Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

A Green Escape from the Great White Way

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

A Green Escape from the Great White Way

Article excerpt

From the neon lights of Broadway and their work on the new musical "Something Rotten!" to the serenity of West Milford's Pinecliff Lake, where the only illumination comes from the stars, two Manhattan renters couldn't come up with a more different setting for their first home.

But that is what Aaron Kaburick and Patrick Wetzel wanted in a getaway home.

"It's quaint, the neighbors are close, but it still feels secluded," said Kaburick of the log cabin the couple dreamed of and found with the help of Linda McCullough, broker associate for Re/ Max Country Realty in West Milford.

As a respite from the bustle of Manhattan, the lakefront home that was built in 1945 lives up to the term "getaway," with a grape arbor shading a patio table on the back deck and a stone walkway leading to the private lake where a canoe invites a greater connection with nature.

"The minute we walk in we both feel our shoulders drop," said Kaburick, who as the chef of the house loves having a kitchen that opens up to the living room with its big stone fireplace and the dining area.

"What do you think of the quiet at night?" asked McCullough, chatting at the patio table with her clients after the closing in August.

Both homeowners said it wasn't too much of an adjustment because they grew up working on farms in Illinois and Maryland before establishing themselves in the theater. Kaburick, 37, is performing in the musical, and Wetzel, 47, is its stage manager. "Something Rotten!" opened on Broadway in April and was nominated for 10 Tony Awards.

The couple didn't give up their rental on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, because, as Kaburick puts it, "To be able to have both worlds is great," Kaburick said.

But what would bring a couple from the Big Apple to the uppermost reaches of Passaic County?

Wetzel explained that it was through friends who live in lake communities of New Jersey that they came to appreciate this lifestyle. They'd come up and visit their friends and soon wanted their own country refuge. …

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