With Summer around the corner, Montclairians seem to be coming out of hibernation and literally partying in the streets. One great American tradition this town embraces is the block party. And I’m lucky enough to live in a house I love, on a block I love, in a town I love, that participates in this tradition.
Like many, we looked at our house because it fit our basic criteria and price range. And when we saw it, we ended up falling in love. But we really didn’t know much about the neighborhood. Having come from the North End of Bloomfield, we loved our Bloomfield neighborhood and the people in it. We knew nothing about Graham Terrace or living in the South End of Montclair. But when we moved to our street (nestled between Harrison Ave and Stonebridge Rd, on the Southernmost edge of the Estate Section), we were welcomed with a lovely party, hosted by one of our neighbors and attended by the entire block! And now, two years later, we look forward to kicking off the summer season with the wonderful people on our street at our annual Memorial Day Block Party. My kids woke up so excited to hang with their neighborhood friends, it was like Christmas morning. We even have former residents of this street that continue to attend neighborhood events year after year. These are the friendships that create our community and the friendships that my kids will grow up remembering.
I’d like to say we hit the jackpot, having lived in two neighborhoods that host block parties, but the truth is, this is not a rare occurrence in Montclair. Blocking off the streets and celebrating neighborhood friendships, happens quite often in the warmer months, and happens in every part of town. Here’s a taste of what ours looks like.