Garden Variety New Yorker





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It’s just quieter here.  Sure, Long Island is certainly not loud, but people still have more of a city attitude to them.  At least in Nassau County.  The majority of Long Islanders have been to Manhattan, even frequently, and have a more fast-paced, upbeat frame of mind.  Things are expected to be open late, to be available.  We know where the good restaurants are, and there are a lot of reviews and information.  
Here in Jersey, it’s not so easy.  Things tend to close earlier, and certain parts of Bergen County close completely on Sunday. Beyond the rediculousness of closing down entire malls on Sundays, it’s not as easy to run out and get something at 9pm at night.  Bagel stores close early, and I have yet to find one that’s open 24 hours like good old A&S on Long Island.  (I just found one now, but haven’t had a chance to check it out) Normal stores and restaurants seem to wind down earlier here too.  There are still things going on late, but it’s they’re fewer and far between.
There are less street lights, less cars on the road, particularly at night, and just less people in general.  Maybe I’m just not going to the right places.
October 31st, 2008 by Ceetar in bagels, long island, new jersey
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New Jersey Giants

Why I’d make a good Giants Fan.

I’m not a big football fan, although I’m a sports fan in general and I do enjoy watching football occasionally, I just don’t have a network of friends nearby to go watch football with on Sundays. It’s much more of a social spectator sport than baseball. So I don’t ‘have’ a team yet. I’m a Mets fan first, an Islanders fan second, but that’s really where it ends. I dislike the Dolphins, and the Eagles(In fact, I’m beginning to despise all sports related Philadelphia events.). I kind of like Roethisburger and Peyton Manning, but not necessarily a big fan of their teams. I dislike the Cowboys when they try to play as ‘America’s Team’. I went to school in Buffalo, so I do sorta like the Bills, and prior to moving out of New York, I was one of the fans that used to joke about them being New York’s only team.

Now that I live in New Jersey, I can take the same approach. The Jets and the Giants both play here, despite the ‘New York’ title. I take the train past Giant Stadium on my way to work. I can’t see myself rooting for the Jets, despite their Mets ties, them previously playing at Shea, or being named for the planes at Laguardia airport. Could I be a Giants fan? It’s possible, I was definitely rooting for them in the Super Bowl, despite half-wishing that the Patriots _would_ go undefeated and the Dolphins who get whiny whenever anyone comes close could be silenced. I don’t envision me going to any Giants games this year, and I’ve been listening to WFAN a little less so I’m not even fully entrenched in the week to week Giants banter and storylines. Still, I do kind of like the team, and I like Eli Manning. It’d be nice to be rooting for a team with a legitimate shot, and defending champs at that. Sure would be different than watching the Mets choke success away, or the Islanders continue to be pathetic. The most exciting thing about the Islanders is that Howie Rose calls the games, and that reminds me of the Mets, and baseball.

I don’t follow basketball, so I don’t have any delusions about being ‘converted’ to being a Nets fan. Besides, they’re moving to Brooklyn. Maybe anyway.

October 15th, 2008 by Ceetar in baseball, giants, new jersey, sports
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Excitement in the Little Things

I’m also a big fan of variety. I was feeling stuck and bored with Long Island in general, having grown up there, and spent most of my life there except for the three years in Buffalo for college. Even though I’ve only moved to the other side of the city, a mere 35-40 minutes away, the differences make me feel good.

It’s the little things, going to a different mall, trying out the different local pizza places, not knowing my town well enough to walk through with my eyes closed. It can be fun just driving around, getting a feel for the neighborhood, and the surrounding area. Yesterday I was driving and was in nearby Ridgewood when I suddenly realized how and where two streets connected, and it was like a whole area of the map in my head unclouded. Sort of like how when you explore the map in games like Warcraft or Civilizations, you gradually get to see more and more of the map as you go to new areas. Whereas back home, even trying to get lost or go for a drive, I’d think to myself,

“Oh, It’s Old Country Road again. How boring.”

I knew how to get places, I knew what was at those places, and It ceased to be exciting. Even things like “Wow, it’s dark here.”, or “Hey, look at that cool house.” are new and interesting, because I haven’t seen them before. Even if they’re similar, it’s the variety that excites me.

Eating out has gotten easier too. We’ve got a whole list of places that we want to try. The Gotham Diner, that diner that’s in a barn, that sub shop around the corner.. the list goes on as we discover new places. On Long Island, we’d eaten at so many places that it’d lost it’s excitement.

“Hibachi place? Nah, we were just there.”,

“Fridays?…nah, too long a line.”,

“Diner? Eh..”

It’s even nice to have a different view out of the windows in our apartment.

October 4th, 2008 by Ceetar in dinner, garden state, long island, new jersey, new york, pizza, ridgewood
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