Archive for the ‘Armpit Adventures’ category

3rd of July, Waterfront Park

July 12, 2010

Surprisingly, the Delaware River didn't catch on fire.

Any regular reader of this blog knows that most of my entries revolve around either the Jersey Shore or New Brunswick, the two parts of the Armpit of America where I spend most of my time.  Well, having a girlfriend who lives in the Princeton area, and having worked there a couple years, I have spent plenty of time on New Jersey’s west coast as well.  And, rather than spending the 4th of July weekend at the Jersey shore with millions of other people, we spent the holiday on the shore of the Delaware River.  (I’m sure you’re all jealous.)

Anyway, on the night of July 3rd, we planned to go to the bar Katmandu in Trenton, which is essentially a poor man’s version of Bar A (and will get a more detailed write-up in a future posting).  We had hoped to get a good view of the fireworks show at nearby Waterfront Park, the minor league baseball stadium where the Trenton Thunder play.

We arrived at the bar, which was completely deserted (almost everyone in the whole state must have been at the shore).  Upon going to the outdoor deck, we realized that we wouldn’t be able to see the fireworks from there.  So, we decided to leave the bar and just walk towards the stadium.

We eventually came to this archway, which led to some steps going down to the river.  Although you’d generally want to avoid poorly lit areas like this, especially when in a shady city like Trenton, one member of our group was brave enough to go down the steps and onto the dock.  The rest of us soon followed onto this huge floating dock in the Delaware.  We then realized the dock gave us a perfect view of the stadium.

Well this looks perfectly safe...

So we watched the fireworks show, which was pretty short.  But who cares?  Getting to that spot was an adventure in itself.  As for the moral of the story?  Though your gut may tell you differently, if you ever encounter a dark passageway in a shit-hole city like Trenton, take it; you never know where it might lead…

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Welcome to Summer in New Jersey

June 30, 2010

I think it is safe to say that New Jersey does summer better than any other state.  Go anywhere south of the Mason-Dixon line, and you’ll sweat your ass off.  Go to any other state in the Northeast, and you’ll be bored out of your mind.  Go to one of those bland Great Lakes states, and you’ll be covered in mosquitoes.  Go out west, and you’ll find states even more boring than you thought possible.

Sure, we get an influx of trashy New Yorkers here each summer, but I like to think of them and their antics as free entertainment.  Seriously, who didn’t love watching “Jersey Shore”?  And with the new season of that train wreck of a show fast approaching, people all over the world will once again see what makes summer in New Jersey so special.

One of the highlights of summer in New Jersey is the plethora of festivals at the shore and throughout the rest of the state.  Having recently gone to two of these festivals, both of which were packed full of rowdy, obnoxious people, I’m happy to say that summer in New Jersey is in full swing.

The first festival I went to was the Belmar Seafood festival, which serves all types of marine animals.  While it didn’t serve any whales, there were plenty to be found on the premises.  Anyway, as I’m not much of a seafood fan, and I was saving my appetite for another festival that night, we just got that carnival favorite known as butterfly fries.

I see Idaho hasn't taken my advice to get some new material...

So what kind of festival could be so important that I would cast aside coconut shrimp and crab cakes?  A Greek festival of course.  Who needs deep-fried bottom-dwelling shellfish, when you can have moussaka and pastitsio lovingly handmade by sweet, old Greek ladies? (more…)

Ocean City Part III: Monkey Bread and Shark Abortions

May 18, 2010

Although I had already spent a small fortune on greasy pizza and crappy arcade games, my day at the Ocean City boardwalk wasn’t over just yet. You see, we still needed to get some dessert. And, as the Jersey Shore boardwalk is a site for unlimited gluttony, you can find a wide variety of all types of deep-fried pleasures. One of those pleasures is monkey bread:

Though I had heard of monkey bread before, I never tasted it until this day. It’s essentially deep-fried balls of dough rolled in cinnamon and sugar. Then, they’re glued together into a cone-like shape with some kind of sugary glue. Since it isn’t unhealthy enough to be considered boardwalk fare at this point, it’s doused with an even more sugary glaze. (more…)

Ocean City Part II: The Archaic Arcade

May 13, 2010

After seeing the best of what Ocean City has to offer in terms of pizza, which certainly isn’t Mack and Manco’s, it was time to explore another integral part of any shore town in New Jersey. I’m talking about the boardwalk arcade. While Ocean City has a couple, the one I had my sights set on was the Hollywood Arcade, which is full of old, classic table games.

I first discovered the Hollywood Arcade on my first and, until recently, only trip to Ocean City. The whole time I was there, I kept wishing I had brought my camera. There were all those old arcade games that I had never seen before, including a Tommy-themed pinball machine!

Fast-forward two years later, where my obsession for all things Jersey has resulted in me spending every single minute of free time that I have working on a stupid blog about the state. So, this time, I was well prepared. With my camera and a pocket full of quarters, I entered the arcade. (more…)

Ocean City Part I: Pizza Wars

May 11, 2010

While Maryland might have the more famous one, New Jersey has its own Ocean City. Found way down south between Atlantic City and Cape May, Ocean City is famous for its sprawling boardwalk. It is also known for being one of the Armpit of America’s few dry towns, meaning alcohol isn’t sold anywhere within its borders. While this might be somewhat disappointing, the good thing about it is that you won’t find any drunken guidos there.

Although the weather wasn’t perfect, the woman and I went down to Ocean City this past Saturday. As we were driving down the Garden State Parkway, I got the sudden urge to get off at Exit 38B for the Atlantic City Expressway and head over to the casinos. Somehow I managed to fight it, and we were soon at Exit 25 and a short distance from Ocean City’s boardwalk.

Since it was a little chilly outside and the weather called for scatter thunderstorms, I figured the boardwalk would be pretty empty. Though it doesn’t happen too often, I was wrong. It was kinda crowded.

Polish Water Ice? That must be the punch line to some joke, right?

There was no sign of rain, but the weather still wasn’t perfect. It was incredibly windy. And I don’t mean just a strong breeze here and there. These were hurricane-force gales. We tried walking on the beach but had to turn around rather quickly. After being on the beach for like two seconds, I already had sand all over my hair and in my eyes. Still, I’d rather have my eyes tortured by sand then being tortured by the sight of the sleazy guidos found elsewhere on the shore. (more…)

My Trip to IKEA – The Slideshow

May 3, 2010

I just posted a new video on my YouTube channel!  It’s an audio slideshow of my recent trip to IKEA.  It might not be perfect, but I’m proud of it all the same.  So if you want to see pictures of the Armpit of America’s favorite Swedish home furnishings store (or if you just want hear what my voice sounds like), check it out!

A Touch of Sweden on the Turnpike

April 20, 2010

It’s been said before, particularly by me, but the New Jersey Turnpike is horrible. Traffic. Cops. Tolls. Refineries. Litter. These are just a few of the nasty things you’ll see on that road. Among all of these horrible sights, though, is perhaps the one bright spot on the Turnpike: an IKEA! That’s right. Just off of Exit 13A in the shithole town of Elizabeth is the IKEA, which serves as a Swedish oasis in the otherwise barren landscape of the Armpit of America.

Upon exiting off the Turnpike, you’ll follow signs to get to the Swedish superstore. You’ll know you’re there when you see three giant poles bearing the flags of the United States, Sweden, and the greatest nation of all, New Jersey. Once you walk past the flagpoles and into the store, you’re welcomed by a sign advertising the store’s famous Swedish meatballs. Because when you need to go shopping for new furniture, you logically want to buy meatballs at the same time.

If you see this much blue and gold and it's too early for Chanukah, you're probably at an IKEA.

For the three people out there who have never been to an IKEA, it is a huge home furnishings store selling a whole bunch of stuff for your house (like meatballs). All of their goods are supposedly made in Sweden…or made to resemble stuff in Sweden? I don’t really know. But, based on the crowds of people that swarm in on the store each day, I guess that if it’s Swedish, it’s good. (more…)