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Paterson Artist Alfonso Dunn’s Exhibit

Published September 24, 2013 by Maryanne

SAM_2412Paterson artist, Alfonso Dunn

Last week I had the opportunity to cover Alfonso Dunn’s art show for Paterson Press.

You can read the article here: http://www.northjersey.com/paterson/aterson_artists_passion_on_display_in_exhibit_at_PCCC.html

I had such a great time and was really impressed with a young girl there named Ariele who asked the artist some very interesting questions. It’s so refreshing when young people — or people in general — ask questions.

SAM_2424Me, Alfonso Dunn and Ariele Adrianzen

Paterson’s Tribute to Senator Frank Lautenberg

Published September 9, 2013 by Maryanne

Sen. Frank Lautenberg bSenator Frank Lautenberg

I had a beautiful morning at the Great Falls attending the tribute to Senator Frank Lautenberg hosted by Congressman Bill Pascrell.

Here is my article: http://www.northjersey.com/news/Hundreds_pay_tribute_to_Lautenberg_in_Paterson_Great_Falls_ceremony.html?c=y&page=1

Harboring Hearts

Published September 6, 2013 by Maryanne

harboring_hearts

Last week I had the opportunity to write this inspiring story about Harboring Hearts Housing: http://www.northjersey.com/news/Harboring_Hearts_program_helped_Paterson_family_in_need.html

It’s about a 16-month-old girl who is a heart patient.

Another One From The Falls!

Published August 4, 2013 by Maryanne

SAM_1790Reporter at work!

Here’s another article I wrote with the Great Falls as background: http://www.northjersey.com/news/Summer_jazz_concerts_kick_off_at_Patersons_Great_Falls.html?c=y&page=1

This article also appeared in New Jersey’s Bergen Record newspaper.

My mom called me this morning, excited. So cute!

Super Nostalgic Saturday!

Published August 4, 2013 by Maryanne

SAM_1790Me, reporting at the Great Falls Jazz Festival

Last night I had the honor and pleasure of reporting at the Great Falls Jazz Festival. My husband accompanied me, even though he was under the weather, which was so sweet.

I’ll upload the article when it runs later today.

It was so much fun. The music was great, the weather was perfect and we even saw little ground hogs around the falls area! My husband was talking to a couple from out of town and they thought the ground hogs were prairie dogs because ground hogs are bigger. But these were babies! That’s how small they were, there were at least four of them!

After interviewing several people, we decided to take a ride to one of the neighborhoods I grew up in. It was nice seeing my old house again.

SAM_1797The house I grew up in, on W. 34th Street, West Paterson, New Jersey.

Today West Paterson is known as “Woodland Park” but I still call it West Paterson.

I lived in that house from ages 5 to 9, then we moved to Cedar Grove.

SAM_1798Side view of house on West 34th Street

My grandparents owned this house. I lived here with my mom, dad, and sister on the main floor. The basement was furnished and that’s where Aunt Sophie lived.

Next door there was a small house (now demolished) that my grandparents also owned and they lived there, sometimes I’d live in that house too. I had toys in both places. And the smaller house is the one I sat on the porch and read comic books on summer nights, eating barbecue potato chips, while my Grandma and Aunt Sophie chatted.

After visiting the houses, Dennis and I went to Munchies in Little Falls (a taco joint that has been around since the 1970s, at least). I got a vegan bean burrito (no cheese).

It was a perfect night!

And it was a perfect day too! Since being back on Face Book, I reconnected with some old friends — including someone extra special, my good friend Amy.

Amy and I were journalists at Outlaw Biker, Skin Art and Tattoo Review magazines. During our time there I was 31 and Amy was 21. We were very close and did so many things together. Connections from that job, there were always parties and plenty of fun and mischief to get into — especially for two young, pretty girls.  We even modeled together in a t-shirt ad!

When we reconnected on Face Book, it felt like we never skipped a beat. It was like, “How did we ever lose touch?!” We just always got along so good! Now almost 20 years later, we reconnected. We lived less than 10 minutes away from each other. We’re both happily married, major cat lovers, and now approaching milestone birthdays as I’ll be 50 in a few weeks and Amy will be 40 on Christmas Eve (and we’re both still cute!)

We ended up spending two hours at an Indian restaurant for lunch in my town, catching up and reminiscing about all the fun we had back in the day. After lunch we briefly stopped at the health food store, then went back to my house and spent another two hours together! Just like old times!

I am ecstatic that Amy is back in my life, and living so close. And she said, “We definitely should get together every other week or so.” I agree.

Life is awesome!

Marcel Shipp Football Clinic (article includes interviews with sports legends!)

Published July 14, 2013 by Maryanne

SAM_1570NFL football legend, Eric Downing 

(Photo by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta)

Yesterday the heat was overbearing at Eastside High School in Paterson where The Marcel Shipp Football Clinic was held for young kids who aspire to be football players (or just want to hone their sports skills!)

I was honored to interview NFL football legend, Eric Downing, who was truly a wonderful guy. I loved that he was wearing a Red Hot Chili Peppers shirt! Great taste in music, Eric!

I also got to interview Kendall Holt who once held a world boxing title. He was so down to earth and talked to me like I was his neighbor or something, I felt like I knew him all my life.

I loved interviewing the kids and the Haledon Varsity Cheerleaders. They were so enthusiastic, cute and fun. It was great meeting the coaches, folks from 4th and inches foundation and everyone else involved in this amazing day.

There were other NFL legends there, but they were so busy with the kids I didn’t want to pull them away from what they were doing. Read the full article here: http://www.northjersey.com/news/Paterson_youth_reach_for_the_stars_at_annual_Marcel_Shipp_football_clinic.html?c=y&page=1

SAM_1553

The Haledon Manchester Varsity cheerleaders
(Photo by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta)
SAM_1575Outside Eastside High School
The Passaic County Sheriff’s Department was outside too. I was so happy to pet this gorgeous horse!

Acupuncture for pets and children

Published June 27, 2013 by Maryanne

SAM_1361My baby, Billy Cat, age 19, receiving acupuncture treatments

Today Billy received his second acupuncture treatment to assist in healing his hypothyroidism which affected his hind legs. The condition depletes the nutrients from his body so his hind legs aren’t strong enough to walk. He has minimal feeling in his back legs.

With acupuncture treatment we hope to see him walk again in a few months. This condition is more common in dogs and many people have healed their dogs with acupuncture. Billy is also receiving laser treatments to help him heal faster. He will be going once a week. And of course he is on medications, both regular and holistic. We’ve covered all grounds, plus Dennis and I give him light massages and lots of love.

Dr. Aleda Cheng from the American Animal Hospital (http://www.americananimalhospital.com/) is treating him and said he is getting stronger, although he did lose a little bit more weight. It is good that he is eating A LOT.

Billy is also making a major effort to try to get up. His little legs are always going and stretching. The little guy is a trooper!

And last week I had the honor to go to St. Joseph’s hospital in Paterson to cover this story about acupuncture for children with cancer: http://www.northjersey.com/paterson/St_Josephs_hospital_expands_program_for_young_cancer_patients.html?c=y&page=1

It was such an honor to be in the company of these very brave children!

A Moment of Peace

Published June 26, 2013 by Maryanne

SAM_1359Paterson Great Falls (photo by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta)

This morning I had a writing assignment in Paterson, near the Great Falls. So it was nice to catch a breather and take in the sight. It’s a gorgeous day in New Jersey. A bit overcast, but I love that when I have nothing else to do but stay home and write. (And watch over my sick kitty, Billy, who is still being a trooper).

Even during rough times, life is good. And sometimes it’s so nice being out and about so early in the day during the week. You can definitely see the world from a different prospective. Right before lunch is the best time to be out and about in a heavy populated area. I think that’s the time where there is the least amount of traffic and people are pretty mellow. I had fun shopping at Fairway too. The supermarket that is always crowded was practically empty at this time.

Peace feels nice.

As the Violent Femmes song goes, “Good feeling, won’t you stay with me, just a little longer.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIWLxbXnbJ4

Paterson’s Historic Hinchliffe Stadium

Published June 23, 2013 by Maryanne

hinchliffe_stadium

Hinchliffe Stadium is an historic 10,000-seat municipal stadium in Paterson, built in 1931-32, above Paterson’s National Historic Great Falls. Hinchliffe Stadium was designated as a National Historic Landmark in March, 2013 and a Paterson Historic Landmark in May 2013.

The deteriorating stadium is still an eyesore, but Friday morning I had the pleasure of seeing an art project the Paterson students in School 5 participated in, as they vision Hinchliffe Stadium.

You can read the full article here: http://www.northjersey.com/news/Paterson_students_draw_pictures_of_hope_for_Hinchliffe.html?c=y&page=1

As I mentioned in my article, Brian LoPinto, co-founder of Friends of Hinchliffe Stadium, also assisted in judging and presented each student in the winning class with a baseball “to tie in with the stadium.

What was really cool, for me as a journalist, was that after the students received their baseballs, at least 10 of them asked me to autograph their baseballs!

It’s always moments like this that make my life so rewarding.

Students Paint Veteran’s Mural For American Legion

Published June 14, 2013 by Maryanne

Mural - International Students in front of muralStudents from International School in Paterson painted mural in Rochelle Park

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to make this event on Saturday because I had previous plans, but I was able to interview a student, teachers and vets over the phone.

Enjoy my article, this was so inspiring: http://www.northjersey.com/news/Paterson_students_use_their_talents_on_Rochelle_Park_veterans_mural.html