The only other time that I have been to New Jersey, apart from landing at Newark Airport on my way to New York City, was on a filming trip when I crossed the Hudson river to find a derelict building site to film the Manhattan skyline. I guess I thought, like even some New Yorkers, that New Jersey was just an industrial wasteland on the other side of the river. Well, I have just spent a wonderful and memorable week here in New Jersey and I am happy to admit that I was wrong – this isn’t just Tony Soprano country.
I was staying with friends in rural Hunterdon County in the Delaware Valley and it was most definitely Summertime as in the song – I really did see fish jumping and the cotton could have been, if there was any, growing high. July can be pretty humid here in New Jersey but after that thunderstorm when I was walking round nearby Lambertville (yesterday’s blog), the air cleared, the skies were blue and the temperature though high was just pleasantly very hot.
I suppose I was just being a tourist to love this typical American post box but, hell, why not. They are great and I always loved them in all those old TV series from my childhood.
These pictures were taken on my iPhone on a walk round what still feels like traditional farming country where I was staying last week and, right from the start, I could see why Europeans dreamt of having these grand open spaces to cultivate. These parts look very much like England but there is so much more room and we in Britain never have hot sunny Sundays like this hot sunny Sunday.
My childhood fantasies about being a farmer were awoken in this fertile but apparently gently farmed landscape….
where the fields are hedged by woodland….
and where farmhouses are approached down dirt tracks….
…and there are painted barns straight from the works of Mark Twain.
Towards the end of the walk, I pressed the wrong button on my iPhone and, without knowing it, made a very short set of moving images instead of still photographs. I have joined them together because you need to see the corn, if not the cotton, growing high and that deer running out in front of me. It was a memorable day – one that should be set to music by George Gershwin.
Having said George Gershwin, I should play you the music I guess. Here is Summertime recorded in 1958 by the Miles Davis Sextet – it is almost too hot to handle:
New Jersey is a much maligned destination and whilst I could happily live the rest of my life and never see Newark or the NJ Turnpike again, some of rural NJ is very lovely.
I hope that the poetry readings went well.
I loved the place and, yes, thanks Tim, the poetry went well too. Next time I should try to get us to meet.
This place looks lovely!