Sunday, May 29, 2016

An Abundant Life - Memorial Day

I'm writing this much later in the day than I usually do. I felt this morning as if I needed to take some time to think about what it was that God wanted me to say, and to wait until tonight to write. It's a holiday weekend, Memorial Day in the United States, and somehow although it's a time that has been designated to remember and honor those who have served in the armed forces, it's become a holiday weekend about barbecues and the beach and going shopping. I love all of those things, and I was looking forward to good food and good sales and some long walks in the lovely weather, but I also was thinking about what the holiday really is meant for and wondering how it is that for many people it doesn't seem to mean that any more.

My father and my uncles served in the Navy in World War II. At that time, every man of a certain age went to war. There wasn't a question about it - they just went. I'm not saying that it's good or bad or that it's right or wrong to have wars, but it's a fact that at one time, in every family with sons, those sons went to war. Since the time of my father and my uncles, women have begun going to war as well, and with a history like that in our not so distant past and continuing on into our present, it seems that everyone would have someone to reflect on and remember, but somehow that's gotten pushed aside in favor of other holiday weekend pursuits.

It's a difficult thing to think about wars. I am someone who pursues peace in my daily life, and I can't imagine being involved in a war. But since the beginning of time there have been battles fought and won and lost, and although I'd rather not think about the violence and bloodshed, they are a reality of the life we live. As I thought today about Memorial Day and my family members who had seen and experienced life in war, my thoughts turned to Christ and the battle He fought and won on the Cross, a battle none of us will ever know the cost of although we were the treasure He was fighting for.

When I was first born again, I met a wonderful graffiti artist at the first church that I attended. I won't tell you his story here - he tells it much better than I can and it is his story to tell. But I will say that he started out on the streets early in life, and has lived through a lot of battles. His early tag was Spain, but then something deep and profound changed in his life because of his encounter with God, and now he is known as Jesus Saves. His tags have been everywhere - around the country and around the world - he's been in videos and he's been painted while he paints, and his tag shows up on newscasts, ads, and in the hottest music videos. I joke with him that I probably saw his tag the year that I was born again, because that was a time of when he was tagging everywhere he could. No matter what battles we are fighting, or whether we believe in war or not, the battle Jesus fought and won is the one we can always rely on. Because He won that battle on the Cross, I'm alive today. Jesus Saves, and I know it first hand, because I know that He saved me.

Jesus Saves
T-Shirts * Stickers * Pins * Canvases
Instagram @jesussaves_nyc
Canvas Bag 2006 - Gift Of The Artist

Paired Here With A Work By Duro

Jesus Saves In Astor Place With Keith Haring's Sculpture "Self Portrait"


Jannie Susan

Sunday, May 22, 2016

An Abundant Life - For Our Children's Children's Children

Everyone is special to God, no matter what their age or background. Because of the scriptural messages about children in particular, people sometimes say there is a special place in God's heart for children. But we are all God's children, large or small, old or young, and so we can see in each of those scriptural references an encouragement to each of us to be like children and to take care of others who need care, no matter their age, with the care and love and support that we would give to a child. After I was born again, the first place I was called was to work with a community meal program that served the most in need - people who were living on the streets or in shelters or other less than optimum housing, many of whom had addictions and physical and emotional and psychological challenges. When I first saw the dingy environment and the unhealthy food and unhappy faces of the volunteers serving, the words that God spoke to me at that time were, "Only the best for my children." In the years before that time I had developed relationships with so many purveyors of fine foods, and I also had my own business in public relations and marketing and events planning, and so it was natural for me to start going to stores and restaurants and talking to organizations about donating products and other kinds of supportive services. The next place God sent me to was a youth program in the heart of the lower east side's Alphabet City, and with the same mandate for quality I began discussions with individuals and agencies in an effort to bring programming and education in the arts. In a very short time God had opened doors for both programs to access healthy food, and the youth had access to programs in the arts, culture, sailing, golf, math and science, and were able to start a community garden. It was from those beginnings that I came to the work that I do in youth and community development, and to teaching nutrition and health to youth and adults, and I have never forgotten the words that are engraved on my heart that for God's children of any age, only the best will do.

This past week, two lovely people I know who are always treating me to the best things in life, David Bistany and Rolando Iglesias, invited me to Sabor de HoLa 2016, a fund raising event in support of the Hoboken dual language charter school, HoLa. An annual event, it is a highlight of Hoboken business, art, culture and delicious food, and as the invited guest of one of the sponsors, I had the opportunity to enjoy myself to the fullest. And full I was - there was so much good food and so much good cheer that I am still riding on the wave of it. The organizers of the event did a magnificent job - as someone who was involved in events planning for years, I know how much work they put in to make it seem like so much effortless fun. It was held in one of my favorite restaurants, Battello, on the waterfront in Newport Yacht Club and Marina, and from my vantage point it was the smoothest of sailing. The views were spectacular, the food divine, the company uplifting, and the cause a great one. What a lovely way to support the education of children and to be treated to the treats of adulthood that help us all to feel cared for and loved.

Sabor De HoLa 2016
At Battello
502 Washington Boulevard
Jersey City, NJ
(201) 798-1798
For A Complete List Of Sponsors And Restaurants

Amazing Food

Amazing Sponsors

An Amazing View

David Bistany and Rolando Iglesias With Council Member Michael DeFusco

Two Princes For Escorts - David Bistany and Rolando Iglesias

Being The Difference

Last fall I met a beautiful young woman who walks the beautiful talk she talks. Not only is she an encourager to everyone she meets, she has designed a line of clothing that keeps on giving her beautiful messages to the world. Be The Difference, LLC is a game changer - check out her designs online and get on her mailing list to visit her locally. The designs she creates are meaningful, beautiful and astonishing, and she works with artists and individuals to create custom made and unique pieces for any and every encouraging and inspirational need.

Be The Difference, LLC

A Percentage Of Proceeds Donated To
Congenital Heart Disease Foundation Hayden's Heart

Styles For Adults, Children, And Babies

Two Customers So Happy They Have Become Spokespeople

Spring Fling

Yesterday may have been cold and gray and rainy, but there was sunshine as always at AaRaa. One of my favorite destinations for shopping and fun, there was a special event to welcome spring and to give a preview of their newly designed interior. Beautifully styled by Tiffany Pinero, it reminds me of places I have loved in years past in New York City's SoHo, the East and West Village, and even longer ago in Boston and nearby Cambridge and Central Square. Always an exquisite boutique, it has the additional feel of a gallery now, airy and light with gold and silver accents and cases to display some of the glittering pieces at their finest.

Spring Fling At AaRaa
408 6th Street
Hoboken, NJ
(201) 386-0101

Luxurious Vegan Bags For Raffle Prizes

Pink Champagne And Cherries

Strawberries And Blueberries And Sixth Street Antiques

Fine Gems On Display

Opening The Door To Limitless Possibilities


Jannie Susan

Sunday, May 15, 2016

An Abundant Life - The Artists Have It

One of my favorite places in Hoboken has taken to the streets and the owner is reinventing and creating up a perfect storm of design. Sedona Hand Gallery has been evolving over the past few months into Daisy's Wearable Art, and if you ever visited Daisy at Sedona, you'll know that if she's creating you want to be a part of it. I had written about Sedona Hand Gallery last fall because from the first time I walked in the door I knew that I had found a special place. But someone like Daisy is so full of creative energy that four walls can't contain her, and now you can find her in fine weather on First Street between Park and Willow on some week day afternoons and on Saturdays. She's also hosting jewelry parties in select locations. Email her at to get on her mailing list or to find her at her sidewalk boutique. Her tagline says it all: "Artful finds for creative women - All women are creative express yourself"

Daisy's Wearable Art
Unique Women's Apparel & Accessories

From One To Another

While I was visiting with Daisy, Ricardo Roig of Roig Gallery stopped by to say hello. I had been wanting to meet him because Katie Duffy McGeehin, one of the artists I know from Ho'bart Cooperative Gallery, had sent out an announcement through Instagram that she was in a show there. I wasn't able to attend the opening, and every time I walked by I was on my way somewhere else and couldn't stop in. When Ricardo stopped by to say hello to Daisy, it seemed a perfect opportunity to ask if he had time to talk. I was on my way to Modern Retro Finds, another favorite store that is right around the corner, but Ricardo said the gallery was open until 9pm, and so after I finished talking to Daisy and took my trip to Modern Retro Finds, I stopped by Roig Gallery to finally meet Ricardo. I'm so glad that I took the time, and you will be too - he's really an amazing creative force - a wonderful artist who helps support other artists by hosting shows and sharing information about the shows and studio spaces they have in the area. I love to connect people, and I think I met my match in Ricardo. When I walked in the door, he was talking to a lovely sculptor and painter, and while I met with him, he gave me so many cards for so many different artists my cup runneth over. The photos I'm sharing here are for the show that closed on Saturday, but you can always find Ricardo's wonderful work there, and he can connect you to your heart's content to everyone who is anyone in the area who is creating wonderful art.

Ricardo Roig At Roig Gallery
Original Fine Art
252 First Street
Hoboken, NJ

Sculptures By Katie Duffy McGeehin

To Another And Another

Last year I had walked into a delightful jewelry sample sale on my way home one day, and a few days ago when I received the invitation to the Partners In Crime Jewelry and Accessories Sample Sale, I was pleasantly surprised to realize that the lovely women I had met last year had remembered me. I stopped by on a day when it had gotten so rainy and colder again that if I didn't have such a lovely destination to go to, I would have decided to stay indoors. But going out in the rain was worth it, and the new Bullet Necklace Collection is all that and more. Partners In Crime are two awesome women you want to get to know - their vision and style is enchanting. And in the space where they were holding their Trunk Show, I saw one of Ricardo Roig's numbered prints, connecting all the dots from my seemingly chance meetings, and confirming I was in the right place at the right time.

Partners In Crime

A Ricardo Roig Print Lighting The Way


Jannie Susan