MontClairVoyant: Will All Our Christmases Be White (In a Less-Diverse Montclair)?

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DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

As we all know, Pinnacle has built and is building several mega-projects that will make our downtown painfully crowded. But aren’t there demographic drawbacks as well?

Sincerely,
A Census of Immenseness

Yes. Despite some token affordable housing mandated by Montclair, most of the existing and planned residential units are pricey enough to worsen local economic diversity. But at least there’s automotive diversity: Audis, BMWs, Cadillacs…

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
And those projects don’t help our town’s African-American-population percentage, which has sadly dipped below 30 percent in recent years. Comment?

Sincerely,

Trend We’d Like to End

But at least there’s Starbucks diversity — one in Montclair, and one in Upper Montclair.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Speaking of demographics, I looked at Pinnacle’s website October 15 to see the company’s view of future Montclair. In the first home-page image — of the coming “arts district” plaza — 11 of the 12 most-visible people are white!

Sincerely,

Like a Trump Cabinet Meeting

Now I’m wondering if Cedar Grove will annex Seymour Street.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

The second home-page image features an affluent-looking couple. Can you guess what color they are? White, of course.

Sincerely,
Surprise, Surprise…

But the juice the woman is drinking is orange. And the guy has a coffee cup in his hand. Diversity of beverages.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
The third Pinnacle image seems to be an office mini-auditorium or mini-theater populated by 10 people — with only one of them (possibly) a person of color.

Sincerely,

In the Seat of the Blight

But there’s a white woman wearing green shoes that make a diverse statement about the environment, iceberg lettuce, and Kermit the frog.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
In the fourth image, three glamorous people are holding glasses of wine. Yup, all white. (The people, not the wine.)

Sincerely,
Hangover to Come

But there’s a candle burning to symbolically mourn decreased diversity as Montclair gentrifies. Nice touch.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
The fifth and final home-page image shows the future “arts district” plaza again. Of the 16 most-visible people, only two are African-American.

Sincerely,
Redux Soup

Perhaps Pinnacle is taking the title of Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man” too literally.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Also, the people pictured in all five images are nearly all young. How ageist can you get?

Sincerely,
Seen Your Citizens

I guess empty-nesters who are or will be living in Pinnacle buildings became parents at age 2.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Finally, we have the website’s pretentious copy, including this gem: “Pinnacle builds unique enclaves in landmark locations, transforming busy lives into a more thrilling and fulfilling existence ripe with convenience and caché…”

Sincerely,
Autumn of Our Discontent

So, non-Pinnacle residents don’t have “thrilling and fulfilling” lives? Makes sense — they’re stuck reading this column.

Dave Astor, author, is the MontClairVoyant. His opinions about politics and local events are strictly his own and do not represent or reflect the views of Baristanet.

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