Baristanet Redesign to Launch

BY  |  Tuesday, Aug 31, 2010 4:00pm  |  COMMENTS (118)

Pssst, starting tomorrow when you get to your desk with your first cup of coffee, you’ll be looking at a new version of Baristanet. It will have a lot more functionality and, we think, a sharp updated look. The Barista and her elves will be working all night to implement the change: just a quick head’s up to tell you that any comment you post here after 4 p.m. tonight just may not transfer to the new version.

Africk’s Trash Flash Mob?

BY  |  Tuesday, Aug 31, 2010 3:00pm  |  COMMENTS (11)

CaryAfrickGarbage.jpgAlthough he’s a lone wolf now when he makes his daily trash collecting expeditions to Watchung Plaza, Montclair’s Second Ward Councilor Cary Africk says a “trash flash mob is next.”

Africk recently posted on his Face Book page that he believes “30-minutes a day of clean up will get a lot more done than 30 hours of meetings with town officials who already have had a “study” team in there and have concluded “there’s nothing that can be done.” Bemoaning analysis paralysis, Africk has taken matters into his own hands.

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Montclair a Coolest Suburb? Yeah, We Knew

BY  |  Tuesday, Aug 31, 2010 1:26pm  |  COMMENTS (22)

montclair coolest suburb.jpgNews flash from Travel + Leisure Magazine: Montclair is one of the coolest suburbs in America. It might even be worth, you know, a side trip if you’re visiting New York. Among Montclair’s claims to coolness are: The New York Times’ David Carr (we’re sure you’ll meet him if you come over for a visit), the Wellmont, Montclair State University and the Montclair Art Museum, as well as “funky shops.”

Ho hum. Picking Montclair as one of the coolest suburbs in America is like shooting ducks in barrel. Here’s a job for you Travel + Leisure, pick the coolest suburb of Montclair.

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Overscheduling Kids: Yes or No?

BY  |  Tuesday, Aug 31, 2010 1:00pm  |  COMMENTS (1)

DSC_0118.JPGRegistration for fall classes at the Montclair Little Y began on Monday. Meanwhile, the brochures for everything from tennis lessons to dancing school are piling up in my mailbox. Every year at this time, I wonder how many classes my preschoolers should take. I don’t want to overschedule my kids. But is it possible to underschedule them?

My sister-in-law puts her kids in soccer twice a week. I asked her, “Why soccer?” She said, “Doesn’t everyone do soccer?”

Meanwhile, my best friend doesn’t sign her 4-year-old up for anything. She says preschool costs more than enough. Most of my other friends do at least one organized activity from Taekwondo to private music instruction.

Researchers have recently stated that kids aren’t overscheduled. Kids who do up to 20 hours of organized activities (this pertains to big kids, of course) tend to be more well adjusted than kids who don’t do anything at all.

But what about the youngest ones? How much stuff should a 4-year-old do? I have to figure it out soon. Around here, kids’ classes–especially the ones at the Little Y–fill up fast.

DeCamp Strike is on for Thursday

BY  |  Tuesday, Aug 31, 2010 12:50pm  |  COMMENTS (8)

StrikeUpdate from Clever Commute:

NJT will NOT cross-honor DeCamp tickets. Purchase your tickets in advance. NOTE: The only time you can buy a NJT train ticket on the train is when you had no other option. What this means: If you board at NYP, Hoboken or anyplace there is a ticket window (or machine), you MUST buy your ticket before boarding — otherwise, its a $5 surcharge.

HEADS UP: Bay Street station now DOES have these machines.

You can reach Conductor Josh here for any strike advice or info.

News from DeCamp and Clever Commute.com confirm a DeCamp bus drivers strike, starting Thursday morning. Here’s what the bus company says in an alert message on it’s web site:

Attention all passengers, effective 5:00 AM Thursday morning, September 2, 2010 the union employees of DeCamp Bus Lines will be on strike. There will be no service. We will keep riders informed as information becomes available.

Has SOMA Achieved Perfect Racial Harmony?

BY  |  Tuesday, Aug 31, 2010 12:00pm  |  COMMENTS (6)

kidsrace.jpgRacial harmony in South Orange and Maplewood seems to have reached a point where having the “diversity talk” with one’s children might be moot. One self-declared “white” father, who calls himself jersey_boy, started a chat in Maplewood Online’s Virtual Cafe about the fact that his kids have no reference point — or need — for the subject of race relations.

His six-year-old son, whose best friend has “brown skin,” seemingly has no awareness of ethnic or racial differences being any kind of big deal. “I’ve been waiting for the racist moment to have to teach this country’s nasty history,” said jersey_boy in his comment. “It hasn’t happened.”

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The Terrible Twos Ain’t Got Nothin’ on The Tortuous Threes

BY  |  Tuesday, Aug 31, 2010 11:00am  |  COMMENTS (4)

IMG_1756.JPGEveryone will tell you to prepare for the Terrible Twos, but I’m here to tell you that 3-year-olds are so much worse. At least in the Gilmore house. With both of my daughters, their third year caused me the most grief. But my youngest has really turned my world upside down. I’m having to see my hairstylist every three weeks to cover all the damn grays I have now, and I can tell you what she did to cause each and every one. That big one right in front–I got that one the time she decided to bite into the glow stick she received in a goody bag, getting a mouth full of neon liquid. The little one that pokes straight up at my part–I got that one when she decided to climb and jump, knocking her front tooth loose. It’s just another sign I can add to my list of things that make me old.

Listen, I love that cute little spitfire–I do. But she’s lucky she is so cute and loving. Those attributes are her saving grace–a survival mechanism. It’s just that since she turned three, she exhausts me. Everything is a battle. I want to put her hair in pigtails, she wants it down. I choose a dress, she chooses a skirt. I do the unthinkable and forget to let her pour her yogurt drink into her cup, and she freaks out and wants an entire new yogurt drink to start all over.

Being a teacher, I took all the child development classes that explain why children behave the way they do. I’ve read all the parenting books on how to speak to children so they listen. I currently teach preschool and use my best teacher voice with the kids and it always works. But there is something about dealing with a three-year-old (my three-year-old) that I can’t manage to do right.

The thing is, my daughter is very passionate. When she smiles, her entire face brightens up. When she laughs, her entire body convulses in chuckles. When she hugs you, she squeezes you full of love. But when she is angry, watch the &$%# out.

She doesn’t turn four until next summer in June. I am trying to be strong until then….I just pray I make it out alive.

Need a Quick Dining Room … or Restaurant?

BY  |  Tuesday, Aug 31, 2010 10:53am  |  COMMENTS (3)

table 8 chairs again.jpgAnybody who ever ate at the late, lamented Table 8 on Bloomfield Ave. in Montclair will immediately recognized these “crushed raspberry red velvet chairs” — now on sale for $30 a pop on Craigslist. Fifty of the chairs, which originally cost $150 each, are available. Makes me sad to see one of Montclair’s finest restaurants sold off piece by piece, but I remember those chairs as comfy, and they probably would look good in my dining room…

Tips For Organizing the School Year: Part I

BY  |  Tuesday, Aug 31, 2010 9:00am  |  COMMENTS (1)

goodmorning.jpgThe long, lazy, relaxing days of summer are rapidly winding down. Before you know it, school will be back in session. To keep some of that calm, relaxing carryover from summer, organization is key. Professional Organizer Deborah Gussoff gives us some tips to make our lives easier:

The Night Before

Planning ahead is a guaranteed way to make the off-to-school routine a smooth one. Unexpected events are known to occur (the alarm clock didn’t go off; the dog got loose and had to be retrieved before you could leave the house); the more you can do ahead of time, the less hectic and stressful your morning will be.

  • After your child completes his homework, make sure the assignment, as well as any books that need to go to school, are put back into the backpack.
  • Create a designated spot for the backpack (i.e., a cubby or hook near the door) and make sure it is returned there each evening.
  • If you don’t already have a hook that you return your keys to each time you enter the house, now’s the time to grab a hammer and nail! Knowing exactly where your keys are pre-empts a frantic search in the morning.
  • Check the schedule for the next day and assemble any necessary items (i.e., sneakers for Gym; the book borrowed for Library; equipment for an extra-curricular activity) and place by the door or in the backpack.
  • If your child brings lunch to school, make it as you’re cleaning up from dinner. If your child purchases lunch, make sure lunch money is assembled in the evening to avoid spending precious morning time running around trying to find exact change. Even better, if you can, pre-pay a week or month’s worth of lunches so you don’t have to worry about it daily.
  • Have your child select the next day’s outfit before bedtime. This will give you ample time to wash a favorite shirt if need be.
  • After you clean up the dinner dishes, set the table for breakfast. Put out plates, glasses, cereal bowls, silverware and daily vitamins or other medications.
  • Can’t move without your morning java? Consider a coffeemaker with a timer. You can set it to brew at a specific time, giving you a little extra motivation to resist hitting the snooze button.
  • Stock nutritious, portable snacks like granola bars and cheese sticks for days when you’re running really late.

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MSU Sewer Work Begins, Discussion Continues

Tuesday, Aug 31, 2010 8:56am  |  COMMENTS (0)

construction msu.jpgMontclair State University’s on-campus sewer improvement work will begin today, on the north side of Normal Avenue, from Carlisle Road to College Avenue. Construction in this area is expected to continue for around a week and will be conducted in the roadway just outside the curbs.

Tomorrow is Red Hawk Day — opening day on campus.

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Featured Comment

De Camp and the councilman missed the bus on this one.

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