Archive for the 'Orange' Category

Hat City Streets Festival

Hat City Streets Festival

On Saturday, June 15 from 11am to 9pm come on down to the corner of Forest and Tompkins Streets for the inaugural Hat City Streets Festival.   This free all day extravaganza includes Music, Arts Exhibitions, Family activities, and Food showing the spirit of Orange.

Other festival events will occur at the Firehouse Gallery, Hat City Kitchen, Ironworks, Yema Gallery, Arts Unbound and other spaces in the Valley Arts District.

Enjoy Brazilian reggae, gospel, marching bands, dance ensembles, arts exhibitions by professionals and actual hat-making workshops (Orange had a storied past as Hat City)




Spring Market Heats Up

Please look at what’s going on in New Jersey’s bedroom communities 🙂   Homes going under contract in the month of March for South Orange have doubled from 2011 to 2013.  The vast majority of the other towns listed below have also shown significant gains.


More confidence in the economy, low prices and low interest rates have finally pushed buyers back into the market.  A lack of inventory is making for bidding wars on the best homes and shorter selling times for other homes.  Its April and if you’re thinking of selling, now’s a great time to do so.

My 2012 sales

Here are pictures of the Essex and Union County homes I guided to closing in 2012.  There were also rentals and referrals which were not included in the gallery below.

hickoryExt1 copy     1677springfieldav     meadowbrookpl

secondst    2918560_0     2928983_1-1

2919242_0-1    2886057_0    2934414_0

2947969_0    2889203_0

Arts in Orange update

Jefferson St. Mural






Here is an update to previous posts about the art renaissance in Orange NJ.

There are eight live/work lofts and 4,600 square feet of commercial space being built at the corner of Freeman and South Jefferson Streets. Having artists live there would “change and enhance the energy that has already been growing by leaps and bounds”, said Terry Boddie, a New York University art teacher who also runs the Oualie Art Gallery in a Hands-rehabbed space next door to the construction site.

There is Hat City Kitchen (popular restaurant and live music venue) and now Mazzi Dogz restaurant.  Dan Fenelon, a painter, and his wife, Kadie Dempsey, an arts group administrator lead the transformation of a 1905 firehouse on Forest Street into seven live/work lofts for rent.  According to Dan, there are “Huge spaces, so close to the city, way less expensive, near the Highland train station. It’s a cool scene, with lots of other artists around.”

Reconstruction of  the seven story Berg & Co. hat factory building by Hands Inc. into 66 loft condos with 17 artist studios and 3 arts-business spaces is poised to move forward once economic and real estate market begins to gather steam.

See the NY Times article for more info:

Lower your heating bill

Wabbit season, Duck season, HEATING SEASON!

Free, Low Cost and Significant Investments in Lowering your Heating Bills


Free Steps to Reduce your Heating Bill

1) Save 3% on your heating bill for every one degree lower you set the thermostat

2) Close the fireplace damper

3) Lower the temperature of the water in your water heater to 115-120 degrees

4) Keep heating vents clear.  If they’re blocked by carpeting and furniture you get less circulation of warm air

5) Open curtains on the south side in the day to let in sun, close them at night to keep in the heat

Low Cost Steps to Reduce your Heating Bill

1) ‘Envelope’ Leaks – The gaps around windows and other areas taken together in the average American house equal a 9 square foot hole in the wall.  Plugging them can save you 10% of your heating bill.   Find the leaks with an incense stick held to the areas you believe to be drafty and watch for the smoke, Or if it’s really cold outside, just run your hands by the suspected areas and you will feel the cold air. Prone areas: Window and door frames. air ducts, chimney flashing, recessed lighting, sill plates,and electric outlets.  To fix these leaks buy door sweeps, caulk, caulk gun, or tacky rope and go to work.  Apply weather stripping for the outlet gaskets.

2) If the insulation in the attic is not up to the top of the joists, add more…  Make sure your attic’s vent stays open to prevent condensation/moisture.

3) Ducts: Make sure the heating ducts are well connected and you’re not losing heat before it even gets to the vents…  Use metal back tape instead of duct tape.  Make sure the ducts are insulated if they travel thru unheated areas.  Swaddle the water heater if it’s in an unheated area.

4) Winterize Windows – After you’ve caulked the frames, if you can’t afford double hung or storm windows, put clear plastic film on those windows for an effective extra layer of insulation.

5) Install a low-flow shower head for less than $20.  You will use 25% less hot water saving on both water and heating bills

6) A programmable thermostat costs $50-$100.  Program it lower when you’re not home and higher when you are.

7) In your furnace replace easy things like the air filter.

Investments to reduce your heating bill will pay off

1) Oil fired boilers should be cleaned and tuned annually and gas systems every two years for approximately $100-$125. Gas fired need attention too.

2) Replace appliances, heating units, light fixtures and bulbs with hi efficiency replacements. If your furnace is over 20 yrs old replace it with Energy Star (federal government program promoting energy efficiency).  Homeowners who make energy efficient improvements to exisiting homes qualify for a 10% tax credit up to $500.  A credit is a dollar for dollar reduction in taxes, compared with a deduction which only decreases taxable income.

3) A decent vinyl window might cost $100-$150 and a double paned window with a good ‘e or r’ rating can cost $50-100 more.  This will add up when you have 15  windows, but replacing the twenty year old windows may be the move that cuts into your heating bill most substantially. Windows also usually qualify for a credit or deduction.

4) Other Improvements that can qualify for deductions/credits include adding insulation, door and skylights

5) Tax credits and other financial incentives also exist for changing to solar water heating and photovoltaic equipment. Solar for pools and hot tubs do not  qualify.

Open Studio Artist Stroll – Orange & West Orange

Good things at the Valley Arts District this month – Studio Stroll and Earth Festival.  More info click the link.

When it’s apple blossom time in Orange, NJ we’ll really make a peach of a pair

Jefferson St. Mural

Abandoned Industrial Buildings > Inexpensive Lofts > Starving Artists > Transportation > Good Ethnic Food Musicians > Fun Bars and Clubs > Fashion > Clothing > Contractors > Real Estate Condos > Banks > GENTRIFICATION SEQUENCE COMPLETED

Ironworks, Orange, NJ

Will this happen in Orange, NJ ? Look into Valley Arts District’s galleries and lofts.
I want to check out HAT CITY KITCHEN
on 459 Valley in Orange.   Good Food, Live Music, Drinks
ironworks party
Went to Hat City Kitchen:  Excellent Shrimp with Grits Dish and Killer Pecan Pie!
Went to the Ironworks party today and actually painted for the first time in ages.  This guy’s painting was much better than mine though.