One of the things that I wanted to show with the At the Shore contemporary romance series is the diversity of New Jersey, both ethnically and economically. While Maggie and Owen from ONE SUMMER NIGHT are both well-off, Connie and Emma, the heroines of #2 and #3 in the series respectively, have both had to work hard to achieve what they have.
I’m getting ready to write a scene in #2 where you find out a little bit more about Carlo and his family, who play a substantial role in #3. In that scene, you get to see a big Portuguese-style family dinner at their Ironbound home.
The Ironbound is a unique section of the city of Newark. It’s located not all that far from Newark Penn Station and between the airport and the Passaic River. It is a largely Portuguese neighborhood with the first immigrants from Portugal arriving in the early 1900s along with Spaniards from Galicia (my family’s part of Spain). In fact, many Portuguese food dishes are very similar to those from Galicia.
The main avenue in the Ironbound is Ferry Street which abounds with a number of mom and pop Portuguese shops along with a number of other Latin restaurants. In #3, the hero’s family has owned a successful bakery there since the 1930s. Carlo’s older brothers now run the business and Carlo has struck out on his own to make a life down the shore. He’s Emma’s Go-to-Guy in more than one way, although she refuses to admit that.
Ferry Street, as you might guess, was named after a ferry that ran between Newark and other locations to the east. Check out the video below that shows you Ferry Street. If part of it looks familiar, it’s because it made an appearance in the beginning of the 2005 remake of War of the Worlds (2:30 to 2:45 in the video). If you can’t see the video below, use this link: https://youtu.be/PGP_94G3Vms
Today’s throwback is to my very first book signing. It happened in the Menlo Park Mall in Edison at the Barnes & Noble there. So exciting. They had me at a nice table toward the front of the store and gave me some flowers. My hubby and daughter brought me more flowers. This shot is of me with my daughter! How time flies.
This weekend I deconstructed the Star Trek movie with my buddies at the Liberty States Fiction Writers. A fun time was had by all as we watched the new version and discussed the various series with which some of us had grown up.
Feeling nostalgic, it made me recollect my earliest sci fi series – Flash Gordon as portrayed by Buster Crabbe. Buster would go on and play Tarzan in one movie and then another nameless jungle man in various other movies (which I also loved!). Buster also played Buck Rogers, another of my favorites.
Buster was a talented swimmer who won both a Bronze and Gold medal at the Olympics (in 1928 and 1932 respectively).
He starred in hundreds of movies and television shows throughout his life and when his career started to wane, he became a representative for a New Jersey pool company.
If you want to check out the Flash Gordon series for yourself, the earlier Flash Gordon shows and movies are available in DVD format.
It’s a classic line from the Godfather. Clemenza tells his assistant “Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.” For hit men, that makes sense since the guns they’re using are generally untraceable and hopefully they’ve taken care to not leave DNA or fingerprints behind.
As for the cannoli – well who can resist a cannoli? Well. maybe you could if you have an amazing collection of cupcakes like these at the Toyzone! Just click here or cut and paste this into your browser:
Sadly, the wonderful Le Cupcake is in Sydney, Australia, so I will have to wait until I go down under to get my fix from them.
So where do I get my cupcakes? I’m lucky to have some spots right nearby. If you’re in the Central Jersey area, you can check out The Baker Boys in Ocean Grove and Asbury Park and the Ocean Grove Bakery right on Main Avenue. Then there are also the fabulous La Bonbonniere bakeries in South Plainfield, Fords, Edison and Woodbridge.
Of course, there’s the age old battle – Cupcake or cannoli? A hard choice, especially when the cannolis are as tasty as they are at Del Ponte’s Bakery on Main Street in Bradley Beach!
How about you? Cannoli or cupcake? Any favorite spots you can recommend?