Pleasant Ave Residents Fight to Stop Tear Down, Subdivision of Aubrey Lewis House in Montclair

BY  |  Monday, Feb 27, 2017 8:30am  |  COMMENTS (1)

44 Pleasant Avenue, the one-time home of the late notable Montclair resident Aubrey Lewis. Image courtesy of Google.

Last year, the Montclair Planning Board voted in a tie of 4-4 failing to designate 44 Pleasant Avenue as an historic designation. Tonight, at the Montclair Planning Board meeting, an application to have the house demolished and the property subdivided into 8 lots is on the agenda for approval.

The house, designed by local architect Dudley Van Antwerp in 1906, was recommended for its unique style in comparison to Van Antwerp’s many other houses in the area but for also being the home of Woolworth executive Aubrey Lewis, one of Montclair’s esteemed black residents and the a member of a 1962 FBI agent training class, the first to admit blacks.

According to the Lewis’s family Real estate agent Laurena White, the family objected to the designation because it would complicate efforts to sell the property, both for themselves and prospective owners.

Board member Martin Schwartz forcefully argued that the historic designation should be forwarded to the council because the recommendation met two criteria and that the decision had to be based on historic value and not economics. Board member Carole Willis disagreed, saying that the Lewis family should not accept an historic designation they neither asked for nor wanted. Her reasoning prevailed, as the motion to forward the Lewis house recommendation failed by a 4-4 tie, with Councilor McMahon abstaining. Joining Willis were Barr, Ianuale, and Craig Brandon; Schwartz was joined by Loughman, DeSalvo and Keith Brodock.

Residents of the neighborhood are upset and are pushing for the designation in order to stop the tear down and development in its place.

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Montclair Synagogue Hosts Live Israeli Radio Show – Roomies: Stories of Living Together

BY  |  Sunday, Feb 26, 2017 10:30am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Roomies: Stories of Living Together

Bnai Keshet will present The Israeli radio show, Roomies: Stories of Living Together — presented by the Israel Story Podcast and New Israel Fund and inspired by public radio’s This American Life — live on Wednesday, March 1.

On its first-ever tour in the U.S., the show features seven storytellers and their host. Roomies, Israel Story’s first-ever collaboration with NIF, promises a show “that deepens the conversation with moving stories of what it means to live together in a shared society.”

The award winning Hebrew-language radio show and podcast, created by four young Israelis smitten by the Ira Glass-hosted public radio program, hit the airwaves in Israel five years ago. Glass calls it “the Israeli This American Life.” In 2014, creators Ro’ee Gilron, Mishy Harman, Yochai Maital and Shai Satran began making the show available for English speakers, too.

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Baristanet Profile: Jennifer Grisafi

BY  |  Friday, Feb 24, 2017 1:15pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Jennifer Grisafi

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

Name: Jennifer Grisafi

Where do you live? Montclair

When did you move there? 2004 from NYC

Where did you grow up? Nashville, TN. It’s much cooler now than when I was growing up!

How do you make a living? I’m the marketing and public relations manager for the Geyer Family Branch of the YMCA of Montclair. I feel very fortunate to be able to do what I love for an organization that does such important work in our community. It’s a special place.

Coffee, tea or…? Coffee, coffee, coffee! I’m already thinking about it before I get out of bed in the morning.

What’s your idea of a perfect Saturday? Sleep late, brunch with my family, watch my sons perform somewhere (they play the guitar and drums), a nap and then dinner with friends in town.

What’s your favorite local restaurant? Ani Ramen for pork buns, The Corner for avocado toast and Diesel and Duke for burgers. Continue Reading

Beyond Borders, a Film by Glen Ridge Filmmaker, Takes a Look Into the Life of Undocumented Mexican-Americans

BY  |  Friday, Feb 24, 2017 12:15pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Beyond Borders

The Women’s Club of Glen Ridge will host a screening of Beyond Borders: Undocumented Mexican-Americans, a timely film about undocumented Mexican-Americans produced by Glen Ridge resident Micah Fink, on Tuesday, March 7 at 7 pm. Amanda Harberg, also a Glen Ridge resident, scored the film.

Beyond Borders: Undocumented Mexican-Americans carefully explains the history of the relationship between the two countries – Mexico and America – some of which may be unfamiliar to viewers. In telling the stories of several undocumented Mexican-Americans, the film reveals the reasons why millions of Mexican workers have settled in the US over the past four decades instead of returning home. It also illuminates the remarkable networks that connect the film’s characters with the families they left behind, and the very real human impact of the anti-immigration backlash now sweeping the country.

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Trevor Noah & Other Authors To Speak At Inaugural Montclair Literary Festival – March 31/April 1

BY  |  Thursday, Feb 23, 2017 3:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Montclair Literary Festival

Locals already know that Montclair is full of writers and those who love books. We have tons of journalists, authors, and the best independent bookstore around. An upcoming event will showcase our literary love. Dozens of award-winning and emerging authors will talk about writing, read from new works, and sign books on March 31 and April 1 at the first annual Montclair Literary Festival.

The two-day festival, which aims to showcase the town’s vibrant literary life, is organized by — and will also benefit — Succeed2gether, a Montclair-based nonprofit that tutors and teaches low-income students with the aim of closing the achievement gap. Funds raised will also help pay for the literary festival. Partners include Montclair Public Library, Montclair State University, Montclair Art Museum and Watchung Booksellers.

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Get Cooking! Learn About Olive Oil, or How to Make Sushi, Doughnuts or a Tuscan Dinner Party

BY  |  Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 3:45pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Looking for a few culinary nights out? These upcoming local adult cooking classes offer skills, food, and fun:

adult cooking classes

Montclair Culinary Academy will offer a few fun classes for adults this weekend. Learn how to make sushi and dumplings on Friday, February 24 at Designer Appliances (208 Bellevue Avenue, Montclair) and a delicious Sunday Brunch on February 26 at R.HOME Design Showroom (17 West Mt. Pleasant Avenue, Livingston)

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Seen Around Town: “Hate Has No Home Here” Signs

BY  |  Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 9:15am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Hate Has No Home Here

A campaign to spread love and peace has made its way from the diverse North Park Neighborhood in Chicago to all over the country, including Montclair. The Hate Has No Home Here signs and posters were created as a non-partisan public declaration that hate speech and hateful actions against others will not be tolerated by the person or organization displaying the sign.

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Masterpiece and Merlot: Harlem Renaissance Edition at the Newark Museum

BY  |  Monday, Feb 20, 2017 12:15pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Masterpiece and Merlot: Harlem Renaissance Edition

There are many “Paint and Sip” events these days, but this one is really unique and fabulous! Newark Museum will host a Masterpiece and Merlot: Harlem Renaissance-themed Paint and Sip on Friday, February 24.

The evening will focus on the Harlem Renaissance and the big band movement that followed, so they encourage all you Dolls and Cool Cats to put on your best flapper-style dress, fedora or zoot suit and Lindy Hop your way to the Newark Museum. Partake in an art studio painting session paired with a private tour of authentic works from the era in the museum’s Harlem Renaissance installation. Continue Reading

Giveaway: Tickets to See Robert Ellis at Outpost in the Burbs

BY  |  Monday, Feb 20, 2017 9:00am  |  COMMENTS (2)

Robert Ellis

WINNER: Congratulations to panda77!

Outpost in the Burbs will presents Texas-born singer-songwriter Robert Ellis in a “New Voices” show — which presents emerging or “indie” musicians to the Outpost stage — on Saturday, February 25 and Baristanet has a pair of tickets to give away to one lucky reader! Opening the show will be Courtney Hartman.

Robert Ellis has named his new album after himself and the reason is clear. The album is both his most personal statement yet and a summation of his career thus far. Robert Ellis opens with “Perfect Strangers,” a meditation on what brings people together (and how tenuous that connection can be), and ends with “It’s Not OK,” a raw look at emotional compromise. Between those two powerful bookends are nine other songs that set Ellis’s soaring vocals and knowing melodies against his sharp, dark observations, and that show him in full command of a vibrant set of songwriting skills-irony, distance, character, narrative, a thoughtful relationship between sound and sense.

With just six songs, it’s astonishing how Courtney Hartman’s debut solo recording tells such a vivid story. ‘Nothing We Say’ is flush with intimate ruminations on her life as a traveling musician and a deep curiosity about the world around her. The luminous EP, delivers on the promise always apparent in her work as a guitarist and songwriter for Della Mae, the Grammy-nominated string band, along with her collaborations with Bryan Sutton, Jim Lauderdale, and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ Mike Campbell, among others.

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Baristanet Profile: Eloiza Jorge

BY  |  Friday, Feb 17, 2017 2:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Eloiza Jorge

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

Name: Eloiza Jorge

Where do you live? Montclair

When did you move there? 6th grade

Where did you grow up? Newark and Montclair (I went to Glenfield!)

How do you make a living? I’m a counselor and life coach.

Coffee, tea or … ? Both! My grandmother is British so tea is a tradition on that side of the family. Puerto Rican coffee is a daily ritual too.

What’s your idea of a perfect Saturday? A dance class (locally or in Harlem). Visiting and playing with friends. A home cooked meal with my kiddos.

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Featured Comment

The developer of the Seymour St project will install a big crosswalk between Fullerton & Willow. Unfortunately, the Township wants it in the wrong place.

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