The Fruits Of Autumn

Autumn leaves are falling and I’m loving life. This is my time of year, these months heading into winter when the air gets snappy and the apples get crunchy and every store you enter smells like pumpkin and cinnamon.
So it’s with great pleasure that I announce that the Montclair Farmer’s Market will be staying open through fall and into winter – and right through spring. In other words, it’s going year round. And that’s great news for folks like Yogeeta Gamper who says she likes the stroll and the fresh produce. Susan Levy says she loves seeing her neighbors and friends at the market and Nina Johnson says not only does the market create a sense of community, it lures her family into the retail shops that are open on Sundays.

Cleaning Up: It’s great to hear there’s a new beautification committee in the village. Helen Wyman with the Montclair Village Association says the group includes six merchants who will be gently nudging their neighbors to keep their storefronts and sidewalks clean. “The association pays for monthly steam cleaning,� she says, “but you can barely tell sometimes in the food court area. That’s the spot I call coffee corners, where the daily spill of lattes and mochas combines with other slimy substances on our walkways. It’s nothing short of gross and readers often complain about the stains. By the way, Helen says the MVA has a steam cleaner in the parking garage that merchants can borrow for free – but no-one ever does. If you’d like to check it out, just ask Jimmy in the pay booth.

Shop Talk: After months of swirling speculation and rumors, it’s been confirmed that the owners of McCaulou’s are taking over the 6000+ square foot space vacated by Ps Home on Mountain Boulevard. Their new shop is called Madison and will carry gifts, cards and women’s jackets and clothing. The only other Madison right now is in Lafayette.

Meanwhile, the hammering continues at the old Paradise Pizza, where the building is getting a real gutting before Guadalajara moves in. Montclair hasn’t had a big sit-down Mexican restaurant since Nero’s was torn down in the Safeway remodel. Guadalajara already has a restaurant in the Fruitvale District and I’m told the Margarita’s are succulent

Weed Wackers: It’s not the most glamorous job on earth, but Adrienne and Herb Bryant are making a difference. Their group Eco-pullers and Re-planters yanked a lot of Cape Ivy out of the creek in Shepherd Canyon Park, recently, near the Escher Gate. The ivy is prolific and chokes native plants and waterways but they also pull nasty thistles and broom, too. The Eco-pullers are part of the Shepherd Canyon Homeowners Association and you can help them by calling 339-0985.

Celebrity Spotting: Word has it Randy Moss is looking for a home in Montclair. The Raider’s new wide receiver walked into The Studio on La Salle Avenue, recently, and asked photographer Reenie Raschke to take some publicity shots. She snapped him in a warm-up suit, a Sunday-go-to-meeting suit and his birthday suit. Well, not quite. But he did take his shirt off for the third set of photos and I’m here to report that his washboard abs were – in a word – spectacular.

Got news? You can reach Ginny Prior by phone at 510-273-9418 or on the web at


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