Spring is in the air – along with a lot of other aromas

MONTCLARION: February 1, 2013

It’s Feb. 1. Can spring be far off?

Hundreds of baseball fans lined up outside 10 windows Sunday for the chance to buy $2 tickets to eight Wednesday A’s games. Thanks to two friends who got tickets for all of us, my girlfriends and I will be soaking up the sun in the cheap seats and drinking $10 beers — because we can.

Across town last weekend, there was a line of another kind taking shape. This one stretched around the block as folks waited to get into the Oakland Museum of California’s annual White Elephant presale. The reward for cuing up before sunup was the chance to buy rare rugs, jewelry and Tiffany lamps for a song. One man walked out with every old Polaroid camera he could find. The White Elephant sale is a collector’s dream. And yet … the popular fundraiser is one reader’s nightmare. The hills homeowner accidentally gave away some of her valued possessions, along with several bags of donations to a truck driver who picked up at her house. When she called to see what could be done, she was told it would be impossible to find the things she wanted to retrieve in a warehouse full of donations. The reader was hoping for a more helpful response, but I imagine it’s too late now.

Foodie Fridays: Speaking of the Oakland Museum of California, if food is art, then the venue’s new Food Truck Fridays should be a hit. The popular Food Truck market Off the Grid is setting up outside the museum each Friday from 5 to 9 p.m. as part of an evening of live music, films, dancing and half-price admission to the museum (kids younger than 18 get in free).

Email bag: My reference to the Glenview as the little Gourmet Ghetto caught the attention of reader Sandy Gess, who has lived in the neighborhood for 20 years. Her fab four are Banana Blossom (the green papaya salad), Diggery Inn (friendly service), Blackberry Bistro (outside dining with your pets) and the Savemore Market for organic groceries and microbrews.

Around town: Finally, there’s some movement in the half-rented Montclair minimall. Bollinger Nails is moving into the old Score site on La Salle Avenue. This is the ninth location for this East Bay business. Just check out their website and you’ll see the business goes after a high end clientele. Reviews are good on Yelp and, even if we don’t need another nail shop in Montclair, this one should be popular.

Meanwhile, Daniel Swafford with the Montclair Village Association says January’s Community Work Day went a long way toward sprucing up the Village.

“Forty-nine bags of green waste, 12 bags of trash and a 100-foot-long pile of ivy” he noted, as 32 volunteers pulled weeds and picked up trash along Montclair’s stretch of Highway 13. Crogan’s provided sandwiches, and Crown Liquor donated water bottles to the effort.


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