Sunday, April 24, 2016

An Abundant Life - What Dreams Are Made On

One day a few years ago I took a long walk on what turned out to be a wild goose chase. I had been invited to a meeting for youth community service providers in an area I was unfamiliar with. I wandered over hill and dale and after getting lost a few times on the sometimes mystifying streets of Jersey City, I found the address I was looking for but it was a boarded up building. There was a church and school adjacent to it, so I asked inside in hopes they'd know something about the meeting, but although they tried their best to contact people they knew who might know what direction or where I needed to go, we finally had to give up and call it a day. I had been trying to call the person who invited me, and when she finally returned my call and apologized for giving me the wrong address, I was already on the way back home.

I love to explore new neighborhoods, so I decided to take a different route and wander where the Spirit led me, and as I turned onto a block I hadn't ever seen before, I found myself in front of a thrift store. C.A.U.S.E. is not only a wonderful place to shop for hidden treasures of all kinds - next door to the thrift store there is a food pantry and kitchen that serves the community, and the organization has other supportive services available. They are open Monday through Friday from 10:00am - 2:30pm, and the staff and volunteers are always helpful, welcoming and friendly. Monica is the person to see if you have questions or want to drop off donations - she's absolutely lovely and makes this store seem like a place you can call home.

C.A.U.S.E. Thrift Shop
741 Bergen Avenue
Jersey City, NJ
(201) 376-9876
Monday-Friday 10:00am-2:30pm

Wedding Dreams

It's Bridal Season, and last week I had the lovely opportunity to attend With This Ring, a wedding showcase event at Punto Space. I used to do a lot of public relations and marketing and events planning, and I have to applaud Punto Space for the wonderful, gorgeous and delicious time I had that evening. It's not easy to put together such a terrific event, and Punto Space made it look effortless. I know how much effort they had to put in make things so absolutely flawless, and my hat goes off to them. It was a truly divine time, and I had the opportunity to meet the mother of one of the models, a delightful and lovely person whose daughter is a dream. Christie Cole is not only lovely, she's a beautiful dancer and beautiful person and she is someone to watch. The entire evening was a dream made in heaven. Thank you Punto Space and all the vendors for such a memorable and lovely time!

Punto Space
325 West 38th Street
New York, NY
(917) 563-2303

Christie Cole - A Princess Ascending

Morning Coffee

After I drifted home in a cloud of tulle and taffeta dreams, I discovered that Harry Street Coffee was having their ribbon cutting ceremony the next morning. I've written about Harry Street Coffee and the remarkable owner Ed Ramirez before - he is such a community powerhouse that it's hard to keep up with him so I was very happy I saw the post for this celebration and could be there. Among other artists and local luminaries and community residents I had the opportunity to meet Mayor Steven Fulop. We are so blessed to have such a great Mayor in Jersey City - everyone talks about how much he does and how wonderful he is, and it shows in everything he does how committed he is to community life. He said such beautiful things about the community and Ed, and although I know they're all true because I love Jersey City and Ed, the fact that with everything else on his schedule the Mayor would take the time for ceremonies like this and to speak with someone like me is amazing. A man of his word is hard to find any day, and to spend time at Harry Street Coffee with someone like Ed Ramirez is always a special blessing. To have the Mayor visit was a double portion.

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at Harry Street Coffee
With Honored Guest Mayor Steven Fulop
695 Bergen Avenue
Jersey City, NJ


Jannie Susan

Sunday, April 17, 2016

An Abundant Life - Sweet And Savory

Chocolate Dreams

When I was growing up, I used to love to go to chocolate stores and buy home made chocolates by the pound. I'd pick out a box of chocolates and ask them to wrap it as a present - it was a present for me and it always felt so special to eat chocolates that way. I had the opportunity to try many different places, and even went to Belgium on a trip with my high school orchestra where I was able to buy Godiva chocolates at a ridiculously inexpensive price. But when I walked by Lepore's Home Made Chocolates for the first time and decided to walk in, I found a place on this side of the Hudson River that would satisfy my heart's desire for giving myself a gift for my sweet tooth. In business for 38 years, Lepore's is family owned and operated by the friendliest and nicest people you could meet. They're happy to help everyone who walks in, greeting friends and new customers with the same helpful smiles. A welcoming and delightful place, Lepore's is a treat not to be missed.

Lepore's Home Made Chocolates
105 Fourth Street
Just Off Of Washington Street
Hoboken, NJ
(201) 659-4783

Mario Lepore
With A Smile Even Sweeter Than The Chocolate

Food For The Soul

I'm a foodie at heart, and I love to cook and prepare gourmet meals for myself and my friends, and when I first moved to New York I was so excited to discover what a food lover's mecca it is. But over the years the places where I loved to shop have either closed or moved or are in neighborhoods where I don't get to as much any more. I had gone into Aspen Marketplace several times over the years when I was looking for specialty items, but I didn't know all of the wonderful things they had until last weekend when I was blessed above and beyond my wildest foodie dreams during their anniversary celebration. Vendors were all over the store, sharing treats and tastes of their sublime offerings, and after tasting the divine raw milk cheeses from Brent The Cheese Guy of, I saw G. Jacqueline Waddy with her oh so glamorous serving station of pate from Les Trois Petits Cochons, one of my favorite foodie delights. She had everything so beautifully arranged, with mustard and whole wheat and white crackers and cornichons, and when I started talking to her about my love of pate and how it was something I had not been able to find a good selection of locally, she showed me the full selection available in-store. I bought several kinds that day, and had lunches fit for a queen all week. The quality of the selections of every kind of food for every taste at Aspen Marketplace is of the highest, but their prices won't break your budget. Stop by when you're looking for something special or when you just want to treat yourself to a specialty.

Apen Marketplace
226-228 Washington Street
Hoboken, NJ 07030
(201) 659-0355

Every Cheese Your Heart Could Desire

My Selection Of Pate From Les Trois Petits Cochons

Complete With Fresh Flowers To Brighten Your Day

Eye Candy

Last night I had the privilege of celebrating the one year anniversary of the opening of Rolando Iglesias' fabulous Hoboken store Modern Retro Finds. I've written about Rolando before and will again because he is always on the top of my list of wonderful people with wonderful creative eyes and hearts and minds. It always feels like a celebration when I visit with Rolando, and last night was a special night because so many of his friends and family were able to come together to ring in a new year of fabulous design. There's no doubt about it that Rolando is going places that the rest of us can only dream about - catch him while you can because his star is on the rise.

Modern Retro Finds
One Year Anniversary Celebration
91 Park Avenue
Hoboken, NJ
(201) 459-0333


Jannie Susan