Vicinity Magazine

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Nature, Horticulture, Arts & Crafts

Garden Follies and Antique


JUNE 2023
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Vicinity Magazine is published by Vicinity Media Group, 184 S. Livingston Avenue, Suite 9-303, Livingston, NJ 07039. All rights reserved. The contents of this publication can not be reproduced either in whole or in part without the consent of the publisher. Vicinity Magazine assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials.

JUNE 2023 VOL. 23 NO. 5
CONTENTS JUNE 2023 6 In the Vicinity 8 Local Heroes 8 Teen EMTs Save the Life of a Millburn Youth 9 Interior Designer Donates a Large Portion of Profits to the Needy 13 Grand Opening of Longevity Veterinary Center 14 Zeman Religious School at Oheb Shalom is Now Tuition Free 16 The Perfect Solution for Sun Protection 18 Professionals to Know 18 Sandra C. Fava, Partner, Fox Rothschild, LLP 18 Rand, Feuer & Klein—Getting Insurance Right Since 1922 19 Maximize Your Wealth and Leave a Legacy with Guidance from Egan Wealth Advisors 20 COVER STORY Greenwood Gardens A Unique Combination of Nature, Horticulture, Arts & Crafts Garden Follies and Antique Ornaments 24 Spay or Neutering Your Pet is a Gift of Love 25 Keeping Pets Safe in the Garden 26 Mansion in May Visitors Choose Tulip Award Winners 27 Local Gift Guide for Father’s Day 28 Art in the Vicinity Alex Polner: Direct from Broadway 30 Health, Beauty and Wellness 30 Scott Spiro, MD—Surgeon by Trade, Artist at Heart 31 Putting the “I Care” into Eye Care 32 Christopher J. Barker, PhD,—Director, Discovery Psychotherapy Center 32 Helping People Facing Infertility Issues 33 Changing the World, One Mattress at a Time 34 Summer Sun Safety 35 Don’t Wait to Donate Blood 36 Restaurant Guide 38 Diamond Minds Celebrate the Good Times On the Cover: Greenwood Gardens, Short Hills 4 Vicinity Magazine June 2023
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Quindianos Unidos por Colombia of Madison is Seeking New Members

The Quindianos Unidos por Colombia of Madison nonprofit organization in Madison is looking for new members. Madison resident, Guillermo Gil, who moved to the US from Colombia in 1994, and leads the group, says “We are always looking for new members and volunteers to help us with events.” Guillermo says that the club is working hard to plan and run events that help keep the Colombian community together and share traditions with residents. In May, they held a fun Mother’s Day party. In June, they will be raising money to send overseas. They will also be sending over walkers and wheelchairs. In addition, for the first time, the club will be raising the Colombian flag at Madison Town Hall on July 21 at 10am. Every Christmas, the group sends toys overseas. In addition, the club also holds frequent festive dancing events that the public is invited to attend. For more information, please see the group’s Facebook page:

Chatham Resident Launches Sustainable Footwear Line

Penelope Lagos of Chatham, a former tech foot model, has dreamed of starting her own line of sustainable footwear for many years. She recently achieved her goal of launching a line of five styles at, which includes a cork flip flop, 2 sneakers made out of vegan leather, cork and organic cotton, and 2 slides made out of cork and vegan suede. Being sustainable and working with a factory that pays fair wages to employers was top of mind when she was putting her plan into place. The animal lover is donating a portion of her sales to animal related charities. She will be adding a sustainable handbag line in the fall. “I am proud of what I have accomplished. I set out to create a comfortable, sustainable and fashionable line with a small ecological footprint and that’s what I did.”

Short Hills Resident Writes Book on Enjoying Life After 50

Maria Sabando of Short Hills has written a book called, Loving Life at 50+ –Embrace Aging through Humor and Wellness. She says that turning 50 is often a line in the sand for women. On one side is youth, on the other is the decline into old age. But that doesn’t mean we have to look old or act old—in fact, it’s quite the opposite. “In our 50s we get the best of both worlds–the spryness of youth and the wisdom of aging. It’s the perfect decade to live our best lives,” she says. Her book incorporates journaling, yoga poses and recipes throughout to teach women in their 50’s to love themselves and their bodies. She always wanted to write a book and at 54, she decided that the time was right. “Nothing has satisfied me as much as writing this book,” says Maria.The book is available on Amazon.

In The Vicinity
6 Vicinity Magazine June 2023
Left-right: Guillermo Gil, the Mayor of Madison Robert H. Conley, and the Consul of Colombia from Newark Maria del Pilar Cruz. Guillermo Gil and Maria del Pilar Cruz presented the Mayor with the Colombian poncho he is wearing.

Local Teen Stars in First Feature Film

Judith DiMinni, a senior at Millburn High School, plays the title character in Bibi, which is her first feature film role. Right now, the film, which was written, produced, and directed by Summit resident Christopher Beatty, is doing the festival circuit through August. Judith says that when she stepped onto the set of Bibi, she knew that she was in the right place and that acting is what she wants to do for the rest of her life. According to the film’s write up, “Bibi is a slow burn, a visually stunning film that evokes immediate reminders of Stanley Kubrick’s classic, The Shining, but also hints to many films confronting female psychosis like Repulsion and Rosemary’s Baby.” Judith says she loves the film, which shows interesting aspects of mental health. Judith has been acting seriously since freshman year and plans to attend UNCSA for a BFA in Drama in the fall.

The 24th Annual Our House, Our Run: Thank You!

Our House is so grateful to everyone that helped make this year’s race a huge success! So far, they have raised over $204,000!!!! “Our annual community event and fundraising efforts are critical for supporting the adults with disabilities served by Our House and we are most appreciative for the community’s ongoing support,” states Cathy Colford, Vice President of Development for the Our House Foundation.

A big thank you goes to the 50 local sponsors who helped lay the foundation for another successful event as well as the over 250 companies, individuals and families that donated to this year’s race. To all the runners & walkers who joined us inperson and virtually we truly enjoyed engaging with you all.

The top three fundraisers/teams are Provenzano Run, Barth Buns on the Run and Des Laffey, who collectively raised over $50,000 and still going strong! Donations will be accepted through June 15th!

There’s a New Piano Tuner in Town

Eighth grader Ethan Yoesting of Madison has started a business called Harmony Piano Tuning. The young musician found joy in tuning pianos. Ethan plays the piano in addition to the violin. He learned how to tune Pianos via the internet and through trial and error, first on his grandmother’s piano, and later a friend’s and one at school. Pianos are eloquent instruments that have complex, and fascinating workings, yet still sound beautiful, he says. Elevating the quality of the sound these instruments produce through tuning is something he enjoys. Ethan is looking to gain experience and build connections with customers, as well as with fellow musicians. He can be contacted at 201-688-6692 or via email at

If you or someone you know in Essex/Morris County is doing something interesting, send an email to

Scan here to view photos from the event taken by the talented Jen Hinger Photography. Scan here to view the final results of the 4 Miler and the USATF results.
June 2023 7
Scan here for the video replay of the event as seen on CBS Saturday Morning with John Elliott.

Teen EMTs Save the Life of a Millburn Youth

Amanda Guzman and Sophie Araten, seniors at Millburn High School, recently saved a life at their school, while on-call as EMTs. Both girls are National Registry and NJ Licensed EMTs and are part of the cadet program with the Millburn Short Hills Volunteer First Aid Squad. They were honored at Town Hall where they received Proclamations for the “courageous and life-saving actions for the quick and efficient administration of CPR.”

While on call together, Amanda and Sophie responded to a difficulty breathing call at the football stadium at their high school, which turned into a CPR in progress. When they arrived, they found a fellow student collapsed on the ground receiving CPR from his lacrosse coaches. The coaches’ quick actions of recognizing the situation and immediately beginning CPR initiated what the American Heart Association calls the “Chain of Survival.”

When Amanda and Sophie arrived, they took over CPR, and worked together to secure the patient’s airway.

“Amanda and Sophie jumped right in and summoned every bit of knowledge they had acquired during their EMT class and the live calls they have been on for the better part of the past year. They performed flawlessly and were a big part of the reason this student survived his medical emergency,” says Mark Montuoro, a member of the Millburn Short Hills Volunteer First Aid Squad and Crew Chief on the call.

“The whole team came together and seamlessly put everything we have learned into action,” says Sophie.

“We both trained for a moment like this, but the increased stakes that come with administering CPR on a real person, let alone a fellow teenager, differentiate this experience from anything else I have experienced in the field of emergency medicine. The adrenaline just kicked in and all our hard work and training paid off,” says Amanda.

According to Mark, while CPR calls are not a rare occurrence, a CPR call for a teenager is. In addition, according to Sophie, CPR has a low success rate of only

6%, “so it was amazing to be able to give this student another chance at life,” she said. It was particularly rewarding for Amanda and Sophie that their first CPR call was a save.

“High school students saving another highschooler is a pretty rare occurrence,” says Mark. “Amanda and Sophie, along with the other 10 cadets respond to a lot of traumas and medical emergencies each week and make a real difference in people’s lives. Being an EMT is a demanding job at any age but these young men and women do an amazing job of balancing their family, friends, school, jobs and saving lives.”

The girls, who volunteer anywhere from 4 to 24 hours a week as EMTs, say that they always wanted to be EMTs and give back to the community this way. In fact, they both plan to continue as EMTs in college and pursue careers in the field of medicine.

Anyone interested in becoming an EMT and volunteering with The Millburn/Short Hills Volunteer First Aid Squad should go to the website and fill out the interest form at:

If you know someone that goes above and beyond, send an email to

Local Heroes
8 Vicinity Magazine June 2023

Interior Designer Donates a Large Portion of Profits to the Needy

Sara Chwatt, the owner of SBC Interiors, is an interior designer who has been regularly donating 25 percent of her profits over the past 15 years to charities like Down the Block, NJ Food Bank, No Kid Hungry and a local ministry in town. She says she does this because she likes being able to give to those who need help. Her clients enjoy knowing that they are supporting others via their interior design projects.

The Short Hills resident says, “I feel like I am making a difference and I like knowing that my money is going to help others.”

Sara, who has been a fine artist her whole life, painting with oils, watercolors and acrylics, enjoys being an interior designer. She is deeply embedded in the world of architecture and interior design. She designs with the eye of an artist and practices with the skill of an engineer. Beauty, function, comfort and flow are her goals, artistry and ingenuity are her tools. Every space, large or small, is tailored to the way it will be used. Scale and proportion, sight lines, acoustical requirements and light sources all play a primary role in her design schemes.

The interior designer works with all the latest New York city showroom fabrics, accessories and furnishings at New Jersey prices. She also helps clients use what they already have to transform a tired room into an exciting place to spend quality time with friends and family. She enjoys assisting people who start from scratch to find their own unique style to create a beautiful home that reflects the clients’ personalities. In addition, she stages homes for upcoming special events or for sale. She does all of this while being budget conscious.

She says that every job is unique and personal and that she designs each space to the client’s taste.

If you know someone that goes above and beyond, send an email to

Local Heroes
1/6TH 1/6TH
Call Today to Advertise: 973-276-1688 Berkeley Heights | The Chathams Florham Park | Gillette | Harding Madison | Millburn | New Vernon New Providence | Short Hills | Summit Get The Word Out! Deliver Your Message to 50,000 Local Residents Next Publication: Summer 2023 | In Homes: July 1 | Deadline: June 16 June 2023 9
Sara Chwatt

Cats in the Garden XVI

The sixteenth annual Cats in the Garden car show will once again take place on Father’s Day, June 18 at Van Vleck House and Gardens in Montclair. This year’s event, open to the public, is the only car show in New Jersey to feature eight decades of Jaguar vehicles. ShopRite of West Caldwell & Parsipppany and Sunrise Kitchens sponsor the event alongside the Jaguar Touring Club of New Jersey and Van Vleck Gardens.

The event draws hundreds of spectators and has over 100 Jaguars on display. Tailgating (without an open flame) is especially encouraged. The day’s event will conclude with a 3pm awards ceremony.

Spectator admission is $10; kids under 10 are admitted free. For more information, please contact Paul Maletsky at 973-575-8737.

Cats in the Garden XVI

Sunday, June 18, Noon (Rain Date: June 25) 21 Van Vleck Street, Montclair | 973-575-8737

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Death-defying cycle stunts, racing pigs, thrilling rides and mind-blowing magic acts await fairgoers at this year’s State Fair Meadowlands, which runs June 22July 9. The 2023 Fair is the largest, long-lasting New Jersey event of the summer.

This year’s full lineup of familyfriendly, free entertainment features fan-favorites and new entertainment with something to please the entire family. Favorite acts are back and will have you on the edge of your seats with electrifying stunts, high wire jumps and spellbinding magic routines.

Pirates of the Colombian Caribbean: Watch these worldrenowned performers put on an aerial-high wire thrill show.

BIG BEE Transforming Car: Be mesmerized as a giant 15Foot Action Robot transforms before you in real time.

Famous Racing Pigs: Cheer on your favorite pig. Pick one of Rosaire’s Royal Racers as they compete in the Pork Chop Downs.

Cycle Circus: Watch the Cycle Circus daredevil team perform a thrilling freestyle motocross show with high tech pyrotechnics music and lighting.

Magic of Lance Gifford: Be dazzled with Gifford’s awardwinning magic acts.

Hypnotist Steve Bayner: Laugh and be amazed by Bayner’s world-renowned hypnotism act.

Spectacular Fireworks Displays on both July 3 and July 4. The fireworks can be seen from anywhere on the fairgrounds.

Petting Zoo, another popular returning attraction. Children and adults alike, can stroll through and interact with all kinds of animals—like ponies, llamas, donkeys, and much more.

Thursday, June 22-Sunday, July 9

Mondays-Thursdays, 6pm-12am; Fridays, 6pm-1am; Saturdays 2pm-1am; Sundays 2pm-12am

1 MetLife Stadium Dr., East Rutherford Tickets must be purchased online in advance at:

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Local Buzz June 2023 11

A Weekend Celebrating Juneteenth

Morristown Juneteenth Weekend brings together five non-profit organizations to create a three-day event that commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. This FREE weekend celebrates the African American community and offers the public access to local artists, food, music, and other festivities at major cultural venues in Morristown and Morris Township. Partner organizations for this event are Morris Arts, Art in the Atrium, Sankofa Heritage Collective of Morris County, Mayo Performing Arts Center and the Morris Museum.

Juneteenth, traditionally observed on June 19, commemorates Black liberation from the institution of slavery that took place at the end of the Civil War when President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation became the law in all states. The day also highlights the resilience, solidarity, and culture of the Black Community. June 19, 1865 was the day word reached the enslaved in Galveston, Texas, though this emancipation actually ended slavery on paper two years earlier on January 1, 1863.

For more info on the Juneteenth Weekend, visit:

Thursday, June 15, 6-9pm

Art in the Atrium Opening Reception of Black Art in the Sun

This 31st Annual Exhibit of Black Fine Art will feature artist Ron ‘REAP’ Powell and will include the work of 30 other artists. The exhibition will be on view through August 15. Morris County Administration and Records Building, 10 Court Street, Morristown.

Friday, June 16, 6-9pm

Morris Museum’s Juneteenth Party Celebration

The public is invited to meet artists from the special exhibition, Each One Teach One, and hear spoken word poetry from local poets. This free event will have delicious catering by Dominiques Dishes, an open bar, and music from DJ Rich. 6 Normandy Heights Road, Morristown.

Saturday, June 17, 12noon-5pm

Sankofa’s Juneteenth Festival of Morris County

This lively event was created for all families to celebrate the resilience, solidarity, history, and culture of the Black community. The day includes live performances by The Kofi and Sankofa Drum & Dance Ensemble, local artists, and a tribute to famed abolitionist Frederick Douglass, who made a historic visit to Morristown in 1865. Enjoy DJ sets, food, community resource tables, the Atlantic Health pavilion, and a main stage filled with live entertainment. The Green & Pioneer Plaza, Morristown.

A Musical Excursion of Sites & Sounds

The nonprofit Livingston Symphony Orchestra has attracted professional level players and audiences in West Essex and for over 50 years. Maestro Anthony LaGruth and the orchestra invite the public to “Sonic Vistas,” a concert “play-cation” of beautiful sights and sounds.

This musical excursion begins in Moscow with Borodin’s ‘Khovantchina Overture,” an exquisite tone painting of dawn breaking over a river. Travel continues along the expansive grasslands of Asia, blending Russian and Oriental melodies,

in Mussogorsky’s lyrical “In the Steppes of Central Asia.” Next, the audience can experience the elegance of Old Vienna in Strauss’ “Blue Danube Waltz,” followed by a contemporary as well as historic tribute to Italy’s beautiful capital city, captured by Respighi in his “Pines of Rome.”

June 10, 7pm

Tickets available at door, children under 12 free Livingston High School Auditorium 30 Robert Harp Drive, Livingston 973-980-1809 |

Local Buzz
12 Vicinity Magazine June 2023
Anthony LaGruth, Musical Director

Grand Opening of the Longevity Veterinary Center

Longevity Veterinary Center is opening a new office in Whippany. This new office provides everything your pet needs—from essential healthcare services and quality food products to emergency medicine—all available under one roof.

They are holding a grand opening celebration on Sunday, June 4 from 11am–3pm. It will feature pet adoptions with Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter, giveaways, live music, free dental exams for pets and other pet vendors.

Sunday, June 4, 11am–3pm

Longevity Veterinary Center 265 Route 10 East, Whippany 973-606-1101

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Zeman Religious School at Oheb

Shalom is Now Tuition Free

Photos courtesey of Zeman Religious School

Orange synagogue Oheb Shalom has announced that thanks to a generous donation from the Arthur Schechner Charitable Foundation, the Zeman Religious School will now be tuition free. This makes Oheb Shalom the only synagogue in South Orange, Maplewood, and the surrounding area to offer complimentary enrollment to its religious school. The donation from the Arthur Schechner Charitable Foundation is the most generous gift in the history of the Zeman Religious School since the naming and it will positively impact Jewish generations to come.

This isn’t the first time that the synagogue was associated with a free Hebrew school. According to Arthur, “I was told that my great-grandfather Isaac Schwarz, who was the founding Rabbi of Oheb Shalom,

in about 1875 when it was based in Newark, also established the first Hebrew Free Day School in New Jersey. In some measure then, establishing my Foundation almost 150 years later brings my family’s gift of a free Jewish education full circle.”

The synagogue hopes that by removing the fee, more families wishing to immerse their children in Jewish studies will do so now that the financial barrier has been lifted. “I am convinced that the education of the Jewish family and particularly the children is the stem cell to the survival of the Jewish people,” said Arthur. “Proverbs teaches us: ‘Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.’ I further believe that cost should not be a barrier to cultivating a synagogue community or receiving a Jewish education. That is why I created


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The Arthur Schechner Charitable Foundation. It will enable students and their parents to attend the Zeman religious school tuition free.”

According to Rabbi Abigail Treu of Oheb Shalom Congregation, “One of the greatest challenges of our times is loneliness, and one of the greatest obstacles to joining a community is the cost. People crave connection and want their children to feel a sense of belonging and love. Oheb Shalom offers just that - a diverse, vibrant and thriving congregation that is small enough that people can make genuine connections and friendships. Thanks to Arthur Schechner’s generous donation, we now have the resources to reach families who never considered raising their kids with a Jewish education or community.”

The synagogue hopes to create a loving center where members feel connected, and have a strong feeling of belonging, where they will gain a firm understanding of their Jewish heritage.

“I am thrilled that we are able to offer Zeman Religious School completely free of charge to all students,” said Education Director Gavin Hirsch. “We have been building relationships with families at Oheb Shalom and facilitating connections between members, so that no one is lost in the crowd. While children are having fun and learning in a close-knit environment, we are fostering Jewish pride, Jewish joy, and a lifelong commitment to Jewish engagement.”

Registration for the Zeman Religious School is ongoing. To learn more, go to

59 South Orange Avenue, South Orange Follow us on Facebook for recipes, hints, tips, Kitchen hacks & more! A Full Service Kitchen Store Offering: On-Premise Knife Sharpening, Co2 Canister Exchanges and more Rose Squared Spring Brookdale Park Art Show June 17-18, 2023 473 Watchung Ave, Bloomfield/Montclair 10am-5pm, Rain or Shine Free & Open to the Public for more information Jennifer
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Enhance Your Outdoor Comfort with Retractable Awnings The Perfect Solution for Sun Protection

When it comes to enjoying your outdoor spaces, awnings play a crucial role in providing shade and ensuring comfort even on the hottest of days. That’s why many homeowners opt for retractable awnings, as they offer the flexibility to adapt to changing weather conditions. On scorching summer days, you can extend your awning fully, creating an oasis of shade. As the temperature cools, you have the freedom to leave the awning closed, allowing the warm sun to embrace your space.

Retractable awnings offer a myriad of advantages, with the fully enclosed hood safeguarding the fabric and enhancing the lifespan of the motor. Moreover, their compact design sets them apart from stationary awnings, making them an ideal choice for those seeking convenience and versatility.

At Window Works, we take retractable awnings to a whole new level. Contrary to popular belief, our awnings offer adjustable pitch options, allowing you to

customize the angle according to your preference. You have the power to raise and lower each corner independently, granting you ultimate control over the shade and sunlight distribution.

For those seeking additional coverage, we provide optional drop-down shades for our retractable awnings. Our solar screen shades serve as a valuable shield against the sun’s rays, especially when it hits your patio or deck at a lower angle. With this feature, you can relish extended evenings on your patio or engage in activities like reading or working on your laptop without the bothersome glare.

Our Window Works retractable awnings have an impressive shading capacity of up to 475 square feet, ensuring ample coverage for your outdoor areas. Thanks to the Teflon-coated bushings, you can raise and lower the awning effortlessly, all while minimizing any unnecessary noise. Additionally, the nylon coating provides excellent protection against summer storms and other severe weather

conditions, ensuring the longevity of your awning.

If you’re looking to safeguard not only your outdoor spaces but also the interior of your home, our retractable window awnings offer the perfect solution. Designed to reduce glare and heat, they also shield your window glass from fading, harsh weather, and potential damage.

Invest in the comfort, convenience, and protection that retractable awnings provide. Let Window Works elevate your outdoor experience, allowing you to make the most of your patio, deck, and even your windows. Discover the perfect balance between sun and shade and embrace the beauty of your outdoor spaces like never before.

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16 Vicinity Magazine June 2023

Music in the Woods—The Outcrops

Schiff’s Music in the Woods concert series allows nature and music lovers to converge on Schiff Nature Preserve to be rewarded with an outdoor listening experience among the trees. Guest may bring your snacks, (adult) beverages, a pillow for stadium bench seating comfort, wear comfortable walking shoes for the 30-minute walk up into the beautiful woods of the preserve. The Amphitheatre provides a unique outdoor opportunity for community, nature, and music all blended together for a lovely afternoon.

The Outcrops, a four-piece blues infused band was formed in 2016 by lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Cassidy Rain & lead guitarist Bryan Schroeder. The rhythm section of the band includes Jason Casanovas on bass and Max Adler on drums. Both Max and Jason bring a funk and soul feel that melds beautifully with Cassidy and Bryan creating the perfect band tag: Rock & Roll, Blues & Soul.

Seating capacity and parking are limited, so carpooling is suggested. Advance ticket purchases are required. Ticket proceeds directly support Schiff and the musicians. Refunds will be processed in the event of a weather cancellation.

Sunday, June 25, 4-6pm

(arrive early—30-minute walk to Amphitheatre)

Schiff Nature Preserve, 339 Pleasant Valley Road (Use 339 Schiff Dr for GPS), Mendham 973-543-6004

Local Buzz June 2023 17

Sandra C. Fava, Partner

Fox Rothschild LLP

What do you find most rewarding about being an attorney?

Having practiced law for nearly 20 years at this point, I still love what I do. I really enjoy helping clients through what many have described as “the worse” or “one of the worse” times in their lives. Many times, I get to see a positive transformation in the clients that I am working with. I also really enjoy coming up with creative solutions to resolve issues.

How do you make your clients feel comfortable and confident?

I work with clients who are facing difficult personal challenges that have lasting, deep, ripple effects on their lives. When I first speak with a potential client, I encourage them to speak with other attorneys as well. The process will not go smoothly if they are doubting their selection of counsel. I am also very transparent with clients about who I am, how I work, how fees and costs work and what they can expect. I think this starts the relationship with both a level of comfort and confidence that gets built upon through the process.

What are some ways in which Fox Rothschild LLP stands out in its industry?

The benefit is that I have at my fingertips experienced, qualified and knowledgeable attorneys across the country in virtually all areas of the law. In addition, I have access to their resources. Unlike other firms, if an issue comes up related to taxation, putting together a trust, a business issue, etc., I can simply pick up the phone or send an email and get advice I can rely upon. Clients don’t need to seek additional counsel because we are full service.

What do you like to do in your free time?

Outside my professional life, I’m a wife and mother to three amazing active children. My family would be enough to keep me busy, but I also believe in service. I serve as a trustee of CASA of Morris & Sussex counties and volunteer time and efforts to Play for P.I.N.K. I also enjoy walking, reading, and am learning pickleball!

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49 Market Street, Morristown | 973-992-4800

Getting Insurance Right Since 1922!

Insurance agency Rand, Feuer & Klein has been helping people and businesses attain the proper insurance since 1922, over four generations. Led by Joey and Dennis Klein, clients can be assured they will get the best possible personalized service available.

The firm knows that a one-size-fits-all does not apply when it comes to insurance, which is why every client gets their undivided attention with a proactive approach. The firm’s only goal is to keep clients and their loved ones protected with the policies they need.

Rand, Feuer & Klein offers personal insurance including auto, boating, motorcycle, RV, classic car, home, renters, and umbrella insurance, as well as commercial insurance, such as: auto dealership, business liability, commercial property, contractors, cyber liability, E & O, farm and ranch, group health, landlord liability, liquor liability, restaurant, and workers compensation.

Joey says, “There is no bad time to get insurance. Everyone needs it. The best time to come talk to a professional is when you see a price increase because it is always good to get a second opinion.”

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Professionals to Know
18 Vicinity Magazine June 2023

Maximize Wealth and Leave a Legacy With Guidance from Egan Wealth Advisors

The team at Egan Wealth Advisors guides clients to make informed decisions while simplifying the wealth management process. Patrick McCahill Jr., Senior Wealth Advisor says, “We help clients accumulate, maintain and consume their wealth, while leaving a legacy for future generations.”

John Egan, CFP®, Managing Director and Partner founded Egan Wealth Advisors more than 30 years ago. Egan was named to the Forbes 2023 Bestin-State Wealth Advisors, a list that recognizes the top advisors from across the United States.

Providing sound, professional advice is at the heart of their practice. McCahill says “Generally, clients present us with a situation that needs a solution, whether it be wondering if they have enough in assets to retire or needing help with tax planning.” He believes it is essential to develop meaningful relationships with clients based on respect and trust. They offer comprehensive planning and customized strategies in the areas of financial planning, estate planning, investment portfolio management, insurance planning and risk management, tax planning, real estate consulting and retirement planning. The practice also assists clients with business consulting, social security planning, divorce financial planning and family financial education.

The advisors adhere to a process: discover the client’s objectives and concerns and discern what is important to the client; develop an Investment Policy Statement designed to align with the client’s goals, needs and risk tolerances; provide ongoing investment monitoring and review of a client’s portfolio, and implement the plan through a balanced, diversified investment portfolio.

McCahill stresses that Egan Wealth Advisors has a fiduciary commitment to its clients. This means that the team is required to act in the best interests of clients.

Egan who resides in Madison and McCahill who resides in Chatham are both active in their communities and support philanthropic organizations and events and sit on the board of directors of local organizations.

At Egan Wealth Advisors the focus is to understand a client’s goals, develop a comprehensive plan to help reach them and provide an exemplary client service experience.

Egan Wealth Advisors 21 Green Village Road, Madison | 973-377-4700 Hightower Advisors, LLC is a SEC registered investment adviser. Securities are offered through Hightower Securities, LLC-Member FINRA/SIPC.
Professionals to Know June 2023 19
John Egan and Patrick McCahill, Jr.


20 Vicinity Magazine June 2023
Photos courtesy of Greenwood Gardens

Greenwood Gardens offers a sensorial walk through the flora, fauna, fountains, Arts and Crafts follies, and antique garden ornaments from a time gone by. This 28-acre historic former private estate, celebrating its 20th anniversary as a public garden, welcomes visitors with the effect of the timelessness of Greenwood as soon as they drive through the Main gates where a graceful London plane allée lines the entrance drive, creating a sense of peace and order.

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June 2023 21


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The garden encourages repeat visitation to view the unfolding of the seasons and the newest collections which have been expanding over time. Winding paths lined with stone figures and boxwood, graceful staircases entering and exiting the Teahouse, terraced gardens, woodlands, grottoes, fountains, Arts and Crafts follies, and intricate iron gates, along with other original structures, contribute to Greenwood Gardens’ unique hardscape, as does the careful layout and planning of the plantings.

The first stop on the self-guided tour is the 1925 and 1926 Cottages, Tennis Pavilion, and First Tee—all storied landmarks in Greenwood’s history. The tour continues past the 1950 Main House to the Main Terrace, with its grand view of the entire renovated Main Axis, the core portion of the historic garden, featuring fountains, horticultural delights and antique urns and sculptures. Visitors then step down a gracious staircase to the Reflecting Pool Terrace with its D-shaped pool where the original lead dolphins delightfully spout water.

Surrounding the pool is a mix of perennial and annual flower garden classics which are expected to reveal themselves in rich hues of yellow, blue, and purple. Poppies, peonies, iris, and digitalis complement the masonry walls and the nearby Rookwood ceramics. The area is accentuated with dwarf conifers, yucca, antique ceramic urns, and putti.

The next staircase leads to the Croquet Lawn, where crisp taxus hedges and teak benches in each corner offer ample opportunity to linger and take in the flowering dogwoods, eastern redbuds,

22 Vicinity Magazine June 2023

a paperbark maple, and a Persian ironwood. Spring and late summer are anticipated to be well represented here with roses, asters, gentian ‘True Blue,’ and reblooming weigela.

One more elegant staircase provides a transition to the final Main Axis tier: the Garden of the Gods. This magical and dramatic woodland scene with elegant antique trellises surrounds a circular pool and fountain. A sense of cultivated wildness with newly planted pink and white azaleas for spring and dwarf abelia for summer will provide a counterpoint to

the formality of this area yet will still be in keeping with the intended symmetry.

Beyond the Main Axis, stops on the tour include the iconic garden follies – the Teahouse and Summerhouse - both constructed in the late 1920s and which harken back to a quieter, slow-paced era. Comfortable benches overlooking the bucolic twin ponds at the eastern edge of the property offer a relaxing way to linger and take in the vista, which will likely be punctuated by the appearance and sounds of Greenwood’s collection of domestic geese.

Greenwood Gardens will be open to the public Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays—10am-5pm, through November 4. Advance timed ticket registration only. In addition to self-guided tours, there are docent-led, themed and group tours throughout the season, along with both a concert and lecture series.

Greenwood Gardens

274 Old Short Hills Road, Short Hills 973-258-4026

June 2023 23

Spaying or Neutering Your Pet is a Gift of Love

Whether you’re considering welcoming a new furry friend into your home or have a dog or cat already, the decision to spay or neuter can be a difficult choice. You may feel uncomfortable deciding this or worry that it’s unnatural or harmful to your pet. In reality, spaying or neutering your pet is a gift of love, both to your own pet and to other cats or dogs.

How Does Spaying or Neutering Help My Pet?

Spayed and neutered pets reap many benefits, both physically and behaviorally. These procedures can significantly increase pets’ life spans and the quality of their lives. Here’s how.

Reduces Cancer Risk

Animals can be stricken with cancer, just like humans, which is devastating to their health and very costly to treat (when treatable). Spaying or neutering lowers a pet’s risk of developing breast, uterine, prostate, testicular, and ovarian cancer.

Reduces the Chance of Uterine Infections

These infections are particularly dangerous for pets. But spaying or neutering decreases the risk of contracting one of these infections for both males and females.

Females Won’t Go Into Heat

During the breeding season, female cats as young as four or five months old spend four to five days in heat every three weeks. Female dogs generally go into heat twice a year, lasting two to four weeks each time, depending on their breed. Dogs in heat may yowl or wail. They also urinate more often, and all over, in their search for a mate. Then they feel frustrated when they don’t find one. Females may even bleed and have a swollen vulva during this period. Also, males are likely to be attracted to females in heat and may show unwanted attention or aggression.

Males Won’t Have Negative Mating Behaviors

Unneutered male pets are more likely to be distracted and aggressive. They also feel frustrated at not being able to find a female to mate with. They’re more likely to try to escape and roam in search of a female in heat. This puts them at risk of getting lost, stolen, injured, or killed. Frustrated males may also mark their territory or make inappropriate sexual advances on people or objects they encounter.

24 Vicinity Magazine June 2023

Keeping Pets Safe in the Garden

If you have pets that enjoy spending time outdoors, it’s important to make sure your yard is safe for them to be. Some common plants can be dangerous for animals, causing anything from mild oral irritations and upset stomachs to cardiovascular damage and even death. For example, these are some toxic plants the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has identified as harmful for either cats or dogs:

• Aloe: Causes vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, anorexia and depression

• Azalea: Causes vomiting, diarrhea, hypersalivation, weakness, coma, cardiovascular collapse and death

• Burning bush: Causes vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and weakness, as well as heart rhythm abnormalities with large doses

• Caladium: Causes burning and irritation of the mouth, tongue and lips, excessive drooling, vomiting and difficulty swallowing

• Daylilies: Causes kidney failure in cats

• Hibiscus: Causes vomiting, diarrhea, nausea and anorexia

The decomposing elements that make compost good can be bad for pets, according to the National Garden Society. Keep compost in a secure container or fenced off area so pets can’t get to it. Cocoa mulch can be a particular problem for dogs. A byproduct of chocolate production, cocoa mulch can cause digestive problems and even seizures in dogs. Shredded pine or cedar mulch is a safer choice.

The chemicals used to get rid of pests or make your lawn lush can be toxic to pets. Some of the most dangerous pesticides include snail bait with metaldehyde, fly bait with methomyl, systemic insecticides with disyston or disulfoton, mole or gopher bait with zinc phosphide and most forms of rat poison, according to the ASPCA. Follow all instructions carefully, and store pesticides and fertilizers in a secure area out of the reach of animals.

In addition to using appropriate flea and tick prevention methods such as collars

and sprays, make sure your yard isn’t a welcoming environment for these pests. Keep the lawn trimmed and remove brush and detritus, where fleas and ticks often lurk. Fleas can cause hair loss, scabs, excessive scratching, tapeworms and anemia. Ticks can do all of that, plus bring you and your family in contact with diseases like Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease.

Find more tips for keeping pets safe in your yard at

Family Features

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

We are open for adoption daily 1:30-6pm (Thursdays 3-6pm). If you arrive after 5:30, there is a possibility we may not be able to complete an adoption that day.

Before you visit, please search our online database which contains all animals currently available for adoption. If the animal is in a foster home, please contact the foster parent directly using the email found in animal’s profile.

Delivering Quality Conventional and Holistic Medicine, Emergency Care, and Nutrition to Pets
holistic veterinarians are trained in many different modalities including: • Chiropractic Adjustments • Acupuncture • Diet Consultation • Natural Herbal Supplements • Homeopathic Remedies NEW OFFICE: 265 Route 10 East, Whippany 973-606-1101 Plus many other Holistic Treatments!
June 2023 25

Mansion in May Visitors Choose Tulip Award Winners


“Petite Parterre”

Erika Mantz, Anthony Sblendorio, Back to Nature


Photos by Dannette Merchant

The Women’s Association for Morristown Medical Center (WAMMC) is pleased to announce the winners of its Mansion in May 2023 Tulip Award. Sam Ciardi of Samuel Robert Signature Spaces of Rockaway and the Back to Nature Home & Garden team, Erika Mantz and Anthony Sblendorio of Basking Ridge, were recognized with Mansion in May’s highest honor as selected by visitors who cast ballots for their favorite interior and landscape spaces at the end of their tours.

The landscape designers and winners of the Tulip Award, Erika Mantz and Anthony Sblendorio, transformed the area in front of the pool house. Aptly named the

“Petite Parterre,” it was inspired by the iconic parterre gardens of the French countryside. A modern twist on the classic garden layout delivers an explosion of blooms in a gradient of colors, framed by a compact hedge. The antique olive jar planted with cascading annuals acts as a centerpiece, utilizing viewpoints from the pool house and adjacent landscape spaces.

According to interior design space Tulip Award winner Sam Ciardi, the design for “Moor and Mountain” was inspired by a desire to create a space in which to come into from out in the cold, curl up by the fireplace and enjoy the holiday in a majestic, yet cozy, cabin. The natural

color palette warms you as it illuminates against the dark wood. Fine art and trophy collections add to the appeal of this rustic but regal retreat. From a deconstructed wingback, one can enjoy the magnificent spruce trimmed to perfection, as well as the rest of the holiday décor.

“All of our interior and landscape designers have done a spectacular job. We are so grateful for their participation in this year’s Mansion in May. Each one of them brought their individual creativity and expertise and worked long hours to make this mansion such a success,” said Mary Courtemanche, Co-Chair, Mansion in May 2023.

“Mountain and Moor”
Sam Ciardi, Samuel Robert Signature Spaces
26 Vicinity Magazine June 2023

Frame Dad’s Favorite Sport Jersey and surprise him on Father’s Day.

Mona Lisa Framing

7 Highland Place, Maplewood 973-762-2777

Father’s Day

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343 Bloomfield Avenue, Caldwell 973-228-1167

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ALEX POLNER: Direct From Broadway

It’s an old story: a kid from Great Neck grows up, works in the theater, retires and makes Art. Sort of. Montclair resident Alex Polner, after studies at Indiana University, and graduate work at Syracuse in set design did move to NYC and spend most of a decade designing theatrical sets. When not working, he spent quite a bit of time studying anatomy and drawing from life at the Art Students League in NYC, though putting that pursuit aside as he started his next career where his experience designing sets led him to designing displays for toy companies.

It was on a vacation in Ireland thirty years later when he spontaneously began sketching while in a pub with his wife that he re-embraced his forgotten love of drawing from life. Upon his return to the states he began to draw in earnest, and after retiring from the design world during the pandemic, he made drawing his full-time career. Currently he is at the Riker Hill Art Park, a former Nike missile base in Livingston, now an artists community, at open model drawing sessions at least 3 days a week, and working at his own studio the rest of the time. Here are three works he shared with us.

In Fifty-Ninth and Lex, an 8.5x100 pastel drawing, Polner, who finds pastels an expressive, yet forgiving medium, worked from a photograph he’d made at the subway stop. We love the use of color, and the way he captures the very real body language of everyday people simply waiting for the train. It was the woman in the brightly colored shirt who was the only person not wearing a mask that captured Polner’s eye while waiting himself during the pandemic. This drawing won an award at an Art Center of Northern New Jersey exhibit.

Another subway inspired work, Rush Hour, a 14x20 inch pastel is awash in brilliant colors, and again Polner captures the spirit of ordinary people using mass transit. He loves the trains as subjects simply:

“…because of the people on them. I love how people deal with the space they are in.” Here, a woman was interacting with her son who is out of the frame, sitting next to a man who was completely lost in his thoughts. Note the hand to the far left, subject unseen, but busy on his phone.

Art of Essex
Alex Polner
Art in the Vicinity 28 Vicinity Magazine June 2023

Finally, in Tell Me, an 18x22 pencil drawing, drawn from life at Riker Hill in three, three hour sessions over a three weeks period, Polner has captured the interaction of a husband and wife. While the subjects were on or next to the sofa as he worked, the rear wall in the scene was improvised by the artist drawing on his background in set design and created just for this work.

Polner currently has work in a group show with other Riker Hill artists at the Livingston Senior And Community Center through June 29th, and also in an exhibit at the JCC-Metrowest from June 11-July 28.

Alex Polner Livingston Senior and Community Center, 204 Hillside Avenue, Livingston JCC MetroWest, 760 Northfield Avenue, West Orange

Fifty-Ninth and Lex
Rush Hour
June 2023 29
Tell Me

Surgeon by Trade, Artist at Heart

ASurgeon by Trade, Artist at Heart, describes Scott Spiro, MD, perfectly. A renowned plastic surgeon, Dr. Spiro maintains a busy private plastic surgery practice in West Orange, treating patients across the globe. He also has affiliations with Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center and Livingston Surgery Center. Applying his strong concept of beauty, he creates terrific outcomes by combining art and medicine.

Beautiful forms created through art have shaped Dr. Spiro’s whole life. As an undergraduate, he began his lifelong pursuit of visual arts. And he realized his calling early on when he decided that his greatest pursuit would be to focus on visual arts in medicine. Later, after completing medical studies at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, New Jersey Medical School, he completed a five-year general surgery residency (during residency, he illustrated numerous articles in medical journals).

With this unique background in art and medicine, he entered the prestigious plastic surgery program at the University of Miami. “The University had a three-year waiting list for entry into the program,” he says. “They looked for candidates who could think outside the box and were very creative. My unique background allowed me to do this.”

His artist perspective is evident in all his endeavors. Often, he arises early to work on his art before beginning his day as a surgeon. Patients view many of his acclaimed pieces in oil, graphic, and photography as they enter his medical office. Further, he views each patient as a potential work of art. “An artist sees the world differently,” explains Dr. Spiro. “I can see the past, present, and future beauty that I can create in my patients. People trust my vision, and they trust my art.”

Dr. Spiro specializes in the cosmetic surgery of the breast, body contouring, facial aesthetic surgery, and breast cancer reconstruction. His award-winning medical spa offers CoolSculpting, Botox, Xeomin, cosmetic fillers, Diamond Glow facials, chemical peels, microneedling with PRP, and medical-grade skincare.

Spiro Plastic Surgery

101 Old Short Hills Road, Ste. 510, West Orange 973-736-5907 |

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: HEALTH, BEAUTY & WELLNESS 30 Vicinity Magazine June 2023
Scott Spiro, MD

Putting The “I Care” in EYE CARE

A Highly-Experienced Surgeon Providing Personalized Treatments

photo by Dan Epstein

For Dr. Kurt Jackson of Jackson Eye Care, LLC in Livingston, the most rewarding aspect of being an eye surgeon is having the ability to help maintain, restore and even improve vision for his patients. And, all treatments are conducted in a warm and comfortable environment. “We are always cordial and place an emphasis on making the patients feel like we hear and understand their concerns,” he says. “When the patient gets to me, I make a point of taking extra time to help the patient understand their condition and how I intend to care for them.”

Truly placing an emphasis on patient care and incorporating this personal touch into his practice is just one of the ways it stands out. “Our patients are never made to feel like they are ‘just a number,’” says the vitreo-retinal surgeon.

Jackson Eye Care also stays up to date on the latest findings and treatments. “We provide them with state-of-the-art technology and evidence-based care,” says Dr. Jackson. “We couple this with a caring and compassionate staff that does its best to accommodate all of our patients’ needs.”

Another important factor he and his staff take seriously is providing immediate and continuing feedback to referring doctors. This way, they are not, as he says, kept “in the dark” with regards to the management plan for their patients. When not in the office, Dr. Jackson, who is also a former U.S. Army medic, prefers to spend his free time with his family.

“As a father of two teenagers and a

‘twenty something,’ there is always an activity or event waiting for me.” His wife, Kai, is also his practice manager.

Jackson Eye Care, LLC

22 Old Short Hills Road, Suite 202, Livingston | 862-904-8349

862-242-3500 973-796-3760 New Address: 7 East Frederick Place, Suite 700, Cedar Knolls Our Goal is to Help You Discover What You Need to Make Your Life More Enjoyable. Convenient day, evening and Saturday hours. Please call or visit the website for more information. Dr. Christopher Barker, Director of Discovery Psychotherapy Center Dr. Keith Morgen, Director of Discovery Wellness Center Telemedicine Appointments Available Our Centers Offer: • Services for Children Dealing with School and Family Dynamics • Individual/Family/Couples/Children and Teen Therapy • Variety of Clinical Therapy Expertise • Most Insurances Accepted Our Goal is to Help You Discover What You Need to Make Your Life More Enjoyable. IN THE SPOTLIGHT: HEALTH, BEAUTY & WELLNESS
June 2023 31
Dr. Kurt Jackson

Dr. Barker received a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology with a specialization in assessment from Radford University, a Clinical Psychology Master of Arts from the New School for Social Research, and a Ph.D. from Seton Hall University. His experience began long before he finished with his degrees. He was a peer counselor in college and has always been the one friends would come to with problems.

The therapy services Dr. Barker provides are diverse. He has worked with individuals who have been chronically hospitalized and were in need of readjustment to the community, as well as with children, families, and groups in both inpatient and outpatient facilities. He has addressed issues such as anger management, chronic and acute trauma, anxiety disorders, a wide

Discovery Psychotherapy Center

range of phobias, and depression.

During his years in practice he has also worked with the emotional aspects of a number of medical disorders, substance abuse treatment and maintenance, and alternative lifestyle arrangements. Of special interest to Dr. Barker is the work-related stress police officers and Emergency Medical Service personnel face on a daily basis.

Dr. Barker states, “I was raised with an awareness and immersion in my family’s Native American heritage and have always been an advocate for cultural awareness and diversity. We cannot create solutions or new behaviors as easily as we can find our way. I cannot change you, but I will try to help you discover what you need to make your life more enjoyable.”

7 East Frederick Place, Ste. 700, Cedar Knolls | 973-296-3760

Helping People Facing Infertility Issues

Fertility Coach Becky Ackerman’s business, Lily & Bee Fertility, helps women who are having trouble conceiving maximize their natural fertility by focusing on the mind-body connection and learning to manage stress. “Stress often plays a role in infertility as it wreaks havoc on hormones, blood flow, and mindset,” says Becky. “And infertility is a vicious cycle of stress and more stress.”

Becky teaches clients how to relax and feel more confident on their fertility journeys using breathing exercises, visualizations, and meditation. For example, she says that the act of taking long exhales signals the nervous system to relax and can quickly bring stress levels down. The techniques she uses are appropriate for women hoping to conceive naturally, as well as those using IUI or IVF.

Having dealt with infertility herself, the mother of three says she wants to share the knowledge she picked up along the way with others facing infertility issues.

Lily & Bee Fertility

646-469-7996 |

Becky Ackerman
32 Vicinity Magazine June 2023
Health and Wellness Profile

Changing the World, One Mattress at a Time

The Ethical Mattress Company in Millburn is on a mission to change the world one mattress at a time. The company sells mattresses and pillows made from certified natural and organic materials, and every mattress they sell is made locally in Northern New Jersey.

The owner, Bryan Umiker, is a local resident and twenty-year veteran of the mattress industry, having previously worked in executive roles for Bloomingdale’s, Casper, and Bed Bath & Beyond. The Ethical Mattress Company opened earlier this year, and strives to help their customer get everything they need to achieve a great night’s sleep while putting the principles of sustainability into practice.

First, Ethical Mattress takes a ‘farm to bedroom’ approach. All of their mattresses use natural and organic materials and contain no petrochemicals, polyfoams, fiberglass or toxic laminates. To achieve this goal, Umiker worked closely with two New Jersey factories to ensure these standards were met.

Next, the company does not dump their customers’ old mattresses in a landfill, instead they recycle them. “There are no mattress recyclers in New Jersey,” he explains. “So, my delivery guys and I are doing the recycling ourselves. We’re able to separate and recycle approximately 85 percent of the materials and keep them out of the landfill.

Umiker says, “The Ethical Mattress uses ‘Everyday-Low’ pricing that provides significant savings versus other retailers. “I spent years at a department store and am familiar with their high-low pricing and extreme markup structure. When I opened this store, it was important to me that we give our customer fair and transparent pricing.”

At The Ethical Mattress there are no high-pressure sales tactics. Instead, the customer is encouraged to take their time in choosing a mattress. “Our number one priority is to help our customers solve their sleep problem. We have the experience and knowledge to help the customer make the right choice, but it is important to take our time and get it right,” says Umiker.

Photo by Dan Epstein Bryan Umiker
The Ethical Mattress Company 387 Millburn Avenue, Millburn | 973-250-6104 IN THE SPOTLIGHT: HEALTH, BEAUTY & WELLNESS June 2023 33


Protect Yourself and Your Family from the Sun’s Damaging Rays

My worst sunburn ever was from laying out on an overcast day. I didn’t expect to get much of a tan, let alone sunburnt, given the conditions. I was especially unconcerned since I couldn’t see any color change at the time. But by evening, my skin was a bright pinkish-red, and the pain set in. I couldn’t wear clothes and had to call in sick for two days.

Aside from severe sunburn, there are other equally important reasons to take extra precautions in the sun, especially during the hot summer months.

Skin cancer is the most widely recognized health problem resulting from sun exposure. To reduce your risk:

• Avoid afternoon sun.

• Apply sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher at least fifteen minutes before you go out and then reapply every two hours.

• Look for products carrying the Skin Cancer Foundation’s blue seal of approval.

• Wear clothing that covers your arms and legs as well as a hat to shade your face.

The sun’s rays also damage our eyes. Exposure can cause cataracts as well as damage to part of the retina, cornea, and lens. Cheryl Khanna, M.D. of Mayo Clinic, recommends wearing sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays.

Also, some sunglass designs offer better protection. The best designs to block out as much UV rays as possible are wrap around or close-fitting sunglasses.

The risks of dehydration and heat exhaustion also increase during warmer months. It’s important to drink several glasses of water every day of the year, but especially during the summer months. If you’ll be in the sun or heat for any length of time, take plenty of water with you. Better yet, carry sports drinks, since they contain electrolytes. Also, try to restrict outdoor physical activity to cooler parts of the day.

Special Considerations for Babies

Sun exposure also increases the risk of cancer to children. This is of particular concern for babies because of their sensitive skin. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, a sunburn on a baby can be much more serious and result in high fever, dehydration, blistering, and heatstroke.

To protect babies from the sun, keep them out of the direct sun from 10am-4pm. Dress them in lightweight clothing that fully covers their bodies. Keep their heads covered with hats or sunbonnets with 4” brims.

For travel, place babies in the center position of the back seat or cover the car windows with UV-blocking film. Also, to keep infants and young children hydrated, carry Pedialyte, which is an excellent source of electrolytes.

Health and Wellness
34 Vicinity Magazine June 2023

Don’t Wait to Donate! Blood & Platelet Donors Needed Now

The American Red Cross asks people to book a time to give blood or platelets now to address a recent drop in appointments that could lead to fewer transfusions in the weeks ahead. Type O blood donors are especially needed to ensure a strong blood supply. Summer can shake up normal routines, but it’s important for donation appointments to stay on the calendar. More than 42 million Americans are expected to travel over the holiday, meaning fewer donors may be available. Appointments are critical this week for people waiting for lifesaving care.

Those who come to give June 1-30 will receive a $10 gift card by email to a merchant of their choice. Plus, volunteers will also be automatically entered for a chance to win a backyard theater package including a projector and screen, projector tripod, smokeless fire pit, Adirondack chair set and a movie night snack package.

The American Red Cross will be at these locations during the month of June:

June 3, 9am-3pm

Millburn High School, 462 Millburn Avenue, Millburn

June 4, 9-2pm

Berkeley Heights YMCA, 59 Locust Avenue, Berkeley Heights

June 11, 9-2pm

St. Vincent Martyr Church, 26 Green Village Road, Madison

June 11, 9am-2pm

Congregation Beth El, 222 Irvington Avenue, South Orange

June 14, 3-8pm

St. John Baptist Church, 2387 Morse Avenue, Scotch Plains

June 15, 10am-3pm

Lakeland Hills Family YMCA, 100 Fanny Road, Mountain Lakes

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission.

The American Red Cross

1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767)

Kurt T. Jackson, MD 862-904-8349 22 Old Short Hills Road, Suite 202, Livingston, NJ Specializes in Managing All Diseases of the Retina, Vitreous, and Macula including: Diabetic Retinopathy • Macular Degeneration Retinal Detachment • Macular Holes Ocular Trauma PERSONALIZED, PROFESSIONAL & CONVENIENT CARE FOR YOUR RETINAL PROBLEMS. Health and Wellness
June 2023 35

It is recommend that you call in advance as reservations may be required.


Nagoya Sushi & Tiki Lounge

538 Springfield Ave, Berkeley Heights 908-898-1188 |

Japanese restaurant featuring a wide selection of sushi, rolls, and other Japanese favorites.

Proud Thai Cookery


H2ocean Restaurant & Raw Bar

41 Ridgedale Avenue. Cedar Knolls 973-984-9594 |

Restaurant & bar serving locally sourced seafood


China Chalet

184 Columbia Turnpike, Florham Park 973-996-2828 |

Traditional Sichuan cuisine

Lucco Cucina + Bar

207 Ridgedale Avenue, Florham Park 973-822-0066 |

A modern Italian restaurant that combines favored classics with a contemporary touch.


Ancona Bistro 645 Valley Road, Gillette | 908-647-5755 Northern Italian entrees and pastas.

Nana’s Deli

645 Springfield Ave, Berkeley Heights 908-665-0055 |

Authentic Thai cuisine

Strega Bistro

430 Springfield Ave, Berkeley Heights 908-665-5905

Modern Italian farm-to-table bistro featuring seasonal organic menu with Mediterranean influenced-specials.

Trap Rock Restaurant & Brewery

279 Springfield Ave, Berkeley Heights 908-665-1755 |

A microbrewery offering seasonal craft brews & a delicate menu that accentuates a southern flare.


Charley’s Aunt Restaurant

8-10 S Passaic Ave, Chatham | 973-635-6772

Traditional American cuisine.

Gregorio’s Mediterranean Restaurant

255A Main Street, Chatham | 973-635-2777

Italian Mediterranean cuisine bursting with flavor.

Mitsuba Japanese Cuisine

237 Main St, Chatham | 973-635-3888

Traditional Japanese specialties and cuisine

Restaurant Serenade

6 Roosevelt Ave, Chatham | 973-701-0303

Artful dining, as conceived by award-winning Chef James Laird.

Casa Maya

615 Meyersville Road, Gillette 908-580-0799

Family-friendly BYOB serving Sonoran-stule Mexican cuisine.

Chimney Rock Inn Gillette 342 Valley Rd, Gillette | 908-580-1100

New American tavern with pub-grub standards, thin-crust pizzas & TVs for sports viewing.



471 W Mt Pleasant Ave, Livingston, 973-378-9222 |

Southern Mediterranean Italian Cuisine

The Feathered Fox

550 W Mt Pleasant Ave #1608, Livingston 973-994-4900 |

Steak house, sushi & raw bar

Mezza Mediterranean

127 S Livingston Avenue, Livingston 973-740-1940 |

Stop by for lunch and experience the legacy they created for their Nana… and make sure to have the tuna.


Bottle Hill Tavern

13 Waverly Place,, Madison | 973-949-6060

Tavern Fare—Comfort Flare

Grillera Mediterranean Cuisine

91 Park Ave, Madison | 973-301-2080

Distinguished Mediterranean Cuisine

Krust Kitchen

7 Cross St, Madison | 908-525-7878



27 Main Street, Millburn | 973-467-0494

A BYOB destination offering New American dishes.

Ms. Lin Chinese Cuisine

277 Eisenhower Pkwy, Livingston 973-992-9300 |

Mediterranean Fusion Cuisine

59 Main St, Millburn | 973-912-8838

Ms. Lin Chinese provides convenient take-out and delivery for lunch and dinner and specializes in off-premise catering.

36 Vicinity Magazine June 2023


Moe’s Bistro and Bar

535 Central Ave, New Providence


Located inside the Best Western Plus & Murray Hill Hotel and Suites, Mediterranean flare.

Coppola Ristorante & Pizzeria

590 Central Ave, New Providence | 908-665-0266

Offering pizzas & formal Italian dishes


Boxcar Bar & Grill

25 Chatham Rd, Short Hills | 973-912-0002

Bar fare

Par 440 Restaurant & Lounge

440 Parsonage Hill Road, Short Hills | 973-467-8882

A full service restaurant, bar & lounge located on the East Orange Golf Course in Short Hills. Offering bar bites, burgers and tasty entrees.


Trattoria Biagio

239 Main Avenue, Stirling | 908-350-8064

Authentic Italian cuisine

Twelve Islands Greek Taverna

1255 Valley Rd, Stirling | 908-647-2193

Traditional Greek fare


Due 36

50 Maple St, Summit | 908-608-0222

Authentic Argentinian/Italian tapas restaurant

La Pastaria

327 Springfield Ave, Summit | 908-522-9088

Italian cusine

Natale’s Summit Bakery

185 Broad St, Summit | 908-277-2074

Enjoy a selection of house made specialties including breads, pastries, pies and cakes. Daily specials. This family owned and operated bakery is serving up their delicious twist on bakery classics for over 80 years.

Roots Steakhouse

401 Springfield Ave, Summit | 908-273-0027

Old-fashioned New York style Steakhouse—expect delicious USDA aged prime beef sourced from the highest quality ranches in the mid-west.

Dine in area is now open! Delivery & curbside pickup available 973-912-8838 59 Main Street, Millburn Healthy, Fresh & Authentic Chinese Food Our dishes are prepared fresh daily, from ingredients delivered daily and using homemade sauces created in our own kitchen—daily! Ms. Lin Chinese Cuisine ORDER ONLINE AT: 275 NJ State Highway 10, East Hanover FOR PICK-UP ORDERS CALL 973-884-8840 WE DELIVER through HOURS: Sun-Thur 6am-1am Fri-Sat 6am-2am WWW.MEZZALIVINGSTON.COM 277 EISENHOWER PARKWAY, LIVINGSTON Call for Reservations: 973.992.9300 OUTDOOR DINING AVAILABLE • BYOB RESTAURANT OPEN SEVEN DAYS LUNCH Daily 11:30am–3pm • DINNER Sun-Thu 5-9pm, Fri-Sat 5-10pm Order Curbside Pickup & Delivery Online at: Suburban Essex 2022
June 2023 37

Celebrate Good Times!

This month I had the pleasure to speak with a local legend, Robert Kool Bell, co-founder, master bassist and leader of the Grammy winning legendary funk and R&B group Kool and the Gang. He has been a driving force in the countless hits that have topped the charts over the years. From Celebration, to Get Down On It, Kool and the Gang’s catalog, which sold 70 million records worldwide, has brought joy and inspiration to millions of people around this world— all thanks to the creative genius of Robert Kool Bell.

Barry Farber: You’ve had over six decades of success… What’s your definition of success today?

Robert Kool Bell: It’s about hanging in there and dealing with the ups and downs of the music business over the years. Especially after Covid. A lot of us weren’t working in the music business and it affected the entire world. Part of it is sticking in there and coming up with new ideas and new products.

How did you deal with some of the obstacles you’ve encountered over the years?

When we lost our lead singer James “J.T.” Warren Taylor people said; “Hey, what are you going to do now?” Before J.T. We were very successful… Summer Madness, Jungle Boogie, Hollywood Swinging and it goes on and on. Never stop creating and moving forward. One thing our parents always told us is to stick together.

What are some of your new products out there today?

We have an album coming out this July called, People Just Want To Have Fun, working with the original member of the band, George Brown. People do want to have fun. All the shows that we are doing now you see that everybody is coming out again. They’re happy about things. They’re happy about life and enjoying themselves. I think that’s very important.

We have been blessed to continue to stay out here and come up with good music. For instance, we are the most sampled band in the world. They are now celebrating 50 years of hip-hop, and we are the most sampled band in hip-hop. You have James Brown and at one time he was the most sampled band.

I saw that you have Le Kool champagne out in the market. Tell me about that.

A quick story on that. We were touring in France to sellout crowds about 7 years ago and the promoter came to me and said he’s doing a champagne with Barry

White, and one of The Bee Gees and wanted to know if I’d like to sell the champagne on our tour. I said, I don’t think our fans would want to buy a bottle of champagne after our concert. They are more into hats and T-shirts. I told the promoter I want to get on the shelves like Cristal and Dom Perignon. He didn’t expect that from me, and we went on to create Le Kool champagne and brought it from France to America. We cut the deal and my son Hakim and Marc Goldberg are building the market. We just signed a deal with Norwegian Cruise Line and looking at the Celebrity Cruise Line and additional markets.

What is something people don’t know that you’ve not shared with the media?

We are working on a documentary and book called “Hollywood Swinging” and also a movie. Here’s something your readers might not know. We produced 3 albums at the House of Music in West Orange, NJ. We did the “Celebration” album, “Something Special” Album and “Lady’s Night” album.

Any career advice for somebody young who’s looking to enter the music field or any profession?

You have to be serious about what you want to do. You have to stay strong through all the setbacks and difficulties. If you’re going to school or trying to learn a trade, or become a lawyer or any profession the key is to stay strong, not give up and keep going. Have faith.

Kool’s wife came up with the “Kool Kids Foundation” several years ago to get music back into the schools. Education is important to him, be it music or whatever you’re going to school for.

Kool’s Golf Outing Charity Event takes place July 11, 2023 at Cedar Hill Country Club. Kool will have 20 celebrities appearing including Lawrence Taylor, OJ Anderson, Ken Griffey, Sr., Ja Rule and Chris Tucker.

Barry Farber is a best-selling author, an award winning radio and television host as well as an agent and marketing consultant for corporations, professional athletes, and entertainers. He’s also the creator and marketer of the FoldzFlat® Pens. His latest release is an inspirational children’s book “In search of the magic tree” available at Follow him @barryfarberofficial.

Diamond Minds
Barry Farber
38 Vicinity Magazine June 2023

Strokes come on suddenly, so you need to act immediately.

From the moment a stroke happens, every second counts. Family and friends are usually the first to notice the symptoms, not the individual, and a quick response is essential in lessening or preventing long-term complications.

Use BE FAST to learn the most common warning signs of a stroke:

Balance Loss of balance or inability to stand or walk

Eyes Sudden blurred or loss of vision

Face A crooked smile

Arms With palms skyward, see if one arm drifts down or can’t be lifted

Speech Slurred or garbled speech

Time Call 911 immediately

You can learn more about other symptoms, risk factors and treatments at

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