MontClairVoyant: ‘Unofficial Santa Claus’ Was Coming to Town

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

Santa Claus will be traveling around town this Saturday, December 17. What if a different, cynical, unofficial Santa had already done that this month? As in red-suited, white-bearded me!

Sincerely,

Satan…um…Santa

Ooh, I like that idea. I’m going to turn this week’s column over to you while I take a vacation to the North Pole, where salads are made with iceberg lettuce.

DEAR UNOFFICIAL SANTA,

Santa, I hear you started your municipal trip at Pine Street fire headquarters, which evokes thoughts of Montclair getting fleeced by Glen Ridge in the fire deal renewal. Your opinion of that debacle?

Sincerely,

A Ridge too Far

You mean before or after I gave my life savings to Glen Ridge’s wily leaders?

DEAR UNOFFICIAL SANTA,

Your second stop was Nishuane Park, where the pool was closed all this past summer. Where did you and your reindeer swim during the warm months of your 364-day vacation?

Sincerely,

The Way of Water

My reindeer aren’t allowed in any pool because they won’t wear bathing suits.

DEAR UNOFFICIAL SANTA,

Then your town tour continued to the library, whose operations some Montclair officials tried to interfere with a while ago. What happened when you got to that bookish place?

Sincerely,

Novella Umbrella

I was mistaken for Walt Whitman, who once wrote “what I assume you shall assume.” But I never assumed I was Walt Whitman.

DEAR UNOFFICIAL SANTA,

Next stop was the Midtown parking deck, whose opening this year was delayed nine months — causing difficulties for local businesses and customers. Anything to say about that structure?

Sincerely,

Samuel Deck-Itt

The “Midtown” name is SO boring. It could’ve been called the “Mid-Tow” deck to make drivers excitedly fearful that their cars might be towed away between mid-morning and mid-afternoon.

DEAR UNOFFICIAL SANTA,

Then came your visit to Lackawanna Plaza — where the proposed redevelopment has good points (supermarket, public plazas, some “affordable” housing, preservation of vintage train station elements, etc.) and not-good points (too-tall buildings, mediocre-looking architecture, etc.). Your desires?

Sincerely,

Railing in the Years

I want Lackawanna’s chimneys to be made of “relaxed fit” bricks so I can squeeze through them better.

DEAR UNOFFICIAL SANTA,

Some Planning Board members meeting at the Municipal Building on Monday, December 12, were also worried about excessive height at Lackawanna. Speaking of “the MB,” did you also visit there during your Santa safari?

Sincerely,

Council Chamber of Secrets

Yup, I had to see the place where the now-on-leave township manager was accused in two suits of VERY disturbing harassment of women. I have one suit myself; it’s red with white trim.

DEAR UNOFFICIAL SANTA,

Then you traveled to Essex Pool, which was also closed all this past summer. What happened during that visit?

Sincerely,

Rubber Ducky

My reindeer were excited to be near Clary Anderson Arena — where they once dressed in figure-skating outfits to “cosplay” Sonja Henie, Peggy Fleming, Katarina Witt, and other famous ice icons.

DEAR UNOFFICIAL SANTA,

Interesting that they’d wear skating outfits but not swimsuits. You next visited Watchung Plaza; your thoughts when there?

Sincerely,

All Along the Watchung Tower

The big, fairly new Park Street building just north of the Plaza is nice-looking but adds to the scary traffic in that area. I hope some drivers repurposed the bumper cars from the defunct Bowcraft Amusement Park in Scotch Plains.

DEAR UNOFFICIAL SANTA,

Any concluding statement about what you learned from your Christmas-month tour?

Sincerely,

End of the Innocence

I was reminded that a number of Montclair’s elected and non-elected officials have performed problematically — and, in certain cases, acted naughty rather than nice. My advice to town residents: avoid mistletoe when you’re in a room with those officials.

 

 

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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