Only in Jersey: 3/7/12

It’s Wednesday! We’re halfway through the week, 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.

Who would've thought of West Orange as "status symbol land"?

In the wake of Davy Jones’ untimely death last week, I’ve discovered at least two connections The Monkees have to the Garden State. First, I was very surprised to learn that one of their hit songs, “Pleasant Valley Sunday,’ was written about life in West Orange, of all places. Yup, that’s right: the tune, penned by Carole King and her then-husband, Gerry Goffin, was inspired by their time living on Pleasant Valley Way in the township’s Watchung Mountains. Kinda gives new meaning to the lyrics, huh?
The local rock group down the street
Is trying hard to learn their song
Serenade the weekend squire
Who just came out to mow his lawn

Another Pleasant Valley Sunday
Charcoal burning everywhere
Rows of houses that are all the same
And no one seems to care

See Mrs. Gray
She’s proud today
Because her roses are in bloom
Mr. Green
He’s so serene
He’s got a TV in every room

Another Pleasant Valley Sunday
Here in status symbol land
Mothers complain about how hard life is
And the kids just don’t understand

Creature comfort goals
They only numb my soul and make it hard for me to see
My thoughts all seem to stray to places far away
I need a change of scenery

The second Monkees/Garden State connection, which I recall but had forgotten, is that the band filmed the video for its ’86 comeback hit, “That Was Then, This Is Now,” at Great Adventure’s arena in Jackson. The song and video only feature Monkees Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork, although apparently Davy was part of the tour.

“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!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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

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