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Bergen County Blue Laws: Make Them Permanent

These past two Sundays, you’ve been able to shop in New Jersey. This includes Paramus, despite additional town bans on Sunday shopping. They tried to fight the temporary lifting of the blue laws, but were denied.  Kudos to County Executive Kathleen A. Donovan for requesting the lifting of the ban, Governor Christie for agreeing and for being a supporter of businesses open on Sunday, and for Judge Menelaos Toskos for denying Paramus’ aim to appeal it.

 

Now it’s time to make it permanent. There is some evidence that Christie has wanted to do so, and the number $65 million has been floated as additional sales tax revenue. In addition to the tax revenue is the work hours required to man shops on Sunday. With the economy and unemployment rates what they are, this would be a much needed boon.

 

The country is moving forward, and it’s time for anti-capitalist laws like the Bergen County blue laws to be repealed permanently. It only hurts local businesses, as in the 21st century shopping is not difficult. People can purchase pretty much anything online, or drive outside of the county to a different one, or to New York. This means extra unnecessary driving which is bad for the environment, bad for people that want to run a quick errand and bad in times of gas shortages. It means less revenue for New Jersey as a whole, and I could see where if the state and county made more money, tax-hikes could be avoided. It does create less traffic in Paramus and major routes through the county on Sunday, but that’s not much boon to travelers who have nowhere to go with everything closed. It also worsens crowds on Saturdays, when everyone that needs to shop is forced to do so. Supermarkets and other essential businesses that are allowed to open on Sundays are more crowded because shoppers do what they have to Saturday, leaving what they can do Sunday for Sunday. Opening businesses would create more total shoppers and cars and travelers, but it would spread it out over a longer period and across more shop as well.  It’s also unfair to residents who work Monday through Friday and follow the Jewish Sabbath on Saturdays.

 

I do feel for residents that live right next to the malls and busy shopping areas, but if you were really looking for a peaceful area one day a week isn’t doing it for you. It’s time to stop getting in the way of businesses and their freedom to operate in this county.

 

 

November 12th, 2012 by Ceetar in garden state, life, new jersey, new york, travel
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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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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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Gassing up in New Jersey

Gas is cheaper in New Jersey. That’s always a thought whenever a New Yorker takes a trip to or through the state. Another point of interest is that there is no self-serve, so you never have to pump your own gas. However, this loses some of it’s appeal when you’re in a rush.

gasnossel

Sometimes I’d just rather get out and pump it myself. I don’t have to wait for the guy to come over and swipe my card. Especially if it’s crowded. I don’t have to wait while he go takes care of the next car that pulled in while my tank sits full for three minutes. I’ve been very tempted to get up and remove the nossel myself, especially when I’m in a hurry and just want to get out of there.

Another popular annoyance in New Jersey, at least North Jersey, is cash and credit prices. A growing number of gas stations are putting two prices on the big billboards; one for cash, and one for credit. Accustomed as I am to looking for the lowest price, and dismissing the rest as premium gas prices, I’ve been fooled before.

This creativity is getting around though. I saw a sign on Long Island advertising a price 20 cents cheaper in the same manner, with small print saying “with oil change”.

The best thing about self service gas is still that you don’t find an attendant with nothing better to do than squeegee your windshield with dirty water.

June 12th, 2009 by Ceetar in life, travel
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