JC Fridays - A Wild Arts Adventure Through Jersey City Heights

The JC Fridays in June is always the most popular of the 4 JC Fridays events. This year there were so many event that I made it to 6 out of 9 evening events in Jersey City Heights (and took 14k steps).

JC Fridays is put on by Art House Productions, a non-profit organization started in 2001 by Christine Goodman and has acted as one of the major forces behind the expansion of art in Jersey City. Anyone can put on an event they just have to submit their event and then bring that event to life. This year throughout all of Jersey City there were 62 events; talk about bringing art together, this was HUGE.

I wanted to make it out for all the events to support my amazing neighbors. So I am proud to say that I lasted until the after party at the Fox and Crow, even thought I was feeling a little under the weather.

I started my adventure by going to the Wild Jazz Adventure at Reservoir #3. First I thought it was outside the reservoir in the Memorial, but as it turns out that event was on June 8th for the Riverview Jazz Fest. So I did a little hiking through the reservoir and finally realized they opened the side gate, which I then exited from later.

As I walked on a path that had not been built yet the last time I walked through, I felt like I was being transported. Here is an enchanted forest in the middle of Jersey City and a sprite or faerie are going to pop out at me. No wonder Erin Delaney has 10 years of photography of this place. I am definitely going back and turns out there weren’t any horse flies to bite me.

You can hear the music the entire time you are walking along the paths as it echoes across the water and you finally get to it. The music is right on the water so this truly was a Wild Jazz Adventure. The jazz band is a mix of different musicians who came together and jammed like they had been playing together for years. It was really special. I heard the last set and they had a great vocalist who sang a solo. As I was leaving to go to my next stop more people were still coming to listen and enjoy the absolute splendor of music on the water.

I then walked to 942 Co-op located at 942 Summit. Here Bloomsbury Sq and Choc-o-pain take residency. The place was packed, the music was fabulous, and the food was delicious. The band was a French Jazz Band (do you see a theme) DBM Trio. There is something about listening to Jazz in French that makes it so much better.

There was food provided by Choc-o-Pain of green smoothies, duck pate, pretzel breads, and vegan flourless chocolate cake. Their regular breads and pastries were available and I decided to get an ice decaf Americana to help me get through all the events I still had to go to and it was delicious.

I was able to make my own oil blend of lavender and peppermint thanks to the experimenting table of Bloomsbury Sq. Niambi has definitely brought the apothecary feeling of France and England to our section of Jersey City. Bloomsbury Sq has great products and I definitely want to try the oatmeal scrub.

My friend Julie was ready to go out for JC Fridays so I met her at The Statuary to listen to Cuban music from Cha Cha and Sons and see the great work from 3 different Cuban artists – Kedgar Volta, Jonathan Joubert, and Yordanis Garcia Delgado. Voita does motion pictures and photography and the 3D and dimensional effects were super cool. The music was great and the courtyard of The Statuary was filled to the brim and people were still able to dance. This event was sponsored by Margo and Walter Parks, two active members of the community, who share their home with the community every JC Fridays!

From there we ventured to the Galician Stained Glass Studio of Yurri. He does really cool stained glass pieces on commission and had a few of his works on display. Bowie was obviously a big hit and I of course loved the stained glass Hannukiah (Chanukah Menorah) and I am going to reach out and get one – no candles to worry about!

Then we went to what I thought would be my last stop, Live at the Lumberyard. The Christine Santelli Band had just taken the stage and is always a great performance and was the perfect last act. The previous acts were San Simón and United States of Boogaloo. All the seats were taken and the crowd was out onto the sidewalk. As usual Nick from Friggin Fabulous Productions and Gerald did a wonderful job producing the sound and getting the fabulous bands. DJ PreSkool played the beats in between the bands and produced the projection show. This event was hosted by the Riverview Neighborhood Association and continues through the entire 2016 summer – the dates are: June 24, July 22, August 12, and Sept 2.

Finally, I was convinced to go to the Fox and Crow who was sponsoring the after-party and was able to see what all the “Live in the Parlour” talk was all about. To say it was packed is an understatement. The band playing was Super Hi-Fi, a jazz band that mixes in trombones, Jamaican dub, afrobeat, and funk. I squeezed myself passed everyone waiting in the hallway to get a few shots for the article. The main bar was also packed with every inch of the bar taken and all the tables filled with happy patrons. The Parlour has music almost every Saturday night from local bands and Fox and Crow has been a great addition to the neighborhood.

I have never been to so many events ever on one night, but I am glad I pushed myself to see what almost everyone was putting on in the Heights. I did however miss 3 evening events:

JC Fab Lab – “ArtTech Rally Challenge & OpenShop” - Rally Car Challenge for kids aged 5-10 years creating cars from prefabricated laser cut technologies. The cars were then judged on creative problem solving, teamwork, and crowd appreciation.

(Pictures courtesy of JC FAB LAB)

Yoga in the Heights - “Bloom: An Art Exhibit” an art exhibit by local artists using painting, photography and mixed media to depict the feeling of expansion and flourishing that can be achieved. Artwork by Mauro Altamura, Tatiana Lopez, Bojana Coklyat, Michael DiFeo, Roxana Marroquin, and Melina Ortiz.

(Pictures courtesy of Yoga in the Heights)

Laguna Lounge had a live performance from Noche de Bomba y Plena, traditional music of Puerto Rico reflecting the African, Spanish and Taino heritages.

I cannot wait for the next JC Fridays on September 2nd to see what amazing artwork, music shows, and events are produced by our friends and neighbors.

To see more photos of the event and my adventures

around Jersey City check out my instagram

#JerseyCity #photos #volunteers #Inspiration #SocialMedia #NeighborhoodAssociation

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