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July  27

Signs of Change on Church St.

A downtown in transition. Top: The replacement for the Midtown Diner, under construction. Bottom left: A Grabowsky sign covering the stage door of former tenant 12 Miles West. Bottom right: Vacant storefronts.

July 27, 2004 in Seen around town | Permalink


I never thought I would miss the Midtown...

Posted by: Kevin Lee Allen | Jul 27, 2004 10:36:25 AM

Now we've both Plofkerville AND Grabowskyville!

Posted by: Cary | Jul 27, 2004 11:23:03 AM

Now we've both Plofkerville AND Grabowskyville!

Well, better than downtown Newark, a veritable parade of failing businesses.

You watch nice shops will open there.

p.s. how is that little socialist 'farm stand' shop affording the new rent?

Posted by: Right of Center | Jul 27, 2004 11:38:53 AM

p.s. how is that little socialist 'farm stand' shop affording the new rent?


Posted by: Kevin Lee Allen | Jul 27, 2004 2:32:30 PM

Which farm stand? Besides, Newark was a real nice place, at least in the pictures from the late 50's that I saw.


Posted by: Cary | Jul 27, 2004 3:29:32 PM

I see. Well they will have noooo problem then with the new rent.

I kind of like that place. I go in ocassionally only because It reminds me of the socialist days of my youth. The wilted produce, The Tempeh, the "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle" stickers, The Nuclear Freeze marches, "Hey Hey, ho ho, Ron and Margaret have got to go!" etc.

But one after just a little while and and one too many "salt-crystal protected" underams (if you catch my drift), I get right out of there again.

Hippies just don't seem to age well, do they?

Posted by: Right of Center | Jul 27, 2004 3:36:08 PM

The "vegetable stand" grosses me out. I can't believe that the health department has never found anything (probably animal) growing there.

Hippies only age well on TV.

And I still like Newark. The city has great bones and could be brought back to real greatness. First the people need to urban renewal Sharpe James.

Posted by: Kevin Lee Allen | Jul 27, 2004 4:25:05 PM

I like Newark too! And you are right it could be great again. There actually has been some decent redevelopment of late, not enough, but it is a start.

The Ironbound could (and is) become the next SoHo.

Posted by: Right of Center | Jul 27, 2004 4:33:59 PM

Actually Newark is pulling itself up by its bootstraps. The rents are going up and the little dumps are closing. There's the NJPAC and an Old Navy and some ok restaurants on Ferry Street and rennovated office buildings and apartment buildings. It'll take time but I think it'll continue to get better.

Posted by: Montclair Resident | Jul 27, 2004 4:40:32 PM

We must be talking about that "Over the Rainbow" place on Church Street, the one where Bob works/owns. Bob who used to be on Bloomfield Ave. Correcto?

Bob has one heck of an interesting/sad story that you really should find out about (I can give you some of it) before giving him any more grief. The guy doesn't deserve grief.


Posted by: Cary | Jul 27, 2004 9:31:54 PM

Ah, the Midtown Diner! Or as it was known in some circles, "Dysfunction Junction." It was such a pleasant dining venue years ago, in the '70s and '80s, when it was known as The Pumpernickel Seed, with its delightful Chef Bob and chatty, effervescent mileau!

Under its late and only rarely sober owner, it had so declined that one of my friends - we'll call him "N" for the sake of anonymity - who happens to be an ardent practitioner of Urine Therapy - would not have brought Midtown Diner food to his mouth.

And this is a guy who drinks "pee!" Eeeewwww!

Anyway, prayers for the welfare of the old Midtown Diner's management and for the success of Church Street are called for!

Bishop Sotemohk

Posted by: Bishop Sotemohk | Jul 28, 2004 7:39:56 AM

"Bob has one heck of an interesting/sad story that you really should find out about (I can give you some of it) before giving him any more grief. The guy doesn't deserve grief."

well? Barista?

Posted by: Right of Center | Jul 28, 2004 9:47:24 AM

No, Bob doesn't deserve grief but the consumers don't deserve salmonella and bad service, either. I would rather subject myself to a bad day at the Midtown than a good day at Over the Rainbow. While you're waiting to be served there you could grow cobwebs!

Posted by: Miss Martta | Jul 30, 2004 3:40:20 PM

Hearts and Profits and Rainbows. Bob, the owner of "Over the Rainbow" Health Food has a big compassionate heart. He gives food to hungry people - I've seen it.
Gee, I wonder if the "down on their luck" could get a hand-out from Whole Foods? hehe Not in this lifetime. They wouldn't give you an old piece of Tofu, I'm guessing.
Rainbow lacks the antiseptic sterile corporate style. Anyway, we all eat "a bushel of dirt" before we die.

Posted by: Nancy M. | Aug 4, 2004 10:19:34 AM

I feel closer to my God in "Over the Rainbow" than I do anyplace else in Montclair. I relish the gritty, Bohemian, "not-quite-perfect," "wabi-sabi" charm of this little Rainbow Bridge between the worlds and will speak well of it always. Bob, it's Bodhisattva-like owner, is a being of enormous merit and compassion - I daresay quite a bit more evolved than most of us have any hope of being in the next thousand lifetimes.

A long and happy life to Bob and to Rainbow!

Bishop Sotemohk Agehananda Beeyayelel
Moorish Orthodox Church of New Jersey

Posted by: Bishop Sotemohk | Aug 4, 2004 1:21:37 PM

I've just had the most amazing experience in Over the Rainbow. A truly uplifting, mountain-top experience, that gives me great hope for the future of humankind on this addled dirt-ball of a planet. Those of you (presumably overly-affluent, yuppified republikids who drive 'beemers, shop at Whole Foods, and think harrassing homeless folks on Church Street is AOK) who aren't familiar with Bob and his WONDERFUL establishment are encouraged to visit, and keep your eyes, ears and mind open. You may find your heart opening up as well!

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