Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Town Greenmarketing

My Saturday bicycle ramble to the Branch Brook Park Farmers' Market got sidetracked because I spent too much of the morning gossiping becoming informed about a current cause célèbre roundabout Exit 151, a proposed 80-foot (24 m) T-Mobile cell phone tower on the local Lutheran Church. Judging by this sign across the street from the church, I'm guessing their request for a zoning variance isn't going to be granted.

No cell phone tower

(Church of the Improv turned down a cell phone antenna deal because of multiple concerns, not least the unknown health risk to children in the weekday and Sunday schools and the tenuous connection between the church's mission and overt commerce.)

I also spotted some of the new crosswalks that are stirring up a fuss in town.New crosswalk Their advantages over a plain old pair of white lines weren't immediately obvious to me (functionality? durability? esthetics?? cost???). I'm willing to be persuaded, but if they become as slippery in the rain as most pavement paints, then I have concerns about ped and bike safety. These have much more paint in the space traversed by pedestrians and cyclists and so would seem likely to become dangerously slick.

Peddling along, I went to a greenmarket a closer to Exit 151, the Montclair Farmers' MarketMontclair Farmers' Market at the Walnut Street train station. It's a modest-sized market and yet there were all kinds of good mid-July produce – greens, berries, early stone fruits like apricots and sugar plums, early corn, early tomatoes – and the promise of the main crop to come. A number of NJ peach farmers swap with farmers farther south to extend their respective selling seasons, so there were luscious Southern peaches. The pickle-on-a-stick vendor wasn't there, but there's a new cheese vendor and a couple baked goods booths.

I parked my bike in the shade and as soon as my back was turnedBike squeaky toy the squeaky toy on the handlebars became irresistable to kiddies small and large. All the time I was shopping, I could hear squeak, squeak... squeak, squeak. No one seemed interested in the JelliBell. Maybe a Pylones bell would be more entertaining.

On the way home I passed this fine fellow, the scarecrow on Watchung Avenue.


Sometimes persons unknown place baby scarecrows next to it. One year three babies appeared over the course of the summer. This summer there's no babies... yet.

Last night I pedaled off to hear a presentation on trash recycling. And almost immediately felt like a bad person for drinking water and other beverages packaged in single-serving, single-use containers. Guess I need to lay in a supply of Nalgene bottles and use my hydration packs more often.


Bezzie said...

NYC is launching a big campaign to get people to ditch the bottled water and start drinking the tap. They're having problems with the immigrant population because where a lot of immigrants come from, you don't drink the tap water--it's unhealthy!
Thanks for the recap of the market! I'll have to check out the Montclair one.

trek said...

I like the crosswalk.

Devorah said...

We have also started to pay more attention to how we transport water while walking and I am working on getting the kids to just fill a bike bottle when they go out to the playground instead of grabbing one of the bottles we keep for the lunch boxes.

I love how much you get around town on your bike!

Zarzuela said...

You definitely have an interesting area to explore! I love the scarecrow. :)

And the single serving containers, you could always just refill them.


Kim said...

I think the crosswalk is just lovely! Hopefully they won't be slippery. Why crosswalk road stripe aint doesn't have sand in it for better traction is a mystery to me. Weird that cell phone companies seem to target churches for putting up cell towers. Very odd. Does it come with a direct line to God?

Suburbaknitsta said...

I was wondering about those crosswalks as well... Odd about cell phone tower on a church it seems to be the complete opposite in deals imho...

Jessie said...

I always loved to track the seasons by what the cat-faced scarecrow was wearing! Montclair is a great town to explore via bike.