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 Acupuncturists Vail Homes, NJ

If you're new to holistic healing, acupuncture may seem intimidating. You might be wondering how needles pressed into your skin could possibly make you feel better. Wouldn't someone pushing a needle into your back be painful? As it turns out, acupuncture is far from painful and is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after treatments for chronic pain and for regulating issues relating to:

  • Digestion
  • Hormones
  • Breathing
  • Muscles
  • Nerves & Brain
  • Sex & Libido
  • Body Circulation
  • Organs & Heart

In fact, acupuncture has been studied and practiced for over 2,500 years and, more recently, has been researched and supported by many scientific studies. While acupuncture may not be a "miracle" treatment for every type of pain or condition, it has been shown to be effective in treating a wide range of issues, from depression and allergies to morning sickness and cramps.

Covering the Basics of Acupuncture in Vail Homes, NJ

Acupuncture is a therapy in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) that aims to balance the body's energy, called qi, which flows through pathways called meridians. This balance is crucial for overall wellness, as disruptions to qi can lead to health concerns. According to TCM, inserting small stainless-steel needles into specific points called acupoints along the meridians can help rebalance the flow of qi and restore overall health.

These acupoints are believed to release certain chemicals when stimulated, which can trigger an immune response and promote physiological homeostasis. Recent research suggests that this therapy may help alleviate symptoms of various health ailments.

In fact, the National Institute of Health conducted a survey on complementary health approaches, revealing that acupuncture usage in the United States has increased by 50 percent between 2002 and 2012. As of 2012, 6.4 percent of American adults have reported using acupuncture as a form of treatment.

Acupuncture Near Me Vail Homes, NJ

Is Acupuncture in Vail Homes, NJ Actually Legit?

One of the most common questions from new patients interested in acupuncture typically revolves around whether it really works or whether it's all "new age" malarky. We get it - for most folks, the thought of inserting stainless-steel needles into one's back, arms, or neck sounds loony. However, with the ever-increasing popularity of acupuncture in New Jersey and other locations, numerous studies centering on acupuncture's effectiveness have taken place.

Extensive research has been conducted on the effectiveness of acupuncture for various conditions. A February 2022 analysis published in the BMJ, which evaluated over 2,000 scientific reviews of acupuncture therapies, revealed that acupuncture's efficacy is strongest for:

  • Neck Pain
  • Back Pain
  • Post-Stroke Aphasia
  • Muscle Pain
  • Lactation Issues
  • Lower Back Pain
  • Asthma
  • Allergies
  • Vascular Dementia
  • More

Additionally, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), acupuncture is most effective for pain relief in cases of chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis, lower back pain, and tension headaches. Additionally, a review of 11 clinical trials found that acupuncture may also alleviate symptoms associated with cancer treatment, as noted by the NIH.

What Happens During an Acupuncture Session at New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness?

When meeting with your acupuncturist for the first time, they will discuss your condition with you before conducting a physical examination to identify areas of your body that might respond to acupuncture. The needles used in acupuncture are incredibly thin, sterile, and disposable, with your acupuncturist inserting them at different depths ranging from a fraction of an inch to several inches.

Acupuncture needles are less painful than medical needles used for vaccines or blood draws. This is because acupuncture needles are thinner and solid, not hollow. During the treatment, you may experience some muscle sensations like dull aches or tingling.

Your practitioner will ask you to report any deep heaviness or numbness, which are positive signs that the treatment is working. Depending on the condition you're treating and the supplemental treatments you're undergoing, like physical therapy, acupuncture needles will remain in place for several minutes or up to 30 minutes.

Once your first acupuncture treatment is finished, it's normal to feel extra relaxed and calm. For that reason, some patients like to arrange for a ride home after their first or second session. With that said, you shouldn't experience much pain at all, and it's quite possible for you to return to work after acupuncture.

How Many Treatments Until Acupuncture Works?

This is another common question that we get at New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness. The simple answer is, "It depends." While we understand that that's not a satisfying answer for some, it's important to understand that every patient is different. Everyone has different bodies and, by proxy, different bodily conditions and issues that need to be addressed.

During your initial consultation at our office, your licensed acupuncturist will go over your needs and goals as it relates to acupuncture therapy. Once your therapist has a good sense of the scope of your needs, they can give you a loose idea of how many sessions you'll need.

Generally speaking, most patients have appointments once a week. Others may require more or less frequent sessions. It's important to note that the full benefits of acupuncture may not be immediately evident after the first or even the second session. It's common for normal patients to undergo up to five treatments to realize the full benefits of acupuncture.

What Conditions Are Treated with Acupuncture in Vail Homes, NJ?

There's no question that acupuncture is more popular than ever as a non-invasive, non-addictive way to reclaim balance and well-being. But what types of conditions can this traditional therapy help alleviate in the modern world? Advances in acupuncture techniques and applications have resulted in some very promising benefits.

Relief from Chronic Pain

Did you know that regular acupuncture treatments can help reduce the pain associated with osteoarthritis? In May 2017, a meta-analysis was published, which studied approximately 18,000 patients with chronic pain, such as low back, neck, and shoulder pain, knee OA, and headache or migraine. The analysis found that the benefits of acupuncture therapy in reducing pain lasted for more than 12 months.

That's wonderful news for athletes and other people who push their bodies daily to accomplish goals or bring home money for rent and bills. In fact, many medical experts consider acupuncture as a viable option for managing chronic pain in conjunction with traditional methods like physical therapy and chiropractic care. The idea behind this approach is that acupuncture may trigger the body's natural healing response to alleviate pain.

When a licensed acupuncturist in New Jersey inserts an acupuncture needle, it penetrates your fascia, a connective tissue that wraps around your organs and muscles. Like a slight tickle on your arm, your body realizes that something is happening and responds by delivering lymph fluid, blood, and other important nutrients to speed up healing in affected areas like your knees, back, neck, joints, and more.

 Fertility Acupuncture Vail Homes, NJ
 Best Acupuncture Vail Homes, NJ

Migraine Headache Relief

If you're like other people who suffer from migraines, you know that once one of them hits, it can be next to impossible to function properly throughout the day. Fortunately, acupuncture in Vail Homes, NJ may be a viable solution if you have to endure migraines often.

A study conducted in 2009 by the Center for Complementary Medicine at the University of Munich analyzed 11 studies involving 2,137 patients who received acupuncture treatment for chronic tension-type headaches. The researchers concluded that acupuncture could be an effective non-pharmacological solution for frequent headaches.

The study compared the effects of acupuncture sessions with sham acupuncture and no treatment at all. Both groups that received acupuncture treatment, whether needles were placed randomly or strategically, reported a reduction in headache symptoms, while the control group reported no change. The group that received real acupuncture treatment also reported a decrease in the number of headache days and intensity of pain in a follow-up survey.

Improved Sleep

For individuals who struggle with insomnia and other sleep disturbances, acupuncture is a promising therapy. Although sedatives are commonly prescribed for insomnia, long-term use can lead to negative side effects such as dependence and excessive drowsiness.

A study conducted on 72 participants and published in Sleep Medicine in 2017 found that individuals who received acupuncture three times a week for four weeks experienced significant improvements in sleep quality and anxiety compared to those who received sham acupuncture.

Similarly, a review of 30 randomized, controlled trials found that acupuncture was more effective in improving sleep quality and daytime functioning than sham acupuncture.

 Acupuncture Clinic Vail Homes, NJ
 Facial Acupuncture Vail Homes, NJ

Better Recovery from Surgery

While many patients choose acupuncture as a way to avoid surgery altogether, those who need surgery also use it for improved recovery. Because, at the end of the day, recovering from surgery is no easy feat. Patients may experience various symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, pain around the incision, restlessness, sleep troubles, constipation, and sore throat.

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, healthcare providers may use acupuncture as a way to alleviate some of these symptoms and help with healing. A study published in Integrative Cancer Therapies in January 2017 involving 172 participants found that patients who received acupuncture after surgery reported significant improvements in sleep, anxiety, pain, fatigue, nausea, and drowsiness.

 Acupuncture Treatment Vail Homes, NJ

The Surprising Benefits of Supplementing Physical Therapy with Acupuncture

Did you know that supplementing physical therapy with acupuncture and vice versa can have profoundly beneficial effects for patients in New Jersey and across the country? If you're like most, chances are you didn't.

The truth is that acupuncture and physical therapy have both been proven effective in reducing pain and inflammation. While many people view them as separate methods, combining the two modalities can produce a synergistic effect that enhances pain relief and delivers long-lasting benefits to patients.

Physical therapists work with patients of all ages and abilities, from children to elderly adults, to help them overcome physical limitations and improve their quality of life. At NJ Sports Spine & Wellness, our physical therapists help treat a wide range of conditions, from neck pain and spinal cord injuries to back pain and arthritis.

To effectively reduce pain and treat tissue injury, a combination of acupuncture and physical therapy can be very helpful. Acupuncture helps to reduce inflammation and release muscle tightness and trigger points, allowing the patient to better receive manual therapy or exercise-based physical therapy techniques. In doing so, acupuncture can actually create a window of time that allows your body to respond better to other treatments at New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness, such as physical therapy and chiropractic care.

There are many benefits of combining physical therapy with acupuncture in Vail Homes, NJ, including the following:

  • Increased Range of Motion
  • More Effective Long-Term Pain Relief
  • Enhanced Tissue Repair & Healing
  • Better Response to Physical Therapy Due to Pain Reduction
  • Less of a Need for Pain Medications
  • Boosted Mood & Energy
  • Better Quality of Life Overall

You may be wondering, "Are there any studies showing these benefits?" As it turns out, there are many. One such study, published on the NIH's website, was conducted on patients suffering from frozen shoulder.

 Acupuncture Therapy Vail Homes, NJ

Patients who received acupuncture experienced a significant reduction in pain, while those who underwent physical therapy saw an improvement in range of motion. However, the best outcome was observed in patients who received a combination of both treatments, with reduced pain, increased their range of motion, and improved quality of life. This study highlights the potential benefits of using acupuncture and physical therapy as complementary treatments for frozen shoulder.

It makes sense, then, that people from all walks of life are combining acupuncture with chiropractic treatments at New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness, including:

  • Professional Athletes
  • Football Players
  • Soccer Players
  • Baseball Players
  • Construction Workers
  • Landscapers
  • Accountants and People Working Office Jobs
  • Public Officials
  • Police Officers
  • More

Combining Acupuncture with Chiropractic Care for Pain Relief and Wellness


At New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness, our doctors, practitioners, occupational therapists, and physical therapist specialize in a range of therapies and treatments. Much like physical therapy and acupuncture, combining chiropractic care with acupuncture therapy gives patients a new way to reclaim their mobility, reduce chronic pain, and maintain a healthy quality of life.

Chiropractic care and acupuncture in Vail Homes, NJ are natural healing practices that don't rely on drugs to improve the body's health. They focus on correcting imbalances in the body's structural and supportive systems, promoting natural healing, and ultimately leading to better health. These practices have a proven track record of helping patients improve their quality of life and overcome physical difficulties.

 Medical Acupuncture Vail Homes, NJ

What are the Benefits of Using Acupuncture with Chiropractic Care?

Integrating chiropractic and acupuncture as a dual-modality treatment offers the most efficient solution for removing blockages from the body, promoting balance, and accelerating healing. Rather than using these treatments sequentially, a combined approach allows for maximum benefits at one time.

Chiropractic targets subluxations in the nervous system through manual adjustments, facilitating the central nervous system to promote healing, while acupuncture removes blockages that may hinder the body's internal balance. Together, these treatments work synergistically to optimize energy flow and restore harmony in the body.

 Cosmetic Acupuncture Vail Homes, NJ
 Cosmetic Acupuncture Vail Homes, NJ

What Conditions Can Be Treated with Acupuncture and Chiropractic Care?

When our physical well-being becomes imbalanced, and our innate healing mechanisms are compromised, illnesses can manifest. The integration of acupuncture and chiropractic practices can effectively address a wide range of health conditions that they individually target, such as:

  • Sports Injuries
  • Headaches
  • Sciatica
  • Lower Back Pain
  • Neck Pain
  • Insomnia
  • Chronic Conditions Like Diabetes
  • More

Curious if combining chiropractic care or physical therapy with acupuncture is right for your body? The best way to find out is to make an appointment at our sports rehab clinic in New Jersey. Once our team of medical professionals has a chance to evaluate your conditions, we can explore the best options to provide the most relief in the shortest amount of time possible.

The Premier Choice for Professional Acupuncture in Vail Homes, NJ

New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness consists of a team of athletic trainers, chiropractors, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and other professionals. We're very proud and passionate about caring for our patients, many of whom are suffering from debilitating conditions like back and neck pain, plantar fasciitis, sports-related injuries, and more. If you're trying to get on the road to pain relief and recovery, acupuncture may be the non-surgical solution you need to reclaim your life. Contact our office today to learn whether this exciting treatment is right for you.


Latest News in Vail Homes, NJ

Tattooed Miss America contestant Theresa Vail is first to show ink during pageant

miss-kansas-tattoo.jpgOne of two visible tattoos on Ms. Kansas, Theresa Vail, during the preliminary round of the swimsuit competition Tuesday in Atlantic City.(Aristide Economopoulos/The Star-Ledger)ATLANTIC CITY — She isn't the only one with a tattoo.Miss Montana, for instance, has a big bold one on her foot, with a cross and an inscription.But ...


One of two visible tattoos on Ms. Kansas, Theresa Vail, during the preliminary round of the swimsuit competition Tuesday in Atlantic City.

(Aristide Economopoulos/The Star-Ledger)

ATLANTIC CITY — She isn't the only one with a tattoo.

Miss Montana, for instance, has a big bold one on her foot, with a cross and an inscription.

But Theresa Vail's ink was front and center last night at the first round of Miss America preliminaries. Exposing a tattoo seemed a far cry from the pageant queens of old who came to visit, like BeBe Shopp, from 1948, who once, it was reported, told media she didn't think bikinis were appropriate for American women.

Between Vail's red bikini, on her right side, spanning her ribs and hip, is the "Serenity Prayer," written in a sizable series of vintage font.

She is Miss Kansas, and while she wasn't there to wear them — the ladies will don their parade shoes Saturday — her plain tan boots also stood out in a table of glitzy, glittery heels yesterday at a preview for the

Show Us Your Shoes Parade


Vail, 22, joined the Kansas Army National Guard at 17, lists her employment as being in the medical detachment, and has double majored in Chinese and chemistry at Kansas State University.

Her pageant platform: "Empowering Women; Overcoming Stereotypes and Breaking Barriers."

Her career goal? "To become a prosthodontist for the Army" (prosthetic dentist). Vail did not win her turn at the swimsuit category.

Vail is believed to be the first contestant in a major pageant to display ink.

The senior at Kansas State University has one other tattoo: An insignia for the U.S. Army Dental Corps on her left shoulder.

Vail wrote on her blog

the "Serenity Prayer" helped her get through her adolescent years when she was bullied, leading her to get the tattoo. She said she added the military tattoo because she's always had "a strong passion for service."

"My whole platform is empowering women to overcome stereotypes and break barriers, Vail wrote on her blog. "What a hypocrite I would be if I covered my ink. How can I tell other women to be fearless and true to themselves if I can't do the same? I am who I am, tattoos and all."

She is the second service member to compete in Miss America, following Miss Utah Jill Stevens in 2007, who was a combat medic in Afghanistan.

Sharon Pearce, president of the Miss America Organization, says organizers were aware that Vail wouldn't be covering her tattoos. Pearce didn't think it was a problem.

"We believe each contestant definitely has the ability to show their individuality," she says. "We're happy to support them."

Chelsea Rick, Miss Mississippi, won the swimsuit competition on the same night that Vail strutted the stage in her bikini.

"I just expected that she was going to cover them up," says Rick, who wore a black and gold bikini. She thinks Vail is just representing herself by choosing not to cover something so permanent. Besides, she says, if Vail covered the ink now and won the title, she would have to do it all the time.

Mario Barth, owner of Starlight Tattoo shops in Rochelle Park, Belleville and Las Vegas, and the producer of the Inked Out tattoo convention taking place this weekend at the Meadowlands Expo Center in Secaucus, calls body art "the ultimate statement of self-expression."

It's a natural choice, he says, for a woman to share her tatoos on a national stage.

"I think it's a great thing that they're showing it and on such a big competition," says Barth. Plus, he says, by showing her tattoos in such a visible and large way, Vail is actually reflecting the chosen adornments of many women in 2013, in the United States and elsewhere.

"The biggest trend currently in the last year is that 75 percent of the clients are females and that all of them go for very large-scale tattoos," he says. "Angelina Jolie can show it on the red carpet, then Miss America can show it on the show."

Pearce says the mission of the pageant is to view the women in totality and not fixate on one detail.

Miss Alabama is one contestant whose very name, Chandler Champion, has drawn attention. Talking about Vail's body art, she lit up.

"She's such a cool girl," said Champion, eyes wide. "She's so full of surprises."

Miss America 2014: Preliminary night 1 stars 'contemporary clogging'

Miss America 2014: Pageant waves hello to Atlantic City Boardwalk once again

Star-Ledger staff writer Jeff Goldman contributed to this report.

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NJ's most romantic restaurants

Looking for a romantic restaurant ? North Jersey has a slew of terrific restaurants for you and your honey to enjoy one another. .Here's a list of the most romantic restaurants in North Jersey.Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen, MorristownFrom the outside, Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen looks like a tux-and-gown kind of place. After all, this Italian Renaissance palazzo was once AT&T President Theodore Vail's home and art gallery. But while it may look grand with enough marble to fill a small Italian q...

Looking for a romantic restaurant ? North Jersey has a slew of terrific restaurants for you and your honey to enjoy one another. .

Here's a list of the most romantic restaurants in North Jersey.

Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen, Morristown

From the outside, Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen looks like a tux-and-gown kind of place. After all, this Italian Renaissance palazzo was once AT&T President Theodore Vail's home and art gallery. But while it may look grand with enough marble to fill a small Italian quarry, this three-level extravaganza with beer hall, oyster bar, cocktail lounge and fine-dine seafood restaurant.is refreshingly welcoming and surprisingly unpretentious — and romantic of course (dim lights, fireplaces, fresh flowers, and...marble).

Get dressed up, if you'd like, or dress biz casual to dine on celery root lasagna, bourbon-glazed pork ribs and a burger at the Rathskeller beer hall (and enjoy a live band); a house-made charcuterie platter and cheese board at the Vail Bar as well as the Oyster Bar; and squid ink garganelli, butter-basted lobster and Denver leg of venison at its white tablecloth second-floor dining room, daPesca (by far the most romantic room; just walking up the grand staircase to it can make you feel lovey-dovey).

Have a cocktail or two, a nice bottle of wine (owner Chris Cannon is a wine guru who is a whiz at finding really good affordable bottles), and sit back, relax and enjoy.

Go: 110 South St., Morristown; 973-644-3180, jockeyhollowbarandkitchen.com.

The Grand Café, Morristown

Starched pink tablecloths with matching folded napkins. Fresh-cut flowers. Upholstered chairs. Crystal chandelier, darling wall sconces, thick carpeting and floor-to-ceiling plush drapery. The dining room of this longtime French restaurant would not be out of place in a French chateau. Only at this elegant old-world space there's no risk of feeling intimidated. Proud hosts Desmond and Alice Lloyd, who have been running this restaurant right off the Morristown Green for 38 years, are experts at making guests feel right at home.

While the menu is primarily French — sautéed foie gras, steak tartare, mussels Provencal and grilled sirloin au poivre — there are dishes with lots of American and Asian touches throughout it, like pan-seared tuna on a bed of soba noodles, breast of Peking duck with sticky rice and pan-roasted Angus filet-mignon with celery root purée.

Get yourself a bottle of wine, too. It not only goes well with the food but the atmosphere; residents of chateaus do not drink Coke with dinner.

Go: 42 Washington St., Morristown; 973-540-9444, thegrandcafe.com.

Elia, East Rutherford

Think dining on a Greek island would be romantic? Save yourself the plane fare and snag a table at Elia, a stunning modern Greek restaurant that opened nearly two years ago. It took Rutherford native Annamaria Adinolfi and her mother Anna Rosati four months to transform the space that had housed four-decades-old East Rutherford institution Park & Orchard into a striking, airy, whitewashed setting with Carrara marble bar and a big open kitchen. The furniture was all handmade in Greece; the wall art and knickknacks hail from Greece too.

The fish (fresh, whole, and charcoal grilled) are the stars of the menu from European sea bass to Mediterranean dorado. Too difficult to decide on one dessert? Get Elia's tasting dessert board. It may be a bit pricey — $30 — but how happy it will make your sweet tooths is priceless.

Go: 240 Hackensack St., East Rutherford; 201-939–9292, elianj.com.

Ivy Inn, Hasbrouck Heights

There's no better word to describe the Ivy Inn than romantic. This near century-and-a-half old rambling house exudes romance — even from the curb. Ivy, white lights, darling awnings. And that ooh-la-la romantic feeling doesn't end at the door; inside there's piano music, a roaring fireplace, brick walls, fresh-cut flowers. As for the food? It's not the draw here, though when The Record's reviewer last dined at the Ivy Inn, she appreciated the desserts.

Go: 268 Terrace Ave., Hasbrouck Heights; 201-393-7699, ivyinn.com.

Café Matisse, Rutherford

Any wonder Valentine's Day is the biggest night for Café Matisse. This enchanting beauty of a restaurant, with lovely colorful paintings and walls, whimsical chandeliers, starched white tablecloths and tasteful window dressings, year after year has been voted by numerous media outlets as one the most romantic restaurants — and not only in North Jersey or New Jersey, but the nation. Diners of Open Table, the online reservation service, have repeatedly named Café Matisse one of the "100 Most Romantic Restaurants in America."

As for the food? Café Matisse is the only restaurant in Bergen to have received a four-star review from The Record — twice to boot.

Go: 167 Park Ave, Rutherford; 201-935-2995, cafematisse.com.

Ho-Ho-Kus Inn, Ho-Ho-Kus

Vaulted ceilings. Marble fireplaces. Classic moulding. Soaring windows. If your idea of romantic is dining in a beautifully restored two-century-old structure, head to the Ho-Ho-Kus Inn. Established in 1790, the Inn, once known as The Mansion House, consists of five distinct rooms: Chateau, Hermitage, Tap, Zabriskie, and Wine Room (formerly the Crystal Room, which recently got a makeover).

There's a a room to suit every taste.

Go: 1 E. Franklin Turnpike, Ho-Ho-Kus; 201-445-4115, hohokusinn.com.

Saddle River Inn, Saddle River

What is it about well-preserved old places that make our hearts flutter? The Saddle River Inn, housed in a beautifully restored 1840s barn that once operated as a saw mill and basket weaving factory, shows its age the way a fine wine does: with good taste and class. The woods are dark, the linen starched, and the staff professional. But no food lover goes to a restaurant for decor alone. The food here is stellar; Bring a bottle of your favorite wine — nearly everyone else does. This is the kind of place you want to enjoy a good wine with a fine, expertly prepared meal.

Go: 2 Barnstable Court, Saddle River; 201-825-4016, saddleriverinn.com.

Haven Riverfront Restaurant & Bar, Edgewater

When a restaurant is located a mere 20 feet from the Hudson River, you can presume it's going to draw many to it. Haven's floor-to-ceiling windows afford its diners stunning views of those big buildings on the other side of the river, and even the bridge that connects North Jersey with New York City. The decor is modern. The bar is lively. The colors are soft. And the chairs are comfortable. So linger over dinner as you stare at that spectacular view across the river.

Go: 2 Main St., Edgewater; 201-943-1900, havenedgewater.com.

Café Panache, Ramsey

Few restaurants last five years let alone nearly 37 years. There are reasons for Café Panache's longevity: good food (the restaurant received 3½ out of 4 stars from The Record) and charming decor. The front room, which founding chef Kevin Kohler (he passed away a year ago and now his very capable protegé Michael Matonti heads the kitched) added a decade ago, is flooded with sunlight, thanks to multiple tall windows. The main dining room sports warm hues. Both have an elegant look, courtesy of white tablecloths, fresh-cut flowers and long-stemmed wine glasses. The food is seasonal and deftly prepared. It's a BYOB, so bring a bottle of wine along or, better yet, Champagne. You've got your love to drink to.

Go: 130 E. Main St., Ramsey; 201-934-0030, cafepanachenj.com.

Sear House, Closter

Ultra-modern, this two-story steakhouse is stunning, with a tall ceiling and tall windows, a zen-like water wall, a cozy fire pit, beautiful walnut burl and mahogany wood, and a drop-dead-gorgeous back-lit honey onyx bar. As for the eats? In a word: porterhouse. A few more: rib-eye, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes and Colorado lamb chops.

Go: 411 Piermont Road, Closter; 201-292-4612, searhouse.com.

Grab Your Goggles and Sip Tea in the Steampunk Era!

Attention, anachronologists! And you, temporal voyagers! I mean those who like to slide playfully backward in time. On Saturday April 9, the Steep-Punk! Steampunk Tea and Photo Shoot at Morristown’s historic Vail House should be your cup of tea.Steampunk, as its fans know, is a retro style that arises from the Victorian- and Edwardian-era science fiction and fantasy of authors such as Jules Verne and H.G. Wells. Steampunk refers to Nineteenth century fantasies of the future in n...

Attention, anachronologists! And you, temporal voyagers! I mean those who like to slide playfully backward in time. On Saturday April 9, the Steep-Punk! Steampunk Tea and Photo Shoot at Morristown’s historic Vail House should be your cup of tea.

Steampunk, as its fans know, is a retro style that arises from the Victorian- and Edwardian-era science fiction and fantasy of authors such as Jules Verne and H.G. Wells. Steampunk refers to Nineteenth century fantasies of the future in novels like Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Wells’s The Time Machine. In our own era, the 1960s television series (and later, movie) The Wild, Wild West embodied Steampunk’s fascination with yesteryear’s sense of the techno-tomorrow.

Steampunk enthusiasts enjoy role-playing and dressing up in costumes that combine 1800s attire, ranging from corsets to bowler hats, with goggles, gadgets and weapons that seemed futuristic at the time.

The Vail House, at the 8-acre National Historic Landmark site called Historic Speedwell, dates to the early 1800s. It has hosted a number of Steampunk gatherings in recent years, including a weekend festival of lectures, performances and vendors.

“The more we looked into it,” says Maressa McFarlane, historic education and volunteer supervisor for the Morris County Park Commission, “the more we realized what a good fit it was. [The Vail House has] the tradition of being an historic site that talks a lot about technology and inventions.

“That’s what’s really at the core of the genre,” she adds. “It’s taking the Victorian period and giving that society the technology we have now, only powered by the technology available in that era, like steam and gears.”

This year’s event can accommodate up to 40 participants, who are invited to arrive in Steampunk costumes and accoutrements. Costumes and props are optional, and must be provided by the attendants. The reward is that participants will be photographed by a professional photographer in the fully restored Vail House’s authentic Victorian setting.

The portrait session will be followed by a three-course high tea catered by Landauer Café in Montville, which also operates Matilda Café at the park commission’s Frehlinghuysen Arboretum.

The menu, built around fine teas: Tea sandwiches. Roasted turkey and Swiss with honey mustard; Virginia ham and cheddar with strawberry mayo; and herbed cream cheese with chives, onion and cucumber. Sweets. Scone of the Day, with assorted preserves and butter; double chocolate chip brownie; Linzer tart.

Guests will take home a 5 by 7-inch print of their Steampunk-inspired photo.

Historic Speedwell is considered the spot where modern telecommunications was born. Alfred Vail worked there with Samuel F.B. Morse to conduct the first successful public demonstration of the telegraph in 1838. In the site’s Factory Building, visitors can enjoy three floors of interactive exhibits, linking this earliest form of electronic communication to today’s interconnected digital world.

The Steampunk Steep-Punk event runs from 6 to 8:30 pm.

Tickets are $50 and can be purchased here.

Historic Speedwell 338 Speedwell Avenue Morristown

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Paramus Catholic prez says he doesn't hate Rutgers, explains bond with Michigan's Jim Harbaugh

Paramus Catholic helmetParamus Catholic will host the Next Level Football Camp, a satellite camp run by Michigan featuring 650 football prospects from the rising 9th to rising 12th grade on Wednesday, June 8, 2016.(Steve Hockstein | For NJ Advance Media)PARAMUS -- As the president of Paramus Catholic, James Vail admittedly should have bigger things to worry about than what's commonly referred to as ...

Paramus Catholic helmet

Paramus Catholic will host the Next Level Football Camp, a satellite camp run by Michigan featuring 650 football prospects from the rising 9th to rising 12th grade on Wednesday, June 8, 2016.

(Steve Hockstein | For NJ Advance Media)

PARAMUS -- As the president of Paramus Catholic, James Vail admittedly should have bigger things to worry about than what's commonly referred to as the Michigan satellite camp taking place on his school's campus this Wednesday.

But as his team of approximately 80 staff members, coaches and volunteers hammer out the final details on an instructional football clinic featuring 650 high school prospects from 215 schools in 12 states and 95 coaches from 45 colleges, Vail said he has no choice but to be involved in the planning of the Next Level Football Camp.

"it's just gotten so big,'' Vail said. "I'm in charge of logistics at our school and this is probably the biggest logistical challenge that we've had. We've been in overdrive now for a couple of weeks. It's a very intense thing. One, it's something we've never done before. Two, it's something very few people have done and, three, it's become a lot bigger than we expected it to be.''

Vail has taken plenty of heat since announcing May 6 that Paramus Catholic would host a satellite camp run by Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, with the fervor picking up steam after Rutgers coach Chris Ash countered by uniting with Ohio State coach Urban Meyer to host their own camp a few miles away in Bergen County.

"We just had a college fair at our school, with 140 colleges from all over, in different states,'' Vail said. "I don't think we were insulting Montclair State or William Paterson by having all these other schools come to our college fair. I consider this a college fair, only the subject happens to be football and we have 45 colleges instead of 140.''

Vail, who announced the satellite camp weeks after announcing that Harbaugh would be serving as a speaker at the school's graduation ceremony, said he "didn't see this as something that would offend anybody.''

"The job I'm in, you're used to being in controversy all the time,'' Vail said in a wide ranging, hour-long interview Sunday night. "I kind of thrive on being the lightning rod. It's kind of my job to take the heat and take pressure off my staff; it's not really my place to run a football camp, but I took responsibility for the camp because, given some of the fervor about our graduation speaker, I didn't want our new coach (Dan Sabella) to become a pinata for people. He's still on his honeymoon. We kind of figured it would be best if I present myself as the pinata for people.''

But, Vail added, "some people have told me that the reason I connect with Mr. Harbaugh -- it's not like we're best friends or anything but we just seem to understand each other -- is we're both a little crazy and we both thrive on criticism.''

He disputes the notion that he's a Harbaugh crony, noting that he's only known the Michigan coach since his high school football team played in Bradenton, Fla., against IMG Academy in late October.

"I've only been in his company for any length of time twice; it's not like i was the best man at his wedding or anything,'' Vail said. "Sometimes you feel like you relate to people and other times you don't. We're both rather competitive. He's a little crazy, but he's no crazier than I am.''

Even though he has strong connections with Michigan's football program -- four ex-Paramus Catholic players are set to play for the Wolverines this fall and former Paladins head coach Chris Partridge serves as Harbaugh's linebackers coach -- Vail said he has no ill will toward Rutgers.

He pointed to the public praise he gave the state university after Rutgers Athletics Director Pat Hobbs hired Steve Pikiell as the men's basketball coach in March. Vail taught Pikiell at St. Paul High in Connecticut in the mid-1980s.

"I have nothing but esteem for the institution,'' the longtime Paramus Catholic top administrator said of Rutgers. "Many of our students go there. And Najee Clayton is on the football team, and I'm very pleased about that. I support my former students. To my knowledge I have four former students who have big jobs in the Big Ten; I have an athletics facilities director at Minnesota, an assistant athletics director at Penn State; I have Partridge at Michigan and I have Pikiell at Rutgers.''

Vail quipped that he's considering "wearing a Rutgers basketball shirt at the camp.''

"I've known (Pikiell) since he was 10 years old. And it's been great to reconnect with him,'' he said. "Before this started, I did not have the slightest ounce of anything negative about Rutgers. We've had a number of our graduates, unrelated to sports, go there every year. We have a number of kids who strive to get in and when they don't, they're disappointed. I've only been on campus once. We played a game there a few years ago. One of the past coaches was not very supportive of us, but he's no longer there.''

Asked if he was referring to former Scarlet Knights coach Kyle Flood, Vail said: "No, before him even.''

Greg Schiano?

"Well, I'm not going to mention any names,'' Vail said. "One of the past coaches. I'm going to leave it at that.''

Vail said he has never met Ash, but likes what he's seen from the new Rutgers coach from media accounts.

"When they hired Pikiell, to me that was a defining moment,'' Vail said. "It was a clear message as a high school administration in the state that whatever issues Rutgers has had, it's in the past. I obviously have a ton of respect for Pikiell, but they have a relatively new AD, a football coach who I still haven't met. But with Pikiell, I couldn't have more positive things to say about anyone's passion, integrity and ability to coach. The things I've heard about Coach Ash, I have to think he's the same type of guy. And Hobbs is sending a real message that they're planning to run a clean and successful athletics program.

"I don't know how I could be any more positive than that.''

He said the growing fervor over his alignment with Michigan helped drive signups to his camp.

"Thanks to some of your colleagues and some of our rivals taking shots at us, it created a buzz,'' Vail said. "We originally thought we'd get 400 players. Given the space that we had, we could only accommodate 400 because we have three fields and we want everybody spaced out. ... We figured we'd have to spend some money on advertising; we didn't need to. In a sense, everybody (criticizing) did us a favor. ... We've really had to scramble to accommodate 650, and we're doing that thanks to our neighbors at Bergen (County) Community College, who are providing two additional fields.''

For all the heat that he's received, Vail insists he has no regrets.

"None,'' he said. "I mean, how many schools would turn down an opportunity to have Michigan and all the other prestigious colleges that want to help them present valuable instruction? There's nothing really to lose. It certainly generates some good p.r. for the school. I was quite adamant that if we were having a camp, Rutgers had to be invited and be viewed in the top tier with everyone else. I was kind of surprised when they said no. It was not something to be viewed as second class or any disrespect. They would've been top billing.''

Keith Sargeant may be reached at ksargeant@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @KSargeantNJ. Find NJ.com Rutgers Football on Facebook.

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Raising a Glass to a Century of Cooper River Park, a Calendar of 100 Events

Camden County plans 100 events to commemorate its premier public space hitting the century mark, including an anniversary pilsner with Double Nickel of Pennsauken.The seeds of the idea that would become Cooper River Park first were commissioned by Victor Talking Machine Co. founder Eldridge Johnson more than a century ago, said Camden County Commissioner Jeffrey Nash, liaison to the county parks system.Johnson envisioned creating a recreational area for his Camden City workers to enjoy “in what w...

Camden County plans 100 events to commemorate its premier public space hitting the century mark, including an anniversary pilsner with Double Nickel of Pennsauken.

The seeds of the idea that would become Cooper River Park first were commissioned by Victor Talking Machine Co. founder Eldridge Johnson more than a century ago, said Camden County Commissioner Jeffrey Nash, liaison to the county parks system.

Johnson envisioned creating a recreational area for his Camden City workers to enjoy “in what was then the country, Pennsauken,” Nash said.

In the time since the park was conceived, it’s been both a serene space for recreation and a dumping ground for waste from Camden County homes and businesses.

But today, it’s a premier public amenity in the 2,000-acre Camden County Parks system, as well as a key economic driver for the region.

“One hundred years has a winding history,” Nash said.

“People who have lived here over the past 75 years remember the days when you could not walk into the Cooper because of the pollution,” he said.

“Thanks to the Clean Water Act and the CCMUA, the river was cleaned. Now we have bass fishing tournaments and regattas.”

To commemorate the century that passed since Johnson charged landscape architect Charles Wellford Leavitt with developing his vision for Cooper River Park, Camden County has planned a calendar of 100 events for this parks season.

One of the highlights of that calendar comes May 12, when the Dad Vail regatta relocates to Cooper River Park from its historic home on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia.

To kick off the weekend, the county will release Cooper River Park 100, a collaboration with Double Nickel Brewing of Pennsauken, May 11.

The anniversary brew is a 5.0-percent pilsner with lemon, which Double Nickel General Manager Brian Needham described as “an easy-drinking beer that works for everyone.”

Fans will find Cooper River Park 100 at Camden County events all summer, with some distribution to local bars and beverage centers.

“One of the cool things about being a local brewery is the fact that we can really tailor something specifically for an event right here in our backyard,” Needham said.

“A whole lot of our team grew up in Camden County,” he said. “We spent a lot of years going to Cooper River Park and different county events, like the concerts the county puts on every summer.

“It’s something that we were excited to be a part of; to come up with something cool for them to feature this summer.”

Still a work in progress

In 1926, three years after Eldridge’s commission, Leavitt produced “Health, Sunshine, and Wealth,” a playbook for the Camden County government to develop a network of county parks along the banks of the Cooper River.

Today, Cooper River Park itself offers quick access to public amenities including a dog park, playground, track-and-field stadium, sculpture garden, bocce court, boat house, and driving range.

These didn’t all arise overnight, however, and neither do they define the limits of what the park can yet become, Camden County Parks Director Maggie McCann Johns said.

“In one of the tomes that kind of memorializes the work that was done over the 20s and 30s, and up to the war, Charles Leavitt was quoted as saying, ‘This is a work in progress; there’s so much more that needs to be developed,’” McCann Johns said.

“A hundred years later, that that’s still true,” she said.

“Now, with a much larger population than we had in 1923, we need more [public] spaces, especially in our overdeveloped area.

“We’re still working on expanding; making sure that there’s all of this access.”

The more than $10-million dredging project that cleaned up decades of waste runoff in the Cooper River, and deepened it in the process, kicked off a new wave of reinvestment in Cooper River Park.

For competitive rowers, the river offers one of the longest straightaway courses in the northeastern United States. Camden County leveraged that advantage by reinvesting in improvements that can support rowing infrastructure, including starting docks and a new pedestrian bridge linking rowers to their staging area.

As a result, the Dad Vail is only one of a dozen regattas on the books for Cooper River in 2023, McCann Johns said. The park will also host the NCAA Division I, II, and III women’s rowing championships from 2023 through 2025, as well as pre-championship qualifying races; state, junior, and scholastic regattas; and others.

Those events have the potential to drive massive economic interest, as teams and their families flock to Camden County from throughout the country.

“Those were the things we were going after,” McCann Johns said. “How can we put ourselves in a place that’s going to make us go from a very good venue to a great venue that the likes of an NCAA championship or the Dad Vail want to come here?”

Other improvements in the works for Cooper River Park include infrastructure fixes, like constructing a pedestrian bridge over Route 130 to connect the park interior to the Camden County Golf Academy.

Further off is an upgraded Cuthbert Boulevard bridge at the opposite end of the park, “making it really pedestrian-friendly on both sides, and giving people a place to step off the main thoroughfare and enjoy the view from up there,” McCann Johns said.

“We’ve started talking to our highway department and trying to figure it out,” she said.

Plans are also in the works to overhaul the Cooper River Park playground along a local prehistoric theme. McCann Johns said she’d like to construct a climbable Haddy the Hadrosaurus, along with some local education about the historic hadrosaurus site that lies within the county parks system in Haddonfield.

Haddonfield resident John Giannotti with his hadrosaurus sculpture on Kings Highway. Credit: Matt Skoufalos.

Along South Park Drive, the county is working with state government offices to develop a plan for the preservation of the historic Hopkins House and WPA-era structures there.

It’s also working in partnership with the Cooper River Yacht Club to sponsor community sailing and waterway exploration programs.

Further down towards Route 130 are athletic fields that McCann Johns said will be rehabilitated to provide a better playing experience.

Likewise, the popular Armitage Pavilion, which houses countless events, from family reunions and church picnics to birthday parties and softball cookouts, is also due for an upgrade.

McCann Johns also said she’d like the county to redevelop and activate the former mini golf course at Cuthbert and North Park Drive. It’s currently the site of the county winter skating rink, and a potential contender for situating a planned skatepark, which is contemplated in the $100-million “Parks Alive” reinvestment project announced last year.

Reinvesting in shared, publicly accessible amenities is essential, not only for their economic impact, but also because county-scale projects can achieve more than most communities could on their own, McCann Johns said.

“I think what the government does well is own and maintain spaces for the public to use,” she said. “Being able to provide amenities in Cooper River Park that you couldn’t have built in your backyard, but that collectively, we can share, is really important.”


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