Thursday, July 21, 2011

Artist Larry Chestnut


Structure to be free!
Artist Larry Chestnut

I had the pleasure of meeting him at the unveiling of the Trenton Mural Arts project which also took place at Artworks.  BTW he has the “penthouse” studio at the aforementioned Trenton Art GalleryAfter a brief introduction from a mutual friend we were laughing and sharing art experiences.  Larry retired from a design gig with the State of NJ; he then went full-time into his passion, ART.

This Trenton native is an avid cyclist (Princeton Freewheelers), a docent in Philly (Philadelphia Academy of Fine Art), as well as a lover of good food and friends, not to mention a ballroom dancer!  He enjoys the West Coast style.

I spent several hours in Larry’s studio while he showed me his craft.  Larry is a music enthusiast who mostly enjoys Blues, Classical and Jazz; however he is open to many genres.  In one of our meetings Larry shared with me his love for the music of Dinah Washington and enjoyed his introduction to one of my favorites Steel Pulse. 

With the mood set by the natural light and a cross breeze coming through the warehouse windows, Larry began.  Just a few hours later an image was more than ¾ complete.  The first session was a portrait of my media guy David Byers.


The visual likeness and how he captured the inner person is a testimony to the privilege we in Trenton have to call Artist Larry Chestnut one of our own!  For the art lovers who also visit New Hope he recently had the piece on display at the New Hope Gallery of Fine Art.

He does more than just portraits folks!
Larry is a kindred spirit of mine who has contentment with himself.  This contentment fits perfectly into a saying of a friend from Cuba, “A man has to know his limitations”.

I suggest you reach out to Larry, see his work, his studio and experience his artwork.  He is indeed another hidden gem of the Trenton 365!

As always thank you for visiting and tell someone else to check it out and suggest someone to me.

Photo’s courtesy of David Byers, Ewing NJ and JP, Trenton NJ.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Trenton Social Club

TC Nelson

Trenton 365 Blog

July 2011

Trenton Social Club

Opening a little over 6 months ago, the Trenton Social Club has become a meeting place for several people who are in Trenton and especially the “365”. 

The space once housed The Urban Word and several other eateries over the past ~10 years.  Located just a pitching wedge from the Sun National Bank Arena, “Social” is open 7 days a week from lunch to dinner and offers a varied menu.  I have personally tried most of the offerings and find them to be better than most other national eateries in the area with the same price points.

On one of my recent visits I had the special of the day.  I started off with a shrimp, snap pea and pasta soup.  The chicken broth based starter included several shrimp pieces and snap peas with just the right amount of pasta, penne to be exact.  The main portion of my lunch came from a clam in red jalapeno sauce over penne.  The jalapeno added just the right amount of heat and complemented the clams perfectly.  I am not big on deserts, so you will have to try that on your own. 

What's left of the jalapeno pasta

What I can tell you is that you will have a warm reception from owner T.C. Nelson or any of his employees.  The food will be fresh, made to order, and be very reasonably priced.  On site parking for dozens of cars is located in the back.  An outside area with trumpet vines offers a nice setting to enjoy your time at Social al-fresco. 

The restaurant and bar area is clean, inviting and has better than average selections from the large rectangular granite bar.  Stay away from the Stoudt’s Fat Dog unless you can handle a 10%+.  Since I am sharing about the draft beer, you can expect to see different offerings as well, not just the Bud, Coors Light/Miller Lite, Corona and Sam Adams that PALES members (future blog) avoid like the plague.

Craig, the singer!

TC Nelson and sister Shannon
Make sure you facebook Trenton Social so you can stay up to date on all of the events.  My favorite is Sushi Night which happens the first Wednesday of the month.  July’s offering had my family plus one enjoying the latest offerings from Sumo of Pennington.  The tuna was fresh from HI and as usual delicious.  My group shared a hot pepper seared tuna app., ninja roll, spicy tuna roll, California roll and teriyaki salmon.

Social offers many different entertainment choices as well.  From the Salsa lessons on Sundays, Karaoke, live music and a nice mix of lounge music when nothing is live.  If it’s quiet ask bartender Craig to sing a few lines for you, he loves Marvin Gaye.  

The space also doubles as an Art Gallery with a mix of mediums and tastes.  A back room has the ability to serve as a private gathering space however; TC is all about business and offering what the client wants.  I say that so you can be creative and see what kind of options he has.  Keep in mind Social has a travelling show as well.  They have been seen on the road at the Trenton Cycling Revolution’s 15th annual Trenton Bike tour, Art All Night and even acted as a caterer for over a thousand at a recent large gathering at the State Capital building.

In closing I hope you are already a supporter of TC and the Trenton Social Club, however if you are not stop by I am sure you will not be disappointed.  As always keep the suggestions coming and bring someone new to Trenton!