MontClairVoyant: If Montclair Became Waterworld and Upper Waterworld

So much recent rain in Montclair! What say you?

We Are the Dampions

My first hint that precipitation would postpone my daughter’s May 13 rec-softball game was the municipal proclamation to rename Kaveny Field “Kaveny Lagoon.”

Do you wish that game had been played despite the bad weather?

Bat Masterdaughter

The opposing team was a tough Little Falls squad with a strong pitcher, so her throwing with her arm underwater would’ve slowed her fastball nicely.

Are you saying rain has positives for our town?

Del Uge

Edgemont Park gets so flooded that Montclair’s wealthy developers can cruise their yachts there, variances flapping in the breeze. Feels sort of patriotic.

But surely there’s nothing enjoyable about flooded basements?

Lost and Foundation

On the contrary. The overnight flooding of many Montclair basements (including my own) during Hurricane Irene in 2011 led to that sensational YouTube reimagining of Leadbelly’s “Goodnight Irene.” I listened many times to “Bad Night, Irene.”

Fake news, and not even funny. Heck, what if rain floods ALL of Montclair?

Marsh-a, Marsh-a, Marsh-a

Then we’ll have as many aquariums as restaurants. Not a bad thing.

If all Montclair restaurants flooded up to their ceilings, would it be a nice change of pace to request a glass of no water?

Satch Urated

Sounds very refreshing!

Would the added rain mean more pay for Montclair’s without-a-new-contract educators as compensation for teaching in ten feet of water?

Getting Soaked Is Invoked

Ten-foot-tall rubber boots ain’t cheap.

Would the NJSLA tests still go on?

As Pathetic As PARCCs

Sure, those “New Jersey Swimming Lesson Assessments” would come in handy.

Speaking of swimming, do we need to buy badges to use our three municipal pools when Montclair might eventually become one big pool?

Sog Hollow

Not just Montclair. Essex Pool could expand to cover all 22 towns in the county.

You mean someone could swim from Montclair to Orange to Millburn to Newark to Montclair?

Rudyard Dripling

In John Cheever’s great short story “The Swimmer,” the protagonist had to walk between the pools he swam through. I see a sequel.

Many Republicans in Montclair and elsewhere deny the existence of climate change (which is causing more rain) or say they’re not that alarmed by it. Would Toney’s Brook becoming as wide as the Hudson River get their attention?

No Draining of the Swamp

Those GOPers would see that as an opportunity to build The Donald J. Trump Bridge. It could have a steel-bone-spur…um…steel-arch design.

“Rainy days and Mondays always get me down.” Thoughts?

Carpenter Aunts

This column posts on Thursdays.


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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  1. “Then we’ll have as many aquariums as restaurants. Not a bad thing.”

    Who remembers the large fish tank filled with live lobsters in the window of Montclair Seafood on Bellevue Avenue, approximately where Tinga is located today?

  2. “In John Cheever’s great short story “The Swimmer,” the protagonist had to walk between the pools he swam through. I see a sequel.”

    Burt Lancaster as Ned Merrill, Dave. Greenwich, CT. Plenty of cocktails along the way. Sad ending; thunderstorm, vacant house, no one home. No sequel planned.

  3. Thank you for the comments, silverleaf!

    I’m drawing a blank on that large fish tank in a Bellevue Avenue window. Do you remember approximately what year Montclair Seafood was in business until?

    Never saw “The Swimmer” movie, but I’d like to. Loved your succinct summary! The Cheever story is amazing — sort of realistic until things get surreal, with that haunting conclusion you refer to.

  4. I’d say no later than 1980, Dave.

    How about the large polar bear standing fiercely on hind legs in window of Thompsen’s Liquors on Valley Road where Takara Asian Sushi is now?

    Years ago, “The Swimmer” would run fairly often on network tv, though I have not seen it in years. It is classic Cheever fare. A tortured Burt, suffering from a certain mid Sixties privileged class / suburban angst, swims across lush, privlidged Greenwich from pool to pool in effort to ease his mid-life, existential crisis, looking for sex and hoisting down an occasional dry martini along the way. Marvin Hamlisch composed the score, his first, I believe. It has, over time, achieved some level of cult status. It could not be made today b/c it is altogether absent of nudity, violence, profanity, aliens giving birth to unrecognizable offspring, car chases, etc.

  5. No later than 1980? Oh, that explains it, silverleaf. I moved to Montclair in 1993, and I’m not sure if I ever set foot in town before that.

    GREAT photo you linked to showing that polar bear during, I assume, the local parade for Buzz Aldrin to celebrate his trip to the moon? The colors alone make for a memorable picture.

    I watched “The Swimmer” trailer on YouTube after seeing your previous comment; the movie does have a very ’60s look and feel — upper-middle-class, suburban version, as you note. Perhaps if a film like that were made today it would be for cable TV — unless a super-hero character were written in…Chlorine-Man or something.

  6. Ha, silverleaf! I hope none of the theaters that used to show old movies ever paired “The Swimmer” and “The Drowning Pool” as a double feature. 🙂

  7. Right, I’d be especially careful not to pair either movie with “The Hustler”, also starring Paul Newman. It’s the story of an overly ambitious pool boy who took Jackie Gleason to the cleaners.

  8. Ha ha! Some movies must be kept separated!

    Speaking of Paul Newman films, an outdoor screening in rainy Montclair would douse the flames in “The Towering Inferno”…

  9. LOL! The roof would indeed be more comfortable for a kitty to stand on, and the cat would henceforth be known as “Cool Paw Luke.”

  10. Ha ha! Quite a scene in that movie. Perhaps a cat in possession of 50 eggs could donate 10 to Montclair Diner, 10 to Bluestone, 10 to Raymond’s, 10 to Le Salbuen, and 10 to Humpty Dumpty (if he’s ready to become an adoptive father).

  11. Ha! That was cleverly said, montclairskier. But if I were to rename my 2003-started column, I’d prefer “Boring Readers Since the Florida Marlins Last Won the World Series.”

    Thanks for reading anyway. 🙂

  12. montclairskier,

    I understand you want to be the moderator of content on the internet. You constantly moderate (denigrate) what people write here. I appreciate your endless frustration in your attempt to keep the Internet pure. May I suggest you just avoid clicking on this column, or anything that I might post, or anything else your deductive powers may suggest will frustrate you.
    Now if you are just generally angry, that is more than fine. I just worry your anger – and lack of achievement ridding this site of ad content – will migrate your anger into resentment and that is not a healthy state.

  13. “Boring readers” indeed, Dave, and a well placed adjective. A certain town skier, I’d say.

  14. Thank you for the support, Frank and silverleaf! Much appreciated!

    Hmm…unintended double-meaning on my part. I was definitely joking about ME boring readers. A verb rather than an adjective and all that… 🙂

    I once had a professor at Rutgers named Dr. Boring. Her writing and teaching were not boring…

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