January 2020: What Made New Jersey Jersey

The historian David McCullough has said, “History is who we are and why we are the way we are.” Perhaps that’s why we find history so intriguing. It explains not just the past, but the present, with a hint of the future. 

Yes, history can be instructive, but it can be fun and fascinating, too. This month’s deep dive into New Jersey history is all of the above. Our coverage takes us back to Colonial days, and fast-forwards through several centuries of innovation, industriousness and creative triumphs, as well as social upheaval and human tragedy. Rest assured, there’s never a dull decade.

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Garden Variety

Randolph Runner Eyes 2020 Summer Olympics

Marathoner Roberta Groner, 41, will compete on Feb. 29 at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta.

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Fanwood Writer Emerges as Voice for Working People

The New York Times published Daniel Wasik’s passionate letter to the editor last year.

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A Jersey Soldier’s Voice Emerges from the Past

When a long-forgotten radio program from 1944 resurfaced, Lieutenant John Markowitz’s relatives heard him speak for the first time.

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Plainfield Symphony Orchestrates 100th Anniversary

Director Charles Prince describes his musicians as “unparalleled and extraordinary.” 

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Novel Explores Costs of Keeping Up with the Joneses

Lisa Tognola’s debut book, ‘As Long As It’s Perfect,’ was over a decade in the making.

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Stylephile

5 Fresh Winter Trends to Try

From feathers to metallics to wild patterns, your 2020 look starts here.

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Local Designers Weigh in on 2020 Decor Trends

Kick off the year with expert tips from top Jersey tastemakers.

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Steve Adubato: Only in New Jersey

We’re Halfway Through Gov. Murphy’s First Term. How’s He Doing?

Here’s what’s gone well, what hasn’t and what we can learn from it all.

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Giving Back

The Light of Day Foundation Turns 20

Determined cofounder Bob Benjamin has helped fundraise over $5.5 million for Parkinson’s disease, from which he himself suffers.

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Features

Physicist James Peebles on the Charm of the Unknown

The esteemed Princeton professor has spent a lifetime chasing ideas about the birth of the universe. And now, he has a Nobel Prize to show for it.

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29 Moments That Shaped New Jersey

Our state is the sum of triumphs, tragedies, social upheaval, innovation, creativity and cultural milestones.

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Strange Bedfellows: How Mixed-Politics Marriages Survive

These four New Jersey couples come from opposite sides of the political aisle. Their differences help keep them together.

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16 Tasty Moments in New Jersey Food History

A timeline of delicious innovations, from Taylor ham to Kohr’s Frozen Custard.

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The Newark Museum of Art Enters a Fresh Era

With a new name and a new leader, the 110-year-old institution aims to polish its image as a cultural hub.

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52 Jersey-Born Celebrities at a Glance

Do you share a birthday with any of these Garden State icons?

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Home & Garden

How an Irvington Company Salvaged a Century-Old Barn

Real Antique Wood meticulously deconstructs historic structures, then repurposes them for generations to come.

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Dining

Ventanas Reviewed: Cuban-Asian Cuisine with a Sophisticated Swagger

A block from the George Washington Bridge, resurgent chef David Burke wins a young, upscale following.

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Benares Reviewed: ‘Authentic, Full-Flavored’ Indian Food

The Wyckoff restaurant boasts a roughly 100-item menu brimming with delicious, aromatic dishes.

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Chic, Friendly New Cafe Delights Madison

Serving Balthazar pastries and an elevated brunch, Sunday Motor Co. has quickly gained a loyal following.

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At Masala Bay, Indian-Fusion for Every Diet

The Somerset eatery offers vegan, gluten-free and halal options.

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A Must-Stop Spot for Fast-Casual Lebanese

At Dory’s Mediterranean Grill in Medford, most ingredients are imported from Lebanon.

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How a Local Chef Rescued His Family’s Heritage

By taking over the Palizzi Social Club, chef Joey Baldino saved a century’s worth of memorabilia, recipes and lore.

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Little Hen Reviewed: Compelling French Food in a Rustic Setting

Standouts at the Haddonfield bistro include chicken-liver mousse, skate wing meuniere and the entire dessert menu.

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How Mead Is Making a Comeback

Sergio Moutela, owner of Melovino Meadery in Vauxhall, has his fingers on the pulse of New Jersey’s mead movement.

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