Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Garden State

As we in New Jersey continue to ride the crest of the wave that is circling to that large opening in the bottom of the toilet it is sometimes easy to forget what a really nice place this is to live. Here in the Central part of the State there are some pockets of nice that haven't been bulldozed in to self storage sites or strip malls. But from Monmouth County on up it gets progressively worse as you move closer to NY City. Those of us who are lifers are accustomed to the view on the NJ Turnpike that makes folks from other parts of the country shudder as they watch the opening minutes of any Sopranos episode.

As fortune would have it today we had to transport a patient to the Deborah Heart and Lung Center deep in the pines of South Jersey. After getting off the Turnpike and on to Route 206 it was like walking from darkness in to light. Incrementally the normal sightings of fast food places and convenience stores fell away to reveal some great farming communities and some really picturesque views. We rolled through a few old downtown areas that would have seemed more at home in the Midwest. Small shops, an old theater or two with only one movie on the marquee instead of twelve. And just enough signs of human habitation to make it interesting.

So contrary to popular belief there are still nice areas of the State outside the Jersey Shore. You just have to keep driving until you hit the 609 area code, and hope they don't tax them out of existence before they are all gone.

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