Winter rains soon to produce upsides in Montclair


 

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The Montclair Lucky store’s newly remodeled floral department is stocked and ready for Valentine’s Day. (courtesy of Kara Piganelli)

Around town: Montclair is for lovers — and the proof is in the high number of flower shops in Montclair Village. From longtime favorites Flowers by Myrna and Montclair Florist to Flower Outlet and Gifts and the local Safeway and Lucky stores, floral Valentines can be found on almost every block.

Meanwhile, a high-end day spa is going into prime real estate at 2017 Mountain Blvd. And Compass Realty has purchased Pacific Union Realty (1900 Mountain) in a company-wide acquisition. The Montclair Pacific Union staff, including longtime office manager Pam Hoffman, will reportedly stay on as part of the new real estate team.

And finally, popular Italian Colors bartender Eric Levine is moving to greener pastures — although it’s hard to believe there could be greener pastures than ours after all this rain. In any case, Eric is headed to Australia with his wife and new baby, and his last shift is Feb. 8. Customers are invited to stop by and say goodbye, and at the end of the night there’ll be free cake and “nibbles.”

Ginny Prior can be followed on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and at www.ginnyprior.com. Email her at ginnyprior@hotmail.com.

Welcome to February. Are you ready to cry uncle yet? Or maybe just cry? The Bay Area rain has overstayed its welcome while much of the country digs out of its latest snow dump. Thank goodness Punxsutawney Phil didn’t see his shadow last weekend, or I’d be building an ark.

The upside, of course, is the wildflowers and cherry blossoms will soon be spectacular. And a hike to the vernal pond in Sibley Volcanic Preserve may yield a surprise — a return of the newts that like laying their eggs in the reeds. And as the sun warms, the ladybugs will hold their annual convention at Girls Camp in Redwood Regional Park. Their bodies, clustered two or three deep on barren branches, always make a colorful carpet of red and black.

It’s a good month too to pay homage to the volunteers who plant trees with the Sierra Club tree team. Founder Arthur Boone says there are three women in particular who deserve our thanks — Marna Chamberlin (whose efforts yielded some two dozen trees in upper Coolidge near Delaware), Veronica Tril (who orchestrated the planting of about 35 trees where none had been before at the Foothill Avenue end of 36th Avenue) and Nora Moaker, who got almost 20 trees planted on Florence off Broadway Terrace.

If you see these ladies, thank them. The trees should be thriving after all this rain and contributing to the beauty of our town.

Art update: The goal has been reached for funding the long-awaited railroad mural at the north end of Montclair Village. Local resident and Burning Man design steward Andrew Johnstone is installing a trompe l’oeil mural of the old Short Line Railroad trestle as it climbed into the hills. The art installation will be a historically accurate tribute to the line that stopped running in 1957 — but not before taking thousands of passengers from San Francisco through the hills of Montclair to Moraga — for $1. Look for the work to begin after the rains stop.

The Montclair Lucky store’s newly remodeled floral department is stocked and ready for Valentine’s Day. (courtesy of Kara Piganelli) 

Around town: Montclair is for lovers — and the proof is in the high number of flower shops in Montclair Village. From longtime favorites Flowers by Myrna and Montclair Florist to Flower Outlet and Gifts and the local Safeway and Lucky stores, floral Valentines can be found on almost every block.

Meanwhile, a high-end day spa is going into prime real estate at 2017 Mountain Blvd. And Compass Realty has purchased Pacific Union Realty (1900 Mountain) in a company-wide acquisition. The Montclair Pacific Union staff, including longtime office manager Pam Hoffman, will reportedly stay on as part of the new real estate team.

And finally, popular Italian Colors bartender Eric Levine is moving to greener pastures — although it’s hard to believe there could be greener pastures than ours after all this rain. In any case, Eric is headed to Australia with his wife and new baby, and his last shift is Feb. 8. Customers are invited to stop by and say goodbye, and at the end of the night there’ll be free cake and “nibbles.”

Ginny Prior can be followed on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and at www.ginnyprior.com. Email her at ginnyprior@hotmail.com.

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