Tag Archives: Art

Neighborhood Banners – Montclair

The banners of Montclair, much like banners found in small towns across the United States, hang from our vintage style light posts and flank the streets of our town. They are charming, they are advertising, they map neighborhoods, they communicate, and they display local pride. I love these banners because they display artistic flare and are created to be visually appealing. The eye-catching logos inspired me to start photographing them over a year ago. I originally thought this would be a photo only post, but the more I thought about and researched the role of banners in our community, the more I realized the importance of them. Banners play a vital role in the movement to support small businesses and revitalize small towns in the US. They help bring us together through advertising community and small business events. And as Jay Jensen points out in his article “A New Era of Street Pole Banners,” they have the unique ability to merge old with new and historic with modern (another theme emerging in my blog posts), by displaying hashtags, wifi hotspots, and other forms of modern communication.

So why are banners important and why do they work in Montclair?And most importantly, why on earth am I writing about them? Well, I find these banners to be just one more ingredient that make this town beautiful and unique. They are particularly important to our town because they advertise local events and label each neighborhood on the bottom of each individual banner. The neighborhood labels tie into the purpose of this blog; to explore our neighborhoods and how each area has it’s own unique vibe within the town of Montclair . The Montclair Film Festival banners are displayed all over town right now, but if you look closely you will find, ” Montclair Center,” “Uptown,” “South End,””Watchung Plaza,” and “Walnut Street” marked at the bottom of each banner in that neighborhood. Our street pole banners are helping to define our neighborhoods and reflect the uniqueness of each individual section of town. They reflect our local pride and draw locals and visitors to participate in town events, to shop at local stores, and to eat at local restaurants. Street Pole banners are particularly effective in Montclair because our town has so many walkable commercial areas and our community enjoys being on foot. Art, charm, celebration, and community are what I think of when I walk down the streets of Montclair and see the most recent event advertised on a light pole. I hope you enjoy these photographs and the next time you walk through town, stop to take a look.

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The Lips of Stanford Place

24 Stanford Place
Photography By Brian Zehowski

Getting to know the side streets and neighborhoods of Montclair is one of my favorite things about working in real estate. But my love for Stanford Place began even before my clients purchased a home there. It began years ago when my wife and I were driving home from dinner and I decided to make a right turn off Grove. We ended up back tracking when we saw a pair of large red lips hanging from the exterior of a home. We laughed and thought it was cool. We snapped photos on our phones and drove away. But it was definitely intriguing. I wondered who lived in the home and where the lips came from. So, for the Montclairians that have always wondered, I finally got some answers from one of the lovely homeowners of “the lips house.”

The owners purchased the home in 2008.  The homeowner told me  he enjoys life in Montclair, “especially because it’s a community that embraces diversity and celebrates creativity.”  When I asked him where they got the lips, he told me, “we got the lips on a whim while browsing a store that specializes in fiberglass sculptures…. They were a lot more affordable than the life-size giraffe that first caught our eye as we were driving by.” “We like quirky accessories because they’re fun. The lips gave our home a face, transforming the 2nd floor windows into eyes.  It’s like our house is watching benevolently over the street. One added bonus is that the lips make a lot of people smile. ” This is so true, I know I smile every time I drive by the home. I’ve always been an art lover and I’ve always loved the touches of art and inspiration in this town. Among the well manicured lawns and pristine homes, there are flags and scarecrows and sculptures. For every 5 homes that blend into the background, there is a home painted purple or turquoise.  This is a town with personality and heart.  Our town is a reflection of our community and what a beautiful place it is. I am truly grateful for “the lips” and I sincerely thank the homeowners who were creative enough to give their house a face.

In case you haven’t had the privilege of seeing them in person, here are some photographs.

24 Stanford Place
Photography by Brian Zehowski

 

20140517_105222
Photograph Courtesy of Homeowner

 

20140517_105248
Photograph Courtesy of Homeowner

 

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