Life Beyond Whole Foods

Friday, Aug 31, 2007 4:00pm  |  COMMENTS (26)

I love shopping at Asian grocery stores with their riot of colorful products and the low murmur of languages I strain to understand. But even after three years of daily food shopping in China, I’m still vaguely intimidated. The first time I enter an unfamiliar Asian market, I always feel like the new kid at the junior high. I’m convinced I’m going to ask a stupid question and betray my own cluelessness.
At East West market on Belleville Avenue, however, I can forget my worries. The people are nice. They speak English. And their food selection rocks.

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Help Natasha Aeriel

Friday, Aug 31, 2007 2:31pm

Natasha Aeriel, shooting victim and sole survivor of the brutal Ivy Hill slaying, needs your help. This week, Mayor Cory Booker announced an assistance fund has been established in her name:

“the fund that is seeking donations to support the recovery of Natasha Aeriel, the survivor of the August 4 shooting incident in Ivy Hill, which took the lives of three young Newark residents and left her badly wounded. Donations can be sent to: The Natasha Aeriel Assistance Fund, c/o Beulah Baptist Church, 580 South 12th Street
Newark, New Jersey 07103.

New Jersey: Neither Richest Nor Poorest

Friday, Aug 31, 2007 12:14pm  |  COMMENTS (53)

Readings on the national household income meter show that New Jersey’s rankings have been shuffled: From Bloomberg:

New Jersey is no longer the wealthiest U.S. state, losing that distinction to Maryland in 2006, according to U.S. Census Bureau numbers.
New Jersey’s median household income increased 1.1 percent to $64,470, while Maryland outpaced that, rising 2.2 percent to $65,144, according to the Census Bureau’s 2006 American Community Survey.
The U.S. median household income was $48,451 in 2006, up 1.6 percent from a year earlier, officials said. Mississippi was the poorest of the 50 states with a median household income of $34,473.
The city of Camden, New Jersey, shed its distinction as the poorest among communities with a population of 65,000 to 249,999. It had a median household income of $25,961, making it the eighth-lowest nationally in that category, the Census Bureau said. Brownsville and College Station Texas both have higher poverty rates. Youngstown Ohio and Muncie Indiana have lower incomes.

For a picture of Baristaville’s income distribution, check out the Essex County “income map” on EcoRealty.

Three Day Weekend!

Friday, Aug 31, 2007 10:59am  |  COMMENTS (20)

If you’re ready to face the other 5.7 million drivers on the GSP this holiday weekend for a road trip or a day at the beach, at least the weather forecast looks great.
If you’re staying in town, there are three outdoor concerts tonight, and a family bike ride tomorrow – all free.
Tromboner, a band of Montclair High School students, plays at Montclair Center Stage tonight at 7pm. Band members are: Max Mellman (songwriter, trombone, lead singer), Ethan Cantor (guitar), Larry Pope (bass and drums), Ross Hamilton (bass and drums), Harry Hipwell and Alex Grossman (trumpet), and Joey Staehle on trombone. (We hear they’re a lot of fun…)
For more ideas about what to do this weekend, check our Calendar here, and Montclair Arts Council listingshere.
Labor Day usually marks the unofficial last hurrah of summer. Bummer. Make the most of it…tell us how you’re going to be celebrating, now.

Fall Victim Identified

Friday, Aug 31, 2007 9:31am  |  COMMENTS (1)

Montclair Police provided additional information about yesterday’s accidental death on Valley Road.

Shortly after 8:00 am, Montclair Police responded to 530 Valley Road on a report that a worker had fallen from the roof. The decedent was identified as Victor Coelho, 26, of Roselle Park. Mr. Coelho was working with three others on the seven story building, and was finishing off the edges of the roof when he fell to his death.

Trouble Brewing Again For Cuban Pete’s

Friday, Aug 31, 2007 8:36am  |  COMMENTS (17)

For the “Sangria Files:” Cuban Pete’s owner, Dominick Restaino, was indicted yesterday for illegal liquor sales at his Bloomfield Avenue restaurant. The restaurant was raided last December, after ABC and police investigations alleged the alcohol content of the boiled wine used for sangria was over the legal limit. Restaino’s been charged with charged with distributing/selling alcohol without a license, possession of alcohol with intent to distribute without a license and distribution of alcohol. From The Star Ledger:

The ABC asked the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office to make the grand jury presentation, Lori quet said. If convicted of all three charges, Restaino faces a maxi mum punishment of three years in prison.
Restaino did not return a call for comment yesterday. But after he was booked by police in December, he blamed his problems on bar owners who were upset with him and local politics.

Last week at Cuban Pete’s, Dominick seemed unusually subdued. Beautiful pitchers of exotic fruit concoctions (BYO wine to make sangria) and mojitos with a teeny bit of alcohol seemed to be very popular with the clientele.

Chocoholic Alert

Thursday, Aug 30, 2007 3:15pm  |  COMMENTS (3)

If you’ve got a sweet tooth, don’t miss Miss Nicky’s free chocolate and toffee tasting, all day tomorrow (Friday). Nicky Mesiah’s recipes cover all dietary restrictions – Sugarfree/Gluten-Free, Bittersweet ‘Chocolate’ Confections, nut free. Indulge with less calories – you won’t even miss the sugar or white flour..
When: 10am-6 pm.
Where: “Spice it Up” (229 Glenridge Avenue, Montclair)
What you can sample: Nicky’s famous gourmet toffees: original and sugar/gluten free variety, deep dark chocolate cupcakes with chocolate ganache icing, Bittersweet ‘Gluten Free/Sugar Free’ Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Cookies, GlutenFree/Sugar Free Chocolate Blackout Trifle layered with ganache & fresh whipped cream, Miss Nicky’s Coconut Toffee (no nuts), and (new!) Macaroon Toffee-with chocolate & coconut.
You know you want some…

Michael Strahan Back On The Field?

Thursday, Aug 30, 2007 2:00pm  |  COMMENTS (15)

Sports cognoscenti may be trying to crystal-ball Strahan’s decision, but the Giants aren’t holding their breath, and Strahan’s Southern California fence-sitting is getting old. From The NY Daily News:

On Tuesday morning, according to the Giants, Strahan told Giants GM Jerry Reese he planned to make his decision “within the next day or two,” which makes today Decision Day. A source close to Strahan insisted he may not follow that promised timetable. One indication that he’s not close to returning is that he has reportedly canceled a scheduled appearance to be on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” tomorrow night.

Baristaville, what’s your guess?

Rap Sheet For NJ Schools

Thursday, Aug 30, 2007 12:58pm  |  COMMENTS (11)

The statistics date from 2005/2006, and the methodology is questionable, however New Jersey Dept. of Education just released a report on the incidence of crime in our public schools. There’s good news and bad news: for the first time in five years, no schools fall into the “persistently dangerous” category; however, there’s a slight increase in violent crimes and bullying. From The NY TImes:

New Jersey’s 2,400 public schools reported a slight increase in violence, vandalism and substance use problems in 2005-6 from the previous school year, in part because of more instances of harassment, bullying and threats, state education officials announced yesterday.

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Reported Fall From Montclair High-Rise

Thursday, Aug 30, 2007 11:54am  |  COMMENTS (1)

Baristanet has heard unconfirmed reports from several sources that a person, possibly a worker, fell off the roof of a Montclair high-rise apartment complex early this morning.
The apparent accident occurred at Bellaire Apartments, 530 Valley Road, around 8 am. When we visited the scene at 9:30 am, several police officers and a medical examiner were there. There were people in tears in front of the nearby shops on Valley Road. A Catholic priest was also at the scene speaking to police. We are awaiting confirmation from the Montclair Police Department and will update as we receive more information.

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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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