Fitzgerald’s 1928: Everything Old is New

George Kirsch2

A man came up to me with a book in his hands.

I had just stepped off the field at historic New Bridge Landing after playing a vintage baseball game – no gloves, 1864 rules.  I have my own books to sell so I know how it feels to share work into which you’ve put your soul.  But I could not talk.  I was rushing to an old-style daguerreotype team photo where the pose has to be held for ten minutes.  After that, I could not find him anywhere.   That book is the newest addition to the Fitzgerald’s 1928 Writers’ Bookshelf. 

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Fitzgerald’s 1928: Railroads, Gas Lamps, Bluestone Sidewalks

GR Historical2

I dare you to walk past the Boiling Springs Savings Bank on the corner of Ridgewood and Darwin without looking up at the second floor window of the new location for the Glen Ridge Historical Society.

History is intensely personal, as Town Historian Sally Meyer reminds us.  Prove it to yourself by asking her to show you the folder on your house where you will find original photographs, the date of the first water hookup, hand-written memories going back in time by resident families, and more.

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Fitzgerald’s 1928: Page, Book, Library, the World

Fitz Library

Glen Ridge is a town with distinctive buildings.  Within 50 yards of Fitzgerald’s 1928 – a restaurant with its cornerstone in its name – stands the library. The two buildings have this in common:  they are community meeting places dedicated to nourishing us.

Consider this: if you have a book club, the Glen Ridge Library will collect as many copies of your chosen book as you need and Fitzgerald’s 1928 will host a special prix fixe dinner for your monthly meeting as long as each member shows up book in hand.

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Fitzgerald’s 1928: Food for Thought

Write Group Image

We all know some of the best things in life are free, but it’s rare to encounter an organization so completely dedicated to that idea. If you are a writer, or an aspiring writer, or just someone with a story to tell (which is everyone) and you don’t know about The Write Group of Montclair, don’t stop reading now.                  

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Fitzgerald’s 1928: the Table Next to You


You never know who’s sitting at the table next to you.

Take John Wooten, a Glen Ridge resident for four years – playwright, director, teacher of Playwriting, Acting as a Profession, and Inside TV, resident director for a screenwriting competition sponsored by the International Emmy Awards, and his day job – Producing Artistic Director at Kean University’s Premiere Stages.

Plays written by John have been produced Off-Broadway, in England, Australia, Canada, India, Ireland, Serbia, South Africa, and in thirty-eight states across America.  His film Cat in the Pan premiered at the Montreal Film Festival and has been seen in festivals across North America.  

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Introducing the Fitzgerald’s 1928 Writers’ Bookshelf


What better way to introduce the Fitzgerald’s 1928 Writers’ Bookshelf than with a book that is itself an entire bookshelf?  Montclair resident Ron Kaplan is the author of 501 Baseball Books Fans Must Read Before They Die.

I’m a pretty avid baseball reader, but I couldn’t lay claim to more than 10% of the books he describes with wit and intelligence.  I hope that means a long life for me, because I’ll need it to get to the new stack of volumes on my must-read list after paging through his.      

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Fitzgerald’s 1928: It’s a Place with History


On the back wall of Fitzgerald’s 1928 you can find a photograph of two Olympic runners in a heated race, their faces contorted, full of concentration.   The face of the lead runner belongs to Horace Ashenfelter, perhaps the best known resident of Glen Ridge, the New Jersey town where Fitzgerald’s is located, and whose history its walls celebrate.

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