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  • Destination: Atlantic City
    former Caesars Pier Shops has been set in motion by Tower Investments which purchased the property once valued at 200 million for 2 7 million in November 2014 The 500 000 square foot Pier Shops redubbed the Playground will still offer sweeping ocean views high end shops Tommy Bahama Apple Louis Vuitton and Stephen Starr s Buddakan restaurant In recent years the Pier has seemed a ghost town Tower CEO Bart Blatstein is determined to change that On Memorial Day weekend he plans to re open the first floor of the four story structure Along with swank retailers the Playground s revived first floor entered on the same level as the Boardwalk will house music clubs featuring rock jazz folk and R B A large central stage will host local and national performers The second and third floors projected for completion by November will add a bowling alley and a sports lounge Two pools are planned one on the beach itself and the other mounted on the part of the pier that extends over the rolling surf Recommended Reading 24 Karat Gold Facial Get Your Glow On Steps away the iconic Steel Pier amusement park has put on a fresh face expanding by 30 000 square feet Fourteen new rides have been added including a 200 foot high observation wheel The tallest such ride in New Jersey it offers sweeping views of Atlantic City shoreline and skyline In February Caesars brought a celebrity chef to town or at least a huge 290 seat restaurant bearing his name The Gordon Ramsay Pub Grill hopes to duplicate the success it has enjoyed at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas The famously persnickety star of Fox s Kitchen Nightmares has a fleet of restaurants high and low This one aims to be a classy English pub with more than 30 beers on tap The menu overseen by chef La Tasha McCutchen winner of Season 13 of Ramsay s Hell s Kitchen features pub faves like bangers mash and fish chips along with London broil and New Zealand red snapper Ramsay joins other celeb chef spots in AC such as Bobby Flay Steak at the Borgata and Guy Fieri s Chophouse which opened last summer at Bally s Café 2825 lacks a famous name but that didn t daunt Open Table customers whose enthusiasm for its Northern Italian cuisine landed it in the reservation service s Top 100 Best Restaurants in America for 2014 For casual fare along the Boardwalk Jimmy Buffett s Margaritaville which opened in May 2013 continues to conjure a carefree vacation vibe Anchoring the Boardwalk entrance at Resorts the restaurant offers tropical cocktails and décor with a beachy menu of chimichurri flat iron steak coconut shrimp and cheerful cocktails Margaritaville s sister installation Landshark Bar Grill stands across the Boardwalk offering waterside bar bites like fish tacos burgers and embellished hot dogs There is more to AC dining than the Boardwalk In town west of the Boardwalk the Iron Room at

    Original URL path: http://njmonthly.com/articles/jersey-shore/destination-atlantic-city/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Destination: Stone Harbor
    sweet tooth Stone Harbor regulars swear by the sticky buns at the Bread and Cheese Cupboard 246 96th Street They come good and gooey fresh from the oven but be forewarned On any summer weekend they sell out long before noon Recommended Reading Giving Back Punkin Chunkin Raises 3 200 For St Jude Children s Research Hospital Lunch standbys include Fred s Tavern 314 96th Street for burgers salads and sandwiches and Concord Café in Avalon 7800 Dune Drive a comfortable spot for burgers pizza and pasta Or head to the beach with a cooler full of creatively constructed sandwiches from Yvette s 221 96th Street Seven Mile Island s beachfront is attractive and clean with some of the Shore s finest white sand Looking for a boardwalk You won t find one here Stone Harbor and Avalon vacationers prefer the low key vibe although they might not be crazy about the scant supply of rest rooms Both towns honor each other s beach tags daily 6 weekly 12 seasonal 27 For day trippers a choice stretch of beach is the area where the two towns meet at 80th Street Parking is ample and free and beach access is easy Best of all you can avail yourself of the public amenities at Avalon s two oceanfront hotels Windrift and its neighbor the Golden Inn Stroll off the beach at 80th Street and you can step into one of Windrift s several oceanview bars or its sun bathed Level 2 restaurant The atmosphere is casual the reasonably priced lunch and dinner menus include brick oven pizzas and fresh made sushi and the ocean view is among the best on the Jersey Shore Similarly inviting is the Golden Inn s Sandbar where drinks salads sandwiches and flat breads are served from a tiki hut nestled behind the dunes at 78th Street Read more about where to stay on Seven Mile Island There are plenty of activities away from the beach A bike lane runs the length of Second Avenue in Stone Harbor and Dune Drive in Avalon Traffic is minimal and bike rentals easy to find Ambitious riders can stretch their trek north over Townsend s Inlet to Sea Isle City or south on a breezy causeway through a wide and scenic salt marsh all the way to the Wildwoods Natural attractions are a big part of the Stone Harbor experience Chief among them is the Wetlands Institute in Stone Harbor A nonprofit dedicated to sustaining healthy wetlands and coastal ecosystems the institute has educational programs events and displays for kids Raised paths for nature hikes provide a bird s eye view of the surrounding wetlands This is also the starting point for back bay boat rides and kayak tours Dinner options abound Stone Harbor s star attractions include old standby Jay s on Third new favorite Spiaggetta and the Reeds two dining destinations Water Star Grille and Sax at the Reeds On the funkier side is Quahog s Seafood Shack where

    Original URL path: http://njmonthly.com/articles/jersey-shore/destination-stone-harbor/ (2016-02-11)
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  • New Jersey Monthly's Downtown Showdown
    downtowns are facing each other in the first round They both should have been top seeds in opposite brackets Also where is New Brunswick What a poorly designed poll Louise Reeves Fixed Bordentown was never even mentioned I mean c mon Somerville If it wasn t for Friday night Cruise Nights Somerville would be a ghost town Morristown has turned into a divided city one side all Hispanic businesses the other non Hispanic and neither side with any flair or substance Princeton was a great strolling town about 20 years ago Now it s just banks real estate offices and insurance Most of its cute restaurants are gone there s few if any unique shops and it s over run with Millennials and upper class former hippies http njmonthly com New Jersey Monthly Hi everyone Picking our favorite downtowns was not easy We started with a list of 25 towns and polled our Facebook followers Some that were cut in the polling included New Brunswick Bernardsville Millburn Moorestown Pitman South Orange Summit and Westwood With their input we visited the top contenders and checked them out for factors such as ambience amenities dining shopping cultural attractions and parking Stephen Shad vs Sharks beautiful galleries shops and restaurants First Fridays for the Arts and free fireworks this Friday vote for Lambertville NJ John Scott There is NO doubt Lambertville is NUMBER 1 JazzyT Downtown Somerville Gets Better and Better with Time Music Wine Comedy Arts Outside theater Courthouse Lawn Concerts and much much more somer Somerville has so much more than cars on Friday nights if you d bother to come other times I m a huge fan of Somerville Movies on Wednesdays Concerts on Thursdays and Saturdays numerous events being held at least twice a month Charitable 5k s and historic tours Recreation everywhere you turn Did you know that you can bike walk run from one end of town to the other Besides what a great place to live There are so many choices of homes in our town ranging from 100 000 some to over a half a million Great starter town for young families who can stroll the streets safely try it I promise you ll like it It s 2 2 square miles of heaven Stephen cape may is nice Lambertville is nicer Ok I am biased I live here BUT we do have a much better more diverse and robust downtown come visit and see for yourself lambertville stingofdefeat westillrock Richard Nicoletti I really like Somerville The Irish pub rocks Lots of good Asian restaurants The bad people are inside the county jai downtown Need a train Catch it from Raritan Patricia Beck Peace Cape May is the absolute best Jeff Demos I agree Cape May is best with all the fabuolus restaurants they have like The Blue Rose Inn Washington Inn Union Park Peter Shields and The Ebbit Room to name few The Victorian buildings just set this town apart from all others I

    Original URL path: http://njmonthly.com/articles/towns-schools/downtown-showdown/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Who's Hot & Who's Not
    at number 2 median home price 1 million Bergen County also makes a strong showing with 5 of the top 20 including the even pricier Saddle River number 10 median home price 1 6 million Perhaps the biggest surprise in the new ranking is Lavallette The little Ocean County borough wasn t even in the top 100 two years ago Now it s number 3 thanks to one of the state s lowest tax rates and strong elementary school test results Another beach town Avon by the Sea soars to number 5 after seeing a best in state 63 7 percent increase in median home price based on 33 home sales in 2014 Apart from the Shore towns Moorestown once again is the top South Jersey municipality at number 48 While the average property tax for homeowners in the Burlington County township was a whopping 10 412 in 2014 the bill rose only 0 4 percent from 2012 Recommended Reading Court Street School Fortified Students for Anything Meanwhile Mendham Borough the chart topper in 2012 slipped to number 67 this time around thanks largely to a 5 2 percent increase in average tax bill compared to 2012 and a 3 9 percent decline in home prices The complete list of 510 towns is available here For our detailed methodology click here Read more Best Places to Live Towns Schools 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 Garden State Table Hopping Jersey Shore Restaurant Week Melange in Somerville A Dress For Every Occasion NJ Father and Son s Wines Win Big 7 Dining Trends to Watch in 2016

    Original URL path: http://njmonthly.com/articles/towns-schools/whos-hot-whos-not/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Top Towns Methodology
    code number of full service restaurants within two miles of the municipality s main zip code and average commute time for those working away from home The final rankings were based on each municipality s combined rankings for 13 indicators across the five categories Extra weighting was given to the following indicators average tax bill change in average tax bill effective tax rate and results on standardized tests for students in grades 4 and 8 The following sources were used U S Census for population figures NJ Division of Taxation for property taxes NJ Division of Taxation Office of Property Administration for home sales prices NJ Division of State Police Uniform Crime Report NJ Department of Education School Report Card NJ Hospital Association hospital locations NJ Council for the Arts and NJ Theater Alliance theater locations Yelp com searches restaurant locations and the U S Census American Community Survey commute times The annual crime rate and violent crime rate are based on reported crimes per 1 000 residents Recommended Reading There s Work to be Done Legislation in 2016 NOTE Due to the 2012 merger of the two Princetons the change in residential tax bill and change in median home price were calculated using combined data from 2012 For change in residential tax bill the figures were weighted 70 percent for the former township and 30 percent for the former borough Read more Best Places to Live Top Towns List Towns Schools 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 Garden State Table Hopping Jersey Shore Restaurant Week Melange in Somerville A Dress For Every Occasion NJ Father

    Original URL path: http://njmonthly.com/articles/towns-schools/top-towns-methodology-2015/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Our Favorite Downtowns: Princeton
    Mistral Bar The formerly staid Peacock Inn features a handsome modern American restaurant Agricola a farm to table eatery has replaced Lahiere s These join perennial favorites Blue Point Grill Witherspoon Grill Teresa Caffe and Mediterra For casual eats there are the iconic Yankee Doodle Tap Room and Pj s Pancake House and the new wave Jammin Crepes Bent Spoon is the choice for ice cream Small World for coffee WHERE TO SHOP Get your Princeton Tiger gear at the U Store vintage vinyl at Princeton Record Exchange curated toys at JaZams eclectic home furnishings at the Farmhouse Store and Indigo cookware at Kitchen Kapers spices at Savory Spice Shop and clothing at locally owned shops that literally run from A Army Navy to Z Zoe one of several high end fashion boutiques If I m ever in need of a pick me up attests longtime resident Linda Prospero I just take a walk downtown and am always cheered by people walking eating and enjoying all the shops along Nassau Street Recommended Reading Net Gains The History of Pound Fishing DON T MISS The university s world class art museum generously supported by alums Nearly every day features theater dance or music at McCarter Theatre and the university s Richardson Auditorium The town s down on its heels Garden Theatre has been revitalized by a nonprofit that presents live art performances as well as first run foreign and indie flicks THEN AGAIN Locals decry the influx of chain stores albeit high end and as always the limited and pricey parking There are no photos with those IDs or post 114344 does not have any attached images Read more Jersey Living Jersey Travel Towns Schools articles By submitting comments you grant permission for all or part of those comments to appear

    Original URL path: http://njmonthly.com/articles/jersey-living/princeton/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Our Favorite Downtowns: Red Bank
    its sprawling Antiques Center and other shops Riverside Gardens Park on Front Street is the best spot to view the river The park hosts outdoor events in the warmer months and is a nice spot to watch the sailboats along the waterfront Nearby the Molly Pitcher Inn and the Oyster Point Hotel also offer riverfront views for dining or overnight stays WHERE TO EAT Red Bank has nearly 100 dining spots to choose from At the top of the heap but a short drive from downtown is Restaurant Nicholas a regular on NJM s Top 25 Downtown choices include the Robinson Ale House Dublin House and the Downtown for pub food Char for steak Catch for seafood Patrizia s or Birravino for pizza and pasta Runa for Peruvian specialties the Danish Cafe for soft croissants and authentic Nordic cuisine Good Karma Café for vegan and vegetarian dishes or the Cheese Cave for sandwiches and artisanal cheeses Get your caffeine at No Joe s Cafe or Rook Coffee Roasters or a sweet pick me up at Sugarush Recommended Reading Red Ripe and Ready The New Jersey Tomato WHERE TO SHOP Broad Street features high end boutiques like CoCo Pari chains like Urban Outfitters Alex and Ani and the trendy Dor L Dor the hip jeweler Poor Cat and shops with local flavor like Shore Chic and Cabana 19 For home furnishings check out Red Ginger Home for accessories and gifts visit Rumson China and Glass Music fans love Jack s Music Shoppe where you can buy and sell used LPs and CDs For toy lovers and hobbyists there are Toymasters and Hobbymasters respectively Don t pass up a stop at Jay and Silent Bob s Secret Stash a comics store packed with fun memorabilia On the West Side the Galleria Red Bank gathers boutiques restaurants and a spa under one roof DON T MISS Red Bank is blessed with two venues for live entertainment The landmark Count Basie Theater which opened in 1926 runs a busy and impressive schedule of concerts and theatrical performances The Two River Theater on the West Side is a professional company that stages new theatrical works and beloved classics THEN AGAIN Parking can be challenging To alleviate the crunch Red Bank RiverCenter offers valet parking daily after 5 pm Visitors also are encouraged to park in the underutilized lots east of Broad Street There are no photos with those IDs or post 114351 does not have any attached images Read more Jersey Living Jersey Shore Jersey Travel Towns Schools 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 Garden State Table Hopping Jersey Shore Restaurant Week Melange in Somerville A Dress For Every Occasion NJ Father and Son s Wines Win Big 7 Dining Trends to Watch in 2016 February 2016 Best New Restaurants Table

    Original URL path: http://njmonthly.com/articles/jersey-living/red-bank/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Our Favorite Downtowns: Ridgewood
    who raised her two sons in Ridgewood East Ridgewood Avenue is the main artery ending at the sprawling California Mission Revival style train station which dates to 1916 and is listed on the national and state Register of Historic Places Over the past year elegant way finding signs a joint effort by the Village and the local Chamber of Commerce have sprouted on downtown corners pointing visitors toward the many shops and restaurants on the side streets More will come I look at downtown as a destination says Village Manager Roberta Sonenfeld a 19 year resident We have lots of people coming from different directions It s a small town feel that is also urbane and sophisticated WHERE TO EAT Foodies have long appreciated the varied and highly rated restaurants in the village such as Latour Café 37 and Due Sakura Bana is the connoisseur s sushi choice Two noted newcomers are NJM Top 25 Picnic on the Square for New American and Novo for Middle Eastern with a distinctive Israeli accent Recommended Reading Court Street School Fortified Students for Anything WHERE TO SHOP Some residents bemoan the loss of mom and pop hardware and stationery stores in recent years but other small shops remain vibrant Among the favorites Fox s upscale off price women s wear Paris Jewelers Arthur Groom Co Loft 41 and Pangea Coins Jewelry all manner of bling Hillman Electric Lighting Town and Country Apothecary cosmetics and gifts Jekyll Hide leather goods Bookends autographed titles Hot Jewelry Box accessories and Pazzazed giftware Kids can enjoy arts and crafts at Creatively Yours the Bazaar Star Beadery Color Me Mine and the Art Spot DON T MISS The downtown historic district East Ridgewood between Maple Avenue and Broad Street Here you ll find architectural treasures like the late 18th century Archibald Vroom House 160 E Ridgewood The oldest building in the district it houses the Tea Tree Spa and Tina s Nails among other establishments The recently opened Fish Urban Dining restaurant has maintained the Classic Revival look of the former First National Bank and Trust Building 54 E Ridgewood THEN AGAIN Parking is a pain but a number of establishments introduced valet parking Tuesday to Saturday late last year Paybyphone an app for metered parking that alerts you as your time runs short has been an option since July and the Ridgewood Council is pondering two parking decks Click to enlarge images RAW 3409 Read more Jersey Living Jersey Travel Towns Schools 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 Garden State Table Hopping Jersey Shore Restaurant Week Melange in Somerville A Dress For Every Occasion NJ Father and Son s Wines Win Big 7 Dining Trends to Watch in 2016 February 2016 Best New Restaurants Table of Contents Subscribe Give a Gift Locate a

    Original URL path: http://njmonthly.com/articles/jersey-living/ridgewood/ (2016-02-11)
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