Baristanet Profile: Greg Pason

Name: Greg Pason

Where do you live? Pine Street, Montclair

When did you move there? We moved to Montclair in 2009 and lived on Chestnut St for 12 years. We moved to Pine Street last summer.

Where did you grow up? I lived in approximately a dozen towns and cities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania growing up. I spent my late teens homeless living in the Passaic YMCA and various squats in Manhattan, so hard to say. I would say I’m a North Jersey guy in my heart though.

How do you make a living? OR What is your everyday passion? I’m involved in a series of projects and groups in Montclair. I’m Director of Indie Arts Montclair and organizer of Montclair Make Music Day, a volunteer and Board member of the Northeast Earth Coalition (I’m a big fan of Jose German who does so much for the community), one of the “old guys” at Terry’s Serendipity café and currently very active in Montclair Area Solidarity Network. I make a paycheck as Secretary at the Socialist Party USA, as well as part-time staff at New Jersey Peace Action. You’ll also see me picking up paid and unpaid (mostly unpaid 🙂 gigs working community gardens, little free pantries, and various music and art events.

Coffee, tea or … ? Coffee, coffee and more coffee

What’s your idea of a perfect weekend day? A bike ride in town, live music and hanging with my wife Andrea, my dog Loki, friends or (if I’m lucky) with my son and his partner Zoe when they come in from Portland, Oregon.

What’s your favorite local restaurant? I really miss Nauna’s. Otherwise, I’m a deli guy. A nice sandwich at Grove Street Deli, and I’m good.

What’s on your nightstand? A pile of comic books from East Side Mags and “Becoming Abolitionists” by Derecka Purnell

What are you listening to? I love listening to local music like GEL (a local punk band) or some old-school punk, new wave or ska. I also try to check out some of the music Serendipity staff are currently listening to (especially bands that play Serendipity Café shows)

What are your current indulgences? Honestly, taking on too many projects. I’m focusing on Zine Fest in mid-April as well as starting to organize Make Music Day and the Jubilee Concert at Montclair Art Museum during the Montclair Juneteenth celebration.

What talent you would most like to have? A better attention span and more musical talent.

What’s the worst-kept (or best-kept!) secret about Montclair? Creeping gentrification that is pushing some of the most dedicated and active residents out of town in the most troubling, but there are incredibly good people in town doing great community work. This includes some of the great small businesses like Cool Cat Music, East Side Mags, January’s, and Pedal Montclair

What do you hope they say about you at your funeral? He did a lot of stuff. We’ll miss him.

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