Archive for July, 2008

Bloomfield Cyclist Assaulted by NYPD Rookie

Posted on July 31, 2008. Filed under: Politics | Tags: , |

The cyclist in the middle of the latest NYPD controversy is Christopher Long of Bloomfield, NJ, who is a lot more Zen than I’d be considering the cop is clearly an outright liar and thug:

“I’m really sorry, but I’m not talking to the press,” Christopher Long, 29, said as he manned an organic fruits-and-vegetables stand at the Union Square farmers market.

“There are charges against me, and I don’t want anything to affect my case,” said Long, who had two large scabs on his knees from the body block.

Long, of New Jersey, was charged with assault and resisting arrest after the cop insisted the cyclist had tried to run him over in a Critical Mass rally Friday in Times Square.

A dramatic video starkly contradicted rookie Officer Patrick Pogan‘s statements. It shows the 22-year-old cop running toward Long and slamming him to the sidewalk.

Pogan, a former high school football lineman, has been stripped of his gun and badge while the incident is investigated.

Police sources have said the charges against Long would likely be dropped.

Long will “get over it and he’s not the type of guy to hold a grudge,” said Justin Ford, 25, a bike courier and a friend of Long’s, but Long’s lawyer said he may sue.


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Cory Booker: Hero?

Posted on July 29, 2008. Filed under: Politics | Tags: |

Despite my previous reflexive defense of East Orange, I’ll admit to buying in to the some of the negative perceptions of Newark, and was originally going to post a link to a great article on Newark’s Mayor Cory Booker that I just got around to reading in last month’s Esquire (with the inane Mike Myers on the cover), but when I went to their site to get the link, I was suprised to come across a scathing letter from Booker, ripping the article’s author Scott Raab a new one.
While I thought the article was a well-written bit of hero worship, it does go a bit overboard in comparing Booker to Will Smith’s character in I Am Legend, effectively casting Newark as a blighted dead zone with little hope of recovery, pretty much what I believed it to be despite knowing better. In his letter, Booker takes Raab to task on a number of points, particularly his narrow focus on the ills plaguing the largest city in New Jersey while ignoring the strides made in the past couple of years — of which he cites numerous examples — but perhaps more impressively, I appreciated his lengthy rebuttal of the idea that he is some lone hero facing insurmountable odds:
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Light Green Thumb

Posted on July 26, 2008. Filed under: Homestead | Tags: , |

Garden After, originally uploaded by bloomfieldguy.

When we bought our house, I knew there were a lot of things we’d have to deal with that were never a consideration while we lived in an apartment, from the obvious fixing whatever breaks to paying separately for everything short of the air we breathe, but the one thing I underestimated was the time and effort involved in maintaining a yard.

Way back in High School, I’d done the basics, like mowing the lawn and raking and even helped with building a deck and a small pond, but those were more chores than responsibilities, so my emotional investment in them was minimal. (I did take a bit of pride in the pond, at least until my turtle ran away!) While we lucked out with a house that was in move-in condition and only had to paint the kids’ rooms, buy new furniture and unpack our things to get the interior squared away, the yard was in need of some TLC.

I’ve learned from our neighbors that the property had been sort of a jungle for years before the guy we bought it from bought it last summer and fixed it all up — with 8-foot hedges enclosing the back and all sorts of animals residing in them — so relatively speaking, it was overhauled as much as the house itself, but unlike the house, it didn’t have any real character at all. Plus, there were some concerns with the landscaping with certain areas pooling water up against the foundation of the house.


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Bloomfield Cuban

Posted on July 23, 2008. Filed under: Food | Tags: , , |

Havana Sandwich Cafe, originally uploaded by bloomfieldguy.

When we restarted our search for a house in Bloomfield earlier this year, we made an effort to explore some of the restaurants here and in the surrounding area (trans: Montclair) and were delighted to come across a solid assortment to choose from, both in price and cuisine, and so far have only experienced a handful of duds, including the State Street Grill (overpriced, glorified diner), Nevada Diner (bland diner food) and Stamna (beautiful Greek decor; bland, uninspired food).

Among the places we’ve enjoyed are Aki (unpretentious sushi in a relaxed setting), Vinnie’s Pizzeria and Restaurant (solid Italian food with decent pizza), Señorita’s (great Mexican food and margaritas), and even the Glenwood Diner (solid breakfast) and the IHOP on Bloomfield Avenue (great off-menu specials with a southern twist; kids eat free Mon-Fri evenings), next to Watsessing Park. Our favorite to-date, though, has been Cuban Pete’s in Montclair, a high-energy restaurant that combines authentic Cuban food with a sense of style and atmosphere that avoids feeling like a chain.


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East Orange is for…lovers?

Posted on July 18, 2008. Filed under: community | Tags: , |

Reddog n Neenee, originally uploaded by Nudnik N Da Hood.

According to CNNMoney it is, ranking it at #21 of the 25 places that have the highest percentage of singles, and an over-30 scene. Hoboken is ranked #1 (ugh), while Newark is #20. (Hat tip to the Barista.)

Interestingly, this is the same East Orange that shares Bloomfield’s southwest border and, every step of the way through our homebuying process, was referred to negatively by, well, just about everybody! (Check the Barista’s comment section for a representative selection of bons mots.)

The worst was the security system sales rep (from Brinks, I think) who drove up the day we were moving in and chatted us up while pitching his services.


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    A transplanted New Yorker navigating the perils of first-time homeownership in the sortaburbs of New Jersey.


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