Living In West Orange

The Arts Are Alive and Well in Montclair

It’s no secret: some of my clients start out afraid to leave the city. Of course they are! We live in cities because there is so much going on and it’s unsettling to think we’re giving that up.

For those who have already taken the leap, there was plenty going on here last weekend, as is true most weekends.

The Montclair Literary Festival launched in 2017. Given how many journalists, authors, playwrights and poets call this area home, it’s almost shocking that we didn’t have a weekend-long celebration of writers and writing before now. The festival included readings, talks, workshops and panels by writers of all genres. There were events devoted to politics and events devoted to rock’n’roll. There were lots of events for kids. Most everything was within an easy walk to everything else. And a lot of it was free!

On Sunday night, we were graced by a reading and musical performance by Patti Smith who arrived with her longtime producer Lenny Kaye. The two took the stage in the sanctuary of the spectacular First Congregational Church and captivated the audience for nearly two hours.

Being in that audience reminded most of us why we came to this area in the first place. It reminded us that we live in a community that can support two independent books stores, even in the age of Amazon and Kindle. It reminded us that, as a town, we believe that the arts are worth making room for – lots of room. And it reminded us how many of our friends and neighbors work so hard to fill our town with intellect and beauty everywhere you turn. Just like the city.

When you take the leap, you will find yourself in a town with two libraries, an art museum, a film festival, a jazz festival, fabulous restaurants, an indie movie theatre, a concert venue, a jazz club, art galleries, art walks, avant-garde dance, opera and musical theatre, and a university with lectures, performance art, and minor league baseball. You’ll also find lots and lots of coffee shops!

The other not so secret truth I remind my clients: Montclair is surrounded by plenty of great towns — Bloomfield, West Orange, Glen Ridge, Verona, Cedar Grove. If you’re looking for a community with easy access to the arts, these are towns that you should consider as well. 

Patti Smith photo by Jacqueline Mroz

 

A New Year, A New Listing

13 White St in West Orange is my first listing to kick off 2018.  While it came on the market back in December I think most people were too busy preparing for the holidays to realize that this little gem slipped in.

This 3 Bedroom, 2 Bathroom renovated colonial is right where all the action is.  Across the street from Llewellyn Park, steps to the Main Street Hardware Store and the heart of downtown West Orange you can walk to restaurants, entertainment, the West Orange Public Library and Thomas Edison National Park.

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                           

The house boasts a NEW open concept kitchen with stainless steel appliances, granite counters and marble tile floors.  NEW bathrooms; one with a Jacuzzi tub and updated plumbing & electric are just a few of the features this home has to offer.  Not to be overlooked is a deep back yard to house all of your friends and family for warm weather BBQ’s and entertaining.  Did I mention low taxes?

Come to the Open House this weekend on Saturday 1/6 from 12 – 2, or give me a call to set up a private showing; I’d love to show you around! 

Queens to West Orange - We're 2 minutes from the New York bus!

We moved to this house about 10 months ago from Queens. I grew up in New Jersey but my husband was born and raised in Queens so this move was a big leap of faith for him. We had been renting, started looking to buy, and quickly discovered that the $450,000 we were considering spending on a 1-bedroom in Queens could get us a house in New Jersey.

We started looking in Maplewood and South Orange because they were on a train line, but Lina showed us some homes in West Orange in the same price range that were bigger and had more updates. Our house is 2 minutes from the New York bus – it’s super easy and in some ways more reliable than the train!

I love being in West Orange. Getting around is simple. The schools are great. There are plenty of parks and activities – including the zoo! – and we are constantly taking our two young children with us on hikes in South Mountain or Eagle Rock Reservations, or out to visit farms in New Jersey.

I love the proximity to Livingston and Montclair – two places we often go out to dinner or to shop. I love our neighborhood, which happens to be full of people like us – young families who moved from the city for more space. But mostly, I love walking into a house with a new kitchen and a finished basement. I’m excited to come home every day.

My friends come to visit from the city and they are shocked at the amount of space we have. I tell them, “You can have this too!”

 - Mary Kate, West Orange

NEW To The Market: 4 Old Salem Road, West Orange

Everything about 4 Old Salem Road is so inviting. From the pristine wood floors and elegant palette to the renovated kitchen with all new appliances. What I love about this home is how it feels built to welcome guests. Cozy fireplace. Light streaming through French doors. Wet bar in the finished basement – the type of family room that can truly grow with a family. This house has great “flow” -- everything feeling easy and just as it should be – and when you “flow” out to the backyard, it feels as if you’ve entered a whole new living space. This is truly one of the loveliest back patios I’ve ever seen, expansive and intimate all at once.

The neighborhood – St. Cloud – has its own perks: the 45-minute bus to Manhattan stops two blocks away, and the free West Orange jitney brings you to the train station from the corner.

Best of all, this home sits on one of the most desirable blocks in the neighborhood, a short drive to New Jersey’s most elegant shopping mall and a short walk to one of the most impressive features of Essex County – the newly reconstructed South Mountain Recreation Complex, which includes skating at South Mountain Arena, mini golf, the Turtleback Zoo, a gorgeous waterfront promenade, boating, restaurants, and then miles of hiking in South Mountain Reservation.


Oh, did I mention the screened-in garden porch, central AC and attached garage? This house has it all going on.

Come to the Open House Sunday, September 3rd, or we can set up a private viewing by appointment. Call me! I’d love to take you around!

New To Market: 152 Forest Hill Rd. West Orange

This 4-bedroom renovated English colonial has so much going on inside. Majestic stone fireplace in the living room. New kitchen and formal dining room. Cozy den and a completely finished basement. Plus, a master bedroom suite with fireplace and dressing room. I happen to adore the third-floor retreat – a paneled enclave with a view of New York City.

There’s a lot to love about living in West Orange. This home is very close to two of my favorite hiking destinations: Eagle Rock Reservation and South Mountain Reservation. When I hit the ridge of Eagle Rock, I look out onto the Manhattan skyline and marvel at how lucky we are here to be so close to New York City and still be able to spend hours hiking trails that are literally a few minutes drive from our house.

This home has the added bonus of having quick access to Route 280 and is steps away from the commuter jitney. It’s also an easy drive to the nearly new South Mountain Recreation Complex (zoo, ice-skating, mini-golf, paddle boats, zip line, and reservoir walkway), an expansive Whole Foods Market and the inimitable Short Hills Mall.

If you’d like to see this or other homes in the area, please call or text! I love showing people around!  (973) 809-5277