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SPOTLIGHT COMING ATTRACTION; ACADEMY AWARD WINNING DIRECTOR CHRIS TASHIMA, with showing of his Academy Award film ‘VISAS AND VIRTUE,’ IN FREEHOLD SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 18TH 2 PM   by Calvin Schwartz SPOTLIGHT COMING ATTRACTION; ACADEMY AWARD WINNING DIRECTOR CHRIS TASHIMA, with showing of his Academy Award film ‘VISAS AND VIRTUE,’ IN FREEHOLD SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 18TH 2 PM by Calvin Schwartz(0)

SPOTLIGHT COMING ATTRACTION; ACADEMY AWARD WINNING DIRECTOR CHRIS TASHIMA, with showing of his Academy Award film ‘VISAS AND VIRTUE,’ IN FREEHOLD SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 18TH 2 PM by Calvin Schwartz

 

 

 

If you’ve been reading my musings and explorations over the past five years (that long already!), often themed subliminally or rather directly, is the notion to extricate/elevate yourself from the sedentary sofa and discover your local (county/state) world and take advantage of the myriad of mind expanding cultural offerings. It’s endless. When something of value crosses my desk, I’m quite responsive to share it here on njdiscover.com. Sometimes (like right now) I’m in disbelief at the quality of enlightenment being presented. Maybe I’m old school (and I am) but a program such as what I’m writing about here, should be filling up arenas and college gyms.

 

 

 

 

What we have here is a hugely special program (film) with a presentation by Academy Award winning director (for the film being shown, ‘Visas and Virtue’) Chris Tashima, who also acts in the film. Tashima won that Academy Award for Live Action Short Film with producer Chris Donahue, for ‘Visas and Virtue’ in 1997 which he directed, co-wrote (adapting the one-act play by Toyama), and starred in.

To produce ‘Visas and Virtue’, he co-founded Cedar Grove Productions in 1996, with Toyama and Donahue. He is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, in the Short Films and Feature Animation Branch, and belongs to the Directors Guild of America, Screen Actors Guild, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, Actors’ Equity Association and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. He is also an accomplished stage set designer.

 

 

 

 

Now to the film being shown on Sunday September 18th at 2 PM at The Jewish Heritage Museum of Monmouth County in Freehold with Chris Tashima.  Admission is $10 non-members, $8 members. There will be a Question & Answer session after the film screening. For more information or to make a paid reservation (non-refundable), call the Museum at 732-252-6990, or visit www.jhmomc.org.

‘Visas and Virtue’ tells the story of Japanese diplomat, Chiune Sugihara, who served as Vice-Consul for the Empire of Japan in Lithuania. During World War II, he helped 6,000 Jews to leave Lithuania by issuing transit visas so that they could travel to Japanese territory, risking his career and his life (and family’s life.) The Jews who escaped were refugees from German-occupied Western Poland and Russian-occupied Eastern Poland, as well as residents of Lithuania. In 1985, Israel named him to the Righteous Among the Nations for his actions, the only Japanese national to be so honored. Sugihara was too ill to travel to Israel, so his wife and youngest son Nobuki accepted the honor on his behalf. Sugihara and his descendants were given perpetual Israeli citizenship.

 

 

 

On a personal note (and synchronistic), I was in Israel three weeks ago, at Yad Vashem, and learned about Sugihara’s great deeds and his being named to the Righteous Among the Nations. I never knew about him before. And now I’m about to see Chris Tashima and his film, ‘Visas and Virtue’ on Sugihara. Purist synchronicity.

When asked why he risked so much, Sugihara explained that the refugees were human beings, and that they simply needed help. “You want to know about my motivation, don’t you? Well. It is the kind of sentiments anyone would have when he actually sees refugees face to face, begging with tears in their eyes. He just cannot help but sympathize with them. Among the refugees were the elderly and women. They were so desperate that they went so far as to kiss my shoes, Yes, I actually witnessed such scenes with my own eyes.”  Sugihara died in 1986.

 

 

 

 

 

Tashima also directed, co-wrote and starred in the award-winning short film, “Day of Independence,” which depicts the life of Japanese Americans imprisoned in internment camps during World War II. He has appeared in numerous independent feature films, most recently “Under the Blood Red Sun,” a screen adaptation of the award-winning young adult novel by Graham Salisbury.

Hopefully, there’s been sufficient energy generated in the above paragraphs about Chris Tashima to help provide the impetus and sofa lift-off to bring you to Freehold next Sunday and get that chance to absorb his unique aura of accomplishment.

by Calvin Schwartz   9-9-16

 

 

 

 

Sunday September 18th at 2 PM at The Jewish Heritage Museum of Monmouth County in Freehold with Chris Tashima.  Admission is $10 non-members, $8 members. There will be a Question & Answer session after the film screening. For more information or to make a paid reservation (non-refundable), call the Museum at 732-252-6990, or visit www.jhmomc.org.

 

‘VISAS AND VIRTUE’  film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXJ0SQJpGyQ

 

 

 

A MAJOR COMING ATTRACTION: ‘New Jersey-The State of Invention’ Symposium at Rutgers University June 28th (free) featuring appearance by inventor (radio) Guglielmo Marconi’s daughter Elletra Marconi  by Calvin Schwartz A MAJOR COMING ATTRACTION: ‘New Jersey-The State of Invention’ Symposium at Rutgers University June 28th (free) featuring appearance by inventor (radio) Guglielmo Marconi’s daughter Elletra Marconi by Calvin Schwartz(0)

 A MAJOR COMING ATTRACTION: ‘New Jersey-The State of Invention’ Symposium at Rutgers University June 28th (free) featuring appearance by inventor (radio) Guglielmo Marconi’s daughter Elletra Marconi  by Calvin Schwartz

 

 

 

Those of you who have been following my writings about musings, journeys and adventures over the past two years for NJ Discover, should know I take great pride in discovering New Jersey and for the most part never sit still. My thinking is there’s ample time down the yellow brick road to sit in front of a television on a sofa with plastic slip covers or on a front porch with a glass of prune juice on the rocks. Point being; there is so much life to be lived. I do report here at NJ Discover’s website often on events which I believe makes life (here in Jersey) fascinating and unique. When I do report on an upcoming event, it’s tantamount to hugely endorsing and urging readers to attend; something of value and extraordinarily worthwhile so get off the sedentary sofa.  HERE IS THE LINK FOR MORE INFO AND TO REGISTER (FREE) FOR THE SYMPOSIUM: http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/njinvents_agenda

 

 

 

 

 

A few weeks ago I found out about this most amazing event being held at Rutgers University called ‘New Jersey-The State of Invention’ to be held on the afternoon of June 28th (Saturday). Those of you that know me also recognize I’m a consummate groupie; introduce a ‘celebrity’ to an event and I’m in line at 4 AM for tickets. So when I heard that world famous inventor Guglielmo Marconi’s daughter Elletra Marconi was coming to America and New Jersey and Rutgers to participate in this symposium in June, I was thrilled beyond words. So here are my words urging folks to attend this free event. By the way Guglielmo Marconi won a Nobel Prize in Physics in 1909 and is known for his work on long distance radio transmission (the radio pioneer) And his daughter Elletra will be part of this wondrous symposium.

 

 

 

 

Paul Israel, one of the symposium organizers and speakers emailed me some comments on the historical talks that are part of the symposium. “These include a talk by myself on the evolution of invention and innovation from the machine shops of Speedwell Village, that spawned the Morse telegraph, to the industrial laboratories innovated by Thomas Edison.  The other two talks are by staff of the IEEE History Center, which joined us in developing the proposal.  Alex Magoun, former director of the Sarnoff Library (the successor to RCA Labs) will talk about research and innovation at RCA Labs and Sheldon Hochheiser, formerly corporate historian of AT&T will discuss the rich history of innovation at Bell Labs.

The goal of the symposium is to explore New Jersey’s rich history of creating and commercializing telecommunication and electrical technologies as part of a larger effort to develop the industrial history of New Jersey and to make this largely neglected but vital aspect of the state’s history more widely available.”

Please register early. I did. And to think we all get a chance to get back on campus and hangout in a college library and spend a perfect afternoon. Once again, HERE IS THE LINK FOR MORE INFO AND TO REGISTER (FREE) FOR THE SYMPOSIUM: http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/njinvents_agenda

Calvin Schwartz, May 9th 2014   11:11 am

 

 

Now here is some quick information on the symposium and an agenda. 

 

 

 

Saturday, June 28, 2014
1:00-4:30
Scholarly Communication Center, 4th Floor, Alexander Library
Exhibit and Reception: 4:30-6:00

 

 

AGENDA:

Moderator: T. Corey Brennan, Associate Professor of Classics, Rutgers University

1:00-1:15 The Library role in documenting and fostering Invention
Marianne Gaunt, Vice President for Information Services and University Librarian, Rutgers University Libraries
1:15-1:25 Marconi Park and Introduction for Ellectra Marconi
Brian D. Levine, Mayor, Franklin Park
1:25-1:45 “My father, Guglielmo Marconi, his legacy, and his floating laboratory-the yacht Elettra”
Princess Elettra Marconi Giovannelli
1:45-2:00 Break
2:00-2:30 From Machine Shops to Industrial Laboratories: New Jersey and the Reinvention of Invention
Paul Israel, Director of Edison Papers Project
2:30-3:00 More than a Room of One’s Own: Inventive Spaces at RCA’s Labs: 1930-1987
Alex Magoun, Outreach Historian, IEEE History Center
3:00- 3:30 The View from Murray Hill: Bell Telephone Laboratories in New Jersey, 1941-1983
Sheldon Hochheiser Archivist and Institutional Historian, IEEE
3:30-3:40 Introduction: Rutgers invents the Future, the Aresty Undergraduate Research Symposium
Francesca Giannetti, Digital Humanities Librarian, Rutgers-New Brunswick Libraries
3:40-4:10 Project NEMO: Nautical Explorer for Marine Operations
Ian Abraham, Gabriel Blanco, Kostyantyn Budzan, Aresty Undergraduate Research Symposium Participants
4:10-4:30 New Jersey Inventions on the Digital Highway
Mary Chute, New Jersey State Librarian and Linda Langschied, New Jersey Digital Highway Manager
4:30-6:00 Reception, featuring foods invented in New Jersey and exhibits, artifacts from the Edison Papers, the NEMO project,

Progetto Marconi (Boston, MA), the InfoAge Science History Center (Belmar, NJ) and The New Jersey

Digital Highway digital collection, New Jersey: State of Invention. Princess Elletra Marconi Giovannelli

will also sign her book, a memoir of her father, during the reception

 Program Organizers: Grace Agnew, John Brennan, Paul Israel, T. Corey Brennan, Linda Langschied, and Francesca Giannetti.

Contact Grace Agnew, Conference organizer, for more information: gagnew@rutgers.edu

Mike Marino, New Jersey’s Bad Boy of Comedy is Back in NJ for One Night Only with The Paul Marino Band and Emily Grove. Saturday Night October 19th. A Very Special Night! Forum Theatre, Metuchen, NJ by Calvin Schwartz Mike Marino, New Jersey’s Bad Boy of Comedy is Back in NJ for One Night Only with The Paul Marino Band and Emily Grove. Saturday Night October 19th. A Very Special Night! Forum Theatre, Metuchen, NJ by Calvin Schwartz(1)

Mike Marino, New Jersey’s Bad Boy of Comedy is Back in NJ for One Night Only with The Paul Marino Band and Emily Grove. Saturday Night October 19th. A Very Special Night! Forum Theatre, Metuchen, NJ  By Calvin Schwartz

A NOTE FROM MIKE:

 

 

Hey Folks,

I’ll be performing ONE NIGHT ONLY at the FORUM THEATRE ARTS CENTER (314 Main St., Metuchen, NJ 08840) featuring the PAUL MARINO BAND!

This is a special fundraiser for the JP Stevens Baseball Teams! So please come and join me and support these kids!

For tickets go to www.leaguelineup.com/jpshawks or purchase at Civile E Tomoato Restaurant (140 Durham Ave., Metuchen, NJ 08840; 732-548-7740).

Hope to see you there!

Mike

PS: In the meantime check out my latest and greatest work on youtube:    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWerwOYMJQg&feature=youtu.be

 

 

A NOTE FROM CALVIN:

When I heard that Mike Marino was coming back, I cleared my calendar quickly and began letting integral parts of my world know that they need to laugh for obvious reasons; like all the ‘closed’ signs on government buildings. So perfect timing that Mike is back in his home state and joining him is The Paul Marino Band with Emily Grove. Coincidentally, I saw Paul Marino Band twice this summer in Belmar and wrote that “it was a little piece of heaven” to be listening to them perform with a Jersey shore setting sun just over shoulder.  I  love their sound.

I’ve got a 15 month history of being a huge fan of Mike Marino and the thought just occurred to me that back last May, I wrote an interesting article about Mike and my being a comedic snob and how extraordinarily funny and refreshing his humor is. So a bright bulb just went on in my left cerebral corner; why don’t I share that article again, right here on this stage. Oh and I’ve been lucky this past summer to catch Mike a few times including his hosting the 2nd Annual Asbury Park Comedy Festival.

 

 

 

Now my May article:

“Mike Marino is the consummate comedian; he just makes you laugh non-stop and with timely topics (I’ll explain shortly) I discovered ‘New Jersey’s Bad Boy of Comedy’ in 2012 at ‘Asbury Park Comedy Festival.’  And I said to myself “he’s one of the funniest comedians I’ve ever seen.” Point being, I’m simply a ‘comedic snob.’ Comedy is a gift and a special art form. Back in the sixties, I discovered Lenny Bruce, one of comedy’s greatest pioneers and innovators, albeit quite controversial because society was not ready for his bad words and bits. I’ve been a fan of Lenny’s ever since and ironically the Asbury Comedy Festival benefited the Lenny Bruce Foundation in 2012.

How perfect the synchronicity to catch Mike Marino that night for the first time. We had a chance to talk back stage afterwards; I marveled at his graciousness, affability and accessibility.  A few weeks later, Mike called and invited me to a gig at an experimental comedy club in Hoboken; once again he just made me laugh and laugh. He’s a cool, smooth and endearing guy with some of the best material I’ve ever heard.

 

 

 

Now here’s where it all gets interesting. Some of Mike’s routines I’ve actually used in a comedic way (giving him all the credit) and sometimes I go introspective and realize Mike Marino is also a genius and clairvoyant, almost with the gift of the ‘shining.’  So what do I mean by this. Mike’s comedy is so relevant and futuristic, it can be used by current politicians to propel them into major office; yes a provocative thought and so therefore I challenge my readers to catch Mike’s act, put on your thinking caps and imagination gowns and drift into the land of Honah Lee or some Jersey shore jetty or on Main Street in Metuchen.

I hope this was challenging enough for you to catch Mike on the 19th. That’s how funny this Jersey bad boy of comedy is. And take my cerebral challenge to see how certain politicians in a new evolving world should laugh and listen to Mike Marino at the same time. Wow, powerful stuff. Mike is a fascinating comedic innovator.”

Calvin Schwartz

 

Hal Sparks – Up Close & Personal.  VIDEO Interview in Asbury Park, NJ Hal Sparks – Up Close & Personal. VIDEO Interview in Asbury Park, NJ(0)

Hal Sparks! Up Close & Personal! NJDiscover’s backstage interview –  from the Annual Asbury Park Comedy Festival.

Stay Tuned at www.ArtistNationTV.com for more interviews to come!!!

 

 

Tent City in Lakewood. The Movie Documentary ‘Destiny’s Bridge.’  A Movie Review and Personal Journey to Involvement. Premiere August 7th at Two River Theater in Red Bank   By Calvin Schwartz  August 1st 2013 Tent City in Lakewood. The Movie Documentary ‘Destiny’s Bridge.’ A Movie Review and Personal Journey to Involvement. Premiere August 7th at Two River Theater in Red Bank By Calvin Schwartz August 1st 2013(4)

Tent City in Lakewood. The Movie Documentary ‘Destiny’s Bridge.’  A Movie Review and Personal Journey to Involvement. Premiere August 7th at Two River Theatre in Red Bank   By Calvin Schwartz  August 1st 2013

 

 

Right off the top of my frontal lobe, I need to say that this amazing documentary by filmmaker Jack Ballo, ‘Destiny’s Bridge,’ where he spent a year of his life recording the lives of the homeless in Lakewood, is having its world premiere at Two River Theater in Red Bank, New Jersey on August 7th.

Journeys to sensitivity and understanding sometimes begin innocently with little fanfare and symphonies. On Easter Sunday 2012, I attended a concert of awareness for the people of Tent City in Lakewood passionately put together by Rosemary Conte. With my son, we filmed the event for NJ Discover. I had no concept of what Tent City was and the fact that around 100 humans were living in tents for years without electricity, heat or basic amenities because Ocean County has no shelters for the homeless. Tent City was 24 minutes from where I’ve lived for 24 years but that didn’t register in my frontal lobe. While listening to the music close to the staging area, a bus of Tent City residents arrived at the far end of the plaza for food and clothing donations. Minister Stephen Brigham brought the tent residents in his yellow school bus; that scene was still far away from me in several ways. I stayed with my son but saw people holding empty plates waiting on a food line. An image of President Herbert Hoover’s Great Depression flashed across my unsympathetic retina. Close to the musicians I remained.  It seemed the thing to do. When I got home that night, I forgot about the hungry homeless and talked to my family about the special Jersey musicians I heard for the first time.

 

 

 

Cut to January. Hurricane Sandy relief concerts were happening all over the Garden State. My past written words of support and admiration for Rosemary Conte and her wondrous musical and life contributions caught up to her; we became friends. She invited me to cover a Sandy benefit concert at McCloone’s in Asbury Park for NJ Discover. I interviewed her and then came an introduction to Sherry Rubel, concert organizer, photographer extraordinaire and Tent City activist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now it’s February. I’m at a place for coffee and conversation on a busy highway in East Brunswick, N.J with Sherry Rubel. Two weeks later on a very cold sunny day, Tara-Jean Vitale (NJ Discover producer) and I met Sherry across the street from the entrance to Tent City in Lakewood. We were packing TV cameras and microphones for our day in a new world. Patches of pure white snow from the night before looked like special effects. The dirt road was frozen; so was I emotionally. A thin veil of disbelief at my surroundings settled subtly around me. It was numbing; humans in the second richest state in America existing like this. Then I met Angelo, an endearing eloquent resident who invited me into his tent, briefly excusing himself, while I stood immobile and incredulous on how cold it was in the tent.  He went outside to chop wood for the wood burning stove which was not warming the tent well.  His bed was made perfectly. At that moment, in such brutal cold, where humans sleep and exist in the Lakewood winter, I thought about never being quite the same again. And I’m not. Something inside me aches (a soul?) from being overwhelmed. An hour later we interviewed Minister Stephen Brigham, a twelfth generation American. Illuminating and inspiring to us, he’s been devoting much of an adult lifetime to the cause of ‘Destiny’s Bridge;’ a journey to finding suitable and dignified housing in a self-sustainable community of homeless humans. I like using the term ‘humans.’

It’s not within the scope of this article to do self-intestinal excavation and journalizing my time at Tent City.  But a few months later, I was back there with filmmaker Jack Ballo and had a chance to meet residents and talk and listen. Uncovering his wealth of character and poignancy, I met Michael, a long time Tent City resident with his wife Marilyn. He was able to bring a piano from his home before it was lost and kept it under a tarp like on a baseball field in a rainstorm. He played Beethoven and Procul Harum, ‘A Whiter Shade of Pale’ for me. Enamored and drawn to his depth and warmth, I drifted far away standing close to Michael; I was still numb from months earlier at Tent City. It was cloudy and mild this day; easier for Michael and all the residents to sleep at night. But it is all hard; a very hard rain. I need to yell; maybe it will help me understand how and why in 2013 here in New Jersey this exists. Everything I saw that day after listening to Michael play the piano was visually a whiter shade of pale; hard to explain; perhaps a perfect segue to review the documentary, ‘Destiny’s Bridge.’

 

 

 

REVIEW:  DESTINY’S BRIDGE

I’m not a Siskel or Ebert. On the other hand, I have evolved over my tech noir years of ‘Casablanca,’ ‘From Here to Eternity,’ ‘On the Waterfront;’ where perhaps I’m now a contender to talk about movies. Part of the evolution side effect is a bit of snobbish attitude to viewing movies; can’t waste time watching ineptitude in film making and storytelling. Movie making is an art form and a great gift. The works of quintessential movie makers fascinate me. I’ll notice eye-brows moving and the wispy windy sounds of a tree next to a window as two characters are staring at the moon. I take it all in; pure cinematic absorption. I need to learn, emote and feel. Looking back, motion pictures have helped congeal my views of the world and changed my life. Watching ‘Casablanca’ for the 44th time some years ago formed the basis of my first novel.

So when I previewed the movie ‘Destiny’s Bridge’ a few weeks ago, I found myself instantly riveted into the world of Tent City. My emotional ties developed quickly with the residents; sensitive caring humans looking for dignity and respect in a cold world. Jack Ballo seamlessly weaves their stories and interconnectivity of existence; how they depend on one another. I can say it was beautiful film making; vivid photography heightened the stark reality. You will learn about the harsh human condition of homelessness from this documentary.

Yes, it is an exquisite film which means sensitive, emotional, real and poignant.  Back to my being a snob about movies; I’ve since watched it again. You may need to do the same; the film delivers a powerful message about homelessness and Minister Stephen Brigham’s vision for a future. Then Jack Ballo’s treatise on the lives of some of the people; you grow fond and bond with them, maybe wanting to reach out and help. You care about their lives. The film is beautiful because it makes you feel something inside. It evokes. I love when I’m evoked to emote by a film.

It was a painstaking meticulous project for Ballo; a year of his life for the desire to make a difference. I look at myself right now at this point in time somewhere in a universe. ‘Destiny’s Bridge’ has innervated and moved me; therefore a brilliant work. There’s sadness in the final scene looking down from high above; in some ways leaving that homeless world below but also heralding an awareness that much needs to be done.  All my above criteria for good movie making have been met; I call it a contender. Here’s thanking and looking at you Jack Ballo.

 

 

 

 

Important Links:  http://www.destinysbridge.com/

http://www.ultravisionfilms.com

https://www.facebook.com/DestinysBridge

 

 

INFORMATION ON MOVIE PREMIERE:

ORDER TICKETS HERE ON LINE!! REALLY ALMOST SOLD OUT!!

http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/412674?date=859361

 

Advance online tickets for the film premiere of Destiny’s Bridge are nearly sold out!!

Best you order yours before the end of today. ($12 at the door) Wed. Aug. 7, 7p.m., Two River Theater, Red Bank. So much art & culture for such a low price!!

6:30 – lobby exhibit of photography by Sherry Rubel

7:00 – showing of this beautiful and important documentary “Destiny’s Bridge”

8:20 – Q & A; Introduction to the audience to filmmaker Jack Ballo, Univision Films; Minister Steve Brigham, and residents of Tent City featured in the film. Emcee is Dr. Michael Paul Thomas, Monmouth University.

8:45 – Reception, wine & cheese, piano music by Michael, a Tent City resident.

Photos for all on the Red Carpet.

 

 

LECTURE REVIEW:  Kenneth T. Jackson : Newark’s Decline and Resurgence in the 20th Century as Lessons for Urban America. Rutgers Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. April 25th  A REVIEW by Calvin Schwartz LECTURE REVIEW: Kenneth T. Jackson : Newark’s Decline and Resurgence in the 20th Century as Lessons for Urban America. Rutgers Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. April 25th A REVIEW by Calvin Schwartz(2)

LECTURE:  Kenneth T. Jackson : Newark’s Decline and Resurgence in the 20th Century as Lessons for Urban America. Rutgers Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. April 25th  A REVIEW by Calvin Schwartz

 

The moment I saw Newark as the subject of a lecture, I knew the winds of relevance would take me there. I was born and lived in Newark for 20 years and stay relatively active in the alumni association of Weequahic High School where I graduated in the early sixties. I marvel at the good fortune of living 14 traffic lights from a major university, Rutgers, which affords the curious searching mind a never ending source of stimulation and knowledge via its academic offerings to the community.

The lecture was called “Newark’s Decline and Resurgence in the 20th Century as Lessons for Urban America: The Rise, Fall, and Recovery of a Great Metropolis, 1916-2016.” Kenneth T. Jackson, Professor of History at Columbia University spoke and mesmerized. The lecture was sponsored by the Allen and Joan Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life and Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy and was held at Special Events Forum at the Civic Square Building in New Brunswick. And it was completely booked and the overflow was sent to a third floor video feed. Professor Jackson asked for a show of hands who graduated from Weequahic High in Newark; I was one of many who raised hands. And to my surprise and purist joy, the woman sitting directly behind asked at lecture’s end if I really went to Weequahic. I remembered Roz instantly; we were classmates right through the Cuban missile crisis and we hugged at our random chance meeting. My night and month and beyond were made.

 

 

 

 

Professor Jackson journeyed the lecture through world city’s histories. Venice was a major commerce and shipping center; then not.  Athens was a major city; then not; same with Vienna, Liverpool and Glasgow and our Detroit. But Newark had everything going for it; at the 250th (1666 to 1916) commemorative it was thought Newark could become a global leading city with major centers of manufacturing, a port that could’ve been the busiest in the world, an airport that was the busiest in the country at one time and even a minor league baseball team in 1937, the Newark Bears, that is considered the best of all time.

Throughout its history, there was a failure of leadership and vision. Newark was small; 21 square miles of which five miles was swamp. Newark was so small compared to Los Angeles with its 400 square miles. And when opportunities existed to annex local towns like Harrison, Kearny or Nutley, Newark’s leaders faltered and never acted. Newark is still small and those other places became cities of their own. But there have been effective leaders too; Charles Cummings, Bob Curvin and Cory Booker.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Newark had the perfect storm of contributing factors of urban decline including the riots back in 1967. There have been notable examples of cities coming back and reinventing like Hoboken did. Professor Jackson was optimistic that Newark could come back despite former Mayor Ken Gibson’s dire statement, that wherever America was going, Newark would get there first. Jackson eloquently discussed his four ingredients to bring back an urban city from decline.

Firstly, reduce crime. Secondly, attract more immigrants. Thirdly, welcome the Gay community and artists. Finally, promote outdoor restaurants. People sitting on the street dining sends a message that people are not afraid to walk around. He cited the explosion of outdoor restaurants on New York City’s Columbus Avenue and its concomitant resurgence.

Everything Professor Jackson talked about fascinated me. I’m a big fan of pinching my arm unobtrusively as a satisfying realization of “look where I am.” A question and answer period followed; the mostly older audience (I felt on the younger side of the scale) peppered comments, praises and questions mostly about their home Weequahic section. A bountiful reception followed. What really impressed me was the availability of the faculty of the Bildner Center and Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. I had a chance to talk at length to Professor Yael Zerubavel, Donald S.Sutton, Assistant Dean for External Affairs, Stuart Meck, Associate Research Professor and Director, Center for Planning Practice and Karyn Olsen, Director of Communications. You have to know me; I love engaging academia and the Rutgers faculty was accommodating and hugely generous with their time.  The moderately dry Riesling wine satisfied. The lights were dimming in the atrium and doors were locked and I was still chatting with Stuart Meck. Therefore it was a magical night at Rutgers and my exhortation to readers about future programs here; “get off your sedentary sofa.”

 

http://bildnercenter.rutgers.edu/

Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy:  http://policy.rutgers.edu/

Calvin Schwartz:  http://vichywater.net      Facebook:  Cal Schwartz

The “Right Path” Always Leads to “2nd Chances”   NJ Filmmaker Nick Scochemaro The “Right Path” Always Leads to “2nd Chances” NJ Filmmaker Nick Scochemaro(1)

 The Right Path Always Leads to Second Chances

by TaraJean Vitale

 

Finding “The Right Path” always leads to “2nd Chances”, and with New Jersey-based filmmaker and father of three Nick Scochemaro, this could not be truer. His inspiring journey of redemption from the Bronx Mafia to a man whose only dream is to spiritually save lives has motivated him to create numerous award-winning films. After his successful film “Mourning on Charlotte Street”, Winner of Best Short Film in the NY International Film Festival and Winner of the Best Short Film in the Artisan Festival International, he wrote directed and acted in the seven minute film: “The Right Path.” This film was honored with the award for Best Short Documentary in the NY Independent Film Festival. Moreover, Nick, also known by his friends as “Little Scooch”, believing deeply in the relentless pursuit of his dreams is currently producing his next Feature Film “2nd Chances.”

 

Back in the 1980’s Nick was well known in his Bronx neighborhood for being a tough kid who was always ready for a fight. His parents were divorced. His father was in jail because of ties to the mafia and his mother had to work two jobs to provide for Nick and his older brother and sister. Despite the ceaseless prayers of his Aunt Gracie, his brother and sister became involved in the local gangs that roamed the streets. Nick, the youngest sibling, was left to fend for himself in a broken family. His frustration and anger began to consume him, yet under all this turmoil was a young boy who had lost hope.

Dropping out of High School at 17 years old, Nick went to work, using his stepfather’s connections and joining the Union. Although he felt that earning a paycheck would satisfy him, he carried the torment of depression with him like the cross. Nick finally reached a point where thoughts of ending the pain with suicide consumed him. His short documentary, “The Right Path” portrays how one incredible moment changed his entire life. Recognizing he could not do it alone, he turned to God with a plea for help. Nick explains, “I released all my worldly control and gave all fears over to God.” After his story was released in the Film Festivals, Nick learned that it impacted many people’s lives and gave them hope and direction.

Focused on his creative vision and his desire to share his story, Nick won’t slow down; he wishes to encourage more people to believe in their greater purpose. He wants to help people find their strength to persevere through hardships and discover where they can find divine guidance.

After starring in numerous films, finishing a missionary trip to Melilla, Africa with 4 years of footage and many personal trials to test his faith, Nick “Little Scooch’s” incredible drive has led him to his present venture “2nd Chances”. This Feature Film tells a story about three people who encounter pain and tragedy that push them to the brink of collapse. A child loses a father, a teenager’s dream is crushed and a nurse’s life is shattered. Each one decides that their only escape is through the act of suicide. This screenplay, written by Kevin Crowley and directed by Frank M. Calo will be filmed and cast in New Jersey in April 2013 and released in May 2013. Nick Scochemaro also has plans to produce a Christian Internet Television Station in the future. He is a man whose faith and trust in his guidance from God has led him to divine encounters with people who have aided him in accomplishing his true purpose in life. “God is working miracles everyday in my life, and God is doing working miracles all over the world. People just need to recognize them,” Nick Scochemaro.

 

UPCOMING NEWS:

Mourning On Charlotte Street is presently casting for it’s New York City Showcase.  Visit their website for more information: mocsshowcase@gmail.com

www.mourningoncharlottestreet.com,   www.therightpathproductions.com

 

Contact Nick Scochemaro #973-769-2625

www.therightpathproductions.com

TheRightPathProduction@gmail.com

www.freedomlandfilms.webs.com

 

 

 

Christie Rampone Soccer Gold Medalist from the 2012 Olympic Games Welcome Home Event Jersey Shore Medical Center [Video] Christie Rampone Soccer Gold Medalist from the 2012 Olympic Games Welcome Home Event Jersey Shore Medical Center [Video](0)

Hundreds of cheering fans welcomed Christie Rampone home! Christie Rampone is New Jersey’s very own Soccer Gold Medalist from the 2012 Olympic Games!

After winning her 4th Olympic Medal, Christie is now the first four time Olympian on the United States women’s soccer team.  Dedicating 15 years on the national team she has proven herself to be the perfect example of a young women who has never given up on her dreams. Because of her focus on staying healthy and fit, she was chosen to be spokesperson for the K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital at Jersey Shore University Medical Center.  With this opportunity Christie has given more children the opportunity to experience her enthusiasm along with her personal support and guidance.

Christie Rampone’s commitment to her team as Captain is equaled by her devotion to her family. Being the only mother on the team, Christie keeps her children close by. Both Rylie, 6 and Reece, 2 attended the event at Jersey Shore Medical Center.

Also, in attendance was Jersey Mike’s Sub’s owner Peter Cancro showing his support for Jersey girl and Olympian, while giving subs to all of her fans. – TaraJean Vitale, NJ Discover

 

 

NJ Discover TV Hosts Frank DiCopoulos & TaraJean Vitale were on the scene at K. Hovnanian’s Children’s Hospital at Jersey Shore University Medical Center.

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