Montclair Embraces New Moms

Just saw this new shop, which embraces and seems perfect for new moms. The Tulip Grove has all the right stuff for babies, classes for moms, and built-in comraderie too.

Here are the founders, who want to help moms remove many of the initial “what do I do about…?” stresses. It’s tough to be a perfect Montclarion mother.

Before this, moms had more limited options.  Montclair Yoga offers a respite from babies, as well as a Mom & Baby class on Fridays at 11:15am — with the perfect mix of chaos and zen.  Of course, the coffee shops are also decent spots, but not for moms alone.

So Tulip has arrived, and is located right in the Village (map here).   For those of us without babes-in-arms, it’s also a convenient place to pick up practical gifts for friends who are expecting.

Dead Heat: Top, Village Dogs

Frankly (!), we are in a dead heat.

Last week, I ran an survey for the best local weiners. Would Berkeley’s Top Dog win? Or Montclair’s own Village Dog alternative?

We have to learn something from Bush vs Gore — or Hillary vs Obama.  Because of the outcome, I intend to keep voting open until there’s a clear winner.

Vote early but not often:  sorry, election is over

Bike to Work Day!

Join the Bay Area’s 14th annual celebration of the two-wheeler tomorrow. Somewhere between 50,000 and 100,000 people are expected to take to the streets.

More than half the expected bicyclers don’t pedal to the office normally, so special energizer stations have been set up to fuel everyone.

In Montclair, the Wheels of Justice (map here) will serve a free breakfast to all bicycling commuters. Just show up anytime between 7am and 9am.

While our hills can make this a grunt, it’s worth giving this a try. For more info, check out the Bike to Work web site or Facebook group.

Conserving H2O Isn’t That Hard

Conserving H2O isn’t that hard – and we have to cut back now. The East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) officially declared mandatory rationing this afternoon.

According to their pronouncement, 19% cut-backs are required by single family homeowners, 11% by apartment dwellers, and 30% by anyone watering lawns and gardens.

EBMUD means business. If you don’t cut at least half that amount, they will levy fines too.

This weekend, start getting prepared. Go get some low-volume shower heads. If you can afford it, replace your older commodes. And start to do xeriscaping, which actually looks like fun.

We should make “going brown” feel like a badge of honor.

The Ever-Fascinating Fault

Oaklander Andrew Alden, who oversees’s geology guide, recently blogged about the Hayward Fault in Montclair. Apparently, we live near a wide zone rather than a nice, neat fault line.

Let’s first take a look at the Hayward Fault map through the Village:

In particular, Montclair Park is one place where the fault widens. Alden explains that “where two strands overlap, a block of ground between them may slump in tension or rise in compression.” This slump is quite familiar to all, as the pond!

Another tidbit to share: the Hayward Fault has not ruptured here yet. When the big Hayward earthquake took place 150 years ago, it traveled south from San Leandro to Fremont. This doesn’t translate to more risk when the next one hits, right…right?

Kudos: Montclair’s 4-H Club

Did you know Montclair even had a 4-H Club?

Today’s SF Chronicle featured a story about our local 4-H kids, who are raising farm animals within Oakland city borders. Kudos to the kids and their parents!

These kids actively raise a full menagerie of pigs, goats and chickens. They don’t exactly get positive feedback from their city-slicker friends. In my book, they are incredibly cool for doing their own thing.

My favorites are the piggies, pictured above with their keeper. They lead a pampered existence in the Hills, and I’ve heard they appreciate the San Francisco views too.

Soon these pigs will be shown at the Alameda County Fair. In preparation, the kids will shampoo and clip the contestants, and even slather sunscreen on them – pretty funny.

Yet all good things must end. The oinkers get sold each season, and (sadly) become someone’s meal ticket.

Our Pizza Identity Crisis

We have a pizza identity crisis in the Village, with five distinct styles. More importantly, there’s no authentic New York thin crusters around – and I speak from experience as an Eastern Seaboard immigrant.

While it’s possible to drive to other Oakland burgs or Berkeley for “the right pie,” at least there are options nearby. After all, pizza should be about immediate gratification.

Montclair Pizza Montage

Here are details, and site links if they have them.

  • Cybelle’s: Bigger is better pizza – Yelp – 6468 Moraga Ave – 510-339-9408
  • MG’s Pizza: Start-up pizza parlor – Yelp – 5736 Thornhill Dr. – 510-339-1300
  • Pizza Rustica: Designer pies, mmm – Yelp – 6106 La Salle Ave. – 510-339-7878
  • Viva Voce: Taste of Italia – Yelp – 5761 Thornhill Dr. – 510-339-0990
  • Italian Colors: Never tried the ‘za – Yelp – 220 Mountain Blvd. – 510-482-8094