Also on the theme of local engagement, a local tree tore loose from its roots and bent a neighbour’s Kia Sorrento in half the other day. The power had been flickering due to the high winds, and Cassie said, “Did you hear that? Sounded like a transformer went bang”. Later we saw that a bloody great tree had fallen and written off a car just round the corner from us. Cassie has photos, which she should publish. The tree also made holes in the house.
The tree (which also made holes in the house) was gone yesterday, but the bent car remained. Poor neighbours! It’s lucky there aren’t tonnes of trees looming over our house! Oh wait…
I’ve mentioned that Montclair is a little sleepy. It’s growing on us, and we’ve realised that it is more accessible to us from our apartment that Noe Valley was at the old place. The village is a very short walk, and we’ve often popped down multiple times over the weekend for various reasons. Cassie and I have talked about what could improve about it. We came up with a couple of ideas of businesses that we would like to see in the area, ideally in the village, on the main street.
My suggestions were:
- Bar I would like to go to – The local family restaurant Crogan’s has a bar, but it’s a sports bar and it has a neon shamrock on the wall outside.
- Hardware store – There was a small local hardware/DIY store in Montclair until recently, but it closed. I think a rent hike caused the closure. I want to be able to walk down and grab some screws or a simple tool, rather than having to drive to the next town, or all the way to Home Depot.
Of course the problem coming up with ideas like these is that businesses are hard to start and run, and if no-one patronises them, they close. For example, I hope a rent hike close the hardware store, because if people are bleating about it closing, but it closed because of lack of business, I would be annoyed.
Cassie found the results of a survey by the Montclair Village Association, in which they asked for suggestions to improve the area. The results are available in this PDF file. It’s interesting to see that many of the suggestions tie in with what I said above. Some are not feasible, some seem to want large chain stores to move in. The latter especially makes me a little sad – it would be great to have independent businesses set up, but I understand that is a lot harder to achieve.
Tonight is the Holiday Stroll – many businesses open late, and people can shop, eat, meet and do all the good stuff. We’re walking down with our neighbours, and it’ll be a good chance to check things out in more detail, and to support the local businesses. Maybe get some Xmas gifts too!