MV Obsession

My obsession with Martha's Vineyard.. phototography..genealogy and life in general and this and that…


Downtown Newark, NJ Walking Tour…

What a fun thing to do on a gorgeous April Saturday.  A walking tour of downtown Newark, NJ with Have You Met Newark tours.  Newark is where I was born and grew up and it’s exciting to see what’s going on there.  Here are some pictures of our tour.


Pictured below is the Prudential Center arena (The Rock) and the NJ Performing Arts Center (NJPAC)


The Old First Presbyterian Church was established in 1666 by the founders of Newark, NJ.  My 10 times great-grandfather was one of the founders of Newark and he, along with some of my other ancestors were buried there.


The City Hall, and Broad and Market streets, known as the 4 corners.



The Prudential buildings. The Prudential came to Newark in the late 1800’s, the original building was demolished in 1956 to make way for Prudential Plaza which opened in 1960.  A few blocks away in July 2016 the Prudential Tower opened.

Prudential Plaza                                                          Prudential Tower


Right in downtown Newark are three lovely parks.  Lincoln Park, Military Park and here is Washington Park.  The Newark museum and library are located on one side of the park.


Newark always had lots of department stores.  Pictured here are Bamberger’s (which became Macy’s).. and Kresge (which is the K in K-Mart ), there was also Orbach’s and S. Klein all within a two block radius.

But the department store that was always a bit above the others, literally and figuratively was Hahne & Co Hahne’s closed its doors in 1987 and sat empty for 30 years, it has been totally renovated and is gorgeous.  In addition to retail space the new renovation includes 160 apartments.  Note the original Hahne & Co sign.


I’m a big fan of Newark, not just because I was born and raised there but because it’s a terrific place to visit.  Learn about what Newark is planning for the future, like this beautiful new park. IMG_4200 But also learn about Newark’s place in our history. A fun way to do that is with a group from Have You Met Newark.









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Titanic/Da Vinci …

Deb and I went to NYC recently to see two fantastic exhibits at the Discovery Times Square Expositions building.

The TITANIC exhibit was our main reason for going but once there decided to get a ticket for the DA VINCI WORKSHOP exhibit as well, and we were SO glad we did.

As you enter the Titanic exhibit you’re given a boarding pass of an actual passenger … you find out at the end of the exhibit whether you survived or not.  My third class passenger was Catherine Joseph, she was 24, married and mother of two small children.  They all survived.  Deb was Nora Hogarty, 18 who was sailing to America to join an order of nuns.  She did not survive.

The exhibit was interesting, haunting and painstakingly put together.  There were no pictures allowed of course, but at the replica of the grand staircase there was a photographer who would take your picture on the staircase. We very much enjoyed it…


The LEONARDO DA VINCE Workshop simply blew us away.  Trying to wrap your head around the genius of Leonardo Da Vince is like trying to explain calculus to a kindergartener (or me).  I knew some things about him but learned even more through the exhibit.  For instance, not only was he left handed but he wrote backwards.

I was fortunate enough to have seen the Mona Lisa at the Louvre in Paris and like many I was mesmerized by it… her eyes seem to follow you wherever you move to.  At the exhibit in NYC they show how the Mona Lisa looked when it was originally painted, how vivid the colors were and how differntly it looks today.  You can see a snippet of that and the Last Supper in a video by CLICKING HERE.

The TITANIC exhibit is closing Feb 28, 2010 and DA VINCE on March 14, 2010.  I’m so glad we went.

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Carly Simon’s Never Been Gone …

… and Carly has a new CD, Never Been Gone, out to prove it.

Carly has re-recorded 10 of her hits and added 2 new ones.  The songs have been updated to accommodate the natural changes  in Carly’s beautiful voice.  As long time fan of Carly’s I wondered how I would like the different arrangements.  Not to worry, they’re spectacular and in my opinion will delight anyone listening to them.  You don’t have to even know the originals to enjoy these songs..just sit back, close your eyes and let Carly’s lush and beautiful voice wash over you.

I had the pleasure of hearing Carly’s new rendition of “You’re So Vain” a couple of years ago at Joe’s Pub in New York City at a small concert she was giving.  Carly brought the house down and everyone said she HAD to record it… and she has, and it’s pure genius as are the other songs on this CD.

I don’t mean for this post to be a review of “Never Been Gone”... I just want to share with readers of this blog that Carly is ‘comin around again’ although she’s ‘never been gone.’


The Right Thing To Do     It Happens Every Day

Never Been Gone      Boys In The Trees

Let The River Run     You’re So Vain

You Belong To Me     No Freedom

That’s The Way I Always Heard It Should Be     Coming Around Again

Anticipation     Songbird


Chappaquiddick Lullaby …

One of the nicest children’s books about MV is Chappaquiddick Lullaby – a song of Martha’s Vineyard” by Stacy Elizabeth Hall and illustrated by Judith Pfeiffer. The book includes a CD by Kate Taylor and Taylor Brown.

I came across our copy of this book and CD recently and enjoyed reacquainting myself with them.  The book is basically about the activities and daydreams that children have during the summer.  The illustrations are abundant with Island landmarks and places… you need to read the book several times before you’ve picked out everything included in this rich and lovely book.

This article in the Vineyard Gazette from May, 2006 shows the author, Stacy Elizabeth Hall with illustrator Judith Pfeiffer and also Taylor Brown and Kate Taylor.

One of the things that drew us to this book is that we have our own Chappaquiddick in the family and when we found out that there was a Chappy song, sung no less by Kate who we have had the pleasure of meeting… well, we had to have the book.

Stacy’s website is:

Stacy’s first book “The Legend of Katama” is a beautifully told story of Katama, a brave young Wampanoag woman and how she changed her world.

Interestingly this our first dog who was named….. Katama (Katy)… do you see a pattern here 🙂


Kate Taylor’s New CD ‘Fair Time!’ …

The anxiously awaited new CD “Fair Time” by Kate Taylor arrived in my mail box today.  This is Kate’s first CD since “Beautiful Road” in 2002 and it’s worth the wait.

Kate easily moves from soft, reflective songs to downright rocking out.  My favorite seems to be whatever one I’m listening to.  All the songs are newly written by Kate, she also collaborates  with Bill Derby, Arlen Roth, Nicholas Peck, Nancy Aronie and Taylor Brown.  ‘Fair Time’ is a gift for the ears from a talented and awesome song writer and person.

I loved the packaging too… very eco-friendly. It is however the CD ‘sleeve’ that is clever and beautiful.  You’ll see for yourself when you get this very special CD from Kate 🙂

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Bradys NESW (Pet Friendly) B&B …

This is Bradys NESW Bed & Breakfast in Oak Bluffs.  Besides graciously welcoming two-legged guests, Bradys welcomes four-legged guests with open arms/paws. This charming Victorian home has been in Bradys family since the 1920’s.

Meet Amie, and she’s the official greeter and happily showed us to our room.

Our dog Chappy quickly settled onto the window seat.

The views from our room on the second floor were stunning.

I love how the sun came in every morning and illuminated this corner.

The staircase leading downstairs.  It was a little tricky for Chappy’s paws but he mastered it in no time.

Bradys location is ideal.  He’s located on a quiet street a half block from the beach and less than a mile to the center of Oak Bluffs.

Staying at Bradys is like staying at the home of a friend.  There are charming displays of memorabilia in every room… and a story to go with almost everything.  Brady is a wealth of Vineyard information, he can guide you with what to do and see and what not to miss.  There are four rooms at Bradys.  The West room (pictured in this post) has its own bath.

Bradys NESW is a good place to escape from stress and the constant barrage of today’s wired world.  Read a book, watch a movie from Brady’s vast collection – listen to a CD of show tunes, jazz, folk, and classical selections – there’s a fireplace to curl up next to – there’s a  cable TV in the living room –  and a beautiful porch with comfy rocking chairs to relax on.   There are no phones in the room but I’ve been told there is wifi access.  If you’re looking to get away from it all this is the place for you.

We certainly enjoyed our stay there and will definitely return.

Check out BRADYS NESW B&B website by CLICKING HERE.

The toll free phone number is 1-888-693-9137 .  You can also call 1-508-693-9137

Bradys NESW Bed & Breakfast

PO Box 197

10 Canonicus Ave

Oak Bluffs, MA 02557

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Newes From America Pub …

In my opinion one of the best places to eat on MV is the Newes From America Pub located in the Kelley House in Edgartown.

The Newes From America is located on the bottom floor (basement) of the original Kelley House building which was built in 1742.  The ceiling is criss-crossed with the original large and sturdy beams, the walls are thick brick and the atmosphere is like stepping back in time.  The entrance is at street level, there are no steps or stairs.

The menu at the Newes is eclectic and enticing.

One of my favorites is the Smokin Musket Turkey sandwich on peasant bread with sage mayo and cranberry sauce.  It’s like Thanksgiving on bread.

Their hamburger, in my opinion and that of my daughter, is that it’s one of the best on the Vineyard.  The 1/2 pound burger is cooked to your perfection… add cheese or mushrooms and delight your tastebuds.

Roast Beef Au Jus… roast beef, swiss cheese on a pressed roll with sherry-onion jus.

Lobster Roll – you just can’t go to MV and not have one and the lobster roll at the Newes is grand.  Tasty sweet lobster meat mixed with celery… served on a yummy roll…. my mouth is watering thinking about it.

The Caesar salad is a winner too… crisp greens, delicious dressing, lightly toasted croutons and chicken if you choose to add it.

Don’t forget clam chowder.  Like lobster rolls, you shouldn’t visit MV without having clam chowder.  The chowder at the Newes is always popular.  To be honest though I haven’t personally had it in awhile due to food allergies, however, my family members like it and that’s a good recommendation.

Fries… you’ve never had fries served like the Newes serves them… in a brown paper bag !!  Certainly a different presentation and one that somehow adds flavor and fun to a food everyone loves and pretty much doesn’t give much thought to.  You’ll love them.

I’ve eaten in the Newes and I’ve also gotten take-out from the Newes.  The service in the pub is always friendly and timely.  The only problem I ever had was with a take-out order… the mistake wasn’t noticed until we’d driven back to our hotel.  I called the Newes and they gladly took care of the problem immediately.

I haven’t touched upon the selection of beers at the Newes because well, I don’t know that much about them.  One of the interesting touches at the Newes is that for every beer you order you receive a ‘wooden nickel’. Many people pool their wooden nickels to reach the 1000 that it takes to get your name on a brass plaque on one of the bar stools.

While you’re waiting for your food to be served try taking the trivia test on the back of the menu !!!  If you don’t know the answers that’s okay… you’ll learn some intersting facts about MV when you look at the answers.  For instance, is it true that someone tried to throw former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara over board off the ferry Islander in the 1970’s !!!!

The prices are low, the food is good, it’s family friendly (kids love the bag of fries)… it’s definitely worth a trip to the Newes From America while you’re on MV… once you go you’ll go back again and again.

To find out more about the Newes From America and its history, check out this article from the MV Times.