Name: Evan Cutler

Where do you live? Upper Montclair. A few doors down from the Pilsbury School. 

When did you move there? 2004. The week we moved in, I got a call from CNBC that they were canceling McEnroe (the short-lived late night talk show starring John McEnroe–yes there was such a thing). Not the news you want to hear right after buying your first house, but without a job, it did give me lots of free time to hang things on the walls. 

Where did you grow up? Springfield, NJ. Just off Route 22 – the most dangerous highway in New Jersey. People would window shop while driving 60 mph.

How do you make a living?  I write and produce On Patrol Live on the Reelz network. We follow nine different police departments live every Friday and Saturday night from 9pm to midnight. Which means my wife Patti Safian has a much better social life than I do.

Coffee, tea or … ? Black coffee. Homemade with a French press. I’ve been to the Starbucks in Upper Montclair just once in 20 years. And that was to ask for a napkin after I sneezed while walking the dog.

What’s your idea of a perfect weekend day? 

I’m an avid birder, so during migration, I try to get over to Garret Mountain at the break of dawn. It’s really a special place–and just minutes from Montclair. The Montclair Bird Club leads a free walk there every Wednesday morning, year round. I’m currently vice president of the bird club, which means, of course, I’m just a heartbeat away from the presidency. 

 What’s your favorite local restaurant? 

The Great Notch Inn.  I guess that’s not really a restaurant. Though they do serve a microwave personal pizza. But I’m gluten free now, so forget that. I also gave up the booze a few years ago. So come to think of it, choosing a bar as my favorite restaurant makes little sense. But it is hard to beat sitting on their front porch with friends,  listening to live music while watching the traffic hum past. 

What’s on your nightstand? The newest issue of Weird NJ, a couple of bird guides, and a box of acupuncture needles. One of the perks of having a wife who is an acupuncturist. My back has been giving me problems and so far it seems to be helping! 

What are you listening to? WFMU. It’s on in our house all day long. I’ve been volunteering there and giving them money since the Upsala College days. Getting such good reception is one of the best things about living in Montclair.

What are your current indulgences? 

After taking the same route to the top of Eagle Rock Reservation on my bike for the past 10 years, this fall I’m on a mission to explore new places I’ve never cycled before. Last weekend for the first time I tried cycling along a stretch of the Garden State Parkway just north of Route 3 in Clifton. I actually found a wonderful community garden on the northbound side underneath the power line. Word to the wise: there’s a reason they have signs saying “No Bicycles or Horses.”

What talent you would most like to have? I have zero musical talent.  But I make up for it with friends who are insanely talented. It seems like almost every good friend I have in Montclair is a musician. I guess someone has to listen. 

What’s the worst-kept (or best-kept!) secret about Montclair? 

The Montclair Hawk Watch. It’s the country’s second-oldest continuous hawk watch. We had close to 10,000 Broad-winged Hawks migrate past the platform during a three-day stretch a few weeks ago. I’m one of the volunteer counters (we have a paid NJ Audubon naturalist there during the week). We’re across the street from the south entrance of Mills Reservation and it’s just 103 steps to the best view in all of Montclair.  

What do you hope they say about you at your funeral? You could always count on him for a ride home from the airport.