Millburn & Short Hills May 2024

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May 2024
Pickleball for All
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Contents MAY 2024 24 6 10 16 12 ON THE COVER Friends and dedicated pickleball players
(from left): Jordan Rosner, Katie
Rosen and Stefani Alcosser.
20 FEATURES 16 At Your Service Millburn Recreation is expanding its pickleball programs and facilities to meet growing demand. 20 Make a Splash Head downtown with friends to celebrate this year’s mermaid-themed Girls Night Out. 24 Parcel of Paradise Rooted in deep history and full of picturesque natural scenery, Greenwood Gardens sparks human connection. IN EVERY ISSUE 4 Publisher’s Note 6 Around Town BITE-SIZED UPDATES 10 Q&A RATHI VIJAY, YOUTH SOCCER LEADER 12 Local Tastes MOONSHINE MODERN SUPPER CLUB 28 Book Nook SPRING AWAKENING 30 Gatherings LAUNCH PARTY! 32 Photo Op HOMEGROWN BEAUTY! 2 | MILLBURN & SHORT HILLS

Publisher’s Note

May warms our hearts with the celebration of Mother’s Day, a time to honor the influential women in our lives. One aspect of my role with this magazine that I love is connecting local businesses with our readers, especially woman-owned businesses. I hope you will enjoy meeting Rathi Vijay, whose new soccer camps bring a handson, supportive approach to teaching soccer skills to our youngest players.

Finally, it is time to get outside! We hope our pickleball article—including coverage of new local programs and courts—will be music to the ears of current players and inspire those who haven’t yet tried the sport to join the fun. Pickleball brings many opportunities to make new friends, spend time with old friends and get fit at the same time!

Starting this month, there are so many wonderful events to enjoy in our community. In our article about Greenwood Gardens, we pull back the veil on a whole season of enchantment at this local treasure. Girls Night Out, coming in June, is a must-attend event, replete with swag bags, wine tastings, music and merchant sales. It’s a special evening to hang out with friends downtown.

On April 16, our team got to hang out with some of our supportive advertisers, readers and community leaders at the Millburn & Short Hills magazine launch party. Thank you to those who came out! We look forward to having more opportunities to meet you, our readers, in person.

Please keep your story ideas coming and follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay on top of everything happening in Millburn and Short Hills.

Millburn & Short Hills



Mary Lima

Editor and Lead Writer

Elaine Paoloni Quilici

Art Director

Sue Park

Copy Editor

Nancy Fass


Sophia Colitti

Stacey Gill

Abigael Good

Steve Grillo

Isabella Setaro


Melissa Spector



Carroll V. Dowden

President and CEO

Mark Dowden

VP, Group Publisher, Regional

Thomas Flannery

VP, Content Strategy

Maria Regan

Creative Director

Kijoo Kim

Advertising Services Director

Jacquelynn Fischer

Operations Director

Catherine Rosario

Production Designer

Chris Ferrante

Print Production Manager

Fern Meshulam

Advertising Production Associate

Griff Dowden

Millburn & Short Hills magazine is published by Wainscot Media. Serving residents of Millburn and Short Hills, the magazine is distributed monthly via U.S. mail. Articles and advertisements contained herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher. Copyright 2024 by Wainscot Media LLC. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in any form without written consent.


Around Town

As the weather warms up, residents should take advantage of event season in town.

Among the exciting offerings are many innovative and engaging programs organized by Explore Millburn-Short Hills and its numerous partners.


Millburn’s Cultural Engagement Diversity and Arts Committee (CEDA) will host the third annual Founding Day at Taylor Park (100 Main St., Millburn) on May 18, from noon to 3 p.m. (rain date May 19). This event will celebrate the founding of the town in 1857 as well as the 100th anniversary of the dedication of Taylor Park.

CEDA is working with various local groups to develop activities related to the history of the town, including a dozen local nonprofit, civic and religious organizations that are preparing a public art project called “Millwheels 2024.” CEDA has partnered with Explore Millburn-Short Hills to install wooden millwheels throughout town, which have been designed and fabricated by local groups. The wheels will make their public debut at Founding Day and will be placed throughout Taylor Park until being moved to various locations throughout town later this summer.

Family-friendly entertainment will include 1920s-era music by the Florian Schantz Jazz Combo, sponsored by Explore Millburn-Short Hills, and music organized by Paper Mill Playhouse, featuring Judith DiMinni, a Short Hills teen who has performed at the Paper Mill Playhouse Summer Musical Theater Conservatory.

The Millburn-Short Hills Historical Society will present various historical activities, including downtown walking tours hosted by interpreters in period clothing. Explore Millburn-Short Hills is also hosting a sketch artist who will be dressed in period clothing. A sketch of Taylor Park by the artist will be raffled off as a door prize for attendees.

The Millburn Environmental Commission will host a park cleanup and waste audit The organization will discuss ways to address plastic waste and its impact on the park and Rahway River. New Jersey Clean Communities litter activity books will be distributed to children.

The Millburn-Short Hills Desi Club will host Indian art and dance performances, and local preschool Neighborhood House will host children’s games and an exhibit on the school’s 104-year history.

For more information and to join the Explore Millburn-Short Hills email list, please message



Five Short Hills homes with interesting backgrounds to explore will be on display May 31 from 9 a.m. to noon as part of the second annual H.O.M.E. Tour The event is organized by The Warehouse NJ, which uses money raised from the event to help furnish the homes of people rebuilding after tragedy. A limited number of tickets are available at Photographs courtesy of Fisk Foto.


The first annual Millburn Spring Festival will occur on June 10 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Bauer Center in Taylor Park (100 Main St., Millburn). The family-friendly event, organized by the Indian American Association of Millburn Short Hills and the South Mountain Civic Association, is open to the entire community. Attendees can watch a cricket game and learn how to play the sport, get a henna tattoo and enjoy Indian music and dance. There will also be food stalls from local restaurants.


Music and Dance in the Garden kicks off at Greenwood Gardens (274 Old Short Hills Rd., Short Hills) with the AAPI Jazz Collective on May 24 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. (rain date May 25). The group, led by Peter Lin on trombone and featuring vocalist Tammy Huynh, specializes in a classic repertoire from Asian cultures reimagined within a jazz context. Attendees can enjoy the gardens beginning at 5:30 p.m. Complimentary wine and cheese will be served at 6 p.m., and music starts at 6:30 p.m. Limited registration is available at The cost is $50 for members or $55 for nonmembers.

Photograph by Filip Wolak.


Organized by Explore Millburn-Short Hills, Girls Night Out will take place on June 6 in downtown Millburn. The theme of this year’s free event is “Mermaids in Millburn”—just in time for summer. For more information, see this month’s feature on the event (page 20), and follow Explore Millburn-Short Hills on social media for updates and promotions.


Explore Millburn-Short Hills is the 501(c)3 nonprofit established to support and promote businesses throughout the five areas of the Special Improvement District that was established in 2020. It organizes numerous events, musical performances, educational programs and networking events. The organization also is responsible for various public art and streetscaping projects in town, including the Millburn Art Alley.

MAY 2024 | 7
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Filling a Sports Void

A new soccer program focuses on developing physical and life skills.

Short Hills resident Rathi Vijay has a goal—to make soccer accessible and fun for local children. In October 2023, she launched her franchised business, Soccer Stars of Millburn and Essex, which offers programs, classes, camps, private group instruction and parties for children ages 1 to 12. The age-specific curriculum teaches the foundations of soccer while focusing on emotional development in a fun way. Led by certified coaches, the programs target all experience levels, from introductory parent-and-me classes to advanced development. Millburn & Short Hills magazine recently spoke with Vijay to learn more about her new business.

Q & a
INTERVIEW WITH RATHI VIJAY Owner of Soccer Stars of Millburn and Essex

Why did you start Soccer Stars of Millburn and Essex?

As a fully committed soccer mom and someone who loves being around kids, starting a sports-based program focused on kids seemed a natural fit. I felt our community lacked good options for organized sporting activity catering to small kids without requiring their parents to commit to the rigors of a travel team. Soccer Stars helps fill that void.

What do you hope children gain from their experience?

We hope to create a fun environment for kids to interact with other kids and express themselves freely. We help them develop athleticism and ball-control skills while teaching them valuable life skills such as decision-making, problem-solving, anticipatory thinking, perseverance and sportsmanship.

What differentiates your soccer program from others in town?

We start at a very early age with the parent-and-me program designed for kids ages 12 months to 24 months. Our coaches are experts in early childhood, so that makes a big difference in how the kids react to and engage with the program. The activities are specifically designed to make the process of learning fun and exciting.

Why are local sports programs important?

It is important for kids to get a break from their TV and digital devices, step out of the familiar environments of their home and school, and build their social skills by engaging and collaborating with other kids in a communal setting.

What makes you most proud of your business?

I can recall so many instances when a child came in crying and/or wouldn’t leave their parents’ side. Inevitably, by the end of the session, the child was fully engaged, making friends, chatting with the coaches and running around happily with the ball at their feet. Being able to watch this transition is the most wonderful feeling. It’s a matter of pride that my coaches are so adept at changing an unfamiliar setting for the wary child into a fun, carefree and joyful place where they can be their free selves.

Elaine Paoloni Quilici is the editor of Millburn & Short Hills magazine and a freelance lifestyle writer based in Verona. Her work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, amNewYork, New Jersey Monthly and Mommy Poppins.

Children enjoy a low-stress atmosphere to learn the fundamentals of soccer. Welltrained staff help children build both physical and emotional skills.
MAY 2024 | 11

Old-School Nouveau

MoonShine Modern Supper Club serves up retro charm with modern food and drink.

The idea of supper clubs may conjure visions of swanky dining establishments created for elite members of society in the 1930s and ’40s—dimly lit spaces with white tablecloths, upholstered chairs and tufted banquettes. Places that weren’t only restaurants, but social clubs and venues for entertainment.

Though supper clubs have evolved to include a modern sensibility, places such as MoonShine Modern Supper Club (55 Main St., Millburn) still deliver a welcoming social atmosphere.

Supper Club Dreams

In 2011, MoonShine owner Victor Delapa and his partner,

Joseph San Philipe, were inspired to offer up their iteration of a supper club. In 2010, they seized the opportunity after closed on Main Street, leaving the space available. They commissioned New York City-based hospitality design firm Riscala Agnese to revamp the space into the sleek, modern supper club the owners were eager to create. The idea behind MoonShine was to provide a contemporary spin on American classics, as well as a space to relax and socialize over craft cocktails and other libations.

Crafting a Menu

The menu is seasonally driven, undergoing larger menu redesigns from Chef Ricardo Cardona in the spring and fall, with smaller changes to produce and sauces in the summer and winter. This keeps dishes fresh and seasonal.

A recent menu update also took advantage of infusing some Latin flare into the menu.

“I’m originally from Argentina, so we put in some traditional and familiar recipes from South America, just to make it feel a little more like home,” Delapa says. Home and community are incredibly important to the co-owner.

“We’ve been a part of this


community for over a decade,” he says. “We’ve seen our share of ups and downs—a couple of hurricanes, the pandemic—so we’re very thankful to the community for helping to sustain us. We certainly couldn’t have done it without the love and support of both the town and the community.”

Bringing People Together

MoonShine is a place for people to gather, as exemplified by the open kitchen, which is visible from the bi-level space, and the 30-foot bar that draws a lively crowd. In addition to dinner, the supper club serves Sunday brunch. Although many visitors opt for the signature cocktails, there is also a top selection of wine and beer. It is one of the few places in town to offer a weekday happy hour.

Whether it’s over food or drink, Delapa is happy MoonShine is a place that brings people together. “The way I see it, there’s nothing wrong with a little lollygagging, especially in the right company and with the right drink,” he says.

Isabella Setaro is a Montclair-based writer. She has a degree in advertising and marketing communications and a passion for the power of storytelling.

While you plan your visit to MoonShine, try co-owner Victor Delapa’s most recent favorite cocktail. “Tequila tends to make you lose track of time—at least that’s what I’ve heard,” Delapa says. “This drink keeps things simple, fresh and clean. Mix up a couple of these and get lost in conversation with your favorite person.”


• 1.5 ounces Tres Generaciones Reposado Tequila

• 0.75 ounces Cointreau

• 1 ounce white cranberry juice

• 1 ounce pomegranate juice

• 1 ounce lemon juice

• 0.50 ounces agave


• 1 freshly sliced lime wheel

• Fresh pomegranate seeds


1. Fill a Boston shaker with ice.

2. Pour in all ingredients and shake vigorously.

3. Strain liquid into rocks glass over fresh ice.

4. Garnish with lime wheel and pomegranate seeds.

MAY 2024 | 13
MoonShine owner Victor Delapa (right) works alongside server Justin Vasquez.

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At Your Service

Millburn Recreation expands its pickleball programs and facilities to meet growing demand.

Try pickleball for a fun way to stay active and get fresh air this spring.

Pickleball players, rejoice! Four brand-new, dedicated pickleball courts are coming to Gero Park. Construction should be completed before the end of the summer, according to Chris Myers, Millburn’s director of recreation and parks.

Myers, who has overseen this expansion, is pleased the township has been able to accommodate the competing interests of the community’s avid pickleball enthusiasts as well as stalwart tennis players. That’s no small feat in a traditional tennis town known for high school teams that consistently win state championships.

“Now the pickleball players will have

their spot,” says Myers, who notes the new courts will help free up tennis courts that have been converted for pickleball play.

Meeting Demand

Recognizing the skyrocketing popularity of the sport across the country, Millburn is trying to stay ahead of the curve with the addition of these courts.

“The sport has exploded,” Short Hills resident Lindsay Rosen says. “Everyone I know plays pickleball. We call it stop, drop and pickle.”

When she first started playing two years ago, Rosen was accustomed to competing with tennis players for court access, but she’s seen a shift over time. “Now there are hundreds of pickleball players in town to compete with, too.”

Until this year, players in Millburn and Short Hills had the option of nine outdoor courts: five at Gero Park, two at Taylor Park and two at Slayton Field. However, none

were dedicated pickleball courts, and only one location, Gero Park, had lighting.

The new courts are “in a perfect spot,” according to Myers. They will be situated behind the playground and out of earshot of the neighboring houses so that the signature popping sound of the sport won’t bother residents. LED lighting will be added to the courts within the year.

The outdoor pickleball season runs from April 1 to Oct. 31 in town, during which time courts must be reserved through the recently implemented CommunityPass, which has streamlined the process and boosted membership. The one-hour, no-fee slots can be booked 48 hours in advance or on the spot via QR codes posted at all courts. To make a reservation, residents must have an active membership, which costs $72 for adults, $52 for 18- to 21-yearolds and $27 for children.

“It’s a great system,” Rosen says. “You pay one fee, and it’s inexpensive.”

MAY 2024 | 17
Short Hills resident Lindsay Rosen (second from right) always makes time to play with her friends Jordan Rosner, Katie Freyman and Stefani Alcosser (left to right).


It doesn’t take long to get addicted to pickleball. To really bring it on the court, you have to look the part. Luckily, several local shops will have you looking like a pro before long.

One of the most important items needed is a proper pair of sneakers. You don’t want to roll your ankle in common running shoes. A pair of flat-bottomed kicks from Oncept, Veja or Voile Blanche, available at Footnotes (275 Millburn Ave., Millburn), will help keep you stable on the court.

For clothing, lululemon at The Mall at Short Hills (1200 Morris Turnpike., Short Hills) has an array of quick-drying polo shirts, sweatwicking racerback dresses, cropped tank tops and lightweight pickleball skirts with hidden liner pockets to hold an extra ball (you’re going to need that). For men, there are UVprotective polos, moisture-wicking tanks and lightweight tennis shorts.

Also at the mall, Alo has a tennis collection that includes dresses, skirts, bras and V-neck pullovers in a comfortable sweater knit. The store offers high-compression leggings, cropped hoodies and lightweight, loose-fit shorts with matching cropped pullovers for cooler mornings and late nights on the court. Alo has soft, stretchy, cling-free tees and tanks for men, along with running and performance shorts designed for hot weather and highsweat activities.

Sneaker Factory Running Center

(308 Millburn Ave., Millburn) has a great selection of sports apparel with plenty of running shorts and tights for quick maneuvers on the court. For year-round outdoor play (it’ll happen), the store has long-sleeve base layers, vests, gloves and neck warmers. The store also sells essential accessories, such as water bottles and visors.

For pickleball equipment, head to High Country Ski and Tennis (465 W. Mt. Pleasant Ave., Livingston) to find the right paddle, pickleballs and pickleball bag. The store has a solid selection of paddles at a range of price points from JOOLA and Selkirk to Adidas and Gamma. High Country also sells court shoes for when you’re ready to get serious.

Want to play but not ready to devote your life just yet? Play It Again Sports (449 W. Mt. Pleasant Ave., Livingston) has a limited selection of new and used paddles, pickleball bags, balls and tennis sneakers, so you can try out the sport without a big investment.

Playing pickleball on local courts is a great way to meet new people in town.

Playing Year-Round

The township also offers indoor play during the winter in a recently renovated space at the Bauer Community Center. Formerly used as a meeting room, the space was filled with tables and chairs, which players had to push against the walls to accommodate the 20-foot-by44-foot court and portable net. It now has been converted into a freshly painted multipurpose room with permanent lines in varying colors on the floor, each signifying a different sport.

Millburn resident Alison Roth, who plays in the indoor winter program, approves of the renovation.

“They did a great job,” she says. “It feels a lot safer now.”

The town’s indoor program is open only to Millburn and Short Hills residents. It has ended for the season but runs for six weeks on Saturdays during the winter and costs $40.

Residents do not need a membership.

The department is looking to add more indoor pickleball programming, especially during colder months, and to make online reservations for the indoor court available on CommunityPass in the future. It is also hoping to add tournaments and leagues at the new outdoor courts once they are complete.

The Lure of the Sport

Rosen admits she’s obsessed with pickleball.

“I will play with anyone, anywhere,” she says. “It’s my favorite thing to do.”

Roth, while not yet having reached that level of enthusiasm, does enjoy playing in town. She appreciates the welcoming vibe for beginners and noncompetitive players.

“It’s very low-key,” she says. “If you’re interested in trying it out, you can. It’s not like a league or a competitive situation.”

Another attractive feature of playing pickleball is the social aspect. Roth enjoys meeting and playing with new people.

“We’ve lived in town for a long time,” she says, standing alongside her husband, Mark Zingale, who she plays with. “We’re empty nesters, but we meet people with little kids and people from different neighborhoods who we wouldn’t otherwise interact with.”

The addition of the new courts this summer will offer even more opportunities for residents to get out and mingle with their community while also getting some fresh air and exercise.

Stacey Gill is a freelance writer and contributing author to two books in a New York Times best-selling series. Her work has appeared on The Washington Post, The Huffington Post and Good Housekeeping, among others.

MAY 2024 | 19

Head downtown with friends to celebrate this year’s mermaid-themed Girls Night Out.

Make a Splash

Downtown Millburn is about to become one big party again. On June 6 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. (rain date June 13), the town’s Girls Night Out event is back for another year of bringing friends together over music, food, shopping and more.

The first Girls Night Out was held in the fall of 2011 and was a favorite among businesses and residents alike. As the pandemic affected many live events, the program was put on hold for a few years. When the special improvement district known as Explore MillburnShort Hills was established in 2020, the organization was eager to bring it back.

“Our mission includes supporting local businesses, engaging residents and bringing visitors and new audiences to town,” says Amanda Dean, marketing and events director for Explore Millburn-Short Hills. “Part of doing that is having these special events.”

Top: Girls Night Out is a perfect opportunity to spend a fun night out with all your favorite friends.
MAY 2024 | 21
Right: Last year’s attendees loved receiving free roses handed out by high school students.

Evolution of the Event Girls Night Out was officially relaunched in 2022. After a rainstorm provided a bit of a hiccup that year—a planned rain date has since been instituted—everything came together in 2023. Even though smoke from the Canadian wildfires hovered in the air, more than 400 people attended the festivities, which featured live music, DJs, living statues, psychics, candy stripers handing out free baked goods and high school students distributing roses.

Beyond the opportunity to hang out with friends, attendees of last year’s event cited the wine tasting, merchant sales and giveaways as some of their favorite parts, Dean says. They also enjoyed checking out new businesses and businesses new to them. In a postevent survey by Explore Millburn-Short Hills, half the respondents said they most enjoyed the promotions and sales, while 46 percent said they liked the swag bags best.

“We handed out swag bags, and people went nuts,” Dean says. “We want to repeat the stuff that works, tweak some ideas and try new things.”

Based on feedback from last year’s event, swag bags will be distributed again, but this time on a first-come, first-served basis. A separate incentive will be given to those who preregister.

Candy stripers also will return to give out goodies, and high schoolers will be handing out leis to tie into this year’s beachy theme.

Music will be provided by DJs in multiple locations throughout town.

“We want it so that when you look in every direction downtown, you either see or hear something related to the event,” Dean says.

There will be a pop-up village of shops in Millburn Art Alley, located between Goldberg’s and Thai House, which will be an outpost for local businesses that don’t have a physical location downtown. A map of all participating merchants will be listed on Information such as specific sales, food specials and the location of events will also be available on the website.

Top: Multiple DJs will keep the streets rocking all night. Bottom: Many businesses feature special offers and are encouraged to tie in their promos to this year’s mermaid theme.

Year of the Mermaid

This year’s theme is “The Mermaid Experience.”

Organizers are encouraging attendees to dress accordingly, and there will be a costume contest. Participating businesses will offer specials, from shopping discounts to specialty cocktails.

Incentives that tie into the theme, such as salons providing seaweed wraps and shops featuring summer-focused merchandise, are being encouraged. There will even be the opportunity to pick a “message in a bottle” from a large container filled with coupon-stuffed bottles resting in sand.

“We want people to really get into the theme and have fun with it,” Dean says. “Choosing a theme gives businesses something they can relate to and helps them choose fun products to offer. The event is also a great way for businesses to testmarket new ideas.”

Fun for Everyone

After careful planning by Dean and her colleagues at Explore Millburn-Short Hills, the celebration was not just revived in 2022; it was reimagined.

“It’s Girls Night Out, but it’s a different Girls Night Out,” Dean says. “The event has grown and

evolved. We looked at what it used to be, the audiences that are here, the audiences we want to bring in and how to modernize the event.”

She wants to point out that despite the title, the event is not just for women. Even though many ladies frequent the various shops, boutiques, restaurants, salons and other services in town, Girls Night Out is open to anyone who wants to get together with friends and have a fun night on the town.

While most of the event is geared toward adults, it is also a great way for mothers and daughters to connect and for teenage and college girls to get together.

The event is totally free, unlike many other similar events. Beyond boosting traffic for local businesses, it is meant to be a “friend-raising” event, Dean says.

“We want people to have a great experience and return.”

Elaine Paoloni Quilici is a freelance lifestyle writer and editor based in Verona. Her work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, amNewYork, New Jersey Monthly and Mommy Poppins.

Scan to learn more about events and programs organized by Explore MillburnShort Hills.
MAY 2024 | 23

Parcel of Paradise

Rooted in deep history and full of picturesque natural scenery, Greenwood Gardens exists to spark human connection.

Greenwood Gardens is not only a public garden; it is a harmonious marriage of beauty, nature and history. It exists to serve, heal, please and transport visitors, allowing them to take what they need from each visiting experience.

Family is at the heart of the garden, paying homage to the previous owners, the Day and Blanchard families, both of which were essential in connecting people to the magic of this historic oasis. The Day family resided on the property from 1906 to 1944 and the Blanchard family from 1949 to 2000.

“We take great pains to pay homage to the two different eras,” says Greenwood Gardens Executive Director Abby O’Neill. “We also work hard to figure out how to have it make sense now, in terms of the Greenwood of today.”

O’Neill, who joined Greenwood in the fall of 2017, jumped at the chance to be a part of the local institution.

Through her previous career in corporate communications, corporate philanthropy and foundation work, O’Neill was introduced to Sofia Blanchard, wife of Peter P. Blanchard III, who grew up on the property. At the time, the couple was working to transform the family estate into a public garden.

“Peter’s father had stipulated in his will that when he passed away [in 2000], Greenwood should not be sold for development; it should be turned into a public garden,” O’Neill says. “Last year, we celebrated the 20th anniversary of Greenwood being founded as a nonprofit organization. The Blanchards worked for years, along with many other people, such as enthusiastic trustees and volunteers, to create a public garden here.”

“I’m now starting my seventh year here at the garden,” she says. “The time has flown. It’s been one of the great joys of my professional and personal life to work here because it is such a magnificent place. Everyone has this joyous feeling about Greenwood and what it offers to them and the community.”


Today’s Garden

Plenty of renovation has taken place to enhance and preserve the beauty of the garden, but it still emulates the 1920s at its core. Some structures on the property that were built in the 1920s remain the same as they were then. Among the tea house, summer house, pathways, three fountains, barnyard, lawns and ponds, visitors can enjoy an immersive experience.

“You can simply come here to enjoy the peace and the beauty of the garden, or you can learn the history of the two families that resided here and left their marks,” O’Neill says. “Whether you want to be educated or entertained, we offer a series of lectures, walks, tours and concerts.”

Open from May 3 until November 3 on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, Greenwood Gardens has a full schedule planned for public enjoyment this year. After spending the offseason maintaining the property, the staff now focuses on preparing for each weekend.

“It’s as if we’re getting ready for a performance,” O’Neill says. “We have a well-trained visitor services staff to answer questions. If you want a deeper interaction, we have

docent-led tours. There are 11 stops on the guided garden tour—11 discrete sections that we consider to be iconic.”

A Public Affair

While Greenwood Gardens does not currently host private events, it has strong relations with many Millburn and Short Hills community members and groups. This year alone, there are 50 programs already planned for a variety of purposes. There are creative arts days, when visitors can paint, draw and photograph the garden; jazz and classical concerts; dance programs on the lawn; five different lectures in the Peter P. Blanchard III Lecture Series, including expert antique appraisals and talks from architectural historians and arborists; and Gatsby Nights, when the public is invited to dress up and time-travel back to the 1920s. For more information on Greenwood Gardens and its programming, visit

Sophia Colitti is a Roseland-based writer with a journalism and media studies degree from Rutgers University. She is a former contributor to The Progress newspaper and a believer in the power of the pen.

MAY 2024 | 27


Spring Awakening

Relax with these easy reads for warmer days.

Spring’s warmer weather and longer days are perfect for light reads that are funny or romantic (or both). Whether you like reading on a porch at home or on a bench in the park, it’s the perfect time to take your reading outdoors and enjoy some fresh air. Here are some suggestions to keep you entertained this season.


By Emily Henry

“Happy Place,” “Beach Read,” “Book Lovers.” If you recognize these titles, you know author Henry already has a whole list of top-tier rom-coms under her belt. Her newest book brings her signature humor to the love story of two rejected rom-com extras who might just be perfect for each other.


This summery novel set in the 1960s follows a young woman who learns to defy expectations from an unlikely teacher—

the same strict matchmaker aunt who her parents thought would straighten her out. Instead of being matched up for marriage, Marilyn spends an unforgettable summer at the shore becoming her own woman.


This comedy about a family wedding planning business has an unexpected thriller edge. When the main character accidentally kills her date in self-defense the night before the most important wedding they’ve ever planned, she has to rely on her loving but unpredictable family to get away with murder. The four chaotic aunties are the real draw of this book.



A Shakespearean comedy is the perfect way to slip a classic into your spring reading pile. If you’ve never read “Much

Ado,” consider this an ideal time. Despite being published in 1623, it’s a fun ride that fits perfectly into this list.


If you’re looking for a fast and fun read, a graphic novel is one of your best bets. “Villains” follows a college student who gets sucked into a romance video game that’s more like a horror story, considering all the ways she can die inside! The only way home is to beat the game before time runs out. Plus, the series has stunning fullcolor illustrations. You can take Vol. 1 to the park and finish it in one sitting.

Abigael Good is manager of The Book House in Millburn. To find out about author events and more, follow this community hub and bookstore at @thebookhousemillburn or visit www.

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Celebrating the Launch of Millburn & Short Hills Magazine

On the seasonally warm evening of April 16, the staff of Millburn & Short Hills magazine in tandem with Explore Millburn-Short Hills gathered at the F.M. Kirby Carriage House Restaurant on the premises of Paper Mill Playhouse to celebrate the publication’s launch. Many town officials, local business owners and enthusiastic residents attended to help welcome Millburn & Short Hills to the community. The magazine’s team is thankful to have so much support and excited to continue to spotlight local stories for many years to come. Visit the Millburn & Short Hills magazine Facebook page for more photos from this event.

Jonathan Pearl; Laura Kosik, Garden Communities; Mary Lima Mary Lima, Monica Alpert, William Ley, Debbie Rybka-Howard, Stephanie Mallios Steve Grillo, Carl Burwell, Cody Andrus
Tracy Katz-Levine, Ceyan Birney, Stephen Winer, Steve Grillo, Jackie Benjamin Lieberberg


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Homegrown Beauty

Taylor Park adds a beautiful touch of nature to downtown Millburn, especially during cherry blossom season. This year has been a good example of seasonal contrasts and vibrant spring colors.

International wildlife and landscape photographer Eric Mancini moved to Millburn in 2009. Since then, he has been photographing Taylor Park and nearby South Mountain Reservation.

He has also extensively photographed 40 different countries during the same time, but he still sees great beauty right here at home. His emphasis locally has been on the unique colors and “feel” each season provides in the area, including the oranges, yellows and reds of autumn; the stark white and serenity of a snow-covered landscape; the pinks and purples of spring; and the greens of summer.

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