Archive for the ‘Mid Atlantic’ Category

Clearly everyone and their mother has an opinion on Jersey, wether it be the casino-crazed Atlantic city or the guido-infested Shore. Low and behold there’s a little more to Jersey than that. I previously touched on the wonders of suburban Jersey, Westfield and Milburn, but now I want to point out one of the state’s finest assets: Hoboken!

The thing that is just great about Hoboken is how cool it is. Yes, I said cool. If you happen to be a California kid than you will definitely appreciate the laid-back vibe and fun-loving atmosphere provided by this one square mile town. Washington street is lined with bars and restaurants galore. Heavily laden with Irish pubs–some of which are run by actual Irish people–and every type of foodie genre. People line-up around the corner for a muffin from the Cake Boss, and I say “Skip it!” It’s a muffin, move on with your life. There’s lots to be indulged in, and keep your eyes peeled for franchise favorites like the Melting Pot. Albeit overly priced, it does remind me of good ol’ Orange County, especially situated on a lovely park-like path along the river. About the length of the city itself, the river-walking area is a great site to visit. I’d even recommend bringing a date. That is if you can convince them to come all the way out to Jersey! New Yorkers seem to think it is light-years away, when in fact the PATH train can get you there in less than fifteen minutes for the same price as the subway. So do take the time to visit, and if you aren’t in the mood for an Irish pub, head a little further south (yes, into dreaded Jersey city) and hit up the beer garden, or catch a soccer match at the Newark stadium. You’d certainly be missing out if you didn’t at least investigate their annual St. Patrick’s Day festivities. So visit, have fun, and do misbehave.

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The reason I chose “State of Being” as my title is because Delaware had a very particular feeling. It’s kind of like a nice Ocean breeze. It’s a great place to take a walk. I walked for miles. I walked to the store (like I often do), I found my way downtown (which was a little sketchy…). Regardless, Delaware is worth a stroll. I was in Wilmington. Certainly commutable distance to Philadelphia, New York, D.C., and Baltimore, it is not a city to be slighted. It is a comfortable place to live. The homes are nice, the people are friendly, and it’s refreshing. You can feel the hubbub of the city, while not being stressed and burdened by the things you ought to do. You can take the time to get your nails done or visit the library. They also have great hibachi, if you are in the mood for Japanese food. You could stop by the Delaware Theatre Company or some of their historic landmarks. Though technically a mid-Atlantic state, it is very similar to New England. Old brick buildings, lots of history in the streets. It is after all the very first state. That makes for a killer bumper sticker.

Manhattan sleeper towns have to be the best thing. Especially when the city is really wearing you out. There’s nothing like a forty-five minute train ride, to a quaint little town, to bring peace of mind and calm to your busy New York life. I recommend Westfield. It’s cute, with restaurants, shopping, and a little movie theatre. It also doesn’t hurt that I have family to stay with. If you don’t have family outside the city, you should adopt some. Or better yet, plan a trip. Think of something close. If it is close enough to get a $15 round trip train ride, then you can spend all your extra cash on a nice hotel. Maybe down by the seaside, or up in the woods. When you visit Westchester county, it isn’t too far to a fairly wooded area. Watchung in New Jersey, also has a state park that is rather pleasant to take a stroll through. If you are an outdoorsy person like I am, than it is essential to find these out of the way places to run to. For seaside adventure, try New London, Connecticut. It is maybe two hours up the coast, and a great picture of classic New England. It’s a seaside town, with really old, beautiful churches and cathedrals everywhere. You could go on a tour of just churches and fill the whole weekend. There are great little eats off the main road; nice sit-down coffee without the Starbucks’ emblem. And you could even catch a traveling show as it comes through town.

I can understand why people choose to live out here and commute into the city. It brings a daily rest to freshen you up for the morning. But, alas. Even the least expensive rentals would cost more than staying in Queens. Always the compromise. But at least I have my escape. My open sky… mostly. and my fresh air… partially. O.K… well it isn’t Montana, but it’s maybe a little slice of the Big Sky Pie.