Wednesday, December 31, 2008


It was out with the old and in with the new this morning at 7th and Montana as Manager Extraordinaire Gabe rang in the New Year by removing Starbucks' Ubiquitous Holiday Decorations. I must admit, while the Wreath (pictured above) made quite an impact on me, I'm not sorry to see it go. Then, again, we've all had our share of hits and misses in 2008. Here's my take on the year-in-review at 7th and Montana:
  1. In the world of Fashion, trends ranged from the Bizarre (including a woman wearing a NASA Space Blanket on May 31, a Unabomber on September 28 and an American Gladiator on February 9) to the Unreal (including a Half-Naked Granny on April 6; a Yankee Doodle Dandy on September 2 and a man wearing Pink Pantaloons on August 10). Honorable mentions go to the "Boy Named Sue," who made the scene wearing a pair of Perky Strap-on Breasts on September 24 and "Mary, Mary Quite Contrary" who grew a garden in her hair on February 3.
  2. In Celebrity News, a host of A-Listers made the scene, including Demi Moore (on March 7), Reese Witherspoon (on August 24), Courtney Cox (on October 28), and a pair of Arnolds, Tom and Schwarzenegger (on May 25). Actually, the Governator swings by on most Sundays on his way to church but only lingers when Sophia, the Australian Bearded Dragon, is around. An honorable mention goes to Harrison Ford, who reportedly refuses to wait even a minute for a cup of coffee. Let's hope he switches to decaff in '09.
  3. In Local News, a Veritable Asylum of Colorful Characters flocked to 7th and Montana this year, starting with the Jittery Nutcase, who terrorized the neighborhood in April and May, throwing hot chocolate at anyone who got in his way. Then there was the Bulgarian Vulgarian who spent much of July plotting to take over Our Favorite Starbucks (starting with the fruit display), right up until the moment the Police dragged her away. A new kind of Superhero, Captain Underpants, made the scene on August 1, performing Yoga on the sidewalk while wearing underpants on his head; and, on November 21, an All-Seeing Guru resembling the Ayatolla Khomeini announced that all the answers to life's most perplexing questions can be found in the lyrics of the Bee Gees. Honorable mentions go to the Crazy Cat Lady, a woman with a chip the size of a Tabby Cat on her shoulder, and the "Basket Case," a man who made the scene in July, throwing plastic baskets onto 7th Street while promoting his very own movie.
  4. Crime did not pay this year at 7th and Montana. Just ask the Notorious Neighborhood Newspaper Thief, who was caught in the act on numerous occasions. The Bank Robbery on May 10 was equally unsuccessful. Rumor has it that the Robber-in-Question -- apprehended moments after the "big heist" -- was only armed with a Smiley Face on a piece of paper, which he promptly handed over to Police.
  5. It was an eventful year in Barista-land. Robb -- an endless source of energy and information at 7th and Montana -- "retired" on October 4. Nada celebrated her 10th anniversary with Starbucks on September 30. Tyler was discovered in Goose Egg Park taking Martial Arts lessons with a Tai-Chi Champion on July 13th; and an unknown assailant hurled a chocolate cupcake at Julie on September 17.
  6. In the Animal Kingdom, shock waves rippled across 7th and Montana on June 3 as word spread that everyone's favorite Bichone Frise, Einstein, checked into rehab. Sophia, our favorite Australian Bearded Dragon, gave birth to a batch of Unfertilized Eggs on March 17th, fell ill on September 9 and rebounded, renewed and refreshed, on September 11. Toby, Our Favorite Cocker Spaniel, passed away after many happy years with Genevieve.
  7. Casa del Bozo -- the architectural monstrosity at the corner of 7th and San Vicente -- officially opened its doors on March 19th, complete with walls that twist and turn like funhouse mirrors and rust that dribbles down the Southwest facade.
  8. Kathy hit the jackpot on national television on August 13, winning $26,000 on the popular new game show, Catch 21.
  9. Charity began at home this year, with local efforts aimed at helping underprivileged school children in the L.A. area. On July 5th, Our Favorite Starbucks unveiled a Book Drive to help kids at the Miramonte Elementary School, a low-income school in South L.A. Even more impressive, Neighbor Mike, who founded the View Park Preparatory School, a public charter school for underprivileged kids in South Central L.A., saw his efforts rewarded with a heartwarming article on the front page of the Los Angeles Times on June 21.
  10. Obama Fever swept 7th and Montana on Election Day. Lines formed at the local voting booths at dawn, where everyone, it seemed, said "yes we can" to a new administration, followed by a free cup of coffee at Our Favorite Starbucks.

To everyone who has made 2008 so memorable, thank you. Happy New Year, everyone!


Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Happy New Year Marty. Looking forward to next week :o)

Saltydawg said...

Happy New Year to all at 7th and Montana!
Best wishes Marty, Gaz :-)

garnett109 said...

HAPPY NEW YEAR Marty may 2009 bring you more shady people to write about!

Beth said...

What an entertaining year! Your commentary had me laughing out loud, as always.

Hugs, Beth

Mike said...

Happy New Year Marty.

emikk said...

Whole lotta shakin' went on in 2008 at 7th and montana! this joint is jumpin'! and I bet this year promises even more shenanigans....happy new year.

Adirondackcountrygal said...

What a great year! Looking forward to 2009!

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