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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Northern New Jersey and Me: Perfect Together!

Way back in late July, Robyn McMaster tagged me in East Koy Four Corners - My Home Town. I was stunned by her descriptions and images and enthralled with the mental picture that Robert Hruzek's meme - called My Home Town - a New Meme - generated [be sure to check out Bob's Home Town, too].

I got a bit side-tracked since then [it's only been 4 months]. Luckily, as Robyn originally tagged me for NYC, and I had the opportunity this week to take fresh pictures, I no longer need to hold back.... And I won't limit myself to NYC!

I first experienced New York City during college. During one visit [to a French friend of the family whose cheap apartment in the Bronx I eventually moved into], I remember being awed by the verticality of Fifth avenue. I madly snapped black & white photos of buildings, of parks, or bridges.

I love walking the streets of NYC. Everywhere you look, there are delights - from unusual architectural details, to inspiring store window displays, to preposterous neon lights around Times Square... I love how a neighborhood changes character within just a few blocks, and how intensely different one neighborhood is from another. People watching is beyond description.

From the Bronx, I moved to Park Slope, Brooklyn, to the very neighborhood where my father was born [the rent increased dramatically, but it was trendier!]. Shortly thereafter, I moved to Fort Lee, New Jersey.

New Jersey took some getting used to as I needed a car to get around, unless city bound. Nonetheless, having now lived in New Jersey longer than anywhere else, I have decided that New Jersey and Me are Perfect Together [to paraphrase former governor Tom Kean].

Per the question that Bob asks for this meme: What, in your opinion, is or are the most amazing, unusual, strange or just plain weird things about where you live?

Write a post answering the above question, then tag a few folks (choose your own number). Don’t limit yourself to just one thing, either – in fact, the more, the merrier. PLEASE include photos as appropriate (to amaze us all, and, you know, prove you’re not kidding – we all know what a picture is worth, right?), but remember – the more memorable, the better!
Bob has since posted My Home Town: The Grand World Tour which, in addition to Robyn's post, includes:

+ Charing, Kent, United Kingdom – Karin H. at Stop/Start
+ Bergen op Zoom, The Netherlands – also Karin H. at Stop/Start
+ Melbourne, Victoria, Australia – Markk at My Opinions Are Important
+ Edinburgh, Scotland – Joanna Young at Confident Writing
+ Belgrade, Serbia – Danica at Belgrade and Beyond
+ Abilene, Kansas, United States – G.L. Hoffman at What Would Dad Say
+ Geneva, Illinois, United States – Brad Shorr at Word Sell, Inc.
+ Upper Marlboro, Maryland, United States – Edith Brown at Jeteak Press Writer Blog
+ Brisbane, Queensland, Australia - Yvonne Russell at Grow Your Writing Business
+ Montego Bay, Jamaica - Galba Bright at Tune up your EQ

It's a wonderful world tour that underscores our rich, global and vibrant community!

And, now for some lovely flavour and textures that explain why New Jersey and me are perfect together....

I live in Morris County, just west of New York City, at the foot of the Ramapo Mountains.

We have a rich park system, filled with hiking trails and history [the park closest to me used to be a speakeasy]. As close as we are to NYC, we are home to the New Jersey Black Bear, which according to the NJ Division of Fish & Wildlife lecture my daughter and I attended last year, is healthier, lives longer and produces more young than the New York or Pennsylvania Black Bear. Go figure! You can learn more by viewing this New Jersey Black Bear slide show.

No lions or tigers, although we do have Alpacas, preserved farmlands and Puddingstone.

Another gem of a resource for foodies is CowsOutside.com, the home of Bobolink Dairy, makers of the best and purest organic cheese, artisanal bread and other delights. It was featured in Anthony Bourdain's episode on New Jersey of No Reservations [this is the wiki]. [Tony is the author of Kitchen Confidential Updated Ed: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly (P.S.) and executive chef of Les Halles in NYC, an authentic French bistro.]

Although I need a car, I have easy access to Newark Liberty International Airport and, of course, to New York City thanks to NJ Transit or the New York WaterWay Ferry.

And, the really nice thing about having such easy access to NYC is being able to participate in NYC Blogger Meetup - Night of the Iguana, or -- even more exciting! -- the event of 2008: the Blogger Social '08!

Per CK's "social media goes REALLY social, these are some of the folks attending Blogger Social: Susan Bird Tim Brunelle Katie Chatfield Terry Dagrosa Matt Dickman Luc Debaisieux Gianandrea Facchini Mark Goren Gavin Heaton Sean Howard CK Valeria Maltoni Drew McLellan Doug Meacham Marilyn Pratt Steve Roesler Greg Verdino CB Whittemore Steve Woodruff Paul McEnany Ann Handley David Reich Tangerine Toad Kristin Gorski Mack Collier David Armano Ryan Barrett Lori Magno Tim McHale Gene DeWitt Mario Vellandi Arun Rajagopal Darryl Ohrt Joseph Jaffe Rohit Bhargava Anna Farmery Marianne Richmond Thomas Clifford Lewis Green Geoff Livingston, ...

So, in anticipation of Blogger Social, and to whet the appetite of anyone who hasn't yet registered, I invite all of the New York area based attendees to share their perspective on what makes NYC so special, with specifics on what our visitors should absolutely do when they are here in April [e.g., CK, Greg Verdino, Steve Woodruff, David Reich, Tangerine Toad, Susan Bird, Terry Dagrosa, Marilyn Pratt, Steve Roesler, Kristin Gorski, Tim McHale, Gene DeWitt, Darryl Ohrt, Valeria Maltoni, Joseph Jaffe, Thomas Clifford....]

Robyn, thanks for being so patient! Any chance you might make it to the Blogger Social?

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