Monday, November 28, 2011

5 Unique Date Ideas in Trenton, NJ

By Meggin Sanez, Anwar's Reflections Guest Blogger

Are you a resident or visitor of Trenton, New Jersey and looking for an exciting and unpredictable idea for a date with someone special?  Well if so and you’re tired of the same old dinner and movie night out, here are five of the most unique spots Trenton has to offer for fun and romance:

#5:  Waterfront ParkFor the sports enthusiasts who want to enjoy a summer’s night out at the ballpark, Waterfront Park is the place to be for minor league baseball.  With its scenic views of the Delaware River that the park was built upon, you can kick back with your date in a casual setting while you cheer on the Trenton Thunder.  Other than your standard hot dogs and nachos, be sure to also indulge in some Famous Dave’s BBQ and the crab fries at Chickie & Pete’s!

#4: The Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie MansionTake the chance to learn more about each other and more about New Jersey’s state capital at the Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie Mansion.   Boasting a rich history and housing a fine collection of art and artifacts associated with Trenton’s past and present culture, the history buffs out there have the opportunity to explore the museum throughout the year by visiting exhibitions, special events, musical programs and even art classes.  While visiting the museum that is set upon the beautiful landscape of Cadwalader Park, you can go on a nature walk with your date and take in the deer paddock, stream, lake and hundreds of trees that create the picturesque environment.

#3:  Greater Trenton Symphony Orchestra.  Founded in 1921, the Greater Trenton Symphony Orchestra is New Jersey's oldest professional symphony orchestra.  Over the past eighty years, the orchestra has introduced the experience of live symphony music to generations of New Jersey audiences at the Patriots Theater at the Trenton War Memorial.  So if you and your date love music, what could be more romantic than enjoying a symphony orchestra concert together? 

#2:  Grounds for Sculpture.  This magical 35-acre sculpture garden and arboretum that holds over 250 contemporary sculptures is another great place not too far from the state’s capital city for a date.  Here you can visit the venue’s two galleries with rotating exhibits, partake in various workshops for adults, watch concerts and performances, and even share a delectable dining experience together at the Rat’s Restaurant. 

#1:  Planetarium at the New Jersey State Museum.  We all dream of whimsical evenings filled with romance and shooting stars…so why not make that dream come true?  At the Planetarium at the New Jersey State Museum, you can bask in the wonder that is created by the largest planetarium in New Jersey.  Take your date to recline in the specially designed seats and view a stunning projection of more than 6,000 stars in the sky, experiencing the feeling of traveling through the solar system together.

Meggin Sanez shares with us this guest post on the top picks for unique date ideas in Trenton, New Jersey.  In addition to guest posting, Meggin also writes for black dating sites where she composes articles centered on safe online dating in the black community.  

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Fathers and Men Put Food On The Plate This Thanksgiving

TRENTON-- Cases of cranberry sauce, loads of turkeys, and plenty of stuffing were all on display Wednesday morning at the Lighthouse Outreach Center in West Trenton as a local community organization prepared Thanksgiving baskets for families in the city.

Fathers and Men United for a Better Trenton, a non-profit organization in the community, put together 90 baskets this year. Last year, the group handed out 80 baskets.

The Trenton based community group has been giving out Thanksgiving baskets every year for the past five years. Various community organizations helped make this year's Thanksgiving basket give-out possible.

Mercer County Freeholder Sam Frisbee, Turning Point Church, Lighthouse Outreach Center, Beauty Grove Church, Sister Barbara Counts, the City Employees Union, all made donations and helped out.

Members of Fathers' will be hand delivering the Thanksgiving packages Wednesday afternoon just before Turkey Day tomorrow.

They said they received a call from the police department just yesterday informing them that a family with a 8 year old baby was in need. As a result, they will be making sure that family receives a basket as well so they can have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Fathers and Men co-founder, Wayne Council, said that putting these baskets together is our way of giving back. He said, "gratitude is our attitude", that's why we do this every year".

Members of the group said they don't limit their assistance to Thanksgiving, they also provide gloves and hats around Christmas time, along with other acts of community involvement.

Please see videos below:

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Garvey School Gets A Touch Up From Community

TRENTON-- Paint brushes, pales, and paint-stained clothing were all on display this Saturday at the city's Garvey School as area residents took part in a 'community paint party' to give the private African-centered school a new look.

The school's only Taylor Street campus was hit hard after Hurricane Irene swooped through the East Coast in late August leaving significant damage to the eight year old private school.

The school's damage was documented on this blog just a month ago. In a previous interview, the school's principal, Baye Kemit, said he was thankful for the help, but said more work is needed.

After participating in the community paint party myself, I have to say it was a beautiful sight to see as members of the community stopped by to pick up a brush, roll up their sleeves and go to work. Members of the Garvey School staff also took part in the community paint party that left the facility looking anew but only halfway painted.

More work needs to be done.

For more information on how to get involved, contact the Garvey School at 609-792-9038 or visit their website

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Occupiers Head To State House To Demand Jobs

TRENTON-- Labor union organizations and Occupy Trenton protesters alike head to the State House Thursday afternoon to protest.

Labor unions and Occupy Wall Street protesters took part in today's Nationwide Day of Action For Jobs and Economic Justice.

Trenton's protest rally was just one among 400 other protest rallies taking place across the country.

Protest organizers say that Wall Street executives represent the 1% of the population that is still thriving, making billions of dollars, while the remaining 99% of the population still suffers and loses their homes day after day. 99ers are concerned that a jobs bill has not been passed by the Congress to help jump-start the economy.

Despite light rain and chilly weather, protesters were not deterred Thursday afternoon as passer's by honked their horns in support of the rally. Protest organizers seek to put pressure on Congress to tax Wall Street to stimulate the economy and create millions of jobs.

Protest organizers say they are fed up and want to see a change immediately.

Mary, a supporter of Occupy Trenton and opponent of Wall Street greed said that there has to be a reasonable way to create jobs. She went on to say that it is a false argument to suggest that taxing the wealthy is a 'job killer' which has become an ongoing talking point from members of the Republican Party.

A group of singers voiced their dissent by saying that 'those prophets of profit are liars'. They went on to ask, 'will you do what's right, stand up and fight'.

Some opponents of Occupy Wall Street criticize the movement suggesting that it has no clear and coherent message. Some critics also point out that the Occupiers wrongly demonize or scapegoat Wall Street executives, who like others in a competitive marketplace, only seek to maximize profits, not get over or exploit working class people.

Please see videos below:

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Should Trenton Occupy the Hood, That Is The Question

TRENTON-- For those that don't already know, there is a growing movement emerging all over the world. Members of this movement have been protesting a host of issues. From debit card fees and the growing gap between the rich and poor to Wall Street bailouts and corporate influence in politics, members of this movement are mad as hell and are not taking it anymore. That movement goes under the name, Occupy Wall Street.

Currently, there is an Occupy Trenton encampment located on North Warren Street in the state's capitol.

However, the impression many people have is that the movement is made up primarily of white, middle class individuals.

As a matter of fact, while standing at the North Warren Street encampment, I was greeted by an anonymous city man that said he was surprised to see me since I was a black male. Like others in the mainstream, he thought the movement was made up of 'young white kids' to use his words.

The city man and I began to dialogue about what the movement is about and he told me that what they need to be focusing on is the hell we [meaning African Americans] have been catching for years down here in Trenton.

He went on to tell me that for individuals that live in urban communities like Trenton, the Occupy Wall Street Movement and its protest of Wall Street executives, is far removed from the issues and problems that affect city dwellers on a day to day basis.

Issues like unemployment, police brutality, foreclosures, lack of educational opportunity, racial profiling, budget cuts, housing, human services, civic engagement and racism are more immediate problems that affect all too many minorities in urban communities like Trenton, he said.

Interestingly enough after this conversation, I stumbled upon a new movement that addresses the exact issues the city man and I were discussing. The Occupy the Hood protest movement has started to pop up in various urban communities like Cleveland, Boston, Pittsburgh, and the like.

Occupy the Hood is a growing protest movement that seeks to address issues affecting minorities. Members of this movement seek to bring those same issues to members of the Occupy Wall Street movement, not to compete with them, but to forge a more unified front.

Jason Latson, an individual from Roxbury, Massachussetts, said, "I didn't know anything about Occupy Boston before tonight. I heard a lot of chanting in the neighborhood and decided to come out to see what was going on. I think this was a wake-up call for everybody to stand up for equality and peace and justice for all people from all walks of life. Our common enemy is injustice".

The question becomes: Should Trentonians, like other urban dwellers across the country, start an Occupy the Hood protest movement here in the state capitol? Should we stand up and speak out to have our issues heard? The answer to those questions remains unanswered. Tell me what you think...

For more information on the Occupy the Hood Movement, visit their Facebook page here.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Trenton Hosts First Annual Entertainment Summit

TRENTON-- Just last week, the First Annual Trenton Entertainment Summit, a networking and informational gathering, was held at ‘Studio City New Jersey’.

Area artists and entertainers came out to support the summit.

Trenton Recording Artist Big Ooh! and Social Activist Will “Deshair” Foskey organized the groundbreaking Entertainment Industry Seminar to boost morale and promote Inner-City Unity in a town where talent often  goes abroad and never looks back, in order to become successful.

Trenton, home of the well-known hip hop group, the Poor Righteous Teachers, was proud to be the venue for the Trenton Entertainment Summit.

The purpose of the summit was to inform and advise local entrepreneurs of new ways to brand their business, while teaching people the art of professional networking. Panel discussions focused on Brand Development, Business, & Music and Film Production.

Special Guest speakers, Darren “Freedom” Green and Tracy D. Syphax, both success stories from the area, opened and closed the 4 hour event with inspiring messages of defying all odds and strength of mind. And the event sponsor, Wells Fargo Bank, talked to attendees about business accounts and how to fund their projects through unsecured lines of credit.

Attendees walked away with valuable information on how to construct proper business cards, networking techniques, music industry contracts, publishing, production, social media branding, and so much more. 

Moderator, Remix Mafia’s DJ Slowjam Powell brought pure energy and over 20 years of Music Industry knowledge to the table, asking the right questions to pull answers from panelists the audience could use in their everyday business dealings.

Championed by Big Ooh! and Deshair, the Trenton Entertainment Summit was organized and brought to fruition in just 12 days.

150 people attended the event, including one of Trenton’s Treasures, the Legendary DJ Juice. Panelists included Cardiak (Producer For: Rick Ross, Meek Mill, Wale, Jadakiss, 50 Cent, Kanye West, etc.), Money Malc (Universal/Motown Recording Artist) , Dj Radio (Shade45 Radio Personality), Nyticka Hemingway (Singer/Songwriter),Eric (DonDiva Magazine), Flash Kilogram, Flash (Former SRC/Universal & Ruff Ryder Recording Artist), ReddPen Media, Alamaj (Underworld Entertainment), Hellfire (Producer), Rugg (Producer), Tone Trump (New Single “Afghan” featuring Young Jeezy), &; Brad Fulton (in-house engineer at Studio City New Jersey).

The Trenton Entertainment Summit will re-air on in the coming weeks.

For more information about this event and the “Trenton Going Global” Campaign, contact Will “Deshair” Foskey at

Please see video below:


TRENTON-- Area residents head to Mercer County Community College (MCCC) downtown at their James Kerney Campus to be a part of The Love of Neighbor Caravan. The event was hosted by MCCC Professor Alvyn Haywood. 

In a press release, it was stated that, "The Love of Neighbor Caravan was created to foster better human communications, more informed civic engagement, and to help cultivate a social environment where each individual can reach their full God-Given potential". 

The Caravan has many parts or components to it. Saturday's event was one among many to come.

This past Saturday, the Caravan, had a panel discussion addressing issues involving education, hip hop, career development, etc.

Members of the panel represented different walks of life. On the panel were Eric Watson, Professor of History at MCCC, Dr. Renee Walker, CEO Hope, Glynis Tart, Carmine Lamarca, Patrick Hall, and William Mackson. 

During the presentation, music was performed by Tiger Mic aka William E. Mackson, area author, and Bill Baylor, longtime musician and producer.

Later, Trenton native Errick Wiggins was recognized for his service to the community. He was the recipient of the Ally For Humanity award.

Members of the audience offered their feedback regarding the presentation.

Kyla Scott, a Trenton resident, brought her niece and nephew with her and said, she enjoyed the program because it is important to help out in your community, she said its all about 'each one, teach one'.

Another Trenton resident, Shaneek, said she works with the city doing outreach work and came out to gather information on how to develop resources on how to bring the community together and help children.

She went on to say that the takeaway message she received from the event is that, "unity is power and if you have a passion for what you love, the sky is the limit". Shaneek also mentioned how well the event was publicized on social networks like Facebook.

Sa Mut A. Scott, a Trenton resident who teaches yoga said that the presentation was "fabulous". She went on to say that she walked away from the Caravan recognizing that "there are people in our communities that are trying to make a difference. There are several people that you don't hear about in the mainstream media who are in fact working hands on with the children of the inner cities and that is very optimistic and hopeful for us".

One of the panelist said, CEO Hope, said that the one takeaway message he received from the Caravan was that "everybody plays a part, everybody brings something to the table when it comes to community development".  He went on to say that members of City Council should have came out because their presence was needed to represent their individual wards.The next Love of Neighbor Caravan is scheduled December 10, 2011. 

For more information, please contact the host Tim Razzac at (609) 379-2885 or you can email him at

Please see videos below:

Friday, November 4, 2011

Thanksgiving Night With Butterball At The Crown Plaza

CHERRY HILL--Grown Folks Entertainment in association with Philadelphia emcee Butterball from WDAS, will be hosting a festive get together at the Crown Plaza in Cherry Hill on Thanksgiving, November 24th.

Doors open at 8 pm.

There will be live entertainment and door prizes. Music will be supplied by DJ Andre The Giant from Philadelphia radio station, WDAS.

For those that purchase tickets and mention Grown Folks Party, there will be discounted room rates if you choose to stay at the Crown Plaza.

Grown Folks Entertainment event promoter Greg, of central jersey, said that this gathering is a great opportunity to hear great music that you grew up listening to. Its very seldom that the older mature crowd can hang out in a fabulous setting like the Crown Plaza.

Yet he also said this event is going to be "great because you can take your spouse, your friends, and even your parents. We can all connect with the music. It is going to be a great time for whoever makes it".

Tickets are currently on sale for this event. A portion of the proceeds will go to benefit the Cancer Foundation. For more information, please contact (609) 540-7768.

When calling, mention Anwar's Reflections.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Clark Affects Change At City Hall Yet More Needs To Be Done

TRENTON-- Mercer County Freeholder candidate Dion Clark says progress has been made at City Hall, but more needs to be done.

Thursday morning, Clark, the longtime East Trenton resident, took a walk with Anwar's Reflections-- a Trentonian affiliate-- around City Hall, to highlight changes made to parking arrangements to benefit the handicapped.

However, in the process of recognizing that sign of progress, a city van was spotted illegally parked in the rear parking lot.

Clark brought the issue of handicapped parking to the attention of city council during their weekly meetings along with stating his concern on this blog just over a month ago.

Changes have since been made in response to Clark's previous complaints. Just a month and a half ago handicapped parking spaces were located 70 feet away from the historic building located on East State Street, now they are located only 23 feet away.

From a civic engagement standpoint, Clark's story is a testament to how speaking out and speaking up can affect change in your community.

Yet while recording the positive change at City Hall, a city van was seen parked illegally for 30 minutes in a fire zone that does not permit parking at any time.

During a brief interview, Clark said that "people need to be held accountable" regardless of any position they may hold. He said that we all need to be held to the same standard.

Clark, who has consistently spoken out on quality of life issues in Trenton, went on to suggest that City Hall should have someone enforcing the parking rules and regulations here at City Hall, someone like a security guard, because it presents a safety issue, an accident may occur when parking rules are violated.

He went on to say that "there are many people here paying their bill, but that doesn't give you the right to park anywhere and break the rules".

Clark says he intends on reporting the city van parking violation to ensure that someone is held accountable for not adhering to parking rules and regulations.

Please see videos below: