Tag Archives: Freehold

Eric D’Alessandro at iPlay America

On May 10, social media sensation and rising star comedian Eric D’Alessandro performed in front of a sold out show at iPlay America in Freehold. #HipNJ‘s Jessica Schrripa exclusively spoke to the funnyman backstage to talk about his newfound fame and iPlay’s “electric” crowd.

For more information on this Staten Island funnyman, you can follow him on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or YouTube.

For more on iPlay America, iPlayAmerica.com.

Dr. Drew Speaks on Addiction and Mental Illness

Whether you call him a highly accredited medical professional or a salacious, celebrity commentator, you can’t deny that at some point or another, you’ve called upon Dr. Drew Pinksy for guidance. Dr. Drew’s experience as an addiction specialist and as a charismatic talk-show host/media personality, have helped him to sustain 30 plus years in the public eye with a variety of audiences seeking his insight- celebrities included!

It’s hard to nail down what Dr. Drew is ‘best known’ for, but depending on what you select, you may unwittingly reveal your age… So for now, let’s just read this in rhetoric.

Is it ‘Loveline’, the nationally syndicated radio show which helped to launch his career in media?
VH1’s Celebrity Rehab?
MTV’s Teen Mom?
His family of podcasts reflecting on mental health issues, relationship advice, sex education or drug addiction?

The guy has done it all.

It comes as no surprise that he would be a key panelist and guest speaker through The National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) at a very special appearance which took place at the Event Center in IPLAY America in Freehold, NJ.

NSLS’s Q&A with Dr. Drew generated a crowd of all ages (male and female) for a LIVE broadcast with audience members able to interact on the spot by ‘tweeting’ in their general and personal questions for Pinsky to respond to. Video chats were set up on giant, high-def screens so students from across the country were all capable of joining in and participating in the conversation.

Before the nitty-gritty really began, Dr. Drew introduced the night by discussing his own battles with depression and anxiety and how choosing to live a life of service is what led him to overcome those obstacles and propelled his success. As a best-selling author, a board-certified internist, therapist, addiction medicine expert, Dr. Drew jokingly refers to his occupational course as a “mistake”.  Meaning, to him, he embarked on this accidental journey from a medical student to one of the world’s most recognizable doctors simply by building his resiliency, using all of his creative talents and passions to connect with people, and by exploring his options to their fullest potential.

As anticipated, once the conversation was sparked, there was a lot to cover!

Between the science behind addiction as a disease and de-stigmatizing mental illness – two very prevalent issues and hot topics among adolescent and adult Jersey residents – Dr. Drew linked all the facets of neurology/biology, lack of spirituality and psychology, experiential/behavioral afflictions and even regulation control, all as contributors to the chaos and clutter which can fester in an individual’s everyday reality. Dr. Drew is at the forefront of many of these celebrity psychiatric breakdowns and treats those with the most severe cases of drug dependency as we all see the pop culture headlines splash across every platform constantly. This subject matter may be at times controversial, but they are not going away. Addiction and mental illness are two things that have affected many of us directly or the people we love most. It is truly important to Dr. Drew to spread awareness and never stop talking about it.

Towards the end of the session, Dr. Drew presented the assembly with a copy of his latest autobiographical book, Cracked: Life on the Edge in a Rehab Clinic. In this enticing paperback, Pinsky reveals the intimate details and often fascinating anecdotes of his patients (identity protected, of course) as they undertake a lifestyle dealing with emotional trauma, sexual abuse, and/or a host of chemical nemeses: alcohol, Ecstasy, heroin, cocaine, prescription drugs and more. At the core of these stories is Pinsky himself, who has submerged himself intensely in his work. From the overly scrutinized, compulsive public figures and social influencers that the younger generation admires to the average mini-van driving ‘soccer mom’ that everyone ignores, Cracked exposes powerful scenarios and the sincere scope and rigor of addiction as a nationwide epidemic that simply does not discriminate.

If you or anyone you know is seeking help with social disorders, mental illness, or any form of addition, know it is okay to be there support system. If you notice a change in behavior or an individual who appears to be induced to a vulnerable state, do not ignore. Go to a professional or an authority and seek help.

#TrainYourBrainDay NJ’s Finest Escape Rooms!

escape room

Today is #TrainYourBrainDay! Looking to put your brain power to the test? An escape room is the perfect way to actively engage in some brain puzzles with your closest friends and family! The concept is simple—you are locked in room and must solve puzzles and riddles using clues, hints, and strategies to escape in under 60 minutes. I’ve had the pleasure of partaking in a few escape rooms with my family. It was a lot of fun—I highly recommend!

The first escape room I did was The Dorm Room at Amazing Escape Room in Princeton, NJ. As a college student, I thought it was really neat being able to do puzzles in a place that felt a lot like my college home! My first experience in an escape room was tough but definitely a great learning experience for future escape rooms. It laid the groundwork for being able to decipher clues and come up with strategic ways to solve the puzzles and riddles. Unfortunately, my group and I fell just short of escaping. We still had a great time!

The next escape room I did was Lost Jewel of Zanzibar at Escape Room Center in my hometown of Bridgewater, NJ. Set in Africa in 1930, the objective is to find a mystical gem from  a powerful warlord before time expires. I really liked the safari-adventure feel to this room. It almost felt like a Disney attraction! With a little more experience under our belts, my family and I were able to escape this room under 60 minutes. Woohoo!

My most recent escape room experience took place in Power Surge at Escape Garden State, minutes down the road from the #HipNJ HQ in Fairfield, NJ. This room takes place in Thomas Edison’s secret office. The goal is to access his secret work before time expires or else it will be gone forever. Personally, I thought this was the most challenging of the three I’ve done. It took a lot of ideas, guessing, and yes some clues from the Game Master, but we were able to escape! It was definitely my family’s most impressive escape yet!

If you’re looking for a new and exciting way to test your puzzle-solving skills, check out any of the locations I mentioned. The staff was very accommodating and the whole experience was seamless, fun, but definitely a challenge!

New Jersey escape rooms can be found in Princeton, Bridgewater, Fairfield, Hoboken, Atlantic City, Cherry Hill, Hackensack, and Freehold.