The Sue Adler Team is excited to report that Summit was recently ranked among the 100 best towns for families in the state of New Jersey! Summit was ranked 60th among more than the 500 municipalities evaluated for the list, compiled by New Jersey Family Magazine.
The magazine didn’t consider towns with populations less than 1,500 for eligibility. New Jersey Family looked at the entire state and then compiled the list by measuring each municipality against several factors, such as school district quality, crime rates, affordability, commute times, percentage of families who live there, access to hospitals and general lifestyle factors. The magazine then developed an algorithm based on the data to determine the ranking.
We’re not shocked to hear this news, because we’ve always viewed Summit as an ideal town for families. Like Chatham and New Providence, which also ranked highly on the list, Summit has schools consistently ranked best in the state. It has a friendly, neighborly atmosphere that extends from the residential parts to the busy downtown shops. And while you may not want to leave Summit once you get to know it, the Summit Train Station offers super fast and convenient rides to the surrounding New Jersey Metropolitan area and New York City.
For recreation, Summit has seemingly limitless possibilities. Families can walk through the beautiful gardens and wooded trails of the vast Reeves-Reed Arboretum and enjoy fun seasonal events at the park, such as Daffodil Day in April. Kids and adults alike can also attend a wide variety of art classes at the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey. Best of all, downtown Summit has a wide variety of restaurants and shops for the whole family.
Within the next few months, several new retailers will open shop at The Gateway in South Orange. The Gateway is a mixed-use luxury residential and retail development at 9 W. South Orange Avenue.
The building features 57 one and two bedroom apartments and 9,100 square feet of retail space, divided into three spaces.
On May 1, Mara’s Bakery and Cafe will open and is currently hiring. “It’s almost done,” said Ed Ayuso, principal of EEA Industries, LLC, the property’s developer. An official opening will take place later in May. Mara’s offers delicious fresh-baked desserts and house-roasted coffee and will surely be a welcome addition to the South Orange community.
D&I Fitness is also moving to a larger space in Gateway by the end of June. This location will offer teen fitness, speed and agility training, sports performance training, as well as group and private training. The gym will have state-of-the-art exercise equipment such as turf track and a Muay Thai kickboxing ring. The old location on Scotland Road will become D&I Kids.
Y Gallery Salon, a high-end unisex hair salon, will be the newest addition to the space. Ayuso says that the shop owners, who also run a location in Manhattan’s SoHo, recently moved to South Orange and noticed that the town was turning into a hot spot for the stylish. He added: “South Orange is a place that can warrant this type of salon. We need it [and] we don’t want to lose people to businesses in Maplewood and Millburn, when they can shop and stay right here.”
“The Three Musketeers” is coming to Chatham Playhouse! Based on the classic novel of the same name by Alexander Dumas and adapted by Tony award-winning playwright, Ken Ludwig, “The Three Musketeers” is an exciting story about adventure, heroes, treachery, honor, and the bonds of friendship. The play hits the stage May 1 and performances will run through May 16.
The story is set in 1625 France, where a young nobleman named D’Artagnan goes to Paris with his sister, Sabine, to become a musketeer, one of the king’s elite bodyguards. He soon learns that the cunning Cardinal Richelieu broke up the group and plans to usurp the throne. D’Artagnan and his sister team up with the three musketeers, Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, to protect the King and Queen, and all of France in an exciting, epic adventure.
Audience members who know the tale of the Three Musketeers may come to the play with the expectation that it will be exactly like the book, but director Mike Burdick explains in a statement why this stage adaptation offers something new. “In Chatham’s production, you will see all the best parts of the story you know and love – the daring action, good vs evil, the highest nobility with just the right amount of improper behavior mixed in – but also so much more. A clever humor has breathed fresh life into this journey, along with the addition of a bold new character who will increase the energy and enjoyment of the story overall. But fair warning … in this production … the audience will be part of the adventure! All for one and one for fun!”
The cast that will bring 1625 France to life includes Mitchell Vargas from North Bergen as d’Artagnan, Scott Costine from Rockaway as Athos, Glen D. Post from Boonton as Porthos, Matthew Strool from Bridgewater as Aramis, Caroline Cromwell from Madison as Sabine, Kristina Hernandez from Westfield as Milady, Frank Bläeuer from Hewitt as Cardinal, Rebecca Ryan from Berkeley Heights as Constance/Elise, Nick Colacino as Rochefort/Stanley and Ed Faver as Treville/Fache are both from Roselle, Chip Prestera from Stirling as King Louis/Basille, Corinne Chandler from Woodbridge as Queen/d’Artagnan’s Mother, Steve Ruskin from Chatham as D’Artagnan’s Father/Ravanche and Sean Day from Union City as Duke of Buckingham/Debris.
Performance dates are May 1-2, 8-9, and 15-16 at 8 p.m. and May 10 at 3 p.m. All performances are at the Chatham Playhouse, 23 North Passaic Ave. Tickets are $25 for adults and $23 for youth/senior.
Tickets can be purchased at the box office or online. To access the theater’s online ticketing service, simply go to ccp.ticketleap.com. The service is available 24 hours a day, and tickets can be purchased online up until three hours prior to curtain on the day of a performance. Chatham Playhouse’s box office will begin accepting phone reservations on April 21 at 973-635-7363.
Teachers at Madison Schools recently received a generous grant from the Madison Education Foundation (MEF) totaling more than $17,000. The grants will help students at nearly all levels in the area.
According to the report, elementary schools will receive a number of improvements. Several classrooms will have improved libraries that offer students more thorough reading material at appropriate levels. Clay used for special projects was also given to all elementary school art classes, and Fit Deck Cards were given to K-5 physical education classes, which include exercises from Yoga to routine based on those used in the Navy.
With the help of the grants, a group of 200 Madison Middle Schoolers will be able to go on a class trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The foundation issued the grant because last year’s trip was a huge success.
“With the current events in Iraq and Syria, most notably in the ancient cities of Nimrud, Nineveh and Hatra, the opportunity to see ancient Mesopotamian artifacts is becoming more and more rare. These events have been discussed at length in our classrooms as students have developed a connection with these ancient people,” Erik Lih, seventh grade social studies teacher at MJS, said in a release. “With this new knowledge of a once unfamiliar culture, our students have become extremely passionate about the preservation and protection of these ancient artifacts. Because of MEF’s continued support, our students will be able to experience numerous Mesopotamian cultures as well as the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans at one of the world’s premier museums.”
Madison High School students will also reap the benefits of the grants with new Hominin Skulls for biology classes, to help them to better understand human evolution. Biology classes will also receive dynamic Veriner Probeware, which allows students to gather data on PH, temperature, oxygen, carbon dioxide and turbidity during lab experiments.
On Sunday, April 19, the annual Millburn Street Fair will take over Millburn Avenue, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission and parking are free. Vehicular traffic will be blocked for the duration of the festivities, so bring your walking shoes and a smile.
With over 150 vendors, artists, merchants, and crafters lining both sides of Millburn Avenue and Spring Street, this fair will be well worth the visit. Along with the variety of exhibitors and booths, there will be plenty of attractions for children (or children at heart), including inflatable rides, pony rides, a petty zoo, clowns, games, and jugglers. All fair-goers will also be able to enjoy an international selection of foods and live music throughout the day.
At 11 a.m., D.J. John will start an outdoor dance party in lot No. 5 outside the municipal building, followed by a performance by the Fine Line Band, who have entertained crowds throughout the state at several outdoor festivals.
The Paper Mill Playhouse will also host a free performance at the fair between 4 and 5 p.m. WDHA-FM and WMTR-AM radio stations will be present while awarding prizes until supplies run out.
The festival is sponsored by the Millburn/Short Hills Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber also announced that Investors Bank is the Premier Sponsor of the Event.
For more information, call the Office of Street Fairs at 908-654-1400 or the Millburn-Short Hills Chamber of Commerce at 973-379-1198.
The Sue Adler Team has compiled a list of some of the best places to dine in Summit!
Summit Diner: Set in an old railroad car, the Summit Diner embodies the true New Jersey Diner experience, right down to its delicious, reasonably priced, and filling food. Customers particularly gush about its breakfast menu, and claim that their omelettes and breakfast sandwiches are the best they’ve ever had. With generous, tasty servings and an unforgettable atmosphere, Summit Diner is the perfect place to start your day right. Cash only!
Food. This trendy restaurant is famous throughout town for its amazing weekend brunch menu. Food. re-magines traditional breakfast dishes, and adds flare to diner fare. For example, what would be a simple plate of pancakes at any other restaurant becomes lemon ricotta pancakes at food. This creative approach doesn’t stop there: coffee is served in colored thermoses for each person, and there are plenty of teas, coffees, and cold drinks available at their bar. But if you’re looking to order an alcoholic beverage, bring your own. Food. is BYOB. Menu
Peppercorn: This local diner is a great place to bring the whole family for a comfortable, filling, and delicious breakfast. Like the Summit Diner, it offers classic breakfast dishes such as eggs cooked in all ways, bacon, and pancakes, with comparable prices and quality, but if you’re traveling in a larger group, this place will more likely have enough space to sit everyone. A Summit classic! Menu
Hoboken Farms Sandwich Shop: If you eat lunch on the go but don’t want to sacrifice quality for convenience, this take-out sandwich shop is your best bet in town. Their menu has plenty of offerings for meat eaters, vegetarians, and even those who go gluten-free, and all are made with tasty, fresh ingredients. Even the bread is baked on premises! To top it off, the sandwich shop recently added a juice bar with a menu packed with healthy and desserty smoothies to satisfy whatever you crave. Menu
Pizza Vita: Many people who have eaten at Pizza Vita will readily assert that it has the best pizza in town. Based on the celebrated thin crust pizza of Naples, Italy, the pies here are topped with ingredients at once immediately appealing and also surprising in taste. For example, the Veggie Jackson includes homemade mozzarella, kale, eggplant, mushrooms, caramelized onions, and truffle oil. Great food, plus friendly service and stylish atmosphere make Pizza Vita an idea dinner spot. Don’t forget to BYOB and save room for their coconut cream pie. Menu
The Eatery: This new restaurant just opened on the second floor of the Strand Mall, and offers healthy and yummy American food. Whether you’re coming in for a healthy muffin, a farm-fresh salad, or a savory slider, their menu will satisfy your stomach. If you’re in a rush, try one of their many amazing to-go meals, and we suspect it won’t be long before you come back for more. Menu
Huntley Taverne: Despite its spaciousness, this neighborhood hot spot has the cozy atmosphere of a ski lodge, with high ceilings and a roaring fireplace. Intimate lighting and attentive wait staff make this a great place for a date night or any other special occasion. That said, with food as delicious as the truffle oil mac and cheese or salmon entree, you may want to come here for no occasion other than your perennial craving for an amazing meal and perhaps a refreshing cocktail. Menu
Bombay Bistro: This little restaurant in the heart of town adds a modern, American twist to traditional Indian cuisine. Many regulars recommend the chicken tikka masala and others swear by the chicken curry. All seasonings, sauces, and breads are made fresh and from scratch in an open kitchen on the premises, which has a sleek, chic ambiance. This is not your typical Indian restaurant, but a contemporary, creative take on old favorites. Menu
Roots Steakhouse: If you’re looking for an upscale dining experience and a big juicy steak, look no further than Roots. Even carnivores from New York City admit that they travel to Summit to sink their teeth into the exceptional filet mignon and prime ribs offered here. Roots is one of the fancier and pricier dining destinations in town, with waiters and busboys dressed in professional attire, all of them knowledgeable about the perfectly curated menu. Prepare for a dinner you won’t forget. Menu
The National Association for Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation once again named the South Orange-Maplewood school district as one of the “Best Communities in Music Education!”
The Foundation recognized a total of 388 districts for their commitment to and excellence in music education with a BCME designation. The BCME program evaluated the districts based on staffing of highly-qualified teachers, funding, access to music instruction, and commitment to standards. This is the third time the district has received this honor; it also earned it in 2009 and 2012.
The Sue Adler Team isn’t surprised to learn about the district’s recognition in music education, as we just ran a story about Maplewood Community Music’s upcoming performance, ‘Winds and Brass and Drums, Oh My!” which is sure to be a huge hit. What struck us about this production, as well as others in the Maplewood-South Orange area, is that it is not only committed to entertaining town residents, but to fostering a community of passionate musical performers of all ages. Best of all, different age groups at varying levels are encouraged to work together through performances like ‘Winds and Brass and Drums, Oh My!’ and learn from one another.
The NAMM Foundation (the National Association of Music Merchants) advances active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs, according to its website. The BCME program singles out districts for outstanding efforts by teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders who have made music education part of the core curriculum.
In the month of April, South Orange residents will be able to pick up free tree seedlings as part of the New Jersey Tree Recovery Campaign. The South Orange Team is participating to encourage the planting and growth of new trees after Hurricane Sandy decimated so many. The Green Team suggests residents sign up soon, as there is a limited number of seedlings. You can sign up at SignUpGenius.
On Saturday, April 11, anyone who signed up can pick up their tree seedlings at the Gazebo on Sloan Street (near the South Orange Train Station). Available on a first-come, first-serve basis, the seedlings come with instructions on how to store, care for, and plant them. Guides will be available to help participants figure out where to plant the seedlings, keeping in mind their future, full size. These seedlings should be planted within two days after pick up, before the roots dry out.
The goal of the Tree Recovery Campaign is to distribute over 500,000 tree seedlings to New Jersey residents over the course of the next five years. It is a joint effort between South Orange, New Jersey State Forestry Services, New Jersey Soil Conservation Districts, Sustainable Jersey, Arbor Day Foundation, Brothers International, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Wyndham Vacation Resorts, and FedEx.
Interested residents can also find more information on the South Orange Village website under “Tree Recovery Campaign.”
This week, New Jersey Family made the list of New Jersey’s best towns for families, the first of its kind to evaluate New Jersey towns based on factors that improve family livability. The list was compiled based on school quality, affordability, and crime rates. New Providence ranked #8 in the state, and Chatham #9, with Pennington taking first place out of the 565 municipalities evaluated.
It’s no surprise to the Sue Adler Team that New Providence and Chatham made this prestigious list.
In New Providence, schools are consistently ranked the best in the state, neighborhoods have a friendly atmosphere, and commuting is convenient. For recreation, the town boasts an ice-skating rink, a pool suitable in size for the Olympics, eight athletics fields and eight tennis courts, three parks, and a community calendar full of events for the whole family. Some of highlights of the year include Fishing Derby and Independence Day Celebration. With a recently completed $1.5 million renovation, the downtown area is thriving with local, independent businesses, such as Zita’s Homemade Ice Cream, the 48-year old Prestige Diner, and Barth’s Market, and third generation butcher. With all these assets and attractions, it’s no wonder New Providence is seen as a great place to raise a family.
Like New Providence, Chatham has some of the best schools in the state, and the Library of the Chathams is a valuable resource for students and residents alike. Commuting to New York City and the surrounding New Jersey metropolitan area is made easy with efficient railroad, bus, and highway systems. Chatham offers a number of cultural and recreational opportunities to its residents, including historical art, garden, and musical groups, as well as the National Wildlife Preserve (or Great Swamp), Morristown National Historical Park, and The Gravity Vault, an indoor rock climbing facility. Downtown Chatham boasts a number of family-friendly restaurants, such as Gregorio’s and Restaurant Serenade.
View all the homes for sale in Chatham and New Providence here.
The Sue Adler Team is excited to report that restaurant week is coming to South Orange, from April 13th to the 19th. We’ve compiled a list of some of the best participating restaurants, so you can enjoy great food at great discounts.
For a full list of the participating businesses, click here.
Breakfast and Lunch:
Grid Iron Waffle Shop: The Grid Iron Waffle is no ordinary waffle. It is the waffle of your dreams. Whether you’re in the mood for something sweet, like their sugar or traditional Belgian waffles, or something savory, like their stuffed breakfast waffles, this little shop has you covered. These waffles can be stuffed as well as topped with a variety of delicious ingredients, all of your choosing, and they come with a side of eggs and potatoes! Even if you’re not in a waffle mood, Grid Iron has plenty of other amazing options: crepes, paninis, sandwiches, omellettes…You’ll want to eat all three meals here, but unfortunately, this place closes around 4 pm. So get in early. Menu
Inkosi Café: This stylish café not only has a relaxing atmosphere (complete with many comfy chairs) and cool décor, but delicious food to boot. Many customers say this is their favorite spot to hang out in town. Some swear by their salmon burger, others are dedicated ginger-chicken wrap fans. If you’re an early bird, check out their breakfast menu for plenty of classic and delicious options. Order a sandwich or a brunch special, as well as one of their amazing smoothies, plop down in a cushy couch, and relax! Menu
Falafel-y Yours: This neighborhood hotspot serves Middle-Eastern food that pulls from multiple cultures. Every meal starts with delicious pita and olives, and ends with a full and satisfied stomach. Established in 2013, the restaurant recently expanded to include a Morroccan Lounge with imported fabrics, lighting, and décor. Reservations are strongly encouraged, especially if you want to come by Thursday, Friday, or Saturday for to enjoy the belly-dancer performances and traditional Moroccan live music! Menu
Walia Ethiopian: Many people who have eaten at Walia – out of towners and locals alike – will tell you it is the best Ethiopian restaurant in North Jersey. Whether you are vegan, vegetarian or a carnivore, this place has a wide, mouth-watering selection of traditional Ethiopian dishes for you to dig into. With an intimate, casual atmosphere and friendly staff, Walia is the perfect spot for a big lunch and nice, hot cup of some of the best coffee in the region – also from Ethiopia. Menu
Tito’s Burritos: Tito’s offers tasty Mexican food in generous portions at affordable prices, with plenty of vegan and gluten-free options. Their quesadillas are enormous and their wings are considered by many to be the best in the state. The atmosphere is fun and friendly and a great place to hang with friends or family, but if you want to take your meal to go, Tito’s has your back. Best of all, they’re green! All their cups, utensils, to-go bags, and take out materials are made of corn and recycled materials. Menu
Pandang: If you’re in New Jersey and happen to also be in the mood for Thai cuisine or Sushi, you can’t do better than Pandang. When it comes to sushi, the special rolls are large, reasonably priced, and so beautifully arranged on the plate you almost won’t want to stop looking and start eating. But you should! All their sushi dishes are packed with exciting flavors. Their Thai options are equally rewarding to the palate. Menu
Boccone South: This quaint restaurant in the center of town offers authentic Italian food at its most exquisite. Its owner, Silvio, trained in Europe to learn the art of running a restaurant with perfect service, unforgettable food, and a romantic ambiance. Don’t forget to BYOB and save room for at least one of their many mouth-watering desserts. Menu
Papillon 25: Welcome to the area’s premier restaurant and martini bar. Remnicent of the supper clubs from the 40’s and 50’s, Papillion 25 offers American cuisine with a creole twist. The martini bar boasts a menu of more than 50 martinis and a wide selection of wines, which you can enjoy in their cote-d’azur lounge area. Best of all, live jazz every Thursday. Menu