Being confined to the 07042 zip code during the summer is not a death sentence. For many Montclair High School students, Montclair provides more than enough entertaining locations to hang out with friends, making trips to the mall and amusement parks virtually unnecessary.
During the summer, many MHS students and their friends gravitate towards areas of town that offer optimal options to dine and hang out with friends.
“I love Church Street,” says junior Linda Meliani. “Not only is it really pretty at night but there’s a lot to do there. So many good restaurants and interesting stores. I like going there with my friends.”
Church Street is just one of the many areas in town that serves as a great hang out spot for MHS students during the summer. The quirky vibe of the shops and restaurants gives the area a really eclectic and fun feel. Stores like Urban Outfitters and places like Raymond’s and Red Mango lure MHS students onto its sidewalks at any hour of the day.
“I’m obsessed with Raymond’s,” said one sophomore. “But I mean, who isn’t? My friends and I go there for breakfast, lunch, or dinner all the time!”
“I like Church Street because Anthropologie is one of my favorite stores,” says one junior.
Upper Montclair and Watchung also provide a more than adequate space to hang out. But when hanging out in Watchung and Upper Montclair, it’s all about the food. With both locations providing a great array of dining options, MHS students flock to these areas to share any kind of meal at almost any time of day with their friends.
“TS Ma in Upper Montclair is one of my favorite restaurants,” says senior Danny DeSimone. “It has really great Chinese food that is a lot tastier than normal Chinese food. My friends and I go there a lot for dinner.”
Upper Montclair also boasts other delicious options like Tinga, Coldstone, the Char-Broil, and Dai Kichi—all places that MHS students can’t get enough of.
“Tinga is the best!” cried one freshman.
Watchung Plaza, a classic hang out spot for Montclair’s middle school population, also provides some allure to MHS students. While they don’t spend hours loitering in the middle of the street like they probably did in their middle school days, they still flock to the typical spots like Mr. Dinos, the Watchung Deli (affectionately dubbed “the Skinny Deli” by MHS students), and Sunrise Bagels that all are enclosed in Watchung.
“I love the Skinny Deli and will never stop loving it,” says senior KC Kaicher. “Like when I say love, I mean love. I go there so frequently by myself and with my friends that they have my order memorized. It’s great.”
MHS students don’t restrict themselves to these locations when trying to hang out and have a good time. Anywhere in between these hot spots is fair game.
Applegate’s, which sits past Watchung and Upper Montclair, is another summer hot spot. With so many flavors of great ice cream and a pleasant atmosphere, it’s no wonder MHS kids flock there to calm their sweet tooth.
“Applegate’s is one of my favorite places to go during the summer,” says freshman Lucie McCarthy. “Not only does it have really good ice cream, but they do fun events in the summer where they sometimes have games and a DJ.”
But it isn’t always about the food for MHS students. Summer is swimming season and you can bet that MHS students do just about as much swimming as they do eating.
Even though Montclair has three town pools, MHS students rarely utilize these pools. MHS kids would rather go to their friend’s house or head out to one of the beach clubs in town than go to a public pool. Montclair public pools have a stigma with MHS students. Many went when they were younger and then grew to dislike the pools later on.
“I haven’t gone in a really long time but I remember them being really crowded,” commented one sophomore.
MHS students are fortunate that Montclair boasts some great pool clubs. Bradford and Montclair Beach Club are among the favorites of MHS students.
“I’ve been going to the Montclair Beach Club since I was a little kid and I’ve loved it since,” explains junior Courtney McMorrow. “I work at the snack bar now and I have to say…I wouldn’t really want to spend my summer afternoons anywhere else. There’s a diving board, a pool, and good food…what more do you need?”
MHS students love spending their summer afternoons at pool clubs like Bradford and MBC because they not only are places to cool down with a refreshing dip in the pool or a jump off the diving board, but they also are great places to see friends.
“I like going to Bradford because a lot of my friends go there so it’s a great way to get to hang out with them,” elaborates sophomore Emily McCarthy.
For those MHS students who are homebound for the summer, life is anything but boring. The 07042 zip code is far from a prison and many MHS students are hard pressed to find nothing to do. Montclair provides excellent restaurants and places to hang out with friends.