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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Learn About Essex County's Railroad Heritage


Cedar Grove, New Jersey: A local historical society will continue in October with a program about the history of some of Essex County's former railroads. Historian and local resident Phil Jaeger willl discuss the remains of the Caldwell Railway, later known as he Caldwell Branch of the Erie Railroad, which traveled through Cedar Grove. The event is free and open to the public, and will be held at the Cedar Grove Public Library. The library is located at 1 Municipal Plaza, off of Pompton Avenue near Bowden Road. Part 1 of the lecture was held last week. Click here to learn more.

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Street Fair Returning to Caldwell


Caldwell, New Jersey: A Western Essex County tradition is returning again this October. The 24th annual Caldwell Street Fair will be held on Sunday, October 4th, from 12:00pm to 5:00pm. The event will be presented by The Rotary Club of the Caldwells and The Kiwanis Club of Caldwell–West Essex. There will be hundreds of booths, arts and crafts, a beer garden, rides, a 50/50, and live music. Over 30,000 people are expected to attend the fair, which will be held along Bloomfield Avenue. Sponsors include The Calandra Family, Caldwell University, ShopRite, Paul Miller, Cloverleaf Tavern, and Kearny Bank. Admission is free. Click here to learn more.

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Essex County Buildings Win AIA Awards


Newark, New Jersey: Two local buildings have won awards from the Newark and Suburban section of the New Jersey chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Two of the 2015 Design Awards gold medal winners include Wright & Robinson Architects, which is based in Glen Ridge, and Clawson Architects, which is based in Maplewood. Wright & Robinson won for the porch restoration at Montclair's historic Harry Fenn House, and Clawson won for the Seamen's Church Institute of the International Seafarers' Center at Port Newark. The Newark and Suburban Section serves New Jersey's Essex, Union, Morris, and Warren Counties.

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-Information Submitted by AIA-

Branch Brook Park Skating Center to Hold Adult Night


Newark, New Jersey: Essex County's only roller skating rink has announced that it will hold several upcoming events. The Branch Brook Park Skating Center will hold the 1st Thursday Adult Night, beginning at 9:00pm on Thursday, October 1st and concluding at 2:00am on Friday, October 2nd. The event is only open to those 18 and older. Admission costs $13.00, and includes admission to the rink and a buffet dinner. Skate rental costs $4. There will be live music at the event from local DJs. The Branch Brook Park Roller Skating Center is located within the park near the corner of 7th and Clifton Avenues. Click here to learn more.

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Photo of the Day 9/30/15


This photo shows the former Sacred Heart Church on South Orange Avenue in Vailsburg, Newark.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Edo's Dessert Lounge to Hold Grand Opening Event


Newark, New Jersey: A new Downtown Newark bakery is getting ready for opening day. 

Edo's Dessert Lounge of Newark will be located in the Academy Building. It will serve pastries, coffee, tea, and other items, and there will be free wi-fi.

A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held on Friday, October 2nd at 4:00pm. Mayor Ras J. Baraka and Councilwoman Gayle Chaneyfield Jenkins will help cut the ribbon. There will be live music, and free desserts will be offered the following day.

This is the second location of Edo's. There is another location on Springfield Avenue in Maplewood. 

The Academy Building is located at 17 Academy Street, between Halsey and Broad Streets. 

Click here to learn more.

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Gelotti to Open Montclair Location


Montclair, New Jersey: An area frozen desserts chain will open a third location in Montclair. 

Gelotti of Montclair will be located at 571 Bloomfield Avenue between Maple Place and Midland Avenue. It will serve ice cream, ices, gelato, waffles, and crepes.

Gelotti's original location is in Paterson, Passaic County, and there is an additional location on Bloomfield Avenue in Caldwell. According to The Record, other ice cream shops serve Gelotti products. 

Talie's Attic and Merit Fine Wines were formerly located in the Montclair space. 

Click here to learn more.

Update 4/1/2016: The location is now open.

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125 Year Old South Orange House Could Be Replaced With Mixed Use Development


South Orange, New Jersey: South Orange may soon be home to another mixed use residential and commercial development. 

According to a public notice, 320 PC Valley, LLC is proposing to demolish the existing house and construct a building with 2,400 square feet of commercial space on the first floor and 22 apartments at 320 Valley Street, between 5th Street and Roland Avenue. The development would include parking.

320 Valley Street was built in 1890, and was sold for $550,000 in April to 320 PC Valley. Currently abandoned, the house is set back from the street, and is located next to another house. The neighboring house was listed for sale this month. 

Valley Street mostly consists of small businesses, restaurants, and auto repair shops. Ora Manor, a Seton Hall University student housing facility, is also located on Valley Street. The area is served by Coach USA's 31 bus to Maplewood and Newark, and the South Orange NJ Transit Station is nearby.

The Village of South Orange has seen an increase in development in the last ten years. The Avenue at South Orange on Vose Street opened in 2010, The Gateway at South Orange opened in 2014, and the Third and Valley development will open within the next few months. Another mixed use development has been proposed for the corner of South Orange Avenue and Church Street.

A public hearing regarding the development will be held on October 8th at 7:30pm at the South Orange Performing Arts Center.

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Weequahic Domino's to Close in Newark


Newark, New Jersey: A Newark fast food pizza store will close in the near future. 

When the Domino's location at 1003 Bergen Street, between Shepard and Mapes Avenues, closes, only three Domino's locations will be left in the city. However, two locally owned pizza restaurants are located in this section of the South Ward's Weequahic neighborhood.  

The restaurant is expected to close by December. Click here to learn more.

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Atlantic Health to Open South Orange Facility


South Orange, New Jersey: After five years, a mixed use residential and commercial building in South Orange will have a commercial tenant on the first floor. 

Village Family Medicine will be located at The Avenue at South Orange. The facility will be owned by Atlantic Health System, which also owns Overlook Medical Center in Summit, Union County. It will open in December.

Atlantic Health tried to open a facility at The Avenue in 2013, though South Orange Village zoning laws prohibited medical offices on the first floor of buildings at the time. The law changed in January, 2014.

The Avenue at South Orange's apartments opened in the spring of 2010. Until now, only the rental office for The Avenue at South Orange has been located on the first floor. A small row of stores was originally located at the site, but was torn down in 2006 to make way for The Avenue. 

The Avenue at South Orange is located at 7 Vose Avenue. 

Click here to learn more.

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Photo of the Day 9/29/15


This photo shows the Northfield Baptist Church in Livingston.

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Monday, September 28, 2015

Diamond Direct Foods to Open Newark Facility


Newark, New Jersey: A groundbreaking ceremony will be held in Newark's East Ward today for a new food distrubution facility. Mayor Ras J. Baraka, Councilman Augusto Amador, Deputy Mayor of Economic and Housing Development Baye Adofo-Wilson, and Newark Community Economic Development Corporation President and CEO Otis Rolley will help break ground on the Diamond Direct Foods facility. The new center will be located at 105 Avenue L, between Wilson Avenue and Margaretta Street, in an industrial area between the New Jersey Turnpike and Routes 1 and 9. According to the city, the 140,000 square foot facility will be the largest food commissary on the East Coast, and will supply food, ice, propane, and other services to food trucks.

This part of the East Ward has seen an increase in industrial activity in recent years. The Manischewitz Company moved one block away to Avenue K four years ago.

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New Dunkin' Donuts Locations Proposed for Newark


Newark, New Jersey: Dunkin' Donuts is planning to open two new locations in Newark. According to public records, new locations are proposed for the North and Central Wards of the city. 

The North Ward location would be located at 1385-1399 McCarter Highway/Route 21, between Gouverneur Street and 4th Avenue. The site is within the Newark Riverfront Development Area, near the Comfort Suites hotel.  It would feature a drive-thru window and exit onto 4th Avenue. An auto sales lot is currently located at the site. 

The Central Ward Dunkin' Donuts would be located at 254-266 Central Avenue, between Newark and Lock Streets, in the Broad Street Station Redevelopment Area. Like the North Ward location, this location would also feature a drive-thru window. Great Deals Auto Group is currently location at the site of the proposed location.

There are currently more Dunkin' Donuts locations in Newark than there are of any other restaurant chain. Nearly 30 locations operate in the city.

Click here and here to learn more.

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Two Hilton Hotels Proposed for Newark


Newark, New Jersey: Two new hotels may open soon in New Jersey's largest city. Home2 Suites and Homewood Suites, both part of Hilton Hotels, could open locations in Newark's South and Central Wards, according to Newark Planning Board records.

The Home2 Suites will be located at 618-650 Haynes Avenue, and will be owned by Shriji Hospitality, which also owns hotels in Delaware. Located near Newark Liberty International Airport, it will be five stories tall and will contain 136 rooms. There will be 184 parking spaces. It will be New Jersey's second Home2 Suites location. There is another hotel in Rahway, Union County.

According to the city, the Homewood Suites hotel is slated to open in a 12-story vacant office building at 1136-1166 Raymond Boulevard, at the corner of Commerce Streets, in Downtown Newark. Located in the Newark Plaza Urban Renewal Area, the building was formerly home to the Eric J. Feldman Child and Family Development Center. Homewood Suites' only other area location is in Cranford, Union County.

Click here to learn more.

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Federal Reserve VP to Speak in Vailsburg


Newark, New Jersey: A vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York will speak in the Vailsburg section of Newark's West Ward. James Orr will come to the next General Assembly meeting of the Unified Vailsburg Services Organization's Heart of Vailsburg Block Club. The meeting will be held on Wednesday, October 7th, from 6:00pm to 8:00pm at 42 Richelieu Terrace, between Fortuna and Cliff Streets. The theme of the event in 'Understanding Our Regional Economy: The Housing and Economic Climate in New York and New Jersey', and attendees will learn about the Federal Reserve and differences in career and housing trends between New Jersey and New York. To register, email pdaniels@uvso.org, or call (973) 374-2000 x. 1402. Click here to learn more.

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Virtual Tours Now Available of Newark Attractions


Newark, New Jersey: It is now easier to explore Downtown Newark, University Heights, and other city neighborhoods online. Google Maps updated the 'Google Street View' feature of the website this week. The feature allows users to take virtual 360-degree tours of streets, parks, and other areas online. Now, users can explore several Newark attractions. Riverfront Park, Hilton Newark Penn Station, Branch Brook Park, Military Park, Washington Park, Rutgers University at Newark, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and Weequahic Park are all part of the update. The images were captured using the Google Trekker.

Click here to learn more.

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-File Photo-

Photo of the Day 9/28/15


This photo shows the historic Northfield Baptist Cemetery in Livingston.

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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Photo of the Day 9/27/15


This photo shows Bloomfield Avenue in the Montclair Center Business District.

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Saturday, September 26, 2015

Photo of the Day 9/26/15


This building is located off Bloomfield Avenue in Montclair.

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Friday, September 25, 2015

Ruby Bridges to Visit Schools in South Orange and Maplewood


Maplewood, New Jersey: One of America's best known civil rights activists will return to the South Orange Maplewood School District. 

Ruby Bridges was the first African-American student to attend a previously all-white school in Louisiana. She was six years old at the time. 55 years later, Bridges will speak at Columbia High School in Maplewood on Thursday, January 21st, 2016, beginning at 7:00pm. 'An Evening with Ruby Bridges' will be part of The Parenting Center of the South Orange Maplewood School District's 2015-2016 Speaker Series.

In addition, according to South Orange Maplewood Board of Education documents, Bridges will visit students at the Marshall Elementary School in South Orange for a presentation and book signing.

This is not Bridges' first visit to Maplewood. She spoke at Maplewood Middle School in 2001, according to the South Orange Maplewood Community Coalition on Race.

Click here to learn more.

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Celebrate Newark's 350th Anniversary at Military Park


Newark, New Jersey: The celebration of Newark's 350th Anniversary is about to begin. New Jersey's largest city was founded in 1666, and there will be a variety of festivities to commemorate Newark's history since that time. 

On Saturday, October 17th, from 11:00am to 5:00pm, Military Park in Downtown Newark will host the free Family Fun Festival, according to the Greater Newark Convention and Visitor Bureau, the Newark Celebration 350 Committee, and the Military Park Partnership. 

There will be a parade, displays of art from Newark students, live music, a live broadcast of WBGO-FM's Rhythm Revue, a performance from the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, displays of instruments, activities for children, and poetry readings. There will also be a scavenger hunt for children of the park from the New Jersey Historical Society, and there will be a sand art table from the Ironbound Community Corporation. Other activities will include the Liberty Science Center's Science Circus show, a program regarding animal tracks from the Essex County Environmental Center, Chinese dance lessons, demonstrations by a flameworking artist from Glassroots, pumpkin carving demonstrations, yoga classes from the Newark Yoga Movement, and face painting.  

In addition, area art studios will be open as part of the Newark Art Council's Open Doors Festival, and the Newark Museum will hold the Festival of Color and Light. Trinity and St. Philip’s Cathedral in Military Park will also be open. 

Click here to learn more.

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Little Caesars Pizza to Open in Belleville


Belleville, New Jersey: Little Caesars Pizza will open another location in Essex County. The new franchise of the Detroit-based fast food chain will be located at 388 Main Street in Belleville. It will open in the space formerly occupied by Town Check Cashing, in same plaza that contains businesses like Planet Fitness and Food Basics. The business was approved in August by the Belleville Planning Board, according to Township minutes. This will be the fourth Little Caesars Pizza location in Essex County. Other locations operate in East Orange, Orange, and Irvington. Like the other stores, the Belleville location will operate on a carry-out only basis. Click here to learn more.

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Poetry Slam to be Held in Nutley


Nutley, New Jersey: The Township of Nutley's first annual Poetry Slam will be held this Sunday, September 27th, at the Nutley Farmers Market. From 9:00am to 2:00pm, market visitors can come an perform a poem of their own, or present a well known poet's work. Poet Patrick Roche, of Nutley, will hold a 45-minute performance workshop at the event. The Poetry Slam will be sponsored by the Nutley Department of Public Works and Greenutley. The Nutley Farmers Market is held in Municipal Parking Lot 1, located on William Street off of Franklin Avenue. Click here to learn more.

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Community Cycling Club Forms in South Orange


South Orange, New Jersey: A new club will meet for the first time next week in South Orange. The South Orange Maplewood Community Cycling Club will meet at the Baird Community Center on Wednesday, September 30th, beginning at 7:30pm. 

Attendees will learn more about riding and tour with others, promoting safe biking to schools and to the train stations, cycling education, tuning up bikes, and advocating for a larger cycling presence. In addition, plans will be discussed for a South Orange Bicycling Network, which could create a series of routes for bicyclists in the village. A key element of this network would be the final phase of the South Orange Greenway, which will connect West Parker Avenue in Maplewood with West Third Street in South Orange.

South Orange and Maplewood previously had an organization for bicyclists, known as the South Orange / Maplewood Bicycle Coalition, though it disbanded in 2013.

The Baird Community Center is located next to the NJ Transit train tracks at 5 Mead Street.

To learn more, call (201) 306-7173.

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Food Truck Festival Returning to South Orange


UPDATE: This event has been moved to Wednesday, October 7th.

South Orange, New Jersey: A festival that began last year in South Orange is returning again this October. The Seton Village Food Truck and Craft Beer Festival will be held on Irvington Avenue in South Orange's Seton Village Business District, between Ward Place and Tichenor Avenue. 15 food trucks will participate this year, and there will be two stages featuring three live bands. In addition, Gaslight Brewery will sponsor a Craft Beer Garden. 

The following food trucks will participate:

Amanda Bananas
Cheezen
Cupcake Carnivale
Empanada Guy
Farm Truck Philly
Ms. Fu's
Oink and Moo BBQ
Pizza Vita
Romano's Disco Fries
The Cow and the Curd
The Original Soup Man
The Outsliders
The Taco Truck
The Thai Elephant
Waffle De Lys

Partnering organizations include the Township of South Orange Village, the South Orange Fire and Police Departments, the South Orange Rescue Squad, and the South Orange Departments of Public Works and Recreation and Cultural Affairs.

Click here to learn more.

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Photo of the Day 9/25/15


This bank is located in Montclair. The inscription at the side of the bank reads 'Founded in 1893 to Promote Economy and to Protect its Fruits'.

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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Gospel Concert Coming to East Orange


East Orange, New Jersey: A concert will be held in East Orange this weekend. The second annual Gospel Experience Concert will be held at the Cicely Tyson Community School of Performing and FIne Arts on Saturday, September 26th. The event will be hosted by Samar Biggham. Doors will open at 6:00pm, and the concert will begin at 7:00pm. Tickets cost $25 at the door, and $20 if purchased in advance. Advance tickets can be obtained by sending an email to kexumnscholars@gmail.com. Proceeds will benefit the Karl E. Exumn Scholarship Ministry. The Cicely Tyson School of Performing and Fine Arts is located at 35 Winans Street, between Main and William Streets. Click here to learn more.

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Open Streets Event Coming to Montclair


Montclair, New Jersey: The first Open Streets MTC event will be held in Montclair this weekend. On Sunday, September 27th, from 11:00am to 3:00pm, parts of South Park Street, Church Street, and Glenridge Avenue will be closed to vehicular traffic. Residents and visitors will be allowed to "walk, bike, run, skate, hula hoop, zumba, socialize and play in a safe, car-free environment", according to the event website. In addition, there will be demonstrations, classes, runs, arts and crafts, and more. The event is free and open to the public. Partners include Bike and Walk Montcair, the Montclair Center Business Improvement District, the Township of Montclair, the Montclair Police Department, Eat, Play, Live Better, and the Partners for Health Foundation. Click here to learn more.

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NCC to Host Family Fun Festival in Newark's Central Ward


Newark, New Jersey: The New Community Corporation's 32nd Annual Family Fun Festival will be held this Saturday, September 26th. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held from 12:00pm to 5:00pm at the corner of South Orange Avenue and Hayes Street in the Central Ward. There will be live music and a DJ, pony rides, rock climbing, face painting, clowns, and balloon animals. There will also be a beer garden for those 21 and older, and food, drinks, and merchandise will be available for purchase. Click here to learn more.

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Newark's Three Doctors to Hold Mentor Day


Newark, New Jersey: The Three Doctors Foundation will hold Mentor Day on Saturday, September 26th, from 10:00am to 4:00pm. The event will be held at the Newark Public Schools Family Support Center in the Central Ward. The doctors, Sampson Davis, Rameck Hunt, and George Jenkins, all grew up in Newark and attended Seton Hall University. They are best known for their books, We Beat The Street, The Bond, and The Pact. Mentor Day will be open to middle and high school students and their families. Attendees can "participate in a day filled with mentorship, empowerment, and fun", according to the organization. To register, send an email to windy@threedoctors.com. The Newark Public Schools Family Support Center is located at 301 West Kinney Street, between Sayre and Livingston Streets. Click here to learn more.

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Photo of the Day 9/24/15


This photo shows a Corinthian column at the EIES of New Jersey office in the former South Orange Public Library building.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Vida’s Café to Open in Newark's Ironbound


Newark, New Jersey: A new café will open in the Ironbound section of Newark's East Ward. 

Vida’s Café will be located at 637 Ferry Street, at the southeast corner of Waydell Street. The business was approved with conditions last week by the Newark Central Planning Board. 

The 1,558 square foot "small business café" will take up half of the first floor, and will be open from 4:30am to 5:00pm. The building is currently a house. There will be two employees of Vida’s Café, and the owner will be Hortensia Arguelles. 

Click here to learn more.

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Learn Nutley's History in 27 Objects


Nutley, New Jersey: A new exhibit will open at the Nutley Museum this weekend. The new exhibit, which is called 'A History of Nutley in 27 Objects', will open at the Nutley Historical Society's museum on Saturday, September 26th. The 27 objects, which range from an old telephone to an arrowhead, will show how Nutley has changed from a rural farming town to a dense suburb of Newark and New York. On Thursday, October 1st, from 7:00pm to 9:00pm, long-time township residents will come to the exhibit for Living History Night to share their memories of living in Nutley. The exhibit will close on Sunday, October 4. The Nutley Museum is located at 65 Church Street, between Propsect Street and Franklin Avenue. Click here to learn more.

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