Picnic at the Royal Palace of Caserta - Touring Bird

Acres of gardens, pools, waterfalls, fountains, forests, and statuary surround the 1200-room palace designed by architect Luigi Vanvitelli for the Bourbon kings of Naples in the 1700s. The palace also has an important World War II connection. In April of 1945, Germany signed its surrender to the Allied Forces at the palace of Caserta, ending the war in Europe. While thousands of visitors tour the Caserta year-round, many don't take advantage of its lovely gardens. Rent a bike and ride the path

Savor sweet dreams of Napoli - Touring Bird

Renowned chocolatiers Gay Odin have been making artisanal chocolates in Naples for well over 100 years. It all began in 1894 when Isidoro Odin, a chocolatier from the city of Alba in the north of Italy, packed all he owned and bought himself a third-class train ticket to Naples to open a chocolate shop. His business became such a success that he soon established his own chocolate laboratory and factory in Naples. He and his wife, Onorina Gay, lent their names to the shop that is now an inextrica

Count Basie Center for the Arts Opens New Conservatory

RED BANK – All was in harmony Monday when the Count Basie Center for the Arts welcomed its newest member. Wielding a pair of giant scissors, Mayor Pasquale Menna and Basie CEO and president Adam Philipson cut the ribbon officially opening the Count Basie Center’s Monmouth Conservatory of Music at 65 Chestnut St. Calling the arts a “thriving engine” for the economy of the borough, Menna said, “As a music enthusiast and someone who wishes he could play, I can’t wait to watch it grow.” The Monmo

There’s a Breath of Spring (And New Names) for Two Rumson Restaurants

Two of Rumson’s landmark restaurants are greeting spring with a fresh direction and a reaffirmation of their strong connections to the community. At Ridge Road and Avenue of Two Rivers, the elegant Victorian building that was long home to the legendary French restaurant Fromagerie has been reborn as The Rumson House. And on River Road, the former What’s Your Beef/Russell & Bette’s is now Victory Park Tavern. Owners of both restaurants have chosen names that honor each restaurant’s deep roots

After 62 Years, the Shrewsbury Chorale Sings On

If music be the food of love, as Shakespeare proposed in his play, “Twelfth Night,” it’s no wonder that members of the Shrewsbury Chorale continue to gather once a week, year after year, to feast on the music of classical composers with a dedication that endures all the twists and turns that life can offer. Founded in 1957 by conductor Alden Hammond, the group is currently celebrating its 62nd season. Over the decades, the chorale has earned numerous honors, representing the state of New Jersey

Poet Ed Ryterband on ‘Life on Cloud Eight’

SHREWSBURY – “It was a wonderful, strange place when I lived there,” the poet Ed Ryterband said, musing on the year he lived in Athens, Greece, as a newly-minted Ph.D. teaching psychology at a private school for girls at the edge of the Mediterranean Sea. It is a place he finds himself revisiting from time to time, in his memory, as he casts the reflections of his long life on to the blank page, making a poem. It’s a statement that could apply to his view of life itself, both beautiful and str

Inside Long Island City's Cheese Caves

On a visit to Murray's cheese caves, no spelunking equipment is required  In a crayon-scribbled children’s book inherited from my older sister a few decades ago, there’s a picture of a little girl running barefoot with a couple of goats on a green hill in Switzerland. In the story, the little girl named Heidi has come to live with her grandfather in a spartan log cabin high in the Alps, where he welcomes her with a bowl of goat milk, bread and cheese: simple food for simple folk, born of what he

Mapping History in Red Bank

RED BANK – Red Bank Public Library was about to celebrate its 80th anniversary in 2017 when Linda Hewitt, the library’s circulation supervisor, outreach and program coordinator, decided it might be fun to conduct a walking tour of the town as part of the celebration. To make it happen, Hewitt enlisted the help of retired teacher, lifelong borough resident and dedicated library volunteer Kathy Lou Colmorgen. Colmorgen, a veteran traveler who taught elementary school in Middletown for 37 years,

For the Severini Family, It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

FAIR HAVEN – Next Monday, with the bustle of holiday chores behind them, George and Kathy Dorn Severini will be doing what they’ve done together on many Christmas Eves. The longtime Fair Haven residents will be leading a Christmas sing-along at the piano in the lounge at Nauvoo Grille. Snow might not be falling. The weather may be warm. But Christmas will be coming anyway, as it has always done, through good times and hard years, bringing with it a few brief hours to celebrate, to count our bl

Gingerbread Neighborhood Rises in Atlantic Highlands

ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS – The weather outside was frightful, but inside the Atlantic Highlands Arts Council gallery at 54 First Ave. things were as sweet as – well, gingerbread – as the council hosted its semi-annual Gingerbread House workshop. Sitting amidst an array of candy canes, gumdrops, nonpareils, Tootsie Rolls, marshmallows, sprinkles and cookies, about 15 aspiring gingerbread house makers glued their walls and raised high the roof beams under the expert tutelage of arts council board membe

Patrick Murray - Polling Institute Keeps an Eye on the Public Mind

At this time of year it’s not unusual to receive a call from a polling organization seeking input from registered voters on the upcoming elections. Not a few of us are likely to hang up, annoyed at one more intrusion into our personal lives. But Patrick Murray, founding director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, would like us to reconsider. After all, it’s the voices of many different Americans that have the power to direct the course of government and influence public policy for m

Claudia Ansorge: A Vision and a Mission

Google the words, “Two River” and you’ll see a slew of businesses by that name: Two River Computer, Two River Realty, Two River Theater and, of course: Two River Times – to name just a few. But like a modern Brigadoon, the Two Rivers didn’t fully come into being as a community until it came alive in the imagination of a woman named Claudia Ansorge. Ansorge is the founder and past publisher of The Two River Times. By the time she published the first issue of this newspaper in 1990, Ansorge had

The Geraldo Years: Investigative and Hard Hitting

Part of the Two River Times 25th Anniversary Commemorative Coverage Fox News television correspondent Geraldo Rivera is in the middle of a phone call in his 17th floor corner office in New York City, speaking rapid fire Spanish to the person on the other end of the phone. As the conversation concludes, the man that just about everyone in America recognizes by his first name alone turns himself to the next task at hand: a trip down the river of time to the days when he was majority owner and man

For Linda Chorney, Grammys Were An ‘Emotional Jukebox’

SHE GOT TO meet her idol, Gregg Allman. And she got to dress to the nines and walk the red carpet, wearing she noted, “gorgeous black diamond earrings” she’d borrowed from the Gold Tinker in Deal, not to mention her $29 boots from Daffy’s. Sea Bright musician Linda Chorney earned her place as a Grammy nominee in the Best Americana category after 30 years on the road and 5 self-produced albums. Her history-making nomination in a category that included Levon Helm, Emmylou Harris, Ry Cooder and

Chef Joe Racioppi Add His Touch At The Pier House

Chef Joe Racioppi is well-known in the two river area as a the former proprietor of Racioppi’s restaurant in Red Bank, where Joe and his family cooked up culinary delights for their patrons for more than 15 years. These days, Racioppi is wearing a different hat (or toque), however – as executive chef of McLoone’s Pier House restaurant in Long Branch. Since joining McLoone’s Racioppi has introduced some of his own specialties to the restaurant rightly famous for its crab cakes while leading the
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Inside Long Island City's Cheese Caves

On a visit to Murray's cheese caves, no spelunking equipment is required  In a crayon-scribbled children’s book inherited from my older sister a few decades ago, there’s a picture of a little girl running barefoot with a couple of goats on a green hill in Switzerland. In the story, the little girl named Heidi has come to live with her grandfather in a spartan log cabin high in the Alps, where he welcomes her with a bowl of goat milk, bread and cheese: simple food for simple folk, born of what he
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