Why is it that Jersey beards sounds extra sleazy and hot? Well, there is one way to find out. Be on the lookout for the results and photographs from this event. There will no doubt be a Pogonophile or two in the audience snapping some seedy stalker shots(thank you)!
Beards received a bum rap for much of the 20th century.
“When they show a beard in the mainstream, they’ll show Charles Manson,” said beardsman Matt Chrystal. “If you have a beard, you had to be crazy.”
Chrystal of Springfield is working to make the 21st century a more accepting time for beards and mustaches. He’s the founder and president of the Garden State Beard & Mustache Society, which will have its first Beard and ’Stache Competition Saturday (Jan. 21) at Asbury Lanes in Asbury Park.
They’re calling it a night of “beards, beers, bowling, bands and burlesque.”
“It’s definitely making a statement about yourself,” said Chrystal of sporting a beard. “You don’t exactly go with the flow when you have a beard. It’s a sign of masculinity, but I don’t necessarily feel more of a man because I have a beard. I actually grew one to strategically hide my double chin.”
Chrystal began his bearding after he exited the corporate world, he said. The Society — which meets routinely at Roxy and Duke’s Roadhouse in Dunellen and Asbury Lanes — has about 25 to 30 members. There are lots of bearded wonders from across the country headed to Asbury Park for the competition and the gals who love them are coming, too. The contests range from the Occupy Asbury Park Beard, or best full natural beard, to Wake ’n Fake ’Stache or best fake mustache. The Rev. Snake’s Opening Ceremonial Breakdown, the Infamous Miss Mae, the Pride & NVY Cabaret Co., Adam the First Real Man, DJ SDS and the Disconnects will perform. Visit beardnj.com for more information.
It’s a hair-raising experience for a purpose, too. Funds raised will be donated to the South Orange-based Jersey Animal Coalition.
“A lot of performers have been kind enough to donate their performances,” Chrystal said. “There’s going to be a lot of bands, beards and mustaches. It’s a really cool Jersey thing coming together.”
A Werner homecoming
Jazz pianist Kenny Werner was a familiar face in the Watchung area at one time. He used to live in the borough and he often played at the Watchung Arts Center.