Vicinity Magazine

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VOL. 20 NO. 9

David J. Black FOUNDER & CEO

Cathleen M. Black PRESIDENT & COO

Michael J. Reidy ART DIRECTOR



In the Vicinity News and Happenings from the area

10 Local Heroes 10 Lions Club Helps Those in Need 11 Give Back Club Help Others

24 Blippi–The Musical and Photo Experience 24 24th Annual Pipes of Christmas Concert 27 Holiday CraftMorristown 28 Harmonium Choral Society Presents “Goodness and Light”

12 Best of Essex 2021 Award Winners

29 Good Stuff Performs

13 Local Buzz 13 Renowned Chef Turned Artist Opens Up Art Gallery

29 Holiday Bazaar 30 18th Annual Holiday Celebration— Amani

16 Holiday Book Sale Boutique

31 Winter Festival Concert

16 47th Annual Craft Show

31 Festival of Trees

17 Elf Jr. Performance 18 Richard Marx: An Acoustic Evening of Love Songs 19 Celebrate the Holiday Season LIVE with New Jersey Festival Orchestra 19 Steppin’ Back Out

14 Local Gift Guide Find the perfect holiday gifts. 20 COVER STORY In the Swim in SPRINGFIELD 25 Fun with Fashion House of Dezign Teaches Skills— and Frees Creativity 26 There is a Lot to Do at Codey Arena 33 Health Beauty Wellness 33 SUPER FOODS for a Nutritious Diet 34 Maintaining and Grooming a Beard is Nothing Short of a Routine 35 Are You a Woman at a Crossroad? 36 Restaurant Guide

On the Cover: Goldfish Swim School Photo by Dan Epstein


Vicinity Magazine

38 Diamond Minds SIGND, Sealed & Delivered

Winter 2021

Kimberly Blaker Cynthia Burns Sue Baldini Barry Farber Janis Hashe Christine Maxwell Jackie Schatell Deborah Shapiro CONTRIBUTING WRITERS



Mitchell Black Heidi Dommasch Robert Leo Murray GUARDIAN ANGELS

CIRCULATION 32,000 U.S. POSTAL SERVICE MAILED TO SINGLE-FAMILY HOMES IN: Berkeley Heights, The Chathams, Florham Park, Gillette, Harding, Millington, Madison, New Vernon, Millburn, New Providence, Short Hills, Sterling, Summit

NEXT ISSUE: February 2022 Advertising Deadline: 01/15/22 In-Homes: 02/01/22 Calendar submissions: Editorial submissions: Call for info: 973-276-1688

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.

Winter 2021 7

In The Vicinity By Jackie Schatell

Florham Park Resident Publishes Kids Book that Fosters Empowerment


chool psychologist Danielle Gasalberti of Florham Park recently published a book called, “Love Your Selfie,” a book geared to kids in grades one to five that teaches them about empowerment and building self esteem. It will become a play at Drew University in Dec. Danielle says that throughout Covid, she found herself on Facebook seeing other people’s posts, which reminded her that people put on a perfect face with online profiles. She realized that if she was measuring herself up to what she saw, others, including kids were too. Remembering her time spent at an elementary school helping children handle bullying and social skills through literature, she decided to write a book on managing social media and mental health that she hopes resonates with kids and opens up dialogues with parents. Danielle is enjoying doing events, signings, and readings and is available to do so at schools, libraries and more. She can be reached at

(Left-Right) Back row: Mathew Villanueva and Nathan Villanueva; Middle row: Tyler Villanueva and Arav Pahwa; Front Row: Jayden Man

Berkeley Heights PTO Collects Nearly 3,000 New and Gently Used Shoes for Honduras and Haiti


he PTO at Columbia Middle School (CMS) in Berkeley Heights held a fundraiser for new and gently used shoes. They collected nearly 3,000 pairs. The PTO worked in partnership with an organization that recycles the shoes by selling them at a small fee to the people in Honduras and Haiti. The shoes are then refurbished and resold. The PTO also received a small fee for each pair of shoes to benefit the school. The program teaches the resellers how to become entrepreneurs, and provides the buyers with nice shoes. The CMS students placed signs at multiple locations for their on-site collection boxes and helped pair up the shoes by attaching them with rubber bands to prevent separation. “This is a win for all,” says Sue Seto, who is a member of the PTO, “as it teaches our children to give back, and save the planet through sustainability, helps the resellers and buyers, and the PTO.”


Vicinity Magazine

Winter 2021

Chatham Holds 13th Annual Turkey Trot


n Thanksgiving Day, residents of Chatham held their 13th annual Turkey Trot to raise funds for The Chatham Township Volunteer Fire Department, the Diabetes Research Institute, the Chatham Emergency squad and The Barton Center for Diabetes Education. To date, the event has raised nearly $200,000. The event, which was held in the Highlands section of Chatham Township included a 1 Mile Family Run and a USA Track and Field certified 5K Race. Neighbors had fun coming together as a community to kick off the Holiday Season.

Millburn Mud Ball Raises Over $48,000


he Millburn Mud Ball, a fashion show extravaganza raised over $48,000 to support Millburn businesses that were damaged by Hurricane Ida flooding. Over 350 people attended the event, which was inspired by a New York Times photo of muddied dresses after Ida from Millburn’s Highline Fashion. In the finale, Wendy Missian, the director of the event, sported the iconic muddy ball gown from the image. The fashion show featured clothing from local clothing shops. Millburn students, parents and firemen were the models. The event included a sit down dinner catered by La Strada and “A Taste of Millburn” food tasting with 25 restaurants. The proceeds benefited businesses affected by the storm within Explore Millburn’s Special Improvement District (SID). A separate grant was made for businesses outside of the SID. In her speech, Mission said, “People are good, people are strong and people are generous. It takes a muddy village.”

Photo credit: Melinda DiMauro

Over $115,000 is Raised at Madison Area YMCA 2021 Annual Golf Classic


ore children than ever before will be experiencing the magic of YMCA summer camp in 2022 thanks to the Madison Area YMCA Annual Golf Classic that raised over $115,000 this year. It was the most successful event in the golf outing’s 24-year history. A total of 142 weeks of camp were donated during the event in addition to those awarded through live and silent auction items at the Camp for One, Camp for All dinner reception. All proceeds will make Y summer camp, membership, child care and YMCA programs available to families who require funding assistance to participate at the Madison Area Y’s Family Center and F.M. Kirby Children’s Center. (Left-Right) Madison Area YMCA Board Member and Golf Committee Co-Chair Jaime Pego Curcio of Madison, Jeff Garfield of Westfield, IN, Scott McBride of Chatham and Tracy Davis of Rye Brook, NY. Photo Credit: Madison Area YMCA

Santa Is Coming to December Summit Lions Club Event at GRACE


ollowing Halloween, the Summit Lions Club collected unused candy for a special event that is planned for December 16, where Santa will be visiting Giving and Receiving Assistance for Our Community Essentials (GRACE), which is located at Cornog Field, 5 Myrtle Avenue in Summit. Children will be able to sit on Santa’s lap, while families shop for free amidst great new toys, puzzles, games, clothes, household items and other types of ‘new with tag’ items to give to children and loved ones for the holidays. The candy will be handed out in gift bags to attending children and as stocking stuffers. “Many people have such pride and just need a little help around the holidays,” says Summit Lions Club President Janet Russell, “so in holding this event, we ‘hand up’ new with tag items that families can shop for. It is fun and meaningful for all!”

Santa Claus (aka Peter Twill, Secretary of Summit Lions Club) at last year’s Holiday Shopping Bazaar getting ready to hand out candy to youngsters at GRACE. Winter 2021 9

Local Heroes

Lions Club Helps Those in Need By Jackie Schatell


anet Russell of Chatham is a very busy woman. As President of the Summit Lions Club, which is celebrating its 95th year, she along with 22 volunteers manage many charitable events for the working poor and give out about $20,000 a year. In November alone, she and the Lions helped Giving and Receiving Assistance for Our Community Essentials (GRACE) distribute food to 500-750 people. After receiving $10,000 in new make-up they held a free make-up shopping event. They also ran a shopping bazaar, which included ‘new with tag’ items. Instead of giving away gently used items, Janet decided to hold the event with only new items to provide an exceptional shopping experience for participants. While everything was free, “I wanted it to have a real shopping feel,” says Janet. “Many people have such pride and just need a little extra help,” says Janet. “This was a ‘hand up’ event.” Janet says she put out a call for ‘new with tag’ items to Summit, Chatham, New Providence, and From left, Janet Russell, President of Summit Lions Club, and Fred Cuozzo, Berkeley Heights and that “people Vice President of Summit Lions Club at the Shopping Bazaar held at GRACE. were so generous. I was overwhelmed with the amount of quality beautiful items received including clothes for The group also participated in the Rise Against Hunger event adults and children, belts, purses, accessories, bridal items, by donating $7,000 and helping to package up food to be household items, puzzles, toys and more. I probably had at sent to Haiti. Janet says they raise about $8000 a year and least 50 clothing items in each size.” use a large bequest they received years ago to fund other yearly endeavors including a $2500 scholarship at the high On December 16, she will be holding an event where children school, and donations to the Summit Y for childcare, the get to sit on Santa’s lap, while parents can shop for more Jr. League, GRACE, the Seeing Eye and the Eye Bank for ‘new with tag’ items to give to loved ones for the holidays. cataract surgery. After Halloween, she collected candy that will be given out at this event, and was also sent overseas to soldiers, and given to the Summit YMCA, and Summit Housing. Last year, the Lions, who have a mission of providing eye care to those who need help, provided mobile eye care to 60 people where the group paid the deductibles and for further care when needed. They will be doing this again this year.


Vicinity Magazine

Winter 2021

Janet says it is a lot of work and that she does a lot of coordinating, but that “it is worth it to be able to help others.” She tries to give back by doing a lot of postings from the events she runs. She says, “Aha, moments like when she learned of a mom on her last diaper,” keep her going. The club is always looking for volunteers. To participate contact Janet at 201 341-9053.

Local Heroes

Give Back Club Help Others By Jackie Schatell


ast year, during the peak of the pandemic, Sue Seto of Berkeley Heights, started the Give Back Club with her son Jayden, 12, and other children, as a way of teaching them about being mindful and helping others. To date, they have performed many wonderful acts of kindness. Their first endeavor was to make 1,000 PB and J and/or ham sandwiches for a local food pantry. After that, Sue says, “the kids were hooked and were already looking for their next endeavor.” Since then, the Give Back Club has led and participated in many events to contribute to the community. The group ran a successful food drive that required three truck loads to deliver to St Joseph’s. Other activities included making

800 customized Christmas cards and delivering them in decorated shoeboxes to over 10 senior homes. They also ran a coat drive for the homeless in New York. The Club’s latest assignment was to help the Columbia Middle School PTO collect over 3,000 pairs of shoes for the people of Haiti and Honduras. Sue, who is known to check in on anyone she hears needs some cheering up, says the activities are “fun and are something we all enjoy.” She adds that Jayden “enjoys the work” and that it “has become part of his life for the last year and a half.”

Winter 2021 11

Best of Essex READER’S CHOICE 2021

Suburban Essex

Award Winners

Suburban Essex

Suburban Essex



Bronze Winner

Silver Winner


The following local establishments won medals in the 2021 Suburban Essex Best of Essex Readers’ Choice Awards. Congratulations! Gold Medal for Children’s Party Places Genius Gems Millburn

Gold Winner

Silver Medal for Florist

Bronze Medal for Electrician

Silver Medal for Family Law

Bronze Medal for Plumber

Lotus Petals Floral Design Maplewood

Kubick & Kubick, Inc. Millburn

Tanya Freeman Weiner Law Group, LLC East Hanover

Gold Medal for Painter

Silver Medal for Interior Design

Wilber’s Home Improvements Maplewood

Studio 1200 Millburn

Silver Medal for Art & Framing

Silver Medal for Mexican Restaurant

Gold Medal for Hearing Care

Mona Lisa Framing Maplewood

Silver Medal for Children’s Instruction Genius Gems Millburn

Cactus Charlies Maplewood

Silver Medal for Outdoor Dining Par 440 Short Hills

Thank You for Voting Us Best Toy/Hobby Store!

Barnett Electric South Orange

Russo Bros. and Co. East Hanover

Bronze Medal for Chiropractor Millburn Chiropractic Arts Millburn

Bronze Medal for Learning Centers – Tutors Genius Gems Millburn

Bronze Medal for Private School Winston School Short Hills



Thank you for voting for us!

Suburban Essex




Gold Winner



Vicinity Magazine

Winter 2021

Suburban Essex

Silver Winner


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Local Buzz

Beautiful Hair is Just the Beginning! Our expert stylists are here to work with you to make sure you look and feel your best. We want your entire experience to be memorable and we look forward to welcoming you to our newly renovated salon.

Renowned Chef Turned Artist Opens Up Art Gallery


nternationally renowned Spanish chef and artist Jesús Núñez turned his creativity back to the visual arts during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. In Jesús’ first New York restaurant review, The New York Times called his cuisine “edible art” and compared Jesús to famed Spanish surrealist Salvador Dali. Sometimes using his kitchen tools as opposed to paint brushes, Jesús decided to elevate his artwork by opening up his very own fine art gallery in Millburn.

Closed Sun & Mon; Tue 9am-6pm; Wed 9am-8pm; Thur 9am-8pm; Fri 9am-5pm; Sat 9am-5pm BY APPOINTMENT ONLY

7 Townsquare, Chatham | 973-701-0099

Right before the construction of his new gallery space was concluding, Millburn was flooded by Hurricane Ida, which destroyed many businesses in the town. While having to rebuild the gallery space all over again, he began a “Millburn Strong” campaign that helped raise awareness and funds for other local business owners in town affected by the hurricane just like himself. Another aspect that makes J. Nunez Gallery unique is their Love Always initiative. The gallery pairs up with a nonprofit every month and donates a portion of each artwork sold. “I opened this gallery to inspire. Art is beautiful but good art carries a message. I created the Love Always collection to carry the message of Love.” Núñez said.

560 Springfield Avenue, Berkeley Heights, NJ


Winter 2021 13

Support Your Local Merchant. Shop Local. Find the perfect holiday gifts at nearby independently owned businesses in our community.

Authentic Nutcrackers Handcrafted in Germany

Each piece is hand painted and finished with exquisite detail. These heirloom-quality items make a one-of-a-kind holiday gift.

European Deli

973-425-0100 |

Always on trend and ahead of the curve. Shop for your faux fur early and get holiday ready with US!

Cotton & Jewels

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These one-of-a-kind pieces are etched with Well Told’s signature map designs; choose from college towns, home towns, cities, and topographies around the U.S. and the world. Available in pint, wine, and champagne glasses, plus much more!

Well Told

Vicinity Magazine

House of Dezign

11B Roosevelt Avenue, Chatham | 973-908-3575 14

Give the gift of Fashion through sewing, draping and other design techniques. We offer camp, kids and adult parties (Sip and Sew Night) and classes. Great for ages 6 - adults.

Winter 2021

Have so many people to gift this year? Mixology has the best gift selection from cold weather accessories to layered jewelry. These Apparis faux fur gloves will make that special someone feel warm and fuzzy all season long.

Mixology Livingston

1160 Town Center, Livingston 973-544-6121

Lafco Limited Edition Champagne Holiday diffuser and candle, with notes of neroli, ginger and honey. Unique gifts and free wrapping. Do your holiday shopping at:

Glaze Salon

7 Townsquare, Chatham 973-701-0099

English Dart Set-Up

Bristle board & steel tip darts. Wine cork and live edge wood. Many style to choose from— custom orders available!

The Game Room Store 461 Rt 46 Fairfied 973-227-2245

Give the Gift of Art

Each mini canvas is a premium giclee print that is approved and signed by the artist, Lisa Palombo. Shop the website to view her complete portfolio.

Lisa Palombo Studios

55 Mountain Avenue, Caldwell | 973-364-0280 hours by appointment |

Give the gift to better health and well-being for all in a convenient, peaceful and modern location.

Modern Acupuncture

176 Columbia Turnpike, Florham Park | 973-765-9500

Splurge Bakery 2021 Red Velvet Holiday Cake featuring red velvet cake with our sumptuous cream cheese frosting. Decorated with a rich chocolate ganache drip, and topped with homemade gingerbread cookies. Place your order on our website or call today! Nationwide shipping available. Shop online or in-store.

Splurge Bakery

105 Main Street, Millburn | 973-379-0740 Winter 2021 15

Local Buzz

Thank You for Voting Us


2021 Gold Winner

Making HEALTHIER Easier with Our Green Drink & Organic Cleanses! Boost Energy, Increase Metabolism, Improve Eating Habits & Lose Weight with Chef V. Farm fresh, certified organic, plantbased foods, and raw green drinks— Handmade then delivered to your door by Private Chef & Nutritional Therapist, Veronica.

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Holiday Book Sale Boutique


et into the holiday spirit of the season with a visit to The Library of the Chathams. There will be a large selection of beautiful children’s and adult “gift able” books with holiday themes, best sellers, DVDs (many brand new), CDs and puzzles and games for all ages. The sale is made possible by the Friends of the Library of the Chathams and the many generous donations from the Chatham community. Friday, December. 3, 10am-4pm; Saturday, December 4, 10am-4pm and Sunday, December 5, 2-4pm.

The Library of the Chathams 214 Main Street in Chatham


47th Annual Craft Show


eautiful and affordable crafts will be on hand. All crafts are handmade including wood items, ornaments, wreaths, and jewelry. There is a raffle and food for purchase. Stand Out From The Crowd On Social Media!


Saturday, December 4, 10am-4pm.

Holy Family Church 35 Orchard Rd, Florham Park 973-377-1817


Vicinity Magazine

Winter 2021

Local Buzz

Elf Jr. Performance


oin the Summit Playhouse for some SparkleJollyTwinkleJingley fun from December 3-12. Elf Jr. tells the story of Buddy, a young orphan, who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported to the North Pole. The would-be elf is raised, unaware that he is actually a human until his enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father, discover his true identity… and true love, and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas. This presentation is a Kaleidoscope Youth Theatre Production, an educational and commmunity service that provides quality drama for and by youth.Summit Playhouse, 10 New England Ave. Summit. 908-273-2192. Tickets can be purchased at: All seats are assigned. There will automatically be an empty seat placed between all parties for social distancing. Proof of vaccine and photo ID is required at the door for entry into the Playhouse for all audience members ages 12 and older. Masks are required for all audience members and must be worn at all times while inside the building. You may present your original vaccine card, a photocopy/printout, a digital picture, or vaccine verification via a mobile app such as Docket.





Painting • Carpentry • Masonry • Additions • Gutter Installation Millwork • Wallpaper • Floor Installation & Refinishing • Roofing Bathroom/Kitchen & Basement Renovations • Hardscaping

Winter 2021 17

Local Buzz

Richard Marx: An Acoustic Evening of Love Songs


rammy winner Richard Marx (“Hold on to the Nights,” “Don’t Mean Nothing,” “Satisfied,” “Right Here Waiting,”) has sold over 30 million albums since the 1980s. He has scored 14 No. 1 singles, both as a performer and as a songwriter/producer (including Keith Urban’s “Long Hot Summer”), revealing him a true multi-talented performer who continues to challenge himself and his fans. Marx is an American pop/rock and adult contemporary singer, musician, record producer, and songwriter and will be performing on February 22, 2022 at 7:30pm.

Mayo Performing Arts Center 100 South St, Morristown | 973-539-8008

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Winter 2021

Local Buzz

Celebrate the Holiday Season LIVE with New Jersey Festival Orchestra


eturn of The Three Holiday Tenors will kick off the Holidays with a bang and plenty of bling as three award-winning tenors from NYC’s MET Opera and beyond return to NJFO to present a dazzling selection of renowned tenor fare and holiday classics to welcome in the festive season. A family celebration of symphonic pops and wintertime favorites guaranteed to make your season merry.

Sunday, December 19 at 3pm The Concert Hall, Drew University, Madison | 908-232-9400

Steppin’ Back Out


teppin’ Back Out is a cabaret-style event for the whole family, that promises a superb revue of American musical theater song and dance presented in glorious symphonic splendor. Renowned guest singers direct from the Broadway stage, and dancers from Dance Theatre of Harlem, join NJFO to swing to favorites from America’s Great Songbook led by Maestro David Wroe.

Saturday, January 1 at 2:30pm Fellowship Cultural Arts Center, Basking Ridge | 908-232-9400 Winter 2021 19

In the Swim in

SPRINGFIELD Aquatics for Those 4 Months & Up!

By Deborah Schapiro, photos by Dan Epstein


or Jeffrey and Larisa Posner, things are going swimmingly in all senses of the word. The husband-and-wife team recently opened the Goldfish Swim School in Springfield, building on the success of their four-year-old Livingston facility.

Unlike traditional swim classes that offer fixed start and end dates, Goldfish Swim School offers an ongoing, perpetual lesson model. This allows children to begin at any time and progress at their own pace. Goldfish Swim School instructors are highly trained in The Science of SwimPlay®, the school’s proprietary curriculum, which uses play-based learning to build life skills in and out of the water. The majority of Goldfish students are first learning to swim, but the school also offers upper-level classes and “Swim Force.” This is their non-competitive team, where advanced swimmers spend an hour practicing their strokes across the whole length of the pool.

Tiffany Schroeder, General Manager of Goldfish Swim School Livingston and Goldfish Swim School Springfield

Like its sister facility, the Springfield Goldfish Swim School offers swim instruction to children from four months through 12 years old. Up until age two, the children are in the pool with a parent or caregiver. At age two, they may or may not be separated from their adult, depending on individual readiness. From ages three and up, the children have group lessons; the student-teacher ratio of no more than 4:1 allows for plenty of attention. Classes are 30 minutes long. continued on the next page


Vicinity Magazine

Winter 2021

Jeffrey and Larisa Posner Winter 2021 21

In the Swim in SPRINGFIELD continued from the previous page

The physical plant is an impressive 8,550 square feet, with a state-of-the-art water purification system and rigorous Covid-safety protocols followed. Other facility highlights include individual changing rooms, a blow-dry station, a snack bar, retail shop, and warm, tropical décor. The pool temperature is also quite warm—a shiver-free 90 degrees. Parents and caregivers are welcome to watch their children in the air-conditioned viewing gallery. In addition to swim classes, the Goldfish Swim School offers weekly family swims and party packages. While the primary focus is small-group instruction, a limited number of private lessons are also offered. Larisa notes, “As the parents of three kids and the owner-operators of two premier swim schools, we are passionate about swim instruction and water safety in general. Drowning is the number one cause of death among children under four, which is why we offer free water safety presentations in schools, preschools, churches, daycare facilities, and street fairs.” Since opening their first Goldfish Swim School in 2017, the Posners have taught literally thousands of kids to swim. Jeffrey says, “It is such a rewarding feeling to know that children are learning to be safer in and around the water.”

Goldfish Swim School 275 U.S. 22 East, Springfield | 973-671-5544


Vicinity Magazine

Winter 2021

Jeffrey and Larisa Posner and Tiffany Schroeder

Winter 2021 23

Local Buzz

Blippi The Musical and Photo Experience


ew Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) is proud to announce another world-class performance, Blippi The Musical, the live show inspired by the global sensation Blippi who will have families rocking in their seats on Tuesday, February 8, 2022 at 6pm. Blippi The Musical brings the energetic and loveable character Blippi off the screen and onto the stage with a world-class production, audience engagement and amazing music. Children across the world have quickly taken to Blippi’s charismatic personality and innovative teaching lessons. In this live show, Blippi takes kids on the ultimate play date through field trips and adventures. Always curious, Blippi encourages learning through playing, doing and exploring. He has taught millions of kids how to count, learn colors, letters, and much more. Upgraded tickets are also available to purchase for an exclusive Photo Experience—Meet Blippi in one of his very own MACHINES! Children and their family will have the opportunity to take a photo with Blippi and one of his favorite machines.

NJPAC—Prudential Hall Betty Wold Johnson Stage, One Center Street, Newark 888-466—5722 |

24th Annual Pipes of Christmas Concert


rom the bold sounds of the bagpipes and the harmonious blending of brass, strings and percussion, to the poetic and lyrical words that complement them, the Pipes of Christmas is a festival for the soul. The Pipes of Christmas offers a spiritual and traditional take on the season that connects concertgoers to the holiday in a fresh, meaningful way. The show features tunes such as, Highland Cathedral, Joy to the World, and Amazing Grace, all performed live on pipes and drums, harp and fiddle, and organ and brass and more. Not only does the performance define Christmas cheer, but also it inspires those of Celtic descent to retrace and reconnect to their ancestry. Sunday, December 19 at 2pm. Central Presbyterian Church,70 Maple Street, Summit.


Vicinity Magazine

Winter 2021


House of Dezign Teaches Skills—and Frees Creativity By Janis Hashe


hatham’s fashion design school, House of Dezign, has not yet been open a year, but is already generating raves, both from adult students, and parents of kids who have attended classes. “What an amazing experience,” wrote one adult student. “I learned a lot and it was so much fun. I was a beginner

and left knowing things I could not have imagined I was capable of.” Parents leave similar comments, praising how much their children loved the camps the school offers. This is exactly what founder Roya Ranjabar had in mind. With her own design background and knowing how television shows such as Project Runway have generated interest in sewing and design, she has created an academy that teaches both basic sewing and design skills and develops students’ creativity. “Creativity becomes active when you start using it,” Roya said. Kids, especially, need little encouragement to start playing with colors, textures, and shapes. Students bring in photos and images to make a “fashion mood board,” which they use as they learn to sketch designs, Winter 2021

drape fabrics, choose details, and utilize “upcycling” of garments. All of this is not only creative, Roya emphasized, but stress reducing and good for mental health. “Everyone does well here,” she said. Adults and kids alike find the focus needed to enhance skills and execute ideas to be “like a meditation.” House of Dezign is offering its Winter Break Fashion Camp for children and teens from February 21-25. Visit the website for a full description and enrollment information.

House of Dezign 11B Roosevelt Ave., Chatham. 973-908-3575 25

There is a Lot to Do at

C ODE Y A R E NA By Jackie Schatell


he Essex County Codey Arena South Mountain Recreation Complex is home to many great skating programs for people of all ages and abilities including public skating sessions, family stick and puck sessions, and Winter Ice Escapades. The following programs are also offered: Learn to Skate is for beginner skaters. The Essex Skating Club is geared to the promotion and development of figure skating.

The Skyliners Synchronized Skating Team has a mission to prepare skaters to compete at the highest level of synchronized skating locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. The Essex Skating Club of New Jersey’s BRAVO! Theater On Ice team is a competitive theatrical skating troupe offering a variety of sporting activities, such as: body stretching and strengthening, choreographic exercises, and skating. The Essex Special Skaters Program offers both a Learn to Skate program and a Freestyle one, with the latter skaters of any age competing at any USFSA or ISIA sanction competition, and skaters ages 8 or older competing in The Special Olympics New Jersey Winter Games in either free style or the badge program.

The New Jersey Dare Devils (NJDD) is for boys and girls ages 6 to 28, with various special needs. The New Jersey Devils Youth Hockey Club offers a range of ice hockey programs from the beginner level to the highly competitive AAA USA Hockeysanctioned level to programs for players with disabilities. 26

Vicinity Magazine

Garden State Speedskating Club (GSSC) offers a year-round program for beginners to nationally competing athletes. Hockey North America is the adult ice hockey league that invented “beginner hockey for adults.” Great Saves Goalie School & Training Center is a Give’Em Nothing School for Goaltenders. Winter 2021

The Jo Jo Starbuck Skating Classes offer skating classes for adult recreational and beginning skaters including Great 8’s, which introduces students to compulsory figures and Cool Workout, which teaches skaters crossovers, stops, turns, spins and jumps. D1 Development Camp gives players the tools, confidence, and vision they need to succeed both on and off the ice. Erik Nate Euro Hockey Program focuses on skill development to help players of all ages develop their individual skills and improve in all aspects of the game. The arena is also host to high school training, games, and championships, ATU National Taekwondo Championships, ESPN Friday Night Fights, the Essex County Holiday Hockey Tournament, and the Essex County High School Wrestling Tournament. In addition the arena offers birthday party rentals, corporate team building sessions and more.

Local Buzz

Christine Mackellar

Holiday CraftMorristown


ome discover unique and one-of-a-kind handmade gifts for every age, taste and budget on at the return of Holiday CraftMorristown, a thoughtfully curated shopping event featuring 160+ fine craft artists!

Danny Polk

C Joseph NY Kate Beck

Find original fashions, accessories, jewelry, home décor, furniture, photography and fine art, as well as functional and sculptural works in ceramics, glass, metal, wood, mixed media. Handmade soaps and beauty products, as well as handcrafted gourmet specialties, food and beverages will be available. December 10, 4-8pm; December 11, 10am-6pm; December 12 10am-5pm. The Morristown Armory, 430 Western Ave., Morristown. 845-331-7900

Kay Petronio Eileen Sackman

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Kevin Almeyda



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ANS ANTIQUES Sam Guidan Estate Buyers & Liquidators

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Local Buzz

Harmonium Choral Society Presents “Goodness and Light”


oncertgoers will enjoy a world premiere by composer-in-residence Martin Sedek, Goodness and Light, with selections from Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Carols, Donald St. Pierre’s Songs of Sweet Accord, and choral gems from Brandon Williams, Elaine Hagenberg, and others, with world-renowned harpist Merynda Adams. Artistic Director Dr. Anne Matlack says, “It is such a joy, after months of silence, to bring a brand-new work to life.” In-person live concerts will take place on Saturday, December 11 at 7:30pm and Sunday, December 12 at 3pm at The Presbyterian Church in Morristown, 57 E. Park Place, Morristown. Tickets are available at Visit for more information or to make a donation.

Protecting People from the Risks of Everyday Life We’re here to make sure you are covered. Call for a Complimentary Analysis.

973-582-6200 Denny Klein, President and CEO, and the staff of Rand, Feuer & Klein, LLC


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Winter 2021

Local Buzz

Thank You for Voting for Us Best Family Law—Silver Winner Suburban Essex

2021 Silver Winner

GOOD STUFF— The Music of Steely Dan, Stevie Wonder & Beyond GOOD STUFF performs the music of Steely Dan, STING, Stevie Wonder and Gino Vannelli all in the same show. It’s a perfect evening of top notch entertainment. The finest musicians and singers in the NY, NJ, PA area playing great music audiences rarely hear live. GOOD STUFF uniquely focuses on the music of Steely Dan, interwoven with the very best cuts from Gino Vannelli, Sting, and Stevie Wonder. The only live show that significantly captures the genius of four of the greatest musical artists of our time! Seatings at 6:15 and 8:30 for two separate sets of music. No music charge, $40 food & drink minimum. Reservations required. Saturday, December 11. SHANGHAI JAZZ, 24 Main Street, Madison | 973-822-2899

They’re waiting for your next move.

Make it Tanya L. Freeman. Divorce. Separation. Custody. Alimony. Deciding who gets what. It’s all stressful, heartbreaking— and a single misstep can be costly. That's why, for so many people, their next move—or their first—is to call Tanya L. Freeman. As an accomplished attorney, she brings skills and insights gained from her work in various public and private sector disciplines. This know-how helps Tanya develop strong negotiation and trial strategies designed to help clients move confidently through every phase of their matter. So, if you need representation in any family law situation, consider what's at stake—then consider Tanya L. Freeman. It’s your move.


a member of

he Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is thrilled to announce our very first Holiday Bazaar! This special bard-inspired celebration of the season will feature an array of special holiday items and delights hand-crafted by local artisans. Festive stocking-stuffers, Shakespearean ornaments, and more — The Shakespeare Theatre’s Holiday Bazaar is a wonderful place to find unusual gifts! The Bazaar will be held at The Shakespeare Theatre’s Thomas H. Kean Theatre Factory at 3 Vreeland Road in Florham Park, NJ on Friday, December 3, 2-8pm and Saturday, December 4, 10am-4pm. Winter 2021 29

Local Buzz

18th Annual Holiday Celebration—Amani


ome and experience an uplifting musical night capturing the joy and love of the holiday season. Enjoy some holiday cheer by Amani on Saturday, December 11 at 8pm. Amani was formed to share the concept of peace through music, performing hits from a variety of genres including The Great American Songbook, Gospel, R&B, Jazz, Bossa Nova, and Broadway. This performance, of course, will include a selection of holiday favorites. The members of the group are veteran musicians led by Marty Eigen on woodwinds, vocalist Stephen Fuller, pianist Fred Fischer, bassist Tom Charlap, Gordon Lane on drums and Bill Ash on Trumpet.

Marty Eigen

Stephen Fuller

Fred Fisher

Bill Ash

Tom Charlap

Gordon Lane

This will be the 18th Annual Holiday visit to the WAC by Eigen, who has been a frequent contributor to the Center’s “JaZZ in the Gallery” series, with his Beacon Hill Jazz Band as well as with other notable jazz performers. Watchung Arts Center is located at 18 Stirling Road in Watchung. For tickets go to



Trusted, Knowledgeable, Competent and Gets You to “THE CLOSE”

Donna Mattina


REALTOR – Sales Associate 973-214-2929 (cell)

49 Main Street, Madison, NJ 07940 973-377-4444 (office)

NJ Realtors Distinguished Sales Club Achiever 10 Year Recipient FIVE STAR PROFESSIONAL

Information based on the GSMLS 1-1-20 thru 12-31-20.


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Winter 2021

Local Buzz Suburban Essex

2021 Bronze Winner

Suburban Essex

Silver Winner

Custom Closets, Garage Cabinets, Home Offices, Pantries, Laundry & Hobby Rooms

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40% off any order of $1000 or more. 30% off any order of $700 or more. Not valid with any other offer. Free installation with any complete unit order of $500 or more. With incoming order, at time of purchase only.

Winter Festival Concert

he Fairleigh Dickinson University’s School of the Arts is inviting the community to a concert, featuring a wide variety of classical, popular and seasonal favorites. The performers will include the FDU’s chorus, chamber choir and band. Faculty members taking part include Allen Cohen, (piano); Mariana Karpatova (voice), Elzbieta Winnicki (violin), Jane Seaman (voice) and Peter Toth (piano). The Winter Festival Concert will be held on Monday, December 6, at 7:30pm in the Dreyfuss Theater, Dreyfuss Building, at FDU’s Florham Campus at 285 Madison Avenue in Madison. 2017 © All Rights Reserved. Closets by Design, Inc.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS! From Your Neighborhood

Second Annual Festival of Trees


n Sunday, December 12, 2021 we will be holding our second annual Festival of Trees, A Multicultural Celebration of the Holidays, from 11am-4pm. There will be crafts and activities celebrating Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, and the Solstice, as well as musical entertainment, food trucks and holiday vendors. The highlight of the festival, however, will be 30+ festive trees placed around the grounds decorated by local organizations, businesses, families, and scouts on Sunday December 12 from 11am-4pm. Timed entry and limited participants, registration is required.

Everything for Your Furry, Scaly & Feathery Friends + Self-Service Pet Wash + Wide Selection of Natural and Made in the USA Dog and Cat Food Products + Prices you Love In-Store AND On-line + One Hour Curbside Pickup, FREE Same Day Delivery or Autoship

Reeves-Reed Arboretum 165 Hobart Avenue, Summit | 908-273-8787

176 Columbia Tpke (next to Trader Joes) 973.330.5900 Mon-Sat: 9am-9pm • Sun: 10am-7pm | Independently owned and operated

Winter 2021 31

Get virtual healthcare from virtually anywhere. We’ve taken every precaution to ensure your safety. That’s why we offer two easy ways to visit with a doctor without coming in: Primary Care or Specialist Have a video visit an RWJBarnabas Health Medical Group provider via your phone, tablet or computer. Book online or call 888-724-7123 and we’ll walk you through it step-by-step. New patients can register on the site as well.

Urgent Care Download the TeleMed app, and you can visit with an urgent care provider* on your smart phone, tablet or computer – anytime, anywhere.

To learn more about your virtual care options visit

TeleMed Let’s be healthy together.

*Urgent care services for RWJBarnabas Health TeleMed® are provided by U.S. board-certified, licensed, credentialed doctors who average 15 years in urgent care, emergency, family, or primary care medicine, and who have been trained in telehealth. RWJBH TeleMed does not replace your relationship with your primary care doctor.

Health, Beauty, Wellness Suburban Essex


for a Nutritious Diet


he health community has long praised the benefits of vitamins and nutrients derived from natural sources. For those looking to improve their health or take preventative measures, these 10 natural super foods can be incorporated into your daily diet to help support your health: Green Tea - Armed with a special type of antioxidants called polyphenols, green tea can decrease plaque formed in the arteries and can fight prostate cancer. Rosemary - Studies have shown this powerful spice can reduce the risk of stroke, as well as protect against Alzheimer's disease. Almonds - Full of plant sterols and amino acids, almonds can help lower high cholesterol and promote muscle growth. These handheld treats are also rich in vitamin E, which can protect skin from sun damage. Fatty Fish - Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fatty fish such as salmon, flounder and sardines can lower the risk of heart disease. Bananas - This easy, portable snack is loaded with essential potassium, which regulates the nervous system. Bananas also offer loads of vitamin B-6, which aids immunity and metabolism. Whole Grains - These powerful body defenders have been known to boost immunity, protect against various cancers and reduce cholesterol.

2021 Bronze Winner

Thank You for Voting for Us!

Does Your Treatment Plan Include Rehabilitation? Sub-Acute Rehabilitation Daughters of Israel offers a relaxing, safe environment with trained medical professionals. Our private rehabilitation campus features: • A Spacious, State-of-the-Art Gym • Recovery Suites and Lounge with Luxury Amenities • Fine Kosher Cuisine • Expert On-Site Medical Care

For more information call 973-400-3307 or visit Daughters of Israel is a non-sectarian community.

The Spirit of Community. The Traditions of Home.

Empowering Women. Changing Lives.

Eggs - These energy-packed breakfast favorites contain a special type of protein that helps build muscle strength more than other proteins. When compared to other breakfast foods, eggs can also keep you feeling fuller longer with fewer calories and fat. Spinach - Chock-full of magnesium, potassium and various vitamins and nutrients, spinach can prevent clogged arteries and protect against prostate and colon cancers. Soy - This protein-packed food contains isoflavones, which can aid in treatment and prevention of prostate cancer. Also, research from the Food and Drug Administration shows that 25 grams per day can help lessen the risk of heart disease. Dark Chocolate - Satisfy your sweet tooth and improve blood flow to the brain at the same time. Dark chocolate can also lower blood pressure and increase skin's resistance to UV rays.

Programs are being offered remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Contact us to see how we can help you.

Career Services • Computer Classes Legal Guidance • Self-Empowerment Workshops

70 South Orange Ave, Suite 120, Livingston, NJ 07039

Find more health-conscious tips at


—Family Features) Winter 2021 33

Health, Beauty, Wellness

Maintaining and Grooming a Beard is Nothing Short of a Routine


eards need a lot of care, and there is no easy way around that. If you know exactly what your beard requires and how to groom it, it is always going to be in top shape. Below are a few tips from Husky Beard and Grooming. Moisturizing your beard is a great idea, but you have to make sure to only use products which have been made specifically for beard hair. Longer beards can tend to have a tougher texture, so keeping it moisturized is important.

Oils and balms for beards help with a number of issues, like thinning hair, lack of lustre, uneven growth and so on. Trimmers, cutters, creams, and lotions made especially for beards are a smart investment. Electric shavers come in handy for beard grooming because they're easy to use and offer you the option of professional quality grooming right at home! Make a routine and always keep your beard-related products at a specific place, so that you don't have to waste time searching for them.

Carry a small beard comb with you at all times and give your beard a few brushes every now and then to avoid knots and breakage. Ensure that you clean and wash your beard regularly. Not doing so regularly can cause a build-up of bacteria or germs, which can, in turn, lead to other health issues and skin irritation.

It is not just your beard that needs to be clean and tidy at all times. Keeping your tools in good condition will also ensure that your skin doesn't contract any infections or rashes, especially if you have sensitive skin.

A healthy beard doesn't only have to do with what you use on it externally. Eating healthy and getting all the nutrition in is also essential. Omega-3, Vitamin B, and also Vitamin A are known to be a great source of proteins, minerals, and nourishment for facial hair to grow thick and evenly. Proper diet will also fuel your beard growth if you're looking to sport a longer one.

Our Goal is to Help You Discover What You Need to Make Your Life More Enjoyable. Meticulous Office CDC Covid Practices and Precautions Telemedicine Appointments Available Our Centers Offer: • Services for Children Coping with the Pandemic • Individual/Family/Couples/Children and Teen Therapy • Variety of Clinical Therapy Expertise • Most Insurances Accepted Dr. Christopher Barker,

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Director of Discovery Psychotherapy Center

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Convenient day, evening and Saturday hours. Please call or visit the website for more information.


New Address: 7 East Frederick Place, Suite 700, Cedar Knolls 34

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Winter 2021

Health, Beauty, Wellness

Are You a Woman at a Crossroad? Find Your Next Steps at The Center for Women


re you a woman who is contemplating separation or is recently divorced and don’t know how or where to start with your next chapter? The Linda and Rudy Slucker NCJW/Essex Center for Women (CFW) assists ALL women in our area by providing online programming and discrete individual one on one career counseling. Our programs are designed for women by women and include peer-led open group discussions, self-esteem workshops, career services, and health and wellness programs. Our services are free or low cost depending on your situation. The hardest part of starting something new is figuring out how to ask for what you need or what you want. Our professional and compassionate staff is here to partner with you. Together we will create a plan for who you are now. You are not alone in this new stage of your life. We welcome you to find out more about the CFW and what kind of help we can offer you. To take the next steps, please contact us at 973-994-4994, or

Let Us Give You a Reason to SMILE! Whether it is a fear of pain or needles, a cosmetic challenge, mystery toothaches, or a complex dental problem, Dr. Chiu is here to help. All services are provided on premise, including gum care, placing surgical implants and mini implants.

Complementary Comprehensive Exam & Full Mouth X-Rays Must present this coupon. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Offer expires 01/31/22.

Helen P. Chiu, DMD, PA

Experienced, Comprehensive Gentle Care 248 Columbia Turnpike, Florham Park, New Jersey 07932

973-377-0224 Winter 2021


Restaurant Guide Casa Maya

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

BERKELEY HEIGHTS Nagoya Sushi & Tiki Lounge 538 Springfield Ave, Berkeley Heights 908-898-1188 | A family owned Japanese restaurant striving to provide the best food and experience to customers. Featuring a wide selection of sushi, rolls, and other Japanese favorites.

Proud Thai Cookery 645 Springfield Ave, Berkeley Heights 908-665-0055 | A Thai Restaurant that brings you delicious street food! They offer the authentic Thai cuisine

Mitsuba Japanese Cuisine 237 Main St, Chatham | 973-635-3888 Featuring traditional Japanese specialties and cuisine, including sushi, rolls, cooked fare & lunchtime bento boxes.

Restaurant Serenade 6 Roosevelt Ave, Chatham | 973-701-0303 Artful dining, as conceived by award-winning Chef James Laird. A showcase of the finest hand-selected seasonal and regional ingredients in simple, refined presentations by Chef Laird.

A Taste of Asia 245 Main Street, Chatham | 973-701-8821 A Taste of Asia, New Jersey’s first Malaysian restaurant, brings the eclectic cuisines of Malay, China, India, Thailand and Eurasia to the area.

Strega Bistro


430 Springfield Ave, Berkeley Heights 908-665-5905 | Modern Italian Farm to Table Bistro featuring seasonal organic menu with Mediterranean influenced-specials.

H2ocean Restaurant & Raw Bar 41 Ridgedale Avenue. Cedar Knolls 973-984-9594/ www., Relaxed restaurant & bar serving locally sourced seafood in a sophisticated, contemporary space.

Trap Rock Restaurant & Brewery 279 Springfield Ave, Berkeley Heights 908-665-1755 | A microbrewery that offers guests seasonal craft brews in addition to a delicate menu that accentuates a southern flare

CHATHAM Charley’s Aunt Restaurant 8-10 S Passaic Ave, Chatham | 973-635-6772 Traditional American cuisine.

D’Oro Ristorante 219 Main Street, Chatham | 973-701-6990 A northern Italian menu that is sure to please everyone’s pallets. D’Oro offers a vast menu selection of delicious dishes including pasta, fish, poultry, pork, steaks, and more.

Gregorio’s Mediterranean Restaurant 255A Main Street, Chatham | 973-635-2777 Italian Mediterranean cuisine bursting with flavor

Scalini Fedeli 63 Main Street, Chatham | 973-701-9200 French-influenced Italian fixed-price menus in an elegant, vaulted interior with Tuscan touches.


Vicinity Magazine


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

MADISON Krust Kitchen 7 Cross St, Madison | 908-525-7878 Pizza

MILLBURN Basilico 324 Millburn Ave, Millburn 973-379-7020 | Enjoy the delicious flavors of their dishes, homemade pastas and desserts, cooked to perfection at one of the finest Millburn Italian restaurants.

Common Lot 27 Main Street, Millburn | 973-467-0494 A BYOB destination offering New American dishes.

184 Columbia Turnpike, Florham Park 973-996-2828 | Traditional Sichuan cuisine in an elegant environment.

La Pergola

Lucco Cucina + Bar

MoonShine Summer Club

207 Ridgedale Avenue, Florham Park 973-822-0066 | A modern Italian restaurant that combines favored classics with a contemporary touch. Offerings consist of New York style pizza, fresh salads, delicious small bites, & wonderful pasta.

55 Main Street, Millburn | 973-218-6042 Contemporary American cooking executed with style, finesse, and an updated comfort-food sensibility.

Pastosa Ravioli


186 Columbia Tpk, Florham Park 973-377-4800 | A third generation, family-owned and operated Italian specialty food company widely recognized as the source of New York’s finest ravioli, fresh pasta and Italian specialties.

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

Winter 2021

120 Essex Street, Millburn | 973-376-6838 Providing diners with quintessential Northern Italian cuisine.

Moe’s Bistro and Bar 535 Central Ave, New Providence 908-840-4540 | Located inside the Best Western Plus & Murray Hill Hotel and Suites, offering a full and varied menu with a Mediterranean flare. Full bar and live entertainment.

Coppola Ristorante & Pizzeria 590 Central Ave, New Providence 908-665-0266 Offering housemate pizzas & formal Italian dishes



Boxcar Bar & Grill

Huntley Taverne

25 Chatham Rd, Short Hills | 973-912-0002 Boxcar Bar & Grill is the neighborhood hangout Short Hills has longed for. From juicy burgers to crispy, thin crust pizza to ceviche and fresh salads, friends and families will enjoy their food!

3 Morris Avenue, Summit | 908-273-3166 Huntley Taverne dining experience offers classic seasonal cuisine, a 250 bottle wine list, two stone fireplaces, outdoor porch dining, and private events.

Par 440 Restaurant & Lounge

La Pastaria

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.

327 Springfield Ave, Summit | 908-522-9088 Located in Summit, La Pastaria has become an icon of home style Italian dining and a hidden gem of the community.

10 Bank Street, Summit | 908-273-1713 A family owned and run, authentic Portuguese BBQ restaurant. Their savory dishes feature ingredients such as olive oil, tomatoes, onion, garlic and wine.

Natale’s Summit Bakery

Summit House Restaurant + Bar

STIRLING Trattoria Biagio 239 Main Avenue, Stirling | 908-350-8064 Authentic Italian cuisine

Twelve Islands Greek Taverna 1255 Valley Rd, Stirling | 908-647-2193 Charming eatery crafting traditional Greek fare, including seafood & classic homestyle dishes. 12 Island has a full bar and the menu is assembled with a wide variety of recipes from the Dodecanese and other islands.

Roots Steakhouse

Serra Restaurant

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.


2021 Silver Winner


401 Springfield Ave, Summit 908-273-0027 Roots Steakhouse is an old-fashioned New York style Steakhouse. Diners can expect delicious USDA aged prime beef sourced from the highest quality ranches in the mid-west.

395 Springfield Ave, Summit | 908-273-6000 An American restaurant and bar offering seasonal cuisine, craft cocktails, fresh local beers, and terroir-driven wines.

A Chris�mas Traditio� SINCE 1938

• Stollen

• Yule Logs

• Rolls

• Tea Breads

• Petit Fours

• Pastries

• Fruitcakes • Cranberry Pecan Tarts • Crusty Breads • Bread Puddings • Holiday Cakes & Tortes • Christmas Cookies • Gingerbread Men & Houses



440 Parsonage Hill Road, Short Hills

973-467-8882 |

Family Tradition… Since 1938

185 Broad Street, Summit • 908-277-2074 Winter 2021 37

Diamond Minds

Howard Margolies


Sealed & Delivered


magine Ottis “OJ” Anderson, former NY Giant great and Super Bowl winner, wishing your husband a happy birthday— while signing a football for him. Or NJ Devil great, and three time Stanley Cup winner, Ken Daneyko sending a shout out to your daughter—while autographing a hockey puck. SIGND delivers the most unique gift for any celebration. Think birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, or for any gift occasion. This month I sat down with Howard Margolies, the founder of SIGND. His company offers personalized experiences through dozens of New Jersey/New York sports and entertainment Icons and beyond. Barry Farber: How would you explain to someone what SIGND is? Howard Margolies: We are a unique memorabilia experience that combines three different components. An unboxing experience, custom memorabilia, and a personalized video. Any one of those individually is a great gift by itself. We have all seen videos on the Internet of people unboxing, signing memorabilia and getting personal videos. When you combine all three of these…that is SIGND. BF: So it’s a great gift idea for all occasions? HM: Yes and think of corporate gifts. How many edible arrangements can you get in a year? How many times can you send stacked boxes of chocolate to the same client every year. This is something that they will have forever and ever. Usually you send something and then a few weeks after you and your employees have rummaged through it, and now it’s gone. With SIGND, you send something and they have it forever. BF: What inspired you to come up with this idea and vision? HM: I was inspired by three specific constituents in mind. One is the icons and the gap in the fan and icon activity. The other is the fan in creating that memory or bringing back that memory of a famous game, concert or event they went to with someone they care about. And the third, which pretty much drives everything we do, is charity. We want to help give back and help the less fortunate. A lot of that starts with some of the ex athletes. A lot of the alumni associations of which we partnered with look out for some of the alumni players who may have fallen on tough times and not have some of the means to support themselves both for medical bills, a roof over their head or God for bid even a funeral.

Barry Farber 38

Vicinity Magazine

BF: That’s a great part of your vision. HM: One of the first charities we’re getting behind is Michelle Akers horse rescue in Florida. She had to move her farm and her rescue horses are at risk and she needs funds. We are looking forward to helping her. BF: Any other ideas that drive you to keep going through any obstacles while building this business? HM: I thought it would be really fun if a consumer had the opportunity to be a “Disney Director” for 250 characters. First they’re a casting Director and find out who they want the message to be from. Then they’re the writer and director because they tell them what they want them to say. Then they’re the ultimate gift giver because they’re going to go through that activity and provide such a unique experience for the person they love and that’s the Hallmark experience. We’ve seen small kids to grown men cry. One person got something from a New York Giant, Ottis Anderson, and he almost dropped it and said he has to call his father. This is a grown man screaming he has to call his father to tell him he has this! That moved me. What motivates me every day is hearing great stories from amazing icons whether they are musicians and sharing their tough roads that they had to take. Playing in dive bars until they finally got a break. Or a baseball player telling me how many minor-league buses he sat on before he got his break. Or someone in the WNBA who were told they would never play professional sports because they didn’t have those opportunities for women. And Sheryl Swoopes was the first person who signed and so proud that she broke ground there. That’s what motivates me everyday. BF: Thank you Howard. On a side note I had a chance to speak with one of your icons, Dean Tolson, who played in the NBA for the Seattle Supersonics in 1974-1978 and transformed himself from illiteracy to a masters degree Magna Cum Laude in education and turned his life around. I was extremely inspired by his story. His championship was in the classroom. Stay tuned for that story coming soon to Diamond Minds.

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

Winter 2021

The Perfect Holiday Gift!

for Kids, Teens & Adults

Daily & Weekly Holiday Camps Available

Register Now! 973-908-3575 11B ROOSEVELT AVENUE, CHATHAM, NJ 07928