Monday, February 8, 2016

Family Fun-Time

I went to take E to acting class at ATNY on Sunday and as I drove up, I noticed all the really nice signage up for the businesses "back there". By back there, I mean the back of 175 Rock Road in Glen Rock. An area, a building, a lot of people in my town just think of as a throw away. As somewhere that could just be knocked down to make "something else" the town needs. (Even if it's private property, with many people's only livelihoods, which they love to just ignore.) For instance, there has been a lot of discussion about needing another senior housing building. Or low income housing to be in compliance with state housing laws. Or whatever else people seem to think is a necessity. Meanwhile, I don't think most people who live here even know what's back there. In fact, I know they don't know what's back there because someone recently asked me why the acting class never came. I had to say- "It did." and then give them the information myself. I didn't know what The Blissful Heart does until I met the owner today and asked her myself. Just FYI, a lot of their info is on little handouts right outside their door.

Ok, so it's not the prettiest building from the outside. But the signs are attractive, and inside is clean, inviting, and chock full of awesome. I think it's almost at capacity now, and almost all the spots are filled with kid-oriented, kid/family-friendly, or whole (mind/body/spirit) health related businesses. I just noticed the sign for JW Tumbles. I only know of the JW Tumbles in Hillsdale. There is another one I just saw on their site that's in Clinton, but that's totally out of my area. Both Hillsdale and Clinton are definitely far enough away for one to open here and be successful. I went to the Hillsdale one once when E was around one and a half or two years old. I just never went back because it was too far. They are going to be in the old police station space (when the borough hall was under renovations). I saw "Coming Soon" on the door inside. JW Tumbles has a fantastic reputation according to the Bergen County Moms Facebook group. So, it stands to reason that it's a plus for Glen Rock to have a location as well.

My store, Shades of Soho, is in the front building, where CVS is located. I have to hand it to our landlord, who also owns the back building, for making a whole "kid-palooza" in that space. I don't know if he had a specific plan in mind when renting to businesses. However, it seems like he really thought about who he wanted to rent to, making it a very harmonious area. Instead of just letting in a tenth hair salon or dry cleaners, he has an eclectic, diverse, yet synergistic group of tenants. Sure, it's people who decide what kind of business they want to open and where. And I don't know if he's turned anyone down who didn't fit the kind of businesses he wanted to have back there. I don't know the legalities of accepting certain businesses over others either. All I know is that in an seemingly unsure economy, he's been filled or almost filled to capacity with businesses that all make sense being in the same spot. If he was to market the area, he can actually say and mean that it's a family center. I don't really know any other strip mall area that's like it anywhere around here. I can name ones that are furniture or home decor oriented but not one specifically geared toward families and overall health (without any doctor's offices).

The Blissful Heart lobby
Starting with Moonlight Ballroom, moving on down to JEI Learning, then Nectar Cafe, Gary Stevens TaeKwonDo, Ahum Music/Music For Aardvaarks, Naturally YogaZen Rock Pilates & Spin and JW Tumbles. Now, we also have Actor's Technique NY using the Ahum Music/Music For Aardvaarks space on Sundays. There is really something for everyone- every age group, male or female. I'm sure moms, dads and/or grandparents, aunts & uncles, can find a class at one of the above, or a therapy at The Blissful Heart for themselves and their child(ren) going on at the same time. Being responsible for connecting the landlord with Aardvarks and getting Todd at ATNY connected with Aardvarks and the landlord, I'm really proud of how cool of an area it is back there. I know I've written about that building back there before, but with the additions of JW Tumbles and ATNY, I feel like it should be a much applauded effort of servicing our town (and the surrounding towns) of many young families and older residents alike.

Todd Etelson, ATNY
Here is a recent article by Cecilia Levine of the Daily Voice about Todd Etelson & ATNY-


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