Natalie Farrell Weichert Realtors, Maplewood 917-514-7541 Growing up in Little Italy has distinct advantages. “I became a very good cook,” says Natalie, but don’t ask for her marinara recipe – it’s a secret, she says. Her grandparents arrived from Sicily and settled in that part of New York City and her parents remained. She attended FIT and became a wardrobe stylist with a pretty stellar client list such as Cameron Diaz and Dave Mathews. She styled for Bloomingdales and other retailers as well. Her blog chronicles some of her fascinating escapades. She and her husband lived in the West Village where their daughters were born but, yearning for more space and a green lawn the family found the perfect Victorian in South Orange, which has been home since 2000. “I wanted to be home more with the girls,” she said of her giving up the fashion career and getting her real estate license. And she never looked back, building a steady and now stellar team and reputation. As a Sicilian, Natalie is partial to Italian food and, in particular, adores Boccone South on South Orange Avenue. “Silvio is amazing,” she says of the owner/chef. And that’s saying something from a girl who grew up in New York’s Little Italy. Left to right is Nancy Gould, Natalie Farrell, Melissa Portfolio, Jen McManus Susan Blodgett and Ginny Spiegel Coldwell Banker, Maplewood 973-214-4636 973-219-8865 Ginny is a hometown girl; her grandfather founded the former Klein Realty in Maplewood. Susan took the world tour to get here, having lived in New York, California and Germany before settling in town. And while Ginny came home after college in Ohio, Susan began a long and successful career in marketing and advertising in the pharmaceutical, publishing and ultimately the television and movie business. An executive with Universal, CBS Fox and Orion pictures, Susan was responsible for a host of areas from press junkets to product placement. She attended award events and knew, personally, many celebrities. “It was a fast-paced life,” Susan says and it involved a great deal of travel, which she still enjoys. Ginny is a gardener and her Maplewood yard is her canvas. She was active in the local schools when her girls were young and enjoys running. Susan grew up working on cars with her father and took up car racing which has been curtailed lately. “She still drives fast,” says Ginny with a smile, but adds she’s a great driver. These partners complement each other beautifully knowing that their clients are always covered. “A true team,” says Susan who adds they manage properties as part of their business, for many of their clients who are overseas. And they both find themselves at the Village Trattoria for lunch nearly every day. “It’s our favorite,” they both agree, and another reason their partnership is so successful. Roger Salomon Weichert Realtors, Maplewood 973-996-8080 Roger’s two young daughters get a hug from Pete at Parkwood Diner on Springfield Avenue every time the family dines there. “That,” he says, “is just part of what I love about this community.” He and his wife moved here from Queens when their first was just 8 months old and living around the corner from Clinton School has been a joy. His real estate career came out of true enjoyment and devotion to the towns they now proudly call home. Lovers of all creatures, the Salomon family has a dog, cats and chickens, which they raise in their backyard. “My kids are very involved in the care of the chickens,” he explains. They net about one egg a day now. Roger enjoys grilling on his deck and a good beer. “I might be a bit of a beer snob,” he admits, along with the fact that he cheers for the Mets, and never the Yankees. “This really is a remarkable place to live,” he says, “it’s a real village, a community of caring, supportive people. Being in real estate is a wonderful extension of my passion for living here.