Are we Montclair in name only, or more?
Lately, a larger group of Montclarions are declaring independence from Mother Oakland. Neighbors peer over to Piedmont, which shares our zip code, as historic inspiration for peaceful co-existence with Oakland. Splitting from Oakland is hardly a new idea, but it’s picked up steam during the recession.
We are going to leave aside all the discussion about whether this is realistic or desired. You may join a Facebook or Yahoo group for more discussions, and you should check out neighbor Tony Morosini’s original Montclarion piece as well as nascent presentation.
Whether we’re together or not, our zeitgeist is already established. We are well-defined by our Village and shopping district, weekly newspaper, canine mayor and overall sense of hills identity.
Our borders are a little murky, extending slightly north beyond Highway 24 and west beyond Route 13. We’re represented by two city council districts and two police beats. The lines would need to be drawn more clearly.
Even this blog had to struggle to be known as a real place, often clashing with Montclair, NJ more than any other locale. While Montclair, CA exists, we have experienced very few online clashes except in the directories.
Let’s consider the naming opportunities
Today denizens and visitors say they are in Montclair, Montclair District, Oakland Hills or just plain ‘ole Oakland. Maybe we should mull over other candidates, presented for your worthy consideration:
- District Montclair – Nice vibe, but a little hoity-toity.
- Montclair Hills – Well, it’s really straightforward.
- Montclair Canyons – How about the flip side of the coin?
- Oakclair – Keeping the history intact, sort of.
- Thornclair – Recalls the first big logger, Hiram Thorn.
- Peralta – Honors our first Europeans appropriately.
- Chabot Hills – Will the East Bay Park District object?
- Feltre – Our Italian inspiration would be in the hills.
- Tuscany – We hear this pedestrian name was proposed before.
- Phoenix Hills – Perfect reference to our rising from the ashes.
One neighbor suggested some great alternatives, especially if we could loosen up and bestow a unique moniker on our place. How about Redwoods-No-More? Weather Perfection? Gentle Green? Or should we continue status quo, after all?