Plumbers for Puerto Rico

It’s almost Thanksgiving, so it’s a great time to think about giving back. A reader reached out to me about this event he’s putting together and I think it sounds great. Puerto Rico is struggling hard to come back after the hurricane, and this event is designed to help the people there. It’s in a couple of weeks but time goes fast during the holidays, so definitely add this to your schedule!


Jersey City, NJ: Plumber Jersey City is organizing a fundraising event to help the victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.  The event, entitled “Plumbers for Puerto Rico” will feature a live DJ, food and refreshments, a networking hour, and raffles.  All proceeds will be donated to the American Red Cross.

In hopes of bringing the Jersey City business community together to benefit those in need, Plumber Jersey City had decided to sponsor the event listed below.  More than just plumbers, we are hoping for all citizens and businesses of Jersey City to attend, contribute, and enjoy themselves all at once!

The event will take place on Thursday December 14th, 2017, 2:00PM-5:00PM at 250 Academy St., Jersey City, NJ.  For more information you can e-mail, or visit

About Plumber Jersey City: Founded in 1986, Plumber Jersey City has been serving the plumbing needs of New Jersey and New York for over 30 years.  “Plumbers for Puerto Rico” is a fundraising event started in 2017 to help the hurricane victims in Puerto Rico.

Horrors on Clarke! Haunted house display on the West Side

A young admirer at Horrors on Clarke

People on the West Side love to decorate their homes for Halloween and Christmas (and any other holiday that has any sort of decoration – including Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day!), but a family on Clarke Ave takes it to a whole new level.

For the past 17 years, they’ve been decorating the entire front of their home (the yard, the front of their house, the tree in the yard) with motorized, light-up, human-sized figures and projections. The display is really turned on from 6:30pm-10:30pm once it gets dark; I arrived earlier because my nighttime photography skills aren’t so great. But this will give you a sense of it. It’s really worth checking out:




The house is located on Clarke Ave between West Side and Mallory. Find them on Facebook as Horrors on Clarke.

More Ward B election resources

If you’re still undecided about who to vote for in the Ward B Council race, here are some more resources for you:

More to come! These candidates are working very, very hard for your vote. There’s lots of opportunities to get to know them.

JCAST in McGinley Square

Today was the second day of JCAST – the JC Artists’ Studio Tour. Several places in McGinley Square participated. Here’s a quick roundup of the ones I went to. Note that some of the shows continue on past the weekend, through the end of the month.

St. Paul’s Church: Loving Arms: Artists Explore Gun Culture (Sept 30 – Oct 26; more info

This is a sprawling group show in one of the small buildings of St. Pauls on Duncan Ave. It’s a mix of painting, drawinIMG_9128g, and mixed media works, with a few large installation/sculptures. One of the latter sculptures is pictured here, called Where have all the tissues gone? Homicides in Hudson County by Beth Bently, which wall text described as a “three-dimensional bar graph to memorialize those who were victims of homicide in Hudson County from 2015 to the present” with each tissue box on the totem representing a victim.

The show is a mix, with not all pieces necessarily being “anti-gun” or “activist art.” Painter Caroline Parks had a triptych of gouache on wood paintings of children’s toy guns that I especially liked (but was unable to get a good pic of).

I was impressed by the level of ambition that the curators had in this show. With well over a dozen artists and upcoming related performances in the mix, pulling this off and making it look as good as they did was no small feat. The space at St. Paul’s is not, by any means, a polished gallery space – it’s a multi-use, funky church space, after all (I’ve never been in this space before, but the entire feel of it reminded me a bit of Judson Church in the West Village, which has served as an incubator to the arts since the 1960s). But there was something very touching about this exhibition that felt very authentic to the environment and the surrounding community. I really hope they continue to put on more shows.

CremaJC: Lorenzo Irico (corner of Duncan and Bergen)


The space that used to be Harry Street Coffee and is slated to open as ice cream parlor CremaJC  has a show of Lorenzo Iricos work. This is a pop-up, temporary space and I’m not sure how long the show will remain up – information about the show was scarce. The work was very pop-surrealist influenced, and well painted.

It was a really nice use of the space and it was good to see a solo show professionally displayed. I enjoyed the strangely ornate frames around some of the pieces in particular. There was an unfinished piece on display that I assume the artist was working on when he was  there, and it was helpful to see his work in process.

Clara Arts: Sisao Nabru: Tranquility in Retrograde; Patrick Eugene, Julian Rapp, Josana Blue; 709 Bergen Ave. (Sept 16 – Oct 21; open weekends 12-6 and weekdays by appointment)

IMG_9135McGinley Square has its own fully-dedicated, storefront art gallery now. The architecture of McGinley Square makes Clara Arts look more like an old-school Upper East Side gallery than anything in Chelsea (which in my book is a really good thing) – modest-sized and with a low ceiling, nicely lit. This three person show was all painting; mostly expressionistic abstractions, with influences ranging from Antoni Tapies to Matisse to Guston at mid-career.

The press release poses the question, Facing the demands  of modern day hyper-productivity, what does the urban oasis look like now that we’re more likely to stumble upon a fully packed subway car than an idyllic hillside? I’m not sure the exhibition quite answers that, but the it does highlight the work of these three painters and their well-executed paintings which are immersed in a dialogue of historical abstraction.


JC West Side Chili Cook Off winners!

It was rainy and gross last week (so we had to move to the Gallo Center), but the cook off went on and we had over 200 people in attendance. Here’s some pics and list of the winners below:


The winners:

Judges’ Choice: Culver Ave Cajun Chili

People’s Choice: Plumber’s Dutch Oven Chilltown Chili

Thanks for all who came out!

JC West Side Chili Cook Off – update

In case you’re googling to find out info:

The JC West Side Chili Cook Off is ON – Sunday, Oct 8th at noon – 2pm, RAIN OR SHINE!!!

If it’s not raining, it will be outdoors, near the playground that is close to West Side Ave. If it is raining, it will be in the Gallo Center (right behind that playground).

Can’t wait to see you and bring your appetite! Don’t eat breakfast! 🙂