Hopefully, not affectively ineffectual --- since February

Autumn Colors

My Dad calls these 'Chinese Lanterns'. See the fruit inside the lattice-like remains of this flower? (I'm probably not using the correct terms). This one, of all its neighbors, got picked on by some insects. They got a meal, and I got a visual treat.

Click here for some bigger images.

Beesting Lips I do not have,
although one of them stung me on the hand as I tried to usher him outside the house a few days ago. (They say that bee venom has salutary effects, but I wasn't 'asking for it', if you know what I mean.) Why do I bring up the subject of bees with such a provocative and titillating title? No reason, no wait, actually because they are all over the ivy right now, which is flowering with light green bud-like things (I can hear them buzzing 'this bud's for you'). Anyway, they are loving that nectar. A monarch butterfly (maybe from Trina Paulus' heartwarming home base) is also savoring the bud, its wings working like a bellows. Soon it will be "Last call", as the frost will be upon the pumpkin (and the ivy).

Farmer's Market the answer to a "Locavore's" dream
My Bro-in-Law, Paul, was down from Massachusetts recently, and went with Montclair Ma to the Farmer's Market held every Saturday at Walnut Street train station. I had previously written about it here. He and his wife were very impressed with the story laid out by Barbara Kingsolver in her recent best seller 'Animal, Vegetable, Miracle'. In it she extolls a lifestyle that tries to reduce environmental impacts by using only local produce, meat, etc, hence 'loca[l]-vore'. He was blown away by the variety and quality available, plus the fact that the Farmer's Market is 'walkable' from so many points in our town.

If you have not been there, or been there lately, they have a honey stand, with a real live beekeeper in uniform, and various wax products in addition to honey, a seafood stand, a pickle/olive/sauerkraut stand, bread, cheese, kielbasy, flowers, plants, and more, in addition to what one would expect to find there. One of the nice things about getting out and getting over there is the chance to rub elbows with fellow Montclairians, and I enjoy striking up casual conversations; it's something I guess I've inherited from my Mother. The Tree-Licious stand next to the bee guy has lots of varieties of apples right now, and you could swear you were attending a wine tasting if you were lucky enough to catch part of the apple guy's informed and informative pitch about the qualities of his varied offerings. One of the hand-lettered signs said "Winesap!!", and those who know this variety of apple would agree on the appropriateness of the exclamation points.

The folk music guy was there, strumming his stuff; sounds like a combination of Randy Newman, John Sebastian and a soupçon of Leon Redbone to me. I came away ruminating about two star-crossed lovers throwing something off a Southern bridge, and how some 'Stormy' chick might possibly bring back a sunny day, and that Daddy don't live in New York City no more; hope Daddy's happy. Everything was local, the quail eggs, pies, poultry, even the cute kittens in the cages from PAWS --- PLEASE people, spay and neuter your pets, Bob Barker won't always be around to remind you. (I'm not joking, though, really, please).

On the way back, we stopped in at Gina's Panificio for some treats, and peered at the window display at Cucina 98, where ready-to-go lunches are available for commuters and others. That whole Walnut Street area has changed so much since moved in twenty years ago; there's a lot to do there now, and it bids fair to rival Church Street as a destination for perambulation. Sally's Studio is now open, and a very clever show by Serge S. Gall is installed there, the theme 'Homage to My Favorite Artists'. This is Saturday and Sunday only, 11-5, at 113 Walnut Street. 862-202-9601. In two weeks, Sally (of Montclair Bread Company), will have her show there. Stay tuned (or whatever one does with browsers---bookmark it or add to your favorites, or somethin').

Overheard on the 66 bus:
"I was on Groome Street the other day and I saw Laurie Anderson"
"Who?  You mean Loni Anderson"

I'll Trade Ya
Chicago is known as "The City of the Big Shoulders". Tombstone is "The Town Too Tough To Die". Los Angeles is "City of Angels" (and, Zappa fans might add, "City of Tiny Lights"). There are lots of city nicknames; just check Wikipedia. I think Montclair could be called the "Townshop of Contented Contractors". A cruise through the neighborhoods would make the case, for there are copious signs on lawns, and trucks parked in front of houses during the day---plumbers, electricians, gutter and roof repair, brick repointing, invisible fences for pets, cleaning services, lawn and tree maintenance, roof guys --- all manner of trades.  One reason for their prevalence is the relative affluence of large parts of this town; the 'Estate District' comes to mind, those large houses on Mountain and Upper Mountain. This expenditure pattern is one definition of 'trickle down', as the rich and relatively rich invest in their property for various reasons. I have a bit of Economic Populist blood flowing through my veins, thanks to my steelworker dad, experiences with arrogant Richie Rich types in my youth, and other influences, but I will admit that these tradespeople get a lot of work from this town, and can make a decent living. Live (well) and let live, and let me make a living, if I can.

Copabananas is back, at 547 Valley Road, near CVS. Click on the pix below for larger view. Welcome back, Claire!

Looking for a local source of custom-made scones, turnovers, boules, baguettes, pies, focaccia, empanadas, crostini, cookies, muffins and more? Check out Basic Kneads; download the sweet or savory menu (or both) as your starting point, then contact Cat Morris.

People: She delivers! (I don't just mean 'performance-wise', but 'bring right to yer door' behavior.)

Today is 9/11

Here's my response to terror: the smile of a friend, Dr. Kim Maziarz.

This is the face of America that has won us whatever affection we have garnered over our long history --- open, honest, upbeat, helpful, approachable, successful, human. We can win back the esteem of the world, if we can live up to our best sense of ourselves.

Let us proceed in our daily lives, in a mindful fashion, with resolve, with strength, with courage, and with love.

Rest assured that I will return to my usual wise-cracking self in due course, but for today, reflection and reverence for life are occupying my mind, and Kim, I hope I haven't embarrassed you with this effusive praise, but you've brought it on yourself.

Peace, y'all.

Church Street has had a Fair Trade store at #10, next to Jafajems, for a while now. Their name is Terra Tea Salon & Fair Trade Eco Market. Consider visiting them. As a business with a heart, it echoes, however faintly, the same spirit manifested for so many years at that end of Church Street by the Berkeley-funky 'Over The Rainbow', run by Vietnam Vet Bob Farina. Terra, along with Bean's, and CHA MA GU DAO (hey, stop shouting), give you three places within a comfortable walking distance which sell tea. Reading their ad on the gotomontclair site, they offer 'Elevens' along with lunch and other comestible opportunities. Maybe, in fitting Montclair style, you can enjoy Elevens while you play the Dozens.

Hinterlanders hit Nieuw Amsterdam

I just tried to pick up a piece of paper, palm up; couldn't do it. So much for my dreams of Senate service. (If you don't get the reference, frankly, good for you). I'm tempted to work in a pun on 'stall for (a good) time', and I could go on and on, but oh so many have already gone before me. Let's leave it at that, and also remember to shake our heads at another sad human situation and disrupted family, and the collateral damage that we sometimes wreak on our loved ones.

About Me

Nom de blog:
Monty Einwohner de Crane-Towne            
   I like New York in June -- how about you?
   I like a Gershwin tune; again, how 'bout U?
   Bad things (Jeez, I HATE 'em!!!)
    Watching videos of  UB40, B-52's and U2 on YouTube
    Driving the SPEED LIMIT in Montclair, to do my bit for safety
  Life goals:
   To use 'frippery' in a sentence, as:
     'The British guy said "What's all this frippery, then?"'  (One goal down, two to go)
   To circumnavigate the globe exclusively  by making right turns
   To try to bring some joy and thoughtfulness into your day, beloved reader

Explanation of the nom-de-blog: