Posts tagged ‘New Jersey’

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!!!

October 7, 2021

My old stumping grounds in the USA!

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 update this old post with links especially as it brings a lot of memories of a time never forgotten, Sit back and enjoy my old stumping ground in the USA !

I was able to went out to other areas and can’t believe very little pictures or memories that can be recall now. These areas were Boston, Washington DC ,Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Richmond/Midlothian, New York, and Omaha ,Lancaster,and Chicago. Then, from France, I did visit San Francisco for a week and again little pictures. These were older times before blogging and love of pictures. I used to collect post cards and have still over 1000 of them (from a high of 4K) from a high of 79 countries. Once, began to like photos ,and getting in online travel forums, stop collecting postcards. In the switch something got lost… Maybe the kind readers of my blog can help me remember some of these places. Just let it all out !!! I still kept some pictures…

I will start with Boston,MA ; I remember going to Brighton. It must have been many many years back, as one of my cousins was going to marry someone from there, (which eventually did not ,,,) We met the family,stayed in their home, and got a car tour of the city center, even to Harvard and MIT campuses. It is said that it was later had the area change to become Cambridge and the part of old Brighton became part of the city of Boston in 1874 as a neighborhood. Brighton/Allston (aka Brighton, MA and Allston, MA, 2 subdivisions of Boston proper) are known for their large population of students. Boston University and Boston College booked the Brighton/Allston neighborhood. Found out more about Brighton/Allstonhttps://www.bostonusa.com/plan/boston-neighborhoods/brighton-allston/

Then, it was Pittsburgh,PA; I remember staying in 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). We went up in a group of friends 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 Distrikt collection by Curio a Hilton brand: https://www.hilton.com/en/hotels/pitktqq-distrikt-hotel-pittsburgh/

I like to tell you about Omaha ,Nebraska. This was way back to around 1984/85 and believe me the city was pretty serious not much to do then watch an American football game, and of course go Cornhuskers! I remember was there on a sales seminar by  Mutual of Omaha insurance company !! but did not stayed with them lol! We stayed in a nice hotel ,can’t remember the name, and ate in fancy restaurant taken a taxi with a group of us but do not remember the restaurant name ,only was Italian cuisine lol!  Ok got one picture of the training class, hope somebody remembers me sorry. I should have taken the info for later use but in those days life was crazy lol !  I am front row 3rd from right!

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Chicago,IL, went part of the same training class as Omaha, it was the first test and we were put in an hotel by the waterfront can’t even remember the name; I believe it was the Hilton magnificent mile but not sure. We were just in the hotel for about 3 days with all day work, but again I can say I was there ! The Hilton webpage: https://www.hilton.com/en/hotels/ordmdhf-hilton-chicago-magnificent-mile-suites/

Washington DC was even older, it was a high school trip to see the Smithsonian Institute complex of museums, very nice air museum there is all I can remember. It was a bus tour for a day, and all I know we had a great time on the bus !!! I came back later with my mother to do some paperwork but also a roundtrip in one day. just can say, I was here !  The Smithsonian museum webpage : https://www.si.edu/visit

Going from high school in NJ to university in FL did it by bar cheapest and awesome ride along the I-95. Well my car a Chevrolet Monte Carlo 1977 had break problem from the factory, and I was left without breaks near Richmond VA. The tow truck from the highway took me to Martin Chevrolet in downtown Richmond and there was taken care by Sales Manager Ray Palmer. The part needed to be ordered from Petersburg down south a bit so needed an overnight stay. The gracious Mr Palmer took me to his house!! his older son was hunting in the VA mountain and slept in his room! played Atari games with the younger son , got dinner and breakfast with the family, got my car fix at no cost, not even for the tow truck; and went on my way. Amazing good Samaritan gesture, and I kept in touch with uncle Ray for many years. Even from France, he was 81 and retired, now handling his farm of 100 cows near Midlothian west of Richmond. I lost touch so sadly no news but he must be almost 95 if alive. Anyway I did not see much of Richmond other than the dealer. It was at Cowardin ave US301, and now I read is the Richmond Christian Center lol !!!

Back in around 1980, while in university got a tour of the Delta airlines facilities at Atlanta  Hartfield international airport and stayed at a Days Inn in Atlanta GA. The fun part was the bus and me waking up everybody at 6h when we needed to get out at 8h, I just fake the school guide voice over the phone and got everyone up earlier ,terrible feeling lol!! The Delta L-1011 airplane tour was cool. indeed. The hotel is shown with Wyndham webpage but I believe it was this one: https://www.wyndhamhotels.com/days-inn/college-park-georgia/days-inn-and-suite-college-park-atlanta-airport-west/overview

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I went several times with my father to Philadelphia, PA by 1975-76 as he had business there and I accompany him. We were on the road selling to grocery stores, discount,convenience stores and went in the city along Broad and Market Street that I can remember. I was still a teenager and later took my first car ride getting lost into the city, a State trooper police help me out get out lol! terrible times I know !!! We never stayed in hotels ,these were just in and out same day trips for a couple of years.

Then, it was New York, NY well this was across the street I mean the Hudson river, and my first going trip just fresh from my driver’s license was to see Yankee Stadium in the Bronx! well on the way back read above the end in Philadelphia along the Garden State Parkway!! Here went also by bus to Shea Stadium in the Queens borough and had a train ride on the old World Trade Center to see the Yankees again (there is a new one after the old one was destroyed by terrorists 9-11). Then, went several time for dance clubs and just plain ride even by car on those crazy young days always lots of fun . Went to Madison Square Garden to see the NY Knicks basketball and NY Rangers ice hockey lol! great times. And waited New Year’s in Time Square and skated in Rockefeller center , and did my walks in Central Park. I again help my father go into the meat market area around 14 street, and the Bronx Terminal Market for groceries for our store in NJ. This was tough wakeup at 4h (4 am) all day work…but it help my future face to reality in the real world.

Also, spent my high school senior class trip at the Rocky Horse Ranch Highland, NY in the mountains of New York State, with horse rides and wild pool activities which cannot mention here lol! Which I see now is an all inclusive resort of world renown wow!! Totally different from the country ambiance I remember back then, Picture I am the first from the right. The webpage: https://www.rockinghorseranch.com/

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Of course, if I drove to college (University) along I -95 I passed by many states, and several times stop for a night sleep at South Carolina or Georgia or Virginia. I passed from New Jersey to Delaware, Maryland, Washingon, DC, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. The trip took from 17-20 hrs depending on the driving ::) did that twice in the summer and twice at Christmas every year for 4 years! In Virginia I stopped around Emporia, South Carolina around Santee, and Georgia around Savannah or Brunswick.

While coming and going from college, I did rode with a college buddy to drop him off at Lancaster, PA on the I-83 to York and then the US30 to Lancaster. I continue on the D30 to Downingtown to connect with the I-95 home north of Philadelphia. Those were the roaring days on the road. Or put your pedal to the metal and rock !!!

I even did a post here in my blog on the trip to San Francisco , from France, but no photos as well yikes !. I spent a week there at the Hotel Nikko and got around to Pier 39, the Golden Gate bridge, and Union square area, several places;road the tramway trolley cars, and ate at Café Bastille, and John’s Grill where the Maltese Falcon movie was filmed part of it. My hotel Nikko: https://www.hotelnikkosf.com/

So sad,could not kept pictures of those days, when my taste was more to postcards, Nowadays we keep things better with better technology, back them paper photos were shuffle in moves, and I do average one every 5.7 years ! so things gets lost or trip where a camera was not necessary as was thinking more postcards. Well you get the picture, any heads up on the places is appreciated for my memories of the good old days.

Hope you enjoy this recap of my stumping grounds in the USA ! I had a great time writing it again for you and me, Thanks for reading me since November 2010 in my blog ! And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

October 7, 2021

PAHS Soccer!!

Ok you know who you are PAHS yes I have written several posts on it and great to have in my blog. However, need to tell you about the wonderful experience of being part of the soccer/football team of Perth Amboy High School (PAHS)!. Therefore , here is a bit more and some old old pictures for my memories and hopefully your enjoyment to read/see this post. Thanks

Known as the “City by the Bay,” Perth Amboy is made up of four and ½ square miles on the eastern border of Middlesex County. With a population of approximately 50K+, the town is a residential, blue-collar community situated on the Raritan Bay, approximately 30 miles (about 48 km)  southwest of Manhattan.  Perth Amboy features a historic, recently revitalized waterfront area and a bustling downtown business district.

Perth Amboy High School ( PAHS) is a four-year comprehensive community public high school which serves students in ninth through twelfth grades from Perth Amboy in Middlesex County, New Jersey. The current Perth Amboy High School was built in 1971, to replace an earlier building that opened in 1881 (and this older building became the William McGinnis Middle School which I attended before! ) .The school mascot is a panther!! Go Panthers!

The Perth Amboy schools have it on the High School (lycée):  https://www.paps.net/perth-amboy-high-school.aspx

The Perth Amboy High School Panthers compete in the Greater Middlesex Conference, (GMC) which is comprised of public and private high schools in the Middlesex County area and operates under the supervision of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA). The school was classified by the NJSIAA as Group IV for most athletic competition purposes.

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perth amboy me in away perth amboy hs soccer unif in my house 106 State 1977

The NJSIAA webpage on Perth Amboy:  https://www.njsiaa.org/schools/perth-amboy-high-school

Some trivia of PAHS : Led by Brian Taylor, the 1968 boys basketball team won the Group IV state championship, defeating Neptune High School by a score of 72-70 in the tournament final at Atlantic City’s Convention Hall . And the Middlesex County tournament could have been name the Perth Amboy county tournament as we won it on many occasions! Dating back to 1927, Perth Amboy has had a Thanksgiving Day football (American) rivalry with Carteret High School that was listed at 8th on NJ.com’s 2017 list “Ranking the 31 fiercest rivalries in N.J. HS football”. Yes indeed a big game even if we were that good in the sport.

The Soccer program had some success around the 1971 year and then went dormant until revive again in 1975 of course when I played on the teams thru 1977 central defender and we were ranked 1st in Middlesex County by the local News Journal newspaper, and as high as 6th in the NJ state ranking of the Newark Star-Ledger (NJ) newspaper.

The old Star Ledger newspaper New Jersey now on High School soccer news: https://www.nj.com/highschoolsports/2021/09/boys-soccer-live-updates-results-and-featured-coverage-for-tuesday-sept-14.html

My Central New Jersey newspaper (old news journal) on high school soccer: https://eu.mycentraljersey.com/story/sports/high-school/soccer/2021/09/08/boys-soccer-daily-updates-highlights-2021-season/5779454001/

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perth amboy me HS soccer action perth amboy sliding tackle center

In the off season, summers; we played at Rudyk Park complex underneath the Outerbridge to Staten Island, NYC, which was used by many to play summer league soccer/football sometimes with as many as 40 nationalities playing! I believe the park still there but not much soccer news from it. The playing here was the highlight of my playing time there and many friends some still with me in touch!

perth amboy soccer team yearbook photo 1977

The Perth Amboy local Guardian newspaper: http://www.amboyguardian.com/

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

Lots of flashes and memory fading but still a Panther, after all they say is for life! Very happy to still have school friends with me today after 44 years gone by and almost as much without seeing each other!!! Life is beautiful and I thank them all!!! Perth Amboy will be with me forever after all I writing to you in English thanks to the schooling there!!! Hope you enjoy the post and my younger pictures!

And we keep in touch in Facebook with the “I went to Perth Amboy High School” group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2204418579/about

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

August 11, 2021

Baseball in my Morbihan!!!

To my pleasant surprise , driving my routine passing by the town of Grand Champ or Gregam in the Breton language, I passed a sign that says Baseball….Well I used to play the sport a lot in my youth, and curiosity took me to follow the signs. And voilà I found the baseball grounds of the Gregam Griffons a baseball/softball both sexes team!!!! I like to update this post for you and me of a old favorite pastime!

Before, I go into the new find, let me assure there is baseball in France. I had encounter a similar team in Montigny-le-Bretonneux (Yvelines 78) and the Rouen Huskies (Seine Maritime 76), where I have watched games. At Rouen even met the founding President and one of the main figures of baseball in France Xavier Rolland who was an French television 3 Normandie journalist.

For info the Rouen Huskies webpage: http://www.rouenbaseball76.com/

The French baseball and Softball federation webpage: https://ffbs.fr/accueil/#baseball

I search a bit more and found the webpage for the Brittany league or Ligue de Bretagne, I was surprise to hear that there are 20 teams in Brittany. More about it here in French: https://baseballsoftball-bretagne.fr/

And surprise there is a team in Grand Champ ,which is only about 11 kms (about 7 miles) from me,and I passed by it everyday to work! Now less often, but I was by there yesterday so the inspiration to update the post. I initially contacted the team went to the field and spoked with players, coaches, and organiser trying to find a hole in my schedule to help out; unfortunately it was not to be. This is the Gregam Griffons. Gregam Breton language in French is Grand Champ or big field or campo grande in Spanish.

grand champ baseball 1

So, we went by the field next to the water tower or chateau d’eau , this is Queneach Guen field. There was a practice day between the team of Grand Champ and Quimper, that as Quimper has no field at the time they were joining together to hold as one team for now. Now they do have a field at Fouesnant.  There were quite a few enough to make two teams and more, with one referee. They went thru their exercise and warm-ups and then some batting and fielding session, before getting to play a game on both sides. Quite interesting to see folks here play the sport even in rudimentary fashion….

grand champ baseball 3

I was surprise to see Italian and even Cuban here on the team , who ,also serves as coach. Quite an interesting afternoon , and I did went a few times afterward in intervals until my foreign business trips did not allow for more involvement. Something to think about now to do …! I had some of my kids old gloves, balls,and bats that I donated to them as they also have an U12 (under 12 yrs old) and U15 (under 15 yrs old) teams and a softball team too.

grand champ baseball 2

The Gregam Griffons team webpage in French: https://www.gregam-baseball.com/

The city of Grand Champ on the Gregam Griffons baseball: https://www.grandchamp.fr/index.php/les-griffons-de-gregam-baseball

You never know what you can find in Brittany, and Baseball is certainly one big nice surprise. Something to get involved with in the future… Enjoy baseball in the Morbihan Breton !!!

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

PS. A bit as to why I like baseball, well born in Cuba, our national sport, play in the under 15 teams even if was 10, all select all stars of Havana province; catcher and cleanup hitter (4th) ,left as Spanish to Spain,and there played for the Real Madrid organization in Elipa park on the Madrid junior league with 8 teams (see post) ; left that for New Jersey USA (see post) and played in freshman Perth Amboy High School team and then, Babe Ruth World Series Chicken Delight team reaching finals; also played softball intramural ar ERAU University (see post)  in Florida. The sport really stop after high school really, playing it, but following my NY Yankees has continue to this day!

July 28, 2021

A nostalgic look at New Brunswick !!

Well this is another gem taken from the vault of memories not yet written on. After going over updating many older posts in my blog, and what a thrill it has been!! I found this nice picture that reminded me of a town visit several times in my youth back in my days of New Jersey USA! Therefore, let me tell you another of my nostalgic posts this time on New Brunswick!!

As briefly as possible as already written on NJ but just to remind new readers.  New Jersey  State borders on the west by  Pennsylvania and Delaware, on the north by New York State, and on the south east by the Atlantic Ocean. It’s capital city is the historic Trenton and its biggest city is metropolitan Newark. It is one of the smallest State but one of the most densely populated one as well. Sitting in what we call, the Tri-State area of NJ, NY, and CT was my area or Central NJ.

I lived in Perth Amboy, Middlesex County, (see posts). Part of Central Jersey but stuck up near North Jersey and across from New York City.  The capital of the county is New Brunswick! Perth Amboy borders the Arthur Kill, (and my house was by there looking at NYC Staten Island), and features a historic waterfront. Here I spent my Middle School name William C McGinnis; and graduated from Perth Amboy High School (or PAHS) ; the Panthers!!!(see posts)

At New Brunswick, I became an American citizen in December 13 1980 in the municipal courthouse, 25 Kirkpatrick Street!

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New Brunswick is the seat of Middlesex County. It is located 50 km from New York, on the south bank of the Raritan river, about 24 km from the mouth of it.  The site of New Brunswick where the first settlers settled in 1681 was first inhabited by the Amerindian people of the Lenapes. This first colony was called “Prigmore’s Swamp” from 1681 to 1697 then “Indian’s Ferry” from 1691 to 1714. It was not until 1714 that the young colony took the name of “New Brunswick”. New Brunswick was delimited by Royal Charter on December 30, 1730, between other towns in Middlesex County and Somerset County, and was again delimited by Royal Charter on February 12, 1763. The name comes from that of the German city of Brunswick. Brunswick was an influential and powerful city within the Hanseatic League, then the Holy Roman Empire, and was the seat of the Duchy then of the Principality of Hanover whose prince-elector became King George I of Great Britain who reigned between 1714 and 1727.(change name after WWI and now continues as house of Windsor).

In 1776, the Declaration of Independence was first read in public in Philadelphia, after having been promulgated there by the Continental Congress, and was then read for the third time in public in New Brunswick. The 3rd public reading of the Declaration of Independence took place outside a tavern on Albany Street on July 9, 1776. The document was en route from Philadelphia to New York when Col. John A. Neilson stood outside a tavern, atop a table, and read it to the townspeople! A life-size bronze statue commemorating this significant moment in our city’s history is located in Monument Square, in front of the Heldrich Hotel.

The city is also home to most of the Rutgers University campus.The main NJ state university. New Brunswick is remarkable for its Hungarian community. It counted nearly a quarter of the population of Hungarian origin residing in New Jersey.

Things to see in my opinion are: Old Queen’s College, the oldest building on the Rutgers University campus in New Brunswick, built between 1808 and 1825. Rutgers Church, Douglas College. Statue of William of Orange in Voorhees Mall on the Old Queen’s College campus . The home of Henry Guest, alderman of New Brunswick and friend of John Adams and Thomas Paine. The birthplace of Joyce Kilmer. journalist, poet, literary critic, lecturer and editor.

Sadly in these years my hobby was turn into post card collection (4K+ 76 countries) and pictures were not important so now do not have hardly any of this period. Needless, to say have New Brunswick in my blog because know the city, played soccer against their HS and went in summer matches against kids there, visit and played on the Rutgers univ stadium and just about everywhere including obtaining my US citizenship there. Another memorable spot in my world map!

Some webpages for further info on New Brunswick are:

The city of New Brunswick on things to do / seehttps://www.cityofnewbrunswick.org/visitors/index.php

The New Brunswick tourist officehttps://www.newbrunswick.com/

The New Jersey tourist board on New Brunswick: https://visitnj.org/city/new-brunswick

There you go folks , a nostalgic spot in my world map has a post and I feel good about it. New Brunswick was part of my early life in the USA, memories forever. Hope you enjoy the post as I!

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

July 26, 2021

A bit of nostalgia of New Jersey!!

This is one of the positive effects of the pandemic, not been able to travel much, I am able to relive wonderful moments of my travels. Also, and just as awesome, to find in my vaults pictures 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. Hope you enjoy the posts as I, and thanks for following my rants since November 2010

Now let me turn to my first encounter with the USA at my first American home in New Jersey. I have several posts of the town I lived ,(see posts ) but need to tell you more of the other towns that were like home to me back then , way back now. Very nostalgic post for me indeed.

The first one of these is Woodbridge Township, where we ate, shop, and play for many years.

Woodbridge Township is located in Middlesex County.  The township borders the towns of Carteret, Edison, Perth Amboy (mine) and Sayreville ;also,  Clark, Linden and Rahway in Union County. Its border with the borough of Staten Island in New York City in the Arthur Kill. (kill is bay in old Dutch so they tell me)

There are distinct towns that for the whole of me always figure them as separate towns , and played sports against them separately! ,but are part of  Woodbridge Township. Several of these towns have their own ZIP (postal) codes,, but they are all unincorporated towns and neighborhoods within the Township that, together, make up Woodbridge Township. These are Avenel , Colonia , Fords , Iselin , Port Reading , Sewaren , Woodbridge (the town proper) are unincorporated towns located within Woodbridge Township. Other unincorporated towns and place names located partially or completely within the township include Boynton Beach, Demarest Hill Top, Edgars, Fairfield, Hazelton, Hopelawn, Keasbey, Lynn Woodoaks, Menlo Park Terrace, Ostrander, Saint Stephens, Sand Hills, Shore View, Union and Woodbridge Oaks.

The roads are king here and no experience with public transport other than the airports. The wonderful Garden State Parkway extends 7.5 miles ( about km) through Woodbridge Township, including exits 127 to 131. In addition, the fast and furious, New Jersey Turnpike ( part of Interstate 95 or I95) passes through Woodbridge Township for about 5+ miles ( about 8 km), and is accessible at Exit 11 (which features a 24-lane toll gate). The sublime  U.S. Route 1 and U.S. Route 9 serve the township and merge heading north of the township as the U.S. Route 1/9 together into the Jersey shore ! Other roadways passing through the township are Route 27, Route 35, Route 184, and Route 440. The first cloverleaf interchange in the world, the Woodbridge Cloverleaf, opened in 1929 at the intersection of Route 25 (now U.S. Route 1/9) and Route 4 (now Route 35)!

The Township of Woodbridge is the oldest original township in New Jersey and was granted a royal charter on June 1, 1669, by King Charles II of England. Woodbridge Township was incorporated by the Township Act of 1798 of the New Jersey Legislature on February 21, 1798, as one of the initial 104 townships incorporated in the state under the Township Act. Yes part of old USA!

The Woodbridge Township on things to do/see webpage: https://www.twp.woodbridge.nj.us/31/Discover-Woodbridge

Woodbridge Center is a major two-level shopping mall located at the intersection of U.S. Route 1 and U.S. Route 9.  This was our home turf when shopping and many memories of going here with my dear late mom Gladys. Memories forever!

woodbridge wood center mall feb11

It features 200 retail establishments and 3 anchor stores been our favories JC Penney and Macys. The eating establishments are spread throughout the mall with their own individual seating areas and restrooms. The mall’s location near Staten Island and the benefit of no sales tax on clothes in New Jersey makes this mall,a popular choice for New York shoppers. It is now the third largest of all shopping malls in New Jersey, (when lived they were No 1), and now the 34th largest in the United States.  The mall opened in 1971 with Abraham & Straus, Ohrbach’s, and Stern’s. oh yes Abraham & Strauss was later purchase by Burdines and in turn by Macys. It was my favorite shopping store then.

woodbridge wood center mall applebees feb11

The Woodbridge Center mall webpage: https://www.woodbridgecenter.com/en.html

And last but not least on this memorable tour of mine, and hopefully you will get to see these places, wonderful indeed. I arrive at the world famous Atlantic City! We came here as adults for the casinos, there since they opened!

Atlantic City is located in Atlantic County, on the Atlantic coast at about 50 miles or 80 km from Philadelphia, PA. It is built on the island of Absecon and surrounded by lagoons, on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. City famous for its casinos and marina. Well it has a beach and a nice boardwalk but our interests for it were the casinos...

Atlantic city casino pipo c1980

In 1870, a first wooden promenade was built along part of the beach. The idea was popular and the promenade was lengthened and modified several times. It is now the longest in the world. The New Jersey voters accepted the opening of casinos in 1976, and Resorts International became the first legal casino in the eastern United States on May 26, 1978. Other casinos were built shortly thereafter along from the promenade and later in the marina area; they are nine today.

From my time there and was a visiting founder are still the Tropicana, Resorts, Harrah’s, and Ceasar as my favorites hangouts when I was a proud member of Telly Savalas (Kojak tv series), casino Players Club International membership card and spent lots of money there lol !!! Too bad could had use it to travel….

The Atlantic City International Airport but never used it as always came by car . The airport webpage: https://www.sjta.com/acairport/

I came down the Garden State Parkway to exit 38 and then the Atlantic City Expressway toll road as well to the city center North Arkansas Avenue ,and right into the casino parking.   On street parking is not easy and not advise so look for a parking garage if not staying at a casino.

Some of the things happening here other than play and fun in the Casinos were: The streets of Atlantic City were used in the original American version of Monopoly. The city is the setting for Bob Rafelson’s 1972 film The King of Marvin Gardens, starring Jack Nicholson and Bruce Dern. The city is the setting for Louis Malle’s film Atlantic City in 1980. The song Atlantic City by Bruce Springsteen released in 1982 on the album Nebraska is about the city. The episode of season 5 of The Simpsons The Last Temptation of Homer , released in 1993 contains a part set in Atlantic City. Brian De Palma’s film Snakes Eyes, released in 1998, is set in Atlantic City. At the heart of the Boardwalk Empire series is the prohibition era in Atlantic City. The film American Bluff (2013), based on real events, describes the arrival of casinos in the city. Its night time party time!

The city of Atlantic city  :https://www.acnj.gov/page/about-atlantic-city

The Atlantic City tourist office on Casinoshttps://www.atlanticcitynj.com/explore/casinos/

The New Jersey tourist board on Atlantic cityhttps://visitnj.org/city/atlantic-city

There you go folks, a bit of nostalgia of my New Jersey! The efforts of a new country, language, customs and all fruitfully triumph in glory for my parents and I. 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!!!

February 24, 2021

New Jersey ,a story of human triumph: My American life!

And my saga continues not only of updating older posts but bringing my life’s history in my blog. That was my idea from the beginning and I am glad doing it. Thank you all for reading me over the years, and hope you enjoy it too. Let me bring you back to my American experience, Perth Amboy, Middlesex County, and New Jersey was first! Of course, I have other posts on NJ overall in my blog.

I think I came up with a poetic title to this post. After running from left and right wing dictatorships I finally landed in democracy. Not an easy adjustment with a totally different culture and language, but we persevered the American dream , and I made it with my parents. American as apple pie ,even on further lands we came to know and be part of, we will always be thankful of the New Jersey experience. This is my humble homage.

Some background info on the State of New Jersey: It is a state in the Northeastern and mid-Atlantic regions of the United States of America (USA) . It is a peninsula, bordered on the north and east by the state of New York; on the east, southeast, and south by the Atlantic Ocean; on the west by the Delaware River and the state of Pennsylvania; and on the southwest by the Delaware Bay and state of Delaware. New Jersey is the fourth-smallest state by area but the 11th-most populous and the most densely populated of the 50 U.S. states! It is divided into three geographic regions: North Jersey, Central Jersey,(mine!) and South Jersey.

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. The county was primarily settled due to its ideal location near the Raritan River and was established as of March 7, 1683, as part of the Province of East Jersey and was partitioned as of October 31, 1693, into the townships of Piscataway, Perth Amboy and Woodbridge ; The county’s first court met in June 1683 in Piscataway, and held session at alternating sites over the next century in Perth Amboy, Piscataway and Woodbridge before relocating permanently to New Brunswick in 1778.  

 

And now to the town I lived for 13 years and 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 Panther forever !!!

Perth Amboy was formed by Royal charter on August 4, 1718, within various townships and again by New Jersey Legislature on December 21, 1784, within Perth Amboy Township and from part of Woodbridge Township. Perth Amboy Township was formed on October 31, 1693, and was enlarged during the 1720s to encompass Perth Amboy city. Perth Amboy Township was incorporated as one of New Jersey’s initial 104 townships through the Township Act of 1798 on February 21, 1798. The township was replaced by Perth Amboy city on April 8, 1844. Perth Amboy served as a capital of the Province of New Jersey from 1686 until 1776. In 1684, Perth Amboy became the capital of East Jersey and remained the capital until the union of East and West Jersey in 1702, and became an alternate colonial capital with Burlington until 1776. Thanks for several sites of historical government sites to gather all the information above. 

Some of the colonial legacy is still around such as the Proprietary House, the home of William Franklin, the last Royal Governor of New Jersey and estranged son of Benjamin Franklin, still stands in the waterfront area of the city. St. Peter’s Church was founded in 1718 by the first Episcopal congregation in the state. Its current building, dating from 1875, is surrounded by a graveyard of early inhabitants and displays a collection of stained-glass windows with religious scenes as well as early depictions of New Jersey receiving its charter and a meeting between William Franklin and his father, Benjamin. Perth Amboy City Hall, first built as a courthouse in 1714, survived major fires in 1731 and 1764 and is the oldest city hall in continuous use in the United States, since 1789. The Kearny Cottage, moved from its original location, is a remaining example of 18C vernacular architecture. The site of a ferry that crossed the Arthur Kill to Tottenville, Staten Island. Regular service began in 1709. This ferry became less important when the Outerbridge Crossing opened in 1928, but continued to operate until 1963. In 1998, the Perth Amboy Ferry Slip was restored to its 1904 appearance. A replica of the ticket office has been constructed and is used as a small museum. The Waterfront, This is where the city was first settled and one of the few places left in New Jersey that has a historic and marina culture surrounded by water. Local attractions include the Perth Amboy Ferry Slip, two small museums, an art gallery, a yacht club, and a marina. Near the marina lies a park with a small bandshell. And this is the area of my last residence before moving on to Florida.

The Outerbridge Crossing, which opened to traffic on June 29, 1928, is a cantilever bridge over the Arthur Kill that connects Perth Amboy with Staten Island, NYC. Known locally as the “Outerbridge”, it is part of a popular route on NY-440 / NJ-440 from the south and west to New York City and Long Island. The bridge clears the channel by 143 ft (44 m), providing passage for some of the largest ships entering the Port of New York and New JerseyThe Victory Bridge carries Route 35 over the Raritan River, connecting Perth Amboy on the north with the borough of Sayreville to the south. A project completed in 2005 replaced a swing bridge that carried four lanes of traffic with twin bridges, each carrying two lanes of traffic, an outside shoulder and a bike lane. The city has NJ Transit train service at Perth Amboy station. The station provides service on the North Jersey Coast Line to Newark Penn Station, Hoboken Terminal, Secaucus Junction, New York Penn Station and the Jersey Shore. I had my first train experience in the USA here! going to NYC! NJ Transit buses serve the Port Authority Bus Terminal. More on the train station here: https://www.njtransit.com/station/perth-amboy-station

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. At home 809 State St coming for visit from FL univ! below picture!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

We came in renting an apartment at 349 Oak Street, then move on to a bigger second floor apartment house at 809 State Street,and finally my parents were able to buy our first house ever at 106 State Street by the waterfront area. My parents had several small businesses in town that I of course help out; from grocery story, men’s clothing store, nightclub with live music and dancers, restaurant, and handyman sales of sundry items all over the State and even into NYC and Philadelphia, PA.

I played baseball on the Babe Ruth World Series sponsored by Chicken Delight restaurant and we won! Played baseball Freshman and JV at High School, intramural Volleyball, and foremost continue my soccer/football paths at the High School as I came over from Madrid, Spain.  All many memories, friendships that I must tell you endure today even after 40-46 years!!! My last visit to NJ dates from 2007 for four days! coming there from France.  A blog post or even a blog won’t be enough to cover it all but the heart is on this post. Thank you Perth Amboy, Middlesex County, New Jersey, USA; from a grateful citizen.

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

The New Jersey tourist board on gateway region with Perth Amboy: https://www.visitnj.org/nj/gateway-region/history

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

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

Again, hope you have enjoy the reading as much as I writing the post. Perth Amboy, Middlesex County, New Jersey! remembered!

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

January 14, 2021

Perth Amboy, New Jersey, USA

And I am going deep back in my life to remember dear places of my life’s existance. This is a memorable post I had hidden in my blog and needs update, refresh text and links. I have it in my black and white series as pictures are in individual posts in my blog. Hope you enjoy my life in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, USA!

The name is not on anyones travel page, nor in the main news, nor in most people’s mind. The name is of a small central New Jersey town of about 50K inhabitants right off the Raritan river,and the bay to New York city; the main corridor tri state area. However, this is where my life in the United States began as a young teenager.

I had no English, no money, and only the clothings on my back. Arriving from Madrid, Spain with my mother in 1974 to reunite with my father who was already there. Quickly I went to school at McGinnis Middle School on State Street, and she went to work; within a month we were all on our way to a completely new life in a new country. The country embraces us very nicely, Perth Amboy nurtured us, feed us, taught us how nice it is to live in a democracy , learn the English language, and play baseball and soccer/football in summer leagues.

The years went by and my English improved a lot as like a native! My parents went into small businesses such as a grocery store, restaurant, fine mens clothing store, nightclub ,and misc sundries line throughtout New Jersey and into Philadelphia ,PA. I graduated from Middle school and went on to High School, Perth Amboy Panthers !!!! I had my varsity soccer/football story,and the sneak out days, the girls, and the trips to Florida. I graduated there in June 1977 from high school. I became an American citizen in December 1980 at New Brunswick municipal courthouse, Middlesex county . Finally leaving the city for good in 1985 heading to my next step in life ,at Florida.

The city was the capital of East Jersey while the 13 colonies were around, one of the governor base at Perth Amboy was William Franklin, the son of Benjamin Franklin,who was a royalist. The Propietary House (see post) in Perth Amboy was where he lived as governor. He was instrumental in opening Queen College (later Rutgers University) . He was arrested in 1776-78  as he was against the American independance movement, and finally was exile to Great Britain in 1782, and died there in 1813  buried at St Pancras old Church Cementary. The Propietary House erected n 1762 is the only provincial governors house still standing in the USA: located at 149 Kearny Avenue, Perth Amboy.

The City Hall (see post) is the oldest continues in use city hall government building in the United States, built during 1714-1717 or 1718.  It burn down several times and rebuilt while for a time it serves as the  Provincial Assembly . It  was in City Hall that the State of New Jersey became the first state to ratify the Bill of Rights. Many sections still dates from 1717 today.

The city once had a ferry service to New York city that is in the works to re established again.  You can read in my posts  some of the historical things that was done or happenned in Perth Amboy. It is now a major marina with pleasure and fishing boats docking.

The Rudyk Park complex underneath the Outerbridge bridge to Staten Island, NYC was used by many to play summer league soccer/football sometimes with as many as 40 nationalities playing!  The wonderful tennis courts by the waterfront was entertaining, and with great views of the bay of NY all in Bayview Park. It has a vibrant downtown or city center area around the Five Corners as five avenues coincide at this junction. The roads are very easy as it is at the crossroads of the NJ Turnpike, the Garden State Parkway, and the Routes 1-9, 35, and 440.

The Newark Liberty Internatinal airport is only about a 30 minute car ride. There is a train station to take you to New York city Penn station from the airport call AirTran. Amtrak train site for train travel in the US and train station in Perth Amboy at trains now stop at Iselin.  For bus connections NJTransit No 116 takes you to New York City. These needs to be verify at time of travel as with the virus they may have change.

The city is ,also, the gateway to the Jersey Shore area, full of beaches and history like the Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen areas etc, lots of beautiful beaches such as Asbury Park, Point Pleasant Beach, Seaside Heights, Atlantic City, Ocean City, the Wildwoods; that were my favorites while living there. 

For lodging in the area I have used the Holiday Inn Express Woodbridge-Avenel, 874 Rt 1 north in my last visit there in 2007. Very nice clean residential and close to all roads. webpage: https://www.hiexpress.com/hotels/fr/fr/avenel/ewrwb/hoteldetail

The area is full of all types of accommodations but this one I have stayed personally. As for restaurants, the old reliable still there, Portuguese Manor, as I play soccer/football with the Portuguese community there, this was an almost daily routine; and keep coming back as late as 2007.  You will be in Portugal or Europe here ,great food, (last info I have it has closed sadly) ; another old favorite 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,  The armory is another jewel of historic significance as class reunions and graduation parties are held here, as well as a restaurant, The Armory Restaurant.

As for shopping, the best is just outside the city in the towns of Edison and Woodbridge, Menlo Park  Mall and Woodbridge Center Mall (one of the biggest in the USA), Downtown area has lots of stores but very difficult parking best head for the malls above.

Hope you enjoy this little bit of historical showcasing of a small city so close to my heart. Go Panthers !!! I came back last in 2007 for my High School 30th reunion but was unfortunately canceled at last minute and I end up going around the city for 3 days alone!!! Flashing back memories of a wonderful landing at last in democracy. Perth Amboy lovely dot in my world map. Hope you have enjoy the story as I.

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

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

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

July 4, 2020

My early US history, Perth Amboy NJ!

It is said, that in times of need/worries in this case due to the covid19 virus, the roots come out and make you stronger. I believe it. I have an entertaining blog that keeps my time thanks to all my readers it helps. I sometimes write about glamorous places that I have been lucky to visit or lived! but the roots always comes back to you. And happy 4th of July.

On a cloudy cool day at about 17C or 64F in my new neck of the woods Pluvigner, Morbihan 56, Bretagne in my belle France, let me get back on my feet. I came finally into freedom after avoiding communism and fascism into the United States. I was 13,5 years old arriving in unknown town of Perth Amboy New Jersey USA!

Perth Amboy

I spoked no English, no money and the clothes I was wearing arriving with my Mother (passed away in Versailles 2007) to join my Father there in Amboy as we locally call it. And the good times began!! Date: May 10 1972.

Perth Amboy

Perth Amboy

Perth Amboy

The early life was working very hard ,helping my parents who had branch out into small businesses such as the grocery store , clothing store, restaurant, delivery services,and nightclub activities. As hard working immigrants, it was a period of learning English, and new rules, laws, and way of living ,adjusting to the American work ethics that so much carry on in my life today. Even if by now also enjoying the la vie en rose à la Française!

Perth Amboy

Perth Amboy

I became a US citizen in the municipal courthouse of New Brunswick, Middlesex county, New Jersey on December 13, 1980. I learn my ways and language like a native ::) I continue playing my beloved football/soccer (learned in Madrid), and some baseball at high school, and amateur team levels. I played in the Garden State Soccer league known as Schaeffer league for the local beer who sponsored it,and the LISA, or Luso-Iberian Soccer Association with Portuguese and Spanish clubs.

My sports were intercepted around the help needed on my parents businesses,so I was very busy ,sometimes working at nights so to have some daytime free for sports and girls ::). The city that welcome me to America was Perth Amboy ,in Middlesex County, NJ. It was a city of about 50 000 inhabitants, full of immigrants from all over,there were sections call Budapest, Dublin, Little Italy, Holy Cross, etc, I lived by the one call the Waterfront (facing Staten Island, New York City).

Perth Amboy

I graduated a Panther from Perth Amboy High School in June of 1977,and went to university in Florida (later my second and last home in the USA). In Perth Amboy I lived for 13 years, hard working and full of learning a new surroundings and customs/language but full of great memories and many many friends that will eventually stop by here. Forever, Go Panthers !!!!!!!!!

perth amboy

In the Summers , we played at Rudyk Park complex underneath the Outerbridge to Staten Island, NYC, which was used by many to play summer league soccer/football sometimes with as many as 40 nationalities playing!  The wonderful tennis courts by the waterfront was entertaining, and with great views of the bay of NY all in Bayview Park. It has a vibrant downtown or city center area around the Five Corners as five avenues coincide at this junction. The roads are very easy as it is at the crossroads of the NJ Turnpike, the Garden State Parkway, and the Routes 1-9, 35 (to the Jersey shore and The Boss/Bon Jovi days), and 440.

These were what I call the learning years, the real adult fun began in Florida, but have several posts on it too in my blog.  And then , of course, my belle France (French citizen since 2000) and have many many posts on that in my blog too!

The Perth Amboy is full of American history from the times of the colonies and later, just browse my other entries on it. It was the right city to be acclimated to the American way of life indeed. I am still attach to the city and high school with groups in FB!

Perth Amboy

The Amboy Guardian local newspaper here! Amboy guardian newspaper

The Perth Amboy schools have it on the High School (lycée): Perth Amboy Publis Schools on the High School

The Middlesex County NJ webpage on Perth AmboyMiddlesex County on Perth Amboy

The city of Perth AmboyCity of Perth Amboy

Just for the memories and if by the area NY/NJ a must stop to get to know about early American history as it was the home of the British colonial governor of NJ and many battles were held there. Hope you enjoy this personal post. And thank you Perth Amboy!

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

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