Village Green presents a series called Spotlight, which gives you a chance to get to know your neighbors better. We ask questions. Our Spotlight personality does the rest.
We continue Spotlight with a profile of SparkyBoom production company owner, Realtor, and recently appointed member of the Maplewood Arts Council, Chris Danuser.
How long have you been part of the SOMA community?
It was 6 years in June.
SOMA or MapSO?
MapSo – I like it best because it’s awkward to say. And less pretty than SOMA. But mostly because the youngsters dig it.
What do you do?
I own a production company called SparkyBoom. We’ve got a short called Mayflower about a day-in-the-life of a widowed grandfather/domestic terrorist coming out soon. I’m also a realtor with the Distinctive Properties Group at Hearth Realty Group.
Why do you live here?
They’ve got a tremendous witness protection program here. Plus, more proper space than Brooklyn to grow a family. Good parks and trails. And simple to get into NYC.
Which book have you been meaning to read?
There’s like 78 of them. When I was in 3rd grade I was asked what I would do to help the world if I were Jesus. I said, “That’s easy, speed read, just like Jesus.” So as the years went by, I ended up with a touch of dyslexia. But I don’t think George Saunders would be mad at a fella for reading Lincoln in the Bardo at a super snail’s pace.
If you could say one nice thing to the residents of SOMA, what would it be?
With many of the resident drivers so mega busy and important – so much so it appears they’ve lobbied to outlaw stop signs – I’d say to the 40% of the resident drivers that still properly adhere to the (many times flashing) red octagons, “you are a good person.” There. I’ve just become my father and his father before him.
Is there anything about our towns that bugs you?
It bugs me MapSo can’t keep its “Stop for Pedestrians” signs there in the middle of the road all nice and shiny. See my previous response. Dad ran bad driving into the ground as well.
If SOMA was a car/type of music/flavor of ice cream, what kind of car/music/ice cream would it be?
Car – A brakeless SUV at intersections. Big shout out to my dad! Music – socially conscience folk music or “woke folk.” That’s my fav, BTW – Ice cream- a Dreamsicle, aww.
How do you contribute to your community?
I’m fortunate to be a recently appointed member of the Maplewood Arts Council. We have some more special things in the works for our town.
What’s your favorite dessert in SOMA?
Watermelon. It’s a dessert that’s breakfast, lunch and dinner for me. I’m from the south. I’d eat a chunk of watermelon found on the hill in Memorial Park the day after Maplewoodstock if it were chilled.
What’s your favorite place to shop in SOMA?
The Farmer’s Market. I believe Maplewood is having live, local bands at the market this season.
What’s your favorite thing about living here?
The art, film, and music community. The SOMA Film Festival. Matt Smollen and the team over there do such a great job. They’re a big-time success story for MapSo. Please support! And the housing stock. They’re some crazy fabulous homes here. It does my heart good to help put cool folks in cool homes.
Which SOMA store has the best outside space/curbside service?
I love Freetown Kitchen on Springfield. All of it. Inside/curbside/backyard. Great vibes, food, people.
What’s your favorite place to go on Saturday morning?
1) My back patio. 2) In a perfect world, any open tennis court.
What is your favorite place to find a parking space in Maplewood and South Orange Village?
It happens I’m not in need of vacant parking spaces in my life. I have my Transcendental Meditation practice to thank for that.
What superpower would you like to have?
Speed read with >90% comprehension. And would you use it to get a parking spot? See my previous response. TM has helped me and empty parking spots become ONE.
Have you ever seen the SOMA fox? Is it scary or awesome? Was it wearing a mask?
I thought I captured the SOMA fox on camera once but when I enlarged it I discovered it was just a College Hill raccoon in a stolen-from-the-garbage Superman cape. And, yes, it was wearing a mask. SCARY.