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March  31

Have You Heard?

It was the week of waiting for a lot of seniors -- waiting for those college acceptance letters. If you've got some good news share it here, commisserate if you've got a wait-listed kid or bring all your off-topic ramblings here to the chat thread...

Oh, and if you feel the need to spam us with "poop" comments or use another poster's name and email address, expect your verbiage to be deleted and possibly your IP banned. Thanks and have a great day!

March 31, 2006 in The Daily Chat | Permalink | Comments (56)

Fashionista Alert

Thread_1 Thread, a new Baristaville fashion stop, quietly opened its doors last Thursday. We had a peek inside the white washed shabby chic boutique, to check out the cool-colored must-have threads. It all shouts SUMMER!  Owner Kendra Lanzo said she loves her new digs at Watchung Plaza... She’s keeping company with fashion bastions Piazza della Sole and D’Moni, right around the corner. And despite only a bouquet of balloons at the door to say "We're Open", the local shoppers have  been flying through the doors.  Kendra keeps her flower filled shop stocked with comfortable, relaxed clothing, and she may even have some special promotions up her sleeve. Open seven days a week, 123 Watchung Avenue, 973-509-8892.

Here's Kendra!


March 31, 2006 in Shopping With Barista | Permalink | Comments (30)

From The Closet To The Bookshelf

Pmc_greeveyh2006032901826Former New Jersey Governor James Mc Greevey gave us his “I am a gay American" speech in August 2004, but apparently that, and the ensuing media frenzy, wasn’t enough. The Ex-gov, compelled to share the nitty gritty of his childhood, two sham marriages, and gay sex life has written his autobiography, The Confession. Oh yeah, there’s a heavy dose of his New Jersey politics mixed into it too.  From the Star Ledger:

It spans his whole life because his time as governor was very much influenced by his whole life."The book will include details about McGreevey's gay sex life and his efforts to keep his homosexuality hidden through two marriages and a political career that took him from Woodbridge Town Hall to the Statehouse, according to two people familiar with the book.

Amazon.com announced it is taking advance orders for the book -- scheduled to come out in September -- but local booksellers are giving this confession a big yawn. We asked manager Margo Sage-el at Watchung Booksellers what she thought:  "I don't think it will be popular with our readers...After all, who cares? Our readers aren't into celebrity bios -  the part about New Jersey politics might be interesting. I'll order one or two."

If the point of writing this is absolution and redemption - as memoirs often seem - may we suggest a sizzling personal face off on The Colbert Report.

March 31, 2006 in Books | Permalink | Comments (57)

Thrill Seekers

Moscow2Friday, March 31

  • Annual College Club of Montclair Used Book Sale “If you have never been to this annual used book sale – you have been missing a great event” says Adriana O’Toole. It’s a fundraiser for the club’s scholarship program, and a chance to load up on great collections, cookbooks, history books, etc.  You can line up with all the booksellers today and pay $5 admission, or wait until tomorrow – Saturday - when it’s free.  9:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.  Also throughout next week: Monday, Tuesday, & Wednesday 2 – 6 p.m. Thursday, Friday, & Saturday, 10 –6.  26 Park Street.
  • On T.V. - Two Dudes from Montclair: Dewar MacLeod, professor of history at William Paterson University in Wayne, will be featured on  "One-on-One with Steve Adubato"  tonight, at 6:30 p.m. on CN8-The Comcast Network.  He will discuss “The Challenges of American Suburbia.”  We're hoping that since suburbia is the subject, they might mention a certain book that we love.
  • Phoenix Dance Theatre, one of Britain’s leading dance companies, comes to Baristaville for its American premiere at MSU. They’ll dance 2 programs over the weekend. Tonight, “Mixed Bill”, tomorrow, April 1, “Planted Seeds” - 7:30 p.m. Tickets, $35 – Alexander Kasser Theatre, Normal Avenue, Montclair. 973-655-5512 Read the NY Times review here.
  • Stars of the Moscow State Circus - One night only -at Caldwell College, 9 Ryerson Avenue, Caldwell. Performances are at 5 and 8 p.m. Tickets available at the door. An adult admission is $22, but you get to bring three kids for free! Additional kids, $7.50. 973-228-4424.
  • And while you’re dining…The Sharp Four, featuring guest saxophonist Chris Dragotta, plays 8-10 pm at Church Street Cafe. 12 Church Street, Montclair. 973-233-0216.

Saturday, April 1

  • The Princess and the Pea, at Studio Players –  A family theatre event to benefit the Montclair Developmental Learning Center.  Doors open at 10:15 for bagels, juice and coffee. Show begins at 11 a.m. $10. 14 Alvin Place, Montclair. 973-320-3370
  • The Work of Fred Rosenberg: 4 1/2 Decades of Photography, at Studio Montclair Block Gallery.  Artist’s reception tonight, 6-8 p.m.  Gallery open Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. through April 30. In the Clark House, 108 Orange Road, Montclair. 973-744-1818. Free.

Sunday, April 2

  • Montclair Chamber Ensemble performs Bach, Mozart, and Vivaldi at 3 p.m. in the  Presbyterian Church of Upper Montclair.  Advance tickets are $18/$10 students & seniors, $20/$12 at the door. 53 Norwood Avenue,  973-744-7716
  • Spiritual Drumming Class, with nationally acclaimed jazz musician, Richard Reiter. For adults and mature teens, no musical training necessary.  Bring your own instrument or use one provided. 3-5 p.m., Outpost in the Burbs, First Congregational Church, 40 South Fullerton Avenue, Montclair. 973-7446560.
  • You read it, now watch it…Exclusive screening of The Celestine Prophecy, 7:30 p.m. at the Wellmont Theatre, sponsored by New Life Journeys. Several vendors presenting books, CD’s and info on health, wellness, and spirituality will be in the lobby, doors open at 6:30 p.m.  Tickets are available in advance online, and at the door, $15.  If you can’t make it this week, next Sunday, April 9, there's another showing. 7:30  p.m. 5 Seymour Street, Montclair.
  • Free Children’s Concert “Nautical Nonsense” presented by the Montclair Community Band, at Montclair High Auditorium. 3p.m. Info: 973-744-1454
  • Young Designers Spring Fashion Show, by Celia’s Chicas. Celia offers creative sewing workshops for young seamstresses, coaxing their design inspiration to emerge through pattern making and artistic sewing. This Sunday, future Betsey Johnsons display their individual sense of style, modeling original designs. At Over the Edge, 37 Glenridge Ave in Montclair, 5-7 p.m. Free.


  • Womanly Gestures: The Energetic Art of Fern Bass at the Westminster Art Gallery. This exhibit of works by Montclair artist Fern Bass runs through April 28.  Monday – Friday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. 63 Fremont Street at the Bloomfield College campus. 973-748-9000. Read the Montclair Times review.

Now it's your turn, give us a thrill...

March 31, 2006 in Happenings | Permalink | Comments (21)

Big Doings In Real Estate

Schade_house_1_2It's the stuff of real estate fantasies. Over in Glen Ridge, check out the big ticket sale of this grand Ridgewood Avenue manse that came complete with the ultimate in sweetheart deals. Read it about first, on Real Estate.

Meanwhile, with 97 comments and counting, readers had a lot to say about the possible demolition of 4 Duryea Road. Responses ranged from outrage at the demolition of the picturesque Victorian to pro-demo commenters insisting the house "needs to be knocked down," telling others to "mind their own business" and describing the historically-designated home as "a beautiful piece of crap."

Turns out there was at least one other buyer interested in 4 Duryea. A reader writes...


Dear Barista,

I can guarantee that no one in Montclair is as disturbed by the grisly crime taking place on Duryea as myself and my husband. The first time we entered the home we were overwhelmed by its grandeur.  You simply need to stand on the front porch and look at the "triple-arched front doors" to experience the magic.  It was truly one of the most inspiring homes I had seen in Montclair...and trust me ...I have seen quite a few homes in Montclair.  After careful consideration, my husband and I decided not to assume the challenge of the home.  We have renovated a number of homes and have a realistic expectation of the financial and emotional commitment that would be involved in restoring the home.  Instead, we placed an unsuccessful offer on another Montclair home. The following Saturday we toured the home again.  We took the weekend to consider an offer and attempt to locate a builder/architect to help us get a handle on the challenge. My phone rang on Monday morning.  It was my real estate agent.  She wanted to inform me that if I intended to make an offer on Duryea, it had to be submitted by 12 noon on that same business day.  I scrambled.  I contacted my husband at work and we discussed our offer.  I contacted my agent and submitted an offer of an even $1,000,000.  My agent called to tell me we had lost the home to a local contractor.  We were disappointed, but found some solace in the fact that the home would be restored by an individual with the tools and trades necessary to return the home to its' original splendor.  Keep in mind, we did not know the actual amount of the accepted offer.  Needless-to-say, we assumed that it had been for more than our own offer.  But wait, the plot thickens.

Three weeks ago my real estate agent contacted me.  Once again she was the bearer of bad news.  She wanted to be the one to tell me that the home on Duryea was going to be leveled and two new homes would be placed on the property.  I was heartsick.  It was inconceivable that the original homeowners would have sold their home with the knowledge that it would be demolished.  How could this have happened?  I considered writing a letter to the editor of the Montclair Times.  I considered contacting the contractor and telling him that I would purchase the home at my original offering price.  I decided to wait to speak my mind at the town meeting that would be required to discuss variances etc. 

That is when my agent called to tell me that the selling price of the home on Duryea had been printed on Baristanet.com.  The price was $995,000.  I was shocked.  I am no genius, but I am pretty sure that $1,000,000 is more than $995,000. Some homes have a soul.  A spirit that lives within their walls and welcomes you to enter them and share in their magic.  The home on Duryea has that special kind of soul.  I am hopeful that this story will have a happy ending.  Regardless of my place in this home's future, it deserves to stand for another 100 plus years to tell its story.


Eileen Painter

March 31, 2006 in Controversy | Permalink | Comments (105)

Campus Fire Safety: Now You’ll Know

It’s a bizarre coincidence, that yesterday’s fire at the Montclair State University student dorm occurred the same day legislation was passed requiring colleges and universities to provide prospective and current students with fire safety information on campuses.  Baristanet received a press release from Congressman Bill Pascrell’s chief of staff, Ben Rich, Announcing that H.R. 2637, the “Campus Fire Safety Right To Know Act” passed yesterday afternoon on the House floor. 

Pascrell first introduced this legislation to the 106th Congress, following the tragic fire at Seton Hall University on January 19, 2000, which killed 3 students and injured more than 50 others:

“The common sense fire safety disclosure requirements passed today should have been in place many years ago," stated Pascrell, a longtime champion on fire safety issues.  "The actions of Congress will prevent countless families from experiencing the devastation that the families of Seton Hall had to endure after the tragic fires in 2000.  "

The Pascrell legislation would require campus fire safety information to be made public, and would provide a powerful incentive for colleges and universities to voluntarily upgrade their safety systems. Universities and colleges would also be required to provide statistics on the number of actual fires in each residence hall, including information on deaths, injuries, and structural damage over the previous two years.

March 31, 2006 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2)

daily dish

March  30

Montclair State Dorm Evacuated

Montclair1_033006 From our favorite cyberarian Arnie, we learn that 7Online was circling Baristaville today reporting on an early morning fire in Bohn Hall, a high-rise dormitory, that lead to an evacuation at Montclair State today. Reports so far indicate that only one student sustained a minor injury.

March 30, 2006 in Sirens | Permalink | Comments (12)

Another Tear Down In Bloomfield

On April 6, Bloomfield's zoning board will hear a developer’s plan to tear down the small two-story office building at 1246 Broad Street – next to Brookdale School and Provident Bank – and replace it with a three-story 28-unit apartment building.

The potential over-crowding, traffic congestion, increased taxes, and death of 14 trees are just some of the reasons neighbors are protesting. Residents are meeting tonight to discuss: March 30, at 7pm at the VFW Building, 369 Broughton Avenue, Bloomfield.

March 30, 2006 in Civic Virtue | Permalink | Comments (55)

Soprano Sighting In Montclair?

Go to the food page for details.

March 30, 2006 in Food and Drink | Permalink

Last Laugh For Comic Cop

Club Soda Kenny is off the force.  Sgt. John Feder, the former West Orange cop -- who jokes about taboo topics in a raunchy comedy routine -- has retired with full pension, payment for unused sick days, and vacation time, said his attorney Paul Bergrin. From The Star Ledger:

The retirement is part of an agreement between Feder and the township, which suspended the 25-year veteran in February after several town officials were mailed a DVD of his off-color stage act. In the act, performed at a Dec. 8 show at the Laugh Factory in Manhattan, Feder jokes about pedophilia, bestiality and other taboo topics.

For Feder, the settlement saves him from losing his badge and pension, a possible outcome if a court had found him guilty of conduct unbecoming of an officer.

For the township, the settlement avoids a costly, drawn-out First Amendment battle in which free-speech advocates and defenders of decency were taking up sides.

Bergrin said his client will walk away with a cash payout of roughly $100,000 for unused sick and vacation days.

March 30, 2006 in Buzz | Permalink | Comments (35)

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