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Japan Visits Marlboro, NJ (Video) Japan Visits Marlboro, NJ (Video)(0)

Japan visits Marlboro, NJ

Malboro Mayor Jonathan Hornik and Mayor of Nanto City Japan Mikio Tanaka shared their enthusiasm and commitment to a tremendous program that has developed into a friendship and bond between 2 cities going back to the 1990’s.
The Marlboro-Nanto Youth Exchange Program gives Japanese and American students an opportunity to experience and appreciate their different cultures.

Students travel from Japan to spend time with host families living in Marlboro. For one week they enjoy typical daily activities in New Jersey and some sight-seeing in New York and Philadelphia.

 This non for profit organization is funded entirely by community donations. For more information go to

102nd Birthday Party for Emily Cook, Middletown,NJ with Calvin Schwartz 102nd Birthday Party for Emily Cook, Middletown,NJ with Calvin Schwartz(0)

A week ago I discovered, with the help of Virginia Amend from Amend Publishing, that a 102nd birthday party was being held for Emily Cook at Regal Pointe in Middletown. So I got myself invited and was thrilled. Notwithstanding that I frequently write about living to 150 years, but when I found out that a neighbor just down a Jersey road was celebrating such a wondrous occasion and was already 2/3 of the way to my personal goal, I couldn’t wait. As they say it was worth the wait.

Regal Pointe is a rather unique retirement concept where seniors rent apartments on a very affordable monthly basis. Services are provided with meals, housekeeping and social events. The executive director took me on a tour (as a journalist); the remodeled building was a bright, clean upbeat environment. The more I learned about their facility and residents, with many in their mid to upper nineties, and of course Emily at 102, I began to wonder if this unique way of senior living doesn’t somehow translate to longevity.

Now to Emily. She was charming, ebullient, impeccably dressed with a smile that radiated clear across the great room where many of her friends had gathered to sing happy birthday. I noticed her the minute I walked in. After introductions, I asked if we could take some still photos and when Eric, NJ Discover’s cameraman said we needed to move into favorable light, Emily jumped-up and changed seats. As we were about to pose, she asked, “Would you like me to sit on your lap?” Her comment actually sailed over my head for a few moments. When the TV camera rolled, we talked about President Herbert Hoover and the Depression and how hard it was living in those days. She had several factory jobs throughout her life and retired at 62. Shoulders shrugged and her smile lingered; I told her about my goal of living to 150. “I have a lot of fun here. Bingo. My nieces visit. I love knitting. 150? I don’t think so.” Meanwhile she looked thirty years younger. A little button said “Another year younger.” We talked on and discovered commonality; we were both born in Newark. Her nieces arrived. She couldn’t wait to tell them a TV crew was filming her party. I couldn’t wait to ask her if I could come to the 103rd party. So I will. – Calvin Schwartz

Hot Sand, in Asbury Park, NJ , Tips on Glass Blowing Hot Sand, in Asbury Park, NJ , Tips on Glass Blowing(0)

Reporter Stephan Chin takes a trip to Hot Sand, in Asbury Park, NJ to get some tips on glass blowing. Produced and edited by Karen Heyson

The Art of The Protest Song Occupies Asbury Park, NJ The Art of The Protest Song Occupies Asbury Park, NJ(0)

‎”I’d travel the world over(mostly stateside). Jump on a balloon and circumnavigate. Look down from high(up). Anything to get back to future. I wondrously did that last night(Fri Jan 20th). on Cookman Ave. 629 Gallery(Patrick Schiavino) for The Art of The Protest Song Occupies Asbury Park to hear amazing singers: Arlan Feiles, Joe Rapolla, William L. Valenti and Frank Lombardi in concert telling the story in words and music of protest songs. Right up my alley coming out of the sixties. How would I define a’ swig of nirvana’: the attached pix. Their singing “This land is your land” at finale. Amazing music. Amazing art. It facilitated my cerebral drifting under the nearby boardwalk and to an occupied park in NYC. Drifting means finding a dreamy state(e=mc2). I did. I’m content on a snowy Saturday” Cal Schwartz(Facebook) for NJ Discover

‘Nothing For Christmas’ ‘Nothing For Christmas’(0)

NJ Discover TV covered the world premiere of ‘Nothing For Christmas’ on December 1st in Red Bank by interviewing the director/writer Sean Guess, movie actors and singer Danny White who performed a song for the movie. It was a stirring, emotional and surprisingly well-acted movie along the lines of ‘It’s A Wonderful Life.’

During tough economic times, when working class families struggle during the holiday season, the Perry family struggle more than most. Jerry Perry’s hardware sales job has been phased out and he is facing eviction from his home. His daughter Betsy, who had vandalized neighbors Christmas decorations, now seeks guidance from a Rabbi to help her change her hatred of the holidays. His hope is to show his friends the true meaning of the holidays and make them realize sometimes, nothing is all you need.

“The Light in Darkness” – Bruce Springsteen a Freehold Icon “The Light in Darkness” – Bruce Springsteen a Freehold Icon(0)

BOOK REVIEW: ‘The Light in Darkness” by Lawrence Kirsch

An NJ Discover(y):   A Freehold friend writes about a Freehold icon: Bruce Springsteen

Calvin Schwartz



Six weeks and three days ago I was contacted by Lawrence Kirsch, author and publisher of boutique books (especially about Bruce Springsteen).  Would I like to review ‘The Light In Darkness,’ his latest work, about Bruce Springsteen’s 1978 fourth album, ‘Darkness on the Edge of Town’ and the tour as vividly articulated by Springsteen fans?  Of course, being one of those fans, I said how fast can I get the book and how high do I jump. My jumping was not high enough; this was a perfect pictorial (200 pictures) and word journey that took me soulfully back to 1978-1979. The pictures magically carpeted me into that world of Springsteen’s 1978 tour (with some of his most famous smaller venue shows, like Agora in Cleveland and the Capitol Theatre right here in Passaic) making me feel as if I was slipping through that elusive Freehold rabbit hole through a looking glass in coming to understand the darkness and anger behind the album. I studied the pictures. Bruce is from Freehold. I’m the next town over. Maybe I’d recognize a fellow Jerseyan in the pictures.  Because of the book, I’ve been listening to ‘Prove It All Night’ all week.

It was a perfect journey back to the future. Kirsch did amazing work analyzing themes of the album, which for me meant the opportunity for that special understanding and grasp into an American icon’s early days. Timing is everything as Bruce Springsteen just announced his 2012 tour. I’m not in the habit of tiptoeing through endorsements; however if you’ve got any proclivities and affinities for Bruce Springsteen and dreams and memories or verbal historic incisions, then you should order this limited edition book which is only available on line at

This makes a special holiday or any occasion gift!  Confession proudly revealed:  I always hope to bump into Bruce. The book is a taste; someday over a Freehold, New Jersey rainbow.  Thanks Lawrence Kirsch.

Pictures courtesy of   ©


Linda Chorney is Nominated for Grammy in Best Americana Album Linda Chorney is Nominated for Grammy in Best Americana Album(0)

LINDA CHORNEY: My Exclusive Afternoon Interview with an Amazing Grammy Nominated Singer from Monmouth County NJ

 By Calvin Barry Schwartz


On the cover of her latest double album, “Emotional Jukebox,” which has just been Grammy nominated for Americana Album of Year, Linda Chorney is pictured holding several one-word signs, describing herself as “cocky, feisty, silly, fearless, elated” and “anxious” to name a few. She is all of the above, as discovered on a recent rainy late October 2011 afternoon with bagels and cups of green tea adorning her kitchen table.


Thoughts and emotions swirl around Chorney; songs alone can’t suffice, so she has a blog. Chorney enthusiastically describes her blog video featuring astrophysicist Dr. Neil Degrasse Tyson, head of the Hayden Planetarium and the “killer” of planet Pluto. “We met at a party and I decided to interview him on a more human level with a different angle,” she recalls.  Her blogs, like her music, speak a rugged, unbridled Massachusetts-bred individuality. Fascination with science stems from her MIT- PhD father. “If I wasn’t so into music growing up, I might’ve become a scientist,” she muses, adding that her parents supported her music.


Making “Emotional Jukebox” was unlike any past album she made (she made six). “Recording in a studio is like being in taxi looking at the meter. But for this album, I had the biggest budget I ever had.”  Thanks to a chance meeting. Back in 2003 when she was doing a show inAspen, an eccentric man approached her, asking if he could send something through the mail. “I gave him a PO Box because I didn’t know what was up.” A few weeks later a wireless guitar and vocal mic arrived.  Turned out that the man was Dr. Jonathan Schneider, aka “The Rock Doc,” who became a life-long friend, supporter, backer and Chorney’s “long lost goofy brother.” In 2010, Dr. Schneider, who minors in music, told theJerseyShoresongwriter:  “I want you to make the album you’ve never been able to make before.” She asserts, “He was instrumental in overseeing this passion project and is one of the most generous kindest people I’ve ever met.”


Chorney’s impressive cast on Emotional Jukebox includes Will Lee (Letterman’s CBS orchestra), Shawn Pelton (Saturday Night Live), Leon Pendarvis (Saturday Night Live music director), Jeff Pevar, and Lisa Fischer (back up vocalist with Rolling Stones since 1987) to name a few.


“I’ve done six albums and this was the first time I actually did some cover songs from my heroes —  Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Crosby Stills Nash and the Stones.” Her face explodes in animation. “And I had Lisa from the Stones sing on ‘Mothers Little Helper!’  Mick Jagger sang that when he was 25. To have it come from the woman who actually is feeling that drag of getting old (me) brings a whole new perspective.”


Chorney also wanted to showcase favoriteJerseymusicians on the album; not only is Lisa Fischer local but also Andy Burton, Hernan Romero, Ralph Notaro, Arlan Feiles, Gladys Bryant, Tony Pallagrosi, Mary McCrink, and Richie Blackwell (of the original E Street Band). Local photographer Danny Sanchez shot the cover.


Chorney’s in complete control of every aspect of her music. She did everything for the album — spending a whopping 2000 hours editing with 100 tracks of different instruments; 10 to 20 takes for most tracks of every song, sometimes more. She also fulfilled a long-held dream by writing her first symphony “Mother Nature Symphony” with acclaim from classical Grammy members.  “You’re about to ask me what I listen to,” she jumps immediately, “Classic Rock and Classical.” She exaggerates the last syllable.


On “Emotional Jukebox,” her song “Cherries” is a favorite of many. “When you listen, you take a personal journey through your own life,” she offers.  “When I see people cry from that song I think it’s cool! It’s better than a record deal when people say my music has changed their lives.”  It is “Cherries” that is competing for song of the year. After pensive moments and an empty tea cup, she says, “If you’re not with a major label, you can only get so many Grammy votes and I know it’s a long shot.” She sits up in her chair and talks about how “Indies” support each other: “We have our own ‘Indie’ mob to compete withNashville,LAand NY.” Chorney wants just one Grammy on her mantle.


During the interview it is hard not to notice yet another unique artistic element surrounding the kitchen. Linda designs and makes her own mosaics for backsplashes and anywhere in the home “by appointment.”  Discover the emotional multi-talented jukebox that is Linda Chorney by picking up a copy of her album, getting a mosaic or reading her electrifying blog. Three remaining bagels went home with this interviewer.


Read Linda’s blog at:







Marlboro State Psychiatric Hospital Final Visit Marlboro State Psychiatric Hospital Final Visit(7)

Marlboro State Psychiatric Hospital  Soon to be demolished! 

Marlboro Psychiatric Hospitalwas a hospital operated by the State of New Jersey.  It first opened in early 1931 on a campus of over 450 acres.   Although the hospital was expected to hold a capacity of up to 2000 residents the average in attendance barely reached 780 adults per day with a staff of 1,157 employees and a total budget of $55.5 million in 1995.

The hospital was composed of 17 cottage-style dormitories holding 55 patients each. In addition to the central building, there were more than 20 buildings used for a cafeteria, security station, firehouse and morgue. 

Marlboro Psychiatric Hospital had a history of problems ranging from food poisoning to missing patients. There were reports of deaths due to vitamin deficiencies, blood clots from retraints to choking to death on a peanut butter sandwich.]

 The hospital closed in 1998 following a 1993 undercover investigation that uncovered patient abuse, wasteful spending and other illegal practices at the hospital.

In November 2011, NJ State officials announced that the Marlboro Psychiatric Hospital will be demolished to prepare for an open space community park for Monmouth County residents. The project is slated for completion in 2013.

 Watch the Video & Leave a Comment.


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