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  • Taking Stock of Stockton
    boasts first rate vendors including local organic dairy meat poultry and produce farmers an outpost of Metropolitan Seafood and artisanal ice cream chocolate truffles and baked goods For eating in or taking away More Than Q specializes in Texas style barbecue while artisanal pizzas are the order of the day at Market Pizza The market s café features a tea and coffee bar plus goodies from Buttons Creperie and Juice Matters The café s hours differ slightly from the rest of the market Saturday and Sunday from 8 30 am to 4 pm Stockton s venerable wine shop Phillips Fine Wines 17 Bridge Street is conveniently located next to the market Another popular stop is the Stockton Food Store 12 Bridge Street inside the town s former railroad station Locals recommend the fried chicken and the blueberry muffins you also can choose from an array of sandwiches and salads Recommended Reading Red Ripe and Ready The New Jersey Tomato To explore the riverfront walk or bicycle the D R towpath a graveled route that runs along the edge of the Delaware north to Frenchtown and south to Lambertville It s a gentle and picturesque ride suitable for all ages A short walk or ride north from Stockton on the towpath brings visitors to Prallsville Mills 33 Risler Street a complex of preserved 18th and 19th century buildings operated by the Delaware River Mill Society Day trippers will find ample towpath parking here The complex is home to several fine arts and performance groups its craft gallery open on weekends features pottery stained glass jewelry photography and other works by local artisans A quilt show and sale is slated for the first weekend of October and the Lambertville based Opera Project will hold its fall concert there on October 10 For a full schedule of activities visit Delaware River Mill Society website Stockton s best known eatery the Stockton Inn is temporarily closed for repairs and should re open in late September But the Pass 88 Kingwood Stockton Road one of Jersey s hottest restaurants it s included in New Jersey Monthly s Top 25 is just two miles away in Rosemont an even smaller sleepier village than Stockton Just outside Rosemont is Green Sergeant s Covered Bridge the last bridge of its kind in New Jersey By day the Pass is a retail counter selling chef co owner Matthew Ridgeway s celebrated charcuterie for take away But four nights a week it is transformed into a casual restaurant serving exciting French inspired modern food For more dining options Lambertville is just four miles downriver via Scenic Route 29 Click to enlarge images The Hunterdon Room at Woolverton Inn left features touches of Americana Read more Historic Jersey Jersey Living Outdoors articles By submitting comments you grant permission for all or part of those comments to appear in the print edition of New Jersey Monthly 7 Songs to Comfort Christie on His Failed Presidential Bid Podcast Why We re Called The

    Original URL path: http://njmonthly.com/articles/jersey-living/taking-stock-of-stockton/ (2016-02-11)
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  • The Deep South: Going Off the Beaten Path in Salem and Cumberland Counties
    Captain Buck Riverfront Park On Fridays and Saturdays through October Maurice River Cruises offers several trips each day on the scenic river exploring the habitats of ospreys bald eagles and other winged denizens Still the main draw in Millville is the Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center Nestled among 65 acres of shady pines the center boasts glass blowing demonstrations museum stores and fellowship retreats for glass artists from across the country Drive west out of Millville on Route 49 and turn right onto Route 77 toward Bridgeton Here you ll find the state s largest historic district with more than 2 000 Victorian colonial and federal era homes The town also has the largest municipal park system in South Jersey with miles of trails for hiking and biking Tucked within the town is the Cohanzick Zoo home to more than 200 birds and mammals including a rare white tiger Finally stop into the Bridgeton Hall of Fame Sports Museum housed alongside the Burt Avenue Recreation Center This modest but thorough museum is dedicated to area sports teams and notable athletes such as baseball Hall of Famer Goose Goslin Recommended Reading Exclusive Inside Bridgegate Now head northeast on 77 turn right onto Route 56 then left onto County Road 645 which will lead you into the 2 092 acre Parvin State Park In the later half of October you ll enjoy perhaps the most spectacular foliage display in South Jersey Take a drive along the Forest Road Loop to experience the park s natural beauty or stretch your legs on the hiking trails around Parvin Lake You can also fish or paddle on Thundergust Lake canoe and kayak rentals are available on site Leaving the park take Almond Road until it becomes Centerton Road Travel south on Centerton for a little more than three miles before turning right onto Route 77 North This will lead you to Seabrook Farms an enormous fifth generation family owned operation that grows processes and freezes 150 million pounds of vegetables each year Produce is shipped from Seabrook all over the United States and as far as Chile and Saudi Arabia Just driving past the spread is impressive but you can also learn about the farm s history at the nearby Seabrook Educational and Cultural Center The farm has been home to interned Japanese Americans recruited to work there during World War II wartime refugees from Europe and migrant workers from Appalachia the deep South and the Caribbean The center is open from 9 am to noon Monday through Thursday Continue north on Route 77 for less than two miles turn left on County Road 540 and right on Route 49 That leads you to Salem County and the Supawna Meadows National Wildlife Refuge with its nearly 3 000 acres of tidal marshes The refuge at the mouth of the Salem River is a prized feeding ground for black ducks mallards sandpipers warblers sparrows and other birds during seasonal migrations You can view this undisturbed landscape

    Original URL path: http://njmonthly.com/articles/jersey-living/deep-south-beaten-path-salem-cumberland-counties/ (2016-02-11)
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  • The New PARCC Tests: Are We Ready?
    tests on the computer probably more than I did She also found PARCC easier to administer because instructions can be given right on the computer Yet enthusiasm varied from student to student I have kids with atrocious handwriting says Shutz who loved the fact that they could do this test online and type their essays I had gifted children who were frustrated that their essay was frozen and dumped and they had to start over again Screens freezing was only one of several common complaints about the PARCC field tests at schools across the state A poll by the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association in April found that 88 4 percent of school administrators in the state expressed anxiety about the forthcoming PARCC tests citing as major issues computers that either didn t work or logged students out without warning and confusing instructions Shutz blames the freezing screens on inadequate computers and poorly designed software Half the problems were with the test and half were with our technology she says David Hespe the acting commissioner of New Jersey s Department of Education DOE claimed in April that 70 percent of schools already had the technology in place to conduct the PARCC tests A DOE spokesperson says that this figure was up to 80 percent by the end of the school year Rehman says the Roxbury schools already had budgeted 1 5 million for wireless access and other technology upgrades something that would likely have been done eventually without PARCC but became more urgent once the test dates were looming Indeed the state and districts stress that widespread computer upgrades are needed regardless so it s not fair to blame PARCC for the added tech costs People tend to ask that question in a vacuum as if the technology is being used only for assessments says DOE spokesman Mike Yaple It s important to remember that the same technology that is used to provide student learning can also be used for assessing that student learning As for freezing screens and other glitches Yaple says proctor caching and other lessons learned from the field tests should help minimize such problems Besides he says every year New Jersey sees dozens of instances of problems with the old fashioned paper and pencil tests including proctor errors or more serious breaches such as cheating The state works with districts to address these issues and will continue to do so with PARCC Recommended Reading On the Frontline in the Fight Against Cyberterrorism Still some districts wonder how they ll pay for new technology and infrastructure upgrades such as wiring and bandwidth at older schools Governor Chris Christie s 2014 2015 budget added 10 per student in PARCC readiness technology aid a figure seen as falling far short of what districts need Stan Karp director of the Secondary Reform Project at the Education Law Center in Newark suggests the allocation was a token gesture meant in part to deter districts from filing formal objections that PARCC is an unfunded mandate The 10 makes it a grossly underfunded mandate instead of a totally unfunded one Karp says It s kind of unfortunate but our schools aren t equipped for it says Mo Neke Ragsdale a Camden parent activist Camden schools are still awaiting smart boards because the wiring in city schools won t support it she says on top of this layoffs of 241 school employees in May by superintendent Paymon Rouhanifard decimated the district s IT department she says With the drastic cuts that they re doing we re so far back from the other school districts it s just ridiculous Technology shortfalls are expected to worsen as resources are stretched to the limit this school year when schools will have to conduct tests on 10 times as many students within the 20 day testing window Roxbury s Rehman says that she assigned a technician to be on site throughout the PARCC field tests a luxury that won t be possible once full testing begins I have seven buildings she says If all seven are testing next year at the same time I only have six technicians and I m not the only school that s running into that Schools will also have to decide whether to devote all available computers and tablets to the tests If they go in that direction all students will be able to take the tests at the same time but teachers will be without any computers to use on regular classroom work If instead the tests are staggered the exam period could drag on for the entire testing window At some schools you would have to use the full 20 days of testing both morning testing and afternoon testing in order to get all the students through says Rehman Not only would that mean that each small slice of students being tested would end up missing regular class time something that Roxbury High School students complained about during the field tests but it also raises potential questions of fairness Is it equitable for one student to take it in the morning and one to take it in the afternoon Just getting everybody in my building into the computer lab twice a year in March and May to sit and take X number of days of testing seems logistically impossible says Shutz Moreover she says students who missed a day of NJ ASK could jump in at the point the rest of the class had reached and go back to complete missed sections at the end of the testing period under PARCC they have to start at the beginning and play catch up These poor kids came in after being sick and taking day one in the morning and then being subjected to day two in the afternoon The time crunch worsens when teachers try to schedule their own class by class tests to determine how kids are performing as the school year progresses something unlikely to change under PARCC Those

    Original URL path: http://njmonthly.com/articles/towns-schools/the-new-parcc-tests-are-we-ready/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Rutgers University Attemps To Merge With UMDNJ In The Midst Of A Major Sports Scandal
    the committee and codirector of the university s Center for Negotiation and Conflict Resolution praised Barchi s fierce intellect and characterized him as a take charge president noting that he d dispensed with a formal inauguration in order to get down to the urgent business of overseeing the merger with UMDNJ and setting Rutgers on a new academic and financial track Still Barchi s damn the torpedoes style offended some in the Rutgers community In February the Daily Targum Rutgers s student newspaper reported that Barchi had struck some students as unapproachable at a town hall style meeting Giancarlo Tello then a junior in the School of Arts and Sciences was quoted as saying I think we figured out he s going to be very much a politician about student issues Stamato admitted that the new president was still learning about Rutgers and that will continue to take time As for the merger with UMDNJ the nation s largest state owned health sciences university time is not a finite resource for Barchi Under legislation signed last year by Governor Chris Christie the merger is to take place by July 1 Barchi was confronted with a punch list of some 4 600 issues that needed to be addressed Among other things the complex legislation required Rutgers to create a School of Biomedical and Health Sciences comprising UMDNJ the Ernesto Mario School of Pharmacy the College of Nursing and the Institute for Health Health Care Policy and Aging Research among other schools Major financial planning and labor management issues also needed to be resolved including the distribution of resources among the Rutgers campuses and the appointment of a chancellor for the new health sciences school and two new provosts And some 3 000 contracts for clinical research federal grants and the like would have to be transferred from UMDNJ to Rutgers As a doctor and a former medical school president Barchi not only had a strong understanding of what needed to be done but what was at stake Having a medical school is not necessarily a good thing from a financial point of view since most medical schools lose money he said in March So why merge It s an intellectual advantage said Barchi It s an academic advantage It s an opportunity for us to build on the strong biomedical and life sciences that are present in Rutgers now along with the basic sciences and the more applied health care sciences that are being done in the medical schools to generate new programs new research Recommended Reading On the Frontline in the Fight Against Cyberterrorism With UMDNJ in the fold Rutgers Barchi said would be in a far better position to translate new knowledge to drive the economy and presumably help the university more successfully monetize its research in the process In fact Barchi hopes Rutgers will derive an increasing percentage of its funding from public private research driven partnerships The goal is to become a hybrid between a public and a private institution The enthusiasm Barchi expresses for the merger is not universal Some state legislators including Senator Bob Smith who represents New Brunswick and Piscataway raised concerns about the funding estimated costs are more than 75 million Driving that cost among other factors are fees for lawyers and other outside consultants as well as the considerable expense of merging two computer networks and human resources systems In fact two previous attempts to integrate Rutgers and UMDNJ failed during the McGreevey and Corzine administrations largely because legislators believed they would be too expensive In addition to covering the cost of the merger Rutgers will have to assume UMDNJ s debt which is close to 500 million That burden already has contributed to a downgrade of the university s bond rating by Moody s Investor Service In March Barchi responded to worries about the rating by noting that the rating agencies also including Standard Poor s had already done an analysis of Rutgers s likely financial situation post merger and continued to see the integrated university as being a strong one That of course was before basketball changed the game In its May 30 announcement of Rutgers s reduced bond rating Moody s noted that the university s reorganization is occurring at the same time that senior university leadership is facing external scrutiny and criticism citing the allegations against Rice as well as a new controversy surrounding its recently hired athletic director However Moody s added We do not anticipate these controversies will have a lasting credit impact on the university This wasn t the first time in Barchi s tenure at Rutgers that sports had emerged as a source of controversy The university announced last fall that in 2014 it would join the Big Ten the country s oldest Division 1 athletic conference and the most prominent in terms of national media coverage Barchi considers Big Ten membership an opportunity to increase name recognition for Rutgers We see schools like Michigan Wisconsin Berkeley UNC as our aspirational peers he noted in March Having our brand next to Michigan s brand on a million TV screens is something that I couldn t possibly buy in terms of marketing But not everyone at Rutgers believes that these and other potential dividends of the sports program justify its expense In February 2012 the faculty at the School of Arts and Sciences voted 174 to 3 to support a resolution calling for cuts to athletic subsidies One of the proponents was Mark Killingsworth a professor of economics who has been a vocal critic of the university s athletics expenditures The athletic program notes Killingsworth runs a large annual deficit In 2012 the amount was 28 million which is fairly typical After his own unit Arts and Sciences ran a three year deficit totaling 25 million the university essentially instituted a hiring freeze When an academic program spends more than it takes in all hell breaks loose says Killingsworth He doesn t see the sports

    Original URL path: http://njmonthly.com/articles/towns-schools/reinventing-rutgers/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Governor Chris Christie's Ceiling On Superintendent Salaries Pushes Some Administrators Across State Borders
    see the full impact says Michael Osnato director of the Institute of Education Leadership Research and Renewal at Seton Hall University and a former superintendent Certainly schools will suffer from a lack of experienced talented superintendents staying in jobs he says While some administrators choose to leave the state says Osnato many others may choose early retirement Younger superintendents with long careers ahead of them are also aware there will be a limit to their raises in New Jersey says Osnato and will eventually look elsewhere for jobs There are a lot more superintendents looking to get out who haven t gone because it is not that easy to get a job says Osnato Jobs in neighboring states he says have become a lot more competitive as have jobs in larger districts where there is greater pay potential Osnato predicts that northern New Jersey where superintendent salaries were once the highest in the state will be the hardest hit Administrators there can more easily commute to New York state where salaries sometimes exceed 300 000 However implementation of the cap in New Jersey was followed by New York governor Andrew Cuomo s proposal for an identical cap in his state Recommended Reading There s Work to be Done Legislation in 2016 Hiring a superintendent is a school board s most important function says Osnato since the district leader sets the tone for the entire school system as well as the municipality They are very important to everything from real estate prices to people s pride in the community that they live in Osnato says School boards typically look for candidates with both teaching and administrative experience You have to be an expert in education and able to handle all these others things like finance professional development transportation feeding the kids says Bozza But for many districts seeking a new superintendent under the cap the applicant pool has changed Since the cap candidates for superintendent positions have gotten younger There is a dearth of experienced people says Osnato who also heads a superintendent search firm Five years ago the average age of a starting superintendent was 53 but now many applicants are in their 30s and 40s looking to move up from principal positions There are some good candidates out there Osnato says but you have to really recruit That s because some educators have become more apprehensive about leaving tenured positions that are protected from salary reductions There have also been fewer applicants for smaller districts with less pay potential The demands of the job coupled with the salary cap impacted the number of candidates Osnato says In places where school boards might have received 30 to 50 applications just a few years ago he says they have gotten only a handful As the 2011 2012 school year came to a close there were 60 to 70 superintendent vacancies in public school systems across the state including Glen Rock Englewood Cliffs East Brunswick and Mahwah There are exceptions In Cherry

    Original URL path: http://njmonthly.com/articles/towns-schools/capped-out/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Destination: LBI
    they also frequent LBI s newer tonier attractions Among the more prominent newcomers is the Arlington in Ship Bottom 1302 Long Beach Boulevard a craft beer bar with a trendy menu that emphasizes locally sourced produce and seafood Lacey Township bred brothers Paul and Brian Sabarese opened the Arlington in 2013 after purchasing the weathered Bayberry Inn which Hurricane Sandy had battered the previous fall The brothers moved quickly adding a new bar area and importing barn wood from Minnesota to give the renovated interior a warm rustic look Fish themed touches add a seaside appeal Brian 40 runs the kitchen tweaking the menu with seasonal ingredients to complement the ever changing beer list Local brewers like Kane Brewing Ocean Township Carton Brewing Atlantic Highlands and Cape May Brewing are among the 23 beers on draft as are numerous Belgian and German imports There are definitely places in LBI that have craft beer on draft but for us it s a constant rotation of beers says Paul 34 manager of the restaurant Every time you come in you should be able to try something new Recommended Reading The Last Nest Saving Our Bald Eagle Population The Sabarese brothers previously worked at Plantation 7908 Long Beach Boulevard Harvey Cedars a high end eatery opened by Philadelphia restaurateur Martin Grims in 2003 Plantation upped the ante on the LBI vacation experience as did Daddy O 4401 Long Beach Boulevard Brant Beach the hip hotel that opened in 2006 A stylish addition to LBI s mostly downscale roster of hostelries the 22 room Daddy O located one block from the ocean fills the bill for visitors looking for a more extravagant escape Pampering is key Complimentary beach badges chairs and towels as well as outdoor showers and changing rooms allow guests to maximize their fun in the sun Daddy O s rooftop O Bar with its breathtaking sunset view and tropical decor is a magnet for the cocktail crowd Vintage 50s style photographs line the staircase to the rooftop where happy hour revelers sip 18 Mile Runs a souped up rum punch 12 and Repo Margaritas a cocktail with barrel aged Patron Reposado 11 Munchies include seasonally changing bar bites and a full sushi menu To keep the mood going after happy hour Daddy O presents local live music acts Wednesday through Saturday all summer Last summer Daddy O also introduced its Garden Bar featuring sushi and fresh caught seafood from Viking Village just up the road in Barnegat Light Read about more place on LBI to stay Despite the influx of creative kitchens and beer menus popping up around the island many LBI visitors opt for the tried and true That might mean Mustache Bill s Diner 8th Street and Broadway Barnegat Light or Scojo s 307 N Long Beach Boulevard Surf City for breakfast and lunch Sandbox Café 2604 Long Beach Boulevard Ship Bottom for casual outdoor dining Buckalew s 101 N Bay Avenue Beach Haven or Tucker s 101 S

    Original URL path: http://njmonthly.com/articles/jersey-shore/destination-long-beach-island/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Destination: Point Pleasant Beach
    come in here off the beach in a bikini and walk out with a mink stole says Kathy Garcia a dealer working the register at the Point Pavilion Antique Centre 608 Arnold Avenue a longtime favorite The space houses 60 dealers offering furniture lighting housewares jewelry toys books and old records Every time we come here there is different stuff says Donna Arenal a visitor from Little Falls as she browses the aisles When it comes to antiques says Arenal you get a better deal in Point Pleasant Recommended Reading Giving Back Punkin Chunkin Raises 3 200 For St Jude Children s Research Hospital Other Point Pleasant antique dealers have revamped their offerings The market has changed says Perry Ford who has operated Canvas House Antiques Design Center 614 Trenton Avenue for more than a decade He says fewer shoppers are looking for traditional country antiques more want funky unusual items like industrial pieces and painted furniture But perhaps the biggest change in Point Pleasant is the burgeoning restaurant scene Leading the boomlet are the Poached Pear Bistro 816 Arnold Avenue an ambitious upscale spot opened in 2014 by executive chef Scott Giordano and 709 709 Arnold Avenue where the emphasis is on innovative sushi coastal cuisine and creative cocktails These newer hot spots join such old favorites as Spano s Ristorante Italiano 719 Arnold Avenue where you ll wait for a table most summer nights and Frankie s Bar and Grill 414 Richmond Avenue Route 35 a perennial best burger winner in New Jersey Monthly s Jersey Choice poll Popular lunch options include the Beanery 516 Bay Avenue Mileto Polish Italian Gourmet 718 Arnold Avenue and Joe Leone s 510 Richmond Avenue Route 35 another Jersey Choice winner best Italian deli sandwich Or stay at the beach and opt for a shrimp po boy or mahi mahi sandwich at Jenkinson s Boardwalk Bar Grill At the north end of town Shore Fresh Seafood Market 57 Channel Drive is a casual BYO located in front of a commercial fishing dock When chef owner Richard Brecka gets a seafood delivery sometimes the fish are still flapping around he says Grab a seat outdoors at one of the plastic picnic tables and dig into Brecka s lobster mac and cheese or his fish tacos Read about more places to eat in Point Pleasant Beach As is the case at many Shore destinations dessert is a big deal in Point Pleasant For regulars the top choices are Strollo s Lighthouse Homemade Italian Ice a block from the beach 101 Ocean Avenue and Hoffman s Ice Cream Yogurt 800 Richmond Avenue Route 35 where the after dinner waiting line is usually out the door It s arguably the best ice cream ever says Leon Tkacenko a North Brunswick teenager whose family stops for a cone every time they visit the Shore Fishing is another popular activity in the area Locals often try their luck at Manasquan Inlet where Ocean Avenue and Inlet Drive meet

    Original URL path: http://njmonthly.com/articles/jersey-shore/destination-point-pleasant-beach/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Destination: Bradley Beach
    the first community in the country to issue beach badges starting in 1929 Back then the tin badge was free for residents and hotel guests day visitors paid a small fee Today daily beach passes are 8 You can also rent chairs and umbrellas Newark and Second avenues have wheelchair accessible entrances and beach chairs are available for people with disabilities Clean public restrooms can be found at Newark LaReine Third and Evergreen avenues and changing rooms at Cliff and Third avenues Showers are located all along the beach Feel like hanging ten The beach between Third and Fifth avenues is reserved for surfers Summertime Surf sets up shop in Bradley and other neighboring towns schooling kids and adults alike on wave riding Read about surf schools along the Jersey Shore If fishing is more your speed the jetties at Lake Terrace Park Place Brinley Avenue and Second Avenue are favorite spots for anglers Recommended Reading 30 Best New Restaurants The boardwalk s chief attraction Shipwreck Island Mini Golf punctuates its colorful layout with humorous touches A moored vessel spouting water from its hull sports the name S S Sandy The nautical theme is a nod to Bradley s rich history Legend has it that Captain William Kidd anchored on these shores in 1679 burying his treasure somewhere along what is now Brinley Avenue Boardwalk concessions include Hula Grill where grass thatched umbrellas set the mood and breakfast sandwiches fish tacos and fresh squeezed lemonade satisfy cravings Shore Break Grill offers burgers fries and more For a break from the beach walk the half mile to Main Street admiring the town s attractive variety of homes as well as pretty Sylvan Lake where you might spot ducks or a crane taking flight Main Street has plenty to offer especially if you re hungry The Buttered Biscuit 700 Main Street a favorite breakfast haunt also serves lunch all day Del Ponte s Bakery 600 Main Street just down the block tempts with classic Italian style treats including exceptional cannolis and tricolor cookies The brightly painted walls and surfing murals at Fin s Tropicali Cuisine 120 Main Street radiate the joy of summer The menu features tacos burritos and finchiladas mixed fish platters served with rice and beans The Local Plate 11 99 showcases Pacific influences with an island spiced cod served with pineapple pico and sweet plantains A Caribbean vibe prevails at Blue Marlin 714 Main Street with its authentic Jamaican cuisine Good Italian food abounds Vic s Bar and Italian Restaurant 60 Main Street a Bradley Beach institution for four generations makes its own pizza sauce Order a large small or mini pie and grab a seat on the patio For plentiful pasta meat and seafood try Giamano s 301 Main Street The family owned restaurant hosts live music several nights a week and an organic market with locally sourced produce from 11 am to 4 pm Wednesdays beginning in June No day at the beach is complete without dessert

    Original URL path: http://njmonthly.com/articles/jersey-shore/destination-bradley-beach/ (2016-02-11)
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