We can’t wait for a needed grocery store

Thank you so much for your terrific article about the long absent Pathmark. It’s incredible that almost nothing has been said about the fact that [this section of] Montclair has been without a supermarket for so long.

How is it said that condos will be built above the new store? This beautiful town is being ruined by the large number of condos that have been and are being built. We don’t need more condos and we can’t wait years for a very needed store.

I know that in Belleville they replaced a Pathmark with a ShopRite. It is a disgrace that we have gone so long without a large grocery store. It is worse if we have to wait years longer.

I question the priorities of the town council.

Virginia Hanley


Don’t cry for me, Upper Montclair

I’m done in. I’ve had it, and am as angry as I’ve ever been, residing in Montclair’s Fourth Ward. It’s now “The Eastern Gateway to Montclair.” You’re welcome to check this out, as I have no sense of township direction. But I can assure you that it’s time for people to stop referring us all as being poor, uneducated, and vulnerable. For goodness sake, we need a public relations firm to pretty up our own residents’ perceptions about this part of Montclair.

You’re being insulting, not sympathetic. A Planning Board member telling me that “We’re trying to make the neighborhood better for you” is not being supportive or accurately portraying us. Better than what or where? I didn’t grow up here, merely relocated from Manhattan because it seemed easier for my spouse to get to work in Secaucus than remaining in Murray Hill. We wanted more space for our children, even though there were larger available brownstone units in our area which we could afford. Moving to Montclair eliminated paying tax in two states. Other than that, I sometimes wonder why we came here.

Living in close proximity to The United Nations, we knew from “diversity.” No one had to say it, write it, or drum it into our heads on a daily basis. We just lived it that world. Our multiracial family screams “diversity.” People point it out to us in town all the time. We never speak of it, because so many of you are doing so. Yes there were “projects” within a few blocks of us. There were also high rise luxury buildings too. Sounds a lot like the Fourth Ward, right? Not high rise, but certainly what’s considered to be high rent. Penthouses with a Bloomfield Avenue view.

The loss of Pathmark in Lackawanna Plaza has brought the issue of race, income, and age to a head once again. After almost two years without a supermarket in both the Third and Fourth wards, I’ve seen social media postings in many groups asking for people to band together to take the elderly, the poor, the troubled masses to another town to shop. Whoa, there! Why do we need to be transported out of town if there are a number of places to purchase groceries right here in Montclair? Why assume that we can’t afford “healthy” food? Who of you out there can prove to me that the thousands of items in other supermarkets actually do cost more than what we paid at Pathmark?

Everyone needs to eat. Whether or not you choose an overpriced specialty store is your choice. I am not without sense or sympathy, realizing that economic status varies from household to household. I’ve been told the history of why the Fourth Ward was populated the way it was back in the day, but I don’t believe it’s totally accurate anymore. Just look around and walk around and tell me who or what you see. We’re not a National Geographic anthropological study of The Have Nots.

Robin Woods


An artist for Montclair

The Montclair History Center (formerly Montclair Historical Society) will be displaying some of my dear friend Vinny Tango’s artwork of our town.

Vinny has painted many iconic scenes of our town and is rightly recognized by many as Montclair’s artist. His effort has produced memorable scenes of our town’s rich history. Some of his artwork will be on display starting Sunday, May 7, at the main room of the Crane House, 110 Orange Road, from 2 to 4 p.m. His artwork will be on display through July.

Vinny has  a special knack for poignant and emotional moments and his love for Montclair is in each of his works.

Peter Giuffra