Summer Wind 2016

Pershing Field Garden Friends presents

“Summer Wind”

An evening of Poetry, Prose and Song to benefit the gardens of Pershing Field.

Friday, June 17th, 6:30-8:30pm

at 942 Summit Ave. (Choc o Pain & Bloomsbury Sq.) on the corner of Zabriskie.

Music by: Din, a contemporary, jazz-infused trio, based in Jersey City Heights.

The spoken word by: Michael Liska, Nancy Burke (Toomey) and Michael VanCalbergh.

Your donation of $16 will include a beverage and a selection of Choc o Pain’s sweet and savory treats.

Get your tickets as it fills up fast!


Nancy Burke earned her MFA in Creative Writing at Rutgers Newark in 2011. Since then, she has focused her creative efforts on book length work and shares her passion for writing at Montclair State University where she teaches. She holds a marketing communications position at Union County College.  Nancy is a founding member of Working Title Six (WTS) , an active writing critique group and also leads a writing workshop, Finding our Way Back, for those experiencing loss or grief and for whom writing is one of the chosen ways toward healing.

Her short stories have been published in  the journals Meat for Tea: The Valley Review and Pilgrim: A Journal of Catholic Experience. Her play, Make Yourself at Home, was performed at Union County College’s first short play festival and won second prize in 2011. A second play, Midway Island: 1945 was performed at this same festival.  Her short fiction strives to uncover the layers of truth hidden beneath the quotidian rituals of daily life and the psychological underpinnings of characters who appear at first glance to be untroubled.   Two book length works, a novel of Chile, From the Abuelas’ Window, 2005 and  If I Could Paint the Moon Black, 2015, reflect her lifelong interest in anthropology and history and the impact of war and revolution on the lives of ordinary people. Nancy is at work on a novel.

Michael VanCalbergh received his MFA in Poetry from Rutgers-Newark where he currently teaches. When not convincing his daughter that she doesn’t actually want to start drinking coffee yet, he finds time to research comics. His work has appeared in Apex Magazine, The Collagist, Weave Magazine, and others.

Michael Liska is a graduate of the MFA program in creative writing at Rutgers-Newark.  His work has appeared on McSweeney’s Internet Tendency and recently his unpublished short fiction collection was selected as a semi-finalist in Black Balloon’s Horatio Nelson Fiction Contest.  He lives on the Delaware River and is hard at work on a historical novel.

Din is a contemporary, jazz-infused trio, based in Jersey City Heights. On electric Bass and vocals is Timothy Erbach, Andrea Stevenson plays drums, and her main band is called Cachabacha. John Kadian is on keyboards, and he also plays with the Kadian Quartet.

Thanks to: Choc o Pain, Bloomsbury Sq., Remco Press, and Susan Newman Design Inc.

Summer Wind (2016) poster design by Susan Newman Design Inc.

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Jazz in the Park

Riverview Jazz Festival & Pershing Field Garden Friends present:

Jazz in the Park

Wednesday, June 8th, 7 pm to 9 pm

Jazz in the Park - Pershing Field 2016

Please join us for this FREE event at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Community Center in Pershing Field, featuring:

Eric Zolan is an up and coming guitarist living and working in in Jersey City. He is a recent graduate of William Paterson and has had the great pleasure of performing with Jazz heavyweights such as Winard Harper, Jimmy Heath, Bruce Williams, and Bennie Wallace. Eric is dedicated to playing music that is sincere in its message and has an uplifting affect on people.

He is performing with a jazz quartet comprised of Vince Dupont on bass, Winard Harper on drums, and Lucine Yeghiazaryan on vocals. They are all extremely talented musicians.

Winard Harper has performed with Dexter Gordon, Betty Carter, Billy Taylor, and Jimmy Heath as well as many others. He currently lives in Jersey City and runs a Friday and Sunday jam session at Moore’s lounge.

Lucine Yeghiazaryan was recently a finalist in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocal Competition. She has performed internationally and currently lives in Washington Heights, NYC.

Vince Dupont has played with Winard Harper, Jimmy Heath, Russell Malone, and many others. He is currently studying Jazz Performance at William Paterson University.

Bring a chair or blanket.

For more Information:

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June Summer Fun Happening Here!

Friday, June 3rd,  6pm-8pm


“Wild Jazz Adventure 2016”

Enjoy performances by renowned Jazz musicians: Eric Zolan (guitar), Kahlil Kwame Bell (percussion), Peter Lin (trombone), Vince Dupont (bass), Candice Reyes (vocalist), Abel Mireles (Tenor saxophone), Jovan Alexandre (saxophone), Melissa Slocum (bassist) while exploring the Reservoir’s beauty with Project Reservoir Teams.

Family-friendly and FREE JC Fridays Event as part of the Riverview Jazz Festival 2016.

Wild Jazz Adventure at the JC Reservoir 2016

Wednesday, June 8th, 7pm-9pm


“Jazz in the Park”

FREE EVENT! Eric Zolan is an up and coming guitarist living and working in in Jersey City. He is a recent graduate of William Paterson and has had the great pleasure of performing with Jazz heavyweights such as Winard Harper, Jimmy Heath, Bruce Williams, and Bennie Wallace. Eric is dedicated to playing music that is sincere in its message and has an uplifting affect on people.

This event is part of the Riverview Jazz Festival 2016.


Friday, June 17th, 6:30pm-8:30pm


“Summer Wind”

An Evening of Poetry, Prose and Song to Benefit the Gardens at Pershing Field with Choc O Pain, at the 942 Co-Op on Summit Ave on the corner of Zabriskie.

Music by: Din, a contemporary, jazz-infused trio, based in Jersey City Heights. The spoken word by: Michael Liska, Nancy Burke (Toomey) and Michael VanCalbergh.   $16 Donation includes food & beverage.


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Pershing Field Renovated Playground Now Open!

“What we see happening in our parks really translates to neighborhoods as a whole. So if you have parks that are cared for and that are well maintained, and have good and safe equipment, and they run sponsored events for residents, it really becomes a gathering place. When the community gets involved and they invest in their parks, they invest in their community. A new playground lifts the moral, and it provides a service to the community at large. People should have neighborhood parks where they can walk and bring their children. Not everyone has the means to go away to the mountains or to the shore for the weekend, or even take a day trip. Not everyone has those resources available to them, so for many residents the neighborhood park is their solace. And that’s a big reason that we push the well being of our parks.”
~ Laura Skolar, President of Pershing Field Garden Friends, President of the Jersey City Parks Coalition, dedicated community organizer, and ‪#‎JerseyCity‬ native. ‪#‎PeopleOfJC‬ ‪#‎JCMakeItYours‬
“So excited for the opening of the new Pershing Field Playground today!” As they say “it takes a village…” and then some.
Pershing Field Garden Friends would like to thank Mayor Steve Fulop, Council President Rolando Lavarro Jr. Jr., Ward C Councilman Richard Boggiano, Ward D Councilman Councilman Michael Yun, the entire City Council, Division of Architecture Director Brian Weller, Project Manager Chris Charas, Landscape Architect Aaron Johnson and the Kompan representatives Ken Dobyns and Christian Valdez. A special thanks to our dedicated PFGF officers & committee members who worked tirelessly to see this project come to fruition: Bob Murgittroyd, Debby DeVenezia Theresa O’Brien, Patricia O’Hanlon, Amanda KautMaureen Gallagher, Ed Goodall, Alessandra Rafferty and Lanie Class.

Video from JC1TV:


Photo gallery by Christian Valdez, KOMPAN Playground Solutions

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Song and Story in the Heights at Spring Bouquets 2016

Pershing Field Garden Friends™ (PFGF) celebrated the first weekend of spring on Friday night at 942 Summit Ave for its Fundraiser, Spring Bouquets: an evening of poetry, prose and song to benefit the gardens at Pershing Field. More than a fundraiser, it was the kick off to the community for the opening of Choc O Pain, the popular French bakery’s third location in Hudson County. The event was super cool; the food delicious.  We are thankful to Niambi Cacchioli proprietor of Bloomsbury Square for hosting with style and Clemence Danko, owner of Choc O Pain for creating a warm and inviting venue. Oh, and let’s not forget the outstanding service!

The first event in the second season of our Solstice Series was again emceed by PFGF™’s very own Mauro Altamura. Great job, Mauro!! The incomparable Tiphanie wowed the crowd with her original, soulful songs while Charles St resident Sean David accompanied on violin and vocals. Tom Small and Joanne Chin shared their prose… insightful, sensitive and often times amusing. Height’s resident Lycette Nelson read from the narrative poem “Immigrant,” written by her award-winning father, Stanley Nelson.  Thanks to Susan Newman from Susan Newman Design Inc. for creating our promotional materials and Tony Salecki of Remco Press for printing our beautiful posters. We were fortunate to have generous donations from Sean Connors, Debby DeVenezia, Erin Delaney and Laura Skolar for our raffle and door prizes. Most importantly, we thank our community for their unwavering support.

The second of our Solstice Series, Summer Wind, will be held on Friday, June 17th, 2016. If you are a writer, poet or musician and would like to participate in this or a future event, please email or call 201-259-1800.

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Spring Bouquets 2016

Pershing Field Garden Friends invite you to celebrate spring on Friday, March 18, 2016 from 6:30 to 8:30, at 942 Summit Ave in the Jersey City Heights.

Your donation of $16 will include a beverage and a sweet or savory bite, while enjoying the spoken word & song of local writers and singers:

Spring Bouquets 2016 poster design

Joanne Chin is a graduate of the creative writing MFA program at Rutgers-Newark and her work has appeared in KL Stories: Urban Odysseys, published by MPH Group Publishing, Malaysia, and in The Waiting Room Reader II, published by CavanKerry Press. Her stories have been finalists in Glimmer Train’s Short Story Award for New Writers (twice) and Very Short Fiction Award.

Tom Small‘s fiction has been published in Passages North at the University of Northern Michigan and The Cooweescoowee at Rogers State University in Oklahoma.  His creative non-fiction has been published in Amoskeag at the University of Southern New Hampshire.  His short play Domestic Particulars  was produced at The New Moon Short Play Festival  and again at the Lenox Hill Theater in New York.  He has an MFA from Rutgers-Newark.  He lives with his wife Maxine and their Pug dog Sydney who suffers from chronic back ache.

Stanley Nelson was born in Brooklyn in 1933 and lived there for almost all of his life. He is the author of 18 published books of poetry and is best known for his long narrative poems, Idlewild, The Brooklyn Book of the Dead, The Travels of Ben Sira, and the four-volume Immigrant. He is the recipient of the

Thomas Wolfe Poetry Award. His work has appeared in over fifty publications and several anthologies.

He was the editor of The Scene, an anthology of plays from Off-Off Broadway. The Unknowable Light of the Alien, one of his many works of fiction, received a Small Press Book of the Year Award.

Lycette Nelson is an attorney practicing in Jersey City and lives with her partner and daughter in the Heights. In addition to her JD, she holds a Ph.D. in comparative literature from SUNY Buffalo. Her father’s wide-ranging interests in literature, jazz, art and sports and his commitment to his own writing were strong influences on her.

Tiphanie studied ballet and harp before becoming a professional dancer and actress on French TV at age 15. She began singing at that time. In 2008 she met her soul and music mate Geoffrey, which led to her traveling to Los Angeles, Nashville, and New York. Writing music was a natural evolution for her. She was granted a Talent Scholarship at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in Los Angeles and New York where she graduated with a degree in Musical Theater. She’s been here ever since. Tiphanie has performed in numerous shows and in an Off Broadway play. But during the winter of 2014 she decided to bring her songwriting career to the next level. She released her first EP “between us” in July 2015. Since then she has been a performer on the street, on the subway and in numerous venues in Manhattan, Brooklyn, New Jersey, and in Paris as well. She is currently working on a new EP.

You can find her music at:


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Winter Delights Thank You

On Tuesday December 15th Pershing Field Garden Friends held its 12th Annual Holiday Fundraiser, Winter Delights, at the Dante Alighieri Society. We had an excellent turnout, the company was outstanding, and the food by Renato’s was delicious. The culmination of our Solstice Series, our most successful fundraiser to date, was due to the generosity of our members, local merchants, musicians, and artists.

We are thankful to Central Ave Liquors who sponsored our event and we’re fortunate to have the support of the following merchants:

  • LuLu’s Hair Zone, Height’s Wireless, Central Ave Dunkin Donuts, Do You Tea, and Stop & Shop

Unique and artistic gifts were donated by local artists:

  • Santiago Cohen, Lynn Mullins, Susan Newman/Frogs Are Green, CaroLyn LamimosaArt, and Cathy King Pottery

Generous donations were also made by:

  • Councilman Michael Yun, Mary Daly, Debby DeVenezia, Diane Brown, John Frohling and Mary Jean Cremyck, Josephine Sita, Albina Meluso, Bart Erbach, Laura Skolar, and Dante Alighieri Society

The night would not have been complete without the musical talents of Jersey City Jam and The AnaBel Trio who donated their time and talent to our event.

  • Jersey City Jam is a pop-up band of friends who met through music in Jersey City.  They have a passion for the American Songbook, Bossa nova, and the Little Sparrow, Edith Piaf. They are: Jackie Ross, Lou Selmi, Barbara Lee, and Bart Erbach who performed and graciously orchestrated the performances for the night.
  • The AnaBel Trio features three local college students who bring a warm and freewheeling approach to a variety of jazz, blues, and Dixieland standards. They are: Anastasia Beliakova, Marc Velez, and Dan Aleman.  Their classic tunes and Christmas selections made for an outstanding evening!

Patrick Ambrossi coordinated our volunteers; D’Angelo Barrow, Robert Kelly, Justin Kelly, Roberto Martinez, and Danny Saporito who assisted us throughout the night with our food service and tricky tray prizes.  We could not have done it without their help.

A big thank you goes out to Patricia O’Hanlon who solicited our local merchants for their generous donations and Mauro Altamura who was instrumental in the artist donations for Winter Delights. We are also thankful for the support of Freeholder Anthony Romano, and members from our local neighborhood groups; Washington Park Association, and the Hamilton Park Conservancy.  We had a fun and profitable night ringing in the holiday season and look forward to a successful year in 2016. Cheers!

Winter Delights photo collage of the party

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Winter Delights – Holiday Fundraiser

Pershing Field Garden Friends invites you to celebrate the Holidays at our annual fundraiser Winter Delights – an evening of Music, Food and Fun to benefit the gardens and programs at Pershing Field. 

Tuesday, December 15th from 7 to 10 PM
at the Dante Alighieri Society 
562 Summit Ave, Jersey City. 

Your $65 donation will include a fabulous Italian buffet, drink and dessert while enjoying music & song provided by Jersey City Jam and The AnaBel Trio. There’s even a dance floor if you are so moved!

Jersey City Jam is a pop-up band of three friends who met through music in Jersey City. They have a passion for the American Songbook, Bossa nova and the Little Sparrow, Edith Piaf.

They are:
Jackie Ross – Vocals

Jerome Bongiorno – guitar
Bart Erbach – Bass

The AnaBel Trio features three local college students who bring a warm and freewheeling approach to a variety of jazz, blues, and Dixieland standards.

They are:
Anastasia Beliakova – Vocals
Marc Velez – Guitar
Dan Aleman – Sax, Clarinet, Everything Else


Partake in our Tricky Tray featuring items from local artists and merchants while enjoying an evening with neighbors and friends; contributing to a worthwhile cause!

Purchase Tickets here:


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Matt Chilcotte Photo Exhibition at Pershing Field

On Saturday, November 7th, Tami Resch shared some of the amazing photos by Matt Chilcotte, of his time as a solider in Vietnam, at the Pershing Field Garden Friend’s History Walk. It was wonderful to see so many people so interested and so moved by them.

Unfortunately, Matt was unable to join us but his wife Barbara gladly discussed the photos and provided some insight into her husband’s service as a US Marine serving in Vietnam 1966-1967. Thanks to Barbara & Tami for providing this priceless glimpse of history so beautifully captured in these photos.

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175th Anniversary of Hudson County

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To celebrate the 175th anniversary of Hudson County, the Hudson County History Advocates organized a series of walking tours of historic areas of the county.

On Saturday November 7th, Bob Murgittroyd, board member of Pershing Field Garden Friends and the Hudson County Genealogical & Historical Society, led a tour of Pershing Field telling the story of the over forty-year effort to create the park, as well as the stories of some of the local veterans who are honored in the park.

Formally opened on August 23, 1919, Pershing Field was designed to be a both a memorial to the young men of the Jersey City Heights who gave their lives in World War I, and as an athletic field where future citizens could maintain their fitness in case they were ever again called upon to defend America.

It was an informative an interesting talk, proving that in Jersey City the more things change; the more they stay the same. A delicious selection of homemade scones were provided by Tami Resch.

Funding was provided in part by Hudson County Division of Cultural & Heritage Affairs/Tourism Development, Thomas A. DeGise, Hudson County Executive & the Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

scones by Tami Resch

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