YDKJ Editors’ Roundtable – Favorite Articles from 2013

by Alice Magdziak • December 29, 2013 • Editors' RoundtableComments (0)1891


Every year we’ve made resolutions about what we’d like to write more articles on and every year it seems like we forget some of those resolutions.  What we don’t forget is the articles that we loves writing the most.  Sometimes, it’s a struggle to get a few good paragraphs and sometimes the words flow like water from a tap.  Here’s a list of our favorite articles from 2013.



We always love going to the Jersey Shore and chronicling the rebuilding of Seaside Heights made for some of my favorite posts of the year. From showing the shocking images of destruction in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy  to the rebuilding of the boardwalk just before Memorial Day, it was a transformation that made for some great photographs.

You’ve all seen those people who go all out on house decorations for holidays like Halloween and Christmas. Maybe you have a neighbor that does it or maybe you do. There are some amazing displays out there every year. This year we did an article on the spectacular Halloween setup by the dentist in Clifton on Grove Street with pictures and video. It was amazing while it lasted but sadly the town made him take it down because he was attaching supporting wires to city trees. Kind of ridiculous of you ask me. At least we managed to document it before it was gone.

April Fools Day is always fun and each year we play a joke on our readers. While nothing could top last year’s New Jersey Switches Over to Self Serve Gas Stations article, our fake article on the demise of Xanadu dubbed Xana-doomed! stated that the Meadowlands American Dream complex was sinking and that the entire project had to be scrapped still made a big splash and tricked a lot of people.



Hurricane Sandy ravaged many towns in our state in October 2012. One of the hardest hit areas was the shore. All along the New Jersey coastline many towns were devastated by the hurricane. Keansburg was one of those towns. Pictures of the ruined amusement rides and flooded streets  were featured in many news stories. After the winter we headed down as we always enjoyed visiting the “first amusement park” on the Jersey shore. We were very happy to find it well on the way to recovery in the article Keansburg Amusement Park is Open! Support the Shore. It was wonderful to see food and game stands open as well as many rides. There was, and is, still much to be done in the recovery effort, but this was a welcome sign of Jersey Strong in action.

When we heard about the first Jersey Shore Music Festival we knew this was going to be great. Over 50 New Jersey bands on 6 stages was a music lover’s dream. We are fortunate to have so many great bands that call NJ home. River City Extension, The Front Bottoms, Brick + Mortar. And that was just the main stage. Jersey Shore Music Festival – Fun in the Hot Sun showed just how diverse the range in rock music is in the state. Sure it was hot, July in New Jersey usually is. The music was worth it.

24 Hours of LeMons – 2 Days of Fun at the New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville was an amazing experience. I had never been to an auto race before. The normal auto race never appealed to me. But cars that are customized in crazy fun designs that cannot cost more than $500 in an endurance race? Sign me up! This was by far one of the most fun events we covered this year. In any year in fact. Others in New Jersey must feel the same way. For 2014 it will be held in Millville twice!



I really love “researching” (if you can call shopping research, that is) my Shop Local, NJ articles.  This year we visited Cranford, Ramsey, Manasquan, Chester and Frenchtown.  I love meeting all the shop owners and I love getting all my Christmas shopping done so early and from all local and independent stores.  If I had all the time in the world, I would do Shop Local articles all year round.  Ah, to have unlimited time and money for inlimited shopping!

Minotaur I Launched from Virginia and Was Visible from New Jersey Tuesday Night was a surprise favorite. I didn’t think that seeing a teeny rocket in the sky would be as exciting as it was.  It ended up being so neat that Ed and I did a totally spontaneous high-five.  I’m pretty sure that’s the first time that’s every happened to me.

Finally, I’ve been wanting to go visit all the minor league baseball parks in New Jersey and we finally did that this summer in our Take Me Out to the Ballgame series.  Not all the games were very exciting but the fun crowds and cute between-inning games made every visit really enjoyable.  We started out in April in freezing cold weather in Lakewood and ended up watching on of the Somerset Patriot’s last games of the year at the end of September.

Looking forward to lots more fun next year!

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