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Saturday Night in Montclair

dance

I think the scariest thing for those of us that hail from the city is that the suburbs can't possibly provide that same level of excitement - that feeling that anything could happen at any moment. And, in a way, that's true. Montclair is not, and never will be, Manhattan.

But if you're on or around Church Street this cool spring Saturday night, you might feel Manhattan getting a run for its money. The cobblestone street will be silly with people showing up for, or leaving, a movie at the Clairidge (Montclair's answer to the Angelika...truly). Couples with dogs will be eating dinner under the big umbrella in front of Raymond's. Families of five will be splitting off for cupcakes or frozen yogurt or salted caramel macarons from Le Petit Parisien.

There will be live music on the corner, as there is every Saturday night once the weather warms. And on this particular Saturday night, if you walk around the corner and stroll for three minutes on South Fullerton you'll come upon a free, outdoor performance in front of St Luke's Church - an open-to-the-public dance rehearsal of a work in progress by choreographer Robert Mark Burke as part of the Dance on the Lawn project.

I know... I didn't even get into all the shopping and people watching to be done. With all due respect, take that, New York.

Photo: Tony Turner

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.

Another Reason to Move to Montclair: Montclair Film Festival Hosts Richard Gere!

mff2015_poster-663x1024Even though the Montclair Film Festival is a relative newcomer to town (premiering, as it were, only a few years ago) it fits so seamlessly into the culture and sensibility of Montclair, it feels like it's been a part of the town forever. Each year, local venues turn over their auditoriums to accommodate the week-long film event and people show up in droves. Last year, I took a day off of work to see three films, walking from one venue to the next.

Besides having the opportunity to see great films (and the excuse to do so mid-week!), the festival creates an even livelier than usual vibe in the community - you can feel the excitement and energy everywhere you turn. They just announced this year's guest panels, which will include conversations with Richard Gere (moderated by Stephen Colbert), Stanley Nelson, Patrick Wilson, Barbara Kopple, Jonathan Alter, and Bobcat Goldthwait.

Montclair Film Festival 2015 takes place May 1-10; tickets go on sale mid-April. You can attend screenings as a member or non-member. It's just one of the many draws of the Montclair area - a Sundance all our own!

If you want to talk movies, or houses, or how great it is to live in a walkable suburb, please do not hesitate to call me: 973-809-5277

Montclair, NJ Wins Main Street Award!

johari

Montclair Center

Well, this is big news: Montclair Center has been named one of three award-winning "Main Streets" of 2015 by the National Main Street Center! According to its website, "The Great American Main Street Award winners have succeeded in making their towns an exciting place to live, work, play and visit."

Award winners distinguish themselves by their success in preserving the historic nature of the area while still making it vital, vibrant and appealing to the community. I don't think anyone here is surprised that Montclair has been recognized for that particular feat. Whether it's the cobblestone charm of Church Street or the grandeur of a Masonic temple turned day spa, most of us continually marvel at the beauty that surrounds us here. This video, created by Notice Pictures, is a truly lovely tribute to all that is magical about our walkable suburb. If it piques your interest and you'd like to hear me wax poetic about Montclair, I'm always ready to oblige.

 

201 Bellevue Ave, Montclair - A Most Walkable Address

Remember that old saying about the three most important elements in real estate being location, location, and location? My newest listing exemplifies that, because it's close to so much of what makes Montclair special. This three-bedroom condo at 201 Bellevue Ave. is literally steps from the shops and restaurants of Upper Montclair, not to mention beautiful Anderson Park. For families with school-age kids, several elementary and middle schools are within walking distance. And commuters to New York City can walk to both bus stops and a train station.

The inside is bright and spacious, consisting of 2,000 square feet on two floors. Special features include hardwood floors, a washer/dryer, sleek stainless steel kitchen appliances, and central air conditioning . This home also boasts safety features such as a security system and an intercom, as well as smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and a separate fire alarm system.

As a New Jersey Realtor, I focus on homes in walkable communities such as Montclair and Maplewood.  201 Bellevue Ave. may actually be the most walkable property I've ever listed. Don't hesitate to contact me; I'd love to show it to you.

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Comments

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