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Be Your Own Valentine


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Featured Story
Montclair State University's Red Hawk Diner. Zoe Nolz | The Montclarion
The Montclarion

The book “Stories from New Jersey Diners – Monuments to Community,” written by Montclair State University alumnus Michael Gabriele, collects unique memories from diners all over New Jersey. Gabriele is a writer, journalist, author and current freelancer who graduated from Montclair State in 1975 with a degree in philosophy.

He enjoyed his time as a student and moved on to be a full-time journalist for over 35 years. The alumnus has written three other successful non-fictions: one about professional bicycle racing in New Jersey, another one about diners and one about New Jersey folk revival music. In “Stories from New Jersey Diners – Monuments to Community,” Gabriele plays tribute to his old university by referencing the Red Hawk Diner on page 99.

“Montclair State University, on Oct. 23, 2001, unveiled its Red Hawk Diner which was built by Kullman. Montclair State, at the time, hailed it as the first and only diner to operate on a college campus,” Gabriele said.

Gabriele is proud to be a Montclair State alumnus and sat down for an interview with The Montclarion about his novel at the Red Hawk Diner.

“The inspiration for the book actually came a number of years ago,” Gabriele said. “My first diner book came out in 2013 and the name of that was ‘The History of Diners in New Jersey’ and that one did very well.”

Gabriele enjoyed hearing memories from various New Jersey residents for this book.

“My approach when I do these books for the History Press is as a journalist. I’m always looking for the narrative, the story. In my travels, I met a lot of nice people and you’d be surprised…

How much pressure does Valentine’s Day put you under?

By Khristoffer Fernandes

German Major


Andy Sweeney

“I do feel a little bit of pressure, but my girlfriend is really understanding of like school stress and financial stress. She’s really easy going so I’m not worried about it. I don’t have anything huge planned, but I have something little and cute planned. We’re looking forward to it.”

Film Major


Michael Sano

“I see my girlfriend pretty frequently so it’s just like another day seeing her, but there’s pressure to make it feel special. So that’s definitely annoying, but not in a bad way. I see her a lot and we do a lot of things so I guess it’s like, “Oh geez, we gotta do the same thing we always do, but a little more special,” which can be kind of hard to figure out.”

Communication & Media Arts


Ariela Szwarc

“Say if you haven’t been in a relationship before or experienced anything with a girlfriend or boyfriend, there is definitely pressure by society that paints this picture that if you’re in your 20s you should have already experienced a lot of these things.”

Visual Arts


Elaina Natale

“I feel like Valentine’s Day is kind of a lot of pressure for couples because they tend to get into a lot of fights. I actually broke up with my ex-boyfriend on Valentine’s Day, but for me right now there’s no pressure. I’m mainly focused on school. I don’t really care about relationships right now.”