The Math on Montclair

Monday, July 12, 2010

We are about to start the second week of our new, Montclair life. Here’s the report so far:

  • FOUND: Playground #1. It’s about a mile away, but it was loads of fun. The most entertaining thing (for QB’s parents, anyway) was the springy, rubber-y turf that the playground sits on. Safe and cool-looking. I’d shave off a point for the lack of shade, but our son was so pleased to be out and about I’m willing to let it ride.
  • FOUND: Cupcake place. Tried the vanilla classic (always the mark of a good cupcake) and it passed the test with ease.
  • FOUND: Nail place. The fact that it’s maybe four doors down completely makes up for the lackluster foot massage I experienced Saturday. Also working in its favor, my 10-minute wait was actually 10 minutes.
  • FOUND: Library. It’s across the street. Perfectly perfect. And it’s pretty rad (I know, an old ’80s term, but I’m fine with it). Very modern and nicely renovated. The third floor is all for kiddies. And the cafe on the first floor has “Nicole’s Office Away from Home Office” written along the sides of it. On Saturday, there was a Cuban band giving a free concert on the front lawn. The library even set out chairs for guests to sit and enjoy. Not to compare things to Brooklyn, but … I’m going to compare things to Brooklyn: The public library was also close, two blocks away. However, all the points get tossed out the window, not because of the rickety, narrow elevator or the cavernous basement area, but because of the MOUSE problem that went on there, seemingly unchecked. A babysitter told me that she and some other caregivers were at the library one late, raining morning, when a few mice decided they wanted to check out story time. If mice are running around in broad daylight, you know things are way down the road from bad.

The people here have been really friendly, too. They wave from their cars; greet you with “good morning” and eye-contact while strolling; offer info about activities for the kids while holding a real conversation with you about writing, work and malls; don’t honk the car horn the second the light turns green and let you in when leaving a crowded parking lot. And neighbors actually ring your doorbell to introduce and welcome. We lived in our last place for two years and never met three-quarters of the people with whom we shared a wall to the right.

It’s adding up for you, Montclair. Good job!

But don’t break out the victory dance yet, Montclair. There’s a demerit: the sidewalks.

Goodness gracious. Remember last week when I said the “ride Montclair until the wheels come off” thing? If I don’t watch it, this could become quite literal for QB’s stroller. There are some patches of sidewalk so bad that we were force to walk in the street. So bad that one longtime resident told me she fractured her foot falling up a smashed sidewalk stack. So bad that I would have taken a snap to show you, but I couldn’t afford to let go of the stroller for the phone photo.

We’ll see what Week Two has to offer, yes? Until then, I’ll keep my most unscientific points system at the ready.

  • 1
    Barney A. Bishop says:

    Cute post Blades. I’m glad its working out for the fam.

    • 1.1
      Ms. Mack says:

      Thanks, B. So far, so good. (Still not gassed about not knowing where to go and having to look everything up on the web, though.) And thanks for reading!