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March  20

That Ranch is History

Ranch_house_on_ridgewood_3 Almost a full year after a controversy over whether the Best of All Possible Ranch Houses in Glen Ridge should be demolished, it has been. A new house is rising on the site of the 1956 ranch at 451 Ridgewood Ave., despite the initial objections, last spring, by the Glen Ridge Historic Preservation Commission, which found the ranch to be one of the best of its ilk in town. 

Gr_ranch_before Back to the drawing board and many meetings later, developers eventually won the right to tear the structure down. Though in a historic district, the house wasn't deemed "contributing." Mayor Carl Bergmanson says the new house will be built in the footprint of the existing structure, only taller.

Pictured (top) the new construction. Pictured (bottom) the original ranch.

March 20, 2006 in Comings and Goings | Permalink | Comments (74)

daily dish

March   8

Open and Shut

If you haven't noticed...

Il Forno in Upper Montclair is closed for good. Their baked bread have not disappeared completely. They have decided to merge with their downtown location, on South Fullerton.

Coffee Club Cafe on Valley Road is no more. Signs in the window announce a new store coming, "Joe Bartoni's Italian Market."

And remember that new produce market on the corner of Broad and Watchung Aves in Bloomfield? Tomatoes and all other vestiges of the shop are gone, including the name on the awning, spray painted over in black.

On Bloomfield Ave., in Montclair, Sugar Free Sensations has also closed.

March 8, 2006 in Comings and Goings | Permalink | Comments (41)

daily dish

March   2

Hair Today, Hair Tomorrow

Losing track of your favorite  hairdresser  can be quite the drama for us gals.  It's not just about doing the "do," but as confidantes go, they're pretty high up there too.  Here's a  sudden salon switch we just heard about.... Charles, hair color guru and stylist,  formerly at tony Bangz on Church Street, has moved to Salon Pelardi, on South Park Street.  Charles (who doesn't use a surname) has worked his hair magic on many of us, even teasing the tresses of Olympia Dukakis before an Oscar appearance. "It's like a total rebirth, like a phoenix rising from the ashes," was the way Charles dramatically described his departure. His new gig reunites him with another Bangz alum, Afrodite Pelardi.  Readers, be sure and share any other salon changes that you know about, here.

March 2, 2006 in Comings and Goings | Permalink | Comments (44)

daily dish

February   4

End of the Rainbow

Sure, it doesn't come as a complete surprise, but a letter this week in the Montclair Times spoke with finality about the exodus of Over the Rainbow from Church Street...

Over the Rainbow Shop in Montclair is not for everyone, nowadays, anyway. But in its time, it was as popular as a store could get in Montclair.

Originally known as The Clairmont Health Store, it changed its name when moving to Church Street, offering a casual family-type atmosphere with lots of good conversation.

Rainbow offers everything from soup to nuts at affordable prices. It was one of the few shops left in the central business district linked with the past.

We have struggled for a long time, but we could see the end coming with the new upscale trend and much higher rents in town.

It is difficult to say good-bye, but we have no choice.



The writer is the owner of Over the Rainbow

Now, the big question -- who's coming in?

February 4, 2006 in Comings and Goings | Permalink | Comments (45)

daily dish

August  16

Chicken & Waffles and a Side of Typos...

Savannahs SAVANNAH’S joins Montclair’s list of finger-lickin’ soul fooderies (though we’re still crazy for the barbecued chicken at Sweet Potato & Pecan), with a lounge to boot.  For those of us who keep track of the Montclair Monopoly board, this Plofker-owned property is using the liquor license formerly held by the Marlboro Inn.

But, if word puzzles are your pastime, see how many typos you can clock in a minute (not that we Baristas are hyper-critical editors or anything).

But don’t worry Savannah, if your Stuffed Fried Chicken Wings are worth their bones, we’ll surely overlook the “Smothies” and the “Sweat” Potato Pie Cake. (Is it a cake? A pie? A floor wax?)

Looking forward to your arrival.

August 16, 2005 in Comings and Goings | Permalink | Comments (32)

daily dish

July  20

Ugly Doesn't Take A Holiday

Deb, I think I can still win. It seems Montclair has no shortage of ugly bathrooms, unless of course, I've just managed to corner the market. For my entry into HGTV's Ugly Bath search, visit At Home.

July 20, 2005 in Comings and Goings | Permalink | Comments (6)

daily dish

July  19

Toto, We're Not in Manhattan Anymore

Jaynee, better known in the blog world as Cootiehog, joins Baristanet as an occasional contributor. She lives in Bloomfield. Make her feel welcome, folks. She's going to help out later this summer so the baristas can take a vacation.

So yesterday was my first day of work at my new job in NJ.  Since my move to the NYC metro area in 1997 I have been working Manhattan.  However, a combination of events since moving to NJ in July 2001 encouraged me to find work closer to home.  Events like 9/11, the blackout of 2003, giving birth to two children - you know, little things.  It was only this past February that I got serious about the search for work in NJ.

It took a while. New Jersey companie don't pay what the big boys in Manhattan pay. But finally, I found job at a decent salary. Yesterday was my first day.

Now you have to understand - in NYC I got a lot of perks at my job.  It came with the territory after being there eight years.  It was only today when I sat at my new desk with my new computer that I realized how much I was going to miss those perks.

First, music.  At my old job I had Real Rhapsody on my machine and would rock out to tunage all day long at my desk, periodically turning it up to jam on whatever tune caught my fancy at the time.   At the new company?  They don't even have speakers on the computers.  None.  Nada.  And while walking through the office I heard no music whatsoever.  Who can work like that?

Second, internet email.  I live and breathe email during the day.  All throught my workday I would check my work email, then rotate through my yahoo, hotmail, gmail and private emails.  Today?  All tucked away behind firewalls.  I couldn't access a single one.  This discovery actually made my heart sink in my chest.

Third, no personalization of desktop computer.  On my old machine I downloaded all kinds of software to use on my machine - I can't tell you how much stuff I had on my machine at my old job.  I also had a personal screensaver that flashed pictures of my kids so I had something pleasant to look at when my computer was idle.  Not so at new company.  They even have that section of the control panel blacked out so I couldn't change the screensaver even if I wanetd to.  How depressing is that?

Fourth, no cell phone coverage.  My specific desk location allows for NO cell coverage whatsoever.  So the only way someone can contact me is on my direct work line, but I don't want to give that number away to just anyone.  That's what my cell phone is for.  But in order to use it I have to go down to the lobby of the building to get any kind of bars to show up on my phone.

The only good things about the new job?  A commute time cut in half, and I get paid OT.  But who wants to work OT when there's no music, no email and no pictures?  Is this what I left NYC for?  To be a mindless drone with no outlet for personal expression?  I know I left NYC to be closer to my family, and sure, my kids are cute - but are they worth this kind of sacrifice?

July 19, 2005 in Comings and Goings | Permalink | Comments (31)

daily dish

July   1

Supreme Court Shakeup

Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor announces retirement this morning; President Bush making a TV statement now, re: selecting new nominee...

July 1, 2005 in Comings and Goings | Permalink | Comments (28)

daily dish

April  15

Take Montclair and Shove It?

Not us of course. But it seems Beverly Brown has had enough, according to a Star Ledger piece today about folks abandoning the Garden State in droves.

From the high cost of living to the little indignities -- like the massive pothole on her street that she can't get the town to fix -- she believes life will be better elsewhere. She's building a 3,800-square-foot home on an acre of land in East Stroudsburg, Pa., for about $400,000 less than a similar house would cost in Montclair.

"This is just a better lifestyle," she said. "The house I'm getting I couldn't afford here. I don't have any children in the schools, so why should I pay these high taxes?"

Beverly, say it ain't so. And for the Poconos! After 58 years, we're sure she made a pretty penny on that home, potholes or not. And there's no art house movie theaters in East Stroudsburg (although Montclair's may be in danger if a certain curly-haired gent has anything to do with it -- more on that later).

April 15, 2005 in Comings and Goings | Permalink | Comments (13)

daily dish

April  11

Rent Hike

Img_2235Not sure if the public outcry will reach Paper Boutique status, but D. Marie Home is no more. The store is leaving Montclair because the owner of the space can get a lot more cash by renting it to someone else (a.k.a., a place that sells $500 belts, or something similar).

For a last look, and where to find some bargains remaining to dress your home, click here.

April 11, 2005 in Comings and Goings | Permalink | Comments (8)

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