Slow Down and Linger

One of the reasons I like living in a walkable suburb is because it slows the world down a little bit. And one of the best things about slowing down, is having the opportunity to linger.

Lingering is not something you can do very easily in a car. (And if you do, you’ll probably hear about it from the car behind you!) But when you're walking, you can linger on the foot bridge over Edgemont Pond if you happen to see the white heron strutting near the shoreline, or you can linger in front of the Montclair Bread Company because it smells so dang good out there.

One of my favorite places to linger is Watchung Booksellers – and not just because it’s my neighborhood bookstore. It's just a delightful place to spend time. It’s cozy and unhurried. And everyone in there seems as if there’s no place they’d rather be. Add to that the fact that it's full of books and it just doesn't get any better than that.

I came across a piece about Watchung Books  on Facebook (another place I sometimes like to linger) and the writer summed up the vibe so well.

“The term ‘curate’ is often used for what booksellers do, but as [owner] Margot and I sat chatting about the business in the conjoined café, we agreed it is less like a museum collector than a chef or a matchmaker. What do you want to read today? With platters of book covers spread out before you, the store resembles a cocktail party of stories and ideas.”

I loved reading Thomas Pluck’s ode to my favorite bookstore. I liked the way he provided so much context for its existence, and how he, himself, lingered over details about our town, painting a picture that feels authentic and true for all of us that have made our home here.

Maybe it’s just the sweet melancholy of autumn, but it’s been feeling especially good to me these days to slow down and linger.


Montclair: We've Got It Made In The Shade

Even though summer is officially over this week and the days are getting shorter, it's been a very warm September. Which reminds me of one of the things I love about Montclair: the town's commitment to shade trees.

I often share this fun fact with clients: With a population of close to 40,000, Montclair reportedly has as many trees as residents.

I don’t think I ever appreciated Montclair’s shade trees more than I did this August when, in the swelter of an east coast summer, I decided to walk to town to do some errands. This was one of those days that we all were wilting. I filled a bottle of water and started out the door. The sun was high, but most of my walk was under a canopy of trees. The air was still, but in the shade, the little air that did pass by me as I walked felt almost like a breeze.

It was hot. But it wasn’t awful.

Montclair retains a part-time arborist to make sure our tree game is strong. Not too long ago, it had become fashionable to plant Bradford pear trees – smallish tree shaped like lollipops that are prone to splitting. Montclair still has many old oaks and sycamores that parasol the streets and sidewalks, and we’ve stepped away from the pear trees, which I’m glad about, as they do not provide the same quality of shade.

To me, part of a great suburban experience includes optimal walkability, even when it's hot. If you’re interested in a town that is designed for walking – call me. I’d love to show you around. 973-809-5277 


Hot and Cool ? Montclair Jazz Festival Aug 13, 2016


I know I tend to go on and on about the events in Montclair – the Montclair Film Festival, Taste of Montclair, the YMCA 10K and Family Fun Run. Even the weekly Farmers Market feels more like a social happening than a produce-buying excursion. All of these popular gatherings started up since I’ve moved here. But it feels like the one that’s grown the most is the Montclair Jazz Festival.

August can feel so quiet in Montclair, with so many families off on vacation. But on the day of the Jazz Festival, people seem to come out of the woodwork.

This free event began seven years ago, an outdoor sampling of jazz performances where people tossed a blanket on the grass and soaked in some sun and some great music. Back then, 300 people showed up. Last year there were 10,000!

I am so excited to have Keller Williams sponsoring one of my all-time favorite events. We even have a tent where we’ll be giving out lemonade and cookies. (Consider yourself invited!)

I’m not sure how set in stone the schedule is, but here’s the proposed line up:

12 p.m. - 52nd Street Big Band
12:30 p.m. - Philly Soul Big Band
1:00 p.m. - Bright Moments Big Band
1:15 p.m. - Afro-Latin Big Band
1:45 p.m. - The Big Solid Sax Mob
2:15 p.m. - Jazz House Vocal Large Ensemble
2:45 p.m. - Jazz House Faculty Collective celebrates Bowie + Prince
3:45 p.m. - Michele Rosewoman + New Yor-Uba
4:45 p.m. - Dynasty Big Band featuring Louis Prima, Jr.
5:15 p.m. - Jazz House Big Band featuring Louis Prima, Jr.
6:00 p.m. - George Coleman Organ Quartet
7:15 p.m. - A Christian McBride Situation
8:30 p.m. - Dee Dee Bridgewater Quintet

Come and go. Bring a cooler. There are shuttles from parking and plenty of grass for lounging. Cool music on a hot day with a cold beer. It really doesn’t get any better.




Get Healthy: Run Your Errands in a Walkable Suburb


I live about a mile from the drug store. A post office and a Starbucks are across the street. One block north is one of my favorite gift shops.

When I walk "uptown" to run some errands, it absolutely takes more time than if I drive. But the experience is 100 times better.

I love looking at people's gardens on my way to do my errands. I'm a sucker for pretty flowers - they remind me to pay attention to what's beautiful in the world.

I'm also bound to run into friends or acquaintances on my way there or back. We may not have time to sit and catch up over coffee, but a spontaneous 15-minute chat in front of the firehouse can be almost as soul-filling.

Plus, when I walk, my body feels better. Soaking up some sunshine, moving rather than sitting, taking in the fresh air. Turns out all the things my grandmother told me were good for me really are.

The medical community says when we're running our errands on bikes or on foot, we're healthier. When I do it, I'm happier.

With 7 train stations, myriad bus stops, 5 distinct retail centers and several more smaller clusters of shops, restaurants and services, Montclair offers plenty of opportunities to show up on foot. Wherever you live, there's always somewhere to walk.

If you want to find out more about this Walkable Suburb or even take a walk around town with me, please call! 973.809.5277







New Listing: 182 Alexander Ave. Upper Montclair


Sometimes Things Go Sideways

One thing I love about this area is how individual the homes are. Even within broad categories like Colonial or Tudor, there are so many variations. And even within all that individuality resides an extremely small subcategory.

I'm talking now about the Sideways House.

Sideways Houses are homes that have been built so the front entrance faces the side yard, rather than the street. This orientation gives the home a decidedly Country House feel, as it overlooks only landscaping. From the inside, Sideways Houses tend to feel very private and secluded, even though they might be smack dab in the middle of a neighborhood.

And that's exactly the case for this wonderful 5-bedroom 2-full/2-half bath home in beautiful Upper Montclair. Wonderful because it looks out on a big, open yard, wonderful because it offers a coveted wrap-around porch, and wonderful because the renovated kitchen has an unusually "artsy" vibe, featuring a large custom banquette for lazy Sunday brunches with family and friends.

Other features include: oversized rooms, central air conditioning, newly renovated, ensuite master bathroom,

This home is a 3-minute walk to the New York City bus; the train station about a 10-minute walk. It's also located at the Northern end of town, with quick and easy access to the highway.

Because they're so few and far between, Sideways Houses don't come on the market very often.

Priced at $799,000, this special house will not last. If you're looking for a wonderful family home in a remarkable community, please call me and let me show you the magic of Sideways Living.  973.809.5277