Baristanet Profile: Lily Vakili

Lily Vakili

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

Name: Lily Vakili

Where do you live? Watchung neighborhood in Montclair

When did you move there? 2001

Where did you grow up? My family moved around a bit – I was born in La Lima, Honduras and lived in southern Florida; Bangkok, Thailand; Mayaguez, Puerto Rico; and Ames, Iowa. At 16, I joined a theatre troupe in Minneapolis…. I think the growing up continued through stints in NYC, Hoboken, and Boston….

How do you make a living? By applying the art of persuasion, practice & perseverance to the fields of music and law. As a lawyer, I represent individuals and biotech companies involved in drug development. As a singer/songwriter, I’m releasing my second album, Meadowlands, and am playing gigs around town and elsewhere in the excellent company of the LV Band.

Coffee, tea or … ? I like coffee, I like tea, I like wine in good company.

What’s your idea of a perfect Saturday? Well – keep in mind – I’m lucky if I get two or three of the following on any given Saturday:
Sleep in a little; make a run to Aroma di Napoli in Nutley to get graffe napoletanes (the most heavenly donut-like thing in the world – imho); brew a nice dark espresso – add steamed milk; have a leisurely breakfast with husband & children while reading the newspaper (old-style); go for a long walk in the afternoon with a good friend – walking across the Highland Ave ridge, looking out over to the NYC skyline – talking about the state of the world and our hearts; stop by Rita’s on Broad St. with my son for his favorite Italian ice (green apple!); play guitar as family, dog and cats go about their business; listen to a musical selection chosen by someone other then me (a friend’s, my husband’s, or WFMU or WFUV) while lying on the couch daydreaming; have a home-cooked dinner in the company of friends; kiss everyone off to bed; feel grateful for a beautifully eventful, yet uneventful day…

What’s your favorite local restaurant? Depending on mood and company: Le Salbuen, Ruthie’s or The Montclair Charbroil.

What’s on your nightstand? An odd little stuffed bunny handmade by a MPLS friend of mine, an ancient, totally defunct blackberry, some notebooks and “My Brilliant Friend” by Ella Ferrante, “Lucky Us” by Amy Bloom, “El Alquimista” by Paulo Coelho, “Blood, Bones & Butter” by Gabrielle Hamilton, and “Sweet Tooth” by Ian McEwan. Omg. I gotta buckle down and stop sleeping at night…

What are you listening to? Everything that comes my way – but lately – Prince, Mazzy Star, Naghmeh Farahmand, The Waterboys, Ryan Adams, Linda Ronstadt & Michael Chapman

What are your current addictions? Observing the world around me, writing poems and songs about it and then – preferably in the company of a band and audience – singing my heart out. When it all comes together – it is an ecstatic experience.

Talent you would most like to have. Patience. And I want it NOW.

What’s the worst-kept secret about Montclair? There actually IS parking in Montclair… I’m just not going to tell you where… And, I’ll tell you that the best-kept-secrets-that-everyone-who-needs-to-should-know-about are The Montclair Friday Group (contact Alma Schneider for info), the Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC), and Montclair Township’s People With Disabilities Advisory Committee. Each group offers much needed support, advocacy and resources for individuals with disabilities and their loved ones. –

What do you hope they say about you at your funeral? I loved her.

Photo: Claire Ellis





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