I'll be honest. This is a hard letter for me to write. But today is my last day as editor of Montclair Patch and I feel I'd be remiss if I didn't say something to the best bunch of readers any Patch editor could hope for.
When I launched this site in June 2010 — with the intent of creating a highly respected news source where Montclair residents could go for daily news and to engage in lively conversation — no one around here had ever heard of Patch. Frankly, before June 1, 2010, neither had I.
But since then we've posted many thousands of articles and though not all comments have been constructive — you know who you are — many of you have learned to use Montclair Patch as a sounding board. And for that, I thank you.
Before Patch, I was a London-based foreign correspondent, covering Europe. You may not believe this but the last two years and three months at Patch have been (nearly) as much fun as that.
I've met the liveliest cast of characters. I'll never forget watching former Councilman Cary Africk sparring with former Mayor Jerry Fried over, well, just about everything. Some nights the township council should have charged admission!
I'll also never forget the way the town came together when Patch helped organize a fundraiser in May for LaMonica Carter, the beloved teacher at the Montclair Community Pre-K who became homeless after a fire destroyed her Belleville home on Mother's Day.
I've had such a good time doing the "My Block: Which Block Is The Best Block In Montclair?" spots. Check out the latest one. It's so great to see how proud people are of their neighborhoods.
I also loved the vote to pick the "Person Of The Year" in Montclair last year. The winners were Karen Turner, Bob Feinberg, and Ed Carine. But, wow, it was a tough call.
A new Montclair Patch editor has not been named and so, in the meantime, please contact the Essex County Regional Editor Liz Moore at email@example.com or the Essex County Associate Regional Editor Jack Durschlag at firstname.lastname@example.org with story ideas or news tips.
I am extremely excited to be going off to become an editor at The Huffington Post. You can contact me — and please do so — at email@example.com.
A huge thanks to Katya Wowk, Linda Wanat, and all those at Channel 34.
Also, thanks to a few particularly vocal and very helpful local politicians — Jerry Fried, Cary Africk, Nick Lewis, Rich Murnick, Renee Baskerville, and Bill Hurlock. And a huge shoutout to former School Board President Shelly Lombard, one of the most communicative leaders I've ever encountered, as well as to Robin Kulwin.
Thank you to my bloggers and also to my wonderful young writers — Alessendra Whitney and Lauren Glasse and, especially, Lena Rawley, who is going to be one to watch in the years to come!
Thank you to Todd Conforti, Scott Buehler, and Angel Roman at the Montclair Police Department and all those at the fire station who have been great tipsters over the years (I won't name names).
There are so many people working so hard to make this town even better. Alma Schneider, Melody Kettle, Meg Beattie Patrick, Greg and Cheryl Spinelli, Grace Grund, Ellen LaBarbera, Wayne Robbins, Thom Powers, Ritesh Patel, Margot Sage-El, Luther Flurry, all those at MSU, at the libraries, and at the animal shelter, and all the pastors, the real estate agents, the dedicated PTA heads. All of you — and many more — have my admiration.
Thank you to my fellow local Patch editors as well as to Erica Paris, all tireless, incredibly talented people. You guys are amazing and Patch will continue to do great things because of you!
Thanks also to those of you who have written for me and who were with me at the start: Jessica Wolf, Melody Kettle, Tara Chowaniec, Jaime Bedrin, Ellen Rooney, Joanne Bloomstein, Linda Federico O'Murchu, David Scherzer, Carol Selman, Nancy Toomey, Josie Zeman, Jen Maidenberg, and so many more. You guys are the best! In particular, thanks to Linda for doing such a great job with Montclair Patch when I was away on book leave.
And my biggest thanks goes to you, the loyal readers of Montclair Patch. Without you, I wouldn't be where I am today, and for that, I'm forever grateful.
Last but not least, a few nuggets of "wisdom." After putting together countless Readers Choice ballots, please indulge me.
—If you want a good caterer, look no further than Villa Victoria. Amazing!!!
—If you want a good meal, go to Saveur Creole on Grove Street. This is a hidden gem with the most scrumptious food ever!! Also fantastic is Brick Lane!
—Looking for a great restaurant that delivers? Four Seasons in Upper Montclair!
A few other places/events I think are incredible, in my personal opinion: Vanity Hair Salon, Parcel, Terra Tea Salon, the Wellmont, Watchung Booksellers, Osteria Giotto, Jafajems, the Bellevue Theater, Van Vleck, anyone associated with the Upper Montclair Sidewalk Sale and also Strut Your Mutt in Brookdale Park (coming up Oct. 20).
And with that I'm off. I truly have appreciated the experience of writing about this wonderful town. I love living here with my husband and three kids. Hopefully, I'll see you around!