Urban Conveniences in a Small-Town Setting 

By Taylor Smith 

Located in Northern New Jersey’s Union County, Westfield has earned increasing attention in recent years, not only for its convenient public transportation to Manhattan, but also as a place that many New York City transplants call home.  more

By Taylor Smith 

The quality and design principles that have made Stance socks a favorite of NBA players are now backed by some of the leading names in sports and entertainment. With the philosophy of embracing “the uncommon thread,” this five-year-old company has sold more than 50 million pairs of socks. Using technology that is akin to rocket science (literally), Stance Socks is hoping to define the future of knitwear.  more

By Taylor Smith 

Located at 122 Main Street, 2nd floor, in Madison, NJ, The Bar Method is a great option for building muscles, confidence, and long lines in the New Year.  more

By Taylor Smith 

Available at running stores and REI locations across the country, Bend, Oregon-based Picky Bars is the latest nutritional bar to make a splash on the outdoors scene.  more

By Taylor Smith 

On view through February 10, “Mickey: The True Original Exhibition” is at 60 10th Avenue in New York City. The 16,000-square-foot space in Chelsea, very close to The High Line, features both nostalgic and modern works from international artists, all of whom are inspired by classic images of the graphic, black-and-white mouse.  more

By Taylor Smith 

Sleep is vital for overall health, but elusive for many. Whether you’re a parent under stress or you’ve become reliant on prescription sleep aids like Lunesta or Ambien, here are some non-habit forming methods for improving overall sleep quality and duration.  more

By Taylor Smith 

It’s the start of 2019 which means one thing — you’re probably assessing your New Year’s resolutions. While a gym membership and a trip to Whole Foods may help you to exercise and eat better, real change begins with a fresh perspective and more all-encompassing lifestyle habits. Here are a just a few books that might help guide the way to a new and improved you.  more

What U.K.-based health care company Virtue is doing to help people age well

By Taylor Smith

According to the World Health Organization, “an estimated 47 million people currently suffer from dementia and that number is expected to increase to 75 million by 2030. It is projected that the number will triple by 2050.” To put these numbers into perspective, the Alzheimer’s Association estimates that “the cost to care for an Alzheimer’s patient in a private room in a nursing home is around $97,455 per year.” This is where U.K.-based health care start-up Virtue steps in (https://www.virtue.io). With the goal to “empower the silver generation,” Virtue aims to “develop transformative solutions for aging well.” more

Urban Agenda Magazine is currently accepting submissions for its Winter 2019 Photo Contest, “WILDLIFE AND NATURE.”

We are looking for images of wildlife and nature photographed in New Jersey or anywhere else in 2018. Each photographer may submit up to five images via email to charles.plohn@witherspoonmediagroup.com. Please include photo titles, descriptions, and contact information. 

The winner(s) will have their photo printed in the February/March 2019 issue of Urban Agenda Magazine, which will arrive in homes in mid-February 2019.

Urban Agenda Magazine is read by more than 35,000 New Jersey residents.

Deadline for submission: January 30, 2019

By Taylor Smith

Sweating as medical treatment and ritual can be traced back to the Romans, Ancient Greeks, and Russians, along with Native American sweat lodges. It seems that for all of human history, the benefits of sweating have been known to mankind. For example, a fever is our body’s natural way of encouraging the immune system to perform better, since sweat is one of the major elimination channels for toxins. Even more significant, there are multiple clinics in Germany that create hyperthermia conditions during chemotherapy to reduce the dose of medications needed to target, and hopefully eliminate, cancer cells. The same process happens on a less extreme level when people experience a sauna. Different than your typical sauna, infrared heat has been shown to boost mood, increase endorphins, reduce symptoms of seasonal affective disorder, increase blood flow, burn significant calories, encourage metal detoxification, and promote the immune system’s cell activity.

 more

By Taylor Smith

Nearly two decades after Magnolia Bakery became a New York sensation, the company recently announced that it has plans to open 200 additional franchises across the United States over the next five years. The bakery, which opened its doors in Greenwich Village in 1996, has since grown to six stores in New York alone, plus locations in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Boston. The purveyor of all things pastry currently has an international franchising program with 17 international stores in seven countries.

Thanks to its role in the hit HBO series Sex and the City, the company has expanded beyond cupcakes to offer cakes and the popular banana pudding (an Instagram favorite).

 more

By Taylor Smith |Photos courtesy of @warbyparker

Trend setting eyeglass company Warby Parker is making its debut in the Garden State. Customers can now have fun trying on the company’s affordable and stylish frames at 126 Central Avenue in downtown Westfield. The bright, airy, and spacious store is adorned with book-centric murals designed by Keith Negly. 

 more

By Taylor Smith

Want to heal your gut, boost immunity, and improve the quality and texture of your hair, nails, and skin? Then bone broth might be the answer to your winter weather woes. Thanks to the Paleo diet and other gluten-free, low-carb trends, bone broth has earned a spot on many functional nutritionists’ lists. So, what exactly is bone broth and why is it so healing? The answer lies in the wealth of gelatin, which breaks down into collagen in the body. Collagen has many nourishing properties, not least of which is more youthful looking skin. This is particularly helpful during the cold and drying winter months when skin, hair, and nails are most in need of moisture. 

 more

By Taylor Smith 

From stocking stuffers to wedding favors, try Whimsy & Spice for a memorable holiday treat.

Husband and wife duo Mark Sopchak and Jenna Park began their baking company Whimsy & Spice at the launch of the Brooklyn Flea in the spring of 2008. In the years since, Whimsy & Spice has grown, thrived, and expanded. A trained pastry chef influenced by the flavors of international travel, Sopchak handles the baking-side of the company’s operation, while Park manages the graphic design and marketing end, shooting much of the photography for the brand. Viewers will be struck by the New York design sensibility combined with unusual flavors. more

By Taylor Smith 

Companies like One Peloton (www.onepeloton.com) have engineered some of the most attractive and effective workout machines in recent years. Equipment like the Peloton Cycle and Peloton Tread enable users all over the world to get a boutique indoor cycling and running studio experience from the convenience of their own homes, day or night. For a lot of working people and parents, the opportunity to get a solid sweat session at any time of day (and no car travel required) is a huge relief. more

By Taylor Smith 

With locations on the Upper West Side and in the West Village in New York City, RedFarm is a collaboration between Joe Ng and restauranteur Ed Schoenfeld. Chinese by birth, Ng was raised by a Jewish family in Brooklyn. As an adult, he was drawn to Chinese food flavors and developed the idea of bringing “Chinese cuisine with a greenmarket sensibility” to the New York population. more

By Taylor Smith 

Looking for a holiday getaway? Makeup mogul Bobbi Brown and her husband, entrepreneur Steven Plofker, have opened a stately and fashionable 32-room inn in the New York City suburb of Montclair. A 35-minute train ride from Midtown Manhattan, The George is the perfect weekend destination for tri-state area residents. more

See your favorite Broadway stars perform classics to benefit the Food, Health, and Hope diabetes initiative! 

By Taylor Smith 

Summit Medical Group Foundation welcomes a host of Broadway stars to the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn on Monday, December 10. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the show begins at 7 p.m. General admission is $50 and VIP admission is $100 (VIP includes prime seating and admission to a behind-the-scenes reception. Tickets can be purchased at www.smg-foundation.org.  more

By Taylor Smith 

The mecca for all objects by designer John Derian is located across three distinct shopfront spaces at 6 East Second Street between 2nd Avenue and the Bowery in New York City. Derian’s signature découpage glassware is accompanied by hand-selected French and American antiques, home decor, linens, fine art, and accent pieces from around the world. A must-register destination for those who crave charming whimsy combined with craftsmen-like artisanship, customers can direct all inquiries to 212.677.1003.  more

Ford Mansion, winter (Courtesy of MNHP)

Historical and Cultural Sites in Morristown and Morris County

by Laurie Pellichero | photos courtesy of the MCTB

Located about 25 miles west of New York City, Morris County and its county seat, Morristown, are home to many venues that helped shape American history and culture. Here are just a few to visit…

Morristown has been called the “Military Capital of the American Revolution” because of its strategic role in the war for independence from Great Britain. It hosted General George Washington and the Continental Army during two New Jersey winter encampments, in 1777 and 1779-80, when Washington plotted the colonies’ rebellion against England. According to Morristourism.org, during these two winters the army rested, repaired its artillery, and restocked its munitions. Local iron mines, furnaces, and forges fabricated guns and musket balls for the Army. The soldiers were drilled and the generals planned their spring campaigns. Historians feel that the Continental Army benefited greatly from its two winter stays in Morristown, where the safety of the surrounding mountains provided a haven from the British for the Army to strengthen itself. And it was rich in natural resources like water and forests, and came with a patriotic population that helped feed and provide clothing for the Army.

 more

Q&A with Sagri Frieber, ASID Associate, Owner of Accents By Design of Bedminster

Interview by Laurie Pellichero

How long have you been in business, and what is your design background?
Thirty years ago, while a diplomat at the United Nations, I attended the Fashion Institute of Technology at night. I supplemented my income by decorating the residences of UN dignitaries. I moved to Bedminster to raise my family and pursue my passion for interior decorating. I started the business in 1991 and 10 years later opened our store in the heart of Bedminster. Accents By Design offers full service interior design, accessories, and high-end window treatments.

 more

Local hospitals offer state-of-the-art care

by Anne Levin

Despite its small size, New Jersey boasts more than 75 hospitals and medical centers. An impressive group of them are located in the Central and Northern counties, offering state-of-the-art care in increasingly comfortable, even architecturally distinctive, surroundings. Following is a sampling:

 more

Norbert Leo Butz and the company in Lincoln Center Theater’s “My Fair Lady.” Photo by Joan Marcus.


The My Fair Lady Lyricist’s Centennial

By Donald H. Sanborn III

Lyricist, librettist, and screenwriter Alan Jay Lerner (1918-1986) writes in his autobiography The Street Where I Live, “Lyrics, no less than music, are written to be heard. A lyric without its musical clothes is a scrawny creature and should never be allowed to parade naked across the printed page.” In his centennial year, his lyrics are being heard and read. Lincoln Center Theater’s revival of My Fair Lady, the masterpiece musical he wrote with composer Frederick Loewe, began previews last March.

 more

Rube Goldberg, Rube Goldberg Inventions United States Postal Service Stamp (included on sheet of “Comic Classics” stamps), date unknown. Sheet of USPS stamps.


Celebrating the Comic Art of Rube Goldberg

By Ilene Dube

Among the earliest of John George’s memories is going to the Automat with his grandfather. “There was a whole wall of windows and all these little doors, and you would open one and take out your pie, and then a hand would come place a new piece of pie in the slot where you’d taken yours from,” recounts George, 73, a Skillman-based psychologist. “The whole thing was a big Rube Goldberg, a kind of inspiration for the world he put down on paper.”

In fact, John George’s grandfather, with whom he shared the Automat experience, was Rube Goldberg. more

By Taylor Smith

For many people, sleep is elusive. You run around all day completing your to-do lists and when it’s time to shut down, you can’t. This is an all too common complaint at places like Santé Integrative Pharmacy in downtown Princeton.

Have you ever heard the term wired and tired? That’s is the state that Michael Pellegrino, a clinical nutritionist and wellness practitioner at Sante, finds most customers in when they walk into the store looking for suggestions. “The goal is to nourish and calm the nervous system,” explains Pellegrino. “This includes both a daytime and evening regimen and often an adjustment to their current lifestyle.”

 more

How Meditation is Changing the Lives of Adolescents Everywhere

By Taylor Smith

Healing traumatic stress and raising performance among at-risk populations doesn’t just apply to adults, it also applies to the daily lives and circumstances of many of today’s modern middle and high school students. The science and research behind the impact of meditation on highly stressed or suffering adult populations is well-documented through brain research, and has been incorporated into standard health treatment at hospitals like The Graf Center for Integrative Medicine at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center in Englewood, N.J.

 more

By Taylor Smith

Shingles is a viral infection that lays dormant in those who have had the chicken pox and is most common in those ages 50 and older, both men and women. Shingles can occur anywhere on the body, but is most common as a single stripe of extremely painful blisters around the torso, lower waist, chest and/or face. While it isn’t a life-threatening condition, the virus can be very painful, causing many people to suffer for anywhere from three to six months with severe discomfort. 

 more

By Taylor Smith | Photo courtesy of CKO Kickboxing

Cardio is out and HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is in. Many workout enthusiasts are noticing that their spin classes and running routines aren’t cutting it anymore when it comes to building overall health. Boxing and kickboxing are growing in popularity throughout New Jersey and New York because people are seeing results. The fighter’s physique, long desired for its lean look combined with powerful muscular strength, is what people are after and requesting in many gyms. Here is the rundown of some of the gyms throughout the area that are not only offering opportunities to build muscular strength but are specializing in it, with well-trained fighters as instructors challenging both the body and the mind.  more

Find Your Way Home to Cooperstown, New York 

By Taylor Smith | Photos Courtesy of Destination Marketing Corporation of Otsego County

Cooperstown is a village that lies in the central region of New York. It was founded by William Cooper alongside Otsego Lake, which serves as the source of the Susquehanna River. The name “Otsego” derives from a Mohawk or Oneida word meaning “place of rock,” referring to the large boulder near the lake’s outlet, known today as Council Rock.

Cooperstown is the perfect destination for nature enthusiasts, especially during the fall and winter months. With numerous indoor and outdoor attractions, visitors can spend their days exploring the great outdoors and their evenings cozied up inside a brewery.

 more

By Stuart Mitchner

Amsterdam was the first stop on my first trip to Europe and the first time in my life that I’d walked into a museum on a whim, on my own, casually, without thinking of it as a prescribed learning experience. Every painting was by the same artist. At 19, I knew about Van Gogh of course. I’d seen Kirk Douglas in Lust for Life. But here was the reality, vividly, wildly, uncontainedly there in the gobs, clusters, and swirls of paint everywhere I looked, and no one else was around, no crowds to contend with; somehow some way I’d lucked out and had the place to myself, just me and Van Gogh. I could almost hear him breathing, smell the smoke from his pipe, as if he were working as I watched, no brush, I imagined him squeezing the paint between his fingers and then slapping it on. Suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, I’d landed all by myself on the shore of a new world of art.

 more