“The Real Housewives of New Jersey”: Granite, marble and onyx, oh my!

Aside from the over-the-top personalities, a big part of the series “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” is the homes.

Danielle Staub in her elegant - though admittedly slightly dated - Franklin Lakes home./Credit The New York Times

Danielle Staub in her elegant - though admittedly dated - Wayne home./Credit The New York Times

Opulent and excessive, these five ladies’ homes provide virtual eye candy for viewers every week. And apparently The New York Times thinks so, too, because this week it featured a home and garden story on two of those homes: those belonging to Caroline Manzo (in Franklin Lakes) and Danielle Staub (in nearby Wayne).

(Danielle, as you’re already well aware, has been all over the news this week thanks to unsavory stories that are cropping up about her past. You can read all about that here.)

Danielle acknowledges that her home is a bit dated.

“It was my ideal house in the ’90s,” she tells the Times. “There’s a lot I’d like to do now. Some paint would be nice.”

Caroline Manzo chills in her Franklin Lakes home./Credit The New York Times

Caroline Manzo chills in her Franklin Lakes home./Credit The New York Times

Caroline’s home is decorated (no surprise) by her sister Dina. The direct, down-to-earth nature she exhibits on the show is for real,  judging by her comments to the Times, which include this gem:

“We’re definitely the poor people out here,” Caroline says of her Franklin Lakes neighborhood. “We had no landscaping for seven years. The pool isn’t gunite. I’m not spending that kind of money. Is there a liner, can you swim? So who’s stupid, you or me? I don’t look to impress.”

The most opulent and excessive of all the homes – the perpetually in-the-works manse belonging to Teresa Giudice – is not featured in the piece, mainly because evidently Bravo wants to keep the finished product (which apparently still isn’t complete!) under wraps until the show’s hoped-for second season. (Is there really any doubt there will be a second season?) Just remember – as if you could possibly forget – it will be full of of “granite, marble and onyx.”‘

“My master bedroom is so huge, you could have a party in it,” Teresa tells the Times. “It’s absolutely gorgeous and I love it.”

Remember in the first episode when Jacqueline Laurita accompanied Teresa on a furniture shopping spree (where she dropped over $120,000 in cash? Who could forget?) Little did I know it, but that store is practically in my backyard. (Contrary to what some may think, it takes several hours to drive from one end of Jersey to another – especially when there’s traffic. And when isn’t there traffic?) Anyway, the store is is Unique Furniture (that it is!) on Route 22 in Green Brook. The store also has a showroom, Urban Living, on Main Street in Somerville.

According to the Times article, owner Joseph Mitrani has been known to outfit the state’s biggest McMansions.

“You build big, you need big,” the Times quotes him as saying.

The online article also includes a really cool feature: an audio slide show in which Danielle and Caroline talk about their homes. Check them out!

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more about “The Real Housewives of New Jersey at …“, posted with vodpod

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“Jon & Kate Plus 8”: Pennsylvania investigates child-labor allegations

The Associated Press reports that the Pennsylvania Department of Labor is investigating whether the hit show “Jon & Kate Plus 8” is complying with child labor laws.
Are these children overworked? Somebody thinks so./Credit TLC

Are these children overworked? Somebody thinks so./Credit TLC

The AP cites Labor Department spokesman Justin Fleming as confirming that his department is looking into a complaint against the TLC show, which films at the $1.1 million Wernersville, Pa., home of Jon and Kate Gosselin.

The network, meanwhile, says it “fully complies” with state laws and regulations.

I’ll update this post as warranted.

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“True Blood’s” Alexander Skarsgard takes a bite out of “Paparazzi”

This is probably the oddest pairing I’ve seen in a while: “True Blood’s” hotter-than-hot Alexander Skarsgard (that’s Eric the vamp) starring in Lady Gaga’s latest video, “Paparazzi.”

Oh, and did you see who else was in the vid? The triplets – ’84, ’85 and ’86 – from “Daisy of Love.” Good grief.

“The Real Housewives of New Jersey”: Dina shows us how the other half lives

Just in case all of you “Real Housewives of New Jersey” fans didn’t notice, Dina Manzo is rich. And I mean R-I-C-H.

Apparently VH1 doesn’t think Bravo is making that point abundantly clear, because it dug out this gem: “My Big Fat Fabulous Wedding,” which documents all of Dina’s outlandishly expensive plans for her dream wedding (which is No. 2, I believe) to current husband, workaholic and cheater (by his own admission) Tommy Manzo. Take a look:

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After watching this, I better understand Dina (who I was starting to intensely dislike this week after seeing how mean she was to Beverly/Danielle at the Botox party). She’s sad, unhappy and probably miserable that she’s married to this man who (on the plus side) makes all this money but whom she rarely ever sees and who doesn’t seem particularly affectionate toward her. And for that, I’m truly sorry, Dina.

You can also watch Dina and Tommy’s casting tape for the show here.

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