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Austrian born composer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, demonstrated his musical talent as early at the age of four. He composed his first pieces at age 5 while mastering the violin.
Mozart wrote several operas in German, but was met with opposition by Italian composers of his era. While penning pieces for masses, concertos, comic operas and sym phonies, Mozart met
and married his wife, Constanze Weber, in 1782.
The composer was commissioned by a unknown stranger to write a Requiem Mass, suffered through a three week fever and died before the work was ever completed. Buried in a pauper’s grave, Mozart’s real cause of death remains a mystery.
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WESTFIELD — The Presbyterian Church in Westfield recently kicked off its Capital Stewardship Campaign with a Dixieland jazz concert spearheaded by the sevenman Jim Cullum Band of Texas.
The band performed during the morning worship and communion service and in the afternoon under a tent set up on the lawn for a churchwide picnic.
A nearcapacity crowd gathered inside the church on the day that members were asked to make a commitment to pay for major improvements in aging facilities and equipment.
Entitled, “Pass It On,” the campaign has a goal of raising $4.5 million over three years.
“I hope that you will sense in the ‘Pass It On’ campaign that we are being presented with an opportunity to enhance and extend the mission and ministries of our congregation,” said the Reverend Dr. William Ross Forbes, senior pastor.
Noting that the sanctuary was reno vated two years ago, he said other buildings
do not need to be expanded “because those who came before us had the foresight to build adequate facilities for the ministries of our church, but they are in need of renovation and in some cases, some systems need to be replaced.”
The sanctuary building dates to 1862. Some of the capital campaign’s top priorities are to replace the church’s heating system and remove an oil tank. In addition, plans call for extensive repair of other mechanical and plumbing systems and making roofing repairs on a number of buildings.
There also are plans to renovate Westminster Hall to create areas that would be more flexible in how they can be used, revise current space in the Christian Education Building to make more room available for all ages, and modify the Parish House to improve fellowship and dining facilities and enhance the entrance from the parking lot.
JAZZ MUSICIANS HELP LAUNCH CAMPAIGN… The Jim Cullum jazz band participates in a service highlighting a $4.5 million Capital Stewardship Campaign at the Presbyterian Church in Westfield. The campaign aims to finance major renovation and repair of equipment and facilities on church property.
At The South Avenue Train Station Thursdays • Starting Today
Michelle H. LePoidevin for The Westfield Leader and The Times
FILMING IN A QUAINT TOWN… Once again, Westfield was captured in the filming of a Sprint commercial on June 18, as cameras were positioned in the front of The Westfield Leader and The Times on Elm Street. The telephone company used the storefronts of businesses along the street to reflect the “quaint town” flavor they admire in Westfield.
By MICHELLE H. LePOIDEVIN
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times
WESTFIELD — Westfielders no longer seemed star struck on the morning of June 18, as yet another film crew positioned itself on quaint Elm Street to film a Sprint commercial for its newest product, Sprint 1 Point.
As members of the film crew directed busy morning and lunchtime traffic, and passersby uttered remarks such as, “our taxpayer dollars at work,” production executives from Czar Films, advertising agents from McCann Erickson, and marketing representatives from Sprint made themselves at home.
“It’s the perfect Main Street America type of town. It’s a quaint type of town that says ‘Main Street America, ’” stated Ann Bobroff, Production Manager with Czar Films.
Sprint also shined its spotlights onto Checker’s Restaurant on Route 22 in Springfield, an ATM drivethrough in Union, a parking area the crew called “Mr. Pickle” in Clark, and Williams Nursery in Westfield. Driveby shots of the town landscape were also taken for the commercial.
The plot, or theme, of the commercial revolves around a man Ms. Bobroff called “Hero Actor,” who combs the streets of local towns searching for the ideal ingredients for a tasty hamburger.
He goes to the ATM machine and magically gets the cheese; Mr. Pickle supplies him with – you guessed it – the pickle, and he gets the lettuce from Williams Nursery.
Where does he go to get the muchneeded napkin to wipe himself up after his treat? He seeks out the Mr. Napkin truck which is passing him on Elm Street as he munches away on his burger.
“Mr. Napkin, wait!” yells our Hero Actor.
The commercial tries to point out that while the Hero Actor must go to multiple venues to obtain his services, the Sprint customer only has to seek out the Sprint 1 Point service in order to have all of his or her communications needs met.
As strategically placed extras, from a young man to a couple in their mid50s, lined the street in front of Sir Puff’s Café and Boogie’s Tickets on Elm Street, Westfield police officers tried to maintain the calm, quiet and quaint aura of the town.
Signs identifying Sir Puff’s Café were dismantled during the shoot be cause Sprint did not want to promote
cigar smoking, according to Helen Thompson, Group Manager of Advertising for Sprint. Ms. Thompson told The Westfield Leader and The Times that while Sprint’s services span the globe, from the most urban areas to the most rural towns, “This (Westfield) is a very lovely prototype setting that can work for anywhere in America.”
She added that, coast to coast, anyone can relate to Westfield as being the typical American town.
“When we saw the location shot, we said, ‘This is it!”
Other film crews such as that of Bell Atlantic, which films regularly at Vivian’s Kitchen on Prospect Street in Westfield, as well as film crews for CBS’s upandcoming, onehour comedydrama “Stuckeyville,” have expressed similar sentiments when choosing Westfield for their backdrop.
In fact, Tom Whelan, Location Manager for “Stuckeyville,” stated that Westfield was selected from among 15 towns because the producers fell in love with Mindowaskin Park, and became equally convinced that Westfield is the perfect representation of Main Street America.
When “Stuckeyville” was filmed during late March, film crews inhabited the park grounds and Saint Marks Avenue, as well as other nooks and crannies of the landscape.
A few weeks later, MSNBC set up camp at Westfield High School to discuss the shooting massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado through its “Lessons of Littleton” broadcast, which most students and townspeople considered a futile effort.
Westfield was chosen because of it’s seeming similarity to Littleton, another quaint town.
Revealing that additional advertising is likely to occur for the Sprint 1 Point product, Ms. Thompson said that the film crews may return to Westfield.
“We’re likely to come back,” she said. “Westfield is a wonderful town. I’d like to live here.”
In the aftermath of the commercial filming, Dave Williams, proprietor of Williams Nursery in Westfield, reported, “It was a lot bigger than I expected. We’ve had cable commercials filmed here with about 10 people, but there were over 100 people for this commercial.”
The store owner added that the taping actually brought in more customers.
“It was an interesting experience. I would do something like that again,” he concluded.
If Sprint or any other film crew decides to return to Westfield, a basic filming permit of $75, and a daily fullday filming fee of $500, if a project involves public property, will be incurred now that the Westfield Town Council has approved an ordinance featuring these charges.
Michelle H. LePoidevin for The Westfield Leader and The Times
COOKING WITH ATTITUDE… Chef David Bowers amused a packed audience at Barnes & Noble in Clark while cooking the perfect “Flaming Elvis” sandwich with jalapenos, peanut butter, bacon and butter. Mr. Bowers was accompanied by his wife, Sharon Bowers, who helped coauthor his book, “Bake It Like A Man.”
By MICHELLE H. LePOIDEVIN
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times
CLARK — Chef David Bowers, who was accompanied by his wife, Sharon Bowers, boldly disputed a myth that only women belong in the kitchen when they amused a packed audience with a cooking demonstration and signing of their book, “Bake It Like A Man” on June 17 at Barnes & Noble in Clark.
Armed with a tool belt filled with knives and utensils, as pictured on the book cover, a red and white striped hand cloth and a wide, polite Irish grin, Mr. Bowers began preparing his favorite sandwich, “Flaming Elvis,” which involves a smearing of peanut butter, minced jalapenos, butter and bacon atop a toasted French baguette.
Spreading exorbitant gobs of the mixture on the bread, Mr. Bowers quipped, “More is always better. That’s what being a guy is all about!”
Drawing a knife out of his tool belt, the chef joked, “You’ve got to have good knives!”
After slicing small portions of the aromatic sandwich, Mr. Bowers entertained the audience with stories of his cooking experience, bachelorhood and marriage while Mrs. Bowers passed out sandwich samples.
“I did things my way and my wife did things her way. Now, cooking in the kitchen works out well,” Mr. Bowers revealed about his transition from bachelor to married life.
A maker of his own cheese and beer, Mr. Bowers noted the importance of knowing as much as possible about the common ingredients that are used in recipes.
“Men like to know where their food comes from,” he added.
He revealed the joy in creating his own batches of mozzarella which he noted can be formed into various shapes. He added that most people don’t consider the importance of an ingredient like cheese or know what goes into making it even though it is a vital part of many recipes.
“It’s absolutely for women too,” Mr. Bowers said of his new cookbook which includes chapters entitled, “Men & Hardware,” “Men & Flame,” “Men & Big Food,” “Men & Fat” and “Men & Fermentation.”
Published by William Morrow & Company, Inc. of New York, “Bake It Like A Man” includes recipes from Saltimbocca to the perfectly baked Baguette.
Mr. Bowers, who has worked in restaurants in London, Montreal, and New York, and is a native of Dublin, Ireland, told The Westfield Leader and The Times
that he has picked up significant tips and secrets during his career.
He learned how to prepare cuisine quickly during his career in the restaurant business, but confided that although this was a valuable lesson he really enjoys taking time with food preparation.
While outlining his recipe for a Christmas turkey he cooks entirely over an outdoor
grill, Mr. Bowers revealed, “My mother was a dreadful cook which is probably why I got into this in the first place.”
Collecting wildberries and fruit by the bucketful as a child with his siblings, Mr. Bowers recalled that he always loved to cook and learned at a very early age.
The young chef later served up a tasty bowl of Peanut Ancho Mole (pronounced MOHLAY) with hearty tortilla chips. The mole highlighted peanut butter, ancho chilies, tomatoes, chipotle chilies, chicken stock and vinegar. Although it sounds like quite an odd combo, it really is tempting.
“Why do men make such messes in the kitchen?” queried one curious audience member.
Mr. Bowers responded with a thoughtful pause, “Men don’t go out of their way to make a mess. We’ve got bigger hands so things generally migrate all over. The more cooking you do the better you actually get at cleaning.”
Concluding his presentation with some interesting commentary about the difference between men and women in and out of the kitchen, Mr. Bowers admitted that men have a lot to learn from the opposite sex.
“All men need to be educated in these things,” he said of keeping the kitchen clean.
Speaking of his relationship with Mrs. Bowers, a noted food expert, he added, “We tend to be very dubious of each other in the kitchen. I’m more of a meat and potatoes kind of man. She’s more into the cakey things. Because of our different tastes we have very balanced meals!”
Perhaps one quote from the introduction of the book best sums up the flavor of Mr. Bower’s unique approach to cooking, “Real men may improvise but they do not compromise.”
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