Only in Jersey: 3/21/12

Happy Hump Day, everyone! Time for another edition of Only in Jersey!

If it’s filming in Jersey, takes place in Jersey, or is about celebs from Jersey, you will find it here.

Sayreville’s native son Jon Bon Jovi gets the Oprah treatment when the rock singer is featured in “Oprah’s Master Class,” airing at 10 p.m. Sunday on OWN. In an exclusive clip to “Entertainment Tonight,” Jon gives credit for his success in the music business to his hometown mentor. “And a man by the name of Al Parinello moved in across the street from my childhood home, and he was in a club band,” Jon reveals. “He was like, a hip guy, and he showed us how to play songs – and he showed me how to play ‘House of the Rising Sun.’ … When you learn a song, you start to think about songs, when you think about songs you want to write songs. When you write songs, you get to be here… Thanks to his encouragement, I stayed with it.”

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Only in Jersey: 3/9/12

TGIF! Time for another edition of Only in Jersey!

If it’s filming in Jersey, takes place in Jersey, or is about celebs from Jersey, you will find it here.

Chaz Brown: Hope he's good at juggling.

Jerseyans and reality shows go together like, well, peas and carrots. Case in point: A “Top Chef: Texas” contestant (who was eliminated in the qualifying rounds) from Voorhees will compete in Bravo’s latest food-based competition, “Around the World in 80 Plates,” beginning Wednesday, May 9. Chaz Brown, the chef de cuisine at New York’s Fatty Crab, will battle against 11 experienced cooks in culinary challenges across the globe. The show, which is hosted by Curtis Stone and Cat Cora, sounds like a combination of “Top Chef” and CBS’ “The Amazing Race.” Here’s hoping the French Culinary Institute grad never hears the unfortunate words, “I’m sorry to tell you, but you’ve been eliminated from the race.”

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Only in Jersey: 2/16/12

TGI Thursday!  We’re almost there, folks.  And it’s time for another edition of Only in Jersey!

If it’s filming in Jersey, takes place in Jersey, or is about celebs from Jersey, you will find it here.

Whitney Houston: Final farewell to be broadcast online.

Whitney Houston’s private funeral, which is scheduled for Saturday at Newark’s New Hope Baptist Church, is expected to be a star-studded event. People reports that Whitney’s costar from “The Bodyguard,” Kevin Costner, will speak at the service, and her godmother, Aretha Franklin, and Stevie Wonder will perform. Others anticipated to attend include Whitney’s mentor Clive Davis and Oprah Winfrey, reports TMZ. Newark’s police are already preparing to keep fans and onlookers far, far away: The Star-Ledger says Newark’s finest will lock down streets within six square blocks of the church beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday (the funeral begins at noon). Fans hoping to catch glimpses of those in attendance will have a better chance by staying home, as The Associated Press confirms it will stream the service live online. And New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is responding to critics who say he should not have ordered the state’s flags fly at half-staff on Saturday in memory of the singer. “I am disturbed by people who believe that because her ultimate demise — and we don’t know what is the cause of her death yet — but because of her history of substance abuse that somehow she’s forfeited the good things that she did in her life,” The Associated Press quotes Christie as saying. “I just reject that on a human level.” Whitney, he added, deserves the honor as a “daughter of New Jersey.” “What I would say to everybody is there but for the grace of God go I,” he said. I couldn’t have put it better myself.

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9/11: Wake me up when September ends

I’ve never looked forward to September. I love the summer, so it’s always meant the end of warm – OK, frequently hot – days. And for 17 years it also meant the beginning of another long school year, and that was never a good thing.

But in 2001, September took on a whole new meaning.

Words fail me.

To say September 11, 2001, was a defining moment in my life is an understatement. It brought horror, disbelief, and an unrelenting sadness home on a magnitude of nothing else I had experienced until then. (Since, I’ve endured the death of my father, the loss of a longtime job, the death of my eldest cat, and my mother’s cancer diagnosis – grief-filled to the last.)

Its scope was ceaseless, too. If you lived anywhere in the Tri-State area, the signs of 9/11 were unavoidable no matter where you went. It was nigh impossible for me, because at the time I was working for a daily newspaper in Central New Jersey.

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Nigel Barker live = Priceless

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How much would you pay to be photographed by this man?

Don't hate me because I'm beautiful... OR because I have the most gorgeously clipped English accent.

A $100 asking price wasn’t enough to dissuade a long line of lucky ladies (and men!) from the privilege of having “America’s Next Top Model” judge, *noted fashion photographer* Nigel Barker, step behind the camera and snap away during Fashion’s Night Out earlier this month in New York City.

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