As a local blog, we get to see the search terms that people use to find us and they reveal many interests. Someone visited Today in Montclair yesterday, after googling: Why live in Montclair?
I’m imagining that this searcher is deciding to move to Montclair Village, because it seems like a strange thing for a current villager to search online.
For all you wanna-be Montclarions, you need to hear from us (and not your realtors). Here are some of the pros and cons of our place:
- Still has folks who have been here forever
- Still aspires to Berkeley intellectualism
- Still feels like a village, but has a canine mayor
- Still has a dress code of sweats and t-shirts
- Still lets driven people hide in plain sight
- Not where hipsters mingle or thrive, like in SF or DTO
- Not a normal family spot with garage, flat lawn and 2.5 kids
- Not immune from city ills, as you need to lock up
- Not quite the city, as wild animals may eat your cats
- Not well known like Peninsula or Contra Costa suburbs
Recently I went to an Oakland blogger meet-up which attracted everyone who writes about our faire city. I still felt a little cowered by the cool factor, but was welcomed to the fray – and think that’s really the reason for being here.
4 thoughts on “Why Live In Montclair?”
I was just thinking about the pros today as I strolled through the Village – top of my list has to be the small-town feel of running into so many people we know as we walk around, from shopkeepers (who all seem to know my kids’ names) to acquaintances to good friends.
I’ve lived in Montclair for about 6 months, although I’ve been a regular in the area for my whole life as a lot of my extended family has lived here for decades. I think the biggest con for me, after living in various neighborhoods around the city, is the decided lack of transit options from most of the residential areas. Sure, the hills are a challenge for transit (and I’m quite aware of AC Transit’s budget problems), but even a bus that ran up Snake to Skyline and back down once an hour would make transit so much more of a viable option for many hill dwellers. Right now we have the choice of driving down and parking on Mountain or chancing a walk up/down curved streets with no sidewalks in order to get to/from a bus stop. I don’t mind walking the grade at all, but without sidewalks, particularly at night, the walk is very unsafe. Of course “being away from it all” makes so much of the hills beautiful, but if I had one thing I could change, it would be to bring a bus up and down Snake so we weren’t truly isolated without a vehicle (and if I had two things… I’d get some decent dining and grocery options!).
The hills are the best! Sunny and peaceful. We actually moved down to the Rockridge district which, although convenient, has none of the beauty and majesty (yes, majesty) of Montclair. We never had better neighbors than in the hills and I still enjoy tending my all-too-large south facing garden. The village leaves a bit to be desired in the lunch/dinner-spot department…but it still feels like a diamond in the rough…with great upside potential.
@Cat – Agree with you about the transit options. There’s the 305 bus, which if it ran during commute hours would be very convenient. Alas it only runs on tuesdays and thursdays with four runs.
As for grocery options Planet Organics now has a small shop in the mall near the Pet Food Express, and of course there’s the sunday’s farmers market which is quite good.