At Least Montclair Makes The Grade

Montclair’s Mountain and Antioch intersection makes the grade!  We’re one of the 18 Defining Intersections in Oakland, according to the latest issue of Oakland Magazine.  This spot really is our city-center, where you run into everyone just by hanging out.

Our intersection is described as a “crucial crossroads” where the benches are always full.  There are a few tips of the hat to yesteryear, including the historic Julia Morgan-designed Hansel and Gretel firehouse down the street.  (Speaking of which, we have to decide what to do with that place.)

Sometimes I am concerned that old Montclair is a dowager and not sufficiently hip compared to other Oakland burgs.  It’s a reliable, steady-eddy kind of village.  It’s very easy to live here.  But a destination for others beyond the locals?  Not so much.

We earned respect because there is a basic character to the Village that’s grown organically over time.  The Village has been settled, period.  There’s no super-gentrification and no new stucco overhaul except for the Lucky Supermarket (nee Albertsons) below.

Besides Montclair, three of our nearby neighbors made the grade.  I’m not surprised that Rockridge, Piedmont and even little Glenview are included in the intersections – they all are pretty nice alternatives when we want to leave our village for a little dining, movie or what have you.

Anyway, I’m sort of proud of the article because it lists the typical places Montclarions go to eat, shop, exercise and run errands.  The simple, walkable village is a dying breed but we still have one.  I guess it doesn’t matter that we don’t attract much attention, but this recognition feels right.

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Montclair’s First In Some Ways

Oakland Magazine recently published its Best of Oakland & the East Bay picks for 2008. There’s no doubt that Montclair is first in some ways…for the dogs.

We’re tops for pets and their owners, sweeping in these categories: Charity Event (Pet Mayor Contest); Pet Shop (Pet Food Express, Map); Place to Work and Vet (Montclair Veterinary Hospital, Map).

Apparently, we are stylish too. Montclair placed tops in Women’s Clothing (Madison, Map) right along with Nordstroms. Guess I will have to take a closer look at Madison, as I mostly stop by for cards.

The magazine also surveyed their online readers. Our Sibley Preserve was voted as one of the top places, a fitting tribute for our ancient volcano up the street.

The unfortunate news? Montclarions are still going to starve, because there are no local restaurants or food stores awarded. We’ll have to travel for our meals – just about anywhere else in the East Bay.