Tuesday, December 31, 2002

I love South Orange

I love New Jersey. I love my neighborhood, I love my friends - I love the people I do and don't know on my street and I love my little village. I love walking around on sidewalks under trees to our little downtown area where I can shop, have a cup of coffee, get videos, prescriptions, take out a book, visit friends, or catch a train to New York City.

I love the fact that my kids can run out in the backyard to play and friends will spontaneously generate - one from next door, two from up the street, one from down the block. I love seeing the older kids on the block biking and skateboarding up and down the street -

I love the duck pond, I love the parks in our area - I love that we're blocks away from the South Mountain Reservation with a view of Manhattan that cannot be beat. I love that South Orange draws such a diverse and exciting range of folks here to make their lives, raise their families. I love the funny and clever conversations I have with strangers when I'm out walking my dog. I love my dog.

I hate the taxes, I can't lie about that, but I love what the taxes buy me - a great school system for my kids, a wonderful recreation center with programs for the kids in ballet, karate and a summer day camp that they pine for all winter! I love the kids in this town - thoughtful, excited, lively and energized - and brilliant.

It takes a trip to a place with no sidewalks, few libraries, no zoning laws, few trees and neighbors who can barely see each other over their stockade fences - let alone become friends - to help me articulate exactly what I love about my town. I lived in Brooklyn for a long, long time and I loved it (I still do!) Where I live now is as close as I can get to that same feeling I had in Brooklyn, but with a bit of breathing space and lots of friends for my kids to run around with.

Now if only we had a yarn store I could walk to...
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posted by Annie at

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