Baristanet Profile: Alison Curtin

Alison Curtin

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

Name: Alison Curtin

Where do you live? I live with my husband and son in Montclair.

When did you move there? In 2008 when my husband and I moved here from Highland Park, NJ.  But I previously lived here for a bit and also commuted here daily when I was a Montclair State student back in the 90’s.

Where did you grow up?  I’m a proud born and bred Jersey Girl. I grew up in a quiet little town in Warren County called Hackettstown.  It’s the home of M&M Mars.  And yes, there were times when the entire town smelled like chocolate or roasted peanuts.  Really.  My father still lives there in my childhood home.

How do you make a living? I work for Baker & Taylor, Inc. in sales and marketing outreach to children’s and teen public librarians across the country. You will never meet a more interesting bunch of funny and smart people as you will when you work with librarians. I’m amazed each day by how dedicated librarians across the country are to their communities.  Seriously, go and hug your librarian today!  They do so much for all of us. Better yet, get your library card right away if you don’t already have one.

Coffee, tea or … ?  Coffee light & sweet!

What’s your idea of a perfect Saturday? I have many versions of a perfect Saturday!   I love to start off my weekend right with a workout at Boone Studio on Church Street.  My husband and I really do get a kick out of all of my son’s activities, from swim lessons at the Y, or baseball practice at Edgemont Park, or kicking the soccer ball around at Porter Park.  My sister and her family live in town too, getting in time with them happens often on Saturdays.  On other perfect Saturdays, we’ll head into the city, maybe a visit to Governors Island or catch a Yankee game.

What’s your favorite local restaurant? Mesob, hands down! I love the atmosphere and the food. Being able to walk to it from our apartment is a big plus too! My tip-get one of the big sampler platters.  And I love that they play the Stevie Wonder birthday song for you if it’s your birthday!

What’s on your nightstand?  BOOKS! And far too many to mention all! Just off of the top of my ever expanding TBR pile is Rebel of the Sands, a debut teen novel by Alwyn Hamilton. A fast paced read with a western theme, full of the magic & folklore that you find in the tales of 1,001 Arabian Nights, and has a kickass, gun-slinging heroine named Amani.  I love it and have not read anything as unique in quite some time.  On my iPad, which is often on my nightstand, I’m reading The Birthday of the World, a collection of short stories by one of my favorite authors and national treasure, Ursula K. Le Guin.

What are you listening to? Lately, a lot of the Doo-Wop channel on Pandora and WQXR.  My son loves to catch the Morning Bach on WQXR at 7:30am before we all head out for work and school.  Am I the only Jeffery Spurgeon fan girl in Montclair?  I can’t be…

What are your current addictions?  Kettlebell at Boone Studio, card games like Uno or Sleeping Queens or Rat-a-Tat-Cat with my boys, comics in the new Star Wars story arcs & Ms. Marvel series, and visiting as many different major league ballparks as possible (6 down last summer, 24 more to go!)

Talent you would most like to have. Flying. I’d love to fly. Aren’t we supposed to have jet packs by now?  Can HackNCraft NJ work on this?  But mostly, I would love to become a writer.

What’s the worst-kept secret about Montclair?   Montclair is a community chock full of caring and generous people. I have always found my neighbors to be generous with their time, their talents, or their treasure in countless ways here in Montclair. And it’s all in the effort to build something special. From the incredible work being done at Toni’s Kitchen over at St. Luke’s, to the fantastic Montclair Jazz Festival held over at Nishuane Park each Summer, to fun community building events like the Mountie Pride Fun Run and our annual town wide pep rally of a Fourth of the July parade – we are so darn lucky to have such a unique place to call our home! These are just a few…share more in the comments if you’d like!

What do you hope they say about you at your funeral?   That people say I was a good friend. I sincerely hope that there’s good music, and to whoever is in charge of it, please make sure the repast has good food and a well-stocked bar.  




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