Archive for ‘New Jersey’

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

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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.

mayenne-pont-mac-racken-architecture-feb16

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.

mayenne-pont-mac-racken-river-feb16

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.

mayenne-parking-by-river-floods-and-city-feb16

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.

havana-ent-paseo-del-prado-c1998

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…

havana-malecon-riviera-hotel-c1998

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.

havana-univ-stairs-c1998

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.

Edison menlo park mall pipo y mima

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!!!

May 25, 2022

My Punta Brava!!!

Ok so this is pull from my vault and realise not in my blog yet so here are new pictures to the blog, older of my Punta Brava!!! This is a post from faded memories but still in my heart as if you have read my blog which is my life’s history,you would know this is where I was born a looong time ago. Let me tell you a bit more of the town and especially more pictures that I can show you.

Punta Brava is a town part of the new agglomeration of La Lisa under the new administrative arrangement after the Cuban revolution. Before , it was alone just inside the city limits of Havana. It is about 21 km (about 13 mi) of city center/downtown Havana. The town has about 1500 inhabitants, many of them new as the old have left !

While in my last visit in 2012, I asked my assigned driver to take me to my native town of Punta Brava, visiting family aunt and cousins (which by now left Cuba too). Now, only memories lingered, and some places of share family values and love. Far far away, it seems difficult to even write that upon my latest visit in 2012, the area where I grew up seems different….well unrecognizable…. well poorer. It seems to me like I was not from there. It required some days of adjustment for things to come back again.

This post is to me as a reminder of what it was, a lingering space in time of a once upon a time place call Punta Brava, city of Havana metropolitan area, Republic of Cuba. 

I remember again passing in 2012 by Cangrejeras a town just over 3 km where my maternal grandfather had his farms, taken lost to the revolution or stolen dream of many. Nearby, I went to a special intern school in a village call Machurucutu; now buildings gone.

Further away at Santa Fé, about 6 km was my nearest beach, and now has a huge tourist complex there call Marina Hemingway. Further away from Havana but only less than 2 km is Guatao, this is where I played youth baseball and the area cemetery is located where my grandparents are in peace. Also, nearby, at farm San Pedro is the mauseleum of General Antonio Maceo y Grajales, the greatest hero of our war of independence from Spain who died in battle here on December 7, 1896. This was always a festival until the revolution abolished it as everything else. Below me coming from Guatao on my Czech bike!

guatao me 10 yrs old road from baseball guatao to punta brava

On our way to Havana, we always passed by Arroyo Arenas and the nice church there (see post) this was about less than 5 km from my Punta Brava. On the other way still in Cuba’s old Carretera Central or main central highway (going from tip to tip of the island) the first town is Bauta at about 6 km. This was my last school in Cuba!

Bauta escula nyen van throi ultima escuela en Cuba de Pedro

All memorable places even if by now would not recognise them and no pictures. I do have of my first school in Punta Brava, this was the Sisters of the Catholic Church school that of course is also gone.

Punta Brava, escuela de las monjas, una escuelita mia

Also, my second school on the Central Highway on your way to Havana, this one was told still there with a name change.

Punta Brava escuela secon fructuoso rodriguez mi escuela

I could not take a picture but someone took it for me of my old home, now in dismal conditions but positivitely looking at it as a memorable picture and fonds memories of my childhood before 10. This was Avenida 247 no 5006. Perhaps someone can tell me how it looks today as the picture is from 2012. Next door to the right was my paternal grandparents’ home !

Punta Brava mi ultima casa ave 247 No 5006 dec 30 1971 sept10

Looking from my maternal grandparents’ home is the road to Santa Fe beach town, and just ahead my paternal grandparents’ home on the left side further on.

Punta Brava calle 50 fr abuela amparo tia Ondina house apr12

Punta Brava calzada to santa fe Feb12

And some souvenir pictures taken in 2012, most now gone sold or given away to other family members or close friends in town. These were objects collected by my maternal grandparents over the years since 1920! My boys are below third from right.

Punta Brava living room granma amparo house photos feb12

Punta Brava grandma amparo old glasses Feb12

Again, this is a memorable lane post and no webpages. Hope you enjoy with me these wonderful places of our lives always remembered as much as possible as it is 51 years that I left it! Last brief visit 2012.  As said , the time passes by and all we have is blurred memories of always. A time, a place, a dot in my world map, that is in another world. Hope you enjoy this personal post on my Punta Brava will always be there in my heart, and many memorable moments to share with family and close old friends still in FB.

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

April 30, 2022

Curiosities of Perth Amboy, NJ!!!

Of course, I have written about Perth Amboy ,Middlesex County, and New Jersey before in my blog, but touch briefly on these, and would like to update and add more newer text with newer older pictures that I should not left them out. So let met take you way back in time to a period of renew hopes and challenges facing a new family arriving from Madrid in English speaking Perth Amboy!  Adaptation period, language, customs and then enjoyment! All positive experiences that enrich my intetelect and keep fond memories of Perth Amboy!

In this city as usual we were an active family, member of many clubs and sponsor softball and soccer team in local leagues by my parents. Nostalgic pictures that should be in my blog, my life’s history! My Dad speaking below!!!

perth amboy cuban club pipo presenting with maestre, and mario c1975

An old favorite still standing is the The Barge, by the waterfront, just wonderful seafood while overlooking the Arthur Kill bay to New York City, its an institution in the city where my father took his business partners and us and eventually I came alone to meet his/ours friends.  The power meeting point in the town. The Barge has been family-owned and operated since 1925. The restaurant overlooks the city’s historic waterfront, offering an intimate bar and dining area, as well as an upper floor dining room that can be rented for private parties. Live music performances often take place on the scenic outdoor patio during the warmer months. The restaurant offers a wide selection of meat and seafood entrées for dinner. There is also lighter fare such as sandwiches and wraps for lunch. Try one of the charcoal-grilled steaks or the broiled lobster, which is delivered fresh daily from Maine. The ultimate dining experience in Perth Amboy. The pic below visiting with one of my Dad old friend in town who took me to the resto for memories’s sake!!!. webpage: https://www.thebarge.com/

perth amboy the barge resto vist mike gonzalez c2007

The pic below is me entering Perth Amboy off the Route 35 passing Raritan Hospital into city center upon my last visit in 2007.

Perth Amboy Route 35 to city center Raritan hospital left c2007

And on the wonderful waterfront near our home, and overlooking Staten Island, NYC and me on my last visit of 2007, and wearing my Univ polo shirt!!

perth amboy waterfront arthur kill bay behind and then Staten isl nyc PF jun07

The city of Perth Amboy: https://www.perthamboynj.org/

The State of New Jersey tourist office on Perth Amboy: https://visitnj.org/nj/perth-amboy/attractions

There you go folks, yes my first city in America was lucky enouth to be in a historic city and learn a lot on the American way of life, which i continue even abroad. Hope these latest pictures and small story will tell you more of this wonderful historical city of Perth Amboy! A city always dear to me wherever I may be in our world. And of course, this is in the Garden State of New Jersey !!

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

April 29, 2022

The City Hall of Perth Amboy, NJ!!!

If you have read my blog, you will know this was my first city in the USA. Perth Amboy was the city of my teens , middle and HS schools, driving license, US citizenship, English, and first taste of real work before moving on in life to Florida and then France. A long journey indeed, looking back it was all worth it.

However, there is not a place I have been that I am not thankful for whatever was given to make me a better person. The city of Perth Amboy and my Panthers of High School are still within me. I had written a post a long time ago about the City, County,and State but believe for historical reasons that I must update this older post and tell you about the City Hall of Perth Amboy. Therefore, here it is.

Perth Amboy is a city in Middlesex County, New Jersey, USA. The City is part of the New York metropolitan area. Perth Amboy was settled in 1683 by Scottish colonists. It was called “New Perth” after James Drummond, 4th Earl of Perth, and the Lenape Native Americans called the point on which the city lies “Ompoge”; the native name was eventually corrupted and the two names were merged. Perth Amboy was formed by British Royal charter in 1718, and the New Jersey Legislature reaffirmed its status in 1784, after US independence. The city was a capital of the Province of New Jersey from 1686 to 1776.

The City Hall is a historic building built in the early 17C, listed on New Jersey Register of Historic Places and the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. It is now the oldest City Hall still in use in the United States.  Located at 260 High St, not far from the waterfront and across NYC, and very near my last home there.

Perth Amboy is ,of course, home to the oldest City Hall in continuous use in the United States, built during 1714-1717 or 1718, to serve as the County courthouse and jail. It burned in a fire in 1731 and was not rebuilt until 1745. It was again burned in 1765 or 1766 when a man named Martin, angered by his earlier imprisonment in the City Hall on debt charges, allegedly set fire to the building. It was rebuilt in 1767. City Hall contained court chambers, rooms for the Provincial Assembly until 1775, and was used as a schoolhouse and for community meetings. It was in City Hall that the State of New Jersey became the first State to ratify the Bill of Rights. Although City Hall was renovated in 1826, 1872 and 2006, some of the 1717 structure still remains. The current structure is Victorian with a mansard roof and several new wings.

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The Market Square Garden or City Hall Park was also developed with a historic statue of George Washington and an exact replica of the Liberty Bell. There is an arch in brick to mark the spot of the signing of the Bill of Rights. 

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On November 20, 1789, the State of New Jersey became the first to ratify the United States Bill of Rights. On March 31, 1870 Thomas Mundy Peterson became the first African-American to vote in an election under the just-enacted provisions of the 15th Amendment to the United States Constitution!

The historical footnote in this hard working class city is that Benjamin Franklin had a son called William Franklin, and they did not agree on principles. Therefore, Benjamin was the American heroe and a huge historical figure for the United States. While William was a traitor who sided with the English! They met twice during the war to tried to settle their difference but to no avail, each hung strongly to their beliefs. Benjamin and William Franklin only saw each other one time after the end of the war, when they met in London in 1785. The purpose of the meeting was not to heal the rift between them, but to sort out some business and financial matters, including the property which William owned in Willingboro.  The two men never reconciled as father and son, and they never spoked again.  Benjamin died in Philadelphia in 1790, and William died in London in 1813!

It is a nice ride from either New York or Philadelphia by train ,and nice big roads by car even if traffic has picked up over the years. I learned to drive a car there and as we used to say locally, drive here and you can drive anywhere! indeed proven! By car , the easiest is to go under the Lincoln tunnel to the I95 interstate road that becomes the  NJ turnpike exit 10. Follow signs for Perth Amboy.

The city of Perth Amboy: https://www.perthamboynj.org/

The local newspaper Amboy Guardian on historical facts : https://www.amboyguardian.com/category/historical/

The Revolutionary War New Jersey on the American wars on their story and that of Perth Amboy with many sights !:https://www.revolutionarywarnewjersey.com/new_jersey_revolutionary_war_sites/towns/perth_amboy_nj_revolutionary_war_sites.htm

There you go folks, a history of America right here in nice Perth Amboy, It has change a lot since my days, practically unrecognisable , was there last in 2007 ! Hope you have enjoyed the bit of historical tip and do come over to New Jersey , a small State but huge in American history. And of course, Perth Amboy is a big part of it!!! Not to mention my life’s history !!

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

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