Tag Archives: state

A Day in the Capitol

For all my New Jersey readers (and the tri-state area in general), when I say ‘Trenton,’ what comes to mind? Poverty? Crime? Ghetto? Slum? Well, unfortunately, this is true to some extent. But many don’t know that Trenton has alot to offer to New Jersey residents and visitors alike.

Downtown Trenton (courtesy of Wikipedia)

Downtown Trenton (courtesy of Wikipedia)

A few days ago, I made my weekly trip down to the state capitol to visit my girlfriend who now lives in the historic Mill Hill section of the city which is in the downtown district. This part of Trenton offers everything from museums, concert halls, cultural restaurants, art galleries, sporting venues and many other arts and culture activities. I know I use this term alot but it is truely one of New Jersey’s hidden gems and… it gets no respect, in the words of the great Rodney Dangerfield. Everything important that goes down in this state, probably happens in Trenton.

I took the day to sort of wander around the downtown district and explore. And that I did…I put about 4 miles on my Odometer. But I saw alot and it made me appreciate this great state even more and adds to my hunch that I’m going to live here forever.

As I like to do in my posts, I’m going to give a little brief history of Trenton for your enrichment.  In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, Trenton was a major manufacturing center. One relic of that era is the slogan “Trenton Makes, The World Takes”, which is displayed on the Lower Free Bridge (just north of the Trenton-Morrisville Toll Bridge). The city adopted the slogan in 1917 to represent Trenton’s then-leading role as a major manufacturing center for rubber, wire rope, ceramics and cigars. Along with many other United States cities in the 1960s and 1970s, Trenton fell on hard times when manufacturing and industrial jobs declined. Concurrently, state government agencies began leasing office space in the surrounding suburbs. Since Trenton is New Jersey’s capital, state government leaders (particularly governors William Cahill and Brendan Byrne) attempted to revitalize Trenton by making it the center of state government. Between 1982 and 1992, more than a dozen office buildings were constructed primarily by the state to house state offices. Today, Trenton’s biggest employer is still the state of New Jersey. Each weekday, 20,000 state workers flood into the city from the surrounding suburbs. (Thanks to Wikipedia for this history lesson)

The rest of this post will show the photos I took on my daylong excursion through the city.

Traditional River home in Mill Hill section

Traditional River home in Mill Hill sectionBrook running through Mill Hill Park

Georgetown-esque brownstones in historic Mill Hill

Georgetown-esque brownstones in historic Mill Hill

NJ State Capitol building

NJ State Capitol building

Dome as seen from inside Capitol Building

Dome as seen from inside Capitol Building

Note on photo above: This was a free private tour that I received by the way… Tours are given daily free of charge.

Where it all 'goes down'

Where it all 'goes down'

Chandelier made with replicas of the original Edison bulb

Chandelier made with replicas of the original Edison bulb

Majority party meeting room

Majority party meeting room

Planetarium at the State Museum

Planetarium at the State Museum

Painter working hard at the State Museum

Painter working hard at the State Museum

Old Revolutionary War barracks in downtown Trenton

Old Revolutionary War barracks in downtown Trenton

So, these are the highlights of my little local on-foot excursion. I encourage all of my New Jersey area readers to take a day trip to the state capitol and experience the buzzing state center. I say the same for any of my readers, no matter where you live. Get familiar with your surroundings. Experience everything your state has to offer. Taste it. Hear it. Smell it. Touch it. Appreciate it. These are the joys of life…stop and smell the flowers. If you do, you will gain a greater appreciation for the place you call home. I know I have…

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Gettin’ High in Jersey…Sort of…

This past Saturday I went with my folks to a park that sits at the tippy tippy top of the great state of New Jersey. It also happens to be the tallest point as well…a whole 2,000 feet. Citizens of Montana, Washington or Alaska may let out a hearty chuckle at the thought of 2,000 feet being high but for us, that’s pretty awesome!

At the entrance

At the entrance

Highest point in NJ

Highest point in NJ

So anyway, there wasn’t too much to this place. There was a lot of trees, grass, rodents, birds…ya know, the usual. There was a pretty large lake too but park officials had only a small section roped off where humans could swim and it didn’t look to appealing. There were a bunch of little rascals running around in 2 foot deep water and God only knows how much urine and baby poop were let loose in there. So needless to say, I took a pass.

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We decided to bring Bandit with us which in hindsight, wasn’t too smart of an idea considering we walked about four miles. I will say though that this 18 lb. ball of fur and cuteness was quite the trooper. Aside from a few times where the heat got a little intense and we had to carry him, he trucked it the whole way with us. This dog’s got spunk. Body of a Shih-Tzu, heart of a Lion.

He's a champ

He's a champ

So, after a three or so mile slightly uphill trek, we reached the point where we could actually see the famous (or not so famous) Washington-look-alike monument. After another mile, we finally reach the top of this hill to realize that we had to climb about 300 steps, give or take, up the most humid, wet, stuffy and uncomfortable man-made monument known to human-kind. My Dad and I went up first and the higher up we got, the worse my anxiety became. I could feel the air getting thinner and more humid and along with the claustrophobia, it made for an unenjoyable climb. We get to the top of this damned concrete monument only to find a pretty disappointing dungeon with a few foggy windows to look out of it. It was certainly not worth the effort in my opinion.

If this doesn't make you queazy, nothing will.

If this doesn't make you queazy, nothing will.

The view from the top

The view from the top

Overall though, not a bad time. I had fun with the parents and my dog and it provided some good, old quality time. Yeah, yeah call me corny if you want.

Here are some random shots for your enjoyment, including some cool fish-eye shots.

I saved this little guy from sure death

I saved this little guy from sure death

 

Stairs to nowhere?

Stairs to nowhere?

Lone flowers

Lone flowers

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