...serving up your daily dish.
Baristanet has moved. The new address is www.baristanetnj.com. We'll soon be redirecting you to the new url automatically.
...serving up your daily dish.
Shop anywhere in Montclair, and you can't help noticing bright paintings on the storefront windows. It's the artwork of "2006 Paint Montclair", sponsored by the Montclair Art Museum. Last Saturday, 160 kids who participated in the contest found their inner artist. MAM provided paints, brushes and palettes (ok, paper plates) and instructions to paint a springtime picture. The junior painters spread out in seven business districts from the South End to Upper Montclair
About a dozen judges made the rounds to admire the masterpieces, including Mayor Ed Remsen, Jim Peskin, Director of Montclair Arts Council, Councilors Sandra Lang and Gerald Tobin, and Andy Foster, owner of Gallery 51. At an award ceremony later that day, the first prize winners in each area received a coupon from Applegate Farms for an ice cream cone and a certificate from Nauna's Bella Casa for a slice and a soda. 15 kids received honorable mentions. All participants had a chance at the grand prize - the winner's name was pulled out of a hat, lottery style. The prize was a two week class at the Yard School of Art at MAM. Thanks, kids, for brightening up our town!
...serving up your daily dish.
If you love the Wellmont, and we do, you may have been surprised to hear that the movie house and the retro theatre experience it delivers (down to the RC Cola) is on hold. The answering machine explains that the theater is closed for renovations.
Truly one of the world's great movie palaces, the Wellmont Theatre has been honored by the Historical Society of Montclair. Originally built in 1922 as a legitimate theatre, it was converted to a motion picture theatre in 1929. Although the theatre has been multiplexed, the historical and irreplaceable decor has been preserved, and the theatre has received many awards. Unlike the box-like theatres constructed today, the workmanship and handicraft that can be seen and enjoyed cannot be duplicated.
What we have heard from several sources, but have not been able to confirm directly is that Steven Plofker has bought the theater and is behind the renovations.
If Steve returns our calls, maybe we'll find out what the renovation plans involve...
Meanwhile. here's a quote from Dick Grabowsky...
"People have told me that theater is absolutely gorgeous on the inside. I'm afraid that what's going to happen is the real estate developer who purchased it might possibly want to destroy those beautiful elements and turn it into apartments or something like that. It would be a real shame if we lost one of the few great theaters we have left in town."
The house at 4 Duryea Road may make Montclair history in more ways than one. The threat of its demise, coupled with a community's outcry over what came as a result of the Marlboro Inn demolition, may have served as the catalyst for a new push to preserve all the historic homes in Montclair. From the Montclair Times...
“I would like to see the [Historic Preservation] Commission (HPC) nominate, or consider nominating, all 96 [Montclair] homes that are on the state or federal historic registers,” said Deputy Mayor Joyce Michaelson during Monday’s meeting of the Montclair Planning Board. “This would give us the opportunity to discuss these buildings and discuss the landmarking process.”
Meanwhile, 4 Duryea Road, which is registed as the Huestis House, will still be considered on its own.
"I think that [the Huestis House] would probably be considered individually because it already has a potential problem with it,” said HPC Chairman Ted Lippincott in an interview with The Times. “And, to some degree, that is what caused people to look around and think, ‘Well, maybe we need to do something about all the rest.’”
An example of the "rest" is shown above, a gorgeous Queen Anne built around the same time as 4 Duryea and on about the same size lot. Located at 86 Llewellyn Road, it also happens to be for sale for $1,899,000. For a look at a sampling of the other 90-plus homes with a historical designation in Montclair, go to the jump and scroll over pictures for addresses...
...serving up your daily dish.
As Baristanet commenters deduced, the sale of the first Crisco mansion was a bit premature (see comments for the back story). In our mailbox...
After reading all the comments about Christopher court I couldn't help but feel the need to defend it. I (we) are working very hard and taking great pride in what we are doing here. I apologize for lying on your site. I acted on my own and my actions were not company sanctioned. It was poor judgement on my part and I hope we can forget about this whole thing.
All is forgiven. It takes a big man to do what you did. Good luck with your McMansions.
Dogs will no longer suffer the degradation of being sold to the highest bidder (although some pups may have enjoyed the attention and bragging rights...)
Phil Read grabs the ball tossed to him by Baristanet commenters who cried foul at the auctioning of dogs (something that's been done more than once in Baristaville) during a Junior League event.
Good cause or not, auctioning off animals is against the law, sort of. From the Star Ledger...
But seemingly lost in the bidding frenzy was this: Auctioning off animals -- canines included -- is viewed as a no-no by at least some legal experts in New Jersey.
"It's considered cruel. ... These aren't toys and shouldn't be treated like toys," said Sherry Ramsey, a Freehold attorney and former prosecutor who chairs the animal-law section of the New Jersey Bar Association.
Yesterday, though, the league said it would no longer use pets in its auctions.
"The Junior League of Montclair-Newark Inc. appreciates the concern of individuals who love animals as we do," the agency said in a statement. "While our licensed auction benefited a charitable cause -- children at risk -- we recognize the concerns which have been brought to our attention and, therefore, will not involve pets in any of our future fundraisers."
Under the state's animal cruelty laws, only such groups as recognized breeder associations at an exhibition can use animals "for the purpose of soliciting alms, collections, contributions ... donations or payment of money." The civil penalty is a fine of not less than $250 nor more than $500.
It's something, too, that the Montclair Art Museum apparently overlooked.
"Yes, we did," spokeswoman Ann-Marie Nolin said when asked if the museum auctioned off a puppy last year. "We have a gala coming up on Saturday where we have a puppy."
The dog -- like the league's -- is a bichon-poo, a mix between a bichon frisé and a poodle, she said. After learning of the statute, though, Nolin announced a change in the gala's schedule.
"We weren't aware of the law, and we're pulling the puppy from the auction," she said yesterday.
Kudos to the Junior League gals and the Montclair Art Museum for giving dogs back their dignity. Now, are cattle auctions still PC?
Bloomfield Councilman Ray Tamborini, who recently plead guilty to driving while intoxicated, says he’s turning his lemons into lemonade. Tamborini is spearheading a program for drinkers who have one too many from getting behind the wheel - by giving them a free ride home. From the Independent Press:
He has already incorporated a non-profit service group called “LifeVEST,” which is an educational and deterrence group focused on impaired drivers.
Initially, LifeVEST will be a service organization which is geared toward keeping inebriated bar-goers from getting in their cars. Volunteers will be on-call with the “Safe-Rides” program, which will have a two-person team driving patrons home from establishments all over town. The backup plan is the “Go-Safe” plan, which provides participating restaurants and bars with vouchers for cab rides from local transportation companies. The “Red-Ribbon” program is another volunteer program by which any patron trained to be a volunteer driver can designate themselves as such by wearing a ribbon. On a night afterward, they are then compensated with chips for complimentary drinks.
The other aspect of the program involves free educational programs offered to the schools, civic organizations and private entities and to designated drivers. Potential scholarships were also mentioned by the councilman. It’s a trail that has been blazed by other organizations across the country.
Tamborini said he’s looking for funding from national companies like Anheuser Busch and support from local bars. Call us crazy, but isn't it a bit ironic to offer free drinks to volunteer drivers for getting drunks home safely?
...serving up your daily dish.
This just in from the Associated Press: the bear is dead.
IRVINGTON, N.J. (AP) Moments before an animal control officer could subdue it with a tranquilizer gun Wednesday, a 300-pound black bear that had been wandering urban areas of north Jersey reared up on its hind legs and appeared ready to charge police officers, who then killed it with repeated shotgun blasts.
As police officers crouched nearby, seven loud shots rang out and the bear slumped to the ground in the small backyard where it had been cornered after two days of rambling east from the suburbs of Livingston to the inner cities of Newark and Irvington _ some of the most densely populated areas of the state.
The bear shooting came only days after a 225-pound bear was caught in downtown Trenton, prompting state biologists to kill it. It was the first time a bear had been killed as part of the state's no-tolerance policy to bruins in densely populated areas.
The bear killed in Irvington was the second.
Nervous police officers in Irvington had to chase three or four young children from nearby backyards, and were growing more worried that more than 1,000 neighborhood children would soon be walking home from school.
Jim Osorio, a Morristown animal control officer who had been called in to assist, was in position to shoot the bruin with a tranquilizer dart and was preparing to pull the trigger when it reared up on its hind legs and assumed an aggressive position, he said.
``We were going to tranquilize the animal and try to relocate him,'' he said. ``It did not happen that way. I tried to save the animal.''
But when the bear reared up, police had no choice but to kill it, said Osorio, who gave the order to shoot.
Mother's Day is coming Sunday, and chances are you're unprepared. Here, some last-minute gift ideas that just might win you points with the mother/wife on your list:
What could be better than a hot stone massage at Harmony Day Spa? They let us try one for free, and though a massage fan, the Barista had never indulged in hot stone before. It felt like hot wax pouring down our back, in a good way. The atmosphere is elegant, clean and slightly New Age.
Options range from a 60-minute hot stone massage for $95 to a Mommy & Me package of two 60-minute Swedish massages, two facials, two paraffin hand and food treatments, with lunch, for $400.
The brand new day spa in Caldwell, which had to fight an ancient town ordinance against massage parlors, is holding an open house this weekend and giving out free chair massages and paraffin hand treatments. Saturday 2-5, Sunday 11-3. More information and directions here. Tell them you heard about them on Baristanet.
Give Her Time Off for Good Behavior
How about taking something off her plate? Like grocery shopping, picking up dry-cleaning, or returning videos? Serge the Concierge is ready to do all these chores, and others, and will provide Mother's Day gift certificates. More info on his blog.
A Small Wonder
The Barista received her Mother's Day present early, and you've already seen the results of it here. One of the newest gadgets on the market, RCA's Small Wonder, just out in stores last week, is a completely idiot-proof point-and-shoot digital camcorder with just six buttons. It's the size of a small camera, runs on two AA batteries and comes with its own pop-out USB arm that plugs right into your laptop without even the need for a cable. The Small Wonder records 30 minutes of video and retails for $130. More info here.
Dark chocolate, as everybody knows, is the new yoga. It's certifiably good for you; WebMD says so. Nothing says indulgence like something from The Chocolate Path, across from Lackawanna shopping center in Montclair.
But if she's complaining about the size of her butt, maybe what she wants is a personal training package from Nick Baldwin.
Subscribe her to a copy of "Finding Our Way" newsletter for women of a certain age. Written by Montclair resident Carol Weeg, the charming publication comes out every other months and covers subjects like hormones, libido and second careers. $15. Subscription info here.
Or (shameless self-promotion) give her Liz's book, "The Dream Kitchen," here or Debbie's novel, "Rattled," available (among other places) at Watchung Booksellers. And of course just contact either of us for an autograph.
Pssst, Anthony. Annette tells us The Bloom Room, the gift shop at the Presby Iris Gardens, is just full of wonderful things, from pots of heirloom irises, $20 each, to a brass frog trivet ffor $19. (Iris photo by Scot Surbeck.)
If You Really Want to Proscrastinate
Just wait for the Glen Ridge Arts Festival, this Saturday from 10 to 4. Art, crafts, jewelry, pottery, you name it. Including a plant sale, and a used book sale at the library. Ridgewood Ave., just south of Bloomfield Ave.
Yesterday's Livingston bear has made its way to Newark, exciting local radio journalists and giving new meaning to the name of this baseball franchise. According to our highly-sophisticated bear tracking technology, the bear swept well south of Baristaville overnight. But, having evaded police authorities so far, who knows whether we could be the venue of the next bear sighting. Baristanet will give $100 to
anybody the first person who sends us an undoctored picture of the bear strolling through our local streets, or being taken down by law officers.
Why are black bears walking the mean streets of Newark? Hmmmm, maybe you should read this for some clues about the displacement of wildlife in the Jersey exurbs.