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.

Only in Jersey: 2/7/12

Welcome to 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.

Bobby Cannavale: I'm not sure that handgun existed in the 1920's.

While “Boardwalk Empire” is technically filmed in New York, the Atlantic City-based series is Jersey, through and through.

This terrific HBO series is so dedicated to the Garden State that it’s replacing one Jersey actor with another! The departure of West Orange-born Michael Pitt, whose much beloved character Jimmy Darmody bit the bullet at the end of the second season, is tempered by the announcement that Union City’s Bobby Cannavale is joining the third-season cast. Entertainment Weekly reports Bobby will be a major stick in Nucky Thompson’s (Steve Buscemi) craw as far as the bootlegging business is concerned. Bobby also starred in the 2003 film “The Station Agent” alongside fellow New Jerseyan Peter Dinklage (star of fellow HBO series “Game of Thrones”) and was filmed in Newfoundland and surrounding N.J. areas.

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Only in Jersey: 1/31/12

Welcome to the premiere edition of Only in Jersey!

What’s that? It’s a quick, concise rundown of breaking New Jersey-related entertainment news, brought to you by moi, a lifelong Jersey girl.

If it’s filming in Jersey, takes place in Jersey, or is about celebs from Jersey, I will cover it.

And, without any further ado, here are today’s items:

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“The Real Housewives of New Jersey”: Bringing on the crazy

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The first ladies of the Garden State – that would be Teresa Giudice, Caroline Manzo, Jacqueline Laurita and, oh yes, Danielle Staub – have been all over the place in the past few weeks. Have they been in your neighborhood?

Gee, I wonder where Danielle could be?/Photo credit New York Daily News

“I know crazy when I’m looking at it” – Caroline on Danielle

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A “Real Housewives of New Jersey” guide to the Garden State

Curious about where “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” (that’s Teresa Giudice, Danielle Staub, Caroline Manzo, Dina Manzo and Jacqueline Laurita) shop, dine, party, primp, work and relax?


Jacqueline Laurita, clockwise from left, Caroline Manzo, Teresa Giudice, Dina Manzo and Danielle Staub./All photos credit Bravo

Then check out this comprehensive list (which includes websites) which will be updated as the season progresses.

And if anybody actually visits any of these places, please let me know your thoughts!

Episode 1

The Brownstone (Paterson) – New Jersey’s “finest wedding and banquet event hosting facility,” according to the website. Owned by Albert Manzo (Caroline’s husband) and his brother, Tommy Manzo (Dina’s husband), employees include Caroline and Albert’s son, Christopher, and daughter, Lauren. Dina, an interior designer and event planner, also works out of the facility (which, by the way, is where she and Tommy tied the knot in their famously lavish $1+ million wedding.)

Don't laugh; it's for charity!

Don't laugh; it's for charity!

Unique Furniture (Green Brook) – Jacqueline accompanies Teresa on a furniture shopping spree in which she drops a whopping $120,000 in cash on assorted pieces for her “French Chateau look” manse that is still a project in the making. (Read all about the ladies’ opulent homes here.)

Project Ladybug – Charitable foundation started up by Dina to benefit sick children. – Website through which Danielle met Gucci Model, her phone-sex partner of two years.

Lua (Hoboken) – Upscale Latin-inspired restaurant with a view of the Manhattan skyline. Danielle (with Jacqueline and Teresa secretly following her) goes there to meet her phone-sex partner, Gucci Model, who stands her up. It is also where she memorably leaves him a voicemail message saying, “Have a nice life – or die, I don’t care.”

Chateau Salon (Franklin Lakes) – Salon and spa where the “Real Housewives” like to pamper and primp themselves, especially before a girls’ night out. It’s also where Dina famously (and illegally) parks in a handicapped spot.

Episode 2

On the count of three: FABULOUS!!!

On the count of three: FABULOUS!!!

Bella Bambini (Hillsdale) – Children’s clothing store where Teresa takes her three little girls: Gia, Gabriella and Milania. During their visit, Gia learns she will be auditioning for a movie with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and 2-year-old Milania pitches a fit, yanking money out of the cash register and screaming, “I will pull my hair out!”

Marra’s (Ridgewood) – Danielle and Jacqueline eat lunch outside there and talk about Dina to no end.

Xist Model & Talent (Caldwell) – Agency that Teresa takes her daughter Gia to for photographs, bookings and acting lessons.

Lisa Regina – Acting coach who Teresa enlists to help her daughter Gia prepare for her audition for the Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson movie. (Which, by the way, Gia does not get.)

Dr. Steven Domnitz – Jacqueline’s OB-GYN, who successfully helps her conceive following four heartbreaking miscarriages. Jacqueline says she was referred to Dr. Domnitz by none other than fellow housewife Danielle, who Jacqueline says had her own problems getting pregnant.

Highlawn Pavilion (West Orange) – Upscale restaurant with views of New York City. Danielle and her boy-toy date, Steve, dine there and it is where Danielle suggests they do the nasty in the bathroom. Steve, thankfully, declines.

Episode 3

Artistic Academy (Morris Plains) – School for individuals who want to study cosmetology, specifically hair, skin and nails. Caroline and Albert encourage Lauren to enroll.

Dr. Manolis Manolakakis (Shrewsbury and Sewell) – The thoughtful doctor visits Danielle’s abode to provide complimentary Botox treatments and collagen injections to whomever’s willing (that would be Danielle, Jacqueline and Teresa). Danielle tells the attractive doc that she’s single and will give him her card.

This is an improvement over "Gucci Model"?

This is an improvement over Gucci Model?

Varka (Ramsey) – European seafood restaurant where three couples dine: Danielle and Steve, Teresa and Joe and Jacqueline and Chris. During the meal, Teresa and Jacqueline take Danielle outside and convince her that she shouldn’t break up with Steve at the dinner table.

Episode 4

The friendship between Danielle and Jacqueline has been strained ever since "the book" was uncovered./Credit Bravo

The friendship between Danielle and Jacqueline has been strained ever since "the book" was uncovered./Credit Bravo

Fratelli Trattoria (Ridgewood) – Italian restaurant where Danielle confronts Jacqueline and Teresa about the rumors circulating that she a) chases after married men and b) offers physical trainers sex in exchange for training sessions.

Dance With Me Studio (Ridgefield) – Dance studio run by Aleksandr Chmerkovskiy, the father of “Dancing with the Stars” dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy. At the supposed suggestion of Teresa’s “delicious and juicy” husband, Joe, the “Real Housewives” and family take dance lessons. Danielle, while excellent, takes it entirely too seriously and gets frisky with Caroline’s eldest son, Albie. Caroline (who refuses to dance) later says she was ready to clobber Danielle for manhandling her boy.

Dr. Steven Domnitz – Jacqueline’s OB-GYN, who she and her husband Chris visit to learn the results of their genetic testing. The parents of a young son are relieved to hear no abnormalities were detected. (They have since successfully conceived, and Jacqueline is expecting any day now.)

cop without a badge cover

“Cop Without a Badge” – The now notorious book about the life of Kevin Maher, Danielle’s ex-husband. The Manzo sisters got their hands on this out-of-print tome, which alleges that Danielle (then known as Beverly Merrill) was a stripper who was involved in the kidnapping of a rich kid. Beverly/Danielle and her drug-dealing boyfriend were busted, and Beverly/Danielle was charged with extortion, kidnapping and possession. Her savior, Maher, helped her work out a deal in which she pleaded guilty to extortion, for which she received five years probation.

Episode 5

Caroline, Teresa and Dina spend some hard-earned cash at The Shoppes at The Water Club in Atlantic City./Credit New York Times

Caroline, Teresa and Dina spend some hard-earned cash at The Shoppes at The Water Club in Atlantic City./Credit New York Times

The Water Club Hotel (Atlantic City) – An in-state getaway for Teresa, Caroline, Dina and Dina’s friend Pam. While there, Teresa receives a phone call from her weeping 2-year-old daughter Milania, whom she tries to bribe with gifts, including a bike. (Isn’t she too young even for training wheels?)

Hearts on Fire (Atlantic City) – Diamond jewelry store located in The Water Club where Dina and Teresa try on a $1 million rope necklace and Teresa seems to seriously consider purchasing a $280,000 bracelet.

Teresa does some pre-bubbies shopping at La Perla./Credit Bravo

Teresa does some pre-bubbies shopping at La Perla./Credit Bravo

La Perla (Atlantic City) – Lingerie and bathing suit shop located in The Water Club where Teresa tries on an animal-print bikini B.B. (Before Bubbies) and Dina and Caroline tell her it will look so much better A.B. (After Bubbies).

*To see where else these “Real Housewives” shopped while in AC (that’s Atlantic City, y’all), go here.*

Photography by M Kortoci (Ridgewood) – Photography studio where Jacqueline takes her 17-year-old daughter Ashley to have photos taken. Ashley subsequently has a meltdown (due either to her insecurities or her mother insisting on pointing them out in front of the photographer), and Jacqueline decides against giving her daughter the tricked-out Jeep her husband Chris has purchased for her (and is sitting in a warehouse somewhere). The photographer, Mike Kortoci, has photographed “America’s Next Top Model” winner CariDee English, who herself hosted the Oxygen reality show “Pretty Wicked.”

Izakaya (Atlantic City) – Japanese pub located in The Borgata where Dina, Caroline, Teresa, Pam and another one of Dina’s friends break bread (or California rolls). It’s during this meal that Dina bemoans her busy life and contemplates not working any more.

Oakland Diner (Oakland) – Diner where Danielle breaks up with Steve (the BJ boy). Danielle had previously wanted to break up with Steve during dinner in front of Teresa and Joe and Jacqueline and Chris at Varka in Ramsey in Episode 3. “I’m looking for the person I’m going to spend the rest of my life with, and it’s not going to be you,” Danielle tells him while shedding several tears. Not surprisingly, Steve takes the news pretty well. (Of course, he’d already hit Teresa up for an invitation to her Shore house – and he was bringing another woman.)

Balocco (Clifton) – Italian restaurant where Teresa and Joe take their daughters Gia, Gabriella and Milania for an (anything but) peaceful meal. “This is one of our favorite Italian restaurants,” Teresa declares. This is where the discussion of bubbies takes a serious turn, with Joe even consulting a waiter about whether his wife should get breast implants. It’s also where the rest of the diners’ meals were interrupted by Gabriella and Milania’s incessant howling.

The Robert Zubowski, M.D. Center for Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (Paramus) – Teresa’s quest for new bubbies begins here (though why she went through with this baffles me if she wasn’t done making babies). While consulting with Dr. Zubowski, Teresa decides on a B cup, mainly because Dina cautions her about going larger. “They get in the way, they’re annoying, they’re obnoxious” says Dina. “There’s a fine line between tasteful and tacky.” (Or clever and stupid.) We also learn during this consultation that both Jacqueline and Dina have silicone implants, and that Dina is apparently jealous that her sister Caroline’s bubbies are fo real. “She has invested $20,000 plus in her boobs and mine are real. She can’t stand it,” says Caroline.

When Teresa arrives for her surgery, her husband Joe talks her into getting a C cup, which means she’ll go “from having nipples to having boobs.” Um, they’re bubbies, Joe. Get it straight. (Though apparently Joe is concerned they might shrink in the wash.)

Dina says she purchased this cute periwinkle dress seen here at Saks Fifth Avenue. However, in Episode 5 she expresses concern about its length: "If I bend over, my chucky is out for everyone to see."/Credit Bravo

Dina says she purchased this cute periwinkle dress seen here at Saks Fifth Avenue. However, in Episode 5 she expresses concern about its length: "If I bend over, my chucky is out for everyone to see."/Credit Bravo

Episode 6

Cafe Amici (Wyckoff) – Italian restaurant that Caroline, Dina and Lexi visit for dinner. Dina ponders giving up her career as an event planner and interior decorator to stay home with her 12-year-old daughter, whom she’s dismayed to discover is growing up. “I turn around for five minutes to work and all of a sudden she’s got t***,” Dina tells her sister. Classy!

Bernard Kerik – A good family friend of Caroline and Albert Manzo, Kerik is the former New York police commissioner who is presently fending off such assorted charges as “lying to the White House, failing to declare income, filing false returns and corruption,” reports The Star-Ledger.  He’s also, apparently, a friend to dogs. The four-legged kind, I mean.

Don't you just love the moment when Jacqueline finally snapped?

Don't you just love the moment when Jacqueline finally snapped?/Credit Bravo

Lu Nello (Cedar Grove) – This is it – the site of the fabulicious blow-out between Dina, Caroline, Teresa, Jacqueline and Danielle. (I’m still trying to figure out how Danielle smuggled in that copy of “Cop Without a Badge.” Clearly, it’s too big to fit in her purse.)  Yes, memories were made during this meal. I mean, will you be able to look at another oyster again without thinking about Joe Giudice’s raging libido? I wonder how much Bravo had to pay the place for Teresa’s little table-flipping incident? But the best part of the evening came when Jacqueline finally stood up to her sister-in-laws, shouting at one point, “You’re such a liar, Dina! I’m not covering for you anymore.” (I cheered, I admit it.)

Teresa Jersey girl. jpg

For those of you who are dying to get their hands on the “Jersey Girl” T-shirt Teresa sported in this episode (see above), you can do exactly that – by going here.

And those who are interested in learning what the “Real Housewives” are up to lately, The Star-Ledger has a short but informative piece right here. It includes such nuggets as this: It wasn’t Dina’s idea to park in the handicapped spot outside Chateau Salon.

Oh, and there’s also Dina’s interview with People in which she splits hairs about whether or not she was the one to blab about Danielle’s past. And Caroline talks to Newsweek.

If anyone actually visits any of these places, please let me know your thoughts! And please let me know about any places I might have missed.

Also, if anyone can explain to me where the phrase “chucky” comes from, please do!


The “Lost Footage” episode was definitely heavy on former “web exclusives,” but it did solve a mystery involving the identity of a certain upscale clothing boutique in which Dina and Teresa drop some serious dough. The shop in question is Alchemy in Ramsey.

Also featured in the episode was a visit all of the ladies made to Town & Country Apothecary in Ridgewood. While there, Caroline learned the invaluable skill of how to draw on her eyebrows. (Are you paying attention, Lauren?)

Lastly, Dina was shown creating an over-the-top, opulent wedding reception table setting (with $500 floral centerpiece!) at Anna Rose Floral Design in North Haledon.

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