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Rookies & Veterans

The more things change, the more they stay the same... 

This Is Rutherford thought it would be fun to compare the thoughts of a
long-time resident with a relatively new transplant

Email if you or someone you know would like to participate. 


Rookie Abbey Novia

Resident for 4 years

Favorite Places:  Kidspot, The Library and The Pancake House

Favorite Features: Downtown, Lincoln Park & First Presbyterian

1). When did you move to Rutherford?


AN:  I moved to Rutherford with my husband and my 5-month-old son in October 2015. We moved from Brooklyn, NY.

2). Why did you decide to move to Rutherford?

We moved to Rutherford looking for more space and proximity to family after having a baby.  My husband and I both work in Manhattan so we needed a place with convenient public transit and proximity to NYC.  We chose Rutherford for its location and also it's walkability. Coming from the city, it was important for me to have a walkable community with events, shops, and public spaces that I could easily get to without driving.  Rutherford allowed us to have more space, be closer to family, easily commute to work, and have a supportive community for our young family.

3). What are three of your favorite “sights”  in Rutherford?

Kid’s Spot- We have met many new friends here and it's a go-to spot year round. The Rutherford Pancake House- Super friendly staff and it just feels like home.  The Rutherford Public Library- There are so many events for small children.  The library was really the first place I frequented when we first moved here so I could get out of the house with my baby, be around other families, and socialize.  I've also taken some adult art classes there and use the resources all the time. Honorable Mention goes to Poofy Organics-  I just love that we have local organic products right in town

4). Why do think people choose to raise families in Rutherford?

AN:  Rutherford has a good sense of community with events that the town puts on, has many parks/playgrounds, is walkable, and has good schools.

5). What is the most beautiful feature of our town?

AN:  The downtown area by Lincoln Park. The green space with the gazebo and bandshell is quaint, and the nearby First Presbyterian Church is one of the most beautiful in the area.

6). What do you find most inviting about Rutherford?

AN:  From the people working in the stores, to other residents we meet around town, everyone is so nice and loving toward our family.

7). What would you tell someone who is considering moving here?

AN:   If you are looking for a small town with a great sense of community and walkable downtown, Rutherford is a great option.  It's far cheaper than NYC while still having access to the city. It's a great place to raise your kids.

8).  What is your favorite season in Rutherford?  Why?

AN:  Summer into Fall- The Farmer's Market is here!  There are also many festivals in town and the people are out and about on the streets and in the parks enjoying the warm weather.


Veteran Janet Mariano Merli

Resident for 53 years

Favorite Places:  Lincoln Park, Sunset Park & The Castle

Favorite Features: Beautiful Tree-Lined Streets & Homes

1). When did you move to Rutherford?


JMM:  In 1966. I have lived in Rutherford almost my whole life. My first memories are living on Orient Way and attending Sylvan School.  

For several years as a child we lived in another town. When my parents bought a house on Beech Street they told us that we were moving “back” to Rutherford, not “to” Rutherford. This town was home to them and I do not believe they considered living anywhere else.

2). Why did you decide to move to Rutherford?

JMM:  Both of my parents were Rutherfordians.  My father (and his mother) were both born in the same house on Wood Street.  The fraternal side of the family has lived in Rutherford since the late 1800’s.  


My mother grew up in Rutherford. She lived on Sylvan Street and graduated from Rutherford High School.  When I left my parent’s home, I could not imagine living anywhere else. Most of my siblings (I am one of seven) still live in Rutherford.  This is home for all of us.

3). What are three of your favorite “sights”  in Rutherford?

JMM:  Lincoln Park – I remember me and my brothers climbing on the cannon when we were children.  With the upgrades and the gazebo, it reminds me of the movie It’s a Wonderful Life.


Sunset Memorial Park – I have come to love this little park dedicated to those who served and those who died in WWI.  Six of my relatives from Rutherford fought in World War I. Their names appear on the bricks which line the walkway at the park.


The Castle – I worked at both FDU and Felician College and I always loved walking through the castle and being amazed by its beauty and uniqueness.  It is a treasure in the heart of our town.

4). Why do think people choose to raise families in Rutherford?


JMM:  The schools are probably the number one reason and the easy access to NYC is a close second.  The town has many big houses where families can grow and be a part of a small community.

5). What do you find most inviting about Rutherford?

JMM:  In area the town is small compared to many surrounding towns such as Clifton and Wayne.   It is a small town with defined borders. You can get from one end of the town to the other in only a few minutes.  This makes it possible to be part of a small community where people get to know each other. The children go to the same schools and play together on same sport teams.  Residents can meet downtown and the dine at the little restaurants on Park Avenue. It is impossible to go anywhere in town and not run into someone you know.

7). What would you tell someone who is considering moving here?


JMM:  All of the things I said above!

8).  What is your favorite season in Rutherford?  Why?


JMM:  The summer is my favorite time when I can have friends and family come to our home and enjoy our pool.  Spring is pretty nice too when the big beautiful trees begin to bud and there is a wonderful smell in the air.

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