Tag Archives: Jersey Shore

garden state film festival

#HipNJ Visits the Garden State Film Festival

By: Jessica Schirripa

This weekend was way more than just ‘Lights, Camera, Action!’ It was the 17th annual Garden State Film Festival, which is a movie buff’s ticket to an inside look of the magic of cinema, all while paying tribute to New Jersey’s legacy as the birthplace of American film-making.

Held at the Paramount Theater in Asbury Park, the GSFF is one of the largest celebrations of the arts throughout the state of New Jersey. To be a part of this premier statewide initiative is to be a part of one of the most respected independent film festivals along the East Coast.

The vision of this film festival has blossomed into a renowned event that serves as a platform for both the filmmakers and the enthusiasts. It breeds creativity and passion, and even generates huge revenue for New Jersey’s very own city of the arts, Asbury Park, through storefront merchants and other associations at large!

Filled with ‘Best of Fests’, award ceremonies, celebrity guest appearances and overwhelming community support, this edition of the film festival proved to be one of the busiest and most impressive productions to date. Throughout the five day, ten venue commemoration, there were over 240 international films showcased. It also provided hands-on creative workshops open to the public, casting calls, back to back Q & A panels with the actors and filmmakers, non-stop after-parties, and more!

While attending Friday evening’s kick-off gala, the energy pulsated throughout the convention center. I was greeted with flashing lights, red carpets, and wall- to-wall local sponsors highlighting their own crafted foods, sweet treats and specialty services. It was neat to see the casts and crews of the movies, media and committee mixing and mingling the night away. It was the perfect way to experience Hollywood’s glitz & glam right off the boardwalk, especially since Asbury Park has been profoundly impacted by the Garden State Film Festival. In fact, the GSFF has played a leading role in the transformation from a city in urban decay into what is now referred to as “one of the coolest towns in America”. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, who was one of the many A-List attendees, was beaming with Garden State pride as he watched all who have been captivated by cinematic adventure. 

Aside from the dedicated board of directors, an army of volunteers, and everyone involved in the creation of these films, there was a legion of intense super-fans who were treated to complimentary trolley rides and parking. This was a nice touch to help treat those who attended the festival from beyond the Jersey Shore

The best part about the success of this weekend’s Garden State Film Festival was that it was an opportunity to be inspired and inspire others. A festival like this provides eager filmmakers an avenue to reach new audiences and be recognized for their skills and hard work. Even though there is the element of competition throughout the showcase, everyone is there to encourage each other and motivate other budding talent to go for their dreams!

For more information, visit GSFF.org.

Life’s Better in the Garden State

Here in New Jersey, we got it all, great entertainment, night life and of course the Jersey Shore! What more could you ask for when living on the east coast? Here are some of our favorite things about the living in the Garden State!

Diners
There are over 500 diners in this hungry state, all including late night specials, a menu filled with every styled burger and fries you can imagine and great service! So, if you’re finishing a night on the town or just up for an early bird special, odds are you’ll end up at a diner.

Full Service Gas Stations
New Jersey is the last state standing with full service gas stations, and we aren’t complaining one bit. When sitting in the car, mid-winter and saying “20 regular cash” to the attendant, we are all reminded of one of the many reasons why we love Jersey.

Four Seasons

You’ll experience all four seasons when living in the Garden State. So, if winter white is what you want, we got it. We have hot summers, perfect for beachy days. Autumns are cool with beautiful trees changing to gorgeous hues. As for spring, the conditions are perfect for blooming plants – they don’t call it the Garden State for nothing!

The Shore

Last but never least, the Jersey Shore. This is easily one of our favorite places in New Jersey. Our beautiful beaches attract the masses. A day the Garden State beaches basking in the sun or walking a nearby boardwalk, will get you a bronzed glow in no time.

Location

When living in New Jersey we get to enjoy many of the perks of New York City without having to be stuck in the hustle of loud noises, honking cars and flashing lights. Looking to have a fun night out on the town? Going out has never been so easy, New York City is just a hop skip and a river away.

Nature

Along with its views of city skylines, there are many ways to pass time out in the nature of the Garden State. Whether you’re into hiking, climbing, boating, or fishing, there are many opportunities to get out and enjoy the outdoors in Jersey.  

Nightlife & Drinks

New Jersey is filled with bars, pubs and all things nightlife. A night out with friends can include bar hopping, a pub crawl, catching a show or just dancing the night away. If the nightlife isn’t enticing enough for you, Jersey also has some great wineries and breweries.

Pizza and Bagels

Though the debate on Taylor Ham versus Pork Roll may not be settled, we can come together and agree that New Jersey’s bagels and New Jersey Pizza are a breed of their own. So, if you love carbs, Jersey is the right place for you. 

Atlantic City
You might know it as the backdrop for ‘Boardwalk Empire’, but here, the locals consider Atlantic City as our mini Vegas. Located on the southern tip of New Jersey, Atlantic City has many attractions, and not just for not just for the high rollers; there’s the boardwalk, shows, dining, nightlife, shopping and more.

 

vegan

#VeganDay 5 of NJ’s Best Vegan Restaurants

Hey #HipNJ! Today is #VeganDay! To celebrate, let’s take a look at five of the yummiest vegan restaurants in the area!

1.  Veganized, New Brunswick

Located in the heart of New Brunswick, this vegan eatery is the bomb-diggity! Highlights of the menu include their RAWzagna (gluten-free raw zucchini pasta, marinated mushrooms, fresh tomato, nut cheese, sundried tomato puree, pesto) and the BBQ Skewers (grilled seitan vegetable BBQ skewers, herbed white bean sauce, saffron rice, crusted oyster mushrooms with maple dijon). The undisputed fan favorite is the mackin’ cheese pictured above. It looks so good!

2.  Seed to Sprout, Fair Haven & Avon-by-the-Sea

This down-the-shore vegan joint is the real deal. It offers breakfast, lunch, brunch and dinner, teaches cooking classes, and operates a bakery located in Wanamassa. They offer a delicious Maui Wowie smoothie (house-made cashew milk, strawberries, mango, banana, coconut, and fresh tumeric) and a Bacon Cheddar Melt (seared marinated tempeh, caramelized onion, coconut bacon, cashew sauce, riddled on a millet-flax bread). Pictured above is the House-Made Tempeh Chorizo Tacos! Yum!

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heart beet burger // 📷: @nachisheel

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3. Heart Beet Kitchen, Westmont

A charming, farmhouse-inspired eatery, Heart Beet Kitchen has a wide range of tasty foods such zucchini noodles with eggplant meatballs or spicy Buffalo cauliflower sandwich on a gluten-free bun. They also offers some tasty deserts such as a chocolate chip dough bar with almond butter, a pumpkin pie, and a matcha chai. The highly-acclaimed Heart Beet Burger is pictured above. Looks tasty!

4. Papa Ganache, Matawan

Vegan baked goods have never sounded better at Papa Ganache, a vegan/gluten-free bakery! While known for their baked goods including biscotti, cheesecake cups, pies, cookies, cakes and more, they also serve other food such as baked ziti, chili, and pizza. Pictured above is their delicious banana chocolate chip walnut bread, which looks super yummy!

5. Veggie Heaven, Teaneck, Montclair, & Denville

Culturally-inspired Veggie Heaven is known for their Asian fusion food. With favorites like the Thai Bang Bang Chicken, Crispy Stuffed Tofu, and any of their sushi options, it’s hard to go wrong here. Pictured above is a few of their sushi rolls which look absolutely delicious!

Any of these options are a fantastic choice for celebrating #VeganDay! Enjoy the day and try some vegan food if you get the chance!