In your April 25 column, you said higher rents and gentrification were hurting some arts entities in Montclair. Less than a month later, Pine Street’s much-admired 73 See Gallery announced that it “must move on.” Did you predict the future?

Will B. Missed

Not really, though in a previous life I guessed that Leonardo da Vinci would paint “The Last Breakfast.” I was off by only two meals.

Meanwhile, the long-established Montclair Art Museum has major changes planned for its property. Is that the arts version of “the rich get richer”?

Just the Facts, MAM

I suppose. There’d even be a water wall that can shut off when used as an outdoor movie screen. I worry about the water re-flowing by mistake during “Lawrence of Arabia,” but the film could quickly be renamed “Lawrence of Rainforest.”

Another notable building, the Washington Street Y that stood where Bullock School now is, was remembered with a ceremony and plaque this month. Was that Y an important place for Montclair’s African-American community during a more segregated time?

The Why of the Y

Very important. I wish the building could’ve been saved; heck, Bullock might not have been needed if Grove Street School hadn’t been sold years before. It’s now the private Deron School, aka Kaveny Field’s right-field wall (sort of).

In response to legislation out of FAR-right field, Montclair residents marched May 21 to protest draconian anti-abortion laws such as the Alabama one that cruelly doesn’t even allow exceptions for rape or incest. Comment?

Montclair Isn’t Montgomery

Interesting that many “pro-life” politicians are also pro-unnecessary wars, pro-capital punishment, pro-NRA despite students being massacred, etc. The words “blatant” and “hypocrisy” should be part of every school spelling bee.

A day later, on May 22, residents marched to urge that Montclair Education Association members get a long-overdue new contract. How important is it for our dedicated teachers and other school staffers to receive a decent raise?

The Deal Thing

It would make all the difference in…still not affording the pricey housing Pinnacle is jamming into downtown.

Then, on May 27, Montclair held its poignant annual Memorial Day ceremony. What would best honor veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice?

More Than Lip Service

Avoiding needless military actions in the future — including not attacking Iran. If Trump-administration warmongers who never served want to experience the chaos of battle, they can always valet-park at The Crosby.

On May 30 — tonight! — the Historic Preservation Commission is scheduled to present its 2019 awards to various deserving people who spruced up vintage homes, keep Anderson Park beautiful, and so on. Nice?

HPC’s Honorees

Very nice. One spruced-up dwelling is on Clinton Avenue, where Trump supporters finally did some good when they gathered outside that home to chant “Lock it up” as the owners left for vacation.

Didn’t happen. Will the HPC also honor Pinnacle and Montclair’s Planning Board for the Lackawanna Plaza redo that’ll ruin some historic elements of the 1913-founded former Lackawanna train station?

Unpopular R Them

I can’t see into the future, but I’m comfortable predicting you’ll win “Asker of the Question Most Guaranteed to Get a ‘No’ Award.” The trophy will look good with “The Last Breakfast” hanging over it.

Last but not least, the 30th annual Montclair African-American Heritage Parade & Festival will be held this Saturday, June 1. A spring highlight?

Ampersand Fan

Absolutely — along with astonishment over the geographic closeness of Nishuane Park, Nishuane Road, Nishuane School, and Nishuane Pool. What were the odds?


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.




27 replies on “MontClairVoyant: Read This to Become a Member of ‘The Last Breakfast’ Club”

  1. “Not really, though in a previous life I guessed that Leonardo da Vinci would paint “The Last Breakfast.” I was off by only two meals.”

    As an alternative, “The Last Breakfast (At Tiffany’s”), Holly was seen eating an early morning cruller on 5th Avenue & 57th Street.

  2. Ha ha, silverleaf! 🙂 Good one!

    The “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” movie was of course based on the novella by Truman Capote, who also wrote one other morning-meal book: “In Cold Cereal.”

  3. Indeed., Dave, but I was thinking more along the lines of “Breakfast of Champions” by Kurt Vonnegut.

  4. Ah, Vonnegut. Clever. 🙂 I haven’t read much more of his work than “Slaughterhouse-Five,” but that novel was memorable.

    Vonnegut ran a car dealership for a time before becoming a famous author. If he were still alive during the past few years and had such a dealership on Bloomfield Avenue, he could’ve been kicked out to make way for Pinnacle projects — perhaps followed by a “Player Piano” job offer in The MC hotel’s rooftop bar?

  5. Yes, that’s certainly plausible, Dave, but I’m not much of a Vonnegut fan either. Much prefer Dr. Suess, especially his “Green Eggs and Ham served at Toast, just up a bit from the MC Hotel.

  6. LOL! And maybe “The Butter Battle Book” by Dr. Seuss could inspire a contest for the best toast spread at Montclair eateries that serve breakfast…

  7. I’m thinkin’ “Horton Hatches the (perfect three minute) Egg” at Marcel Bakery & Kitchen.

  8. January 30, 1986. The adjacent Gabe’s Gallery cocktail lounge closed with it. The liquor license was renewed later in the Spring, but not clear on how it was used.

  9. Thanks, Frank and Frank, for that information!

    Yes, interesting to wonder where one of Montclair’s small number of liquor licenses went after that cocktail lounge closed.

    Now I’m wondering which current Montclair restaurants have been around the longest — The Office? Dai-Kichi? Montclair Diner? Nauna’s? Others?

  10. Mr. Dino’s? Of course there’s Applegate Farm, but not a restaurant. And Tierney’s, but really more a tavern than a restaurant.

  11. Tierney’s

    1986 liquor licenses:
    The Office
    Elm Tavern
    Bellclaire Lounge
    Gabe’s Gallery
    H.O Gauges
    Class Reunion
    (pocket license)

  12. Thank you, Frank! Very interesting list. And I guess Tierney’s is sort of/partly a restaurant. 🙂

    Unsurprisingly, quite a bit of change in 33 years — a number of those places gone. Was the Bellclaire Lounge connected to the bowling alley in that now-gone former trolley building?

    Ray’s Luncheonette is definitely a candidate. Just looked at its website, which says that eatery has been in Montclair for more than 40 years.

  13. Thanks! I brought my older daughter to that bowling alley a couple of times in the 1990s before it closed.

  14. That’s nice. I’ve brought myself to most every bar in Montclair before they closed.

  15. Frank, Frank – I reall a bar on corner of Bloomfield Avenue and N. Willow. Willow Cafe?

  16. Great postcard, silverleaf! Thanks for the link! Rather glamorous-looking for a “cafeteria.” 🙂

  17. Yes, I believe it was located in the space prior to Dive Lounge, probably at least thirty years ago.

  18. Thank you for the link silverleaf!! I don’t remember the bar on the corner of N Willow, however….

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