Friday, June 24, 2005

New Jersey

So I spent the week in the Jersey, outside Philly, visiting the Lovely Bride's extremely extended family. My mother-in-law, actress Nardi Novak, moved out there last year to be with friends and folk, and has a small apartment in Hi Nella. I spent most of my time out there driving from point A to point B, and nodding politely to family conversations (most of which seemed to involve how to best get from point A to point B). My Internet access was limited by Nardi's pokey computer and what little I had was spent mostly to get resumes out to computer game companies (thanks for Lady Gumdrop for a fist fulla leads).

Not that it wasn't fun out there. One of my lovely bride's cousins got married. Nardi killed in a excellent community theatre production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. We ate a lot of cheesesteak (one branch of the family founded Camden landmark Donkey's Place, which serves GREAT cheesesteak served on a kaiser roll). Went to the Jersey Shore (another cousin has a beach house at Sea City). I did a lot of nodding and tried to organize the collection of cousins, second cousins, third cousins, and levels of removal. They don't need a family tree, they need an org chart.

As for Jersey itself, the area south of Philly has a model railroad feel to it. The neighborhoods are small and tight and set in jewelbox fashion, and a fifteen minute drive takes you from the worst parts of Camden (Kate's first home was now a boarded-up relic in a neighborhood that looks like the set design of an August Wilson play) to almost-Disneyfied upper crust, with every class of neighborhood in between. While I joke that it always takes 45 minutes to get somewhere in LA, it always takes 10 minutes to get where you are going in South Jersey.

And so we're back. I've got a lot to catch up on. More later,