Following The Signs

APPARENTLY some of us have too much time on our hands. We saw the new signs for Shepherd Canyon Park and, against our better judgment, followed them. They led us up Escher, a little-used road that winds around and leads — nowhere, really. Certainly not to Shepherd Canyon Park, which is several hundred yards down a very steep hill. So we turned around, puzzled, and went about our business.
But this is where the story gets good. Mike Petouhoff, president of the Shepherd Canyon Homeowners Association, says the city signs aren’t entirely wrong.
“We wanted them to say Shepherd Canyon Resource Conservation Area, he explained, “but they didn’t turn out that way.”
You see, the park is really 34 acres and extends from the soccer field up the hill to Escher Road. The city has been promising to clean up and grade the hillside for years, as part of the park’s master plan to create more trails and usable space.
To their credit, crews did haul a lot of junk out off the hillside in the last couple of years — but now progress seems to be stalled. And as autumn approaches and soccer ramps up, it would be nice to see another alternative for parking — perhaps on Escher with a trail going down to the field. In the coming weeks I’ll find out more and bring it to you.

WOMEN POWER: Picture this. Twelve of Montclair’s best “movers and shakers,” all women, coming together under a full moon to brainstorm for a friend. The meeting was called by local chef and caterer Lisa Lesowitz, who wanted ideas for growing her business — A Chef’s Eye on upper La Salle.
“The universe just started sending me these incredibly accomplished women so I got them all together,” she said, adding they shared tons of ideas over dinner and drinks. Lisa is a great cook (she was the Haas family chef for three years) and I’m sure she put out a super spread the other night. She says the next party she has will be a celebration of the decisions she’s made. I’m hungry just thinking about it.

BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT: Not many folks make their living with a blender. Hills native Scott Gordon is one of them. Just over two years ago he and his wife, Ali, opened Quenchers in Orinda. They wanted to serve something healthy for kids that tasted good, and Montclair already had two smoothie shops. So Ali and Scott, who met at Montara Middle School, headed over the hill and through the woods to 21 Orinda Way. Now local schools are buying their drinks and business is brisk. All in all, it was one smooth move.

MONTCLAIR MEMORIES: With the passing of the legendary cabaret singer Hildeguard last month, reader Gay Parker remembers when the entertainer came to have dinner with her mother Dottie a number of years back.
“While the leg of lamb was cooking we came into Montclair to go dress shopping on Mountain Boulevard,” she recalls, saying Hildeguard bought a lavender gown and one or two street dresses. “She enjoyed Montclair very much and I’m sure they enjoyed her spending over $1,000,” she says.

E-MAIL BAG: Reader Lin Barron is a little miffed with the city’s landscapers, who he says did a “hack” job on Montclair’s island of native grasses and trees as you enter town.
“Don’t tell me it’s fire prevention,” Barron writes. “The surrounding roadway remains untouched, clogged with dry weeds.”

ANIMAL TALES: Thanks to Anne Nunez who sent me the photo of a prominent Piedmont family out strolling the other day. Mr. and Mrs. Duck (Donald and Daisy) were looking so good in their feathered finery that they literally stopped traffic in the 5600 block of La Salle. It was quite a procession with not one but six little fuzzballs waddling behind.


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