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‘Upstate’ Noun May Be Confusing

I grew up on Long Island.  We often refer to Upstate when talking about anywhere from Buffalo to Plattsburg and in-between.  The southern border varies, as many people don’t consider the counties just north of the Bronx as Upstate.  Geographically, just about every location in New York is upstate from where I grew up on the south shore of Long Island.

 

I still use the term, but just recently it dawned on me that it’s not quite clear now that I live in New Jersey, and in the north part of the state at that.  Much like referring to Manhattan as “The City” can be confusing depending on location and context, referring to “Upstate” when you’re less than 10 miles from the northern border of your state doesn’t make a lot of sense.  For the first time when referring to the Finger Lakes area of New York, I had to use the phrase “Upstate New York” to clarify.  I was referring to the herd of white deer I used to see occasionally off route 96 between Seneca and Cayuga lake when travelling between Ithaca and Buffalo.

 

Do people in South Jersey ever refer to the northern parts of the state as Upstate?

March 6th, 2012 by Ceetar in long island, new jersey, new york
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New TV Shows: Revenge

Revenge is a new series on ABC about a young woman who inherited a fortune from her father who was convicted of a crime in which he didn’t commit.   She’s using the money to get revenge on all the rich folk who helped set her father up.

 

The show takes place in the Hamptons where all these people spend their summers.  The first scene takes place at the end of the summer, and it seems this season will be what happened to lead up to that scene.   This format is interesting; not a ton is revealed in that first scene, but enough to create a sense of impending doom.  You know the season is caroming towards this crazy ending, but you don’t know why or how.

 

Emily VanCamp stars as Emily Thorne/Amanda Clarke and systematically take revenge on some of the bit players behind her father’s set-up from a psychiatrist to a  big-name investment broker.   She utilizes her money, her friends, and the skills gained since childhood to attempt to completely ruin these people’s lives, and often very publicly.

 

I’m quite enjoying the power-play between the “Queen of the Hamptons” and Emily Thorne, who’s new to the Hamptons and is making quite a name for herself while secretly taking down the architects of her father’s demise.

October 26th, 2011 by Ceetar in long island, Television and Movies
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My Internal Google Map

HaledonI spent 26 years on Long Island but the last three in New Jersey.  Someone mentioned Smithtown to me recently and I immediately knew it was on Long Island, but I was drawing a blank as to exactly where on the island.  My internal Google map and sense of direction has faded without regular use.

 

The problem is my body hasn’t downloaded the New Jersey versions yet.  I’ve started to get a feel for the roads and areas I travel on regularly, but the ways to get from here to there, or where a town I’ve never been to like East Hanover is, still elude me.

 

While driving around Long Island, if I encountered traffic on the Meadowbrook Parkway I might know where to get off and how to get around it, or cut over to the Wantagh Parkway.   If I’m stuck on route 4 in New Jersey, a road I travel pretty regularly, I’m still sketchy on how best to bypass it.  A couple of weeks ago I tried to get off and head south towards 46/80 knowing that it would lead me to the same George Washington Bridge that I wanted to cross, but I ended up getting crossed up and it took me longer than it would’ve to just sit in the traffic.

 

I suspect that in time I’ll learn more as I live here longer, but I’ve crossed the threshhold where I can say “Hey, I just moved here give me a break!” when I don’t know where Haledon is even though it lies directly between the town I live in and the town I work in.

July 7th, 2011 by Ceetar in garden state, long island, new jersey, new york
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O Christmas Tree

I bought my first Christmas tree on my own, and my first in New Jersey.  I’ve participated in this process many times on Long Island, and found it soundly different.  In most places I would go to, you’d be faced with piles of trees lumped together against walls and barricades, and you’d slowly sift through them, pulling out trees and holding t

hem up to see if they looked nice. I’d do things like rotate the tree, and lift it up and drop it on it’s trunk to see if the bristles held up, or were dry and fell off. 

 

In all the places in Bergen County that I looked at, except for Home Depot which was a disaster, they had the trees all set up on spokes so that they looked like trees.  This was nice; it was easier to notice things like gaps in the branches, and dead areas. The trees themselves, at least where we got one, were also trimmed to fit the typical Christmas tree shape.  My tree this year is easily one of my favorite trees I’ve had. 

December 23rd, 2008 by Ceetar in christmas, long island, new jersey
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Quieter

Quieter:
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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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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Garden Variety New Yorker

Living in New Jersey is very different than living on Long Island.  Even though both are basically suburbs of the city, and I’m virtually the same distance away from Manhattan, it’s a lot more rural on the mainland.  New Jersey Transit doesn’t run as smoothly, as often, or as overnight as the Long Island Rail Road. 

 

It’s a little quieter at night, but not noticeably.  In general though, things don’t stay open as late in New Jersey.  In the Paramus/Fair Lawn area, most stores are even closed on Sundays, which means everyone has to either rush around on Saturday to get weekend errands done, or drive to further away towns to do things.  Luckily grocery stores are still open.  And you can get your liquor and beer in the same store, which cuts down on trips. 

 

I still think of myself as a New Yorker, despite now living in New Jersey.  I hope never to lose that, wherever I may live.

September 15th, 2008 by Ceetar in garden state, long island, new jersey, new york
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