Name: Victoria Gallucci

Where do you live? The South End of Montclair

When did you move there? June 2020. I lost my Bloomfield apartment in a fire in 2019 and found my new  home in Montclair’s South End. It’s a neighborhood with a lot of charm and personality.

Where did you grow up? Wilmington, Delaware

How do you make a living? OR What is your everyday passion? I provide personal assistant services, private home healthcare and pet-sitting in Northern NJ and NYC. I love what I do and it shows in the way I show up for my clients. My passion is prison reform and I’m currently a volunteer mentor at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility.

Coffee, tea or … ? French roast coffee or espresso. I like tea as well and am currently exploring new tea blends at The Tea Company on South Fullerton Street in Montclair.

What’s your idea of a perfect weekend day? Coffee and pastry for breakfast followed by a walk in one of our many local parks. If it’s a Saturday, I’m getting my music fix from Mixed Bag, Don McGee’s show on WFUV, followed by takeout dinner from one of my favorite restaurants and some Prime or Netflix binging. Pre-pandemic, I’d go to the theater on Sunday afternoons. I’m looking forward to seeing a play again someday.

What’s your favorite local restaurant? Café Moso and Beyond Pita in Montclair, Blue Steel Pizza Company and Zi Zia Trattoria in Bloomfield and always Fitzgerald’s in Glen Ridge.

What’s on your nightstand? My CPAP machine, a lamp, and a Piglet figurine. Piglet is my spirit animal!

What are you listening to? Music is my religion and WFUV is my church. Whatever they’re playing, I’m listening to it. On Sundays, I listen to Singers Unlimited, Michael Bourne’s classic WBGO show. My new favorite albums: Steve Earle’s Ghosts of West Virginia, Black Pumas debut album and Taylor Swift’s Folklore. I’m also in awe of the historic and cultural significance of Bob Dylan’s Rough and Rowdy Ways.

What are your current indulgences? Pastries! We have so many great bakeries in our area. The Nutella Bombolone from Mattarello. The chocolate-banana bread from Ancient Grains (and their breads too). I hunt down the best local pastries and leave a trail of crumbs in my wake.

What talent you would most like to have? I paint and draw like a 5 year old. I wish I were far more talented at both.

What’s the worst-kept (or best-kept!) secret about our area? Freeman Gardens in Glen Ridge. It’s this perfect little park full of flowers, birds and squirrels. They even have an apiary! I sit and listen to the bees buzz while I read.

What do you hope they say about you at your funeral? No funeral but a party instead. Hopefully someone will mention that I was a kind-hearted soul with a witty sense of humor.