Baristanet Profile: Marina Yalon

Name: Marina Yalon

Where do you live? Bloomfield! Just a stroll away from Brookdale Park. 

When did you move there? On March 16, 2020, right at the start of lockdown. It was such an adventure! Just me, my boyfriend, and a freshly sanitized U-Haul truck.

Where did you grow up? All over! I was born in Belarus, then went to elementary school in Brooklyn and high school in NJ. After college, I had intense wanderlust and moved to Guatemala and then China before coming back to live in the U.S.

How do you make a living? OR What is your everyday passion? I’m lucky that I get to make a living sharing my passion! I own a tutoring company called MYPrep, and I help students build math confidence and conquer standardized tests like the SATs and ACTs. I’ve worked with over 1,000 students at this point and I love seeing them succeed in their lives!

Coffee, tea or … ? Coffee, always coffee! I love walking my dogs to Local or Rombiolo bakery, and making a fur-mom adventure out of each cup.

What’s your idea of a perfect weekend day? Waking up just a bit late, grabbing a coffee, and taking my dogs to Mills Reservation or Brookdale dog park. Then, picking up a new-to-me book from Montclair Book Center and reading with a slice of amazing cheesecake from Anthony’s Cheesecake Cafe or some gelato from APEM. 

What’s your favorite local restaurant? It’s a toss up between Samba (yuca, pão queijo, and fresh juices, oh my!) or Anthony’s Cheesecake Cafe (cheesecake AND the most amazing brunch).

What’s on your nightstand? Hmmm…I actually don’t have a nightstand at the moment, but I just finished reading Little Fires Everywhere, which was captivating and thought-provoking. It’s rare for me to have time to read for pleasure, but I have been trying to make time for myself and prioritizing self-care. 

What are you listening to? I like podcasts and I’ve recently gotten into one called “Crime Junkie.” I was never a true crime person, but the podcast completely hooked me! The host weaves a compelling narrative and I think I must have binged over a hundred episodes by now!

What are your current indulgences? APEM Creamery – every day the flavors change and every day I’m tempted by one (if not more) things on the menu. Also, going to the beach with the dogs,  and letting my hair air-dry into soft curls. I haven’t used my blow dryer all summer and it’s so liberating!

What talent you would most like to have? To always know the right amount of salt to add to food! It seems I’m perpetually either undersalting or oversalting when I cook.

What’s the worst-kept (or best-kept!) secret about Bloomfield? Everyone in Bloomfield is so friendly! When we moved into our new home our neighbors all made it a point to come by and introduce themselves and welcome us to the neighborhood. I’ve never lived in a place like that, and I could fill up a page talking about all the kindnesses that I’ve seen and received from neighbors, local businesses, and strangers I met while walking the dogs. Such a wonderful town!

What do you hope they say about you at your funeral? She wore her heart on her sleeve, and she loved with everything she had. 


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