Living In Montclair

Top 10 Walkable Places in Montclair

1. The train station (any one of the six)

2.Watchung Plaza for a dozen bagels on Sunday morning

3.The farmer's market on a Saturday in June for local rhubarb and asparagus

4.Tierney's Tavern on the way home from work for a retro burger and beer (no phone, no credit cards!)

5.The Wellmont Theater on a Saturday night to see David Byrne, Kathy Griffith or Rosie O'Donnell

6.Tinga Tacqueria on Monday and Tuesday nights when kids eat for $2

7.The "all children" playground in Edgemont Park on a weekday afternoon in spring

8.Anderson Park on the way to work for early morning Tai Chi

9.American Royal Hardware (aka Mr. Charlie's) for that whatchamadoohickey that you'll never find at Home Depot

10. Van Vleck House and Garden for a leafy respite

Crossing the Freedom Threshold; Staying in Montclair

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I just came across this graph of the Freedom Threshold and thought it provided a great visual for what I've been telling my clients for years: investing in this community is often more than just an investment in their childrearing years. The Freedom Threshold is the point where you no longer need to live somewhere for family obligations (say, a great school system) and can now live wherever you choose. The graph shows age 61 as the point at which most cross the threshold.

In addition to being a town of nuclear families (about 30 percent of the families here are raising children), Montclair is home to many households of young adults (because of our reasonably priced rental housing and easy access to New York City) as well as older adults. People here don't necessarily move out of town when their kids have grown and left home, and those who stay have plenty to fill their days.

With two movie theaters, a matinee club, an art museum, a smorgasbord of art classes, a vibrant and affordable adult school, performance spaces for dance, drama, opera and music, dance classes, meditation classes, exercise studios, book groups, discussion series, writing groups, garden clubs, knitting circles, martial arts, volunteer opportunities, tennis courts, three town pools, manicured parks, woodsy trails, and restaurants to suit every imaginable palette, this town offers almost everything you could want short of a hot, sandy beach - and much of it easy to access on foot.

May in Montclair!

magnoliaMay in Montclair is hard to describe...but I'm going to try. First, it's incredibly beautiful. The magnolia trees and all the fruit trees are in bloom, so it's pink and bright, and when the wind blows, petals rain down like confetti. Gardens blossom, parks fill up, people stroll leisurely after their dinner. But that's just the beginning.

May in Montclair is a "thing." So much so, there's a web page devoted to it. There are so many happenings and events it's almost impossible to keep track of them all. For example, there's an Herb Sale at the Montclair Historical Society, a Plant Sale at Van Vleck House, Hawk Watching at Mills Reservation, a May Day performance at Watchung Plaza, a Digital Scavenger Hunt for teens, a performance of "Hair" at the college, a Walking Tour, a Street Fair, a Jewelry Making Workshop at the art museum, an Author Event at the library, and that's just one weekend!

The first weekend in May also opens the Montclair Film Festival as well as the high school production of "Rent." And May 8th marks the opening ceremony of the Presby Memorial Iris Gardens, a public garden displaying a world-renowned collection of irises. This list goes on and on.

If you're visiting Montclair this month, to look at houses or just to get to know the area, I urge you to take a little extra time to see for yourself what May in Montclair is like. It's really pretty magical.