September 2020: Top Dentists & The New Us

If you are looking for a single word that best summarizes the recent months, we nominate uncertainty. It’s a fitting word for the months ahead, too, as is clear in several of the articles in this month’s issue. As the centerpiece of this issue, we introduce you to a number of New Jerseyans who have discovered new powers of resiliency amid the uncertainty of Covid-19 and the added upheaval of racial strife. Among them is a former colleague of ours who was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness during the early weeks of the pandemic. (Good news: She’s doing well.) This issue also includes our annual Jersey Choice Top Dentists list, a popular feature that we rescheduled from its usual July slot. What you won’t find this month is a ranking of the Top High Schools, which is on hold for now. Like everyone else, we are adjusting our routine to fit the uncertain times.

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Garden Variety

Byram Blacksmith Pounds Out Knives of Perfectly Polished Steel

“It’s a powerful feeling to hit metal and make it go where you want,” Billy Barrett says.

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The Dogs Trained to Save Jersey Trees

Dia and Fagen learned to sniff out a fast-moving fungus before it strikes our state’s precious oaks.

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Jersey City Author Reclaims Painful Narrative

In “Being Lolita,” Alisson Wood challenges the perceptions of romance and consent in Vladimir Nabokov’s “Lolita”—and in her own past.

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NJ Painter’s Still-Life Spotted in Biden Home

Rosemary Castiglioni’s White on White appeared behind Jill Biden during home interviews that aired this summer.

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Oral History Project Documents Storied Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital

Stephanie Kip’s online interviews feature a range of subjects associated with the now-demolished Morris Plains hospital, including Woody Guthrie’s daughter and a former girlfriend of Bob Dylan’s.

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When a Palmyra Cop Broke the Mold

In 1959, Payton I. Flournoy Sr. was named the first Black police chief in Burlington County, and one of the first in the nation. At a recent Black Lives Matter rally—in a park named after him—his daughter shared part of his story.

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Steve Adubato: Only in NJ

Local Educators Reflect on Virtual Teaching

Lessons learned during the previous school year’s lockdown.

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Giving Back

Madison Nonprofit Connects Kids to Age-Appropriate Charities

The Student Wish List Project equips younger children with resources and skills needed to volunteer meaningfully in their communities.

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Scoping Out Facial Fashions in Asbury Park

The latest in fun and functional masks, straight from the street.

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A Hoboken Startup Devoted to Sustainable Shoemaking

Rebecca Heykes and Keiko Hirosue, founders of Loyal Footwear, produce supportive-yet-stylish shoes with cutting-edge materials and ethical practices.

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Tour a Stunning Showhouse in New Vernon’s Tyvan Hill Estate

The 19th Mansion in May Designer Showhouse and Gardens has this year evolved into Splendor in September, open for ticketed entry Sept. 8—Oct. 4.

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How Newark Abbey Symbolizes the Rebirth of a Diverse Community

In an evolving city, even the Benedictine monks have changed with the times.

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The Man Who Helped Put Jersey Wineries on the Map

Gary Pavlis has long been the Garden State’s go-to grape guy.

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The New Us: Stories of Resilience and Hope

Discovering our better selves in a time of uncertainty.

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My Harrowing Journey: Cancer Amid Covid-19

First came the lockdown, then my diagnosis.

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High Schools Try to Make Up for Lost Varsity Seasons

Covid-19 put a damper on glory days for New Jersey’s young athletes.

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What’s Next for High School Sports in New Jersey?

Even pre–Covid-19, tight budgets, club play and injury fears were changing the game.

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Behind the Inaugural Year at New Brunswick P-TECH

Part of a national reform model, the six-year high school allows students to earn a tuition-free associate degree—and a leg up on the job market.

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Meet the Handful of Locals Rescuing Our State’s Threatened Trees

Our forests and town treescapes face a host of thorny threats. Here’s how a few Jersey heroes have come to their aid.

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A Quick Guide to Planting Trees in New Jersey

Experts share tips for restoring biodiversity, promoting our natural state heritage and more.

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Home & Garden

Step Into Two Families’ Dream Sanctuaries

Behind the design approaches to a Short Hills colonial and a Jersey City townhome.

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Top Dentists

How Jersey Dentists Tackled Covid-19

They donned masks and shields, installed advanced cleansing systems, and got back to work.

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Eat & Drink

The Challenges Ahead For New Jersey Dining

Rising costs for everything from food to labor, plus Covid-19 uncertainty, cloud the restaurant forecast.

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The Surging Popularity of Ready-to-Drink Cocktails

Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, sales of premixed cocktails have exploded.

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Exit Ramp

A Fated Spin on My Dad’s Old Carousel

On a ride with my son at Disney World, I rediscovered my own New Jersey childhood—and an unmistakable piece of my late father.

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