Garden Variety New Yorker



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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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Taylor Ham

Variety.

 Even if most people are content to get into a daily rhythm with vary little change, everyone still usually enjoys a little difference. They don’t say “Variety is the spice of life” for nothing. It’s the reason we can be content visiting cities or towns that are much like the cities and towns we are used to, with a few minor changes. Maybe they have different climates, different trees, or different fast food chains. It’s why we desire to go to France and other countries that are actually very similar to ours. This discussion came up once in college in a class I took on UFOs.

The professor asked us a question. “What do we/can we really get out of finding life on other planets?” This is hard to say; maybe we’re hoping the aliens will be close enough to us that it’ll be like going to France. But more likely they would be so different that we wouldn’t be able to relate or even communicate at all. This class was actually about U.F.Os, not aliens. Most people think they’re related, but not this professor. The class was very interesting, and way to complex to go into now.

This brings me to Taylor Ham. Taylor ham, also known as pork roll, is merely a sausage like pork product created in Trenton, NJ. I see it as an option in a lot of deli and meat counters around New Jersey, but had never heard about it in New York. I don’t like ham or pork, so there will be no taste test type comparisons here. It’s merely an observation. Another one being Black Russian bagels. Apparently New Jersey is too good for plain old pumpernickel bagels. They have to add sesame seeds to them to make them black Russians. These I have tried and they taste exactly like you’d expect. A pumpernickel bagel with sesame seeds. (I know, you’re shocked.)

September 23rd, 2008 by Ceetar in bagels, black russian bagels, garden state, new jersey, new york
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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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