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July  19

Scent of Desperation Detected in Baristaville

Summertime, and the business is S...L...O...W....

The retailers of Montclair have taken that economic phenomenon known as SUMMER, dressed it up like a poodle in a tutu, and are trotting it around the internet, looking for takers. Somebody, please, go out and buy something. We don't know how many more pitches like this we can stomach.

First this from Village Radio:

Just a "heads-up" ya'll. About 18 of the stores in Upper Montclair are having a Christmas in July sale Thursday July 21 - 24. There will be free stuff (cookies, drinks etc) for kids and adults. Some of the stores participating are Blueberry Lane (shoes for the ladies), The Olympic Shop, the Gap, Williams Sonoma, Chelsea Square, Alex Gowns, Village Laundry Center is giving away cookies and stuff, Jafajems, Saunders hardware, Mainieri Optician is putting sunglasses on sale, Murph's sport shop, Hipchic, CSA audio is having a "demo" sale, nice chance to pick up some high end audio video gear.

It should be a lot of fun. VillageRadio will be playing Christmas music, we're bringing in some singers to stroll through town singing Christmas carols and Holiday songs. Northfork Bank is going to have gingerbread cookies, so come out and pretend it's cold out.

God save the poor sap who has to dress up like Santa Claus in this weather.

Christmas not your style? How about a New Age reminder to spend some dough? This from Intimate Engagements on Glenridge Ave:

Welcome to the Circle of Abundance!
Celebrating Women!
Woman to woman we're bringing more abundance into all of our lives.
We invite you to enrich yourself with help from
ten of Montclair's women-owned and operated businesses.
Simply download the attached file and take advantage of the
invitations included within.
Please feel free to share this with your friends and associates.
In the Spirit of Abundance
Be well!

Attached: 10 coupons from downtown businesses. Spirit of abundance. Puh-leeze!

We will get through this folks. Really. Just hold hands and sing kumbaya. And here, by the way, is the pitch that will really work:

Come enjoy our air-conditioned store.

July 19, 2005 in Sheesh! | Permalink


I congratulate the Barista on her grumpiness today!

Posted by: cathar | Jul 19, 2005 3:20:41 PM

Avoiding work: 7:45 p.m. Monday night on Ridgewood Avenue, two cop cars and about half a dozen young guys on bikes?

Can you tell I want to get out of here for the day?

Posted by: Elizabeth Tims | Jul 19, 2005 3:34:34 PM

How do you obtain the coupons, I did not see any attached files.

Posted by: Elizabeth Tims | Jul 19, 2005 3:38:44 PM

Can I get the colander for $229.00??

Posted by: ClashCityRocker | Jul 19, 2005 5:45:58 PM

I have basically stopped shopping in Montclair. Or going to the movies for that matter. Everytime I make the mistake of venturing into town there are no parking spots. Nada. Zippo. Zilch. But, remarkably, there is an army of people waiting to, ticket me at every turn. Give me a break. Say what you want about shopping malls, but they have plenty of parking and are air-conditioned. The days of driving around for 20 minutes to find a parking spot to eat at Raymonds or to check out a movie at the Clearview are over.

Posted by: montclair_is_crazy | Jul 19, 2005 5:58:10 PM

Sooooo, I don't like to shop, but when I do, I stay in town. And, perhaps it's my good luck (?), but I don't have a problem finding a parking spot if I don't mind walking a bit. Want to shop in Upper Montclair? Park on Norwood or Lorraine. Eating at Raymond's? Park on Plymouth Street. These parking spots can't be that much further than when you park and walk at the mall, "montclair_is_crazy".

Posted by: hate to shop | Jul 19, 2005 6:38:36 PM

I thought wearing a suit to Newark was bad. But the truth is, just about anybody will stop to talk to someone who is dressed up like Santa for Christmas.

In response to Montclair_is_crazy, the best reason to avoid going to the movies in upper montclair is the prices, not the parking. I don't mean to divert business from this affluent neighborhood, but at Clifton Alwood theaters, the ticket price is $7, which is much better than 9.

Posted by: Jack | Jul 19, 2005 11:09:19 PM

Let's see - it takes about 20-25 minutes to drive to Willowbrook. Then you park relatively far away and walk to the movie theater, which is huge and full of people.

Or, you can go downtown in Montclair, park 2-3 blocks away w/ no problem, and sit in a theater w/ plenty of seats.

I'll take local any day!!

Posted by: butchcjg | Jul 19, 2005 11:22:26 PM

I'd be sold on local too except those seats don't have enough legroom for my legs....in the meantime I'll go to the mall where the popcorn's fresher and the seats more comfortable.

But, hell yeah, I wish I only had to go to M'clair.

Posted by: RidgeRanger | Jul 20, 2005 1:29:28 AM

ClashCityRocker beat me to it! I think if they drop the price of that wicked-neat colander to $199.99 it will solve the entire problem. Instead of vacationing on Nantucket or on their private islands off the Maine coast, people will flock to Baristaville to shop. About 3 days of rain and temps in the 60's might do it, too.

Posted by: conan the grammarian | Jul 20, 2005 9:45:28 AM

Boy if you guys think parking is bad in Montclair, try living in San Francisco.

This is nothing folks.

This town has three movie theaters, numerous restaurants (finally!) and plenty of shopping. As butch says, just park the car a few blocks away and walk.

Posted by: Pam | Jul 20, 2005 9:56:09 AM

As many have said, there is ALWAYS plenty of parking two or three blocks away from anywhere in Montclair.
What a strange culture we live in!

Posted by: Martin | Jul 20, 2005 10:09:20 AM

Pam - right on. I've never really had a parking problem. I mean, I drive downtown, take a quick glance to see if anything happens to be ultra close (and sometimes you're lucky) and then head a block or two away. I've never driven around for more than 5 minutes and we almost always find something within a block. (I'm not telling my secret spot!) People are always complaining about parking, but you can almost always find plenty of spots on the block where the Diva Lounge is - and that's only 1 long block from Church Street!

Or, you can always pay $5 on weekends and do the valet parking. I've never done that, b/c I find parking - but it's a valid option and doesn't cost much (you'd probably spend nearly as much driving to and from Clinton!).

Posted by: butchcjg | Jul 20, 2005 10:12:08 AM

To return a video?

Posted by: John | Jul 20, 2005 10:29:50 AM

"just park the car a few blocks away and walk..."

What are you people smoking? It's all well and good for you and me to park and walk, but what about customers of local businesses who might want to come and buy something? Studies have shown conclusively that if anybody has to walk more than 10 feet to a shop, they'd just as soon stay in their a/c and drive on. What we need to do is line the streets with giants car racks so that we can stack like 20 cars on each parking space. When you want your car, you select it like with one of those machines at Nedicks.

Posted by: walleroo | Jul 20, 2005 11:38:07 AM

I'm resigned to the fact that if I want to visit Montclair, I have to park and walk at least 4-5 blocks. (And, no, I'm NOT revealing my "secret car stash," either).

My biggest fear now is that the downtown construction project(s) are turning into something like the "Big Dig" in Boston. A big 'ol mess that's going to drag on into the next decade. Man, look how long it took just to order tiles for Rascal's facade.

Posted by: Miss Martta | Jul 20, 2005 11:50:14 AM

Are the parking lots free on Saturday?

Posted by: Bitpusher | Jul 20, 2005 12:21:49 PM

Montcliar_is_crazy is totally right. I have three small children in tow so parking a mile away is not an option. I hate the whole driving around for a parking spot for 20 minutes gig.

Are you all serioulsly saying you have no problem finding parking?

Regardless, we live here so we should patronize our local merchants or beautiful upper montclair will be just a bunch of vacant storefronts.

Posted by: Ms Al | Jul 20, 2005 12:33:57 PM

"Are the parking lots free on Saturday?"

Nope. Not in Montclair.

Posted by: Miss Martta | Jul 20, 2005 1:24:59 PM

Joking aside, I really don't find parking the dire problem it's made out to be. Sure, at certain times (Saturday aftnoon and eves) one does have to park a few blocks away, but most of the time it's really not bad. Other may have legitimate gripes--like perhaps local business owners whose employees have nowhere to park during working hours--but most of the brouhaha seems to come from lazy residents who pull their cars up to the yellow curb and then complain that they got a ticket even though they only parked there for a second. Parking garages won't help this problem much, because they're still farther from the shops than the yellow curb.

Posted by: walleroo | Jul 20, 2005 1:54:04 PM

with apologies to MM...

Yep, parking lots in Montclair are currently free on Saturdays, but for some reason this has not been widely publicized.

Also, the top deck of the Fullerton garage is free 2 hr parking on weekdays (again, not been widely publicized).

Also, one can almost always find free parking on Plymouth St (next to the Library) which is about 200 yards from Church St.

Also, the Parking Authority (with a gentle nudge from the BID) is issuing discounted employee parking permits for the top deck of the Fullerton garage. If this program were to be PUBLICIZED, it might displace local employess out of the Church Street (formerly Hahne's) lot & provide even more convenient parking spaces.

Posted by: Greg Spinelli | Jul 20, 2005 4:22:43 PM


If the town insists on keeping the parking lot regulations secret, couldn't the BID print a flyer explaining what they are and have merchants post it in their store windows?

Since parking seems to be a major complaint made by the customers of downtown, I would think that the businesses would want the regulations to be known.

Posted by: Bitpusher | Jul 20, 2005 5:48:21 PM

I used to live in clifton, and shopped in Montclair and Upper Montclair very often.Now I live in Ashland,Oregon, and we have to same problem..
I have to go downtown before 10am to be sure
to get a parking space. Ashland reminds me very
much of what I remember of Upper Montclair.

Posted by: June Rachles | Jul 20, 2005 6:02:58 PM

Back in the early sixties on Sunday, my father & I would hop on the 13 Broad (bus) and head to Downtown Newark, check out the Spanish Mass at St. Patrick's, have lunch at the Novelty bar & grill or Tad's steakhouse, then take in a double feature at one of the many theatres around Broad & market and never once had to look for a parking space (pop's never had a license).....but I digress.

Posted by: PAZnostalganow | Jul 20, 2005 10:54:17 PM

June: Is Ashland anywhere near Lake Oswego? That's where my brother lives.

Posted by: Miss Martta | Jul 21, 2005 9:18:40 AM

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