Childhood Friend of Christina Grimmie Shares Memories of Late Singer (HipNJ Exclusive)

By Kenneth Barilari

Singer Christina Grimmie of Marlton was fatally shot on Friday night after performing at The Plaza Live in Orlando, Florida. #HipNJ had the opportunity to speak with her childhood friend and next door neighbor, Kristen, about her memories with the singer.

Grimmie started posting covers of popular songs on YouTube in 2009 and quickly gained popularity. In 2014, she auditioned for The Voice with a stunning rendition of Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” that made all four judges turn their chairs. She joined Adam Levine’s team and finished the competition in 3rd place.

THE VOICE -- "Live Finale" Episode 621B -- Pictured: (l-r) Adam Levine, Christina Grimmie -- (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

THE VOICE — “Live Finale” Episode 621B — Pictured: (l-r) Adam Levine, Christina Grimmie — (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

 

In February and March 2016, Grimmie opened for Rachel Platten on her Wildfire Tour, where she performed songs from her latest EP, Side A.

Kristen said they both attended Vacation Bible School growing up, where they would rehearse Bible songs together. Grimmie was always performing in their hometown, “whether it was in a basement or a bar,” making it clear that singing was her passion from a young age.

Grimmie attended Cherokee High School, where she sang in the choir and participated in Cherokee Idol, the school’s annual singing competition.

When Grimmie joined The Voice, “the whole town was behind her,” Kristen said of their hometown. She said that the singer received tremendous support every step of the way.

Grimmie has given the world a ton of memorable performances, both on The Voice and on her own YouTube channel. Her cover of “Party in the U.S.A” has become her widely popular on YouTube, with over 12.5 million views to date.

Kristen recalled one song that stood out to her, Grimmie’s cover of David Guetta and Sia’s “Titanium.”

“It made me melt. It was incredible,” Kristen said. Grimmie’s cover of “Titanium” now has over 18 million views.

When she first heard the news of Christina’s injuries that would later become fatal, Kristen could not believe it. “I woke up to my phone blowing up with the news. It was devastating. I’m still in shock I cannot believe she’s gone,” she said.

Flowers and pictures have been placed around the Fallen Chief Memorial and Marlton will hold a candlelight vigil in the singer’s honor tonight.

When asked how people that knew Christina would describe her in three words, Kristen responded, “Talented, kindhearted, and independent.” Christina Grimmie’s talent and compassionate heart will be remembered always, and her voice will live on through the memories she gave to both her fans and those who had the opportunity to get to know her.

Restaurant Latour at Crystal Springs Resort

By Kenneth Barilari

#HipNJ’s Cara Di Falco brings us to Restaurant Latour at the Crystal Springs Resort in Sussex County.

According to Executive Chef Anthony Bucco, the restaurant exists in a destination area that sometimes gets lost in the shuffle of all things Jersey. Between the farmland and the stretches of the Appalachian Trail, the spectacular setting shapes everything about Restaurant Latour.

Latour has close working relationships with local animal farms, with a “synergy” existing between them. They also have a Chef’s garden, which provides easy access to fresh herbs and vegetables, and is open for customers to see in action.

The restaurant works with another local farm that does foraging. They scour the property and surrounding mountains for edible wild produce. This adds a wonderful health component, as there “are reasons certain things come up at certain times of the year,” Chef Bucco states. He feels that it is important that people remain aware of this.

Latour’s entire menu is done as tastings. There are five courses and diners have choices within each course. Or, if they are feeling brave, Chef Bucco and his team can decide the meal.

“I take a lot of pride when somebody hands over the responsibility of choosing for them,” Bucco said. “That’s the greatest compliment you can pay to a chef or a kitchen.” He loves the opportunity to sculpt a diner’s experience.

Bucco also stated that “there is no nicer sunset in New Jersey” than the one he sees from the restaurant. So, head over to Restaurant Latour for a delicious meal and a beautiful view.

For more information, visit Restaurant Latour’s website.  And for an exclusive recipe from Chef Bucco, visit Cara’s food blog at CaraDiFalco.com!

jose eber salon

José Eber Salon One Year Anniversary Celebration

Toast the one year anniversary of the #hippest salon in the Garden State with New Jersey’s go-to lifestyle series!

#HipNJ’s Lisa Marie Latino was at José Eber Salon in Millburn for their posh event that featured food, cocktails and tunes spun by celebrity music producer Valntino, who after traveling the world, boasted that the salon “is one of the best I’ve seen!”

In just one year in business, José Eber Salon has established themselves as the go-to salon for #HipNJ‘s glaministas. This full service salon is equipped with the latest beauty technology to provide full services in hair cuts and color, makeup for a luxe event, and designer nails.

Vanguard of Beauty, José Eber, reflected on the quality of each and every visit to the salon. Not only do clients leave with a show-stopping look, they come for the “one-of-a-kind experience!”

Owner Marc Farbstein explains how José’s decades of styling Hollywood’s top starlets translated into the salon’s success.  “José knows what’s hot, what’s in style, and what Beverly Hills is doing to create unforgettable and unique looks.  That hip factor is now in Short Hills, and people love it!”

Receive the red carpet treatment and book your appointment today.  For more information, visit JoseEberNJ.com.

Live Hard, Work Hard, Play Hard.