‘Trenton’ Category


Birds And Bees

16 NJ visit 001Linda Burton posting from Trenton, New Jersey – The New Jersey state bird is the Eastern Goldfinch, and the New Jersey state bug is the Honeybee. I was standing one-legged in a center hall of the New Jersey State House when I learned this; the tour guide had stopped the crowd by a glass-encased Boehm ceramic artwork to explain. Inside, perched on the New Jersey state tree – the red oak – were a number of bright yellow birds; striped honeybees hovered over sweet-purple violets, the state flower. I didn’t get a photo of the display because there was a glare on the glass, so I can’t show you 16 carpethow pretty it was. I might have tried harder for a better angle except, as I said, I was standing one-legged, holding onto the wall. My knee had suddenly decided not to work; it does that sometimes, especially, it seems, if I’m in a crowd; that makes for a higher embarrassment factor. Nobody seemed to notice, however; and soon we were in the Assembly Chamber, just down the hallway, where I could sit. Ah, look at the floor! The Birds and Bees and Trees and Flowers were part of the carpet design, a charming swirl against a background of blue. I got a picture of that, and 16 seal highlooked around the room, squinting as the sun beamed through the high windows on either side of the State Seal; our guide was focused on the legislative process. In my hand I held a roster of the 215th New Jersey Legislature – 80 in the Assembly; 40 in the Senate; party and district were identified, phone number listed. Two seats are vacant, it said; I counted 70 Democrats and 48 Republicans serving a state where the Republican governor makes the daily news; Chris Christie, resoundingly re-elected November 5. » read more


Bird In A Cage

13 t turnpikeLinda Burton posting from Trenton, New Jersey – Oh the horror! From the wide-open farmlands of the Pennsylvania Dutch to the narrow confines of the Pennsylvania Turnpike; cornfields to concrete; shock. I was willing to pay for good road to move me swiftly across the state to New Jersey. But I told the toll-taker on my exit near Morrisville, “You really should pay me to ride on this horrid road.” He took my $5.75 without comment. I’d felt confined the whole way, barriered in from any scenery; tunnelized; I longed for anything else. Route 1 turned out to be even worse; no sign welcomed me to New Jersey as I whizzed over the 13 t gpsDelaware River; my only clues were the dotted lines on the GPS, and a blur to my left that said Trenton Makes. Makes what? Eight miles beyond the river, the GPS advised me to take Mall Access Road; I followed that advice. No hotel, just Macy’s, and Sears; it took a while to realize that my hotel was on the other side of Route 1. There are no left turns off said highway, only concrete barriers. You must pass your intended destination, take a right at the next overpass, cross over Route 13 t trenton enter1, and head back the other way. Three lanes of traffic going both ways; no dedicated lanes to feed into; non-stop New Jersey drivers, all as frustrated as me. Or maybe more. By the time I reached my hotel, the morning pleasantness I’d felt at Bird-In-Hand had turned to the dismay of a bird in a cage. “You’d better get used to me,” I said to the cats after I unloaded the car. “I won’t be going out much.” I opened the laptop, and plugged in a search for “Trenton,” the Journey’s Capital City #48. » read more


Bird-In-Hand Is Better

13 food plateLinda Burton posting from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania traveling from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to Trenton, New Jersey – Buttery new potatoes with skins. Sweet-corn casserole. Bright-green peas. Kraut and sausage. Chicken pie. Shepherd’s pie. Ham and scalloped potatoes. I was walking the center aisle of a Pennsylvania Dutch smorgasbord, dipping a smidge of everything onto my plate. Ham balls? There was no more room, well, maybe one. The salad bar was to my left, the dessert bar to my right; I bypassed both, stopping at the bread bar for fresh-baked rolls. Then to my booth by the window, through a silver-haired crowd in a room filled 13 horse purplewith happy talk. Tour buses waited in the parking lot; seniors were traveling today. The weather is still tolerably good; family traffic has slowed with kids in school; now’s the time to wander the hills and open farm lands that make up the happiest place I’ve ever seen. I was happy, that’s for sure; fresh vegetables on my plate, locally grown and simply cooked. Across the road, two horses grazed behind a white fence; one wore a purple blanket, I wondered why. An Amish buggy, horse-pulled at a rapid clip, went by on the highway, ah, that’s it. The purple-blanket horse just finished a buggy trip and was in cool-down mode. Should I go back 13 buggythrough the smorgasbord for a second round? Some shoo-fly pie? It was tempting, but no; the drive ahead to Trenton would be intense; dessert would make me sleepy, and soft. I flipped through my Lancaster County guidebook, and sighed. Too many potatoes? No, too many things I’d miss today. Is this a come-back place? Is this a place I’d recommend for the senior crowd, and for every family with kids? I give it an “A,” for absolutely. » read more