Holiday holdouts keep spirits alive

MONTCLARION: December 29, 2011

The curtain comes down on the holiday season this weekend. It’s been quite a run, and, frankly, I’m pooped. What other season triggers a six-week celebration and a calorie count in six figures? My body needs a break.

Still … some of you may be holding onto the holidays, and that’s OK, too. The party continues at places like The Fat Lady, where owner Patricia Rossi has created a winter wonderland inside her popular Jack London restaurant. She’ll keep the display up until mid-January. Likewise, one of the season’s best Broadway plays runs through this weekend: “How the Grinch Stole Christmas, the Musical” at the Golden Gate Theatre. Never has a grinch been so lovable. He wraps the audience around his furry, green fingers.

Around town: The rumor mill is working overtime with news that Starbucks is moving into the space being vacated by Montclair Estates. “It’s a baseless rumor,” says Daniel Swafford, the administrator of the Montclair Village Association. He says Starbucks has three years left on its current lease and the company is denying reports that a move is in the works. Yet, they reportedly made a play for the space about 15 years ago and were unsuccessful. It’s also clear that their closet-sized space down the street is too small. Stay tuned …

Email bag: Santa has come through for the senior workout group that lost its home at the Montclair Rec Center. The Montclair Presbyterian Church (5701Thornhill) has offered a place for the “oldies” to exercise from 8-9 a.m. Mondays and Wednesdays. “No more exercising outside the Montclair Rec Center, in the cold and wind, with ants and slimy things and pine sap,” says reader Joanne Sandstrom. Yikes! Who knew it was that bad? She says the group starts up again Jan. 4 and everyone is invited to join.

Southern comfort: Fried pickles are tickling the taste buds of patrons at Monaghan’s in Woodminster. Co-owner Sharon Newell says it was quite an ordeal getting the batter to stick on those tart little treats, but they’ve done it and the recipe is a big hit. The restaurant and bar celebrated its second anniversary last week with live music on “Thirsty Thursday”.

Great night out: And speaking of live music, the iconic Jefferson Starship is coming to San Francisco’s Rrazz Room ( Jan. 25-29. It’s Paul Kantner’s 41st year and 2000th gig with Jefferson Starship, the band he cofounded after Jefferson Airplane dissolved. He told me he’s playing more acoustic gigs these days with a blend of Irish ballads and Civil War songs and he promises some surprise guests will join him on stage. As for age, Kantner is an inspiration. He’s 70 but says he feels like 15 and has laid out an ambitious schedule for 2012. “In the words of a famous writer,” he says, “I couldn’t imagine the universe without me in it.”

Happy New Year!



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