It’s time for the eternal query: is the anticipation of the Thanksgiving meal actually better than the meal itself? We will find out next week. It’s been another busy week in Essex County and we’ve got all the news to get you caught up. Among the highlights: 10 Montclair High School seniors sign commitments to collegiate sports; the mayor of Bloomfield resigns to take a seat in the state legislature; and a restored Victorian mansion in Newark has reopened to the public. Read on for more news from Montclair, Bloomfield, and beyond for the week ending November 19th, 2023.
The Montclair Girl’s Holiday Shopping Deals Guide 2023
It’s that time of year again here in Montclair + Essex County — the holiday season is approaching and there’s no better way to cross some names off your gift-giving list AND get into the festive spirit than by shopping at local North Jersey businesses. To help make it easy, we’ve put together a holiday shopping guide so our readers can get acquainted with local businesses in the North Jersey area. Keep reading to find out more about where to shop for local gifts, support small businesses, eat, drink, be merry, and ring in the holiday season.
Montclair High School Student Athletes Commit to Collegiate Competition
Ten Montclair High School seniors have signed letters of intent to play sports at the Division I level in college, according to Patch. November 8th, 2023 was National Signing Day, the deadline for students to make their commitments to collegiate athletics. Sports represented include men’s and women’s lacrosse; swimming; and crew.
There’s a New Juice Bar Coming to Montclair
Photo Credit: Ximena Sofia Bravo
Newcomer Papaya Organic Juice Bar is joining the Montclair wellness scene at 131 Pine Street. Owner Ximena Sofia Bravo has big plans for the little building, which is a former contractor’s office. Papaya Organic Juice Bar aims to open in spring 2024, with a focus on promoting a healthy lifestyle within the Montclair community through a variety of locally sourced and organic options. Read on to learn more about the new juice bar coming to Montclair.
Luxury Apartment Building in Newark Designated for Affordable Housing Ready for Applications
A new apartment building in Newark is accepting applications for residents who qualify for affordable housing. Per Patch, the building is called Art of Newark and is located at 44 Irvine Turner Boulevard. Residents can apply online now.
The DRIP Fitness Studio Coming to Caldwell
The DRIP, a fitness establishment known for its holistic approach to workouts, is expanding to a second location at 333 Bloomfield Avenue in Caldwell, New Jersey. The three-story flagship location at 44 Hudson Place in Hoboken has gained popularity for its unique fitness services and community-oriented approach. Co-founders of The DRIP, Olivia LaCaruba and Samantha Green, are set to open the second location in Caldwell, New Jersey in January 2024. Read on for more details about The DRIP fitness studio opening its second location in Caldwell, New Jersey.
City of Montclair Enlists Help of Essex County to Reduce Speed Limits
The Montclair Town Council has appealed to Essex County in an effort to reduce speed limits within town boundaries. Per Patch, the County sets speed limits on county roads, and Montclair is asking for a 25-mile-per-hour speed limit. The City is also asking for reduced speed limits near schools, at 20 miles per hour, on county roads near school.
Newark Veterans Honored at Essex County Celebration
View this post on Instagram
As part of Essex County’s Veterans Day celebrations, several residents were honored for their service, according to Patch. Two veterans in particular were selected for the Essex County Community Star Awards. Newark resident Dr. Margaret Stevens was an Army medic and recognized for her commitment to community efforts. Khadijah Walker, also a Newark resident, served in the Air Force and was recognized for her support of fellow veterans.
Bloomfield Mayor to Resign, Take Seat at Statehouse
Looking forward to welcoming Michael Venezia, representing the 34th District, to our caucus!@michaelvenezia #LD34 #essex #Belleville #Bloomfield #Orange #EastOrange #GlenRidge #Nutley pic.twitter.com/LSBtMXl2jk
— NJ Assembly Democrats (@njassemblydems) November 8, 2023
Per Patch, Bloomfield Mayor Michael Venezia will resign in order to take his seat in the state Legislature. He is the projected winner for the seat representing the 34th district, which includes Belleville, Bloomfield, East Orange, Glen Ridge, Nutley, and Orange. The local Democratic County Committee will submit three names to the town council, which will choose one to be appointed mayor until the next election.
The Home Collective of Compass Kicks Off 3rd Annual Business Gingerbread Contest
The Home Collective, a real estate team with Compass in Montclair, led by Karin Diana, Liz Arenberg, Amy Myers, and Laura Amin, is hosting its third annual town-wide business Gingerbread House Decorating Contest, co-sponsored by Ryan Barry of NJ Lenders. Last year’s winner, Bangz Salon + Wellness Spa, won $500 to Toni’s Kitchen which provides food to our neighbors in ways that respect their dignity, improve health, and foster independence. The Home Collective was thrilled to inspire so many great Gingerbread Houses. Each business is tasked with creating its unique gingerbread house which will be displayed in the shops. The public will have the opportunity to vote by December 31st, 2023, on-site or through The Home Collective’s website.
Montclair Students Pack 100+ Backpacks for Unhoused Community Members
Over 100 backpacks filled with supplies were recently packed by students at Lacordaire Academy to be donated to the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army will then give the backpacks out when there is no room at the shelter. According to Patch, the supplies were donated by the school community, and there were enough surplus items to make sanitation kits for another school initiative, the Bridges Outreach program.
Holiday Lights Return to Essex County’s Turtle Back Zoo
View this post on Instagram
According to Patch, the popular holiday lights display at Turtle Back Zoo will return beginning Friday, November 17th. Admission to the event is free, and it will run through December 31st, 2023. Read more about this incredible display in MG’s piece here.
Restored Victorian Mansion in Newark Open to Public Beginning This Weekend
View this post on Instagram
The Ballantine House, a Victorian mansion located at 43 Washington Street, will reopen to the public this weekend after being closed for renovations for two years. According to the New York Times, the building has been used as an annex of the Newark Museum of Art. The first displays at the renovated Ballantine House will be reflective of the home’s history and past residents.
How to Grow on Instagram (from our founder)
If you’ve ever wanted to take your social media account to the next level then 10K in 50 days is for you. The Local Girl Media Group’s founder, Jen Tripucka, created this after growing two of our new sister brands (@theasburygirl and @thecatskillsgirl) from scratch using specific tips and tricks daily— it’s a tried-and-true method, not luck. 10K in 50 Days is A 50-day, step-by-step e-book guide and roadmap to growing your brand’s Instagram organically to 10K in less than two months, with tips and tricks daily — tried and true. Click here to get the guide with a Black Friday discount through Sunday, November 19th.
Friendsgiving Turkey Giveaway in Newark
View this post on Instagram
On Tuesday, November 21st, United Community Corporation will host a Friendsgiving food giveaway in advance of Thanksgiving. Per Patch, the event will be from 1PM to 3PM at the West Side Park Community Center, located at 600 South 17th Street in Newark. The event is open to the public, and pre-registration is required. Click here to register.
Stop-Work Order Issued in Montclair on Woodman Field Construction
Despite work beginning on Monday, a stop-work order was issued by the Township of Montclair on Wednesday at Woodman Field in Montclair, according to Montclair Local. There has been an ongoing dispute between residents and the school board about the scope of work to improve the field. Montclair Schools Superintendent Dr. Jonathan Ponds said at a meeting Wednesday evening that the board was working with its attorneys and wanted to find a solution that would keep student safety at the forefront.
Newark Artists Receive Mini-Grants
A total of $57,000 in grants has been awarded to 20 Newark artists as part of Newark’s Art Start program, according to Patch. The grant recipients represent a variety of media, including dance, literature, and visual arts. The program has awarded over $600,000 in mini-grants since it began in 2001.
Montclair Town Council Approves Contracts to Support Unhoused Community Members
The Montclair Town Council has approved three contracts to provide services for unhoused community members. Per Patch, two of the contracts were between the Township of Montclair and the Montclair Emergency Services for Hope (MESH), a faith-based organization committed to serving Montclair’s most vulnerable residents, to provide shelter and emergency shelter. The third contract is between the Township of Montclair and Essex County Division of Community Action to provide temporary shelter as part of the township’s Code Blue program.
14 Arrested on Outstanding Warrants in Newark Arrest Sweep
View this post on Instagram
Newark Police arrested 14 people with outstanding warrants during an arrest sweep earlier this month, according to Patch. On November 8th and 9th, Newark Police Division’s Fugitive Apprehension Team assisted the Major Crimes Division in completing the sweep. Charges for those involved ranged from robbery and assault to making terroristic threats.
Schedule Changes for NJ Transit
This past Sunday, new NJ TRANSIT Rail schedules took effect on all lines.
— NJ TRANSIT (@NJTRANSIT) November 14, 2023
NJ Transit announced new rail schedules, effective Sunday, November 12th. According to a press release, all 12 NJ Transit lines will be impacted. Riders are encouraged to visit NJ Transit’s website or app for more information.
Walnut Street Bagels + Co. Opens in Former Harvey’s Handrolled Bagels Location
Over the past year, Harvey’s Handrolled Bagels at 98 Walnut Street in Montclair has been a popular spot for locals and visitors alike. The bagel shop owner, Matt Harvey, had a passion for the art of bagel making and brought his vision to life during the pandemic. As of November 3rd, the bagel shop announced its closure on Instagram to take effect on November 10th and was replaced with a new bagel concept, Walnut Street Bagels and Co. Read on for what we know about the closure and the new bagel concept that replaced the spot.
Reader Submissions Welcome to The Montclair Girl’s Event Calendar
MG readers can now add their own events to our community calendar. Using this link, readers can use the form to submit event information and images that will populate our site.