Tag Archives: Trenton

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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AJ Meerwald: The NJ State Boat…Who Knew?

In reference to the title of this post, who the heck knew that the great state of New Jersey had its own state boat?? You see, as corny as it sounds, you do learn something new every day. Cliches are cliches for a reason folks…

I had the opportunity recently to take a 3 hour cruise on the AJ Meerwald which is, in technical terms, a Delaware Bay oyster schooner. In layman’s terms, it’s a fishing boat. She was a very majestic, classic boat…one similar to the ones you probably saw in Pirates of the Caribbean.

Before the sails went up

Before the sails went up

We (my girlfriend and I) went on a nice 3 hour evening cruise up the Delaware River, leaving out of the  Trenton Waterfront. The evening was full of enriching educational talks, live music on the boat, and all the wine, cheese, grapes and crackers one could ever hope for (if that’s something that people hope for anyway). The waters were calm, the breeze was gentle, the temperature was balmy and comfortable. Can’t ask for much more than that.

Sails flying high

Sails flying high

On to the boring history stuff…I know, I know…bare with me. As stated before, The A.J. Meerwald is the state ship of New Jersey. She is a restored oyster dredging schooner, whose home port is in Bivalve, Commercial Township, New Jersey. Launched in 1928, A.J. Meerwald was one of hundreds of schooners built along South Jersey’s Delaware Bayshore before the decline of the shipbuilding industry which coincided with the Great Depression. Today, A.J. Meerwald is used by the Bayshore Discovery Project for onboard educational programs in the Delaware Bay near Bivalve, and at other ports in the New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware region. (Thank you Wikipedia for this beautifully succinct and detailed history)

Heavy duty rigging

Heavy duty rigging

Okay, done. No more history. Now, on to a little free plug (and I mean free…I get nothing for doing this) for the Bay Shore Discovery Project which runs the AJ Meerwald cruises. They have cruises going on throughout the fall season leaving from all different ports throughout New Jersey. Tickets are decently priced anywhere from $15-$30 for different types of cruises. Support these people! Without stuff like this, life is boring! Go check them out and support New Jersey culture…see their website below.

http://www.ajmeerwald.org/index.htm

Incredible sunset to cap off the night

Incredible sunset to cap off the night

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