Kitchen Nightmares Coming to Leone’s, Montclair

BY  |  Thursday, Jun 30, 2011 10:19pm  |  COMMENTS (41)

Back when New York Magazine wrote its infamous Montclair article (remember when we were a Top 10 Affordable Suburb, folks?), the restaurant named as the local favorite was Leone’s. Now Gordon Ramsay will come and tear the place apart, as is his habit on Fox’s Kitchen Nightmares. Ramsay and crew will be filming at the South Park eatery next week, starting Tuesday. The match-up of Leone’s formidable owner, Rose Leone, and Ramsay should make for good TV, no? Are you surprised (you might recall it was “for sale” some time ago)? Will he change the interior? Do you think Ramsay will find his worst nightmare at Leone’s, or might the family-run eatery be looking for a boost while waiting for the stalled South Park redevelopment plan?

Want to dine at Leone’s during filming? Update: Surveys/reservations are now full.

Coffee with…Betty Liu

BY  |  Thursday, Jun 30, 2011 4:00pm  |  COMMENTS (3)

Every weekday morning from 8:00 to 10:00 E.T., people turn to Betty Liu, anchor of Bloomberg Television’s, “In the Loop with Betty Liu,” for breaking business news and interviews with industry leaders.

Available to more than 270 million homes around the globe, Bloomberg Television recently launched its first advertising campaign aimed at increasing the profile of the channel, Betty Liu and other Bloomberg TV talent in the tri-state area.

Tara Williams spoke to the veteran financial journalist by phone about her move to Millburn, her family and career and her insights on the economy.

Q:        What attracted you to Millburn?

When I was living in Metuchen, we were renting and thought at the time now is a really good time to buy a home; prices are dropping; New Jersey has a lot of great neighborhoods; and my kids were just getting to the age that they were going from preschool to elementary school.  So I really wanted to find an area that had a great public school system and was also very family-friendly—those two things go hand-in-hand.

A couple of people told me about some different towns, like Westfield and Montclair.  I came upon Millburn because there was a house there that I just loved—it was big; it was modern; it had everything I wanted and it was a really good price.  Being the business person in me, I thought, “This is a really great deal.”  So I checked out Millburn some more.  I love the town—good restaurants, cute places for kids, and I love the fact that I’m near Maplewood and Short Hills and I’m near all of these other great towns and I realized a lot of people there commute into New York very quickly, so it just had everything I wanted. Continue Reading

Corey Wolff: Reflections of the Sky

Thursday, Jun 30, 2011 2:44pm  |  COMMENTS (4)

It was a sunny day in South Orange and as I walked past the Gaslight, I was absolutely fascinated by the reflection of the sky against the glass. I must have spent at least 20 minutes taking pictures from different angles. I especially like this piece because it is bright, yet peaceful, just how I want to remember South Orange.

Corey Wolff is a high school teacher by day, but he loves to take pictures. His new blog, the 20/20 Vision SOMA Project, will feature 20 pieces of art, each for $20, all of setting and objects in the South Orange/Maplewood area.

Crazy Car Crashes Cause Concern

BY  |  Thursday, Jun 30, 2011 11:26am  |  COMMENTS (4)

Yes, we were just talking about the spate of accidents and bad drivers. This week, two local car crashes make for alarming news.

A 68-year-old woman was hospitalized Tuesday night after her car was struck head on by a 63-year-old Bloomfield man driving north on the southbound side of Grove Street, near Cooper Ave., the Montclair Times reports. The crash is under investigation, but police say the driver did not appear intoxicated.

The Jersey Tomato Press reports that an elderly woman drove her car into Shop Rite in West Caldwell yesterday, just two weeks after a car vs. building incident at a Caldwell beauty parlor.

Be careful — and if you see something, send us a tip or photo.

Photo: Bob Markman, with permission from Jersey Tomato Press

The Weekend: Supersized For Independence Day!

BY  |  Thursday, Jun 30, 2011 10:30am  |  COMMENTS (1)

Amanda Grafton

Start your weekend off tonight with Italian Arias at a benefit concert at St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in Maplewood. Young Maplewood Soprano, Amanda Grafton, will present Viva Italia! A Concert and History of Italian Art Songs and Arias. She will be accompanied by pianist Duk kyu Kim of the Manhattan School of Music. Composers including Carissimi, Scarlatti, Bellini, Handel and Puccini, Verdi and Mozart. Half of the donation proceeds will go to St. Joseph’s Food Pantry and the other half will help sponsor Amanda’s summer vocal study in Italy with the Daniel Ferro Voice Conservatory.

Viva Italia! A Concert and History of Italian Art Songs and Arias
Thursday, June 30 at 7 pm
St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church, 767 Prospect St, Maplewood, NJ

The concert is free but donations will be accepted.

Or bring a lawn chair to Church Street in Montclair for the Montclair International Film Festival’s Outdoor Screening of Apollo 13 and celebrate NASA’s final space shuttle mission with this Oscar nominated and winning movie about the 1970 Apollo 13 lunar mission. Sit under the moon and watch a moon mission.

Outdoor Screening of Apollo 13
Thursday, June 30 at 8:30 pm (film starts at 9 pm)
Church Street, Montclair, NJ 07042
Free
Continue Reading

South Park Streetscape Facelift Stymied

BY  |  Thursday, Jun 30, 2011 9:00am  |  COMMENTS (43)

Going down to South Park, gonna redevelop this time
New improved streetscape, say goodbye to diagonal parking
Going down to South Park, but we’ll miss the deadline
Getting shoppers on the street has to wait until September

South Park redevelopment project — approved back in April and scheduled for completion this summer — won’t even start until September, The Montclair Times reports. The delay means the project won’t be completed in time to be included in the reassessment. Did someone drop the ball?

Town mananger Marc Dashield cites issues with a culvert underneath the street as causing delays in the start of the project. John Reichman, chair of the Capital Finance Committee, who back in Feburary strongly urged the council to move on the project by early July, says the project should have been a priority and that those involved in the planning were aware of the culvert and underground river. Getting the project done in time for the reassessment was supposed to help pay for it, according to a Capital Finance Committee report, as it would “allow the cost of the [project] to be quickly recaptured through increased tax ratables from downtown properties.”

Reichman had also urged completion of the project in the summer to allow the township to capture a no interest loan of $488,000 from the state to finance to project, called NJ-DBIZ.

Meanwhile, if you’ve seen workers in the area, and thought the project had started, the work you saw was to improve the sewers.

Hey From Niger

BY  |  Wednesday, Jun 29, 2011 4:00pm  |  COMMENTS (1)

Glen Ridge resident Noreen Connolly continues her travels through North and West Africa with New York Times third-world correspondent Nicholas Kristof. This latest installment is from Dogon Doutchi, Niger, where the group of four journalists spent time last week at a health clinic, local farming initiatives and a nutrition research project organized by Helen Keller International.

Connolly told Baristanet that “this was the most vivid learning experience ever.”

Here’s an excerpt from her fifth New York Times blog post “Helping a Starving Family in Niger.”

Continue Reading

Coffee With … Mark Kamine

BY  |  Wednesday, Jun 29, 2011 2:30pm  |  COMMENTS (10)

Mark Kamine was the original location director of The Sopranos and, since the show ended, he’s moved on to become a production director of movies like “The Fighter” and “Limitless.” A 16-year-resident of Montclair, Kamine himself departs for a new location tomorrow, when moving vans come to move him and his family to New York City. We sat down to talk to Kamine about the iconic locations of the Sopranos.

How did you come to the Sopranos job and how long did you do it?

I was a location manager and I started as a scout. I was working for about eight or 10 years at that before Sopranos started. I knew the producer from other jobs.

Who was that?

Ilene Landress. She called me when they were doing the pilot. I was on another job. And then when the show got picked up, I started. Which was maybe a year after. And I remember I met David Chase as part of the process in a hotel in New York. It was sort of unheard of at the time for a cable network to be doing a TV series. It was very early in the process — ’97, ’98 — and the test for the show was that it might appeal to housewives and professors, academics. Which didn’t sound too promising. But we had some scripts and we started to scout for some of the things that the pilot had shot, but to do in a more permanent way, like the pork store. They started to build the Soprano house in North Caldwell. That started to get reproduced on the stage. And it was just a general figuring out how to continue the look of the pilot.

Continue Reading

“Strangled” Montclair Library Board Refuses to Sugarcoat Reality

BY  |  Wednesday, Jun 29, 2011 1:00pm  |  COMMENTS (8)

With no relief in sight for Montclair’s public library in 2012, Mayor Jerry Fried and members of the Library board were in agreement that there is nothing to cheery about the institution’s financial situation. A week after the town allocated $2.5 million budget for the library in the municipal budget, trustees said in their meeting last night that they’re expecting to rely more and more on the citizen-operated Montclair Public Library Foundation, and less on the local government.

While there has been an outpouring of public support and volunteerism for the town’s libraries, with innovative programs, partnerships and fundraisers, it appears that there are still many rough months ahead. Read more here.

Do you think there’s enough long-haul volunteer spirit in Montclair to carry the eviscerated system until the town once again becomes fiscally solvent? Are there any library-loving deep-pockets out there who have yet to come forth?

Mostly Well with All’s Well

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2011 12:00pm  |  COMMENTS (1)

André Holland and Annie Parisse in All's Well That Ends Well, directed by Daniel Sullivan, running in rep thru July 30.

All’s Well that Ends Well is one of Shakespeare’s plays that I don’t know well. Make that: not at all!

I worked as literary manager of the Alabama Shakespeare Festival for four years and just assumed I had a passing familiarity with all of the comedies, but I was wrong. The play opened Saturday night, and runs in repertory (meaning it alternates nights and shares cast members) with Measure for Measure through July 30 as part of the Public Theater’s 2011 Shakespeare in the Park season. While not the greatest of Shakespeare’s plays, this lovely production makes for a fine night out. Bring the bug spray, take the allergy pills (you could almost see the pollen flying around), try not to mind too much when the person in front of you puts on eyeliner mid-show, and if you want ice cream at intermission, consider going to a street truck instead of the one window open.  And enjoy the sunset and the stars when they come out.

The performances are fine– some of them quite wonderful. It has to be said, though, that it’s a strange play. At times it reminded me of TV’s The Bachelor.  At times it reminded me of As You Like It.  Pup tents visible on stage and boyish pranks in the open air made me think of summer camp.  And towards the end, for a scene, it looked as though it was turning into Dateline NBC.  Perhaps this is why it isn’t performed as often as many others– and why it seems to have had no recorded performances before the eighteenth century.  Would other Shakespeare plays seem so odd to me if I were encountering them completely fresh?  But this is not at all to say it’s not engaging or worth the trek.

To enjoy the play you have to enter into its world.  It’s a world where marriages are often arranged, where loyalty to a king trumps personal preference about love, and where the idea of stalking just hasn’t come up yet.  Basically, if the king wants you to marry somebody and there’s nothing overtly wrong with that person, you’d better do it or have a good reason why not.   Continue Reading

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Interesting developments in the Afterglow story. It can see it as a special on the Bravo network.

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