Our Family Circle: 2018 Holiday Season in Linden, NJ

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Holiday Season 2018 began in Linden, New Jersey last Sunday, December 2nd, with the lighting of the Menorah on the first day of Hanukkah.  Last night the festivities continued with the lighting of the Holiday Tree outside of City Hall on North Wood Avenue.  The holiday events scheduled throughout December are meant as focal points to bring the city people together and share our spirit of good cheer.  For a newcomer like me, who has lived here 4 1/2 months, the friendliness and informality of Linden has created a sense of closeness to my neighbors and the officials.

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Prior to the start of Friday’s event, a band played traditional carols as the group gathered together in the slightly above freezing temperatures.  At 6 p.m. the event opened with an inter-faith prayer that asked for blessings upon all peoples along with the provision of their needs.  This was followed with performances by the very talented choral and dance groups composed of Linden High School students.  What impressed me was how well behaved the gathering was:  the acapella singers could be clearly heard as the townspeople respectfully listened to the young people who sang so well.  The dance groups also performed with poise that was, I am sure, the result of many weeks of dedicated practice.

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The tree lighting was officiated by Mayor Derek Armstead as the stage darkened and everyone waited for the burst of colored lights to illuminate the cold, clear night.   In the photo, the Mayor is the fourth person from the left, looking towards the tree. There were also horse drawn carts to take people on a ride around the area.  Later refreshments were available at the recreation room of City Hall.

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Across the street, the Raymond Wood Bauer Promenade was transformed into Wonderland with a display of colorful lighting arrangements.  There was also a fire blazing for bystanders who needed to warm themselves.

The closeness, the interaction of the Mayor Derek Armstead with the townspeople as he mingled with the crowd, the well behaved attendees and the intimacy of the gathering were very special to me because it created a real and living link to the new city I live in.

I send out a big THANK YOU to Mayor Armstead, his staff, the volunteers, the performers, the students and the cultural activities committees that made this event possible.

The version in Italian is for all my cousins by blood and by marriage in Italy…I’m using Google translator so please overlook any errors…


Questa versione in italiano è per tutti i miei cugini di sangue e per matrimonio in Italia … Sto usando il traduttore di Google quindi per favore trascura gli errori …


L’Holiday Season 2018 è iniziato a Linden, New Jersey, domenica scorsa, il 2 dicembre, con l’illuminazione della Menorah il primo giorno di Hanukkah. Ieri sera i festeggiamenti sono proseguiti con l’illuminazione dell’albero delle vacanze fuori dal municipio di North Wood Avenue. Gli eventi festivi programmati per tutto il mese di dicembre sono intesi come punti focali per avvicinare le persone della città e condividere il nostro spirito di allegria. Per un nuovo arrivato come me, che ha vissuto qui 4 mesi e mezzo, la cordialità e l’informalità di Linden ha creato un senso di vicinanza ai miei vicini e ai funzionari.

Prima dell’inizio dell’evento del venerdì, una band suonava canti tradizionali mentre il gruppo si riuniva nelle temperature leggermente al di sopra dello zero. Alle 18:00 l’evento si è aperto con una preghiera interreligiosa che ha chiesto benedizioni a tutti i popoli insieme alla fornitura dei loro bisogni. Questo è stato seguito con le esibizioni dei gruppi di cori e danza di grande talento composti da studenti della Linden High School. Ciò che mi ha impressionato è stato il modo in cui si sono comportati bene: i cantanti di Acapella si sentivano chiaramente mentre i cittadini ascoltavano rispettosamente i giovani che cantavano così bene. I gruppi di danza si sono esibiti con un po ‘di pazienza che è stato, ne sono certo, il risultato di molte settimane di pratica dedicate.

L’illuminazione degli alberi fu officiata dal sindaco Derek Armstead mentre il palco si oscurava e tutti aspettavano lo scoppio di luci colorate per illuminare la notte fredda e limpida. C’erano anche carri trainati da cavalli per portare persone in giro per la zona. I rinfreschi successivi erano disponibili nella sala ricreativa del municipio.

Dall’altra parte della strada, il Raymond Wood Bauer Promenade è stato trasformato in un paese delle meraviglie con un’esposizione di luci colorate. C’era anche un fuoco ardente per gli astanti che avevano bisogno di scaldarsi.

La vicinanza, l’interazione del Sindaco con gli abitanti della città mentre si univa alla folla, i partecipanti ben educati e l’intimità del raduno erano molto speciali per me perché creava un legame reale e vivente con la nuova città in cui vivo.

Invio un grande GRAZIE al Sindaco, al suo staff, ai volontari, gli studenti e ai comitati di attività culturali che hanno reso possibile questo evento.

Our Family Circle: Out and About with EmilyAnn Late Spring-Early Summer 2018

Greetings to all my family and friends here at WordPress and in real time.  The posting schedule has slowed down because of my pending relocation.  Yes, I am leaving Brooklyn!  I never thought I would move out of state.  It is necessary, though, to be closer to my job, to be onsite more often and reduce the time I spend commuting.  The office where I work is located in Pennington, New Jersey.  The current commute door-to-door one way is 2 to 2 1/2 hours on a good day.  When the New York City subway is having a bad day, so do I:  the one way trip can go to 3 hours.

In July I am moving to a beautiful one bedroom apartment in Linden, New Jersey.  It is a small apartment but very pretty all the same.  It is located 10 minutes from the station and Wood Avenue where I can shop for everything I need.  I have visited Linden several times since I first saw my new apartment and feel transported back to a small town in America way before gentrification and upscaling ever came into the public consciousness.  Not that these two developments are necessarily negative but they do drive rent up and working families out of traditionally residential and family focused communities.  I see this happening in Brooklyn and have my doubts about the proliferation of high end coffee bars, craft beer stores and bars dispensing hard liquor and attracting a more nocturnal crowd into the neighborhood.

I look forward to getting to know my new town as the summer progresses.  Once I have settled in and completely unpacked all my belongings postings here at the blog will be more regular.

Today, June 10, 2018, I attended the birthday celebration for the daughters of one of my co-workers.  One of the reasons why I have done so well at my job the past 9 years is due to the co-operative spirit amongst management and employees at the company.  We are like a family.   So it is with much enjoyment that I watch the younger employee’s children as they grow up.  Mani and Purani hosted a birthday party for their daughters Mridula (3 years old) and Amirtha (7 years old) at Tumbles in Princeton, New Jersey.  The kids engaged in fitness related activity followed by a pizza party.  The adults enjoyed a delicious buffet made up of food from an Indian restaurant and home-cooked dishes by Purani.

Here are some photos from my walks in Linden, New Jersey.  They are followed by photos of today’s birthday celebration.  If you have time, give me an update on your latest family related events in the comment section to this posting.

Linden, New Jersey-April 2018

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Linden Train Station.

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Wood Avenue.

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Many side streets have well-kept frame houses.

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More colorful frame houses.

Mridula and Amirtha’s Birthday Celebrations, Sunday, June 10th, 2018

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Left to right:  Purani with Amirtha, Mani, Mridula (seated).

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Amirtha and Mridula during one of the activities.

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Amirtha celebrated her 7th birthday today.

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Amirtha’s birthday cake.

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Mridula is three years old.

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Mridula’s birthday cake.