LIVE from THE BROWNSTONE a firsthand recap of RHONJ.


My friend and former Sketch42 Real Housewives recapper Sarina came out of retirement to discuss Monday’s season premiere of the RHONJ. Which she watched live. From The Brownstone. In Franklin Lakes. On second inspection, The Brownstone seems to be in Patterson… which explains a lot.

(The cake at The Brownstone)

Sarina’s Report:

Friend: “Sarina, Albie Manzo tweeted about a Real Housewives Of New Jersey premier party that will be held at The Brownstone.”
Me: “YES.”
Friend: “But I didn’t even ask you anything.”
ME: “Doesn’t matter. My answer is YES. HELL YES.”

(Pulling into The Brownstone)

And soon, history was made. Tickets were purchased and my friends and I were ready for the night of a lifetime.
Fifty minutes from the city and a couple of wrong turns later, and we had entered the promised land otherwise known as Franklin Lakes. Now. Although most infomercials will tell you so, this is NOT “as seen on TV” and the term ‘ghetto’ would be a complete understatement. The town is in shambles. The stores are run down and their main attraction is a Skechers® megastore. I didn’t spot any mansions and I didn’t get a chance to pass by The Chateau but had I been given the opportunity, I’d have gotten my hair did. There’s always next time I guess.
We finally pulled up to The Brownstone. My eyes lit up as I pulled in to the parking lot and though I had hoped Christopher would valet my car, turns out that the guy who did park it, wasn’t a Manzo. I asked. Obviously. I was dressed in jeans and flats. I didn’t even consider wearing anything but that. Well. I stood out like a sore thumb. PEOPLE WERE IN COCKTAIL DRESSES AND HEELS. Did they not know we were simply watching a television show? That’s Jersey I guess.

We got our necklaces (Not VIP. There was only so much I was willing to pay for this shindig.) and headed upstairs to the grand ballroom. The place was empty at first. But it filled up soon after. We were all seated and and emcee began to host the event. For some reason Simon and Alex were the first people introduced to the crowd. I don’t know about you, but I’m really get sick of their fame whoring. Next up, all the NEW JERSEY housewives minus Teresa were introduced. I was so upset when I found out she wasn’t going to be there because it meant there’d be no table flipping. Big. Fat. Boo. At first glance, when Melissa was introduced I thought Snooki was up on stage. Tan. Small. Tight clothes. False alarm though. It was Teresa’s sister-in-law who proved to be just as crazy as Snooki. And Teresa’s cousin Kathy, looks just like Teresa with a bit more age in her face.

(Sarina- is the person on the far right- ASHLEY? As in Jaqueline’s daughter? It cant be! This is like when Steph Pratt transformered herself from coked out she-pratt to pretty tall blond chick!)

And finally, the episode. This season looks like it is going to be INSANE. As much as I enjoy a good Guido fight, last night’s episode was tough to watch. I felt terrible for Teresa and her brother. And most of all for their Dad. Viewing as a non-relative was painful, I can only imagine how sad it was for him to watch. I think the most confusing part of the episode was seeing Teresa getting her hair and makeup done. Isn’t she trying to live a more low-key lifestyle? JOE WAS ROLLING OUT PIZZAS FOR GOD’S SAKE!

All I know is, these bitches are crazy. I cannot wait for next week’s episode.

The night ended with a performance by Simon Van Kempen. His new single “I Am Real” was performed live on stage for the entire audience. Listening to him sing was actually BRUTAL. So much so, that we left mid song. The auto tune, the red pants, the hideous dance moves. I’d rather be glued to a chair and have to listen to Rebecca Black’s ‘Friday’ for the rest of my life. Seriously. Don’t quit your day job Simon.

Oh yeah and one more thing, Jacqueline’s daughter Ashley is tall, skinny, and blonde. Yeah, the one that works for Lizzie Grubman PR.

– Sarina


What do I think? Well, I cant comment on the neighborhood of Franklin Lakes… It may be shabby, but it may not. I know of well-off towns in NJ that dont really have nice shopping areas… So I’m not so alarmed by that.

Also not at all surprised that people were in cocktail dresses. Why? Well, I saw the Sex and the City movie the week it came out, so I am aware that there are chicks that will dress up to sit in the dark and watch TV together.

I’m not even going to discuss the rest of the episode (Although Ashley isnt making herself more likable by seeming MORE SPOILED and useless by  A.Not showing up to her internship and B. Thinking her parents should pay for her to live close to said internship- that she doesnt show up to. Any normal kid would have just applied to college in NYC and had their parents foot the bill, and be proud of them too! Dumbass…. On that note- Lizzy Grubman didnt do herself any favors either. “I was exactly like you at your age!” Yikes.)

Anyway- back to the real DRAMA. That crazytown christening… Ive been to many a bris in my lifetime, and wow the jews can snark and gossip with the best of them, but the italians really bring out Hollywood levels of drama! The fists, the sweat, the wailing in italian! HOLY CRAPBALLS! You could have subbed out Joe’s ” YOUR MY FATHER” sobbing for any scene in the godfather or soprano’s and it could have held its own- except for one thing: no one knows what the eff is happening or why these people hate each other… In a nutshell, Teresa and Joe have slighted Melissa and Joe in multiple times and multiple ways… and basically they are just competitive with each other. Thats it. And also, Melissa is what would happen if Teresa had a baby with Alexis from RHOC.

Now many people dont get along with their family members and especially their in laws, but it takes a new level of low to call your SISTER garbage at your son’s christening.

On the other hand- I’m THRILLED that Danielle is no longer on this show. Watching her was uncomfortable for me. She gave me the creeps. And I think that her plotline went from amusing to actually dangerous for the other cast members so Im really glad she is gone.

And in regards to Simon’s performance: I caught some of that on WWHL. You know, just when I think Alex is a sensible and intelligent woman, she goes and allows her husband to do something like THAT. I dont care what it takes, I would have chained myself to my hubs leg rather than let him perform like that on purpose.


Thoughts everyone?



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  1. The cake is genius. The redhead really looks like that “The Godmother” woman on the show . . . if they made a Simpson’s character of her.

  2. OMG I was on overload about the show last night. For some reason it affected me a lot…and I have no siblings so I don’t really have a good excuse. The thing I like about this drama (as compared to the Danielle dramz) is that there’s a potential for it to end – they’re family and they clearly don’t like how their relationship is, so there’s incentive to figure out how to fix it. I don’t mind crazy bitchfights if there seems to be a point to it all. The stuff with Danielle just got repetitive and terrible.

    But seriously, Melissa can eat a brick. Not a fan. And can we talk about the hot pink eyeshadow with the hot pink dress? Yikes.

  3. Psst…The Brownstone is in Paterson. :)

  4. I have to add…Paterson has a couple of okay areas, but is a generally an “inner city” area. When I was little, my mother dragged us down to Paterson because they still had old school butchers, fish mongers, cheese shops, etc. I remember buying our meat at a place that had sawdust on the floor and guys with bloody aprons. I think all of that is gone now.

    Franklin Lakes has an interesting mix of old money and nouveau riche. When I was young, it was sparsely populated and had large, sprawling properties. Now, the area is much more built up. Franklin Lakes doesn’t really have a “downtown” area. I’ve never even sure they have a train that goes into NYC (they might, but my sense is that they are much more of a “car culture” than the older Bergen County towns). BTW, Chateau is in a strip mall.

    I grew up in Ridgewood, a beautiful town with a real downtown. Most of our parents were from the city, but moved out to have kids. Our dads all took the train into the city every morning. Growing up, I didn’t have any friends who were like the people on RHONJ, but when I switched from Ridgewood public schools to a parochial high school in another town, I definitely encountered a few folks that fit the NJ stereotype.

    I have to say that I love watching the show, just to glimpse some familiar places (though only two locations in Ridgewood seem to have agreed to let them film there).

    • Nicole Cohen says:

      I corrected it… WOW. Very interesting information. I grew up vacationing in Jersey for the summer, so I know there are some towns that are kind of affluent but dont have a downtown area.

      And so much of NJ happens at strip malls;)

      Is Patterson very close to franklin lakes?

      • They aren’t that far as the crow flies. It would probably take about 15 minutes to drive from the strip mall where Chateau is to The Brownstone. Franklin Lakes is a pretty large area, so they could live much further away than that.

        BTW, another Bravo “star” has an NJ connection. Tabatha Coffey opened a salon, Industrie Hair Gurus, in Ridgewood years ago. I don’t know if she actually offers appointments herself anymore, but the salon is still open and she still owns it. :)

  5. Sarina says:

    Yes, Nicole. That IS Ashley.

  6. patty blaettler says:

    I am all for crap tv, but I just CANNOT watch this. These people have no visible redeeming characteristics. As my 12 year old daughter said, “They give us people from NJ a bad name.”

    • Nicole Cohen says:

      You are not alone. My mom hates when I post recaps. And as for jersey- they aren’t worse than the cast of the jersey shore- or maybe they are? They are supposed to be adults.

  7. AtaraS says:

    Wowwwwww Ashley looks unreal!!!! This season looks ridic but I wish Dina would’ve come back now that the witch is off

  8. That’s amazing that you went! Must have been fun! This season has already gotten off to one crazy start..I can’t wit to see how it unfolds…

  9. I was blown away by this episode. I mean, dear god, that christening was insane. I could barely pick my jaw up off the floor. And you did it to me again with that picture of Ashley! I can’t stop looking at it, she looks like a rubber sex doll. (Sorry!)

  10. That episode was pretty much reality gold! Have you read Jay Mohr’s recap on He’s blogging recaps this season and the first one was hysterically funny! I love that Sarina got to enjoy the RHONJ and Simon in their full glory! Thanks for sharing the experience.

  11. I am insanely jealous that you went to this. I saw these ladies on their short Broadway stint, pretty funny. Not sure why normal people, myself included, are so obsessed with them!? We’re starting to look at NYC suburbs should we decide to leave the city in a few years, and thanks to these shows, we won’t even check out anything in NJ… our relatives across the country would make too much fun of us ;)

  12. Yay! So glad the Real Housewife recaps are back!! hahaha

  13. Tammy says:

    I also grew up in northern BergenCty. Franklin Lakes is a mix of old and new money…Patterson and Franklin Lakes are two VERY diff places! I’m wondering if you were possibly traveling through a different town…although FL doesn’t have any nice shopping area’s. Never did. That’s why Ridgewood is so perfect! The Chateau Salon is in a strip mall next to the Market Basket..I’ve been there a few times and it was very expensive for d level service.
    I’ve seen Caroline and Jaqueline around town….Ashley too. Teresa, Melissa and Kathy live in Wayne (T lives in Towaco…the next town over from Wayne). Wayne is much further than FLakes….about 25 min or so.
    I wanted to attend the premier but couldn’t find anyone to go with me! They are actually filming in Flakes and Wayne as we speak…saw them all out there filming twice already! Guess season 4 is a GO!!
    I love this show…..Like the person who posted above…I also love watching the area where I grew up! It’s fun…..:)
    Oh and Ive met Kim D at Posche!! She’s as crazy on tv as she is in real life!! They filmed there on Thursday I saw….