When Shannon Mullen first entered the AeroFarms test site for his story Green Giant (page 24), he was a little disoriented. Thereâ€™s nothing obviously agricultural about it, he says. â€śThe room could be a FedEx sorting center, for all you knowâ€¦then you see that tower of leafy greens, looking like a giant, vertical salad bar and think, What the heck is going on here?â€? Shannon is one of New Jerseyâ€™s most accomplished and respected journalists. He and Radius editor Andy Clurfeld were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize in Public Service in 2010 as members of the Investigations Team of the Asbury Park Press.
In Have You Heard the One About the Rabbi and the Lawyer? (page 73), Helen Lippman profiles Simon Rosenbach, a former Essex County prosecutor who became the rabbi of Congregation Ahavas Sholom, Newarkâ€™s last synagogue. Rosenbach told Helen that he had planned to become a rabbi after receiving his undergraduate degree, but opted for Law School. At 65, he has come full circleâ€¦but Ahavas Sholom looks a lot different than it did lo those many years ago.
Robert Piper, who interviewed Ray Liotta in our last issue, returns with a Q&A with another Newark-born Hollywood star, Ian Ziering. He grew up in nearby West Orange, but knew Brick City well, both through his own forays to Downtown and his fatherâ€™s work for the Newark Board of Education. For a solid decade, Ian played Steve Sanders on Beverly Hills 90210. Choice roles were hard to come by after the series ended until the Syfy Channel tabbed Ian for the lead in its Sharknado filmsâ€”one of the most-watched, most-Tweeted television movie franchises in history. The interview (page 59) illustrates how stardom is a combination of talent, opportunity, determination and good luck.
We worked our photographers especially hard for this issue. Daryl Stone (below) is all over the magazine, having shot for the features How the Sausage Is Made (page 19), A Certain Ring to It (page 76), our restaurant quick-hits Line Item (page 15) and Embers to Remember (page 22), as well as the stories on AeroFarms and Ahavas Sholom. Grace Donnelly, a newcomer to the Radius family, spent a day at NJPAC with a group of young choreographers and dancers as they rehearsed and later performed for her photo essayJersey Moves (page 65). Grace, who took our cover shot, recently completed a photojournalism fellowship at the Chicago Reporter, where she focused on the visual storytelling of issues concerned with race and poverty in Illinois. She now works mostly in New York and Washington, D.C. She also shot for the Boston Red Sox while in college at Boston University.