Happy Monday! As we feast on leftover candy (yuck), eyes blurry from parties and falling back in time, bellies bloated from too much pizza and beer and sweets, I will leave you with some images from around town this Halloween weekend. If anyone has some great photos, I will be happy to update this post. There was too much spookiness and fun to capture all that this town had to offer this Halloween weekend. Festive doesn’t even begin to explain how much we love our holidays. And a holiday for children of any age, is simply the best, and it’s another reason why I love Montclair!
The banners of Montclair, much like banners found in small towns across the United States, hang from our vintage style light posts and flank the streets of our town. They are charming, they are advertising, they map neighborhoods, they communicate, and they display local pride. I love these banners because they display artistic flare and are created to be visually appealing. The eye-catching logos inspired me to start photographing them over a year ago. I originally thought this would be a photo only post, but the more I thought about and researched the role of banners in our community, the more I realized the importance of them. Banners play a vital role in the movement to support small businesses and revitalize small towns in the US. They help bring us together through advertising community and small business events. And as Jay Jensen points out in his article “A New Era of Street Pole Banners,” they have the unique ability to merge old with new and historic with modern (another theme emerging in my blog posts), by displaying hashtags, wifi hotspots, and other forms of modern communication.
So why are banners important and why do they work in Montclair?And most importantly, why on earth am I writing about them? Well, I find these banners to be just one more ingredient that make this town beautiful and unique. They are particularly important to our town because they advertise local events and label each neighborhood on the bottom of each individual banner. The neighborhood labels tie into the purpose of this blog; to explore our neighborhoods and how each area has it’s own unique vibe within the town of Montclair . The Montclair Film Festival banners are displayed all over town right now, but if you look closely you will find, ” Montclair Center,” “Uptown,” “South End,””Watchung Plaza,” and “Walnut Street” marked at the bottom of each banner in that neighborhood. Our street pole banners are helping to define our neighborhoods and reflect the uniqueness of each individual section of town. They reflect our local pride and draw locals and visitors to participate in town events, to shop at local stores, and to eat at local restaurants. Street Pole banners are particularly effective in Montclair because our town has so many walkable commercial areas and our community enjoys being on foot. Art, charm, celebration, and community are what I think of when I walk down the streets of Montclair and see the most recent event advertised on a light pole. I hope you enjoy these photographs and the next time you walk through town, stop to take a look.
Did you wonder what Downtown Montclair is like? Check out this great video produced for The 2015 “Great American Main Street Award Winner,” Montclair.
Happy almost Valentine’s Day Why I Love Montclair followers! Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, a perfect day for sharing love. I think about my love for this community all the time. I think about how fortunate we are to have this place and this community. I think about how many other blogs there are about this area and how I love reading them. I think about how lucky I am when I’m getting coffee at Montclair Bread and run into someone I know, or when I see an amazing film at the Montclair Film Festival, then walk to Pig and Prince for excellent food, drinks, and ambiance. I could go on and on, but that’s what this blog is for. Each post will feature something I love from a Montclair Neighborhood. Each post will include a description of the neighborhood in the title. There will also be at least one photo or video to accompany every post. I really hope this can be a place for people who don’t live here to see and feel our town, for those who do live here to embrace it, and for those who once lived here to become nostalgic for it. I know those are some big goals. I hope to eventually build separate categories for each neighborhood to really get a feel for the town and all of it’s parts. When you have a town that is so special with such a sense of community, it’s difficult to summarize what it’s all about it in one word, so I asked some citizens of Montclair (on a town social media page) to describe what they love about our town in one word. Here are some of the responses. Thank you so much for all who contributed. I was truly blown away by the number of amazing comments (165 and counting)!
Here is what Montclair residents said they love about Montclair:
“spectrum, urban, community, food, restaurants, location, art, people, eclectic, bikeable, walkable, village, visually appealing, open-minded, welcoming, commute, diverse, parks, beautiful, kid-friendly, possibilities, home, liveliness, Victorians, history, memories, Eagle Rock Reservation, EVOO, culture, swagger, pride, real, cosmopolitan, friendly, dynamic, shopping, energetic, hip, cool, sidewalks, smart, accepting, substance, artsy, intelligent, quaint, friends, classy, Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (this was one of my favorites), activities, Mommies, integrity, voice, enlightening, entertaining, variety, creative, family, pleasant, architecture, Je-ne-sais-quoi, trees, amusing, soul, inclusive, developing, depth, possibilities, collaborative, optimism”
– 165 Citizens of Montclair
I leave you with some LOVEly Montclair storefronts.