May 2014 VVPA Meeting Reminder

20 May 2014, Posted by Oona Moore in News You Can Use

VVPA Monthly meeting tonite…and we will be serving up some generously donated NJ BEER CO beers!!! come and get one!!


Meeting Agenda:

Anthony Vandermark– 124  Bright Street-new construction

Anthony Vandermark off Minervini Vandermark Architecture will be presenting a project proposal for 124 Bright St.  Currently on the site is an existing 3 family masonry structure set at the rear of the property.  This proposal is to keep the existing structure in the rear and for the construction of a a new single family structure at the front of the property. (4 units total)  The existing non-conforming curb cut and parking will be eliminated. The project is requesting variances for rear yard setback, building height, building coverage and for having 2 principal buildings on a single lot.

Gerard Balmir Jr.–Candidate for Hudson County Freeholder

Gerard is running for Hudson County Freeholder on June 3rd.  He will talk a little about himself and his campaign and then take questions from the membership. Here’s some background information from his website:

GERARD BALMIR JR has more than a decade of public-sector experience and presently serves as government and community affairs director of the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA), the 20,000-member union affiliate in New Jersey. In his position, Balmir works collaboratively with government and community leaders, business and labor, to encourage sound economic development policies that grow the economy, create family- sustaining jobs, and improve neighborhoods and communities.

Gerry brings a wealth of diverse experiences, energy, and steadfast commitment to everything he does.  He has served at the municipal and state level of Government and understands how to work collaboratively while fiercely advocating for those he represents.  Additionally, he served as Vice Chair of the City of Trenton Planning Board and currently serves as Chair of the Jersey City Municipal Utilities Authority. 


We will discuss the results of a local survey distributed to the neighborhood surrounding the park. Unfortunately The Department of Architecture is unable to attend our meeting tomorrow however they are making available 3 alternative designs for the Park for us to review. They will welcome our feedback.   Thanks to Jeff Agnew & Liz Morrill for distributing and working on the survey for us.


May 2014 VVPA Newsletter

13 May 2014, Posted by Oona Moore in Meeting Agendas, News You Can Use

Jersey City is buzzing this week-so much to do!

We hope you will spend some time with The Van Vorst Park Association as we raise funds this week to keep bringing you monthly meetings, Films in Van Vorst and all our Festive holiday gatherings and community builders!

If you can….JOIN US AT One or BOTH of our fun events this week!!
Chris’s Trivia nights here in Jersey City are not to be missed!!! Part frustrating since you KNOW the answer once he says it of course–but mostly really REALLY fun! It’s friendly competition among neighbors and a special fundraiser. $10 per person (all proceeds to benefit the VVPA). Teams of up to 4 players may compete for the 1st place prize of a $50 bar/food tab and the 2nd place prize of a $25 tab. In between rounds of trivia we’ll have raffles for other prizes donated by local businesses and, of course, great food and drink specials from Tom Parisi!

VICTORY HALL, 186 GRAND (Grand & Marin)
$20 in advance/$25 at the door/Children under 10 FREE
Tickets available here: MEETBALL TICKETS

The MeetBall has been the VVPA’s annual fundraiser since 1975 when our founders got their neighbors together for a dinner–and it became a great way to meet your neighbors and have a ball…get it?? -old fashioned family fun with a urban twist–great JC restaurants, A DJ spinning the tunes, raffles, a bar with NJ Beer Co beers and wines and some serious neighborhood good times….Check our our Facebook event page for the latest news and to see all our wonderful sponsors!

Get there early and check out the Victory Hall Drawing Rooms next door in what was the OLC convent. It’s been lovingly turned into a great new gallery space. They graciously will be open for VVPA guests before our party from 6-7:30pm. Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity–and it’s FREE. Their latest exhibition Automatic/Systematic is on display.

If you’d like to volunteer and we’re planning to buy a ticket for the event email us at Not only will you gain some serious good neighbor karma….we’ll throw in a few of your favorite beverages from the bar!!

See you Saturday!!

Important Meeting–
Jersey City Municipal Budget Forum
Saturday, May 17, 2014 from 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM City Hall, Council Chambers

Presented by:
Civic JC and City Council President Rolando Lavarro present:

This will be your opportunity to learn from the experts about Jersey City’s finances and how your tax dollars are being spent. Topics will include “A Primer on Municipal Finance” (10:00 a.m.), “What to Look for In the City Budget” (11:15 a.m.), “Budgeting for Sustainability” (11:50 a.m.) and “Property Tax Abatements” (12:30 p.m.). Come for all or part of the program.

Speakers will include Anna Lukasiak and Catherine Mulbrandon of Open JC, Professors Marc Pfeiffer and Kevin Lyons of Rutgers University, Debra D’Italiano of Sustainable JC, Professor Thomas Banker of Columbia School of International and Public Affairs, Jon Whiten of New Jersey Policy Perspectives, Brigid D’Souza of Civic Parent and Professor Jonathan Wharton of Stevens Institute of Technology.

(Donuts and coffee will be served to those who arrive early!)

2 great cultural events this week by resident Van Vorsters!

May 14th-17th J CITY Theater presents:
As Bees in Honey Drown–check out for ticket and show information.

May 15th-17th Nimbus Dance Works presents
Spring Show–check out for ticket and show information.

MEETBALL & TRIVIA Fundraisers!!

07 May 2014, Posted by Oona Moore in Events

It’s the merry month of fundraisers for the VVPA!  Films in Van Vorst, Halloween, Holiday gatherings, our monthly meeting space–you guessed it all costs us money. If you like what we do, then help us to continue serving the Van Vorst neighbors by attending a few of our fundraisers.

Our wine tasting was a HUGE success~great wines, delicious food and fantastic neighbors–so successful we’re thinking about a Fall Wine Tasting!  We will keep you posted!

Next up is our Trivia Night Fundraiser at The Brightside Tavern (141 Bright St)  on Tuesday May 13th at 8pm. Come a little early, grab some dinner and get yourself ready for a feisty night of competition….$10 at the door and if you care to compete for some raffle prizes bring a little extra$$ !!! All for a good cause, —

Then….THE MEETBALL!!!!!!!!May 17th 7pm @ Victory Hall.  After 35 years in a row, the Meetball was on a bit of a hiatus as we retooled the “recipe”. We’re still want you to MEET your neighbors & have a BALL!!  We found a new space and we are ready to party once again.  Food & fun for the whole family!  Local hot restaurants donate food & drink to us… Park & Sixth Gastropub, Two Boots Pizzeria, Shanghai Best, Me Casa, Johns Pizzeria, PJ Ryans, The Kitchen, Tommy 2 Scoops, NJ Beer Co  and many more…DJ Mike Womack will be spinning the tunes for the kids and adults (can you say a FROZEN sing a long??)–Beer & Wine for sale, juices for the kids–Raffles, 50/50 and more!!

When: Saturday May 17th

Time: 7pm

Where:  Victory Hall 186 Grand Street

How Much:  $20 in advance –buy tickets here: MeetBall Tickets

$25 at the door  CHILDREN UNDER 10 are FREE!

Ticket includes food & chance of a door prize

See you VERY SOON!!!!


Wine Tasting Event

26 Apr 2014, Posted by Oona Moore in Events

Join us for the VVPA’s First Wine Tasting!
Sip & Savor 2014

May 3rd, 2014

The Wine
An intimate evening with a Van Vorster John McClement. John is the Beverage & Spirits Director for a group of restaurants in NYC including the James Beard 2013 American Classics Award winning Keen’s Steakhouse. With his knowledge and exquisite taste for wines from around the world, John has produced an elite selection for Keens with well over 250 wines on the menu and over 1 million dollars worth of wine in their wine cellar. John will be personally choosing the wines for our evening and will lead us in a discussion.
If you’ve never been to a wine tasting, one on one, now is your chance.

The Food
There will be a delectable array of light food to match John’s wine choices. Appetizers, small plates & sweets—

The Night
Karen Lorentz & Richard Spilman are opening up their beautiful brownstone on Varick Street for our intimate evening. Meet some new friends and let’s toast to our Van Vorst Neighborhood. Laughter, wine and food….a perfect night. Address will be provided after reservation is made.

The Details
$75 includes all of the above and the chance to win the wines that John will be sharing with us.
There are only 35 seats available so reservations are necessary.

You can reserve at or

with our link to PayPal: BUY WINE TICKETS VIA PAYPAL

Thanks for your support!

In your Easter Bonnet….

18 Apr 2014, Posted by Oona Moore in Events, Sponsors

Chapeau, Sombrero, Chapeu, Hut, Cappello, Mugiwara –no matter how you say–come and wear it!! Come on Jersey City, 5th Avenue’s got nothing on us. Come to Van Vorst Park tomorrow at noon in your finest and join the Easter Bonnet Competition! (following the VVP Egg Hunt)

Adults, Kids and dogs are all invited to show off their hats. Our esteemed judges, Artist extraordinare Uta Brauser, Councilwoman Diane Coleman & Parkman Marc Wesson  will award Prizes for top contenders in all categories.

Many thanks to Kannibal Home & Hound About Town for our adult and dog prizes.  And the VVPA found some pretty fun baskets for the kiddies!  See you tomorrow!!


April 2014 VVPA Meeting Reminder

15 Apr 2014, Posted by Oona Moore in News You Can Use

Van Vorst Park Association Meeting TONITE

Tuesday April 15th
Barrow Mansion  83 Wayne Street
All are welcome!  Snacks served!!


  • Jeff Zak– Liberty Harbor North—

Jeff Zak joined us in January to discuss changes to the latest phase of development in Liberty Harbor North.  We gave feedback and comments. He will be sharing with us on Tuesday the latest drawings and plans.

  • Esmeralda Trinidad

Esmeralda Trinidad is a Democrat running for Hudson County Freeholder District 3 in the upcoming elections on June 3rd.  We will discuss the role of the Freeholder in Hudson County. She will give us her background and discuss her Economic Development Plan and campaign platform.  She will then answer questions from the membership.

  • Marc Wesson-Friends of Van Vorst Park

Parkman Marc will join us and show the latest plans for the Sprayground which will be in Van Vorst Park. He is also involved with JC Parks Department on upcoming plans to renovate Angel Ramos Park on Wayne Street and is looking for community feedback on what the neighborhood would like to see go there. 


Creative Grove is Back at Grove Plaza–3-9pm DJ, Green Art Bar, local merchants & designers and always a festive crowd!!

SATURDAY APRIL 19TH:(weather permitting)
Please Join the VVPA and FVVP for the annual egg hunt at 11pm followed by the 1st ever Easter Bonnet competition at noon!! Councilwoman Diane Coleman & Creative Groves own Uta Brauser are some of the judges.. So decorate a Hat and have some fun–prizes in 3 categories: Adults, Children & PETS!!! $5 suggested donation.  (If you care to donate plastic eggs for the Egg Hunt, they can be dropped off in the Park Sat April 19th at 9am)

SUNDAY April 27th-9am-12pm

All You Can Eat Pancake Breakfast to support the Historic Paulus Hook Association.  Go to for all the delicious information!

Join the VVPA for a Wine tasting fundraiser.    Local Van Vorster and wine expert, John McClement, Wine & Spirits Director of a group of NYC restaurants including Keens Steakhouse, Noho Star, Temple Bar & Elephant & Castle will be leading our Spring Wine tasting in an intimate evening at a Van Vorster’s beautiful home.   John is a font of wine knowledge–NOT TO BE MISSED!  Light hors d’oeuvres and desserts served. LIMITED SEATING–35 total- for more information and to reserve a spot email us at

SATURDAY May 17th 7pm
THE VVPA’s annual MEETBALL is back!!! 2010 saw our last family fun filled MeetBall dinner at St Peter’s Prep.  The Prep renovated and changed their policy of letting outside groups use the space–we were lost.  Well, no more! OLC Church has opened the doors of Victory Hall on the corner of Marin & Grand Street to us!  So join us as we eat, drink and dance the night away.. We will be sending MeetBall updates in the next few weeks on ticket and event information so make sure to check your inboxes and like us on Facebook for all the latest news.

Civic information:
There are two open meetings regarding the proposed 2014 Budget.  Members of the public are invited to come and give questions or statements to members of City Council about the proposed 2014 City budget on two dates: April 14th at 6pm, and April 16th at 6pm. 

The proposed budget may be downloaded from the current main page of

Members of the DCNA met with Vivian Brady-Philips, our Deputy Mayor to discuss the ongoing issue of PRE-K facilities in Jersey City.  She will speaking at the upcoming Board of Education meeting on April 24th at PS11 886 Bergen Ave.  If you care to speak call 201.915.6074 to sign up.

The Bright & Varick Redevelopment Plan is still an ongoing issue for the community.  Last month the developers filed a complaint in Hudson County Superior Court against the City Of Jersey City.  To see the complaint and for the latest developments check out our blogspot this coming week on the project at

Special Thanks to The Brightside Tavern.  Tommy Parisi donated delicious food (can you say Chicken Marsala??YUM!) and space for our VVPA get together this past week.  We are so grateful for his generosity.  Show him some love and visit him soon.  Tell him thanks from the VVPA. Check out his menu and schedule of events at


04 Apr 2014, Posted by Oona Moore in Events

Bright & Varick Micro Unit

The Fight Goes On…




The Brightside Tavern

Tuesday April 8th 


$20 at the door

Tommy Appetizer Buffet

Happy Hour Drink specials all nite!



Rushman Dillon sued the City!

They are asking Hudson County Superior Court to declare their 87 micro units automatically approved.


Come hear the details.

Read the 500 page complaint!

Pull up a chair and we’ll tell you the story…


We need your support and a drink.


Van Vorst Park Association





01 Apr 2014, Posted by Oona Moore in News You Can Use
From JCPD:
Please be advised we are receiving complaints and reports of telephone scams involving motor vehicle accidents and balances with PSE& G . In the motor vehicle accident calls, someone calls and states a family member was just involved in a motor vehicle accident and injured a family member of the caller.  The caller than requests money or they will kill the family member.
In the PSE&G calls, an alleged representative calls and states a balance is due and unless it is paid immediately, usually by some form of prepaid card(s), service will be shut off.
Please do not send money or forms of payment to anyone/organization when being requested via telephone call.  Additionally, please file a formal report with the Jersey City Police Department by calling the non-emergency number at 201-547-5477 or responding to the East District at 207 7th St.




29 Mar 2014, Posted by Oona Moore in Events, News You Can Use


Candice Osborne & Mayor Fulop teamed up and worked with the PA on the PATH  WTC weekend shutdown. The PA agreed to a trial run of a ferry from Paulus Hook Terminal at the end of Sussex Street to the World Financial Terminal at Battery Park City.  The ferry will cost $2.50 one way and tickets cannot be purchased in advance.  This is a trial.  The more ridership the PA sees in the next 6 weeks the more likely they will continue the service….so get on that BOAT & RIDE!! Check out

We were happy to help Candice and the PA by providing them with our PATH CONGESTION SURVEY results.


At our March meeting we heard from Matt Shapiro, Hamilton Park Neighborhood Association President and the current President of the Downtown Coalition of Neighborhood Associations.  He brought to our attention the issue facing PRE-K students and the Cordero Annex in Hamilton Park. The Jersey City Independent had a great article explaining the can read it here.  Matt Shapiro has started a petition and is asking us to take a minute to read and sign it if you agree.  Note that the students who were in the Cordero Annex were the same students who were misplaced from their trailers when Rushman Dillion & the JCRA cut short the BOE’s contract for the space at Bright & Varick.….

Speaking of Bright & Varick..


It’s time again to gather together and have a drink and discuss the latest news on the Bright & Varick Micro Units.  Rushman Dillon has set into motion a lawsuit against the City asking among many things, to have an automatic approval to go forward with their plans to start construction this spring.  We will have the 500+ document online for you to look through and will give you the cliff notes version in person. We will go through the process going forward, talk about our discussion with the City on the subject and answer any questions you might have.

Join us!!
WHEN: Tuesday April 8th
WHERE: where else? THE BRIGHTSIDE! 141 Bright (corner of Bright & Monmouth)
TIME: 7:30-?
HOW MUCH: $20 includes–A Tommy Appetizer Buffet & Happy Hour drink specials all night
GAMES: Darts and Shuffleboard Upstairs!!


So please take a few minutes to stop by.