Thursday, June 27, 2013

You'll Never Guess What Lines the Streets of Newark


Half of me is from New Jersey. Genetically, I am a mixture of Indiana Heartland and New Jersey grit. Sadly, I grew up in Indiana, and therefore the nurture versus nature played out. My New Jersey grit is more like soft beach sand. My East Coast side never got built up. Like, ever. I take pride that my father is from the East Coast because I have this Romantic view of the East Coast, where the type of person that walks those streets and grew up in those wilds have a different type of nerve than I. They are steely. And I find that so totally cool.

I got to drive through Newark, New Jersey as an adult. I was there, or in that area, when I was a small pip, but like many at that age, I don't recollect. Show me all the pictures of me in my small 80's clothes you want, but I won't recall.

Four of us drove through downtown Newark, parked at Penn Station and rode the train in to Manhattan. You probably think I'm going to enlighten you on my virgin use of the public transit system, or how my ears perked up after seeing my first subway rat, like, I'm going to mark that off on my New York bingo!

Uh, no.

Instead, let's take a closer look at the side of the road as we left the turnpike and entered in the Newark City limits. As the Chevy Traverse stopped, we looked out the windows, and guess what we saw a ton of laying all over the side of the road?

No, not syringes. Try again. Alcohol bottles? You would think so, right? But, that's not it, either. Did you just say what I think you did? No. Those weren't there either -- that's just gross. I mean, I know we're talking about the street gutter here, but really...

Give up? You should. You'll never guess what litters one of Newark's exit ramps.

Empty cans of whipped cream.

I've got a feeling rebellious teens aren't sneaking away from home at night to keep their pie and whipped cream addiction a secret. I'm sure it's another addiction, but it doesn't involve pumpkins, cherries or crust.