Fear and loathing in Maplewood Village

author

For those of you who have been concerned about access to Village Coffee as the repaving of the side walk

approaches the front door.........fear not.

The side windows open up and can be used as doorways.  At least two will be open during the time construction blocks the front door.  These are the windows on the parking lot side of the building.

Same is not true for tenants in the building.........a back fire escape exit exists but I am not fond of it.  I intend to purchase half the inventory of Turkey Hill ice cream from Kings and gorge myself till our front entrance is available again.


ml1

Thank goodness. I don't know what I would have done without my morning coffee tomorrow. 


author

No.......actually according to the construction people it will be Tuesday or Wednesday of next week till they reach Village Coffee.  As an alternate I could suggest  Palmers or Able Baker. 

Starbucks makes a decent cup of tea and for those who like the taste of charcoal early in the morning they with tongue in cheek serve what they call "coffee"


ml1

author said:

No.......actually according to the construction people it will be Tuesday or Wednesday of next week till they reach Village Coffee.  As an alternate I could suggest  Palmers or Able Baker. 

Starbucks makes a decent cup of tea and for those who like the taste of charcoal early in the morning they with tongue in cheek serve what they call "coffee"

 I thought you said we can get in through the side windows. Are you now saying we can't get in at all?  This is confusing. 


author

Ah no grasshopper. The construction will block off the front entrance only.  I suppose one must detour around it for about 20 feet..........more or less.  You will find yourself at the entrance to the parking lot which is adjacent to the building.  Probably 2 maybe 3 of the windows which open like French doors will be

open and you will be most welcomed by the international staff of Village Coffee

Let you fears fall away like Spring rain and start or continue your day enjoying their delightful fare.

The other few coffee shops have undergone the transformation of their sleight grey sidewalks to one of sort of red.  Don't ask me why


ml1

author said:

 Don't ask me why

 Probably because a lot of the sidewalks were in pretty bad shape. 


author

ml1 said:

author said:

 Don't ask me why

 Probably because a lot of the sidewalks were in pretty bad shape. 

 Well I live in the Village so of course use them with more frequency than most.  That was not my observation.

Although I have also used the sidewalks in many places in Southern Europe over the years.  Many of them are practically non existent by our standards.  I guess I became spoiled by that which we have back in the States.


ml1

I have a different view, given that my next door neighbor fell and broke her hip on the sidewalk on front of Village Coffee. It's time to replace our marginally functional sidewalks. 


author

ml1 said:

I have a different view, given that my next door neighbor fell and broke her hip on the sidewalk on front of Village Coffee. It's time to replace our marginally functional sidewalks. 

 And your wish is being granted.  Would only that it be an all new yellow brick but that belongs to another

  tale.


sac

So are ALL of the sidewalks being replaced?  At times it has looked like they were going to leave some as is, but perhaps the schedule was just not linear.  Given that they don't match, I certainly hope they will all be replaced.  The new ones look nice!


annielou

What’s the big fuss about Village Coffee? Food is mediocre as is the service. More than once ended up with cold food.


author

annielou said:

What’s the big fuss about Village Coffee? Food is mediocre as is the service. More than once ended up with cold food.

Judging by the numbers of repeat diners I see there, you are very much in the minority.  Have been frequenting same for 10 years and am always met with warmth and humor in both the food and staff.

With at least 17 eating establishments in the Village,  you have plenty from which to choose.

The iced cappuccino I am served there has only been equaled in quality by Mediterranean coffee houses.


author

sac said:

So are ALL of the sidewalks being replaced?  At times it has looked like they were going to leave some as is, but perhaps the schedule was just not linear.  Given that they don't match, I certainly hope they will all be replaced.  The new ones look nice!

 Just as time marches on, it looks like the entire Village will soon have pink/red paving stones.


soda

Nice thread title. I shoulda known better...

-s.


author

soda said:

Nice thread title. I shoulda known better...

-s.

 Yep..........if near plagiarism was a crime,  I would be toast.


galileo

I noticed the other day that all the walks on Springfield Ave are done the same way.

Looks very nice. . Wonder how much this all cost. Did Maplewood get any financial aid?


author

Well as I stumbled down my stairs this morning, heading to Village Coffee for my English Breakfast Tea,

I noticed the construction guys were across the street.  They were busy tearing up the sidewalk in front of the Barber Shop and the Pub.

M1..........I questioned the owner of Village Coffee about the incident you mentioned.  He said "yea it happened a few years ago.  But the sidewalk or paving stones that were down then were not the grey ones down presently.  The fall predated the current paving.  I have no memory for sidewalks but speaking to a few people, the consensus was that the current paving is only a few years old.  This again begs the question, why are they being replaced now?  A beautification program?

Again I would have held out for a yellow brick road.  But that is the story of my life.


ml1

author said:

Well as I stumbled down my stairs this morning, heading to Village Coffee for my English Breakfast Tea,

I noticed the construction guys were across the street.  They were busy tearing up the sidewalk in front of the Barber Shop and the Pub.

M1..........I questioned the owner of Village Coffee about the incident you mentioned.  He said "yea it happened a few years ago.  But the sidewalk or paving stones that were down then were not the grey ones down presently.  The fall predated the current paving.  I have no memory for sidewalks but speaking to a few people, the consensus was that the current paving is only a few years old.  This again begs the question, why are they being replaced now?  A beautification program?

Again I would have held out for a yellow brick road.  But that is the story of my life.

 this is not true. The sidewalks being replaced are decades old. 


ml1

From last year:

The crumbling sidewalks were last paved 35 to 40 years ago, according to Maplewood Village Alliance Chair John James.

https://villagegreennj.com/towns/maplewood/tc-asks-maplewood-village-alliance-help-pay-new-sidewalks/


author

Nice to know I am living in the crown jewel of Maplewood and such a decorative side walk will out live me.


sac

The "current" (now being replaced) sidewalks are well over a decade old but less than 33 years old.  I remember them being installed and I have been in Maplewood 33 years.


ml1

sac said:

The "current" (now being replaced) sidewalks are well over a decade old but less than 33 years old.  I remember them being installed and I have been in Maplewood 33 years.

 Personally I thought they were about 20 years old, but figured Mr. James would know the actual age better than I would.  Either way, they are not as author is alleging, recently installed in the past few years.

The sidewalks being replaced are old, and in places they were trip and fall hazards.  I know people like to complain about anything the township does, and they like to complain about money being spent.  But personally, I think it was beyond time to replace the sidewalks in the village.  And if the materials being used now last the 30+ years they are projected to, the money spent will be a bargain in the long run.

Whether or not people find the appearance of the new sidewalks pleasing is a matter of taste and opinion.  But if they give us a smoother and more stable surface and they last as long as predicted, it's not a big deal if some people would prefer a different color.


tomcat

The pavers were laid in the sidewalks sometime in the last 5-10 years.  And, I noted at the time, that it was a very poor installation.

I have not been in the village much the last few weeks, so I have not been able to look at how the new pavers are installed (or rather, how they constructed the base, since that is the key to a stable surface). 


sac

tomcat said:

The pavers were laid in the sidewalks sometime in the last 5-10 years.  And, I noted at the time, that it was a very poor installation.

I have not been in the village much the last few weeks, so I have not been able to look at how the new pavers are installed (or rather, how they constructed the base, since that is the key to a stable surface). 

 I believe that it was more than 10 years ago.  I'm almost certain that they were visible in the movie Gracie (Elizabeth Shue, et al) which was filmed in part in Maplewood.  I just googled and found that movie was made in 2007.


tom

Those new sidewalks will look great in front of the former local businesses that went bankrupt because nobody could get to their front door or even find a parking space. 


sac

tom said:

Those new sidewalks will look great in front of the former local businesses that went bankrupt because nobody could get to their front door or even find a parking space. 

 I expect that far more businesses go bankrupt because of exhorbitant rents than due to these much-needed repairs.


author

sac said:

tom said:

Those new sidewalks will look great in front of the former local businesses that went bankrupt because nobody could get to their front door or even find a parking space. 

 I expect that far more businesses go bankrupt because of exhorbitant rents than due to these much-needed repairs.

 It is a difficult call as to what exactly drives a business bankrupt.  Under capitalization and lack of reserve cash would figure in to the equation.

But for the most part the "if you build it they will come saying applies"  Village Coffee probably pays among the highest rent in the Village.  Yet it has been there for 14 years and counting.  Why?  They provide a good product at a reasonable price.  The staff is well trained and in toto speaks 4 languages.......among them Greek......Yipee.  The owner seems to know 80 percent of his clientele.  Many love to chat with him and his laugh is infectious.  No barista needed to write your name on a cup to get your coffee handed to you.

And yet April Cucina which everyone thought was doing well recently left us.  Everyone knows of at least two or three spots which suffer from changing restaurants.  But Roman Gourmet for the same positive reasons continues on and on.  High rents make things difficult,  but decent offerings,  and decent prices bring back repeat diners with frequency.


ml1

sac said:

 I believe that it was more than 10 years ago.  I'm almost certain that they were visible in the movie Gracie (Elizabeth Shue, et al) which was filmed in part in Maplewood.  I just googled and found that movie was made in 2007.

 indeed they were visible grin


ml1

and according to IMDB, Gracie was filmed in 2006 (released in 2007).


durandhedden

The concrete pavers were installed roughly 30 years ago (I'll check the digitized newspaper at the library for the actual year.)  As I recall the installation then was paid for by a Community Block Grant and was done with the guidance of the town's beautification committee.  Unbeknownst to the then town leadership, Maplewood Ave. had been widened in 1927 and 7 feet taken off the front of the Sirlyn Building and I think the building where St. James Gate is. Thus the basements of these buildings extend 7 feet in front under the sidewalk.  The solution they turned to then was to carefully slice the pavers in half horizontally and they never were as stable as they should have been in that area. Armed with this information in 2019, the town engineer ordered 1/2 pavers to do the job. The pavers this time are clay. It will be interesting to see if they hold up for 30 years. They certainly are more attractive.  



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