Baristanet Profile: André Blake

BY  |  Friday, Feb 20, 2015 12:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Andre BlakeThe latest installment of our Baristanet Profile series, where we get to know the people in our neighborhood:

Name: André Blake

Where do you live? Lincoln Street in Glen Ridge.

When did you move there? Two years ago.

Where did you grow up? I grew up in Hempstead & Freeport on Long Island.

How do you make a living? I am a voice over artist. Currently I am the voice of the BET Network as well as a stock trader.

Coffee, Tea, or…? Well now, that depends on the time of day and what I might happen to be doing. Generally I’m a coffee in the morning and cup of tea at night kind of guy, but if I’m out and about, it’s Maker’s & Ginger Ale!

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Childhood: Sibling Rivalry

BY  |  Thursday, Feb 19, 2015 12:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)


(Inside Villa Victoria on Park Street)

“My brother picked me up from the bus stop and we were pushing each other, like running back and forth. Then he pushed me a little too hard. You know the sidewalk squares? Well, he pushed me over two squares, and I fell. My knee skidded and broke all the skin. It was just blood. My dad was waiting angrily on the steps at home when he saw me, because I had on a dress and the tights were completely ripped. My brother got in a lot of trouble.”

R.I.P. Santa Cruz Hughes

BY  |  Wednesday, Feb 18, 2015 11:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Santa (2nd from left) with her children Danielle,  Drisana and Coleman.

Santa (2nd from left) with her children Danielle, Drisana and Coleman.

Santa Cruz Hughes (55), formerly of Montclair, NJ, passed away on February 11, 2015 in Greenwich Hospital after courageous perseverance against cancer. Raised in the South Bronx, Santa relocated to Montclair 29 years ago.

A life-long learner, Santa graduated from Stuyvesant High School, Florida A&M University, the Lauder Institute’s Joint MBA/MA program at the University of Pennsylvania, The CUNY Graduate School of Arts & Sciences and The Kripalu School of Ayurveda. An ambitious professional, Santa worked at Ernst & Whinney, Pepsi, and Liberty Science Center, spending most of her career as a marketer at M&M Mars. In 1997, Advertising Age Magazine named Santa as one of the Top 100 Marketers of the Year.

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Locals win “Geezer” and Knight Foundation Grants

BY  |  Monday, Feb 16, 2015 9:00am  |  COMMENTS (4)

Debbie profile picDebbie Galant is not one to keep idle. Best known to the Montclair-Glen Ridge-Bloomfield area for co-founding this site, Galant, who lives in Glen Ridge, left Baristanet in 2012 to head up NJ News Commons at Montclair State University . She’s still there full time, but recently she started a side gig: editing and writing for Midcentury/Modern, a platform on Medium that’s geared toward Baby Boomers. Galant conceived of the idea herself and pitched it to Medium, which happily offered its support. Galant writes much of the content herself but also has a steady flow of contributors, who write on topics that range from Boomer nostalgia to reflections on getting older to watching your children leave home.

“The subject of aging has always been fascinating to me and I’ve really been interested in writing about it,” Galant tells Baristanet. “I don’t believe that baby boomers only want to read about millennials.”

This month, Galant was awarded with a grant from J-Lab, an incubator for digital news entrepreneurs. The Masters Mediapreneurs Initiative, affectionately called the “geezer grants,” helps fund media startups developed by Boomers aged 50-plus. Galant was one of four recipients who will each receive $12,000 to use toward their respective projects.

midcentury modern

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Baristanet Profile: Stella Tambone

BY  |  Friday, Feb 13, 2015 12:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Stella Tambone

The latest installment of our Baristanet Profile series, where we get to know the people in our neighborhood:

Name: Stella Tambone

Where do you live? Lorraine Avenue in Upper Montclair

When did you move there? Summer of 2012

Where did you grow up? Rutherford, NJ

How do you make a living? By day I’m the inhouse stationery designer at Paper Boutique, and have been there for over six years. Almost eight years of designing custom stationery has cultivated in me a love of fonts and lettering that, until recently, I didn’t know what to do with. I started a freelance chalkboard and handlettering venture, Stellabird Creative, as a productive outlet for this obsession. I mostly create hand-lettered custom chalkboard designs for businesses, weddings, etc. Java Love Coffee Roasters in Upper Montclair is kind enough to let me draw all over their walls if you’d like to check out my work over a cup of joe!

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Childhood: Vacation Memories

BY  |  Thursday, Feb 12, 2015 3:00pm  |  COMMENTS (4)

childhood vacation memories

(Inside Gallery 51 on Church Street)

“My favorite place to go, as a kid, was Italy because my family spent summers there. My mom’s whole family lives there, so it was like one big party every summer… It’s in Sicily. It’s this tiny little town called Gioiosa Marea, which means “joyous sea.” It’s super small. Basically, my family takes up half the town. We would stay over summer vacation, since we didn’t have to work yet. It was awesome. We lived on the beach there and just eat all the time.”



Baristanet Profile: Mendi and Keith Obadike

BY  |  Friday, Feb 06, 2015 11:30am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Mendi and Keith Obadike

The latest installment of our Baristanet Profile series, where we get to know the people in our neighborhood. This month, we feature a couple:

Name: Mendi + Keith Obadike

Where do you live? Montclair

When did you move there? We moved to Montclair after grad school in the early 2000s, later moved to NYC, and then came back to Montclair after our first son was born.

Where did you grow up? We both grew up in Nashville, TN. It was an interesting place to begin this journey. There wasn’t much of a museum or literary scene, that stuff came later for us, but it great place to grow up as musicians. It was a hotbed of activity during the civil rights movement and it is a place rich in folk, gospel, country, and R&B music. Those elements were crucial in our development. We both played in bands and did a bit of theater. Guitars and studios were everywhere.

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Coffee With…Kirsten Rickert: The Ice Sculptor and More

BY  |  Thursday, Feb 05, 2015 10:30am  |  COMMENTS (1)

Kirsten Rickert

After we ran the photos of the amazing ice sculpture created at Presby Iris Gardens earlier this week, we went on a search to find out who the artist was. Turns out it was created by Kirsten Rickert, a Montclair resident who we’ve learned is not just an “Ice Sculptor,” but an artist who creates in many media, which she shares in her blog.

We spoke with Kirsten to learn more about the ice sculpture, her work, and what she loves about Montclair:

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Baristanet Profile: April Hussar

BY  |  Friday, Jan 30, 2015 12:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

April Hussar

April and her daughter

The latest installment of our Baristanet Profile series, where we get to know the people in our neighborhood:

Name: April Hussar

Where do you live? Verona

When did you move there? In 2004, just before our daughter turned one. We were scared of the Montclair taxes and in love with the Verona town pool!

Where did you grow up? Petaluma, California — also known as the “Egg Capital of the World,” and birthplace of the World Wrist-Wrestling Championships. Sorry to make you all jealous.

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Childhood: Food Memories

BY  |  Tuesday, Jan 27, 2015 1:30pm  |  COMMENTS (2)

(Inside Chocolate Works on Park St.)

(Inside Chocolate Works on South Park Street)

“I hated peas. I couldn’t do it, but I loved Brussels sprouts! It didn’t make sense. I also loved Hawaiian Punch. I would overload on it. That and mini Entenmann’s blueberry muffins.”

Baristanet: What was your favorite family prepared food?

“My mom is Hispanic, so she would make traditional rice and beans with potatoes, and that was my all time favorite.”



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Also, just a side note, I absolutely LOVE how civil and respectful this discussion is compared to what has happened on Facebook in the last week.

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