This week tweeps, you get a little peek into the life of one of my dearest pals, Lisa Mantineo. Originally from New Jersey, she has traveled to Kentucky twice just to check out my old stomping grounds, (my dad even let her ride his four-wheeler over our farm and she almost hit a cow, but I digress). She has been one of my most loyal supporters as I have carved out a life and career here in NYC, so I'm thrilled to interview her this week so that the rest of you out there get to know her just a little bit.
Miss Lisa Mantineo...
Me: What's your favorite book? I'm talking all time, here.
LM: I have favorites in different genres and from different stages of my life. In fact there have been times when I've become so obsessed with an author, I've done my best to buy every single thing he or she has written to prove (to myself?) how much I like their work. This book hoarding obsession began at the age of 9 during a family trip to Colorado; my mother and I had gone to a second hand book store and I picked up my first Nancy Drew mystery. From Nancy I went on to obsess over The Babysitters Club, R. L. Stine's Fear Street series, and like every good Irish-Catholic girl from New Jersey, Mary Higgins Clark. All that being said, since I first found my love for books, I've constantly found myself wandering down the mystery and suspense aisle more often than not. And in that category, Lois Duncan's "Summer of Fear" will always stand out as a page turner. I first became fascinated with the book when my older sister borrowed it from the library and then proceeded to share with me this story about a girl who upon a visit from a distant cousin, finds her world turning upside down, and begins to ask the question, who is this stranger in my house? I don't want to give any of it away, in case you haven't read it.
Me: I'm visiting your hometown today, one day only. What can't I miss?
LM: I am from the great township of Saddle Brook in the amazing state of New Jersey, (originally known as Saddle River Township). "The Brook" as those born and raised there fondly refer to it, is often confused with its much wealthier cousins Saddle River and Upper Saddle River. I know it can get confusing once a body of water is included in a town's name, but I assure you a former President (Nixon) has NEVER lived in "the Brook," it only covers about 2.69 square miles! If you were to come visit me in Saddle Brook, I would want it to be during the summer in the month of July. We would start off the morning by going to the Saddle Brook Diner, where you could enjoy anything your heart desires. After breakfast we could take a walk in the Otto C. Pehle section of the county park that runs through the middle of town. If you bring your fishing pole we may have some luck catching Sunnies in the pond! The park is huge and has a number of different playgrounds, so bring Knox along. After spending time in the park, we can head over to Cambridge Avenue and hang out in "the field." This is the main soccer and recreation field in town, and also happens to be directly across the street from my parent's house. After all of this outdoor activity, I am sure we will have worked up an appetite. I'd love to take you to Township Fountain, which is this really great luncheonette in town. In middle school and high school we used to go there for lunch. Their Hamburger Special ($3.00 for a hamburger, fries and a can of soda) can't be beat! Each July the local Catholic church throws a carnival, or as they deem it "The Festival of Fun." Everybody who's anybody can be found here, and this is definitely where we should go in the evening. They have all the classic rides from 'Big Eli' the Ferris wheel, to the Flying Bobs, and of course The Round-Up. And in case I haven't fed you enough on this trip, they've got a ton of food stands from zeppoles (Italian fried dough), to hot dogs and delicious food from the local Pizza place. You can also try your luck at one of the many games of chance, and I highly advise you buy a ticket for the 50/50 - in 1986 my Mom won a Chevy Nova just by playing! So take a look at your schedule now and we can make this happen - you, me, Knox and maybe even Jerrod - this summer a day of fun in good 'ole SB.
Me: Who are you following on Twitter right now that would surprise your friends? #GuiltyPleasures
LM: Get ready to laugh because after watching their amazing infomercial, I became the proud follower of @PajamaJean That's right, it's true, I follow Pajama Jeans on twitter. More out of fascination for this magical creation, and also to see if they are expanding their bossome product line. Please note, me following them on twitter actually inspired my younger sister to place an order for her own pair.
Ha! Amazing. I, too, loved The Babysitter's Club series and tend to be a book hoarder, although in such a small apartment, I've had to donate many to Goodwill... but I haven't done it with goodwill - more so with a begrudging attitude if we're being honest. I remember the field by your folks' house in The Brook and am eager to check out this Festival Of Fun. I'm also intrigued by "Italian fried dough"... Lastly, PajamaJean? Really? I don't even know what to say. But as per the standard, I am obligated to follow them this week per your recommendation.
Thanks for the interview! Everybody check Lisa out on Twitter @LisaMMonty.