o, wretched new jersey

Imagine; a sophisticated New Yorker such as myself trapped amongst the quiet, twisting side streets and emerald parkways of New Jersey. What happened to my city? Where can I turn for fulfillment, now that my Lower East Side apartment is gone? Why, just this past weekend the only thing I had to stimulate me was a trip to the shore on a sun-drenched, blue Saturday afternoon.

The boardwalk teemed with happy people. Laughter mixed with the sound of the ocean crashing on the shore. The beach was dotted with brightly colored umbrellas and you could smell the salt in the sea breeze. We ate beach food for lunch. Beach food is like bar food but much worse, which is to say, much better. Dippin’ Dots, anyone?

We brought 3-Year Old and 7-Year Old to the boardwalk amusement park. I took them for a ride on the toy train. I’m sure they’ll go through stages where they’re at each others throats but for the time being, they are the best of friends.


Sure, it’s cute. But where is the artistry in it? So common it’s cliché. I exercised some of my demons on the bumper cars. I taught 7-Year Old Daughter that you have to earn the title of King of the Bumper Car Highway.


It might look like fun, but how am I supposed to feed my cerebral needs on such meager morsels?

Sunday, another drearily clear, blue day with comfortable temperatures and blazing sun, we all went to a baseball game. There’s minor league park just a short drive away and although I’m certain that a game at a Major League park would prove to be a more intellectually fulfilling experience, this trifle is all I have available to me. 7-Year Old Daughter fruitlessly tried to explain the intricacies of base running to 3-Year Old Daughter.


They had excellent sight lines, but here was my view of home plate:


Another fine specimen from the Garden State. As the afternoon progressed, his neck took on the shade of a ripe tomato and the sweat dripped off of his earlobes.

There’s just nothing out here worth doing. It’s all so ordinary.

* * *

Addendum: I feel compelled to mention that this post is an exercise in sarcasm and my that critiques are purely tongue-in-cheek, in case anyone thought I was bent enough to not realize how good I’ve got it.

11 thoughts on “o, wretched new jersey

  1. Annie: Not long ago I was punished by unemployment and the loss of my mom. I’ll take the mundane any day.Greg: Only if I can afford a spacious apartment along Central Park. Which I, presently, cannot.Daisy: Yes, that’s *exactly* how I had to end my day. Can you believe it?! It even put a smile on my face. Woe is me!

  2. You went to the beach? Hating you right now. I miss summer. I wasn’t meant to spend my life wrapped up in more than one layer of clothing.

  3. A: If someone is reading your blog and doesn’t understand sarcasm, they need to move on.2: How I long for a lovely Jersey summer afternoon. Here in Georgia, I’m spending all of my summer afternoons inside because it’s been hovering around 95 for a week and a half. Too hot to even go to the pool. Oh, and no beach in sight.

  4. As I spent most of yesterday painting here and there in the house and sanding and staining hand rails, I idly wondered to myself, ‘what would I be doing if I was one of those normal people with a M – F job and weekends off and not a habitual renovator?’Now I have an inkling.PS: Are there many rednecks in NJ? From the looks of that guy at the ball park, he probably got riper as the afternoon wore on.Makes me wonder too. Are there pictures of me I don’t know about that some blogger is mocking somewhere? Hmmmmmm.

  5. Sid: Now you know how I feel in December when you and my friends in Australia are basking on the beach.Cat: I use to work for a company whose headquarters were in Atlanta. I dreaded those occasional business trips in July-August. I don’t know how you can stand it.Rob: There are rednecks pretty much in every state of the Union down here. Re: the photo: that’s why you’ve never seen a pic of me on my site. Why tempt ridicule?Jimmy: You forgot the fourth “B!” Beer! There was some beer in the mix as well.

  6. I think it looks wonderful!Came here from Jimmy’s–went back to read more of your posts, and came across the Best Sneakers in Brooklyn post, just have to tell you that I live mere blocks from Fulton Street and you are so right and funny, it’s a brag on every corner. When people visit NYC and ask me where’s the best pizza, I just tell them “It’s all the best pizza!” That covers it.

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