"By figuratively sticking her foot in America’s front door and keeping it wedged there long enough for an anonymous band of war-tossed Mongols to navigate around daunting racial barriers, Countess Tolstoy not only became the architect of the Mongol “invasion” of New Jersey and the country’s first ethnic Mongolian community, she also served as the midwife for the birth of Tibetan Buddhism in America." -- tells the amazing story of how a small band of Kalmyk Mongols (all WWII Wehrmacht veterans) established Tibetan Buddhism in America
, as told by David Urubshurow, who was one of them. Featuring Leo Tolstoy's youngest daughter, Cold War CIA and Ivy League intrigues, how the Dalai Lama came to America and why this was only possible under president Carter and more.
posted by MartinWisse
on Nov 8, 2013 -
Next weekend, The Showroom, an arthouse movie theater in Asbury Park, New Jersey, presents Bruce Noir
— a screening and discussion series on film noir and its influence on the life and music of Bruce Springsteen. The series will be hosted by crime novelist Wallace Stroby
(Kings of Midnight
), who once loaned Springsteen a DVD copy of Two-Lane Blacktop
, and will include appearances by Springsteen biographer Peter Ames Carlin
) via Skype and Jersey Noir
photographer Mark Krajnak
. The films being screened are Gun Crazy
, Out of the Past
, Atlantic City
, and Thunder Road
. (Not screening is Woody Allen's Stardust Memories
. It's not a noir, but as the story goes
, a fan spotted him alone at a screening of that film and eventually asked him to come home and have dinner with him and his mother. Springsteen agreed, making him not just a world-class rock-and-roller but also an A+ film buff in the eyes of many admirers.)
posted by Mothlight
on Aug 18, 2013 -
"WNYC and The Record
asked, separately, for documentation of NJ Transit’s hurricane preparedness plans. Both news organizations received the same reply: a three-and-a-half page document with the words “New Jersey Rail Operations Hurricane Plan” atop the first page. Everything else was blacked out.
" [more inside]
posted by 1970s Antihero
on May 14, 2013 -
The ballad of Red Buckets. "Richard Mason was a high school kid in Boston when he formed his band Insteps and recorded his first songs sounding much like the early Cure. ... Red Buckets began at University of Pennsylvania around 1982, and eventually brought Richard and the band into the context of
Crazy Rhythms-era Feelies, the Hoboken music scene at Maxwell’s, Dream Syndicate passing through, and the proto-Yo La Tengo record machine."
posted by mykescipark
on Jan 20, 2013 -
"As the story goes, [George] Daynor was a former gold prospector who’d lost his fortune in the Wall Street crash of 1929. Hitchhiking through Alaska, he was visited by an angel who told him to make his way to New Jersey without further delay. Divine providence had dictated that Daynor was to wait out the Great Depression there, building a castle with his bare hands. Daynor had only four dollars in his pocket when he arrived in Vineland, NJ.... For years he slept in an abandoned car on the mosquito-infested property, living off a steady diet of frogs, fish and squirrels while he built his elaborate eighteen-spired, pastel-hued Palace of Depression
out of auto parts and mud. His primary objective? To encourage his downtrodden countrymen to hold onto their hope and stay resourceful, no matter what." [more inside]
posted by jessamyn
on Jul 14, 2012 -
When not terrorizing Mr Bond
, from the late 1970s until 1994, Mike Mangino and Chris Shepard were in a basement full of musical toys, novelty space microphones, a TR-606
, and a SH-09
in Piscataway, NJ
recording cassettes as the band Smersh
. In 1981 Smersh
released their first cassette under their own label of Atlas King
. They never rehearsed, they couldn't read music, and they never played live, and they contributed to far too many compilations
throughout the known world. In the early eighties they established a unique sound
that is known and loved, combining cheap electronics and wild guitar sounds with distorted vocals. By trading cassettes they garnered international acclaim leading to releases on dozens of other labels
. [more inside]
posted by wcfields
on Dec 22, 2011 -
represents and reflects the most misunderstood and misrepresented place and people in all of America." In this series of calmly paced, short documentaries featuring profiles, atmosphere, landscape, and interviews, filmmakers Steve Rogers
and Ryan Bott
travel 21 counties to capture some of the true character and cultural nuance of the Garden State. [more inside]
posted by Miko
on Sep 12, 2011 -
Mickey Ween: A security guard came onstage and Gibby threw the alcohol on him. The dude just started backing away, it was clear that Gibby probably would set him on fire. And now, knowing Gibby like I do, it was definitely within the realm of possibility.An Oral History of May 3, 1987: The Day The Butthole Surfers Came to Trenton, New Jersey
Mark Pesetsky: And Gibby just gave me that psycho look with the Charles Manson eyes. He grabs a bottle of the rubbing alcohol and throws it on me and then starts walking towards me with a lighter. And John, the other bouncer, just jumps offstage. It was every man for himself at that point.
Gibby Haynes: Oh yeah, I do remember that. I mean, I've lit kids' heads on fire and they were smiling!
. Butthole Surfers interviewed in bed, parts 1
, playing The Scott & Gary Show on their first run through New York, parts 1
, playing live in 1985 [low quality]
, live footage from the 80s
. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus
on Mar 6, 2009 -
A glance will show / Why Phoebe Snow / Prefers this route / To Buffalo.
And Phoebe's right / No route is quite / As short as Road / of Anthracite.
In 1908 the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad began work on the New Jersey Cut-Off
to make its New York to Buffalo mainline (the Road of Anthracite so liked
by Phoebe Snow
) even shorter and faster. It was to have no grade crossings, and was to be as straight and level as possible — through hilly terrain. The 28-mile Lackawanna Cut-Off
, as it is now known, was built over three years, cost $11 million, and was an engineering marvel
of massive reinforced concrete bridges, enormous cuts, and the largest railroad embankment in the world. All of this has been abandoned
for years, though there are plans afoot to restore the Cut-Off for commuter rail
. [more inside]
posted by parudox
on Dec 24, 2008 -
looking for a nice, big kitty to let into your heart? Princess Chunk
, at 44 pounds, might fit the bill nicely. Just two pounds shy
of the world's record, the pudgy kitty was roaming sans collar in Voorhees, NJ and is now in good hands at the Camden County Animal Shelter.
Chunker's owners have until Saturday to claim their big pal - after that, this big quarterback of a kitty is ready for a loving home.
posted by porn in the woods
on Jul 30, 2008 -
Laurel Hester, RIP
--because she and her partner fought, New Jersey police and fire department employees can now name anyone--not just a spouse--as a beneficiary for pension rights, helping to protect those they love after they're gone. Just one person who made a difference.
posted by amberglow
on Feb 20, 2006 -