Showing posts with label Offbeat Places in New Jersey. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Offbeat Places in New Jersey. Show all posts

Northlandz, Part II (With Dolls!)

Monday, December 15, 2014 / 16 comments
Northlandz 2000 pipe organ
2,000 pipe organ which the Northlandz owner sometimes plays


Last week I told you about Northlandz, the model railroad located in Flemington, New Jersey. I showed you some trains and the spectacular scenery and settings that were created by the owner.

Northlandz, Part 1

Monday, December 8, 2014 / 24 comments
Northlandz sign

Northlandz is considered the “world’s largest model railroad” by some, although others have claimed that title for a place in Germany

 
It is certainly one of the largest in the world. Northlandz started with the owner building trains and villages for his own amusement after a hard day’s work. 

The Buzz Aldrin Rock

Monday, July 21, 2014 / 2 comments
The Buzz Aldrin Rock
The Buzz Aldrin Rock, Montclair, New Jersey


On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were the first two men to walk on the moon. Yesterday marked the 45th anniversary of that historic feat.

Buzz was from Montclair, New Jersey, and he had attended the township schools and is probably the most famous graduate of Montclair High School (which has many distinguished graduates).

His mother's maiden name was Marion Moon. Yes, Moon. If you don't believe me, you can read this article about Buzz where he swears it's the truth.

The town was wildly proud of him, and in September of that year they threw a "Buzz Aldrin Day" celebration, complete with parade, and dedicated a rock in front of his lovely childhood home.

Apparently, it's not a moon rock.
The Buzz Aldrin Rock
The Buzz Aldrin Rock, Montclair, New Jersey

The Buzz Aldrin Rock
Buzz Aldrin's childhood home, Montclair, New Jersey
The childhood home of Buzz Aldrin
Buzz Aldrin's childhood home, Montclair, New Jersey

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The Brainy Borough: Metuchen

Sunday, June 22, 2014 / 14 comments
Metuchen Post Office, New Jersey
Metuchen, NJ Post Office, Brainy Boro Station

 

As I wrote in my post about Lake Hiawatha, many New Jersey town names are derived from Native American words. 

For example, the very nice borough (sometimes spelled "boro") of Metuchen is named for the Indian chief Metuching.

Metuchen is located in Middlesex County, completely surrounded by the much larger Edison Township, like a hole in a doughnut.

Just about 100 years ago, Metuchen had many intellectuals living and working in the town. The prosperous community of Glen Ridge had many intellectuals of their own and they decided that they were obviously a smarter town and they would claim bragging rights to the title. 

Metuchen responded to the challenge, and had a contest with Glen Ridge to decide which was the “brainy boro.” Metuchen won, and the name has stuck. Metuchen has never forgotten this, and has been bragging about this for the last century. 

To prove this, here are some links: 

 

Metuchen used its smarts to claim the title of The Brainy Borough

 

Metuchen: The Brainy Borough's 'Overnight' Success

 

Metuchen Living: People Events and Places in the Brainy Boro: Co-Working in the Brainy Boro 


Recently, there was a vaguely worried article on NJ.com about Metuchen’s downtown area, although the author assured readers that “plenty of people have moved to the Brainy Borough because they liked its vibrant, walkable downtown." 

Not to worry. Not only is the official motto of the town “The Official Brainy Borough” but one of the two post office branches is still called the “Brainy Boro Station.”

Metuchen Post Office, New Jersey
Brainy Boro Station, Metuchen, NJ Post Office
 
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Lake Hiawatha Firehouse

Saturday, June 21, 2014 / 4 comments
Fire Department, Lake Hiawatha, New Jersey

 

Lake Hiawatha is one of several communities within the large township of Parsippany. Towns and areas with names of Native American origin are common in New Jersey. 

 

The name “Parsippany” is derived from a Lenape word which means “where the river winds through the valley.” 

 

Lake Hiawatha has many streets named after Native American words: Iroquois, Mohegan, Oswego, Seminole, Navajo, and my favorite, Minnehaha Boulevard. 

 

On the front of the building are the following words: The Desire to Serve. The Courage to Act. The Ability to Perform.

Fire House in Lake Hiawatha, New Jersey
Fire House in Lake Hiawatha, New Jersey
Lake Hiawatha, New Jersey fire house

Making Honey At Delicious Orchards

Tuesday, May 13, 2014 / 4 comments
 photo DeliciousOrchardsBees1_zps93c18115.jpg

Remember Delicious Orchards? I wrote about them in 2012. It is a wonderful gourmet country food market where you can get delicious produce, doughnuts, etc. They also make their own honey right inside the store. The bees come through a tube in the wall and go into a “beehive” and produce fresh honey.

Shop-Rite in West Caldwell

Monday, February 10, 2014 / 8 comments
photo ShopRiteWestCaldwell1_zps9d66eb5b.jpg

The ShopRite supermarket in West Caldwell, New Jersey is unique. 

First of all, it must be an old ShopRite, because it still has the hyphen in the name.

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