Friday, Dec 31, 2004 7:06pm

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The Barista is going out. But if you insist on staying home and looking at the internet, you can see Times Square live on Panasonic’s Earthcam here. It may take a few minutes to load.

We’ll be back with pictures of Montclair First Night when it’s last night. Meanwhile, talk amongst yourselves. And don’t leave chips on the floor.

PS — It’s 7:08 pm and the fireworks have started. Or else it’s thunder. Or gunshots. Or very low loud-flying planes. Or the end of the world. We’re hoping fireworks.

Local Relief Efforts

Friday, Dec 31, 2004 10:12am  |  COMMENTS (2)

All politics and weather may be local, but all charity is not.

  • Seen on Grove St. in Montclair yesterday: some girls at a lemonade-stand styled table, raising money for tsunami relief.
  • The Glen Ridge Congregational Church has already sent $1,000 for tsunami relief and wants to raise $9,000 more. Donations can be sent to the church at 195 Ridgewood Ave., Glen Ridge, NJ 07028. Make checks payable to Glen Ridge Congregational Church and mark for "Asia Earthquake Relief."
  • Brookside Thai restaurant, on Broad Street in Bloomfield, has a bowl on its counter for tsunami relief contributions.
  • BAPS, a Hindu temple in Clifton, is also involved in the relief effort.
  • Know of other Baristaville residents helping? Let us know, by adding a comment below.

    Remedial Demolition

    Friday, Dec 31, 2004 9:52am

    Hahnes_building_block_by_blockMontclair resident Garrett Morrison, opponent of current Church St. redevelopment plans and victims of a freak accident earlier this week when a chunk of the Hahne’s building fell on his garage, shows evidence of his small victory. At his insistence (and that of his wife and neighbors), workers are now removing cinderblocks by hand.

    Morrison said it took about one hour — and the presence of a policeman and two Montclair construction officials — to get the foreman to stop using a backhoe after cinderblocks began raining on his property Tuesday.

    Biggest Trend of the Year: Us

    Friday, Dec 31, 2004 9:22am  |  COMMENTS (7)

    It’s hard work trying to wrap up a whole year, looking for the big profundities. And then God has to go throw a big curveball at humorists by smashing Asia with a huge tsunami, killing 120,000 people, and all but obliterating the fun of year-end snarkiness. (Yes it’s about us. Us us us us us.) We could go into our own New Year’s Resolutions (here are a few from our local celebs, Yogi and Michael Strahan), but then there’s nothing particularly original about wanting to lose 10 lbs or back the computer up more often.

    But two things caught our eye (or ear) in the last day that we thought worthy of reporting. Reader Ken Shane sends us this story: ABC News named bloggers the People of the Year.

    And then, public radio’s Marketplace reported last night that Americans now spend more time online than they do watching TV.

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    Take the Brawl Outside, Boys (and Girls)

    Thursday, Dec 30, 2004 1:14pm  |  COMMENTS (27)

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    Some of our commenters have gotten awful potty-mouthed lately. The Barista is no Mary Poppins, but she’s disappointed nonetheless. No subject is off-limits at Baristanet, but pure malacious profanity is not welcome. We’re not the FCC and we’re not the Watercooler, but people who ignore this request will find their comments banned.

    Begone, Before Someone Drops a House on You!

    Thursday, Dec 30, 2004 11:37am  |  COMMENTS (6)

    Garretts_house Could this be a new way to silence public critics? Drop 1,000 concrete blocks on their houses?

    Strange but true: A big chunk of the Hahne’s building fell, during demolition, on the home of the redevelopment effort’s most outspoken critic, Garrett Morrison.

    In a post to the Montclair Watercooler, Morrison, who had focused on the downtown parking problems raised by redevelopment, wrote, "It’s now clear I should have spent just as much time on safety concerns."

    No one was hurt in the accident, which happened Tuesday, but Morrison is still miffed by the town’s response. "What bothered me most was that we almost couldn’t get our town building inspector to stop the demolition while we looked for a safer way to do the job," he told Baristanet. "What also bothered me was the developer didn’t take any precautions and the construction workers didn’t stop working when the wall fell on and against my garage. Not even an apology."

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    Hardcore Chocolate

    Thursday, Dec 30, 2004 11:10am  |  COMMENTS (12)

    Chanticopour It seems Starbucks isn’t content with just getting us to say things like frappuccino, venti or macchiato. Now, they’re taking on chocolate and monkeying with that the all-American tradition of eating it (o.k., gobbling) by hand. Citing that for more than 90 percent of its history, chocolate was consumed in liquid form, Starbucks has announced the return of drinking chocolate starting January with a new beverage called Chantico. Not to be confused with hot chocolate (they already sell that), Chantico promises to be far more decadent, something akin to drinking a melted chocolate bar. Named after the ancient Aztec goddess of hearth, home and fertility, this new nectar will be crafted with cocoa power, cocoa butter and steamed milk. Prediction: Chantico will be the rage with the middle schoolers who attend the Valley Road Starbucks’ after-school program.

    The Deep Fried Twinkie Defense

    Thursday, Dec 30, 2004 8:00am  |  COMMENTS (43)

    Our suburban archeologist, Lisa Finan, starts us off with her New Year pledge. Feel free to append your self-improvement ideas in a comment.

    Every New Year√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s Eve I think back to when I was fourteen, when my best friend and I watched New Year√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s Rockin’ Eve on TV, hosted by Dick-the-worlds-oldest-teenager-Clark. Unfortunately, we were young enough to party (as it was called in the dark ages in Southern California) but not old enough to do it. So while our parents went out dancing the Fox Trot and drank Cable Cars, we waited for the ball to drop on TV. A lot has changed over the last 30 years. Like the personal and national security of my country. Not to mention our morals and ethics. Back then,  a kid didn√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t need playdates because we were safe enough to run outside and play all day until mom called us home for dinner. And our leaders didn√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t antagonize other countries to the point that they wanted to bomb the hell out of us, on our soil. We were all pretty much in the clear. It was America the beautiful. And I am waxing nostalgic.

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    Circus Tix Going Fast

    Wednesday, Dec 29, 2004 11:41am

    First Night Montclair reminds everybody to snatch up their tickets for the New Year celebration — particularly if they want to catch the Big Apple Circus portion of the event. Right now, the 7:45 pm show is "virtually sold out," according to spokesman James Cotter (although some ticket locations may have a ticket or two left). The 8:50 pm and 9:55 pm shows are going fast.

    Tickets purchased online can be picked up in the lobby of the Clairidge theater on Dec. 31. Otherwise, in the realm of physical reality, tickets are being sold at Keil’s Pharmacy, King’s, Baby Boom,
    Plaza Shoppe and Deli, Watchung Booksellers, American Royal Hardware, Just Kidding Around, Montclair YMCA, Beans, TCBY, the Montclair Public Library, Grove Pharmacy and South End Hardware.

    On New Years Eve itself, tickets can be purchased at the Clairidge or at the Montclair municipal building. For more information, go to the First Night website.

    Tsunami Relief

    Wednesday, Dec 29, 2004 10:26am  |  COMMENTS (1)

    Here are ways you can contribute to the tsunami relief effort. The first three are direct links for online credit-card contributions:

    Red Cross



    And an exhaustive list of relief efforts from an Indian blogger, here.

    Featured Comment

    I'm struck by how much attention is being paid to the details of a parking lot, as opposed to the attention paid to the future impact of the monstrous projects being planned.

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