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Archives for May 2011

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Five Things to Do in Newark, NJ

Located across the Hudson River, Newark is the largest city in New Jersey and the third oldest of the major cities in the United States. Not a typical or popular tourist destination, Newark has plenty to offer.

With a population of more than 270,000, it is one of the state’s most ethnically diverse cities with African-Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asians, etc. A significant Brazilian and Portuguese population is concentrated in the Ironbound district, also called “Little Portugal.” Ironbound is known for its European feel, restaurants and the annual Portuguese Festival which is held in June.

Basilica of the Sacred Heart

Five Things to Do in Newark –

  • New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) – Home of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, NJPAC is the sixth largest performance arts center in the U.S.
  • Newark Symphony Hall – the oldest and largest showcase for the arts in New Jersey. (I saw a concert there sometime ago. Tickets for the same show at Rockefeller Center in NY was way more expensive!)
  • Newark Museum – New Jersey’s largest museum of the arts and natural sciences
  • Institute of Jazz Studies – Located at the Newark campus of Rutgers University, it is the largest and most comprehensive library and archive of jazz and jazz-related materials in the world
  • Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart – the fifth largest cathedral in the U.S., it is an impressive looking building.

Getting there –

Newark is approximately only 8 miles from New York City and easily accessible via New Jersey Transit. By train to Newark’s Penn Station or Newark Liberty International Airport if you fly in.

Where to Stay

Enjoy Newark!

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Newark Museum

Memorial Day Cartoon

John Cole, The Scranton Times-Tribune

John Cole at The Scranton Times-Tribune says it better than I ever could. Thanks Mr. Cole.

Thanks for sharing, Sandi!

It’s Memorial Day

Picture of graves decorated with flags at Arli...

Image via Wikipedia

Memorial Day is the day set aside to remember the those men and women who have died for this country.

Personally, I’m conflicted about war but I’m clear about this: It isn’t the war, it’s the people – fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, uncles, aunts and cousins – who matter. They matter because of the sacrifice they make.

I visited to Arlington National Cemetery twice when I lived in Washington, D.C. The first thing that struck me were the rows and rows of pearly headstones — stretching as far as my eye could see — set atop a carpet of lush green grass. As I walked around, I was struck by the eerie silence that hangs like a blanket over the cemetery. I found myself whispering when there was no need to. As if talking would be irreverent.

As far as I know, I don’t know anyone who’s buried at Arlington but I know it’s an honor to be.

And having lost close family members, I can imagine the grief their loved ones feel.

Years ago, when a holiday was declared to honor Martin Luther King, many of my friends said we had to make sure that the day didn’t turn into a day for sales.

I’m not sure when Memorial Day weekend became known as the unofficial start of summer or when Memorial Day evolved into a day for sales but to my mind it cheapens the memory of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Arlington National Cemetery is open 365 days a year. From 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. from April to September and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. from October to March.

Soulful Sundays: Aretha Franklin

I’ve been an Aretha Franklin fan for a long time. I thought I had heard every song she’s sung.

Aretha Franklin - photo courtesy of

One morning, I heard a DJ mention an Aretha song that, in his estimation, was one of her best. But, he added, wasn’t as well known as her others. He played the song and I had to agree. It was Ain’t No Way.

I went out that same day and bought the cassette tape (yeah, it was that long ago. I still have it!), played it over and over in the car on the way home and for months later. It captured my imagination.

Ain’t No Way

Ain’t no way for me to love you,
if you won’t let me.
It ain’t no way for me to give you all you need,
if you won’t let me give all of me.
I know that a woman’s duty is to help and love a man,
and that’s the way it was planned.
Oh, but how can I, how can I, how can I
give you all the things I can,
if you’re tying both of my hands?

Oh, it ain’t no way (ain’t no way).
It ain’t no way (ain’t no way).
It just ain’t no way, baby (ain’t no way).
Ain’t no way baby (ain’t no way).
It ain’t no way for me to love you,
if you won’t let me.

Stop trying to be someone you’re not.
How cold and cruel is a man
who pay too much for what he got?
And if you need me to love you, say, say you do.
Oh, then baby, baby, baby don’t you know that
I need you.
Oh, Oh, it ain’t no way.
I’ll tell you that it ain’t no way,
It ain’t no way.
It ain’t no way, baby, no.
It just ain’t no way.
It sure ain’t no way
It ain’t no way for me to love you,
if you won’t let me…


Ain\’t No Way

Aretha will be performing in July at Nikon at Jones Beach Theater in Babylon, NY. I would love to see her again but I doubt I’ll be able to. If I had my choice, though, I’d see her in a more intimate setting.