Montclair resident Alma Schneider is a tireless volunteer and founder of Take Back the Kitchen. She's also the founder of Parents Who Rock. And she's also a wife and the mother of four children. In short, Schneider gets around and she knows a lot of people. But there still might be a few things you aren't aware of. So this week we're launching a new column called "Five Questions For..." so that you, the reader, can find out more about your neighbors. (Although this week we cheated and asked six questions.) If you know of anyone Patch should speak with for next week, email Shelley@patch.com.
Q) What do you like most about living in Montclair?
A) The sense of community.
Q) Can you tell us about any of your favorite places here—restaurants, stores?
A) I LOVE the thrift shops such as and shop. I also love and for lunch.
Q) What's been your favorite vacation ... with and also without kids?
A) My husband used to work for American Express and when we were dating, we got a free trip to a couples-only Club Med in the Bahamas. SO relaxing!!!! With kids I would have to say the off-peak cruise to the Bahamas we took this year on the Norwegian Jewel. We took the kids out of school for a week, left from the West Side of Manhattan, and were home in 25 minutes when we returned! As much as I love to cook, not cooking or cleaning up for a week was divine.
Q) How do you juggle being the mother of four and work ... something must suffer ... or something has to give?
A) I get a lot done while my kids are at school. I don't stop moving. What gives is that I often take the easy way out and let my kids watch TV because I need to focus on homework with some, work emails, or dealing with the other kids who need more attention. I wish I put more effort into arts and crafts or projects for them but TV is easier at times. I have made an effort to cut out certain "fresh" shows, however, like the Simpsons. I'm trying hard to push Little House on the Prairie and the Brady Bunch but they're not buying it.
Q) Is there a secret place in Montclair you like ... like a favorite spot in a park or a favorite gym?
A) I LOVE the Y and have been exercising three times a week since January 1. The classes are great and it really feels like a community there.
Q) What would you improve about Montclair if you could?
A) More parking! More after school activities for kids with special needs, more support for children with special needs in the schools, healthier food in the classrooms/schools.