Author Archives: Mark and Mark

D.I.Y.N.J. Part XI Breaking Bargain Bins with COMIC TRIPS

Weird NJ correspondent Matt Chyrstal attempts to keep up with the adventures of Paul Brown and Kat Habrukowich creators and stars of the web series, Comic Trips. The series has accurately been labeled as the “American Pickers for 80’s babies” and has already logged in five seasons plus several special episodes (Drunk Toy Review, What’s in the Box? Contest Giveways, Twinkie Taste Test, etc). Paul and Kat are powerhouses of positivity and pop culture knowledge. They are out and about, cruising down the nostalgia highway on a mission to find key issues, vintage toys and unique collectibles. Continue reading

D.I.Y.N.J. Part X: Breaking Batty with BAT FACTORY

Bat Factory can no longer be considered a secret as a result of Jodi’s tireless do-it-yourself work ethic, resourcefulness and imagination. And sure, Bat Factory can still be referred to as “underground,” in the sense that her unique conceptions are far from the everyday, the run-of-the-mill prints or wall hangings for sale at Pottery Barn. Continue reading

Weird Travels on Indian Cabin Road

A desolate, isolated roadway through the Pine Barrens, mysterious graves in the woods, crazed pineys, an abandoned orphan asylum and the hermit child molester known as “The Kruker”–all part of a weird journey down Indian Cabin Road. Continue reading

D.I.Y.N.J. Part IX: Breaking Waves–Asbury Park Surf Music Festival

I am flying high over Tupelo, Mississippi with America’s hottest band… and we are all about to die! Ok, you got me… I’m at an Aloha Friday party on the boardwalk in Asbury Park, enjoying my second, possibly fourth Asbury Boogie (rye whiskey, dark rum, pineapple, lemon and passion fruit) and hanging with the husband and wife DIY duo of Vincent Minervino and Magdalena O’Connell. Continue reading

D.I.Y.N.J. Part VIII: Breaking Burly

Matt Chrystal interview Minnie D’Moocha, Viktor Devonne and Vonka, three sensational performers who are breaking bad and literally busting out of the garden state, has led me to the conclusion that burlesque performers and cosplayers are kinda like Transformers… yup, there’s more than meets the eye. I have some more research to do, so let’s hear it from these three movers and shakers (pun intended) as they answer my ten questions for D.I.Y.N.J. Continue reading

The Cult of Mysterious “Monks Castle”

In the late 70s and early 80s rumors of a “Sex and Drugs” cult residing at “Monks Castle” began circulating around Montclair. One resident described the reaction of the community as “panic stricken” in a New York Times article about the cult, which ran under the headline “Guru’s Cult in Castle Troubles Montclair.” Continue reading

D.I.Y. N.J. Part VII: Jeff Crespi Rocks!

If you’ve been to any musical event in New Jersey, whether a major concert or a small club gig somewhere, you’ve probably seen him, prowling around at the edge of the stage, in the thick of the action with one camera in front of his face and several others slung from his neck and shoulders. But who is that man behind the lens who seems to be omnipresent wherever Rock n Roll is taking place in our state? WNJ reporter Matt Chrystal catches up with the ubiquitous shutterbug and asks him 10 questions about just how and why Jeff Crespi Rocks. Continue reading

D.I.Y. N.J. Part VI: Trenton Punk Rock Flea Market

Mr. Kuzemka has taken the term “DIY” to the next level. His idea of hosting a gallery event where small business vendors and artists can show off and peddle their goods has progressed into a thrice-yearly, weekend long emporium extravaganza that brings in thousands to New Jersey’s capitol city. In the midst of all the preparation for this upcoming installment of the TPRFM, Joseph F. Kuzemka found the time to answer my 10+ questions for this week’s edition of #DIYNJ… Continue reading

The Quest for El Dorado

The remaining ruins of El Dorado Gardens can still be found today, hidden in small patch of woods along the muddy banks of the Rahway River in Springfield. Concrete bridges arch over stagnant fetid waters, and overgrown, barely visible walkways wind their way past the crumbling remains of communal baths. All that is left to remind us of one of New Jersey’s lost resorts. Continue reading