"Musical Celebration With the Highest of Aspirations"

I’m not a big fan of gala opening nights, which tend to be all about fancy dress, floral arrangements, celebrity guests and a feel-good repertory that extends from canon fodder to bonbon. On Friday evening at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center here, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra kicked off its 91st season with a gala program that aimed higher, showing that it’s possible to impart a meaningful artistic experience without spoiling anyone’s fun. Read more..…

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"Star Comes Home to Build in Newark"

Growing up here in the 1970s, Shaquille O'Neal's family ushered him to two places to keep him off the streets: the local Boys and Girls Club and the nearby movie theater. "Any place that I could be for two to three hours was always good," said Mr. O'Neal, the former National Basketball Association star, in an interview. An old theater on Springfield Avenue is now CityPlex12 Newark, after a $7 million renovation completed in 2012 by a joint venture between the retired basketball center and a prominent New Brunswick developer…

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"Dog Ziggity: New Jersey’s Own Hot Dogs"

The hot dog has always been tightly tethered to New York City in the public imagination. As a result, few Americans (not to mention New Yorkers) know that just across the Hudson River, on the hills and shores of New Jersey, this small beast ranges freely, with a welter of variations and a certain abandon. While New Yorkers opt for thin, natural-skin beef franks cooked on the griddle and sparsely decorated with a condiment or two, New Jerseyans prefer thicker dogs with artificial skins in beef-pork combinations. For them the Coney Island frank…

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