The Study Hall Gang: The Making Of A Montclair Social Club

BY  |  Thursday, Feb 11, 2016 10:30am  |  COMMENTS (4)

Andrew Pincus with wife  Beth Lawler

Andrew Pincus with wife Beth Lawler

Andrew Pincus loves going out at night. So does his wife Beth Lawler. Frequently though, the couple found themselves going it alone. Pincus, who had lived in Montclair years before and moved out after getting a divorce, was once again living back in the town he loved, but was feeling disconnected.

“My kids are grown and the people I knew when they were in school or in Cub Scouts were either long gone or the relationships were sort of forced connections. The friendships didn’t always work or last,” says Pincus, who remembers one night, sitting at the bar at Upstairs with Lawler, and wanting to have a drink and talk with some other people.

Pincus had discovered the Montclair Watercooler and started making jokes on the site, trying to make some online friendships. One day, he decided to invite the entire Watercooler group to join him and Beth for a drink at Upstairs.”

Pincus posted an invitation (back in late May 2015) as a lark, hoping just to have a drink with somebody new on a Friday night. “That first night, when no one showed up, I was a little discouraged.”

Pincus didn’t give up. He put the same invitation out to the group again the next week. Still no one showed. Pincus soldiered on and got a little more active with comments on the Watercooler, trying to draw more attention.

Week after week, Pincus made the invite for drinks, but no one showed. “My wife had already given up,” he remembers. “Then, on the eighth week, someone finally showed up.” Continue Reading

Open Thread: Christie, Lent, Montclair Election, Valentine’s Day….

BY  |  Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 1:00pm  |  COMMENTS (3)

It's Your Open Thread

Today, because we haven’t done this in awhile, and because there is a lot to talk about, here is your open thread.

Need some discussion inspiration? Here are a few topics:



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Seen Around Town: Snowy Day

BY  |  Friday, Feb 05, 2016 7:57am  |  COMMENTS (0)



This is what Montclair roads look like right now. Schools have a 2-hour delay this morning, but there is a Winter Weather Advisory in effect until noon and an expected 3-5 inches this morning.

Anyone else want to get back in bed?



Groundhog Day Deciding Vote: What Will Essex Ed Otis the Hedgehog Say?

BY  |  Tuesday, Feb 02, 2016 7:55am  |  COMMENTS (0)

County Groundhog Predicts Steelers to Win Super BowlIt’s Groundhog Day and Punxsutawney Phil didn’t see his shadow, predicting an early spring! Although, who are we kidding? This winter has been almost spring-like:


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The Wellmont Scores Fetty Wap, Talks 2016 Lineup

BY  |  Thursday, Jan 28, 2016 11:25am  |  COMMENTS (19)

Grammy-nominated Fetty Wap is launching his Welcome to the Zoo tour at The Wellmont (if you don’t know who Fetty is, ask your teens) — quite a score for the venue which underwent renovations after being acquired by The Pinnacle Companies and Greenwood Development in July.

Wellmont marquée

Wellmont marquée. Photo: George Wirt.

Baristanet: Tell us about how Fetty Wap ended up at The Wellmont?

The Wellmont: Having Fetty Wap perform at The Wellmont is huge for us. Fetty is actually from northern New Jersey (Paterson) and we were thrilled when he approached us to host the “hometown kick off” of this tour. The Wellmont hasn’t historically had a lot of hip hop shows, but already this year we’ve scheduled Fetty, Grammy Award-winners Lauryn Hill and Lupe Fiasco, as well as a nostalgic 90’s rap show with acts including Salt N Pepa, Coolio, Tone Lōc, Kid ‘n Play, DJ EZ Rock, Rob Base and Color Me Badd.

Wellmont Theater renovations

Wellmont Theater renovations. Photo: George Wirt

Baristanet: What’s different about the Wellmont since the renovation/new ownership and what can we expect to in terms of its new direction?

The Wellmont: We are creating a unique and special customer experience at The Wellmont. We know there are lots of places to go see concerts, and we want to give music fans a good reason to choose us. To that end, we’ve carefully renovated the historic ceiling in the theater, upgraded the lobby, completely revamped the food and beverage program, and made a significant investment in the audio video system. The Wellmont has always had a variety of programming options, and will continue to host rock concerts, kids shows and comedy. We hope to add speakers, interactive cinema and theatrical events to that list in the near future.

Dennis DeYoung

Dennis DeYoung. Photo: George Wirt.

Baristanet: What upcoming performers are a result of the new management team at the Wellmont and who, besides Fetty, are you most excited about?

The Wellmont: We’re really proud of our 2016 lineup, and we’ve got a good diversity of performances scheduled. The Gin Blossoms, Meat Loaf and The Cult are all coming in the spring, and we’ve added unique experiences like The Blues Brothers with Dan Aykroyd and Jim Belushi, and Genoa City Live! celebrating the 40th anniversary of The Young & The Restless. Dozens more shows are being planned now for late spring and summer.


Hyperglow. Photo: George Wirt.

Tell us in comments the upcoming acts you are excited about and what other performers you want to see land at The Wellmont.

Aging in Montclair ‘Weathering the Weather” Event Came Just in Time For the Snow Storm

BY  |  Wednesday, Jan 27, 2016 9:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Fire Chief John Herrmann

Fire Chief John Herrmann

The blizzard of 2016 may have pummeled the East Coast, but those who attended Aging in Montclair (AIM)’s “Weathering the Weather” event the day before the storm were well-prepared for what Mother Nature had in store. On Thursday, January 21, AIM presented a community forum at the Salvation Army building on Trinity Place, which is slated to become the Interim Montclair Senior Hub.

Representatives of township agencies and organizations presented information on emergency preparedness and coping with winter weather conditions. Fire Chief John Herrmann  discussed how to prepare for winter weather,  emphasizing the importance of heating homes safely, including regular maintenance and inspection of heating equipment and chimneys by qualified professionals, and the safe use of space heaters, candles and wood-burning stoves. He described the Montclair Emergency Notification System, which provides emergency information to residents via text, email or phone messages.

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Get Your Popcorn! Bloomberg Is Readying For Independent Run For President

Saturday, Jan 23, 2016 10:52am  |  COMMENTS (3)

Michael_R_BloombergJust when you thought the field of candidates in the 2016 Presidential race couldn’t get larger or more, well interesting, the New York Times is reporting that billionaire and former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg is looking at running as an independent. From the New York Times: Continue Reading

Your Blizzard Binge Watching Guide

BY  |  Friday, Jan 22, 2016 5:14pm  |  COMMENTS (1)

binge shows

There is a blizzard warning in effect, which means you’re likely going to be inside most of the weekend. You’re probably stocked with food, snacks, and wine, so all you need now is some recommendations of shows to binge watch.

I consider myself a pro when it comes to binge watching, so I’ve put together a Blizzard Binge watching guide for you my friends. Here, in no particular order, are some of my picks:

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Freezing Temps and a Snowstorm on the Way, Hello Winter!

BY  |  Tuesday, Jan 19, 2016 8:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Montclair Snow Buddies to Expand Operations

With temps below freezing (and a real feel in the single digits), the dusting of snow on the ground from Sunday, and the potential for our first major snowstorm coming this Friday into Saturday, we can officially say hello to winter.

You’ll need to say hello to hats, gloves, scarfs, snow boots, and shovels (or snowblowers) too.

Are you happy that the season finally arrived or were you loving the warm temperatures we were having (remember 74° on Christmas Eve)?



Vote For Local Favorites in Discover Jersey Arts Awards

BY  |  Friday, Jan 08, 2016 9:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Discover Jersey Arts Awards

Discover Jersey Arts has released its nominations for the 2016 Discover Jersey Arts People’s Choice Awards and Essex County organizations received many nominations — Montclair alone has 7! The polls are now open and ballots are prepped for arts lovers statewide to vote for their favorite New Jersey arts organizations through February 11.

Montclair Art Museum (MAM) was once again nominated in three categories in the Discover Jersey Arts People’s Choice Awards: Favorite Art Museum, Favorite Adult Art Class, and Favorite Art Camp.

Additionally, six other Montclair arts organizations have been nominated:

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Featured Comment

This is such a great story. Really a great example of "community". Kudos to Andrew and Beth for getting this going. It takes courage, commitment, and love!

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