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Taylor Swift At Lincoln Financial Field

By Lisa Marie Latino

Edit note: The following outlets have picked up this story: Cosmopolitan,  People Magazine, and Billboard (so far!)

Still high from my special Bruce Springsteen experience only a few days ago, my sights turned south…as in South Jersey and into Philadelphia, for Taylor Swift’s next stop on her Reputation Tour.

Reputation, her multi-platinum album that introduced Taylor as a pop star badass, was easily my favorite in 2017 (and in a year that also saw Kelly Clarkson release an album, that says something). So when my cousin, Melissa, put a group together to go see her on July 14th at Lincoln Financial Field, I was an immediate “yes.” Little did I know that this particular concert would be the most unique stop on her 36 city itinerary.

The weather for the concert was a summer’s dream, so much so that we extended our tailgate through the two opening acts, Camila Cabello and Charli XCX. As it neared Taylor’s scheduled start of 8:45 PM, we cleaned up and headed inside (where this New York Giants fan tried her best to ignore all of the looming Super Bowl LII Champion Eagles signs). We received our synchronized light-up bracelets, and took our seats just in time for Taylor’s first song of the night, “…Ready for It?”

— Hip New Jersey (@HipNewJersey) July 16, 2018

One thing that was evident throughout the night was Taylor’s gratitude for the beautiful life and opportunity that she has been blessed with. She recalled how she would dream of performing to packed audiences as an 8-year-old girl growing up in Reading, Pennsylvania, and how tonight was “more beautiful than I ever imagined it.” She also spoke nostalgically about her summers growing up at the Jersey Shore, specifically in Stone Harbor. Despite some of the hate she has attracted for this “earnestness” from pop star peers and press alike, I would like to think that every time she thanked her crew members, or law enforcement officials, or gaggles of fans, it was genuine.

Taylor continued to breeze through her setlist like the pro that she is, dazzling the sold-out crowd with “I Did Something Bad”, a mashup of her hits “Style,” “Love Story,” and “You Belong With Me” and the delicious revenge anthem, “Look What You Made Me Do.” However, the song that made the biggest splash was “Delicate”, and not because it’s one of my favorite songs ever, by any artist…

Halfway through the song, while suspended in mid air, Taylor commented that she was…stuck. The big, beautiful ball of light that was meant to tranport her to the other side of the stadium couldn’t move. While the crew got her down safely, she was left to improvise for the anxious crowd as producers backstage scrambled to figure out the next move.

Like the showwoman she is, she put to doubts any lip syncing suspicions and launched into acapella versions of “Our Song” and “Wildest Dreams”.

Once the crew figured out that a mechanical snake could get her to at least one side of the stadium, the show went on as scheduled with, appropriately, “Shake It Off.”

Yes, production problems are a nightmare (this EP’s heart and stomach went out to everyone backstage!) but it made an already-memorable show even more special. Fans got two bonus songs, and Taylor handled the situation like the pro that she is.

Tickets are still available for Taylor’s shows at MetLife Stadium on July 20th, 21st, and 22nd. Grab your girlfriends or your kids and treat yourself. I can’t promise that these shows will be as wild as mine, but it will still be wildly entertaining.

Fourth Annual Red Bull Surf + Rescue

Red Bull Surf + Rescue is an elite life guarding competition open to beach patrols throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region, including New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia, and it is right around the corner!

The contest focuses on classic disciplines including swimming, sprinting, paddleboard relay, and a new Red Bull Rescue Championship Round that will bring all four team members together in a brutal, back to back rescue scenario combining the skills demanded of ocean lifeguards on beaches around the world. 50 teams will battle through a new four-round elimination format before a winning team is crowned and receives a 2018 Polaris® GENERAL® 4 1000 for their patrol.

Beach patrols all along the East Coast condition themselves and train year-round for when they’re called into action. These professional lifeguards have to remain at peak performance, and on July 17th, their skills will be put to the test in Red Bull Surf + Rescue. As a contest of the elites, that pays homage to the rich history of lifeguarding, while challenging the world-class watermen and women of the Mid-Atlantic region.

The event takes place at Bungalow Beach in Atlantic City on Tuesday, July 17, 2018 from4:30PM – 8:00PM.

For more information, visit RedBullSurfandRescue.com

Bastille Day with Torico's Ice Cream

Celebrate Bastille Day with Torico’s Ice Cream

Bastille Day, also known as French National Day, is a holiday celebrating the beginning of the French Revolution and the Storming of the Bastille. Foodies from around the world commemorate this moment in history with the best in French cuisine, including truffle ice cream delights. According to SortiraParis.com, the city’s number one city guide, ice cream makers are concocting unique flavors with an importance on all-natural ingredients.

Lucky for #HipNJ, we don’t have to travel far to experience Paris’ ice cream culture, thanks to Torico’s Ice Cream in Jersey City!

Bastille Day

Their “Three Course Dessert” ice cream cake contains a collection of chocolate sweets. They hand roll brownie truffles and cover them in a dusting of cocoa powder and chocolate sprinkles. In between the truffles stand broken ice cream sandwich cookies atop dollops of chocolate whipped cream. The final course comes from a drizzling of chocolate fudge over each cocoa inspired delicacy on the cake.

If you think that sounds good, wait until you try it. Order one today!