Bergen Buzz


Learning's Still in Session

Kids getting rusty amid their summer fun? Head to your local library, where you’ll discover that books and learning are just as hot in August as they are in the other 11 months. These upcoming events prove the point:

AUG 3: Your college-bound scholar can take a practice SAT test at the Mahwah Public Library from 10:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m.; students will receive their scores immediately upon completion. Pre-register at

AUG 6: One secret weapon for getting kids to read during the dog days: dogs! At Glen Rock Library’s “Paws for Reading” event, children can practice their reading and public speaking while befriending certified therapy dogs. The event is 3:30–4:40 p.m.; register at 201.670.3970.

AUG 12: Take your crafty kiddo to Bergenfield Public Library at 50 W. Clinton Ave. to make a space-themed wreath to coincide with the official theme of 2019 summer reading. Register for one of two sessions, 2:30 and 6:30 p.m., at the children’s desk.

AUG 15: Explore the library universe with Englewood Library’s “3…2…1…Blast Off into Books” event, featuring a 45-minute program full of magic, juggling, storytelling and a puppet show. The presentation begins at 6:15 p.m.— has more info.

AUG 23: The “Mighty Minds” event at the Maurice M. Pine Free Public Library at 10-01 Fair Lawn Ave. in Fair Lawn promises to sharpen kids’ math skills and get them ready for the new school year. It’s 2:30–3:15 p.m. for grades 1–3; 3:30–4:30 p.m. for grades 4–6. Fair Lawn residents only; stop by the library to pre-register.

iHE♥RT Bergen County

 You recognize the voice (and laugh!) but you may not recognize the face of Bergen County’s first-ever ambassador— Danielle Monaro. The member of Elvis Duran and The Morning Show on Z100 has been a longtime resident of Bergen County, and executive Jim Tedesco has made her the official voice of Bergen County too. “I love so many things about Bergen County,” Monaro tells BERGEN, ”besides being the best place to shop! I love knowing that we are raising our kids in Bergen. The people, the places and the opportunities are amazing.” Listen via the free iHeartRadio app to hear the mom of two rave about our area, and go to for more info on this exciting new partnership.

Riverside Reboot

As part of The Shops at Riverside’s multi-million-dollar luxury makeover, renowned French chef Laurent Tourondel will open a new restaurant, LT Bar & Grill, next spring in the former Cheesecake Factory location (both The Cheesecake Factory and Barnes & Noble were moved to the other side of the Hackensack mall and redesigned during a previous phase of the renovation). The menu will feature cocktails, salads, burgers and steaks, as well as a sushi bar. Tourondel has won foodie awards, opened more than a dozen restaurants and published three cookbooks, so we have high hopes for this place.

Meanwhile, a more immediate luxury addition to The Shops at Riverside is Boglioli, the Italian menswear store that opened its doors in July. The Milano- based brand of the same name is known for exceptional craftsmanship. Shop Boglioli’s full menswear collection at the new flagship store.

Just Peachy

September is prime time for fruit and vegetable picking— a quick scroll through your Instagram feed once fall hits and you’ll see tons of folks posting pictures from their family’s apple and/or pumpkin picking excursions. But there’s another yummy fruit to be picked right here, right now—peaches. August is the official peak of peach-picking season here in Bergen County, and one popular farm is taking advantage of these ripe, juicy fruits being in bloom: Demarest Farms in Hillsdale. The best part is the peach picking (they have 12 varieties) is a full-on family activity running every Saturday and Sunday while supplies last—take a hay ride to the orchard, pick your peaches, stop by the petting zoo, pay for your goodies (it’s $5 for ages 2 and over, plus $10 per bag of fruits) and go home to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Don’t want to pick the peaches yourself but still want to take advantage of their peak freshness? Stop by the markets at Secor Farms in Mahwah or Abma’s in Wyckoff, where you can buy locally sourced peaches, baked confections like peach pie and/or yummy peach cider.

  • Demarest Farms, 244 Wierimus Rd., Hillsdale, 201.666.0472
  • Secor Farms, 85 Airmont Ave., Mahwah, 201.529.2595
  • Abma’s Farm Market, 700 Lawlins Rd., Wyckoff, 201.891.0278

Bug Off!

We’ve all been there: having to fend off summer’s bloodsuckers while hosting an outdoor soiree. Citronella candles have been the go-to repellent for many of us because they’re pleasant-smelling and easy to use, but they’re also generally ineffective. In fact, they’re not included on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s list of mosquito repellents.

We at BERGEN tried a new product, the Rescue DecoShield Lantern. It is said to work by using all-natural essential oils that confuse the bugs’ antennae, thereby repelling them. On a recent balmy night, one lantern kept everyone in a 300-sq.-ft. space comfortable and bite-free. (For larger spaces, you’ll need extra lanterns.) We used it for an all-day event and it worked, and the manufacturer claims it lasts four days. Refills are available after that. During mosquito-free seasons, the lantern runs on batteries and serves as a light. Retail price is around $15, and it can be found in places such as Haworth Hardware, Montvale Hardware & Supply and Hometown Hardware in Closter.


No coast? No problem! That didn’t stop Wyckoff’s Flotilla 10–13 from winning the coveted Best Flotilla in the Nation award recently as a volunteer arm of the U.S. Coast Guard. The local auxiliary has won four of these babies, most recently in 2015. This year, its scores were calculated on numbers such as mission hours, rescue operations, hours of member training and completions of boating safety classes. And the timing is likely no coincidence—Aug. 4 is National U.S. Coast Guard Day. Congrats, everyone!

For Safer Schools…

Bergen school districts aren’t all talk when it comes to improving security in our public schools. As we speak, fi ve local districts— Dumont, Palisades Park, Park Ridge, Teaneck and Tenafly—are testing a new app called LiveSafe intended to boost school safety. The app enables two-way communication in which staff, parents and students can send information anonymously about any risks or dangers to themselves or their schools, from cyberbullying and online threats to potential lockdown situations. The plan is for the app to be used throughout other county public schools by September, pending approval from parents and the board of education.

…And Safer Airports

Sorry, but starting next year, an ordinary driver’s license will no longer cut it on the security line at an airport. If you’re boarding a domestic flight, you’ll instead need an upgraded “Real ID,” a new driver’s license with enhanced security features that 42 states (but not New Jersey) have already.

Our state’s Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) will start issuing Real IDs beginning this month, leaving plenty of time before the federal mandate takes effect in October 2020. We suggest getting yours early, as there are about 6 million licensed drivers in New Jersey.

Before you visit your nearest MVC office (there are locations in Lodi, Oakland and Paramus, among others), make sure you have the identification needed to prove you’re really you. (Go to to see what documentation is required.) Once you’re there, you’ll fi ll out some forms, submit your papers, pay the $11 fee for a Real ID (or more, if your license has expired) and wait a few days until your new card arrives in the mail. Your Real ID will feature a small gold star in the top right corner—you’ll have earned it after that arduous process—and then you’re set to use it as identification on all domestic flights.

Saluting Seniors

In high school the word “seniors” usually means those tall, slightly cocky people brandishing college acceptance letters, but it can also describe folks who are a little grayer, a little wiser. Aug. 21 is National Senior Citizens Day—what better occasion to note that Bergen high schools have not forgotten those other seniors? Let three examples from the recent school year tell the tale:

  • In April, members of the drama club at Wood-Ridge High School invited local senior citizens to the dress rehearsal and afternoon matinee of their 2019 spring musical, 42nd Street.
  • Students at Ma’ayanot Yeshiva High School for Girls in Teaneck spent some quality time in May with older folks at Senior Source, a senior lounge in the Shops at Riverside, for the second annual Senior Tech Time. Students answered their elderly acquaintances’ questions about using their smartphones, laptops and tablets, and taught them how to do everything from send a text message to surf the internet.
  • As WCBS-TV reported in June, New Milford High School annually gives new meaning to the term “senior prom.” Some 50 students volunteer to organize and chaperone an early-bird dinner and dance for elderly area residents, aided by local sponsors who contribute food and entertainment. This year Ralph Lee, 92, danced with his wife of 65 years, 89-year-old Eve, and as the TV piece revealed, it was actually his first prom. Seventy-five years ago, when he was 17, he recalled, “I went into the Navy.”

How will you make your mark for National Senior Citizens Day this year? Contact your town’s senior center for ideas on volunteering.

A Star Returns

NFL tight end Garrett Dickerson had quite the Bergen County homecoming. Before school let out for summer, the star New York Giants tight end came back to Dr. John Grieco Elementary School in Englewood, where he was once a student, to play sports and hang out with 100 lucky kids. Dickerson led a “summer camp” of sorts, helping the pre-teens with offensive, defensive and agility drills for the better part of the day.

“It was a great time in my life, and I am still friendly with a lot of the friends that I made in Englewood,” Dickerson says. “I loved growing up here, and now I want to give back to the community."

'Dog Days of Summer

The benefits of rescuing a pet are two-fold—read our feature on page 46 to see how rescued dogs in turn saved their owners. So why not, during these “dog days of summer,” open up your home to an animal in need? Here are a few local rescue centers worth checking out if you’re in the market for a new furry friend (and honestly, who isn’t?):

  • Closter Animal Welfare Society (CLAWS) in Closter holds appointment-only meetings with interested owners and their potential pets, but they host adoption days every other Sunday at Pet Valu in Dumont and every Saturday at Petco in Closter: check out for their full schedule of events.
  • Pawsitively Furever’s monthly scheduling is subject to change, but they’re holding adoption events at their facility in Hackensack on Saturday, Aug. 10 and Saturday, Aug. 24 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome. Learn more at • Humane Society of Bergen County doesn’t only provide help on wildlife, they also have open adoption walk-ins throughout the week at their Lyndhurst location. has their business hours and more details.
  • Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge allows walk-ins to stop by to meet and greet with potential pets that may suit you and your family. Cat person? Good, because summer is “kitten season,” and RBARI is overflowing with more than 50 cats and kittens at this very moment. Learn meow—oops, we mean more—at

The Spirit of Italy

Sometimes you do as the Romans do even when you’re not in Rome. As of 2018, more than 1.4 million New Jersey residents had Italian roots—it’s the state’s largest ethnicity. But speakers of the Italian language here are on the decline. So the Silvio Laccetti Foundation is trying to revive Italian spirit and culture. How? In part by honoring high school seniors in largely Italian-American towns with the Garibaldi Award, granted annually since 2017 to students who have worked to maintain the Italian legacy in their communities, whether through extracurricular activities or by convincing their schools to offer Italian as a language course. This year’s Bergen County recipients are Isabella Marra (East Rutherford), Cathrine Djelevic (Dumont) and Katelyn Peterson (Lyndhurst). Tanti auguri!

Culinary Corner

All in the Family

Why venture south for authentic barbecue now that it’s right here in Bergen County? The brotherly trio behind Brothers BBQ, who grew up in North Carolina, plan to open their first New Jersey restaurant (their sole establishment is in Orange County, N.Y.) by the end of the summer at the former Macaroni Grill spot in Ramsey. The menu will feature slow-cooked meats such as brisket, pulled pork, chicken and sausage, as well as burgers, wings, shrimps and grits, plus comfort-food sides such as mac and cheese, collard greens and candied sweet potatoes. Wash it all down with Southern-style sweet tea or an alcoholic beverage—wine, craft beer or bourbon. There will also be live music on Friday and Saturday nights.

  • Brothers BBQ, 900 Rte. 17, Ramsey

From Turkey, With Love

New to South Hackensack is Balcony Café, a casual spot serving up authentic Turkish and Mediterranean dishes, from falafel and baba ghanoush to kebabs and gyros. Balcony also hosts parties and events and has an extensive dessert and coffee menu with traditional treats like baklava and sütlac (rice pudding). This is a good choice whether you want a snack or a five-course feast.

  • Balcony Café, 388 Rte. 46, South Hackensack, 201.641.4630

Food Fusion

There’s surely something to please your palate at Kuba, the new Cuban-Asian eatery in Fort Lee. The menu includes traditional Cuban fare—arroz con pollo and paella, for example—with some traditional Asian delicacies like ginger-glazed salmon and Asian rice bowls thrown in. Be sure to arrive thirsty, as the bar sells sangria, mojitos and margaritas.

  • Kuba, 2139 Hudson Ter., Fort Lee, 201.585.1601
Categories: Bergen Health & Life, Homepage Features