Surprise the college graduate in your life with something fabulous and functional. 

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Jana Mars is Making Some Waves with Her Stand Up Paddle Company, Aqua Vida

By Sarah Emily Gilbert

At the end of her emails, Jana Mars signs off with “make some waves.” It’s a fitting valediction for a woman whose career – and name are centered on water. more

Photo Credit: Audrey Blake Breheney

“The Parkslope of New Jersey”

By Sarah Emily Gilbert 

On the east side of the Watchung Mountains sits Montclair, New Jersey, an unhurried, charming town in Essex County that’s lined with thousand-year-old trees and architecturally significant homes. It boasts six historic districts and 43 locations on the National Register of Historic Places, including the Charles Shultz House, known as the Evergreens. A three-story Victorian mansion built by a respected New York architect in 1896, the home provides unobstructed views of the city skyline, marking the close connection between the suburb and New York City. Many Montclair residents commute to and from Penn Station for work, and with them come metropolitan influences. The small town is home to 39,000 people, seven train stations, two cinemas, a theatre, an art museum, and an endless array of cultural experiences. more

Check out some creative party venues for kids in the greater North Jersey area

“You’re invited!”

It’s the sentence that makes children shriek with excitement. Full of presents, treats, and entertainment, birthday parties are the height of childhood fun. But as parents keep upping the birthday party anti, the yearly celebration can leave families at a loss for new and creative ideas. Alas, the days of Pin the Tail on the Donkey and ice cream cake might be ending, but luckily, our area is filled with unique birthday venues to keep you up with the Joneses. From pirate parties to video game fetes, we outline party venues that will make all of your child’s birthday wishes come true. more

Meet NJ-Based Cheese Sommelier, Nadine Ryan of Common Lot Restaurant

By Sarah Emily Gilbert 

When it comes to selecting cheese, I have two options: extra cheese or extra, extra cheese. As sophisticated as my process sounds, it’s evident that my affinity for cheese clouds my decision-making skills. Fortunately, there are individuals whose job is to guide people like me through the over 650 varieties of cheese, and Nadine Ryan is one of them. more

Photo Credit © Kent Mason

By Taylor Smith

Established just last year, Bobcat Alley in northwest New Jersey is seeking to provide a stable home for the state’s last remaining wild cats. Once nearly extinct in the state, they are still endangered due to fragmentation and habitat loss. Today, the majority of New Jersey’s bobcat population relies on habitats in Warren and Sussex counties. more

Jeffrey Le Benger, MD, FACS

Chairman and CEO, Summit Medical Group

summitmedicalgroup.com

Tell us about the history of Summit Medical Group:

After serving in World War I, group founders William H. Lawrence, MD, and Maynard G. Bensley, MD, returned home to the United States to practice medicine during an era of significant technological and medical advances. It was against this backdrop that Lawrence and Bensley founded the Diagnostic Group of Summit in October 1929. more

A modern locale steeped in history.

Known as one of the most prestigious towns in the country, Summit, New Jersey was first settled around 1710 as a region of small farms. With the 1837 addition of the Morris and Essex railroad line, the town became increasingly commercialized and by the late 1800s, it was considered the premiere weekend resort area for wealthy city-dwellers. Summit, aptly named for its location atop the Second Watching Mountain, quickly became known for its rural charm. Due to its close proximity to New York City, many families built summer estates in the town to enjoy the fresh air and natural landscape. more

Alnwick Hall – The Abbey 355 Madison Avenue, Morristown NJ

Be A Part Of New Jersey’s Gilded Society At Mansion In May 2017

By Sarah Emily Gilbert

This spring, Alnwick Hall in Morristown, New Jersey will come alive for The Women’s Association for Morristown Medical Center’s (WAMMC) 18th Mansion in May Designer Showhouse and Gardens. more

1943 portrait of Beatrix Farrand. Courtesy of the Beatrix Farrand Society. Portrait by The Gledhills Portraits, Santa Barbara, CA.

By Wendy Plump

It is possible to be cowed by Beatrix Farrand even now, over 100 years since her first landscape commission at Princeton University and half a century since her death. There is much to be thankful for in the sylvan, living landscape she put in place to give an austere campus a greener aspect.  more

By Wendy Plump

It turns out that surfers and philosophers have a lot in common. To be any good at what they do, they have to be hard-core realists. Good surf or bad, decent people or vile, the approach is the same: if you don’t want to be mullered, then deal effectively with conditions as you find them. As both a surfer and a philosopher, this is practically Peter Singer’s calling card. more

By Donald H. Sanborn III

For most Broadway musicals, the “composer” creates only the songs, usually providing vocal lines with piano accompaniment. Other musicians, including an orchestrator, prepare the score for performance. The orchestrator adjusts a composition “to fit…whatever orchestral combination has been selected,” Broadway orchestrator Don Walker writes in his autobiography. In the 1940s, Webster’s Dictionary came out with a second meaning for orchestrate: “to arrange or combine so as to achieve a maximum effect.” more

It all began in Hoboken

By Doug Wallack

In October of 1845—though historians will disagree on precisely when—the first game of baseball under the modern rules took place on the Elysian Fields in Hoboken, New Jersey. The New York Base Ball Club (later known as the Knickerbockers) faced off against the Brooklyn Club, and beat them handily. It was there that the 90-foot distance between bases was established—a rule that was to be practically as fundamental to the sport as gravity itself. Today, those particular bases are long gone, as are the Elysian Fields themselves—swallowed up by the urban landscape, with only a bronze plaque to mark where they once were. more

Liberty State Park by @b_brophy

By Sarah Emily Gilbert

There’s no questioning New Jersey’s commitment to environmental preservation and conservation. In 2016, we were ranked the tenth greenest state based on factors such as eco-friendly behavior and climate change contributions.[1] We are currently fifth in the nation in solar power installations, and we’re home to over 50 state parks.[2] Forests cover 45% of our 2.1 million acres of land, of which 790,000 acres are farmland, and we’re the second biggest producers of blueberries in the country.[3] I guess it’s no wonder why we’re dubbed the Garden State. more

Photo Credit: @CristinaMittermeier | @natgeo

In honor of Earth Day on April 22, shop these green gifts, which are globally-minded in perspective. 

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Photo Credit: @bambiniwarelife

Hide your Paas Eggs, these artisan egg designs will make your Easter guests feel like they’re at the MOMA.

By Sarah Emily Gilbert 

During my childhood, Easter meant Paas Eggs. My mom would line up six plastic cups next to the skimpy wire holders that never actually held the egg in place. Shortly after, the kitchen would be overtaken by the smell of vinegar, and colored fingerprints would stain the counters. Many families follow the tradition of dyeing Easter eggs, and they fully embrace the store-bought kits that allow the magic to happen. However, with the advent of social media, crafty bunnies have upped the egg decorating anti, making it much less of a stained-finger free-for-all, and more of an art. Whether you’re pro-Paas or looking for an artisan oeuff, we’ve provided some “eggspiration” for Easter 2017.

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Photo Credit: @laurasykora in K-DEER leggings.

Friday, March 31

10:30 to 11 a.m.: Wee Ones Laptime at Westwood Library in Westwood, NJ. Perfect for babies – age 2. Free to attend.

11 a.m.: Yoga class at Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck, NJ.

7 p.m.: Book signing with Andrew McCarthy at Books & Greetings in Northvale, NJ. McCarthy is an actor, director, and travel writer.  more

“UNTITLED”: This photograph is from Ricardo Barros’s exhibit “Figuring Space.” He will speak at 7:30 p.m. at the D&R Greenway Land Trust, 1 Preservation Place, Princeton on Monday April 3. The event is free and open to the public.

By Doug Wallack

In his most recent work, noted photographer Ricardo Barros tackles the inexpressible — the abstraction that is space itself. Barros will be giving a lecture on his portfolio “Figuring Space” on Monday, April 3 for the Princeton Photography Club at the D&R Greenway. more

The Library Book (Aperture, 2017)

By Sarah Emily Gilbert

If you love to get lost in a library, you’ll surely get lost in this book.

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Photo Credit: @eatdrinkerie in Rutherford, NJ

Monday, March 20

 3:30 p.m.: Open Bounce at Bounce U in Paramus, NJ. www.bounceu.com/paramus-nj/

Tuesday, March 21

7 p.m.: NHL Hockey: NJ Devils vs. NY Rangers at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. www.prucenter.com
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Photo by Teddy Wolff

By Erica Cardenas

Every year there are hundred’s of different art fairs taking place around the world.

The NYC Armory Show is a space where gallery’s get the chance to showcase 20th and 21st contemporary art, sell to current art collectors and invite the art public into their space to share what they are about. With all the competition within the changing art market, art fairs are constantly thinking ahead. They create an environment that has the potential to thrill today’s audience. more

Hästens Beds will be at the 16th annual Architectural Digest Design Show.

From March 16-19, over 40,000 design diehards are heading to Piers 92 & 94 in NYC

By Sarah Emily Gilbert 

Spring is in the air and so is design inspiration. From March 16-19, the 16th annual Architectural Digest Design Show will takeover Piers 92 & 94 in New York City. The four-day fair, which is produced by The Mart, a Vornado Property, and hosted by Architectural Digest, will include design displays from over 400 luxury brands, along with talks, seminars, demonstrations, and signings. From state-of-the-art kitchen appliances to artisan-made objets d’art, the show has something for all tastes and interests. The event is divided into various themes including Furniture, Made, and Refresh. Furnish is comprised of textiles, art, rugs, furnishings, and wall coverings; Made features original art, furniture, sculpture, and lighting that are available for purchase; and Refresh showcases new innovations in appliances and building products. more

The scoop on standing desks, active sitting, and more.

By Sarah Emily Gilbert more

Summit, New Jersey is a modern locale steeped in history. Known as one of the most prestigious towns in the country, Summit was first settled around 1710 as a region of small farms. With the 1837 addition of the Morris and Essex railroad line, the town became increasingly commercialized and by the late 1800s, it was considered the premiere weekend resort area for wealthy city-dwellers. more

Photography by Erica Mae Cardenas

The Armory Show took place on March 2-5, 2017 on Piers 92 & 94 in Manhattan, New York welcoming over 65,000 visitors annually. The International Art Fair showcases galleries with a wide variety of 20th and 21st century artwork catering towards art collector’s and art enthusiasts.  more

Photo Credit: @nyantiquarianbookfair

From March 9 – 12, 2017 the Park Avenue Armory will be a mecca of rare and historical books

By Sarah Emily Gilbert

Bibliophiles rejoice – as of March 9, 2017 the Park Avenue Armory in NYC will be converted into the distinguished New York Antiquarian Book Fair. This year’s event, presented by The Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America (ABAA), will feature over 200 international exhibitors of rare books, maps, illuminated manuscripts, photographs, ephemera, and more. With items ranging from Albert Einstein’s toys to the First Edition copy of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, the fair will interest everyone from a seasoned collector to a literary novice. Preview tickets are $50 and include a return visit. Daily tickets range from $10-$25, both of which can be purchased here. The Preview Night is Thursday, March 9, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. Open Hours are Friday, March 10, noon – 8 p.m.; Saturday, March 11, noon – 7 p.m.; and Sunday, March 12, noon – 5 p.m. Discovery Day will be held from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. on Sunday, where guests can bring up to five items of their own for free appraisals and expert advice. Below, are highlights from this year’s fair. more

 

Leaves are Green, Nuts are Brown, Liz Alpert Fay, $2, 150; Wool, pearl cotton thread, hand stitched

The Reeves-Reed Arboretum’s latest exhibit features fiber art

To pull on a loose string at Reeves-Reed Arboretum’s latest exhibition is to unravel a long history of hooked and sewn art textiles. The exhibit, on display now until May 7, features hand hooked and sewn art from four east coast textile artists: Liz Alpert Fay, Marilyn Bottjer, Tracy Jamar, and Alice Rudell. Although each artist uses their own techniques and media, they all share a deep appreciation for their craft. more

Director Damien Chazelle and Emma Stone on the set of La La Land.

Damien Chazelle Talks About Golden Globe Winner “La La Land” 

Interview by Kam Williams 

Filmmaker Damien Chazelle met recently with film reviewer Kam Williams to talk about his latest movie, La La Land, which swept the Golden Globes, winning a record seven awards, and has received 14 Oscar nominations. A native of Princeton, New Jersey, Chazelle wrote and directed the Academy Award-winning Whiplash which landed five Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay for Chazelle. The movie won a trio of Oscars in the Film Editing, Sound Mixing and Supporting Actor (J.K. Simmons) categories. more

Urban Agenda reveals the second, third, and fourth runners up for our latest photo contest

Photographers around the tri-state area captured the Garden State for our February photo contest themed, “My New Jersey.” From stunning sunsets to unique yoga shots, the photo submissions offered diverse and impressive interpretations of our state. The judges were overwhelmed by the wealth of talented photographers who took the time to share their work with our magazine. To all those who submitted photos, thank you for supporting Urban Agenda, and more importantly, thank you for sharing your love of NJ! more