Thursday, November 29, 2007

Holiday Cheer

As I walked on Park Avenue toward Front Street today, I heard the plaintive notes of Charlie Brown's Christmas song. I wondered if it was coming from the music store on the corner, but then spotted trumpet player Ron Michaels in front of Casanova Pizzeria.

Michaels explained he has been performing in public since he was in 7th grade.

"That's all I do," he said.

He mentioned doing studio work for an Aleve commercial and performing as first trumpet with the Somerset Valley Orchestra and I knew I was looking at one of those all-around musicians who are the bedrock of the performing arts.

A Bound Brook resident, Michaels said he is friends with the pizzeria owner and likes visiting Plainfield. He said the benches on the plaza across the street fill up with listeners who sometimes call out requests. And with a hefty canvas bag full of songbooks, he's likely to oblige.

So if you think you're hearing a live trumpet performance of "Happy Holidays" while you're stopped at the light, you're right. If you are shopping, honor the tradition of live street music by dropping something in the tip can.

Santa is sharing this window with La Virgen de Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas, whose feast day on Dec. 12 will have the full attention of Plainfield's burgeoning Mexican and Latin American population. The poster next to the yellow phone card signs proclaims four days of celebration at St. Mary's Church.

The jolly old elf will still get his share of adulation later on, especially from those who have been nice. The naughty ones (we won't name names) will have to brace for lumps of coal (or target letters).

Take a break from the mall or online shopping soon and check out the window art downtown. And spend some dollars in the Queen City! Suburban Jewelers has been a destination for shoppers for about 50 years and now there are some new stores to browse. And Special Improvement District President Lisa Cohen says the popular horse and carriage rides will be better than ever this holiday season, with free drawings for lots of good giveaway items donated by merchants and groups.

--Bernice Paglia


Post a Comment

<< Home