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Things to do in Clifton

    Hamilton House Museum Hamilton House Museum Clifton, New Jersey
    The Hamilton-Van Wagoner Museum sits inside a historic 18th century Dutch gambrel roofed house that had been the residence of the Van Wagoner family and the Hamilton family, with one and a half stories of cut sandstone, with a spring-house, gardens and grainery on the side. The city of Clifton, New Jersey wouldn't be incorporated until 1917, but there was a settlement here since 1679, and called Acquackanonk township that included areas of Patterson, Passaic, West Patterson and Little Falls. The Native American chief, Captaherr would give 11,000 acres of land to the early Dutch settlers that came here in the mid 17th century, that sat along the shores of the Passaic River. It was mostly a rural area, and sparsely settled, but it would continue to grow in slow stages. This farmhouse would be donated to the city by the developers of the property that had belonged to the late Harry Hamilton, whose family had purchased 96 acres in 1856, and had been the family's farm for the next century, until Harry passed on in 1970. In 1973, the house would be moved to Surgent Park, where the six rooms have been painstakingly furnished with period furniture and interior decorations, to represent various periods in American history that has taken place at the old farmhouse. The records show that the property had been passed along to Hermanus VanWagoner from Garet Garritsee, one of the original Acquackanonk settlers, since Hermanus was living close by, and this was around the time of the American Revolution. In 1804, Anna Vreeland would inherit the property from her grandfather, Garrett, the son of Hermanus. Anna then married John J. Vreeland, a mason and by 1815 had built the main section of the sandstone house as it sits today. The original section of the old farmhouse would then become the kitchen, and in 1837, the Vreelands sold the property to Sarah and Jacob Van Riper, when the kitchen would be made bigger and then connected to the main house. Then it would pretty much remain as it was for the next 135 years, although there would be some remodeling in 1880 to upgrade it and then in the early 20th century get plumbing to upgrade it and modernize it.

    Montclair Art Museum
    Montclair Art Museum Montclair, New JerseyThe Montclair Art Museum (MAM) in Montclair, New Jersey is only one of a couple museums in the nation that is completely devoted to collecting Native American art and American art forms, with a magnificent collection of over 12,000 outstanding works of art. The American collection contains photographs, paintings, drawings, sculpture and prints from the 18th century to the current period, with their Native American holdings containing contemporary and traditional Indian art and relics that are representative of the cultural accomplishments of wood carving, weaving, jewelry, pottery and textiles of the indigenous American tribes that have been collected from seven major regions in the nation. These include, the southwest, plains, northwest coast, California, southeast, the arctic and woodlands; as well as contemporary works from all. It is also the only museum in the world that is devoted to the work of the well acclaimed 19th century American painter, George Inness, who had lived in the city from 1885 to 1894 and painted many scenes from the area. The secluded gallery of Inness exhibits selected works from their 21 paintings, etching and two watercolors by this marvelous artist. Another resident of the city of Montclair and well gifted was the sculptor, William Couper who would live here until his passing. The list of artists is quite extensive, but some of the better known include; Josef Albers, Thomas Hart Benton, Margaret Bourke-White, Alexander Calder, Thomas Cole, Willem de Kooning, Thomas Eakins, Marsden Hartley, Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper, George Inness, Roy Lichenstein, Man Ray, Robert Motherwell, Louise Nevelson, Georgia O'Keefe, Sarah Miriam Peale, Rembrandt Peale, Charles Wilson Peale, Mark Rothko, John Singer Sargent, George Segal, Andy Warhol, Max Weber and James Abbott McNeill Whistler.

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    New York AquariumNew York Aquarium Coney Island Brooklyn, New York
    The New York Aquarium in Battery Park, Manhattan, NYC is the oldest continually operating aquarium in the nation, opening in Castle Garden in 1896, but since 1956, it has been relocated to the boardwalk along Coney Island, Brooklyn, and run by the Wildlife Conservation Society. It sits on 14 acres and has more than 350 species of aquatic wildlife, dedicated to raising the awareness of the community about the many issues that plague the ocean and its inhabitants by using research, special exhibits and public events. At its Osborn Lab of Marine Sciences, there are numerous studies being done that look at various topics like coral reefs, dolphin cognition and satellite tagging of sharks. The aquarium would become part of the New York Zoological Society in 1902, when it only housed 150 species, but over the ensuing years, under the tutelage of Charles Haskins Townsend, the collections would grow and bring hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. In 1941, the aquarium would be closed by city parks commissioner, Robert Moses, who was worried that the proposed construction of the new tunnel from Lower Manhattan to Brooklyn might destroy the Castle's foundations. Quite a few of the sea creatures would then be moved to the Bronx Zoo to live until the new aquarium was constructed after WWII. It would take a few years more to complete the work, but in 1957, it would open at its new location in Coney Island. Mammals housed there include; California sea lions, sea otters and Pacific walrus; then a black footed penguin enclosure, fish include giant Pacific octopus, sand tiger sharks and flower hat jellyfish and loggerhead turtles and tomato frogs. Exhibits include Alien strangers that house moon jellies, flower hat jellies and red striped sea bass; the sea lion celebration; Explore the Shore that is a coastal exhibit with sea stars, horseshoe crabs and a 400 gallon tidal wave that splashes over you. Then there is Glover's Reef and Conservation Hall with stingrays, schools of fish and moray eels; Planet Earth: Shallow Seas 4-D Experience that is an awesome show; sea cliffs that include seals, otters, walruses and penguins; and last but not least are the mighty predators of the seas, the Sharks.

     Hungarian Folklore Museum
    Hungarian Folklore Museum Passaic, New Jersey
    The Hungarian Folklore Museum is also known as the American Hungarian Museum in Passaic, New Jersey created to preserve, cultivate and exhibit the Hungarian culture in one of the biggest communities of Hungarians in the nation. It specializes in the collections of memorabilia that comes from within its own community and includes outstanding examples of art, priceless folk art and folk-crafts. The museum has always showcases collections from its own collection or from private loans, with their permanent exhibit showing excellent examples of folk art, photographs and historical artifacts that have been brought here from their old country or made here in the community. There are usually special programs, workshops, lectures, video showings and performances. The museum sits in the center or heart of the ethnic neighborhood of Passaic, with it residing in the historic Reid Memorial Library, and although the neighborhood has changed drastically over the years, there are still some Hungarian families living there. But since many of the families have left the area, the museum board believes the museum and its treasures have become even more valuable since there aren't many people coming here except to visit the museum. The museum was established in 1982, to disseminate information about the Hungarian culture, as well as offer exhibits of the outstanding crafts and arts that the people have created over the years, or have collected from their ancestors.

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Local Restaurants in Clifton

    Alexus Steakhouse & Tavern
    Entrees; NY strip steak 12 or 16oz.; ranch house steak 12oz. NY strip smothered with sautéed onions, peppers, potatoes & mozzarella cheese; sliced London broil is marinated London broil smothered with mushroom sautéed in brown sherry wine sauce, with mashed potatoes & veggies; filet mignon Mama steak 6oz. filet sautéed with peppers, onions, mushrooms & potatoes with oil & garlic sauce; colossal Delmonico steak 24oz. hand-cut & lightly seasoned; rib eye steak is full pound hand-cut, well-marbled; Alexus prime rib slow roasted & lightly seasoned, hand-carved 16oz.; filet mignon steak 10oz. filet; classic porterhouse 20oz.; surf & turf is 10oz. filet mignon with jumbo shrimp & scallops in scampi sauce; Alexus spicy chicken is chicken tenderloins sautéed in spicy white wine & garlic butter sauce with rice & veggies; ranch house chicken is smothered chicken breast with sautéed onions, peppers, potatoes & mozzarella cheese; chicken stir fry is grilled chicken breast, broccoli, snow peas, carrots, baby corn, water chestnuts & red peppers, tossed in teriyaki & oriental sesame sauce over rice; chicken parmesan is hand-breaded chicken cutlets sautéed golden brown, topped with marinara & melted mozzarella cheese over linguine; chicken & broccoli is chicken tenderloins sautéed with fresh broccoli florets, oil & garlic sauce over penne pasta; pork chop Murphy is grilled 12oz. pork chop with sautéed onions, mushrooms, potatoes, hot or sweet cherry peppers; baby back ribs slow roasted in whiskey, ginger, BBQ sauce with choice of potato & cole slaw; chicken & baby back ribs combo is boneless chicken tenderloins served with half rack ribs with house BBQ sauce, choice of potato & cole slaw; Atlantic salmon topped with tomato & basil sauce with rice & veggies.

    Buco Ristorante
    Entrees; penne marinara, linguine alio & olio, housemade meat lasagna, cheese ravioli, housemade manicotti; penned vodka with garlic, shallots, plum tomato, cream; fettuccini alfredo with pinch of nutmeg; linguine Filetto di pomodoro with onions, prosciutto, hearts of tomato, basil; capellini puttanesca with onions, olives, capers, anchovies, tomato & basil; farfalle fresca is bow ties with fresh tomato, basil; penne arrabbiata with pink sauce, hot peppers; penne primavera with julienne veggies with red, cream or pink sauce; shells casalinga with asparagus, hot peppers, sun dried tomatoes, garlic & oil, shaved provolone; rigatoni Bolognese with housemade meat sauce; linguine carbonara with shallots, prosciutto, cream; rigatoni al forno baked with ricotta & eggplant; fussili Michelangelo with sausage, onion, shiitake, peas, pink; rigatoni zingara with black olives, capers, mushrooms, eggplant, sliced hot peppers, tomato, basil; cavatelli or gnocchi terracina with sausage, red sauce, mozzarella; orecchiette barese with broccoli rabe, cannelini beans, olive oil & garlic; tortellini nicolo with prosciutto, shiitake, peas, brandy sauce; gnocchi Napolitana with fresh tomato, basil with pesto & diced fresh mozzarella; calamari marinara over linguine; linguine red or white clam sauce; fusili brindisi with shrimp, asparagus, shiitake, garlic cream; capellini palermo with shrimp, asparagus, shiitake, fresh tomato, basil; pappardella umbria with shrimp, shiitake, prosciutto, artichokes, red, cream or pink sauce; boneless breast of chicken; chicken primavera with julienne veggies, garlic, madeira demi glaze; chicken calabrese with broccoli florets, sun dried tomatoes, fontina cheese, balsamic vinegar.

Delmonico Steak Alexus Steakhouse & Tavern Clifton, New Jersey


Prime Rib Alexus Steakhouse & Tavern Clifton, New Jersey




 Capellini Puttanesca Buco Ristorante Clifton, New Jersey


Tortellini Nicolo Buco Ristorante Clifton, New Jersey



Hertz Car Rental Clifton

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    The Morgan Library The Morgan Library New York City, New York
    The Morgan Library and Museum had been the Pierpont Morgan Library, and is a research library and museum in New York City which was started to contain the magnificent private library of J. P. Morgan in 1906 the included his collection of drawings and prints, manuscripts and printed books with many that have been bound in rare bindings. It was designed by Charles McKim and cost $1.2 million and became a public facility by his son, J. P. Morgan, Jr. It would become a National Historic Landmark in 1966, as well as being listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Presently it is now part of a larger complex of buildings that serve as the museum and scholarly research center. The invaluable collection had been acquired through the services of his personal librarian, Belle da Costa Greene, who would then be named the first director and serve in that capacity until she retired in 1948. Frederick Baldwin Adams, Jr. would then take over the position, until 1969, while also becoming well known for his own personal collections. The library houses numerous illuminated manuscripts, scraps of paper that were written on by the likes of such famous singer Bob Dylan, authors' original manuscripts that include the works of writers like Honore De Balzac and Sir Walter Scott. There is a big collection of incunabula, prints and drawings of European artists like Rembrandt, Rubens, Durer, Picasso, Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo and Gainsborough; numerous examples of outstanding bookbinding, early printed Bibles that include three Gutenberg Bibles and many other excellent volumes. There is also items from ancient Egypt, William Blake's original drawings for his edition of the Book of Job, a Percy Bysshe Shelley notebook, manuscripts of Lord Byron, George Sand, Charlotte Bronte, William Makepeace Thackeray, nine novels by Sir Walter Scott that includes Ivanhoe, medieval liturgical items that also contain Coptic literature examples, Emile Zola, concept drawings for the Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery, a journal by Henry David Thoreau, a magnificent collection of autographed and annotated libretti and scores from Verdi, Beethoven, Mahler, Brahms, Chopin and Mozart's Haffner Symphony in D Major and original poems by Robert Burns. Another collection contains some old master paintings that were collected by the senior Morgan between 1907 and 1911 that include Perugino, Cima de Conegliano and Hand Memling, although the main focus would never detour in that direction, and Ghirlandaio's masterpiece Portrait of Giovanna Tomabuoni had been sold in the Great Depression when finances were tight. Some of the other well known artists in the library include; John Ruskin, Jean de Brunhoff, Vincent van Gogh, Paul Cezanne, Rembrandt van Rijin and Gaston Phoebus. The library contains one of the world's finest collection of ancient Near Eastern cylinder seals, which are small stone cylinders that had been finely engraved with images for transfer to clay by rolling them over it. There is a huge amount of music manuscripts and a great collection of Victoriana, that contains one of the most important collections of Gilbert and Sullivan manuscripts and other related documents and relics.  Almost as fabulous as the collections are themselves, the library building is another gem that has to be enjoyed as much as the materials contained inside it. The craftsmanship and artwork that is the library is one of the finest structures in the nation, with beautiful works of art painted on the ceilings and the most exquisite wood flooring as can be seen in the image to the right. It will show the visitor what they could in store for besides the magnificent collections and beautiful works of art, even though they aren't considered the best in the world, they will certainly tear your eyes from your head and increase your appreciation for the majestic art and craftsmanship of those many people that lived hundreds and thousands of years ago and were able to produce such spectacular works.

    Passaic County Historical Society
    Passaic County Historical Society Paterson, New JerseyThe Passaic County Historical Society in Paterson, New Jersey is housed in the majestic castle known as Lambert, mentioned earlier, and was started in 1926 to cultivate the interest of the community in history of the county, so they have taken care of the castle which houses the museum and library that sits atop the Garret Mountain Reservation that looks out over the city of Paterson. The society contains many documents, articles, photographs and newsletters that have been published since the beginning of the society, and many might contain remarks or subjects that may be politically incorrect by the standards of society in general today. Some of the interesting subjects included in their records are; people, education, places, houses, farms, buildings, military, business and industry, fire, floods and epidemics, transportation, religion, organizations and associations, hospitals, arts, entertainment and sports, strange and unusual, newspapers, notable dates in the county's history and festivals and celebration. So, as you can see, the society has done some outstanding work to gather and preserve all these marvelous documents, relics, and the like that help the community of today to better understand the results that have evolved since those early beginnings.

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    Paterson MuseumPaterson Museum Paterson, New Jersey
    The Paterson Museum in Paterson, New Jersey was started in 1925 is owned and managed by the city and their mission is to preserve and exhibit the industrial history of the city and it is found in the Old Great Falls Historic district. In 1982, the museum moved into the former Thomas Rogers building that has sat on Market Street since its beginning as the erecting shop of Rogers Locomotive and Machine Works, one of the 19th century makers of railroad steam engines. Some of the outstanding exhibits include the Fenian Ram, a submarine designed by John Philip Holland for use by the Fenian Brotherhood, along with Holland's life and works contained in an archive. There is a big collection of Colt firearms, as well as the facade of a playhouse constructed by Lou Costello for his kids. Another exhibit is the industrial equipment that had been located at the silk weaving factories that had been a significant part of the city's industrial economy, and includes automated looms. The Fenian Brotherhood was the American counterpart to the IRA that was and is still fighting against the British, and the sub was launched in 1881 by the Delamater Iron Company in New York that had been funded by the Fenian's Skirmishing Fund. The design of that sub had been modeled after the Whitehead torpedo, with cruciform control fins by the tail section. It was a most unique contraption, and was armed with a nine-inch pneumatic gun that was eleven feet long and mounted on the vessel's centerline and fired forward from her bow. There would be some disputes about the payments for this sub and the subsequent Holland III prototype between the Fenians and the Irish, so they would steal her in 1883.

    The Drawing Center
    The Drawing Center NYC, NYThe museum honors the many contributions of the Clifton marble company and the marble that The Drawing Center is a SoHo museum in New York City, and the only nonprofit exhibit space in the nation that concentrates just on the exhibition of drawings, both contemporary and historical. The center is situated on the ground floor of a historic structure composed of cast-iron. Every year, the center hosts a showing called "Selections" that feature the work of emerging artists in the region, as well as having exhibitions of contemporary and historical drawing based works. The Drawing Room that is located across the street from the main gallery, showcases outstanding installations and exhibitions of drawing based works by under-recognized and emerging artists. It also has a number of public programs that are geared for children and adults, and include artist talks, film screenings, performances, literary readings, symposia and the Big Draw which is a series of events or day-long event that has artist led drawing activities for folks of all ages.

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    Valentine-Varian HouseValentine-Varian House Bronx, NYC, NY
    The Valentine-Varian House in the Bronx, NYC was constructed in 1758 by Isaac Valentine and is now the borough's second oldest house and the oldest remaining farmhouse in the area. The outstanding fieldstone house stayed in the Varian family, that included Isaac Varian, the city's 63rd mayor until 1905, and then it would be sold, to become part of the Historic House Trust and contains the Museum of Bronx History. In the Revolutionary War, the house would be occupied by American, British and Hessian troops, and although there were numerous battles fought around it, somehow survived them, and the role that the house played in that significant war documented in a book published in 1983. During the turbulent 1960s, the house had been vandalized while it was being converted into a museum, but has since been fine, hosting a number of excellent exhibitions about the Bronx and the borough's history. The well known Bronx River Soldier, also known as the Bronx River Sentry statue is also found on the grounds of this marvelous estate. Isaac Valentine was a blacksmith that had the four story farmhouse constructed in 1758 near the old Boston Post Road that ran from New York to Boston, and included a blacksmith shop, slaves, farmland and outhouses. It would later be the site of six skirmishes during the Revolutionary War, and would be occupied by one side or the other for the entire campaign. After that war, the Valentines went through some hard times and the Dutch Reformed Church would take ownership of the property for money owed, and in 1791, it would put into the Varian family hands. William F. Beller bought it in 1905, and his son, William C. Beller donated it to the society to be used solely as a museum.

    Fosterfields Living Historical Farm
    Fosterfields Living Historical Farm Morristown, New JerseyThe Fosterfields Living Historical Farm in Morristown, New Jersey is a working farm that utilizes the tools, materials and techniques of a turn-of-the-century farmstead, given to the city in 1979, by Caroline Foster, who lived 98 of her 102 years here. General Joseph Warren Revere, the grandson of Paul, purchased the land in the mid 1800s and constructed the magnificent Gothic revival house, called the Willows. Charles Foster would buy it in 1881, and changed its name to Fosterfields. It is a marvelous opportunity for visitors to come and see how things were done more than a century ago and all the hardships that these determined folks endured, while enjoying the rural lifestyle that was afforded by the farm and its produce. The land has been cultivated since the 18th century, with 200 acres of excellent soil and conditions it has continued to thrive during many world wars, the Great Depression and the aftermath that would put almost three quarters of the nation out of work, homes or staples. There are many educational activities offered here, along with the demonstrations of the turn-of-the-century living and farm life. You are invited and encouraged to partake in many of the normal day-to-day activities that are part of farm life, feeding the chickens, churning butter, tending to the garden that would put food on the table every day and the cracking of corn. The staff here are dressed in period clothing and are happy to interpret the lives and roles of the Foster family members, laborers and domestics. These great folks do all the farm labors, raising livestock and crops by only historically correct methods, and of course, it is all organic and natural. The farm houses two distinct dwellings that you can tour and discuss the differences between the architectural styles and the contents that have been furnished with period pieces. One is the beautiful Gothic revival mansion called the Willows that was constructed in 1854 by General Revere and the other is the farmhouse, the first floor being restorated to 1918 to 1927 period during which time, the farm manager, Edward Woods would be living in it. Charles Foster, a rich commodities broker purchased the farm in 1881, after the death of Revere, the year before, and had been very interested in importing and raising Jersey cows, which are still seen grazing the farmlands today, as well as pigs, chickens, sheep, draft horses and more. Milking begins at 3:30 AM and is still part of the routine today, since milk is one of the staples of a farm or any dining room table. It would be his daughter, Caroline that would donate the farm because she had such an interesting and exciting life that she wanted others to learn and discover the sights, sounds and smells of living on a farm, which many of our ancestors did, until times got hard or the tax man cometh and taketh. .

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    Lambert CastleLambert Castle Paterson, New Jersey
    Lambert Castle in Paterson, New Jersey was constructed in 1892 to be the residence of Catholina Lambert, the owner of a silk mill in Paterson, New Jersey and built in the medieval revival style, which Lambert had recalled from his youth when he lived in Great Britain and saw the many castles round about the region and countryside. He passed on in 1923, and his heirs sold the property to the city of Paterson that turned around and sold it to the city of Passaic some years later. The county used the structure for administrative offices and then in 1936, gave a room to the newly formed Passaic County Historical Society to become its historical museum. As the years rolled on, the museum grew, and took over one room at a time until it had filled all the rooms on the main floor. During the late 1990s, the castle enjoyed a multi-million dollar renovation and every one of the four floors were transformed into museum space and a library. The county still owns the unique castle, but it does support the historical society that is responsible for the management and operation of the museum, which house historical period rooms, educational programs for elementary and middle school students, research library and archive, changing exhibition galleries and long term galleries.  The Lambert Castle is also called the Belle Vista and sits inside the Great Mountain Reservation of Paterson and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. In 1898, President William McKinley and vice President Garrett Hobart came to the castle to visit and look around. The construction of the castle started in 1891, on the side of the First Watchung mountain using granite and sandstone, which had been quarried from the surrounding hills, and the cost had been estimated at around $500,000. An art gallery and 70 foot observation tower were added in 1896, but the gallery wing began to rot away and was demolished in 1936, but the tower, which had been built on the crest of a cliff would last until the latter 1960s before it was deemed unsafe and closed. 

    Great Falls Historic District
    Great Falls Paterson, New JerseyThe Great Falls Historic District of Paterson, New Jersey had become a very popular place even before this country had been formed, as travelers and visitors came to the area to look over the beautiful falls that thundered down the Passaic River and flowed into Paterson. It would be Alexander Hamilton that saw the possibilities of industry that could add wealth, security and independence to the new nation, so he picked out the site of the Great Falls to begin his national manufactory, the first planned industrial city in the new nation. So, in 1791, the Society for the Establishing Useful Manufactures (S.U.M.) was incorporated. During the next two centuries the city would bear witness to the dream that Hamilton had, as it grew and became more prosperous, evolving into the technological age once the industries had declined for various reasons. Some of the city's first that are documented by the district include; the water powered cotton spinning mill in the state in 1793, the Holland submarine in 1878, the continuous roll paper in 1812, the Roger's locomotive in 1837 and the Colt revolver in 1836. In 1976, the 119 acre district would become a National Historic Landmark and then governor James McGreevy would visit the falls and make them a state urban park in 2004. Then in 2009, President Barack Obama signed the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park act that was part of the Omnibus Pubic Lands Act.

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May 12, 2011