Have You Heard The Sound Of Summer At Montclair Center Stage?

BY  |  Tuesday, Sep 02, 2014 9:00am  |  COMMENTS (8)

Alfresco meals and music make for magical Saturday nights.

Alfresco meals and music make for magical Saturday nights.

If you experienced a Saturday night this summer on Church Street, then it’s no surprise to you that Montclair Center is in the running for the Best Downtown in North Jersey (but yes, take two seconds now to go and vote!)


This summer, with live music from 5-10 p.m., thanks to Center Stage Saturdays, Church Street has really come alive. Last Saturday, on Labor Day weekend, the street was packed and the vibe was ebullient, celebratory, with a throng around the stage and people milling about up and down the street, like one big party. Continue Reading

After Outpost, Becoming Obsessed With Jimmy Webb

Monday, Oct 21, 2013 11:53am  |  COMMENTS (1)

webb 1It’s a healthy obsession. Linda Halper writes about her experience seeing Jimmy Webb. (Read the Baristanet interview with the acclaimed singer/songwriter here): Continue Reading

Danza Dazzles In Paper Mill Playhouse “Honeymoon in Vegas”

BY  |  Thursday, Oct 10, 2013 12:30pm  |  COMMENTS (1)

“Honeymoon in Vegas” at the Paper Mill PlayhouseIf you needed any further proof that Jason Robert Brown is the greatest active composer of American musical theater, you’ll find it at Millburn, New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse, where his magnum opus, “Honeymoon in Vegas” is playing through October 27th. This brilliant masterpiece combines Mr. Brown’s incisive sensibility and magnificent sense for music with the air and confidence of a great old-fashioned musical from the ‘30s or ‘40s. This is the kind of show that comes along once or twice in a lifetime, the kind you tell your kids you saw.

To clarify—“Honeymoon in Vegas” is good; terrifyingly good; almost too good. Everything about it—its beautiful, lyrically divine score, its self-aware, ridiculous humor, and especially its unmatched cast—is flawless. Based on the 1992 film starring Nicholas Cage and James Caan, the musical follows Jack Singer (the exceedingly talented Rob McClure), a New Yorker with a fear of commitment and a penchant for poker who’s convinced his mother (Nancy Opel) laid a curse on him on her deathbed. She demanded that he never get married, insisting that no girl could love him like his mama does. Mr. McClure takes this premise and runs with it, dialing up his deeply ingrained talent for hand-wringing and combining it with a manic energy and a devotion to his role that made me wish I hadn’t missed his recent Tony-nominated turn in “Chaplin.” Continue Reading

One Year/One Minute: A New Jersey Woman’s Breast Cancer Story

BY  |  Monday, Oct 07, 2013 12:30pm  |  COMMENTS (1)

Jersey City’s Emily Helck captures in one minute what her life was like after breast cancer. Continue Reading

Bloomfield Mayor Bags Groceries At Brookdale ShopRite For Partners in Caring Day

BY  |  Wednesday, Sep 18, 2013 5:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Bloomfield Mayor Ray McCarthy was at Brookdale ShopRite’s checkout counters today asking “paper or plastic?”

For the past several years, Mayor McCarthy bags groceries to raise awareness by symbolically “bagging” hunger in the community and raise funds for local community food banks as part of ShopRite Partners in Caring Day.

Continue Reading

A Book for the Beach, Backyard or Bus

BY  |  Monday, Aug 19, 2013 8:29am  |  COMMENTS (0)

beach readingAs summer begins to wind down, and many Baristaville folks head to vacations either far-flung or at the Jersey Shore, we’re wondering what books you might be bringing along. What will (or did you) stash in a suitcase or get lined up on your e-reader? Even if you’re not headed out of town, are you looking for something to read on your commute?

If you’re looking for suggestions, you can check back to our 2013 beach read suggestions, peruse the comments on our post about Philip Roth where Baristanet readers suggested other books set in our area of New Jersey. Continue Reading

Montclair Film Festival Shares Behind The Scenes of Breaking Bad

BY  |  Monday, Aug 05, 2013 1:55pm  |  COMMENTS (6)

Montclair Film Festival Shares Behind The Scenes of Breaking BadHow excited are you about Breaking Bad Season 5 this Sunday, August 11th on AMC? (And to that end, how sad are you going to be to say goodbye to Walter White, Skyler, Jesse, Hank, Marie and Walt Jr. when the series comes to an end?)

To get you in the mood for what’s to come, Montclair Film Festival shares one of the most exciting film panels during Montclair Film Festival 2013 — a talk with Breaking Bad cinematographer Michael Slovis and Joel Stillerman of AMC. Continue Reading

Buzz Aldrin Lands in Montclair! Town Cheers Aldrin As He Receives Key (VIDEO)

BY  |  Sunday, Jun 02, 2013 4:57pm  |  COMMENTS (4)

montclair moonBuzz Aldrin, Montclair’s own moonwalker and native son, was honored by his hometown with a key to Montclair, a plaque at Montclair High School, and the renaming of STEM small learning community at the high school as the Buzz Aldrin STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) Academy.

Mayor Robert Jackson, who introduced Aldrin at the Sunday morning ceremony for Buzz Aldrin Day, organized by Montclair Fund For Educational Excellence at Montclair High School, said that the town has never presented a key before. Jackson, mirroring Neil Armstrong’s famous statement, described the key as “a small token to a native son of Montclair, a giant expression of awe, gratitude, and love to an American hero.”

Buzz Aldrin Lands in Montclair!Aldrin, 83, then spoke to a rapt crowd for over 20 minutes, covering everything from his Twitter handle (@TheRealBuzz), his time on the football team at Montclair High, and his commitment to an American-led exploration of Mars. Aldrin, speaking off the cuff, amazingly even recited a poem from his youth. About 14 minutes into his speech, Aldrin turned serious, expressing his concern with the suicide rate that exists among veterans –22 veterans a day — which led to candid remarks about his own struggles.

“I mnyself have had periods of depression that were fairly serious,” said Aldrin, adding that it was something he inherited. “My grandfather committed suicide, my mother committed suicide before I went to the military. So I had to deal with that and of course it led to other obstacles in my history in the area of alcoholism. but I know have 34 years of sobriety,” said Aldrin, receiving a big cheer from the crowd.

“I can’t tell you what a pleasure it is to walk into these halls of education and to see my name hanging around on banners,” added Aldrin. “It’s unbelieveable. I just feel so choked up with emotion about being so lucky in my life. A lot of people helped, a lot of people were teachers along the way.”

Continue Reading

Montclair Turns Out For 24th African American Heritage Parade and Festival

BY  |  Sunday, Jun 02, 2013 8:32am  |  COMMENTS (1)

Montclair African American Heritage ParadeCrowds gathered along Bloomfield Avenue yesterday to watch the 24th annual Montclair African American Heritage Parade. The marchers turned left at Elm Street, continued along Orange Road and ended at Nishuane Park, site of the African American Heritage Festival.

The parade was spectacular. Marching bands and dance groups entertained. The Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps from NYC and the Adelaide L. Sanford Charter School Marching Drum Corps were highlights of the day. Montclair Mayor Jackson and the Town Council members were followed by NJ State Senator Nia Gill and Essex County Freeholder Brendan Gill. Local community groups, fraternal organizations, churches, schools and athletes also participated. The Festival in Nishuane Park was lots of fun, with food vendors including Montclair’s own Caribbean Touch and Newark’s Roy’s Fish Fry, and the stage providing a constant stream of live entertainment including the renowned “Soul Sensation.” A tented market area gave fair goers a chance to purchase tee shirts, CDs, clothing, notions and so much more. The Festival continued until 6 p.m. Were you there? Check out our slide show below; more photos on Barista Kids.

Here’s some video — with great music:

Mark Alexander Talks “Returning Power to The People” At Montclair Campaign Headquarters Launch

BY  |  Monday, Apr 29, 2013 11:00am  |  COMMENTS (6)

Mark Alexander Talks Returning Power to The People At Montclair Campaign Headquarters LaunchState Senate hopeful Mark Alexander opened his Montclair campaign headquarters on Saturday by saying that the campaign team had done an excellent job so far — hitting over “25,000 doors” of voters — but cautioned that there was a lot more work ahead.

Alexander, who was introduced by campaign manager Gregory Joseph, thanked his entire team and especially his wife Tracy, who Alexander wed in August of 2012.

“The institutional support, the party line has gone to my opponent,” said Alexander, alluding to the many Democratic elected officials who came out for Nia Gill. “To stand up and even be in the same room as me is a big statement.”

Alexander then recognized the elected officials in attendance — Mayor Keith Kazmark of Woodland Park, Montclair mayor Robert Jackson and Montclair Second Ward councilor Robin Schlager.

“We are facing a big challenge,” Alexander told supporters. “We are facing an incumbent who has been in Trenton for 20 years who has the power structure behind her,” said Alexander. “And they just want to find a way to keep their power. They’re not asking how they can help the people. They’re asking how can they keep their power. So they’re going to do whatever they can to keep their power. But the power belongs to you.” Continue Reading

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