Archive for ‘New Jersey’

January 23, 2023

Curiosities, well, of my life !!

Well, never the creative mind, this is the best I could come up for a title ….I found me some old pictures in my vault that for memories’s sake need to be in my blog. After all, as said, this blog is my life’s history and hopefully for generations to come of my sons and family. It has been a thrill to tell you about these incidents of my life and appreciate the support and kind words I have gotten in the past. Hope this post will be enjoy by all as well as I.

It will be mostly a pictorial, with brief comments on each picture. Of course, will be in chronological order. There you go folks short and to the point easy does it. Thanks

From the roofstop of my maternal grandmother Amparo towards Santa Fe beach on Calle 50 and on right Bodega de Chencho where we shop when available ! The street running at it is Avenida 247, my street in Punta Brava. My native town you know. 

Punta Brava abuela amparo house to bodega chencho y mi calle 1998

While visiting Havana in 1998, the peacock in the garden of the historical Hotel Nacional

Havana hotel nacional garden patio peacock 1998

The monument to Antonio Maceo y Grajales located between El Malecón and the Hermanos Ameijeiras Hospital. Havana, Cuba. It is opposite the Hermanos Ameijeiras Hospital, at 701 Calle San Lázaro Street, is a bronze representation of the protagonist of the First War of Independence, one of the most important Cuban generals. The Bronze Titan as he was called , It was installed here in 1916.

Havana monument to Maceo 1998

The Swiss embassy in Havana, also, home of the American Interests Section that is so much known and needed !

Havana Swiss embassy american interest section 1998

The Perth Amboy High School, 300 Eagle Ave in New Jersey. My yearbook graduating picture 1977.I read they are in the process of building a new high school and this one do not know if stays as school or not. Historical building there from 1973-1977. Any alumnus ?

Perth Amboy HS graduating picture 1977

My ERAU, Daytona Beach campus South Clyde Morris Blvd in Florida. The yearbook graduating picture 1982 ! Still going strong. Any alumnus ?

Daytona Beach ERAU graduating picture 1982

The ERAU univ newspaper , find me a copy in pdf lol! April 14 1982 The Avion (airplane) see ride we took to the Atlanta Inter Airport! :https://commons.erau.edu/avion/435/

The ERAU yearbook graduating management club 1982 (I was the treasurer!)

Daytona Beach ERAU Management Club meetings and me 1982

The ERAU yearbook graduating page activities for active students, ,,, I am there !

Daytona Beach ERAU yearbook activities credit page 1982

You ERAU official booklet of commencement activities to the graduating class of April 1982, mine !!!

Daytona Beach ERAU commencement graduation 1982

The Le Bellevue restaurant BB at 4 Av. Félix Faure in Les Mureaux, near the Sailing Club we enjoyed while living in the Yvelines dept 78 of the Île de France region,Sadly, it is no longer but here for the memories of always !

Les Mureaux le Bellevue resto bb 2011

The famous Arc de Triomphe of Paris while driving snowing in 2009 lol ! Road warrior here no worries.

Paris arc de triomphe driving under snow 2011

There you go folks, a short and dandy ,but very memorable post. Here now for me to browse easily when nostalgia sets in which in my retirement ,and many love ones gone is daily. Again, hope you enjoy this small nostalgic run of my life, and again thank for reading me since November 26 2010 !

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

December 29, 2022

Arroyo Arenas, Havana, Cuba !

And coming back to the roots, a bit of my old neighborhood, its been 52 years ,but the memories lingered. I like to tell you briefly as not much info on the internet on one of my sights when my dear late Mom Gladys passed by here taking a friend’s car or the bus line 99! We always made the cross sign passing by the Church of Arroyo ArenasThe blog is also a way to keep my history for eternity I hope ,my future generations can see it all. Hope you enjoy the post as I,

The town of Arroyo Arenas is in the municipality La Lisa, city of La Habana, Cuba. It is located on the banks of the Camino Real (Royal route), today Avenida 51 (avenue 51). It limits to the north with Playa (Miramar) , to the south the Cano – Valle Grande – Bello 26 and Morado, to the east with Punta Brava (my native town!) and to the west with San Agustín.

Arroyo Arenas was granted in 1672 status of village by the Spanish colonial governor. By 1778 they still subordinated its existence to the city/hall of Havana. In 1780 the local city hall were constituted, corresponding from Arroyo Arenas to Santiago de las Vegas. The Captaincy were subordinated to El Cano and Bauta. The first was subordinated the town of: Arroyo Arenas. Towards the last decade of the 18C, this seat made possible the foundation of the town of Arroyo Arenas, a fact that was recorded in 1790 when a chapel was constituted that apparently was attached to a house or room, separated from common uses. Likewise, in 1794 the first tile house was built in this town and in 1795 the hermitage of Arroyo Arenas was officially erected under the invocation of Jesús Nazareno del Rescate or Jesus Nazarene of the Rescue.

arroyo-arenas-church-of-arroyo-arenas-toward-havana-city-cuba

The location of this site on the side of the Camino Real to Vueltabajo  (best tobacco area in the world) was enriched by the migration of Canary island peasant population initially settled in Vueltabajo (the best cigars in the world and my ancestors the Guanches of Tenerife and Grand Canaria) . Its growth as a town is evidenced by the fact that in 1843 the Spanish Army Weapons Command was established there and already in 1846 it had 12 masonry houses, 7 of wood and tiles, 36 of mud and guano, a clothing store, 3 mixed, 2 shoe stores, 2 tobacco shops, 1 carpentry, 1 blacksmith shop and 298 settlers, of which 44 were slaves. From 1878, according to the new political-administrative division established by the colonial government on that date, the city hall of the towns of El Cano, Marianao and Santiago de las Vegas were created.. To each of them the districts were subordinated to El Cano corresponded Arroyo Arenas, Barandilla, Falcón, Jaimanitas and El Cano proper; Marianao was subordinate to La Lisa, and to Santiago de las Vegas, the districts Bauta, Punta Brava ;and Guatao (local cementery and my grandparents are here) were subordinated. In the judicial order, all these municipalities were subordinated to Bejucal until 1880. In the first months of 1955, the construction of a highway that would connect Columbia (army and airport barracks) to the central highway at the exit of Arroyo Arenas was announced. In April 1956 it was finished. The Hermitage and Country Club, were projected to link with the with the Biltmore Riviera, Boulevar del Biltmore and Montecarlo, which would extend to Novia del Mediodia ( roundabout call the noon girlfriend) . These projects were interrupted with the triumph of the Cuban revolution.

The Hermitage is now a National Sanctuary of Jesus Nazareno del Rescate , located at the Central Highway (that goes from one point to the other of the island country) and here it is call Avenida 51 building no. 26455. The same route that passes by my native town. The Church was erected in 1795, under the invocation of Jesus of Nazareno del Rescate. But the church instead of one, has two stairs, the one on the right where the ladies went up distributing alms, and the one on the left that has more steps, 29 in total. In general, here, women and humble men, the true devotees, those that Jesus did not expel from his temple were climbing. Have one photos souvenir of our passing by it in my last of 2012 !

No webpage but the memories lingered. Hope you can appreciated and maybe one you can pass by it and make the sign of the Cross too , for me at Arroyo Arenas! Last I read as much there the church is in delicate conditions and nothing is planned on restoring renovating it ,another sad story. Thanks for reading and again hope you enjoy the post as I.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

October 4, 2022

My life in my belle France !!!

Well , my kind of town ,actually my entry into FranceVersailles capital of the department of Yvelines, No 78, region of Ile de France, and another world. This is France. Big enough to be call a Capital of France when constitutional changes are needed per the French Constitution , and small enough to keep that French country flavor of old, things are not the same here as in Paris. Life is easier, slower, friendlier, and the nights ends earlier. It was the center of royal power for centuries, and it still keeps that royal outlook in life, Paris might be worth a republic, Versailles its worth a kingdom. My humble hommage  to a glorious city, one that was worth saving from a war, one that is revered, and one that will be eternal, Paris , my eternal love. For the senses, the sights, the romance. And I worked there for 9 years! What a combination to be in France a one two powerful and memorable punch indeed !

Before Versailles, I moved in with my in-laws for free in Chambry, Seine et Marne  dept 77 of the Île de France  region where I first touch base with France and married a local girl, my dear mamie blue Martine, from the first city I visit , her hometown of Meaux, Memories forever always in my heart and soul.RIP

My first job was in a management position in Cergy Saint Christophe , Val d’Oise dept 95 in the Île de France region as well, This lasted a few month as it was my entry point to France, From here I moved to Paris rue de Castiglione between the Jardin des Tuileries an d the place Vendôme, Some time here, then to Suresnes in Hauts de Seine dept 92 of the Île de France region as well, Later, back to Paris by Montparnasse.

Then in June 2011, moved to a new multinational firm in Saint Nolff , Morbihan dept 56 of the region of Bretagne. I rented an apartment in Corn et Hôet , Brec’h.  Shortly, thereafter, we purchase a house in Pluvigner on July 13 2004, and been here ever since, The more I know it, the more I like it, and of course, the Morbihan (Mor=sea bihan=small in Breton French would be petite mer or small sea) iwill be my home until gone from this world.  My capital City which we visit at least every week is Vannes or Gwened in Breton language! 

The working life is gone, and feel a bit lonely if not for my 3 boys and our travels, and this blog ; thanks for reading me over the years since November 26 2010, I have been in France , 19 years already since August 23rd 2003 !! My family followed on December 13, 2003. My blog was a request by many friends in a now defunct travel forum that was very popular for a time and many convince me to write a book or a blog, Well me kept it simple and did a blog with the help of another friend from Madrid that had a travel forum on Spain, now abandoned, I guess I am strong to keep up this blog , it keeps me going and I thank you all.

My down moments as life is not perfect was losing my dear late Mother Gladys on December 27 2007 (22h) ,and later my dear late wife of 28 years, Martine on April 30 2018 (19h). And if not enough, my Dad Elio felled sick for the last year on a wheelchair and me taking care at home with the help of nurses and home domestic help ,thanks to the French social security and health benefits at no cost,

On a bright side, we have our dog Rex , a borador (mix Border Collier and Labrador Retriever) that is already 4,5 years old (we got it from local farm in Moustoir AC when 4 mos old) ,and a lovable friend who is always around me and follow me everywhere, This was chosen by my wife and she gave it the name Rex after an Austrian police series in Europe she like very much, I have my 3 young men , twins of 28 and older boy of 30, still with me and very much attach and helpful, well raised from grandparents and parents who care, We love the aperos and going out for a drink or keeping me company in my road warrior trips in my belle France and beyond.

We have finished doing work on the house , just maintenance stuff, and grooming the garden of 1000 m2 (about 10 800 sq ft) of land ! The house is 255 m2 (about 2744 sq ft) and only about 400 meters (about 1320 feet) from the centre ville or city center/downtown. Easy town with the N165 and N24 expressway on either side close by and the beaches just 30 km (about 19 miles) away, Life follows its course, and we have enjoy it after all.

My mother took me out of a dictatorship (Cuba) when a child of 10 (the best decision made for me in my lifetime) ,and passed by another one (Spain) until 13,5, and finally in New Jersey USA for 13 years, and then 18 years in Central/South Florida USA before the move to France, as said already going on 19 years ! (the best decision done by me as an adult thanks Martine ) Visiting 81 countries of our world, and working as expatriate in 4 ! Speaking 4 languages and some all worthwhile and thankful.

There are no webpages here ,just my rambling and story telling ; hope you enjoy getting to know a bit more of me, After all, have said, my blog is my life’s history ! Hope you enjoy the posts as I. Again, thank you for reading me, commenting, and liking my posts to all over the years.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

October 2, 2022

My personal life in Central and South Florida !!!

As usually the case exchanging with a fellow blogger Valenciartist came upon the idea of telling you a bit more than just travel and anecdotes in my blog. After all, my life has been very rich and why not have some in my blog which is after all my life’s stories. Therefore , here is a bit extra on me from my life in Central and South Florida !!!, and in Volusia, Broward and Miami-Dade counties !!! Of course, I have other posts in my blog. Hope you enjoy this bit of personal trivia as I.

Let me tell you a bit more on my personal life in the Central and South Florida of mine. It is said that to remember is to live again, well I am doing just that with this post and the one on NJ. Florida was the last land lived before my moved to my belle France in 2003. My nostalgic moments of our time in Florida, several years, college graduation, marriage, sons to show for it, the works.

I lived for 18 years in Florida in addition to four years of University studies!!!while living in NJ (see post).  My first contact with the State of Florida took place in 1974 when I went from New Jersey to visit my father’s side aunt in Miami Lakes; it didnt seem that great, I guess I was already used to the cold weather from Spain and New Jersey lol! Then in August of 1977,  I went to pursue my university studies there, and settled at Daytona Beach. It was instant love, the city was warm, sunny but also cool in winter, nice folks and the beach and the girls was awesome. Spring Break is an event all American college students need or do go thru in their life,and its not to be missed.

On January 5 1985 arrived for good, this time living at Seaside Drive, Ormond by the Sea (North peninsula) on a house my parents had bought for their retirement ::) Beach bum boy was using it first Lol!!! Living was great as I could use the school library ,and became active in the soccer/football team that was playing in the Daytona Beach YMCA fields. I did obtain sponsorship with Coronado Title Co for a Co-ed indoor soccer team that finish Champion in 1986!! It was easy as my team was made up of women from the Univ Central Florida(rank in top 10 in USA soccer) and resident guys from England , Greece, and Germany!

For a shorter story, time went on and while traveling met a young French girl (Martine) working in Paris living in Meaux Seine-et-Marne dept 77 Île de France region in 1989.  This was quickly followed by visits to her family and hers to mine and before I knew it, this independent young men was married on December 26, 1990 at City Island municipal courthouse in Daytona Beach, deciding to live there. We went all over together, visiting France every year thereafter.

 My last home was in Miramar ,Silver Lakes divison of Sapphire Bay sub-division in Broward county . While there came down to Biscayne Blvd and the French Consulat to become a French citizen in 2000; before moving permanently to France in August 23, 2003.  We had 3 wonderful boys, one older (born in DB) and then identical twins,(born in Hialeah). While continuing to work in Miami Beacon Center area and my wife by the MIA airport. I have to add again here, sorry, the trip was not without losses as upon arriving in France my dear late mother Gladys passed away on December 27 2007, and later in the Morbihan breton my dear late wife Martine passed away on April 30 2018, so life is a beach cannot be all glory, there are ups and downs , and these were really deep downs; still sad and will always be sad, there is no words. My blog posts sweeting the pain a bit.

While in Florida early on was very much involved in my University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University ,Eagles Soar as told by the Duke of Edinburg to our Pres John Paul Riddle upon training the British aviation personnel for the defense of their island nation before and during WWII.

Daytona Beach ERAU diploma BS av management PF 24april1982

Daytona Beach ERAU student card 1982

I took part in the ERAU univ Soccer/football team as libero or central defender where we played all over the State of Florida from 1980 to 1982. Also, participated in intramural Volleyball, beach Volleyball ,and Softball always reaching semis or finals, and winning one in Volleyball ,and co ed indoor soccer at the YMCA of Daytona Beach,  and Beach volleyball in Miramar !!

Daytona Beach ymca co ed soccer champion 1986

db ERAU management club softball team pedro in green in front seated 1981

Miramar JL audio beach volley team Pedro left seated front row 2001

Daytona Beach ERAU certificate Volleyball intramural PF 1977

I,also, participated and was name Treasurer of the Univ Management Club, a great honor indeed as was voted by my peers. I signed myself the id card lol !!

Daytona Beach ERAU management club member PF 03jan1981

I did my jury duty in the criminal courthouse of Fort Lauderdale, which gladly escape been chosen for the final jury. It was awful sad there…I was picked twice for the selection but escape both times !

Ft Lauderdale courthouse PF jury duty sep95

I became involved with associations that were part of my job such as the National Association of Credit Management in USA. We had our branch out of Tampa, and also , Orlando.

Miami NACM member Inter High Tech PF30august1997

I had my first management job function with an outfit called Promark Distributors out of Beacon center in Miami. This allows me to be member of the above organisation. In the mean time I was call up by big Microsoft for a job interview, it went so well the HR person told me the only candidate send to met them was me! I interview with a whole gang including the 2nd men Steve Ballmer at the time who came in for a handshake , another indication I was on the lead. However, after discussing with the wife, we decided the move was too far from France, and the area we lived was better so I refuse to the astonishement of my collegues, you have refuse Microsoft!! Yep I did it my way !

Miami Promark commercial with PF c1993

Hialeah visit job interview schedule Microsoft Redmond WA 4april1997

Hialeah visit job interview schedule Microsoft Redmond WA my refusal PF 14May1997

I was involved with the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Miami and importing wines from France with Philippe Dreyfus, a great great great…nephew of Captain Dreyfus famous affair in France. Also, participated on the first Spanish wines tapas event held at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables that after I left it has become the now famous South Florida Wine Festival! The event at the Biltmore Hotel counted with 35 Spanish bodegas and several Spanish oriented restaurants in the greater Miami area. I , also, participated with Alberto Mueller a journalist with Diario de Las Americas and hooked up with Gourmet Group of Spain introducing Spanish wines at Sunset Corners store at 8701 SW 72nd St. I went up to be awarded certificate as knowledable of Spanish wines by ICEX and French wines by SOPEXA. I was invited by dinner/wine tastings by Chuck Cassidy senior buyer of Crown Wines & Spirits, which I patronise first the store in Biscayne blvd North Miami and later the US 1 1590 South Dixie Highway, Coral Gables. I,also, worked for a short period at the ABC Wines and Liquors store that was in US 1, 725 S. Yonge Street, Ormond Beach and was in charge of wine stock and ordering under manager JD Brandy !! 

Miramar Sopexa diploma on wine knowledge

 And my last forays into politics were in the early 90’s before my eyes open up to American politics and no more.  I continued to received recognition by Republican groups, which I kept them all for the tell tell of any bar lol !!!

In closing, I had the distinct pleasure to start using Cruises into the Caribbean with an outfit called Windjammers Barefoot Cruises. I did a post on it but it was great and many memorable moments of my stayed in Florida. Unfortunately, the boat Fantôme was sank and destroyed with crews on board by hurricane Mitch. I have the book of the sad story and a post in my blog. I have found me the certificate of participation!

Ormond Beach windjammers fantome certificate c1984

As I am having lots of personal items here and my name, let me remind you all these are personal private properties and are not to be use in any way or manner falling under the US DMCA copyright rules which I have posted in my blog here: https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/1-all-rights-reserved/

The Daytona Beach tourist office (my oldest boy was born here): https://www.daytonabeach.com/

The city of Ormond Beach on leisure services (we lived here): https://www.ormondbeach.org/258/Leisure-Services

The city of Hialeah on things to see (my twin boys were born here): https://www.hialeahfl.gov/101/Visit

The city of Miramar on parks and recreation (we lived here last) :https://www.miramarfl.gov/1726/Parks-Recreation

My last Greater Fort Lauderdale tourist office: https://www.sunny.org/

The Visit Florida tourist board on Central East Flahttps://www.visitflorida.com/places-to-go/central-east/

 The Visit Florida tourist board on South East Fla: https://www.visitflorida.com/places-to-go/southeast/

There you go folks, a lot more about me and my personal life in Central and South Florida ,where my working life took off exponentially ,that eventually took me to my belle France. My Florida will always be remembered !!!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

October 1, 2022

My personal life in Perth Amboy NJ !!!

As usually the case exchanging with a fellow blogger Valenciartist came upon the idea of telling you a bit more than just travel and anecdotes in my blog. After all, my life has been very rich and why not have some in my blog which is after all my life’s stories. Therefore , here is a bit extra on me from my life in Perth Amboy, Middlesex County, and New Jersey !!! Of course, I have other posts in my blog. Hope you enjoy this bit of personal trivia as I.

I lived for 13 years of my early life in Perth Amboy, Middlesex County, New Jersey. This is not counting the 4 years spent in univ in Fla. Our county seat was/is New Brunswick , where I became a US Citizen in 1980! My first contact with the American scene. My English is from here, my last years of middle elementary school, all of high school, my first driving license, sports, worked in parents small businesses as well as industry to save for University studies in Florida. Wonderful early life ,always fondly remember; Perth Amboy forever !!!

My schools! The William C. McGinnis Middle School for grades 5–8; and Perth Amboy High School for grades 9–12.  All from the 7th grade onwards , memories never forgotten and fondly remembered. The card below 1985 was just my student number ok,the year was 1977 !  I had an inclination for aviation to be a pilot but because of eyesight restrictiong end up in Aviation Management. Before university studies took a home course from the California Aircraft Institute of Los Angeles Calif in Spanish in April 1978.  Then, after graduating from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical Univ of Daytona Beach, Florida (see post) came back for my working experience outside the family at  EWR  Newark International Airport, Newark, with an outfit called Butler Aviation an FBO doing ticketing for charter flights from England and Greece as well as the UPS second day air delivery contract. This only lasted for about a year, as I realised I missed Florida, and went back to live there by 1985.

Perth Amboy middle school Mcginnis diploma PF 19june1973

Perth Amboy HS diploma of PF 20june1977

Perth Amboy HS student card c1977

Perth Amboy Calif Aircraft Inst diploma PF 3April1978

However, while in Perth Amboy, I took my training to be an income tax preparer for individuals and small businesses from H&R Block, the leading firm in the field at the time.  I was able to do the income tax for many families and small businesses such as ice cream parlors, misc vendors, and grocery store owners.

Perth Amboy H&R tax training accomp certificate 5dec1983Perth Amboy H&R tax training certificate PF 12May1983

My other function if you will is that I became a Notary Public and did several documents to individuals such as marriage affidavits and small business such as gathering of licenses. I became a member of the American Society of Notaries.

Perth Amboy Notary Public id card PF 8Nov1982

Perth Amboy Americans society of notaries member PF 6Dec1982

I , also , dwell into Real Estate and became an real estate salesperson with the ERA Clausen & Munson of Metuchen with the branch in Perth Amboy. I became license in real estate and was member of the Middlesex County Realtors Assoc and the NJ State Realtors assoc as well. My best year was a Million Dollar Club member selling 28 houses in one year. Unfortunately was hook up with casino gambling as it was opening up in Atlantic City and not much benefit from all this money. The gambling has long ago stop.

Perth Amboy State New Jersey real estate license PF 1983

Perth Amboy Realtor Certificate PF feb84

Perth Amboy Clausen and Munson Real Estate office members PF c1985

Perth Amboy Clausen Real Estate office sales force newspaper ad with PF c1985

And yes, well, lol! I was ,also ,an insurance salesmen with health and life licenses selling all king of products including IRA retirement and mutual funds with the Mutual of Omaha Ins Co out of Omaha, Nebraska with my office in Piscataway, NJ in the William Morgan division , not far from home. Here , I also, excel reaching builders’ Club status and was ranked 6th in the nation amongst first year producer/salespersons, and 2nd in the North East region of the USA! Group pic below I am first row 3rd from the right!

Perth Amboy Mutual of Omaha recognition Builders club 1984

Perth Amboy Mutual of Omaha ins sales recon PF c1985

Perth Amboy State New Jersey insurance license Mut Omaha code 1 life 4april1983

Perth Amboy State New Jersey life insurance license Mut Omaha code 2 health 4april1983

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

In other things, I was chosen to serve as an official challenger in the US elections by my then party Republican. I am now independant, no need to be in any, they are all the same….

Perth Amboy middlesex county official challenger PF c1986

However, before I realised the above, was very much involved in all local ,state ,and national political levels with the Republican party. I have achieved many distinctions from those years even meeting Presidents Ronald Reagan,and George Bush Sr, as well as NJ governor Tom Kean.

Perth Amboy Nat Rep Congress Comm recog PF jul86

Perth Amboy RNC recog PF 1983

In this run, I was elected as Second Vice Chairman of the Republican party at the local level on December 6 ,1984. And the awards and recognition follow like raindrops if only folks know of the games of a two party system! Enough said.

Perth Amboy The News TRibune newspaper news of VC Rep party PF jun84

As I am having lots of personal items here and my name, let me remind you all these are personal private properties and are not to be use in any way or manner falling under the US DMCA copyright rules which I have posted in my blog here: https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/1-all-rights-reserved/

The city of Perth Amboyhttps://www.perthamboynj.org/

The official Middlesex County on its history: http://www.middlesexcountynj.gov/About/Pages/History.aspx

The Central New Jersey tourist board on things to see includes Perth Amboy: https://www.gocentraljersey.com/historical-sites-tours/

The New Jersey tourist board on Perth Amboy: https://visitnj.org/nj/gateway-region/history#1|7||p_Perth%20Amboy|||||||one-time||

There you go folks, a lot more about me and my life in Perth Amboy New Jersey where my dreams began in freedom after passing by dictatorships of left and right in Cuba and Spain. My PA NJ will always be remembered !!!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

October 1, 2022

My moment in Pittsburg PA !!

I found me a souvenir paper table setting of a memorable place in my life and even if not a picture, worth putting it in my blog. After all, as said, my blog is my life’s history and you search enough you will find me! Sadly, in those earlier days pictures were not my forte ; I was a post card collector which got to be over 4K and 76 countries. It was later on once on the travel forums that my inclination for pictures took off and eventually my blog since November 26, 2010. Well you get the picture, any heads up on the places is appreciated for my memories of the good old days.

I am kind of becoming nostalgic and try to remember places I have been in the USA but not lived. Well , if read my blog ,you know I lived in New Jersey and Florida for a total of 31 years…. Yes. Now let me tell you a bit more on Pittsburgh Pennsylvania USA !

Oh not the historical part, but the fact that was there stayed at the Hilton by the water point across from Three Rivers stadium (now gone) as 3 rivers do meet at the point (Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio). I was with a group of friends and went up to Liberty avenue and had a good time indeed…The hotel was tops first time staying in a fancy hotel it was an experience. There was the Three Rivers Park and then the Point Park with lush looks over the rivers. I believe the hotel name has been change from 1984, now is the Joinery Hotel a Hilton brand, correct me if wrong please.  webpage: https://www.hilton.com/en/hotels/pitktqq-joinery-hotel-pittsburgh/

Pittburgh Hilton hotel three point c1983

The find is that we went to another landmark now gone, here for the memories of always. The former Josephine’s Eating and Drinking Emporium Restaurant inside former Horne’s Department Store. It was a very nice place with a western saloon deco, broken up into several rooms and levels. And I notice wrote the street name below wrong!

Pittsburgh josephine resto bar 1984

A bit of old Pittsburgh story. The Joseph Horne Company, often referred to simply as Horne’s, was an iconic, regional department store chain based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The store was one of the oldest in the country being founded on February 22, 1849, but was often overlooked as it maintained only a regional presence. In 1879, he constructed a new central location at Penn Avenue and Stanwix Street in downtown/city center, a seven-story landmark which was the first department store in the city’s downtown. The chain ceased operations in 1994 and by 2006 the remaining was then under the Macy’s banner.

There you go folks a bit of Americana for you and me. Fond memories of my trip to Pittsburgh PA USA. Hope you enjoy the post as I.  I had a great time writing it for you and me.  Thanks for reading me in my blog !

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

September 3, 2022

The Pont Mac Racken of Mayenne !

We usually passed by many towns in our road warrior trip in my France. We come to see the hugely popular, the architecturally and historically beautiful and old, and do spent some off the beaten paths. However, seldom we see spots that marked our trip, this is the case of Mayenne in the department of Mayenne no 53 in the Pays de la Loire region.

There are three bridges over the Mayenne river. The pont Mac-Racken from the 19C today is the route I take the N12 to drive into Paris toll free; the bridge was done in 1834 first naming itself Ambroise de Loré, then Orléans, ,Caisse d’Epargne and finally Mac Racken honouring the sacrifice of this American soldier that allowed the passage of the Weaver group 90th division to cross the river in WWII to free the left bank in June 5 1944; there is a commemorating plaque there. In memoriam , the bridge is named after him.

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I like to tell you about the pont Mac Racken of Mayenne and give credit to whom credit is deservingly so. The construction of the now call Mac-Racken Bridge began on May 15, 1824. Originally the Ambroise-de-Loré bridge, the structure will successively take the names of Pont d’Orléans, Petit Pont, Caisse de Épargne bridge and then Mac-Racken bridge The current name of the bridge is a tribute to Sergeant James Mac-Racken who, on the night of August 5, 1944, defused the 125 kg and 15 cases of dynamite that the Nazis had placed on deck. Of the three bridges that existed at the time in the city, it will be the only one that will remain after the war. On August 5, 1946, a commemorative stele bearing the inscription “Here to save this bridge James Mac Racken of the 315th bon, U.S.A. Sacrificia on August 5, 1944” is posed.

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His name was James Dougal Mac Racken, ASN 34 881 595 – Compagny A – 315th The Enginer Combat Battalion, 90th infantry division. This American soldier sacrificed himself to defend a bridge in Mayenne, which now bears his name, on August 5, 1944.  Born June 1, 1916 in Red Spring, North Carolina ; USA, he was 28 when he landed on the Normandy beaches in June 1944. His infantry division, the 90th, was responsible for liberating Mayenne. Two out of three bridges have already been destroyed, only that of the Caisse d’Epargne (savings bank) can allow a rapid advance of the Americans. On the night of August 5, 1944, his team specializing in mine clearance had the mission of cutting the conductors, connected to a 125-kilogram bomb and 15 cases of dynamite, placed on deck by the Nazis. This American soldier sacrificed himself to save the bridge of the Caisse d’Epargne and thus allow his comrades to liberate the city of Mayenne. Protected by two tanks, the deminers progress. Sergeant Mac Racken leaps onto the deck, uncovered, and cuts the wires. He was shot by Nazis skirmishers and machine gunners, positioned on rue Roullois. The Weaver group of the 90th division can cross the bridge. From 5h30, the progress of the Americans is general. Mayenne is conquered, then liberated.

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When he died, James Mac Racken left behind a wife, Maggie, and a three-year-old daughter, Myrtis. For Christmas, the city will offer little Myrtis a doll. On each anniversary date, the city of Mayenne invited Maggie Mac Racken to attend the celebrations. But her finances did not allow her to cross the Atlantic. A North Carolina newspaper was interested in this story. Readers quickly mobilized and raised more than $ 1,500 to help the family travel to France. The information is relayed by the national branch of the newspaper, and everything is accelerating. In July 1961, seventeen years after the liberation of Mayenne, the widow Mac Racken finally went to the place of sacrifice of her husband. Amén RIP Soldier France does not forget.

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The Mayenne dept 53 tourist office on Mayennehttps://www.mayenne-tourisme.com/les-vallees-de-la-mayenne/la-haute-mayenne/nos-incontournables/

The American War Memorial on the bridgehttps://www.uswarmemorials.org/html/monument_details.php?SiteID=524&MemID=792

There you go folks, nice history ,great story , and one not to be forgotten by all those who cherish freedom. Mayenne remembers you and so do we, the French. For the history buffs , and freedom loving folks,worth the detour me think. Note when we got there the Mayenne river was overflown.Also, right by the river is the Mayenne tourist office.

And remember happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

August 24, 2022

Havana , a step back in time !

Again was looking in my vault of photos, and I came up with some older photos of a time gone by ,of memories not to be forgotten, and family roots. I have written several posts on this native experience of mine very translucent as the times goes by and memory starts to flicker. Let me update this older post and tell you a bit more of my dear Havana or La Habana or San Cristobal de La Habana.

It was the ultimate Caribbean destination, the “Paris of the Americas” (Hemingway ), the “key to the gulf (of Mexico) the bulkward of the West Indies (Caribbean ; King Philip II of Spain), to the whole of Cuba. It brings back memories of childhood, and still vibrates the world from no matter what place on the fence you might be. It is a beautiful city, if only can be kept in one piece. It was once the Pearl of the Antilles, the most chic city of Latin America until the revolution destroyed everything; streets names were changed, city names were change, province names were change, people left in hordes (over 2M), and more poverty than ever sets in all under the betraying revolution still there. I need to say this.

We spent many times by the Malecon and going in by the Paseo del Prado going into the Capitol (see post) last trip we were on a Ford 1954 lol!! things indeed change. All the Malecon area now is half and half some renovated with the help of Unesco and other crumbling.

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We just saw the inner soul of the buildings like the fabled Riviera hotel, by the Malecon, and tried to remember what they were before…

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And we passed by the University of Havana, where my Mom did studies before transfering to the Catholic Univ ,sister univ of Villanova in Philadelphia , PA USA at the time.

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We passed by another favorite of my family that took me there still very early in my life. This is the Cinema Trianon!  It is at Linea (orLline because old tramway passed by here) beween A & B streets. It was built in 1920 ,and completely re-modeled in 1955 and became the release theatre for 20th Century Fox films. My picture is from when it was renovated back in 1998.

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And we move on to the Morro Castle (Castillo de los Tres Reyes Magos del Morro) where they had remodeled the castle , and ate at the nice restaurant call the 12 Apostoles or apostles; which my Martine really enjoyed already with a few extra pounds.

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The official Cuba tourist board on Havana today : https://www.cuba.travel/en/destinations/havana-cuba

The official Infotur tourist guide to Cuba on Havana todayhttps://infotur.cu/en/destinos/havana

I found, bear in mind these are paper photos that I took a picture from. The pictures all date from 1998 when I made a family trip to introduce to my family there to my French wife.  One more post down memory lane, many moments spent with the family now almost all gone from there. I was the first one out 51 years ago !! Hope you enjoy the post as I. Havana is a city to fall in love for no matter what period of time in history you may choose to visit.  Enjoy the ride into nostalgia land. My dear late wife Martine enjoyed the trip down to my roots.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

May 31, 2022

Edison Township , NJ!!

Coming back at you as found one picture from a memorable place that needs to be in my blog. As you have read in previous posts on New Jersey and towns in my blog will cut it short right into the memorable town of Edison township, Middlesex County , New Jersey, Part of my early life in the USA and still very much in my mind. Even if came to live in France and have worked/lived in several countries , Middlesex County , New Jersey ,the Garden State rings loud and clear in my mind. I and my family will always be thankful of the New Jersey experience. This is my humble homage to one of its towns we played and shop a lot there, Edison Township!!

Ok so we move on to the county I lived for 13 years of my early life; Middlesex County.  Middlesex is part of the New York metropolitan area, and its county seat is New Brunswick (where i became US Citizen in 1980) . The center of population of the state of New Jersey is located in Middlesex County, in East Brunswick Township, just east of the New Jersey Turnpike.

A bit of history I like

The town of Edison Township (or Menlo Park before 1954), What is now Edison Township was originally incorporated as Raritan Township by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 17, 1870, from portions of both Piscataway Township and Woodbridge Township (see post), portions of the township were taken to form Metuchen on March 20, 1900, and Highland Park on March 15, 1905. The township got its original name from the Raritan indigenous people. In 1954 the town originally named Menlo Park  was renamed Edison in honor of its famous resident inventor (Thomas Edison ,nicknamed The Wizard of Menlo Park) one of America’s most important electrical pioneer inventors , founder of General Electric, one of the world’s first industrial empires. In December 1877, Thomas Edison demonstrated his phonograph there, burning a brief recording onto a cylinder and playing the result again to an astounded audience. On December 31, 1879, over 3,000 people witnessed the first public demonstration of Thomas Edison’s light bulbs, the experiment proving the validity of the halogen incandescent lamp !

My most vivid memories here is coming to the fame Menlo Park Mall that opened here in 1959, a two level shopping mall right next to the road US 1, My parents love it so I came along and nice memories still, (see pic ). One park I went to play catch and just stroll with my parents was Roosevelt Park, located between Parsonage Road and Route 1, west of the Edison Mall, covers 88 Ha or about 217 acres , including the 3 Ha or about 8 acres Roosevelt Park Lake. The park was established in 1917, making it the oldest county park in Middlesex County.

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The Menlo Park Mallhttps://www.simon.com/mall/menlo-park-mall

The Middlesex County Gov site on Roosevelt Parkhttps://www.middlesexcountynj.gov/Home/Components/FacilityDirectory/FacilityDirectory/89/261

A bit more on the Edison Township, The town is primarily a middle-class community with more than 75 ethnic communities represented. Edison has a large Jewish community with multiple synagogues . Edison also has a growing Indian community and a number of temples serving the religious needs . Reflecting the number of Edison’s residents from India and China, the township has sister city arrangements with Shijiazhuang, China and Baroda, India. It is the largest and most diverse South Asian cultural hub in the United States. In Middlesex County, election ballots are printed in English,  Spanish,  Gujarati,  Hindi, and Punjabi

The  Edison township  borders the towns of East Brunswick, Highland Park, New Brunswick,  Piscataway, Sayreville, South Plainfield and Woodbridge Township in Middlesex County; Clark, Plainfield and Scotch Plains in Union County. Edison is about halfway between Midtown Manhattan, and New Jersey’s capitol, Trenton, being about 48 km or 30 miles from both. Edison Township is a transportation hub, with an extensive network of highways passing through the township and connecting to major Northeast cities, State roads include Route 27  and 440, (my favorites too) . U.S. Route 1 (glorious road of memories) ,also passes through the township,  Interstate 287 passes through Edison, where it houses its southern end at I-95. The town, also houses about a 5-mile (8.0 km) section of the New Jersey Turnpike ( I-95) Exit 10 is located in Edison, featuring a 13-lane toll gate and a unique interchange design (awesome!) , Never taken but Edison train station, located in South Edison, is served by NJ Transit northbound trains to Newark Penn Station and Penn Station New York, and southbound to the Trenton Transit Center via the Northeast Corridor Line, with connecting service to Amtrak, and SEPTA (PA transit network).

The Edison township on its history : https://www.edisonnj.org/about_edison/township_history/index.php

The New Jersey tourist board on Edison townshiphttps://visitnj.org/nj/edison/attractions

There you go folks, a bit of nostalgia of Edison Township, Middlesex County, and the great State of New Jersey! My Garden State !  The memories lingered even if last time there was 2007 on a brief 3 day visit ; these memories forever for me now glad told in my blog, my history. Again, thanks for coming along and hope you enjoy it as I. And, thanks for reading me since November 2010!!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

May 29, 2022

Point Pleasant Beach of NJ!!

I am happy to be able to relive wonderful moments of my travels. Also, and just as awesome, to find in my vaults personal pictures (me, parents, and paternal grandpa) of places dear to me that should be in my blog. After all, my blog is a recompilation of my travel, and family history to keep for the future of children and grand childrens to come. Let me tell you about a memorable spot in my dear New Jersey USA ; the beach town of Point Pleasant Beach ! Hope you enjoy the story as I.

Point Pleasant Beach is a borough in Ocean County, New Jersey. The town became an independent town of Brick Township in May 1886. It is named after a place separating the Atlantic Ocean and Manasquan Inlet, The area that includes Point Pleasant Beach was first occupied by the Lenape Native Americans.  The first European settlers were fisherman and farmers who first arrived in the 18C. The 1870s was an era of major tourism expansion, driven by developers who subdivided old farms for vacation home lots.

How to get there, well we went always by car , The State road 35 (it passed by my town then Perth Amboy too) is the main highway serving Point Pleasant Beach. The highway traverses the borough north to south, connecting Point Pleasant Beach to Bay Head and Brielle.  The State road 88 has its terminus at Route 35 along Point Pleasant Beach, from which point it heads west through Point Pleasant and onward to Lakewood further south, For info only as never taken it, NJ Transit trains stop at the Point Pleasant Beach station on Arnold Avenue with service on the North Jersey Coast Line north to Penn Station Newark, Hoboken Terminal, and Penn Station New York in Midtown Manhattan.

The borough’s boardwalk is approximately one mile long, (1,6 km) spanning the coastline from the Manasquan Inlet at the north to New Jersey Avenue in the south. The central third of the boardwalk is largely amusement rides, the Jenkinson’s Aquarium, the Jenkinsons Arcades, pizza joints, ice cream parlors, games-of-chance and miniature golf courses. The boardwalk pavilion became the center of nightlife, featuring sophisticated dancing, well-known big bands, and occasional live nationally broadcast radio. Today it features a number of amusement rides, video arcades, and diverse cuisine, ranging from sausage sandwiches to sushi. Point Pleasant Beach hosts an annual Seafood Festival in September.

A bit on the county ok!  Ocean County was established on February 15, 1850, from portions of Monmouth County, with the addition of Little Egg Harbor Township which was annexed from Burlington County on March 30, 1891. Ocean County is located 50 miles (80 km) from Philadelphia, 70 miles (110 km) from New York City, and 25 miles (40 km) from Atlantic City, making it a prime destination for residents of these cities during the summer. It gets loaded!!!

The Ocean County tourist office on beaches/amusement parks :https://oceancountytourism.com/beaches-boardwalks/

In my early road warrior trips we went south into that wonderful Route 1/9 (Bruce Springsteen fame) or even closer coastal Route 35 you come into our fav city to go fishing , something I did a lot when young even still university studies coming up from Daytona Beach. I went down with my parents into Point Pleasant Beach and there rented the boat Dauntless. Wonderful family memories, was lucky glad to bring my paternal grandfather Manolo on these trips too back in the early 80’s. The city has a wonderful beach , one of the best me think, and plenty of family activities.  Jenkinson’s Beach will be open the weekend before Memorial Day, weather permitting. Starting Friday, May 28th,2022 Jenkinson’s Beach will be open daily, with lifeguards on duty, through September 6th, weather permitting. The beach is payable of 4 Usdollars and 5 on weekend for the day.

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Other than beach time, we came even in winter to go fishing from here, love it many nice memories of always with my parents and later my paternal grandfather!! Amazing looking for info on the internet the Dauntless boat is still going on by the same family!! This is from their webpage: They will clean your catch for a nominal fee. Drinks and snacks available. Music on board for your enjoyment. The cabin is centrally heated and heated handrails for your year round comfort. Clean Ladies and Men’s accommodations. Ample Free Parking at the dock. Bring your Family fishing on the 85′ DAUNTLESS for one of the most enjoyable and memorable trips of your vacation. The official Dauntless webpage: https://www.dauntlessfishing.com/

point pleasant beach fishing parents

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The Point Pleasant chamber of commerce with tourism information :https://www.pointpleasantbeachchamber.com/

The Boardwalk attractions by Jenkinsons on Point Pleasant Beach :https://jenkinsons.com/

The New Jersey State tourist board on Point Pleasant Beachhttps://visitnj.org/city/point-pleasant-beach

There you go folks, a bit of nostalgia of Point Pleasant Beach of New Jersey! The glory for my parents and I making the American dream. Memories forever for me now glad told in my blog, my history. Again, thanks for coming along and hope you enjoy it as I. Thanks for reading me since November 2010!!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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