So here I am in New Jersey, updating from my mom’s iBook. We’re here (my mom and I) visiting my grandparents. No special occasion; just spending time with them. My grandfather will be having heart surgery this fall, and it’s anybody’s guess when he’ll be feeling well enough to entertain guests after that; so we felt it would be a good time to see them.
We made good time on the way up, and arrived in time for shabbas dinner (preceded by toasts with Johnny Walker Blue Label). Dinner was delish, as always. I confess, with no shame, that I nearly choked up when I bent down to receive the traditional shabbas blessing from my grandfather.
Yesterday was a full day: I ran in the par; meditated; did a lot of reading; went out to dinner – had a lousy martini (which I did not finish), a very nice chicken rosario, and an above-average espresso served french-style with lemon rind (I knew I hadn’t imagine that detail); came home; went for an after-dinner walk; stopped at a DJ’d dance going on in the middle of the park (complete with disco ball); danced to some nice synthpop song; was very (if unintentionally) rude to a drunken party girl who tried to booty-dance with me; made friends with a very personable orange and white cat; struck up a longish conversation with a woman who observed me petting the cat from her back fence (a NYC transplant married to a chiropracter, she refers to this town, Fair Lawn, as “Stepford” to all her friends); returned; had a long and very enjoyable conversation with my uncle about religion in America; retired; found I couldn’t sleep, I was still too keyed-up; meditated some more; and finally turned in.
Today I managed to engage my grandfather in conversation about his college and army days, which pleased me greatly; that being one of the unstated goals of this trip, to spend quality time with my grandfather and come to understand more about his history. I have a lot of respect for him – he has lived a good and full life, done well for himself, served his country and his community, and raised three fine children.
Mom isn’t feeling well today, so she’s resting up. I’ve been looking through the books here at my grandparent’s suggestion, building a stack to take home with me. We depart after breakfast tomorrow.
Sounds like you’re having a good time. Makes me wish, sometimes, that I had family.
she refers to this town, Fair Lawn, as “Stepford” to all her friends
Ah. Fair Lawn, NJ.
ZIP Code 07410
Just outside of NYC. Take the GWB and find your way to NJ route 4, then follow it for about twenty minutes. Maybe less, without traffic. You may want to take NJ route 208 to get where you are going.
A nice little bedroom community. Two train stations, “Broadway-Fairlawn” and “Radburn”, both on the NJT “Bergen Line”, which was once part of the Erie Railroad.
The street numbers are a bit odd, since they are hyphenated. A typical street address number might be “35-07”.
Your friend is probably referring to Radburn, the “planned community” section of Fair Lawn.
Yeah, technically it’s Radburn (it was in Radburn park that I was talking to her). I didn’t realize until yesterday that Radburn was actually a subset of Fair Lawn; until then I had thought it was an adjacent town. It makes a lot more sense now. I guess my grandparents live just barely outside Radburn proper.
I take it you have some experience of the area?
Yes, I do!
I grew up in the town next door, Glen Rock. And spent a lot of time in Fair Lawn, hawking electronic kits at the Heathkit store on Broadway. (It’s gone now.)
I never did call you back, sorry. I was calling to see if you were home and if I could steal you bathroom to change before work. Sadly, you were not.
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