Thursday, August 29, 2013

'Full Moon Fashion Show' on LBI promotes local surf and skate apparel companies

The Sea Shell Resort and Beach Club in Beach Haven celebrated its final Full Moon Party of the summer last Friday, Aug. 23 with the customary mayhem. Mechanical bull rides, balloon animals made by a wacky stilts walker, eccentric palm readings and whimsical face paintings were part of the usual repertoire. Party-goers indulged in the festivities, dancing around the inside bar, while Staten Island cover band Man Down played unique renditions of mash-ups, including songs from “Grease” to “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”
Photo by Ryan Morrill
Jetty models work it for the audience
hanging out on the back patio.
In the mix of good, old-fashioned pandemonium, local surf and skate apparel company Jetty touted its new fall clothing line alongside Farias Surf and Sport, showing off the hottest Insight bikinis, during the annual Full Moon Fashion Show. More than 35 local male and female models, all 21 and older, casually strutted around The Sea Shell’s inground pool, located just yards from the beach on the outdoor patio, while onlookers let loose. Local resident Tommy Law, a Lost and OluKai representative, emceed the event.
“It’s an outlet to show our new line in a really fun, exciting, energetic atmosphere,” said Danielle Corso, Jetty’s social media, marketing and events coordinator. “It’s really laid back in an Island-vibe kind of way so we can have fun with our clothes and our models and with Farias. It’s almost two shows in one,” she added.
Tent sale items left over from Jetty’s prior clothing lines also gave the evening’s event-goers a chance to purchase “throwback designs” for a deeply discounted rate. “Unite and Rebuild” items were available, too.
Before the show, the models hung around the outside tiki bar, sipping on complimentary wine and getting ready for their big entrance.
Photo by Ryan Morrill
Man Down keeps the crowd
dancing inside the club.
Victoria Rudden, 23, of Barnegat Light, who sported a neon yellow, pineapple-printed two-piece, which she said she got to choose because she is a fashion show veteran, caught some rays earlier in the day and had her hair done at Tiffany’s Salon and Spa in Surf City. This year’s fashion show marked her third time as a model participant.
“It’s really fun helping out local businesses and representing local clothing companies like Farias and Insight and Jetty. They’re all amazing businesses, and they offer awesome styles,” said Rudden. “It’s an honor to be a part of such a great event. It’s not my first time, and it definitely won’t be my last time.”
The fashion show, which used to be run by Farias at the Black Whale Bar and Fish House in Beach Haven, was originally a fundraiser for Alliance for a Living Ocean. But after a couple of years, the event turned into a promotional affair, explained Janet Brown, a merchandiser at Farias. She said Farias and Jetty contribute to the environmental organization in different ways, such as partnering with it during the Coquina Jam and Clam Jam.
“The people that truly want to donate to ALO aren’t looking for a bikini contest. So it didn’t make sense to continue down that avenue, but it did make sense for us to use the opportunity for promotional work,” said Brown. “It’s been a real team effort with Jetty and The Shell. Tom Hughes (Shell owner) has been generous enough to let us use his space and take advantage of the Full Moon Party,” she added.
Jetty’s fall clothing line, which is set to include garb such as flannels, button-downs and screen-printed T-shirts designed by Jetty’s creative director John Clifford and local artist Joe Hodnicki, as well as hoodies, zip-ups, jackets, khakis and board shorts, will be in stores throughout the Eastern seaboard, including New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Maine, within the next two to three weeks. Farias will be one of Jetty’s main retail outlets.
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Flyboarding makes waves at the Jersey Shore

People lounging on their boats on Barnegat Bay and relaxing in the recreational area at Sunset Park in Harvey Cedars on Saturday, Aug. 24 stopped what they were doing and turned to look at Justin Chiusolo perform tricks on his Flyboard.
Photo by Ryan Morrill
Justin Chiusolo busts out some
of his best moves on the Flyboard.
Surfing, skimboarding, Jet Skiing and windsurfing are all thrilling watersports to try, but anyone looking for something a bit more intense should definitely consider Flyboarding. Although no one has ever actually flown before, Super Fly NJ co-owners Justin and Brittany Chiusolo said the extreme watersport, which propels a person under and above water via a Flyboard made specifically for the sport, is the closest anyone will probably ever get to soaring on water.
“Everybody just flocks to us when we do it. Even the Harvey Cedars police loved it,” said Brittany.
The brother and sister, who grew up spending their summers in Waretown and Harvey Cedars, were first introduced to the sport in February while on vacation in Mexico. They opened their own Flyboarding establishment on Long Beach Island in July.
“As soon as I got my feet out of the boots, I picked up my phone and knew I had to buy it. Flyboarding was going to come to New Jersey whether we did it or someone else did it. So we brought the first one here,” said Justin.
Franky Zapata, owner of Zapata Racing in France, invented the Flyboard in Spring 2011. The Flyboard became a worldwide sensation after the posting of a YouTube video, which acquired more than 2.5 million global views in just two weeks.
Upon returning from Mexico, Justin and Brittany immediately bought a personal watercraft, a Sea Doo Wake Pro 215, which manually thrusts water through an attached 55-foot long hose to propel the Flyboard. In June, Justin flew to Utah to purchase a Flyboard and to participate in a Flyboard certification class, which included an eight-hour training course and 40 hours in the boots.
Photo by Ryan Morrill
Chiusolo soars above the
Barnegat Bay.
“We’ve been kneeboarding, tubing, banana boating, you name it. There’s nothing else like (Flyboarding),” said Brittany. “You have power coming out of your feet, and you’re balancing and using a lot of muscles that you probably never even knew you had. It’s definitely an adrenaline rush. Anyone that’s ever tried it is like, ‘Wow, this is the coolest thing I’ve ever done,’” she added.
Besides being lifted 3 to 5 or more feet into the air above water, Flyboarders can also try out different tricks. The “superman” and “dolphin dive” are some of the most basic techniques. Back flips require a more advanced skill set.
“You can swim like a fish and fly like a bird,” said Justin.
John De Nero, 14, of Harvey Cedars practiced the sport again on Saturday after trying it for the first time a month ago.
“It’s awesome. It’s really easy, and I learned how to balance quickly,” said De Nero, before strapping into the Flyboard.
He said he has been handing out business cards with his friends to help promote Super Fly NJ.
Justin and Brittany’s father, John, 61, said he had also tried the sport, even though he had been through two prior hip replacements.
“I didn’t know if I could do it, but I did and it was amazing. Everyone’s watching, and it feels like you’re walking on water,” said John.
“It’s nice to see a brother and sister starting a business together at the Jersey Shore. I’m so proud of them. The shore was hit pretty bad from Sandy, and they’re helping bring business back,” he added.
All ages are welcome to try the sport with Super Fly NJ, which is insured by Evolution Insurance. Participants are required to watch a demonstrational video and to sign a legal waiver. A helmet and life jacket are provided.
“Even though I’m a girl, I can do it. I can get up there, and I feel confident,” said Brittany. “The more you try it, and the more time you spend on it, the more comfortable you get. But sometimes you see something and you think, ‘Oh, that’s a boy’s sport.’ But everybody can do this. That’s what’s so cool about it.”
Although the pair both hold full-time jobs as an electrician and a nurse, they plan on bringing Flyboarding back to the area, as well as in other locations along the Jersey Shore, next summer.
“We started on LBI because this is our home turf,” said Justin.
Super Fly NJ is available as a seasonal operation for Flyboarding on weekends and by appointment. For more information, visit or call 551-486-0955.

— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Former Manahawkin resident's theater project puts spotlight on democracy

Former Manahawkin resident Kevin Bott’s life journey was a mix of exploration and perseverance as he tried to make his way as an artist. Having grown up directing and performing in Our Gang Players and Surflight Theatre productions, he assumed he would go on to be a big New York City actor. But after graduating from Southern Regional High School in 1991, he quickly dropped out of Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University to receive a bachelor’s degree in Italian.
Photo via Kevin Bott
Bott uses his educational and
artistic journey as focus for his
mayoral run in Syracuse, N.Y.
“I was very unhappy,” said Bott. “I had been acting all through high school, and I was that kid who was very much in the spotlight in leads in the plays, whether it was at Our Gang or high school. I was really burnt out on that by the time I got to college. I didn’t know what the heck I wanted to do because I had not thought about anything else but acting my whole life. So when I dropped out of acting school, I was really lost,” he explained.
Although Italian did not necessarily bring music to his ears, either, Bott wound up directing a play for the Italian undergraduate department. To help keep the department from being annexed completely, he agreed to major in the foreign language, which required him to study abroad for a year in Florence.
“I was so far from having any kind of degree; it was not going to happen. I was already in the first semester of my junior year, and I was so far from having enough credits for anything. So I said, ‘Yeah, deal,” Bott remembered with a laugh. “Then my 10-year odyssey began.”
After graduating from Rutgers, Bott followed a woman he had met in Florence to San Francisco, where he re-enrolled in acting school at the American Conservatory Theater. Again, he lasted one semester.
“I was just exploring, just soaking up experiences. I didn’t know what I was doing at that point. I was trying to figure it out,” said Bott. “I was really miserable. I just thought, ‘This isn’t for me. I don’t know what’s going on.’”
Bott backpacked around India for six months with his girlfriend before he decided to move back to the States and try acting yet again.
“I had this lifelong dream of being an actor, and then that started to really compete with this much broader world view. So every time I would come back to acting, it just seemed more and more meaningless,” he said. “I would get into it, and I would be memorizing scripts, and I’d just sit back and think, ‘What is the point of all this?’ I loved working with people. I loved uplifting people. My strength that I developed was I loved the process of working with people who weren’t trained to be actors and encouraging them to really find and develop their talent. That became so much more satisfying than anything I could do on stage.”
At nearly 30 years old and still waiting tables, Bott said, he spent many days feeling sorry for himself. Then he met his now wife, Aimee Brill, and decided to go back to graduate school at New York University for educational theater. Looking to graduate with something more than “just another useless degree,” he began attending one of his professor’s acting workshops at a medium-security prison in New York City.
Bott became very involved with several different medium- and maximum-security prisons and worked as the educational director at Rehabilitation Through the Arts, a nonprofit organization in New York dedicated to using the creative arts as a tool for social and cognitive transformation behind prison walls.
“I was learning how to use theater to develop original stuff that the men would create,” said Bott. “It was really about helping them express what they were going through and reflect on why they were there and develop their abilities and their talents and allow them to experience what it feels like to have that sense of accomplishment that is rewarding when you create something from yourself.”
Bott graduated from NYU with a Ph.D. in educational theater and a full-time job at Imagining America, a national higher education organization that aims to advance knowledge and creativity through publicly engaged scholarships that draw on humanities, arts and design. As the associate director, this was his first 9-to-5 job.
“That was the beginning of a new chapter,” he said.
Feeling perplexed about sitting behind a desk for eight hours five days a week, as well as feeling politically discouraged, Bott again began to wonder what he was supposed to do next.
He was then inspired to begin the D.R.E.A.M Freedom Revival, which is short for Dr. Rev. Ebenezer Abernathy’s Mellifluously Melodious and Medicative Freedom Revival of Central Greater New York. A political performance art project that gathers people to talk about important issues, the pieces are built on theories on the interrelationships among politics, community and performance art and on historical themes of freedom struggles and tent revivals in that part of the Empire State. The project caught on quickly, and in October 2012, the program was awarded a $10,000 grant from the N.Y. Council for Humanities.
A New Approach To Politics
It was through D.R.E.A.M that Howie Hawkins, co-founder of the Green Party of the United States, who is running for a city council seat in Syracuse, got in touch with Bott. This past July, Hawkins asked him to run for mayor. After much deliberation, Bott agreed. With his goatee and ear piercings, others pressed him to dress more professionally. However, Bott said, he is not going to change his appearance.
“I decided I’m really going to treat this campaign as an art project, and I’m going to try to get people excited about the leadership skills that I bring that are very different from someone who went to law school or someone who’s a business person that’s going to be a politician.
“When I talk about democracy, there’s part of me that’s talking about voting and things like that, but I’m really talking about being invited to share in the conversation and the decision-making process, about all those issues that impact a person’s life. The very process of making theater is a very collaborative, democratic process. My understanding of leadership that I’ve kind of gained through all of this work is that a leader is facilitating a conversation, and that’s what I feel like I’ve learned how to do. In my work, I’m bringing people together and helping them to deliberate together, whether it’s about a creative decision, or how they’re going to play a certain part, or how they’re going to come to a compromise around whatever the point is. Then in the process of all that, they’re coming to deeper and deeper realizations about themselves and each other, which then facilitates the process of solving problems. It’s a very different model of leadership than ‘I’m in charge, and I’m going to make the decisions, and you can either buy into that or not buy into that.’”
Bott’s platform is centered around five main priorities, including leadership and vision, poverty and jobs, education, justice and birth, which he said are all interrelated.
Voting will take place on Nov. 5.
“I don’t have an opinion about whether I’m going to win,” he said. “I’m definitely trying to win, but it’s a very outside-of-the-box kind of campaign that I’m running. My incumbent mayor (Stephanie Miner, Syracuse’s first female mayor and a Democrat) has $350,000, and I think I raised a few hundred today. I’m definitely fighting against a very powerful, entrenched political system that isn’t very kind to third party candidates. We don’t have many third party candidates anywhere in the country. So It’s going to be a tough road, but victory for me is can I use this opportunity to open up the conversation beyond what it is?
“Our city is very poor. We’ve lost a lot of industrial jobs over the last 30 years, and 53 percent of our children are living in poverty in Syracuse. It’s a really intense situation. I think I bring a lot more of a progressive perspective about poverty and job creation than people who are your traditional elected officials who are typically going to support tax breaks for businesses and hope that businesses will build there and it’s going to make us new retail jobs. But that’s not a solution for people who are living in a grinding kind of desperate poverty. We need to address issues in a very different way, I think, and that’s not just for Syracuse, that’s everywhere across the country. So that’s what I’m building my campaign on. I’ve spent my adult life inventing ways for people to come together to solve problems that don’t seem solvable. I’m making the argument that I think that’s the kind of leadership that we need in a world that environmentally, politically, economically and socially is really kind of ripping at the seams. Do we keep electing the same people who helped to create that problem, or do we kind of think that the safe choice might be something else?”
To read more about Bott’s campaign and to donate, visit
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Replicants return to Nardi's stage, where it all began

Photo by Jack Reynolds
The Replicants fuel the dance floor with
the latest feel-good tunes.
The Replicants, a nine-piece cover band whose members hail from all over New Jersey as well as Arkansas and North Carolina, had the Nardi’s crowd letting loose from beginning to end on Friday evening. As more and more party-goers stepped off the bright-pink Nardi’s bus to enter the nightclub, the music – a mix of rock, funk and hip hop with modern dance and house influences – seemed to get louder and the dance moves a bit wilder. People dressed in their best summer evening wear, including slinky summer dresses and good, old-fashioned Hawaiian shirts, were seen dancing to the music underneath the revolving lights with glow sticks in their hands, as others busted out their most laughable moves, which of course included the sprinkler.
Music sets incorporated songs from “Bulletproof” by La Roux and “Treasure” by Bruno Mars to Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run” and Earth, Wind and Fire’s “September.”
“For us, it’s trying to take those songs that you hear every day on the radio driving everywhere because it’s what people in the clubs want to hear, and then changing it up a little bit, adding our own flair, putting horns to it, and just kind of making the tunes our own,” said Frank Scillieri, the band’s saxophonist and one of many vocalists, who helped start the band about three years ago. “It’s a really important method that this band uses to learn music and progress. We’re replicating music,” he added, referring to the band’s name.
Photo by Jack Reynolds
Bill Jarvis lays it down during a trumpet solo.
The group’s other members, all of whom studied music, include Jill Ramme and Shawn Harris on vocals, Bill Jarvis on trumpet, guitarist Henry Heinitsh, D’Arcey Ciccone on bass and vocals, drummer Ray Carega, Will Dougherty on keys and Johnny “Bonez” on percussion, who plays when he can.
The group relished the night where they had played their first shore gig, during the summer of 2011. Performances at The Sea Shell and other local scenes quickly followed.
“We’ve played all over, but for the summertime, we’ve kind of used LBI as a little home base. We love playing here. The people are so friendly,” said Jarvis.
“I like playing down here specifically because most of the people appreciate the groove. They just feel it,” added Carega.
The group was especially thankful to be helping the area return to normal after Superstorm Sandy.
“It was really cool to get the phone call from these clubs right after the storm had happened and get involved in being down here playing as these businesses were trying to reopen and grow,” said Scillieri. “The fact that we’re even here this summer at all is amazing to me. It’s awesome to see how people will work together from all facets from business to music to everything else to help each other out and to make things happen.”
“This is a legitimate live music community, and live music is a way that you can really touch people on a personal level as a performer. We really get the opportunity to do that at a place like this,” added Heinitsh.
Though all of the band members have second jobs, they tend to think of their music as another full-time occupation, putting just as much effort and time into playing as they do anything else, from carpentry to teaching.
“It’s cool to be playing with the same people all the time. A lot of us play gigs where we’ll get called in for something on a Friday night, and it’s a bunch of people that we don’t know or never met; you kind of have to feel them out while you’re playing in front of people,” said Carega. “We’re lucky enough to play together all the time, so we know how each other plays, and we have a cohesiveness that’s already there. So when we’re in the pocket, it always feels real nice. It’s good to know your musicians like you know your friends. This is clearly a job, and we’re up there entertaining, but we’re a family. We hang out during the week,” he added.
The group was recently asked to be the house band for the New York Giants and will begin performing at the Bud Light Party Plaza at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford during all 2014 home games. They had performed during pregames for the Giants and the Jets in previous years.
Shore-goers can see The Replicants perform their last summer gig at The Sea Shell on Friday, Aug. 30, from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. For more information, visit
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Surf City salon enters 'Battle of the Strands,' represents LBI

Photo by Ryan Morrill
Lauren Cirulli, Shelby Rider and Kaitlyn
Winnie take a break from hair and makeup
to discuss the Battle of the Strands.
When Tiffany’s Salon and Spa staff members received word about the third “Battle of the Strands,” a hair, makeup and wardrobe competition that showcases salon teams’ original, avant garde looks, they decided to use their professional expertise to enter the competition and benefit the greater good of the community. The panel of industry icon judges includes master colorist Kim Vo, best known as a judge for the hit series “Shear Genius,” as well as Kelley Donahue, editor in chief and beauty director of American Salon, the industry’s go-to magazine for the past 135 years.
“We wanted to help put LBI back on the map and to kind of show everybody that if we were to get to (the semifinals in) Vegas that LBI was still alive and our salon is still here,” said Kaitlyn Winnie, a hair stylist at Tiffany’s, who began working at the salon a year ago after growing up around the industry and attending Rizzieri Aveda School in Marlton. “We looked at it as more of a competition for everybody.”
“It’s an amazing opportunity to be able to compete in something as big as a competition in Vegas. It’s great exposure not just for our salon, but for ourselves,” added Lauren Cirulli, an esthetician at Tiffany’s, who gave up acting with Surflight Theatre and Our Gang Players 10 years ago to take up makeup artistry.
Tiffany’s submitted a one-minute video, produced by Kaltenbach Productions, which features Winnie doing hair and Cirulli applying makeup on salon assistant Shelby Rider. The video, dubbed “Diary of a Mad Rocker,” shows off some of the salon’s best and most creative talent. Pieces of lace are even used as a makeup tool for under-eye application.
“We wanted to think of something that would be different from what other places would do. We wanted to do more of a fantasy, crazy kind of thing, rather than just show our normal, everyday work,” said Winnie.
“When you think of Vegas, you think of extreme. We wanted to keep our own niche, but we still wanted it to be out there enough where it would catch people’s attention,” added Cirulli. “It is Vegas; it’s not straight hair. It’s big and glamorous, and we can do that. We wanted to show off more than just the traditional bridal makeup, touch-up, haircut thing.”
While the video entry showcases the salon’s extraordinary capabilities, snippets of beach-goers relaxing at the beach in Surf City, where Tiffany’s is located, also give the video a homegrown touch.
The salon’s video is one of the top 24 video qualifiers and has 434 votes to date. Public online voting will end on Monday, Sept. 9, and the top four teams will advance to the semifinals in Vegas. The finals will take place on Monday, Oct. 14. Along with great exposure, the winning team will be awarded $100,000 in prizes.
“I want to win,” said John Karras, owner of Tiffany’s. He said he is ecstatic that his salon team has received the opportunity to compete against the industry’s best professionals.
“I want to go to Vegas and do this,” agreed Cirulli.
To vote for Tiffany’s in the video qualifier, go to
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Third annual 'Dart for Art' to benefit LBI nonprofit

Photo via LBIF
An 18-inch freshwater
pearl necklace will be
raffled off at the event.
Collect a piece of original artwork and help support the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences during the organization’s third annual Dart for Art fundraiser on Saturday, Aug. 17 from 6:30 to 9 p.m.
Mixed media artwork donated by local and regional artists from Long Beach Island to Maryland will be presented inside the Foundation’s Blai Gallery in Loveladies. This year’s event will have 79 different items to choose from.
“Dart for Art is an art lottery where everyone who buys a ticket goes home with a piece of original artwork. They may be paintings, they may be ceramics, they may be jewelry,” explained Marianne Gellman, the Foundation’s development director.
An auction will be held inside the gallery at 7:15 p.m. for those who wish to choose their favorite piece first.
“The Long Beach Island Foundation is a not-for-profit organization, and all these programs are run by donations and grants. We don’t get any other money, so it’s very important that we run fundraisers to keep the programs going,” said Joan Galiardo, a trustee and co-chair of Dart for Art.
Participants will also have a chance to mix and mingle with some of the evening’s artists. Wine and hors d’oeuvres donated by local eateries, including A Little Bite of Italy, Greenhouse Café, Harvey Cedars Shellfish Co., Mario’s Italian Market, Moester’s Bakery, Oasis Grill, Pearl Street Market, Roberto’s Dolce Vita, Viking Fresh Off the Hook and Yellowfin Restaurant will also be available.
A raffle will include prizes such as an 18-inch freshwater pearl necklace, four club seats to the New York Yankees Aug. 31 game, a Nickelodeon basket for kids or grandkids, a large model sailboat or a gift certificate to a local restaurant.
Tickets cost $100 per person or $150 per couple. Participants are guaranteed one piece of original artwork per ticket. All proceeds benefit the Foundation.
Dart for Art vouchers are still available and can be purchased at the door. Preregister online at, or call 609-494-1241.
–Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

'Broadway After Dark' offers night-goers a place to drink coffee and eat desserts

Tired of the bar scene? Than grab a few friends and a bottle of wine and head to Broadway Pizza in Surf City, where everything gets a bit more indulgent when the sun goes down. Customers looking for a place to unwind can now kick back and relax at “Broadway After Dark,” where the vibe gets a little more hip and the menu gets a whole lot sweeter.
Photo by Ryan Morrill
Eric 'Red-Man' Bjorklund garnishes a piece of red
velvet cake with a drizzle of chocolate, while Laura
Nelson fantasizes about what the dessert tastes like.
“It’s just a little edgier place,” said owner Ron Fella. “People come with a bottle of wine, they hang out, have dessert. That’s exactly what I want happening.”
Decadent desserts such as Tiramisu drizzled with Kahlua, Chocolate Chip “Pot Pie” and Cannoli Creations made by Sweet Street Desserts in Reading, Pa., can be paired with Green Mountain or Starbucks coffees. Cheescakes, pies, pistachio ice cream, raspberry sorbet and strawberries paired with vanilla ice cream and homemade whipped cream are also available.
“The red velvet cake changed my life,” gushed Laura Nelson, a server at Broadway.
Not into sweets? Then indulge in a specialty cheese board, such as The Basic “4,” offering sharp provolone cheese, pepperoni, oil cured olives and sliced green apples. Or go big with The “Connoisseur,” a mix of sharp provolone, cheddar and goat cheeses, gourmet crackers, pepperoni, Genoa salami, oil cured and Sicilian olives, dried apricots, sliced green apples, seared asparagus and Soppressata.
Don’t know what to order? Simply bring a bottle of wine and Broadway staff will professionally pair it with the finest accompaniments.
“If you don’t go to a bar and you don’t go to a movie, where do you just go and hang out and have a glass of wine and nice desserts? There’s nothing similar on LBI,” said Fella.
Music playing from Bose and Infinity speakers can be heard inside the restaurant and outside on the patio, whether patrons want to spend the evening relaxing inside among the decorative sconces or outside amid the fresh salt air.
"Broadway After Dark" is presented seven nights a week from 8 p.m. until closing. For more information, call 609-494-7100.
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Punk rock cover band, Sneak Attack, performs at The Shell's 'Full Moon Party' on LBI

“We’re going to rock people’s faces off, put them in a trance when they hear we’re a rock ’n’ roll band that plays covers,” shouted Sneak Attack’s lead singer, Mike Delgado, 29, of Barnegat, sporting a New York Giants hat and black shades.
Photo by Jack Reynolds
Sneak Attack takes a break from their
original music to rock out some covers.
The local cover band, centered on-stage beneath colorful flashing lights and wearing matching black tuxedo shirts, performed a mix of hot, danceable music to an eclectic crowd at The Sea Shell Resort’s second Full Moon Party of the year on Friday, July 19.
“I like the singer,” said Caitlin Carey, 28, of Manahawkin. “He’s got a very outgoing personality, perfect for a front man. He’s very eccentric,” she added.
Fueled by powerful vibes put out by a palm reader, face painter, a balloon animal-making stilts walker and even a mechanical bull, the group busted out songs from “Poker Face” and “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga to Ricky Martin’s “Livin’ La Vida Loca” and “Changes” by Tupac.
“I bet you didn’t expect to hear a bunch of guys singing Kesha,” said Delgado, after the band’s performance of “Tik Tok.”
Photo by Jack Reynolds
Becker switches to vocals for a sellar
rendition of Tupac's 'Changes.'
But people would probably be more surprised to learn that the group consists of all local members who come from original bands that play punk rock and hardcore music. Members include John Becker, 25, of Manahawkin on rhythm guitar and backup vocals, who also plays solo acoustic punk music as John Geoff; lead guitarist Matt Rott, 27, of Cedar Bonnet Island, who plays a mix of punk rock and hillbilly-style music with Mudtown; Glen Bleakley, 32, of Manahawkin on bass, who also jams out with For the Record; and drummer Steve Szymanski, 29, of Manahawkin, who performs with Triumph and Tragedy.
“We’ve all played punk rock and hardcore music for 10 to 15 years. That’s just us. We can’t f***ing help it,” said Bleakley. “We don’t have any mixers or anything, so what we play is what you get. We sneak in a little bit of punk rock into every song, even if we don’t mean to,” he added.
The band, influenced by "anything with ridiculous beats and hilarious lyrics," had the crowd dancing from the moment they walked through the doorway at The Shell until last call at 2 a.m.
“I love their upbeat, uplifting energy,” said Ken Driggs, 24, of Maple Shade, one of the crowd’s first to step out onto the dance floor. “Their vibe’s ecstatic. Whenever they come on, it makes you want to dance and celebrate life,” he added, sporting a blue-painted eye bandana reminiscent of Leonardo from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which he had decorated at the party.
Though the musicians have been playing music for years, the group only formed about five months ago. Their band name, they said, goes back to their college days when Bleakley and his former band mate used to crash dorm room parties to play a couple of songs without warning, before quickly running out. But these days, the guys plan to stick around for a while.
“We’re playing at home with people we know; we love it,” said Bleakley. “The tourists are great, too. We wouldn’t be playing here without them. We hope to keep playing, and we keep hoping to be people’s number one cover band,” he added.
“But I hope people bring another face because that first one’s going to melt off,” Delgado warned.
Sneak Attack will continue to perform throughout the fall season. Visit to stay up to date with their latest happenings.
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

LBI couples spice up date night at LBIF food studio

Photo by Ryan Morrill
Scangarello prepares the evening's
entree before tackling dessert.
The smell of fresh, fragrant herbs intermingled with the pleasant sounds of clanging utensils and easy chatter as three couples gathered in the kitchen for “Date Night in the Food Studio” at the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences on Thursday, July 25. Between discussing cooking tips, sipping red wine and prepping food, the group observed chef Thomas Scangarello of Harvey Cedars as he prepared the evening’s four-course meal. Appetizers included grilled swordfish skewers paired with avocado, mango and fresh lemon and lime juices, as well as freshly diced bruschetta and assorted cheeses.
“That’s the fun – you come learn how to cook, and you eat while you’re cooking and drink a little wine,” said Rick Bushnell of Surf City before taking a bite of swordfish. “I think people overcook fish all the time for some reason. When you watch Tom do it, he just browns it a little bit. It’s really simple stuff. It’s refreshing and doesn’t create a whole lot of heat, so if you’re cooking on a hot summer night, it’s easy to do,” he added.
Bushnell and his wife, Patsy, said they had participated in the culinary program two times prior and had already signed up for the rest of the season’s classes.
“I like the suggestion of things you can do that aren’t that complicated. I’m doing things that I don’t normally do in the kitchen, and I like the camaraderie of it,” Patsy remarked.
Photo by Ryan Morrill
 Dinner includes linguine and
white clam sauce mixed with
a little bit of tomato for color.
Thursday night’s entrée, a pasta duo, was prepared with sausage, Garganelli noodles and baby Portobello and shitake mushrooms, sprinkled with parsley and provolone cheese, as well as linguine and white clam sauce mixed with a little bit of tomato for color to blush the sauce.
“I learn something new every time,” said Scangarello’s daughter, Sara, who was on-site to help. Tom “doesn’t do anything too complicated because he wants people to be able to buy the ingredients and put it together. It always comes out good. It’s simple, but very interesting,” she added.
Scangarello began teaching courses at the food studio three years ago to supplement his career as a planner, representing municipal governments and land developers in New Jersey and Florida. He had approached the Foundation about renovating the kitchen and had the studio revamped entirely by local volunteers.
“I always had a passion for cooking, and frankly I’m trying to make my passion into a way to make income. It’s a lot of fun,” said Scangarello. “There is a lot of stress in my other job and a lot of late-night meetings. But with this, not so much.”
Scangarello said he often purchases his food from local markets. The evening’s ingredients came from the Blue Claw Seafood Market and Okie’s Butcher Shop in Surf City, as well as from Blacky’s Clam Stand in Manahawkin.
“You don’t have to spend hours and hours in the kitchen, but in order to cook
Photo by Ryan Morrill
Shortcake topped with fresh fruit
concludes the evening in the food studio.
good you have to buy good. That’s the whole point of this,” he emphasized.
By the time the entrée was fully prepared, the evening’s participants had nibbled on enough of the delicious appetizers and were ready to indulge in dinner. Each person took a seat at the table, which was covered with a white tablecloth and carefully set with china dishes and the proper utensils. Before sampling the different side dishes and continuing in friendly conversation, they thanked each other for the food before them and the company among them.
“We didn’t make it until tonight, but we’re here and I’m so glad we came. The food looks delicious, and we learned a bunch of new tricks,” said Helaine Greenberg, sitting at the table next to her husband, Jack. The couple, who have a second home in Loveladies, said they had met Scangarello on the beach two years before and had been invited to attend one of the classes.
Marci and Scott Porter, who said they often rent during the summer in Barnegat Light, agreed they were happy to have left the kids at home for an evening at the food studio.
“You meet people on LBI and do stuff you wouldn’t normally do at home. You learn some new recipes and ideas. It’s not intimidating. It’s really fun, actually,” Marci remarked.
“It’s very educational and it’s stress-relieving,” added Scott, while taking a sip of wine.
Happy to see the couples enjoying themselves, Scangarello began cleaning up the dishes and prepping for dessert: shortcake topped with fresh strawberries, blueberries and peaches.
“Date Night in the Food Studio” will continue throughout the summer on Friday, Aug. 9, and Thursday, Aug. 22. Each class is limited to 10 participants and registration is required one week in advance. Registration costs $130 per couple or $100 with an LBIF membership. Call 609-494-1241 to sign up.
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

LBI summer resident starts genealogy career after finding great-grandfather's Civil War papers

Photo by Ryan Morrill
Melchiori spends time researching her family
 lineage online while she visits family on LBI.
Marie Varrelman Melchiori, who spends her summers with family in Surf City, recently semi-retired from her work as a certified genealogist and genealogical lecturer to spend more time researching her own family history, which is what got her interested in genealogy in the first place. Nearly 40 years ago, Melchiori had found a copy of her great-grandfather’s discharge papers from the Civil War. He had served in the 131st New York Infantry Regiment.
“I knew very little about the German side of my family,” she said. “I thought I knew a lot about the Italians, but once I got into genealogy I quickly discovered I didn’t know a whole lot.
“I discovered that my great-grandmother was Irish. It took three census records to convince my father that she was Irish. He kept insisting that she was German,” she added with a laugh.
Unable to find a nursing job years ago that would accommodate her family’s needs, Melchiori turned to family research, spending all of her time at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., where she thumbed through the Civil War records. Living just 17 miles from the building made it easy for her to do research. After realizing how much information on the Civil War other genealogists had not yet touched, she decided to specialize in the area and make a living out of it. She started out talking about her research at Civil War memorabilia shows.
“It’s like going into a museum and actually being able to purchase items,” said Melchiori. “They did not allow reproduction, so these were all items that were used during the Civil War. There were letters, there were drums, there were guns, there were swords, uniforms, there were books, anything at all,” she explained.
Melchioiri became a full-time, professional genealogist in 1979. She quickly acquired her certifications as a genealogical record specialist, genealogist and genealogical lecturer by the Board for Certification of Genealogists in Washington, D.C. She later worked for lawyers who needed help sorting out convoluted wills. She has also provided lectures both nationally and internationally.
“To really start your genealogy, you need to start with family sources, and you build from that,” Melchiori remarked. “Whatever you happen to have in your house, what your aunt may have, what your grandmother may have, that’s the basis of doing a family tree,” she added.
Birth, death, cemetery and marriage records are good firsthand documents to have for hard proof, she said. It is also imperative to track all sources.
“We had a collection of matchbook covers that were given out when cousins got married,” Melchiori remembered. “This is going back in the ’50s and ’60s, and just about every marriage that you went to had matchbooks on the table with the bride and groom’s name and the date. Long before I was interested in genealogy, you just collected them and threw them in a drawer or box. It was extremely helpful when I started to get into family history because you kind of remember when a cousin was married, but you might not have the actual date,” she added.
Online programs such as, Roots Web, Family Search, MyHeritage and Fold3 are good places for beginners to start the elaborate research process. An increase in advertising of such programs has largely attributed to the resurgence of genealogy, Melchiori believes.
“It’s fun, it really is,” she emphasized. “It’s like a huge picture puzzle. When you put in one piece, you’ve opened up two other areas, and when you explore them it’s like it never ends; it just keeps going. It’s challenging, and I get as much enjoyment, as much fun, out of working on somebody else’s line as I do on my own.
“When you’re dealing with something like pension files, you’re actually handling the paper that your ancestors handled. This is kind of a contact with them that you might not have had otherwise. I always said I would stop doing it when it stopped being fun, and I’m still enjoying it,” she added, chuckling.
Anyone interested in genealogy and family history is invited to attend a talk on World War I records and how to go about locating those records, hosted by the Genealogy Club of Little Egg Harbor. The event will be held at The Senior Center, located at 641 Radio Rd. in Little Egg Harbor on Tuesday, Aug. 27. Melchiori will lead the talk. Participants can also visit her on Thursdays at the Maritime Museum in Beach Haven where she volunteers.
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.

Monday, August 5, 2013

RSD patient taps into psychic abilities to cope with pain

Photo by Jack Reynolds
Rebecca Lynn provides her full attention
during a spiritual reading held at Hanu Yoga.
“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” could be psychic, medium and spiritual advisor Rebecca Lynn’s life mantra. The 32-year-old Bayville resident said she suffers from chronic pain due to an autoimmune disease called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, also known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. The disease, which was triggered by a car accident she was involved in during March 2008, is so severe that she actually opted into a six-day ketamine-induced coma to reboot her nervous system. Unfortunately, the reboot failed and has left her in a wheelchair on and off for the last six years. Her illness also contributed to a divorce and the loss of a six-figure job. She worked as a senior mortgage loan officer at Wachovia, the third largest bank at the time, where she was considered the top 16th performer in the country and the youngest female to hold that title.
It wasn’t until Lynn learned to cope with the physical pain of RSD by stepping out of her physical body, or astral projecting, that she started to understand her psychic abilities.
RSD is also known as “the suicide disease,” but “I had no desire to stop living; I just wanted to get better,” said Lynn. “The pain is something we don’t even have words for, so for me to cope, I would actually step out of my physical body to escape from the pain. I was completely aware of this physical body, but I was right in front of it, and that was how I could function to some extent and have a conversation with people. I would always bump into walls and walk into things because I was having to control my physical body from standing in front of it. It’s because of my psychic abilities that I believe I was able to do that. I know it sounds pretty insane, but it saved my life,” she added.
Though Lynn had always been considered clairvoyant or intuitive and deemed as a know-it-all as a child, she said tapping into her spirituality, going holistic and detoxing from almost all 13 of her doctor-prescribed medications has helped make her abilities sharper and her messages clearer.
Photo by Jack Reynolds
The spiritual adviser turns
to her angel cards to help
redirect the reading
“It was at that point that I realized I really didn’t need much, and I really simplified my life in every aspect,” she said. “The simpler I got, the better my health got and the better my life got and the stronger my abilities got.”
Though Lynn doesn’t have any recollection of receiving messages as a child, she said she can now pick up “little bits and pieces” of what people are thinking. She said she receives information about other people all the time and is often compelled to provide healing energy with her hands. Of course, she provides such therapy only if asked.
Lynn claims she also sees colors and energies, which she described as an essence. Spirit energies seen closer to a living person are considered to visit more frequently than those seen from a farther distance, she explained. Ascended masters, who are believed to be spiritually enlightened beings that in past incarnations were ordinary humans, include Mother Theresa and Thomas Edison.
“I’ve encountered their spirits, primarily John Lennon, which is really funny because I was never a Beatles fan. I was more of an Elvis person,” she said with a laugh.
Lynn said she also frequently works with Mother Mary, who is strongly referenced in The Beatles’ song “Let It Be.”
The most perceptive time for people to connect with spirits is during that half-awake, half-asleep state right before falling asleep or waking up, said Lynn.
Photo by Jack Reynolds
Lynn knocks on the deck twice to clear
the last person's energy from the cards.
“That’s when the veil is thin and our defenses are down,” she remarked. “Usually if you have a really vivid dream that sticks with you where you feel like you were there, that’s you going to a different dimension to either learn something to bring back subconsciously or that’s you visiting friends or family to try to get a message or greeting.”
Spirits can also be picked up on in the peripheral view. Warmth or static felt running around the legs may be a visiting pet.
Lynn uses her spiritual abilities to provide readings to others and help them navigate their lives. Her services are strictly a hobby because her RSD is very debilitating and very unpredictable. Though she holds herself to the utmost integrity, she said she cannot control what information comes through.
Symbolism is used during her readings to help people better understand the messages they’re receiving. A broken pipe leaking with water, which symbolizes emotions, might mean a person is breaking down emotionally. Getting whiplash after being rear-ended in a car usually means something is pushing a person in a direction he or she doesn’t want to go, i.e. a literal pain in the neck.
“There’s a lot of symbolism that gets incorporated into our everyday life, stuff that we don’t even realize. What we project out we get back, just in a different form,” said Lynn.
Unlike “The Long Island Medium,” who strictly connects with loved ones who have already passed, including miscarriages and abortions, Lynn can also channel a person’s prior and future lives. She said she prefers to help people learn from their past lives rather than risk altering a person’s path due to impending information.
“If I tell you what your path may be, or give you a couple of options of what your path is that I can see, that doesn’t mean that it’s going to happen. Me even telling you that could alter your path,” said Lynn. “What I prefer to do and what I really love to do is to tap into past lives and to see how past life issues are affecting your present situation. That to me is so much more productive and significant because we keep repeating lessons until we learn them.
“There’s a purpose for everything and every interaction we have in life, even if it’s just somebody who smiles at you when you’re in a really bad mood. It’s hard for us to figure out what that purpose is all the time, but if we just have faith that there’s a purpose for everything, then it’s easy to move through life,” she explained.
All souls have the chance to sit down with God, whatever that may be, and their spirit guides to map out their lives, which can take any number of different paths, Lynn claimed. Once souls arrive on Earth as humans, they’re considered clean slates and are unlikely to remember what they already know.
“Every single pregnancy that I have come across where a child has come through, has come through with gratitude because they had the opportunity to see the life that they were going to have. We choose to come into the world, and we choose not to,” said Lynn.
To best help clients, including young children who are more perceptive to spirits both good and bad, Lynn said she needs to know what a person is looking to get out of a reading.
“For me to do really in-depth medium work, I have to shift my mind so that it’s not so much psychic stuff coming through because they’re all different channels of information. I have to change the frequency of the reading,” she explained.
She compared the mind shift to trains on a track or stations on a radio channel.
Though Lynn believes everyone has the power to tap into these spiritual abilities, she said most people are too bogged down by technology, chemicals and fear to realize it.
Lynn hopes to one day open a holistic healing center offering spiritual advising and energy therapy to help people live better, more productive lives. In the meantime, she offers psychic, medium, spiritual advising and angel card parties by appointment. She also takes spiritual advising and reiki reservations every other Saturday through Hanu Yoga, located in downtown Barnegat. Call 609-290-7218, or email for more information.
— Kelley Anne Essinger

This article was published in The SandPaper.