Sunday, March 9, 2008

Down the Shore with...Steve Chernoski

Back in October, I wrote about how Steve Chernoski interviewed me for a documentary he was filming about where is the middle of New Jersey. Good news, folks: the movie's done. Check out the website here. If you're from New Jersey and ever at a loss about something to talk to about with other New Jersey people, bring up this topic. I guarantee that it'll get people gabbing.

Chernoski also has interesting ties of the shore which, of course, makes him perfect for the "Down the Shore with..." series.

1. What do you consider 'your' shore town and why?
Well, I own a home in Somers Point, so even though it’s a “Bay” town, I’d say that one. It’s got some great restaurants and taverns and a “shore town feel” because of Ocean City vacationers wanting to have a great dinner with some drinks at night. Ocean City has too many kiddies running around and Margate isn’t what it used to be. Longport is my favorite beach.

2. Most people go down the shore to eat eat eat. What's your favorite shore spot?
Too many! I love Buschs for seafood in Sea Isle. Nothing beats wing night at the Windrift in Avalon. My favorite pizza is All Natural Pizza in Ocean City. In Somers Point, the Anchorage and Charlie’s are staples of locals. The best kept secret at the south shore and possibly ranking as some of the best Italian food that I’ve ever had is on Route 9 in Seaville at Mama Mia’s, not far from Ocean City or Sea Isle.

3. Where did the idea of this documentary come from?
Well, I grew up near Trenton in Mercer County and people in Mercer talk about this “identity complex” all the time. We’re right in the middle of the NYC and Philly media markets. After college, I lived in Margate/Somers Point for a total of six years and now I’m in Hoboken. It is like three different states!

4. What's the most surprising thing you found?
That in North Jersey, when you buy a house, you traditionally hold the closing settlement meeting in a lawyer’s office. In South Jersey, you have closing
done in the offices of a title company...and from what we’ve heard, this may or may not be the result of New Jersey being split into East & West Jersey in Colonial Times.

5. So where do you think the middle of NJ is?
You’ll have to see the film...but there is a town that claims to be “The State’s Center.” I have a feeling people who think they live in Central NJ may need to redefine their opinion after seeing where it is.

6. What's the next step for the film?
Well, we are showing a shortened version at Stockton College this April and from there we are entering in many regional film festivals.

7. When can our readers hope to see it?
Well, we’ll post the festival dates on our blog and if a company or investor likes it and buys it, then hopefully it will go to DVD. Right now, my co-producer is predicting late summer – early fall of 2008 for the festivals.

8. What's your next project?
I am writing a script for a documentary, which involves me working with some out-of-shape, aging former HS and college soccer stars to fly them out to Italy to compete in a calchetto (mini-soccer) tournament in the mountains of Emilia-Romanga where my maternal grandparents are from. If it moves forward, it will be a story of “getting your groove back,” soccer (of course) and rich cultural interactions, not to mention the spectacular scenery we’d be filming. Working on a grant to finance it is the next step.


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Trish Ryan said...

You're a movie star!!! I always knew I should have spent more time at the shore :)

Deb said...

I just saw your video on their website....I grew up in the suburbs of Philly in when I moved to Hunterdon County (north, (central to me) Jersey) freaked me out to get our news from NY.

I was like, why are we hearing about Queens and Brooklyn? Seriously, I didn't get it. LOL

I'm an Eagles fan baby, and hubby is a Jets fan. No body likes the Giants in this household.