MontClairVoyant: It’s a December to Remember When You Shop Local


DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

With the Holiday Tree Lighting at Church Street Plaza scheduled for this evening, December 1, it feels like the 2022 holiday season is officially starting. What two festive words come to mind?

Sincerely,

Oh Pair

Santa Claus! Hanukkah time! Kwanzaa time! Winter solstice! Shop local! Heating bills! Pearl Harbor!

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

Those words don’t all sound festive, but let’s focus on “Shop local” for now. How important is that?

Sincerely,

Rhea Taylor

Very. Our town has so many great shops that malls and the Internet can be used sparingly. Keep this a secret, but I’m buying my wife a watch at a Montclair jewelry store. With a second hand (mine — to insert the credit card).


DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

Seiko or Bulova?

Sincerely,

All Along the Watchtower

I’m not making World Cup predictions.


DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

If the gift is a secret, how come you’re blabbing about it in a public column?

Sincerely,

Stop Making No Sense

Darn, I thought I keyboarded that answer with invisible ink.


DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

Meter fees are temporarily invisible as Montclair again offers free parking during the holiday season to encourage local shopping. Great idea?

Sincerely,

Gird One’s Coins

Great idea. I’m also convinced that short parking meters are called parking centimeters.


DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

I’m not convinced. Is a down jacket also on your shopping list?

Sincerely,

Wrote a Coat

No, but I’ve thought it would be nice to cover a staircase in soft down. “Up the Down Staircase”!


DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

Groan. Bel Kaufman’s “Up the Down Staircase” novel was set in a school, which reminds me that I’m grateful Montclair voters last month overwhelmingly approved $187.7 million for much-needed improvements in school infrastructure. Comment?

Sincerely,

Saved by the Bel

While some who urged a switch to an elected Board of Education were dismayingly anti-teacher union, the appointed BOE and Board of School Estimate would probably never have gotten that kind of capital expenditure passed. Plus the $187.7 million will be in American dollars!

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

Of course it will be in American dollars. Why would it not be?

Sincerely,

U.S. Grant

Well…um…Northeast School has an international theme. Say, a handsome world globe would make another great holiday gift!


DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

Is there a Montclair store that sells beautiful globes?

Sincerely,

Berth for Earth

Not sure; perhaps some readers of this column know. You could always buy a grapefruit and draw the seven continents on it.


DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

I hate to dampen the holiday spirit, but as of this column’s deadline there was a chance Friends of the Howe House might end up losing out on purchasing that vintage home to a different buyer whose offer is reportedly in attorney review. A shame?

Sincerely,

Dwelling on Dwelling

A shame, because the Friends group wants to make the house an historic entity befitting its storied past as the first Montclair home owned by an African American: freed slave James Howe. The house dates way back to 1780, making it just four years younger than the Broadway musical “1776.”


DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

I know you have to joke around in a humor column, but not acquiring the home would be a serious missed chance. Do you hope the Howe House owner reconsiders and sells to the Friends group?

Sincerely,

Change-of-Heart Lily Bart

Yes! Plus the Friends group might offer slightly more money, even as one can’t put a price on preserving history. Actually, a book titled “Preserving History” is priced online at $7.98, but it’s about quilts.

 

 

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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