Montclair Couple Honored for Leadership and Philanthropy at NCJW/Essex Spotlight Gala

BY  |  Saturday, Oct 15, 2016 10:30am

Jill and Alan Johnson of Montclair

The National Council of Jewish Women, Essex County Section (NCJW/Essex) honored Jill and Alan Johnson of Montclair, NJ, at a Spotlight Gala in recognition of their unflagging support of the organization.

The Spotlight Gala was held at Crestmont Country Club in West Orange, NJ, on Sunday, September 25, 2016. The Johnsons have embodied the spirit of NCJW/Essex with their continuous contributions of support, involvement and leadership, making a difference in the lives of women, children and families throughout Essex County and New Jersey.

Jill Johnson, a long-time member of NCJW, commented, “Alan and I know it is our obligation to leave the world a better place than we found it. NCJW has given us the ideal place to utilize our time, talent and resources to do good. How wonderful it is to be honored for simply doing what we need to do and what we love to do.”

Continue Reading

Baristanet Profile: Talib Nelson

BY  |  Friday, Oct 14, 2016 2:00pm

talib nelson

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

Name: Talib Nelson

Where do you live? North Fullerton, across the street from Immaculate church…and its bells!

When did you move there? Three years ago…though it feels like I moved in last year.

Where did you grow up? Partially in Kingston, Jamaica, but mostly in Montclair. I feel more Jamaican than American, right — but I feel more like a Mountie than I do anything else.

How do you make a living? I’m a self-taught software engineer: I solve problems with math by writing code. The funny thing is that I started doing it as a temporary measure for a personal project, realized I enjoyed it, and it became a career. Now I work for a company called Shutterstock, whose offices are in the Empire State Building.

Coffee, tea or … ? Tea. It’s the only proper answer. Growing up in Jamaica, with all its ties to the U.K., a cup of tea kind of feels like home.

Continue Reading

Two Montclair Filmmakers Create Films Dealing With Loss, Independence, and the Woods

BY  |  Wednesday, Oct 12, 2016 3:45pm

allegra givensAllegra Givens graduated from Montclair High School in 2013. She was, what she says was, “one of three ‘film nerds’ in my grade and only two of us went on to pursue film in college.” For her senior year, she based her senior option project around making a silent film so she could work on her skills at visual storytelling. That film, “YOU+ME,” went on to screen in two film festivals the following fall.

Today, Givens attends Chapman University in California as a Film Production major and is gearing up to make her senior thesis Emma in the Woods, a 15-minute film with a crew of over 35 people (both Chapman students and some industry professionals). The film is about an orphan girl whose younger sister disappears on a hike the day she is supposed to move out of her group home.

Continue Reading

Baristanet Profile: Alexandria Pavel

BY  |  Friday, Sep 30, 2016 2:00pm

Alexandria Pavel

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

Name: Alexandria Pavel

Where do you live? Montclair

When did you move there? Returned nearly two years ago from living in Chicago for 4 years, and 4 in San Francisco before that.

Where did you grow up? Montclair! Love it here.

How do you make a living? I own Apple Village children’s design and gift shop in Upper Montclair with my husband Dave.

Coffee, tea or … ? I have two young kids — coffee, more coffee, and wine.

Continue Reading

Baristanet Profile: Aimee Brooks

BY  |  Friday, Sep 23, 2016 3:00pm

Aimee Brooks

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

Name: Aimee Brooks

Where do you live? Between the estate section and Nishuane park. Full of deer, turkeys and fox. And the occasional coyote.

When did you move there? I moved here in April 2005 with my husband David and 4 month old Hailey (now a 6th grader). I knew nothing about Montclair except there was a yummy bagel place in Watchung plaza.

Where did you grow up? Larchmont, NY. An amazing town on Long Island sound. I never ever thought I’d move to NJ.

How do you make a living? I am a senior producer in Advertising and Promotion at CBS News. I started as an NBC page and worked my way up, a career in media spanning 25 years. My job now is to try and get people to turn to CBS on a daily basis. I write, produce and direct promos that tell you what’s coming up on a news program —yes, those annoying teasers as some say. I get to work with an amazing group of talented journalists, writers and producers on all levels. People often ask me what channel that is. That would be channel 2. I also volunteer quite a bit, right now I’m coordinating the Concert Across America Montclair on September 25.

Continue Reading

Baristanet Profile: Tracy Herrick

BY  |  Friday, Sep 16, 2016 12:30pm

Baristanet Profile: Tracy Herrick

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

Name: Tracy Herrick

Where do you live? Erwin Park… this is our 3rd (and final!) home in Montclair.

When did you move there? We moved to Montclair in 1998, and bought this house in Dec of 2003. We didn’t move in until Summer of 2004… LOTS of renovation.

Where did you grow up?
I was born in Lorain, Ohio and then moved one city over to Amherst. Both are modest towns on Lake Erie, about 30 miles west of Cleveland (go Cavs!). I had a typical midwestern upbringing. I go back every summer to visit the few family members who still live there, and to take my daughters to Cedar Point Amusement Park… BEST coasters in the world!

How do you make a living? I teach by day, and sing by night. I am a vocal coach, and work primarily with elementary and high school students. It’s a privilege to watch them grow, both as performers and people. I still sing myself, mainly for pleasure, and mostly with a fabulous musical group called 3rd Valve. We have an 11-piece horn band that covers artists like Chicago, EW&F, Aretha Franklin, Clapton etc…. it’s a BLAST. We also have a smaller jazz ensemble, and an R&B group. I sing it all and will stop when I drop! (Shameless plug #2.., go to for more info!)

Coffee, tea or … ? Both. Two cups of coffee in the morning (and please don’t expect a coherent conversation until I’ve finished the first one), and Chai tea in the afternoon when I’m teaching.

What’s your idea of a perfect Saturday? Going out on the Harley during the day… my husband, Scott and I have a Road King, and we love to get out of the burbs and up into the countryside and hills of NY State and explore. There’s nothing like breathing in the fresh air, while cruising down winding roads on a motorcycle. Heaven! Then home, perhaps a nap, and out to do a gig at night… singing my heart out, watching our audience shake their booties and act like teens again. Our followers cut loose!!

What’s your favorite local restaurant? Oh, SO many ‘favorites’! Egan’s for great beer and wings, Highlawn for a martini and the view, Ruthie’s for BBQ (and live music in the Summer), Ani Ramen for shrimp buns, and I so miss Giotto. Their pasta, risotto… everything, was delicioso! I am a complete foodie, so there’s no way could I pick just one. We are very fortunate to have Many fabulous restaurants in Montclair, these are just a few. Continue Reading

Baristanet Profile: John Levai

BY  |  Friday, Aug 26, 2016 3:00pm

John Levai

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

Name: John Levai

Where do you live? Upper Montclair

Where did you grow up? Upper Montclair.

When did you move here? I have been living in and representing Montclair, the 973, for basically my entire life! I graduated from Montclair High so I am was and still am a true Mountie forever!

How do you make a living? I am a data entry clerk at Hudson Community Enterprises’s Metro Scanning in Newark. Very soon, I am going to do my graduate studies in the education field.

Coffee, tea or … ? No coffee but sometimes tea.
Continue Reading

Baristanet Profile: Erin Sircy

BY  |  Friday, Aug 19, 2016 3:30pm

Erin Sircy

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

Name: Erin Sircy

Where do you live? Montclair, not too far from the Walnut Street area.

When did you move there? 2014 from Ft Greene, Brooklyn. I know, unusual path.

Where did you grow up? Originally from Nashville, but mostly grew up in Dallas.

How do you make a living? I’m a many-hat-wearing administrator in the Department of Art and Art Professions at NYU.

Coffee, tea or … ? Coffee followed by iced tea. Even when its frigid outside I still need my iced tea. Don’t get my mom’s peach tea often enough but I make do with Think’s black iced tea–it’s legit.
Continue Reading

Baristanet Profile: Kaelyn Siversky

BY  |  Friday, Aug 12, 2016 10:30am  |  COMMENTS (1)

Kaelyn Siversky

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

Name: Kaelyn Siversky

Where do you live? Valley Road, right by Tierney’s Tavern.

When did you move there? Born and raised in Montclair! I left for a few years for school and travel and moved back in 2013.

How do you make a living? I am currently an assistant manager at South Moon Under, come visit me!!

Coffee, tea or … ? COFFEE = LIFE, black or whole milk.

Continue Reading

Baristanet Profile: Barry Hartsfield

BY  |  Friday, Aug 05, 2016 2:00pm  |  COMMENTS (1)

Barry Hartsfield

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

Name: Barry Hartsfield

Where do you live? Montclair

When did you move there? I grew up here, 3rd generation.

How do you make a living? Account Executive at a software company. It’s a platform that allows companies to control and manage their expenses.

Coffee, tea or … ? Definitely coffee and  light and sweet.
Continue Reading

Featured Comment

Montclair is relatively heterogenous and, it could fairly be said, takes pride in its diversity. Has Montclair named a street or school after Dr. King? Why is that?

Tip, Follow, Friend, Subscribe