Category Archives: NJ

New Jersey Balloon Festival by Barbara Dexter

New Jersey Balloon Festival by Barbara Dexter

It was a lovely 2 and a half hour ride to the festival.  I was expecting an additional twenty minutes for parking but just plain wow is all I can say for the traffic.  The crowd was friendly on the whole but the lines were very long for food and beverages.  Don’t try to bring your own,  as bags were searched on the way in.

The ascension of the balloons was worth the it.

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For the geeks or the geek lovers at heart there were balloons in the shape of Yoda and Darth Vader.

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For the folks like myself that grew up with the american diet there was the Wonder Bread balloon.

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It was very picturesque and very crowded at the same time.

 

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The New Jersey Balloon Festival continues for it’s final day of the season today. For information go to balloonfestival.com or simply get in the car and head for the Solberg Airport in Readington, NJ.

 

Grover Cleveland House on July 4th by Barbara Dexter

Grover Cleveland House on July 4th by Barbara Dexter

These are some photos from the ice cream social with live musical entertainment on July 4th at the Grover Cleveland House in Caldwell, NJ.

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The front of the house.

Above is the Grover Cleveland House. They offer free tours every few minutes on this busy day. You are welcomed back to the house for individual tours at a more leisurely pace during their regular hours. They are closed on Mondays ans Tuesdays as well as holidays.

The address is:

Grover Cleveland Birthplace
207 Bloomfield Avenue
Caldwell, NJ  07006
Phone: (973) 226-0001

Take a step back in time and marvel at the simple life that we all long for in today’s busy society.  There was no running water in 1832 when he house was built. All water had to be hauled in from the well that is directly off the kitchen at the rear of the house.

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well

The house was used for both business and family affairs. This limited the family’s space in the home.  Most family matters were conducted in the kitchen or the small family room to the rear of the large receiving room.

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Flea circus

Celebrate the fourth with an old fashioned flea circus. This is a real humorous treat for children and adults alike.

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Learn about history, present day activities, and the memorial association.

 

 

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Buy a gift to help support the historical house. Don’t forget to sample from ice cream or enjoy a burger during the live musical performance.

This event is held yearly at the Grover Cleveland Birthplace on the fourth of July.

New Jersey is the land of big hair, hormones, and chromatography by Barbara Dexter

New Jersey is the land of big hair, hormones, and chromatography by Barbara Dexter

This became only too real when while attending a seminar on gas chromatography troubleshooting, a young woman walks into the auditorium with hair pointing northward at least six inches of her head pointing straight up into the sky.  Even though I don’t have an engineering degree, I find myself marveling at this structure that lasts through today’s thunderstorm without even a suggestion of frizzing. Yes, New Jersey is definitely home to big hair.

Then there is the one man chromatography shop owner. I wonder how much tenacity and networking is required to pull that feat off? He has to compete in an extremely competitive industry that regularly conducts business in the billions of dollars. This must be one of his networking opportunities, as he is dressed in a power outfit of a button down oxford and khakis. His posture is one of total comfort, though you know his heart is racing for the next big deal.

The natives are getting restless. We have been here for at least forty five minutes after the expected, published start time. The coffee with yogurt and granola are no longer or cannot possibly live up to anyone’s expectations. It is just about this time that a man walks in sporting unsightly facial hair. His chest hair is peaking out of the collar of his polo shirt. He is definitely hairy. I know for certain that my younger sister would find him attractive.

The middle aged man in the suit is next to talk. We discuss retention times and solubility in isocratic and gradient separations. Well I say that times are fast. The theory of theoretical plate counts on the columns is discussed. I day dream and wonder why I need to know the formulas? I only care that I have the ability to separate compounds of interest from cutting agents and diluents.

Yes it happens even here. The old man with the comb over has just walked in carrying his plate of food and coffee. Instead of just taking a seat in the back, he walks in front of everyone to the middle of the first row forcing the speaker to wait until he is seated.

The hairy man has now pulled up a piece of floor and is typing away on his laptop, while the suit is busy taking. I hope he is not sharing “the suit’s” information without permission.  The all of a sudden I can sense his eyes staring at me as I attempt to look away.

Yes, finally something to look at. Eye candy on two legs has just walked through the door.  He is now actively typing on his laptop next to the hairy man. “Mr. Eye-candy” is now perusing the crowd. Will he come over and introduce himself to me I wonder? Alas I must make due talking about self-tightening column nuts and ordering information with the hairy man.  What a missed opportunity.

Then there it is my opportunity to talk with “Mr. Eye-candy”, when he approaches me to ask directions to the airport. He states that he is flying home to California.  My hormones are telling me, just sneak into his luggage he will never notice. As I imagine the California coastline, I calmly explain how to get to the airport and wish him a safe trip.

 

Welcome to Montclair, NJ by Barbara Dexter

Welcome to Montclair, NJ by Barbara Dexter

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Montclair New Jersey is “where the city meets the suburbs” or so they say.  Montclair has the Iris gardens, the Monclair Art Museum, and of course Montclair State. It is also  the home of many coffee houses and cafes. There is live music of every genre at the local clubs.  For those that lead an enlightened lifestyle there are any religious houses and of course yoga to help you achieve inner peace.

I have yet to achieve inner peace in my travels within this town. I say welcome one and all to the fast pace and confusion of Montclair. Welcome to the land of contradictory  parking signs. Here is an example of what I encountered while trying to park so I could go to a local coffee house and relax.

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The parking lot in downtown Montclair.
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The sign clearly stating there is free parking in all spaces after 7 pm.
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The sign in front of my parking spot, clearly stating “any permit required between 7 pm and 2 am.”
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Another sign on the meter that clearly reads 2 hour parking until 7 pm but says nothing about after 7 pm.

If you go to the township website. The confusion increases because we move into legal jargon. II feel like I’m learning a new language while still attempting to read English. Inner peace may be gained if parking can be avoided. If you must park here I wish you luck trying to understand the contradictory signs. I spend a good deal of time in Montclair and I still get confused.