Sunday, September 14, 2014

Ton Tour - Affluent Village to Arm Pit Towns

Ton is 100 and that's what I captured in the last 3 days. Most of the towns were for the Double Down Grand Tour, probably 80+ but I did capture Teaneck, NJ for the Team Strange Airheads 30 GT, where you have to spell out that in the most economical method, hence TEAneck for TEAm. Did grab a bunch of president towns for the Team Strange President Grand Tour also. I travelled some 1000+ miles in 3 days for all of this. Why, I really can't tell you why, I just did it. Grabbing 35+ towns in a day is grueling.

The first day I was staying in Toms River, NJ at my sister Joan's house. Most of the day was spent in the congested armpit of the US, called Northeast Jersey and that armpit has no deodorant to boot. Born and brought up in Joisey, I still have a fondness for the state like the Jersey shore, Bordens Farm with their train, watching folks horseback riding (I don't do in the flesh horses), swim clubs, White Castle hamburgers, drive-in restaurants, but all of that has changed. How and why anyone lives in this part of the US is beyond me. Traffic, drivers that have no peripheral vision (or is it they don't care), high property taxes, 800 sq ft homes selling for 400,000+, make $250,000 a year and can't get buy. Maybe it is the subs (nothing better than a sub from Jersey), or Governor Christie, or a pastrami on rye (and NY thinks they have great Jewish Delis, no way) and the Jersey shore still is pretty much the same, just a little charred around the edges.

Headed out on a crisp Sunday morning about 7:30. Blue skies, almost to clear, clouds are more conducive to long traveling due to the limited glare. Hopped on the Mass Pike I-90 to get out of town thru Hartford heading south on I-84. Planned miles for the day is right around 400 which is no big deal, but throw in 40+ stops along the way and it makes for a long day.

First stop is home or was home to Marlo Thomas, Phil Donahue, Don Imus and Martha Stewart, Greens Farm. Look at the train depot sign and notice the name is spelled Green's Farm. This was a mistake by the New York, New Haven and Hartford RR, which they never bother fixing.

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Just to prove I rode the FJR here.
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Riding thru Fairfield county in Connecticut you can just feel the dollar bills falling from the trees. Lots of money in this area.

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Electrolux vacuum cleaners were made in Old Greenwich back in the 1950/60's. I can remember riding around on my mothers because it looked like a cool train or space rocket. Old Greenwich dental not so interesting but works for the Double Down Tour.

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Right down the road is Greenwich, CT, which is home to many hedge funds and financial services companies. They manufacturer electronic transactions called stock market trades. Medium income is $167,000, so you better make big bucks to live here.

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On Platinum Mile in Harrison, NY is the headquarters for MasterCard and PepsiCo. The pharmacy is more in keeping with my income level. Oh look it is vacant

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Also picked up the Post Office for the Team Strange Presidential Grand Tour

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Sex in the City, Sarah Jessica Parker, who can look fantastic and really bad at times lives in Dobbs Ferry. Ranked #7 in the Top 10 places to live in New York, more affordable at a medium income of 97K versus Greenwich at $167K

A lot of my targets are fire houses which requires me to pull into the main entrance and dismount to take the picture, with signs posted every where NO PARKING. I always rush, expecting the doors to fly open and the engines running over me. That would be much worse than a deer strike.

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A more readable sign. This one required me to pull up on the sidewalk for the pic. One of these days I know I am going to be stopped by a LEO and have to explain my way out of a moving violation while standing still.

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George Washington used the DeWint House in Tappan 4 times during the Revolution. Here is not buried here, but according to the sign it is a A Place of Beauty Forever.

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I really like these old auto garages.

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Fast forwarding thru a couple of towns and crossing the border into New Jersey, the stops start becoming brutal. No more idyllic tree lined streets, it is a concrete jungle out there. Like an armpit without deodorant.

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Did stop for a moment to think of those fallen citizens from 9/11.

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Back to the armpit.

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Teaneck was one of the PRIMARY stops for this trip. This spells the TEA in Team Strange Airhead 30 Grand Tour and almost completes this tour for me.

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Maywood is know Coca-Cola using as an ingredient a coca leaf extract prepared by a Stepan Company plant. The facility, which had been known as the Maywood Chemical Works (and is also a known Superfund site, was purchased by Stepan in 1959. The plant is the only commercial entity in the country authorized by the Drug Enforcement Administration to import coca leaves, which come primarily from Peru. The non-narcotic extract is sold to Coke, while the active ingredient is sold to a pharmaceutical firm for medicinal purposes.

I was feeling abit woozy here.

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And these guys have a touch of surrealism to them. No doubt they are reading Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

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Out of the armpit and more idyllic settings

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In Little Falls, the delicatessen was used in a scene in the Sopranos second season. Jackie Gleason also use to perform stand up comedy in the 1930's in town.

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Looking at the map now I should not have grabbed this place but I did. There is nothing interesting about the place either.

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Willis Carrier was making people cool (Carrier Corp) and Connie Francis was singing up a storm in Essex Fells.

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In 1942, the Westinghouse Lamp Plant in Bloomfield produced the majority of uranium metal used in the Chicago Pile-1, the world's first self-sustaining chain reaction which was the early phase of the Manhattan Project to create the first atomic bomb. This is not the same place, but got good bagels. This is the town where the final scene for the Soparanos was filmed.

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Some more armpit. Joe Piscope was born here, so was Larry Storch of F Troop.

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Home to the fifth husband to Judy Garland.

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The segway town from armpit without deodorant to less smelly places but just as congested.

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New Jersey has always been known for their diners, even thou New England invented them.

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Maplewood is the birthplace of the wooden golf tee, invented by William Lowell at the Maplewood Golf Club in 1921. George Costanza was born here too.

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Jim Kramer of Mad Money fame was born here. Ice-T's family moved here when he was a young boy before moving to LA.

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This place is known for holding Stockholder Meetings.

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Adding to my diner collection

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Nothing of great interest in Garwood, NJ other than the double "OO".

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The Township of Woodbridge is the oldest original township in New Jersey.

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Woodbridge and Cliffwood are in the physical armpit of New Jersey. This is where I start losing my sunlight.

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Little Silver in right on the border where the Joisey Showa begins. Jessica Steinhauser, aka Asia Carrera was born here. WOOHOO !! She performed at Carnegie Hall twice before she was 15 (on the piano)(make that playing the piano), and then moved into a more lucrative career in her 400+ films. She also has an IQ of 156. Unfortunately she was not at fire station tonight.

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Some how Kumar Patel is associated with this town, which makes me think of White Castle and started looking for one. Most of them were back in the armpit.

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I felt like I was traveling up and down I-195 and had entered the twilight zone. The light was right. A fact about Allenwood. There were 309 households, of which 36.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them. WOW !

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A president grab. Six Flags Great Adventure Park is here, but it was closed when I got there, so no rides on Kingda Ka (worlds tallest roller coaster)

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Last stop of the night (officially that is). The saga is almost over.

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So with Lakewood done I headed for my sister Joan's house in Toms River. Having not eaten at all today, I searched for White Castle and said take me there. Garmin was wrong and I was so disappointed. 5 sliders and a chocolate shake would have been perfect. I settle on McDonalds (not even a close second)where I stood at the counter for 5 minutes. Yes it was around 9:30pm but the doors were open. I finally asked "Are you guys open?" "OH would you like to order something. REALLY !!! NO WAY !! OH COME ON NOW !! I got my Big Mac (freshly made) and called MeAsWe and told her that I had survived Joisey so far.

While I was in the armpit, I have to say the aroma coming from the city streets was pure Italian cooking. Nothing smells better than the baking of garlic toast with oregano on it, while next to the oven is a big pot of marinara sauce (not gravy, sauce) simmering away and the thought of a plate of manicotti coming out of the oven is just pure heaven. So the armpit is not all bad, it does have its good points as well.

Todays meanderings. Some 435 miles of so. Picked up 32 Double Down towns (yielded 36 points, some towns have multiple sets of double letters), 3 President towns and 1 town for the Team Strange Anniversary tour. Figure 8 minutes a stop for just the towns and that is nearly 5 hours taking pictures. Makes for a long day.

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Tomorrow is another day and even more towns than today.

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