising events, (908) 994-8249 or kboyer@trinitas.org.

Proceeds from these events benefit the patients of Trinitas Regional Medical Center. Making reservations for Foundation events is fast and easy on your American Express, MasterCard, Visa or Discover card.

 

TCCC SUPPORT GROUPS

 

Conference Room A or Conference Room B Trinitas Comprehensive Cancer Center

225 Williamson Street, Elizabeth NJ 07207

Living with Cancer Support Groups

All events take place from 1:00 – 3:00 pm. Call (908) 994-8535 for 2019 schedule.

 

MEDICAL AND BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SUPPORT GROUPS

 

Sleep Disorders

If you are experiencing problems sleeping, contact the Trinitas Comprehensive Sleep Disorders Center in Elizabeth or Cranford at Homewood Suites by Hilton (easy access to the GSP). Both centers are headed by a medical director who is board-certified in sleep, internal, pulmonary, and intensive care medicine, and is staffed by seven certified sleep technologists.

For further information, call (908) 994-8694 or visit www.njsleepdisorderscenter.org

 

Narcotics Anonymous

Monday 7:00 – 8:30 pm; Sunday Noon – 2:00 pm; and Sunday 5:00 – 6:30 pm

Jean Grady, Community Liaison, (908) 994-7438

Grassmann Hall, 655 East Jersey St., Elizabeth

 

Alcoholics Anonymous

Friday 7:30 – 8:45 pm

Jean Grady, Community Liaison, (908) 994-7438

Grassmann Hall, 655 East Jersey St., Elizabeth

 

HIV Education and Support Program for HIV Positive Patients

Monthly. Call for scheduled dates/times.

Judy Lacinak, (908) 994-7605

 

Early Intervention Program Clinic 655 Livingston St., Monastery Building, 2nd Floor, Elizabeth

Mental Illness Support Group (NAMI) for Spanish Speaking Participants

Monthly, Fourth Friday except August, 6:30 – 8:30 pm

Mike Guglielmino, (908) 994-7275 Martha Silva, NAMI 1-888-803-3413

6 So. Conference Rm., Williamson St. Campus 225 Williamson Street, Elizabeth

 

TRINITAS CHILDREN’S THERAPY SERVICES

 

899 Mountain Ave., Suite 1A, Springfield, NJ (973) 218-6394

Camp Trinitas

Camp Trinitas is the perfect opportunity to have children gain new skills or maintain recently-learned motor and academic skills. Children will participate in gross motor, fine motor, sensory-motor, and recreational activities, and academic time during our 9th annual Camp Trinitas. Sign up for a ½ day (AM or PM) or a full day. Allow your child to participate in a camp directly organized and supervised by skilled OT, PT, and speech therapy clinicians in their respective fields. Camp Trinitas addresses each child’s specific needs. Scholarships available.

 

LEARN TO RIDE BIKE LESSONS

Children will learn this vital childhood skill in a non-competitive environment with a highly trained therapist. Sessions are run in 60-minute periods of time. Dates and times are individually scheduled. Children typically require between 1 and 3 sessions.

 

SCRIBBLES TO SCRIPT HANDWRITING PROGRAM

An opportunity for children from preschool (prewriting) through elementary (cursive) school to work with an occupational therapist and participate in multi-sensory fine motor, visual-motor, and visual-perceptual activities to learn pre-writing skills, proper letter formation, and writing within the given lines using the Handwriting Without Tears® program. Help to reinforce learning and make writing fun!

 

SOCIAL BUTTERFLIES

An opportunity for children to work with a speech & language therapist and engage in activities to address turn-taking, topic maintenance, appropriate question asking, and following non-verbal cues.

  • All programs (except for full or ½ day camp) are offered 1-2 x per week, for 45 minutes, from July 1st – Aug 16th.
  • Our programs and/or group therapy sessions are a great alternative to individual therapy. They give children the opportunity to address key developmental areas in structured but busier environments that are more reflective of typical real-life home and school situations.
  • Please call for times and pricing.
  • Trinitas Children’s Therapy Services 899 Mountain Ave., Suite 1A Springfield, NJ 07081 Phone # 973-218-6394, ext. 1300 Fax # 973-218-6351 knelson@trinitas.org www.childtherapy.nj

 

The Chef Recommends

EDGE takes you inside the area’s most creative kitchens.

The Thirsty Turtle • Pork Tenderloin Special

1-7 South Avenue W. • CRANFORD (908) 324-4140 • thirstyturtle.com

Our food specials amaze! I work tirelessly to bring you the best weekly meat, fish and pasta specials. Follow us on social media to get all of the most current updates!

— Chef Rich Crisonio

 

The Thirsty Turtle • Brownie Sundae

186 Columbia Turnpike • FLORHAM PARK (973) 845-6300 • thirstyturtle.com

Check out our awesome desserts brought to you by our committed staff. The variety amazes as does the taste!

— Chef Dennis Peralta

 

The Famished Frog • Mango Guac

18 Washington Street • MORRISTOWN (973) 540-9601 • famishedfrog.com

Our refreshing Mango Guac is sure to bring the taste of the Southwest to Morristown.

— Chef Ken Raymond

 

Arirang Hibachi Steakhouse • Sushi Tacos

1230 Route 22 West • MOUNTAINSIDE (908) 518-9733 • partyonthegrill.com

Crispy wonton taco shells—featuring your choice of tuna, salmon, shrimp or crab—with rice, cucumber, red onions, avocado, cilantro and lime juice, topped with spicy mayo.

 

Daimatsu • Sushi Pizza

860 Mountain Avenue • MOUNTAINSIDE (908) 233-7888 • daimatsusushibar.com

This original dish has been our signature appetizer for over 20 years. Crispy seasoned sushi rice topped with homemade spicy mayo, marinated tuna, finely chopped onion, scallion, masago caviar, and ginger. Our customers always come back wanting more.

— Chef Momo

 

Luciano’s Ristorante & Lounge • Pan Seared Scallops

1579 Main Street • RAHWAY (732) 815-1200 • lucianosristorante.com

Pan-seared scallops over butternut squash risotto and wilted spinach, finished with a brown butter emulsion. This is one of the signature dishes featured on our menu since we opened 10 years ago.

— Joseph Mastrella, Executive Chef/Partner

 

Garden Grille • Beet & Goat Cheese Salad

304 Route 22 West • SPRINGFIELD (973) 232-5300 • hgispringfield.hgi.com

Beet and goat cheese salad with mandarin oranges, golden beets, spiced walnuts, arugula, with a red wine vinaigrette.

— Chef Sean Cznadel

 

LongHorn Steakhouse • Outlaw Ribeye

272 Route 22 West • SPRINGFIELD (973) 315-2049 • longhornsteakhouse.com

LongHorn Steakhouse of Springfield is celebrating its One Year Anniversary. Come celebrate with us! Join us for Lunch or Dinner. We suggest you try our fresh, never frozen, 18 oz. bone-in Outlaw Ribeye – featuring juicy marbling that is perfectly seasoned and fire-grilled by our expert Grill Masters.

— Anthony Levy, Managing Partner

 

Outback Steakhouse • Bone-In Natural Cut Ribeye

901 Mountain Avenue • SPRINGFIELD (973) 467-9095 • outback.com

This is the entire staff’s favorite, guests rave about. Bone-in and extra marbled for maximum tenderness, juicy and savory. Seasoned and wood-fired grilled over oak.

— Duff Regan, Managing Partner

 

Arirang Hibachi Steakhouse • Volcano Roll

23A Nelson Avenue • STATEN ISLAND, NY (718) 966-9600 • partyonthegrill.com

Hot-out-of-the-oven, crab, avocado and cream cheese rolled up and topped with a mild spicy scallop salad.

 

Ursino Steakhouse & Tavern • House Carved 16oz New York Strip Steak

1075 Morris Avenue • UNION (908) 977-9699 • ursinosteakhouse.com

Be it a sizzling filet in the steakhouse or our signature burger in the tavern upstairs, Ursino is sure to please the most selective palates. Our carefully composed menus feature fresh, seasonal ingredients and reflect the passion we put into each and every meal we serve.

Do you own a local restaurant and want to know how your BEST DISH could be featured in our Chef Recommends restaurant guide?

Call us at 908.994.5138

 

The Jersey Gems Issue
The Open for Business Issue