Thursday, May 1, 2008

6 more days til NJ

I am getting kinda giddy over here in anticipation of our trip back home to see my family and my other peops. So in the spirit of that giddiness I thought I would school you on the area that I am from and hopefully change whatever negative perceptions you might have about NJ.

NJ is like every other place, there are good parts and bad parts. Most people think of this small stretch of turnpike when they think of NJ:

Well this is not really what all of NJ looks like... just that small part of it. I was born and raised in Englewood, NJ. Englewood is not all that different from one of the more residential neighborhoods of Seattle like Wallingford or Ballard but with a bit more socioeconomic diversity. It has tree lined streets with sidewalks. The houses are colonial style as opposed to the craftsman style homes that are in abundance here in Seattle. There is a downtown area with a main street that has lots of cute shops and restaurants.
Bonus: It is also very close to NYC. Here is Englewood on the map:

Famous people that either previously or still do live in Englewood:
  • Eddie Murphy (his estate was known as Bubble Hill)
  • Karen O (from the Yeah Yeah Yeah's)
  • Lil Kim
  • George Benson
  • Dizzy Gillespie (my grandpa got into a fender bender with him several years ago!)
  • John Travolta
  • Tony Bennett
  • Sarah Jessica Parker
  • me (just kidding)
  • Brooke Shields (well she went to school there, my grandpa worked at her private school)
So as for NJ as a whole, it's actually a cool place to live. If you live in northern nj you can drive to any of the following places in 4 hours or less:
  • Southern Vermont (I loved to snowboard at Mt Snow & Killington)
  • Philadelphia
  • Washington D.C.
  • Boston
  • Baltimore
NJ has nice sandy beaches and there is actually a significant surf culture at the Jersey shore (yeah we call it the shore). I have spent many summer weekends hanging on the beaches of Belmar, Avon, Bradley Beach, Mantoloking, Point Pleasant, and Long Beach Island (LBI). The water isn't blue and warm like the Caribbean but it's nice and not disgusting or dirty.

Let's talk about Hoboken for a sec. It is the town where J and I were living when we met and it's even closer to NYC than Englewood:

Cool things about Hoboken:
  • The PATH train to NYC
  • Oddfellows serves Abita Purple Haze
  • So many cool bars (though there are plenty of cheezy ones *cough* Bahama Mamas *cough*)
  • More delicious Italian food then any reasonable person could ever want to eat
  • Birthplace of baseball and Frank Sinatra
  • Beautiful brownstones and railroad apartments
  • Fun, young residents
  • Very pedestrian friendly. You don't need a car if you live in Hoboken and work in NYC. And it's a mile square town.
I could say alot more about NJ but I'm gonna let all this soak in. We'll take lots of pics while we are away and post some fun stuff when we get back. In closing I leave you with a photo of the place where Jason and I both worked before we even knew each other (Rockefeller center). We probably took the same train to work everyday and ate at the same food court on our lunch breaks. Life is crazy.


jay mcg said...

OMG Bahama Mamas. I sooo forgot about that place. I clicked on the link and . . . oh, man. the photos are the best. it will show you why it's bad. the longer the slideshow the worse they get.

I used to walk past that place on my way to or from almost everywhere since it was just down the street from my apartment. they always had the worst music and the trashiest guests - just so terrible. those photos were awesome though.

Lauren said...

Yea NJ! Not a bad place to be from at all...say hi (to the state, to the pizza, to the accents, to the attitudes, to the AWESOME) for me!

Haydee said...

Have a great trip! I hope you blog during your visit. Otherwise I'll miss you!!!!
Love the details your wrote up. I learned some new things!