Paramus

I grew up in Bergen County and I must differ with Lucinda Rosenfeld’s attribution of Jared Kushner’s entitlement to his growing up there. I was there somewhat earlier than she was, though.

The neighborhood I grew up in was ethnically mixed, although yes, white. Czech, German, Irish, longer-time American, and, overlaid, Jewish and Christian. We were Democrats and Republicans. We were too working-class to aspire to the heights of New York society. We kids would have disdained that anyway. We had the local playground, the railroad tracks that our parents wished we wouldn’t frequent, and buses to get to the next town. Who needed more? We had good schools that continue to be good.  The diversity mix has changed, but diversity there is.

It particularly pains me when I read that Kushner attended a private school in Paramus. Paramus was, for me, a magical place.

My parents had good friends in Paramus, call them Mr. and Mrs. B, who owned quite a bit of land which is now occcupied by those middle-class houses. Visiting them was always a treat. They farmed that land. They were not alone; farm stands were easy to find. As we drove to their house, past where Lord & Taylor now stands, we could see even rows of celery growing in dark earth.

They had fruit trees, blueberries, grapes, and many row crops. Mrs. B canned and froze a lot, and they shared with us. When we visited in the summer, we kids were let loose in the lush lawn and garden, with some admonitions about what we could pick and do. They also had chickens and muscovy ducks, and we often went home with eggs.

There was also a penny candy store on the way that sometimes my father would stop at. Beyond, there was Tice’s Farms, with heavenly donuts that you could watch cooking and apples in the fall. I found the recipe for those donuts some time back.

The summer I was nine or ten, it occurred to me, my brother and sister, and a neighbor brother and sister that it would be nice to visit Mr. and Mrs. B. I knew the way, and we all wanted to see the chickens and ducks, with the off chance that there would be some delicious fruit. So off we went. It did not occur to us to tell our parents.

According to Google Maps, it’s about eight miles. My father usually drove back roads, and the Garden State Parkway did not exist, so we walked sidewalk with not too much traffic. Our ages ranged from about four to whatever I was, but nobody complained, at least not a lot.

Still, we were tired when we got there. It was a work day, so Mr. B was not home. Mrs. B, who taught high school, was home. She urged us to sit down in the Adirondack chairs on the lawn – she would get us some things to drink. When I was older, I realized she must have been horrified for my mother and called her first. When my father came to pick us up that night, there was no punishment, although my parents did make clear that they would appreciate being informed about such adventures in the future.

There was a break between my parents and Mr. and Mrs. B. I went off to college and then graduate school. I knew they sold the property in stages, to be developed, and I occasionally drove past. A few years ago, I went back to New Jersey for a high school reunion. I went to Paramus to look around.

Their house was still there, but others were jammed up against it. A few fruit trees still lined the driveway. The back yard was pretty much gone, and a house sat where the poultry pen had been. The blueberries, grapes, peach trees, all gone. The sycamores along the streets were very large, the neighborhood very established. My memories are from a long time ago.

Kushner’s prep school is on the other side of Route 17. I don’t know that area well, but I wish it weren’t in Paramus.






108 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    I’m saddened to have grown up in the same country as these people.

  2. 2
    Yutsano says:

    It particularly pains me when I read that Kushner attended a private school in Paramus.

    Daddy just bought him all the greased skids eh?

  3. 3
    Jersey Tomato says:

    I grew up in Livingston, where Jared (and Chris Christie) also grew up. Both of my brothers were in HS with Christie, and claim he wasn’t such an a-hole back then. Anyway, but the fact that those two are scumbags isn’t Livingston’s, or New Jersey’s fault. It’s an upper middle class town and lots of its population works in Manhattan, but for the most part they are happy to live in the burbs. There are plenty of opportunities to volunteer or otherwise contribute to the greater good, so if Jared and Christie turned out to be a-holes, its because they wanted to, not because they didn’t know any better.

  4. 4
    Barbara says:

    I didn’t read the piece because it seems absurd to attribute the traits of entitlement to a place. This is one of those things where, if you are looking for something, you will surely find it. That doesn’t mean you couldn’t find it anywhere else too. I had a client that was headed by a guy who, in the words of a colleague, looked and acted like he had just walked off the set of the movie Donnie Brasco. Except that he was from Nebraska. Go figure.

  5. 5
    Nora says:

    Tice’s Farms, which you mention, and which I remember well, was in the town where I grew up. It’s all developed now, and the farms are no more.

    What I remember about Paramus is that their high school was in the same debate league as mine, and my debate partner and I were friends with teams from Paramus. Nice high school, as I recall.

    Oh, yeah, and Paramus Park? That opened when I was 16, and I remembered being awed (I could actually bicycle there without riding on Route 17, which was NOT a road to bicycle on) and thinking it had been designed for 16 year old girls.

    Jared knows nothing about that part of New Jersey, and I would never blame Bergen County for that asshole.

  6. 6
    Eljai says:

    Cheryl, I love the story of your adventure to Mr. and Mrs. B’s farm. Anyhoo, I have never been to New Jersey, but your assessment makes sense to me. Maybe Jared is just an asshole, and there may be many reasons for that. Having a dad that’ll buy your way into Harvard despite an unremarkable academic history could make a kid feel pretty entitled.

  7. 7
    germy says:

    I remember the Bergen Mall. I haven’t been there in years; from what I understand it was completely torn down and rebuilt.

    I remember the Fox and Oritani movie theaters on Main Street Hackensack. Big, old movie palaces from the 1920s.
    They’re gone.

    The little train ride in Van Saun Park! That’s still there, as far as I know. Again, it’s been decades since I’ve been anywhere near there.

  8. 8
    narya says:

    I grew up in Warren County–we had a farmers’ fair every year, and a few of the people I knew in high school actually lived on a farm. We also got the most awesome produce from a local farm with a large farmstand; while visiting my parents last week, they reminisced about the year we got about 110 ears of corn for $6.00. We then proceeded to blanch it, cut it off the cob, and freeze it, and it was awesome all winter. We also did peaches at least once. My dad had a backyard garden, too, from which we ate salad all summer. (He also had a Magic Compost Heap, dirt from which turned my brother’s bare-dirt backyard into an actual yard.) I think my mom also canned tomatoes.

    My particular hometown was strange, though; on one hand, most people worked at one of two or three local industries (the land under one of which is now basically a brownfield), and it was steadfastly working class. On the other hand, there was a small rich section of town, and I know at least two families were related to Famous Names in U.S. industry/manufacturing. What’s even more odd is that the kids from those families went to high school with me; i.e., they didn’t get shipped off to private school, though in retrospect that’s kind of surprising. Then again, this was more than 40 years ago, so . . .

    The other thing–tangentially related to the subject of this thread–is that no interstates had gone through the area yet (one has now), so we didn’t go to New York, and only very rarely went to Philadelphia. It felt like a small town, and acted like one, in many respects. Now it’s a tired small town within driving distance, more or less, of NYC and that metropolis, and most of the industry is gone.

  9. 9
    No Drought No More says:

    “It particularly pains me when I read that Kushner attended a private school in Paramus. Paramus was, for me, a magical place”.

    Which is exactly how most people raised in Munich must nowadays feel about you-know-who.

  10. 10
    realbtl says:

    OT. Cheryl thanks for the reccie on Critical Assembly. A few parts were too “in the weeds” but all in all a great read.

  11. 11
    NotMax says:

    Speaking of New Joisey, anyone have memories of Two Guys From Harrison stores?

  12. 12
    debbie says:

    Prep school isn’t why he is what he is. His parents made him and raised him. Plus much, much money.

  13. 13

    @realbtl: Glad you liked it! It’s one of my faves.

  14. 14
    Ruckus says:

    @narya:

    and most of the industry is gone.

    Large swaths of this country can say the same thing. Mfg has changed a lot in the last 50-60 yrs. The need for a lot of small companies to support major mfg is gone, so are a lot of the companies. We still do high value mfg in this country but because wages haven’t kept up, a lot of people couldn’t afford to purchase everyday mfg stuff, without it being made cheaper than even our low minimum wages. And because there is really no place left to cut, companies closed down or moved production to places with cheaper wages. Now the shipping industry on the other hand………
    And look at places where there is very limited to no production to speak of, these are poor countries. Look at areas in this country that 50-60 yrs ago were mfg areas and compare them to today, they have become bedroom communities for a bigger city or they are poor.

  15. 15
    germy says:

    @NotMax: My parents didn’t buy many appliances (back then they lasted for a long time) but I remember commercials for Two Guys. Crazy Eddie, also.

    Sterns, Bambergers, Korvettes, Ohrbach’s, etc. were places we shopped.

  16. 16
    MattF says:

    I’m from Queens, truth to tell. There are a lot of places in Queens where you can see Manhattan, floating off in the distance, across the East River.

  17. 17
    Ruckus says:

    @debbie:
    Yes, good parental examples there. Haven’t heard anything about the mom but dad is a piece of work.

  18. 18
    Brachiator says:

    I didn’t know anything about Paramus. Some interesting tidbits from the Wiki

    [Impact of real estate development and shopping malls] From 1948–58, the population of Paramus increased from 6,000 to 23,000, the number of retail establishments tripled from 111 to 319.

    6.9% of residents self-identified as being Korean-American, which makes it the largest ethnic minority group in the borough…

    A section of Paramus known as Dunkerhook (meaning dark corner in Dutch) was a free African-American community dating to the early 18th century. Although historical markers on the current site and local oral tradition maintain that this was a slave community, contemporary records document that it was a community of free blacks, not slaves…

    One of the earliest drive-in theaters opened in Paramus, featuring what was said to be the world’s largest and brightest screen, located behind what is now Westfield Garden State Plaza. The Paramus Drive-In closed in 1987 after the last movie presentation, a double-feature of “Crocodile” Dundee and The Untouchables.

  19. 19
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Your summer adventure to Mr. & Mrs. B’s house is a delightful story. It sounds totally like the kind of thing I’d have done had I siblings and neighbor kids to do it with. Is/was it sad that your families had a break?

  20. 20
    Cermet says:

    I did grow up in a rural but close enough to a city that we weren’t fully in the boonies. Moved back to raise my daughter and it still is a wonderful place (she is finishing her last year at MIT.) She attended public schools and couldn’t have asked fora better education – yes, it was both racial and economically more diverse now than when I grew up (far more poor then and almost no black or asian.) I am extremely grateful for the ethic change because it was more representative of today’s amerika. Otherwise, while far fewer poor and “dirt” poor are gone, still, a very good community to live. I will miss it when I move in the not too distant future when my step-daughter finishes school..

  21. 21
    karensky says:

    What a lovely piece, Cheryl Rofer Thanks.

    As my son-in-law would say, “Kushner is a putz.”

  22. 22
    BBA says:

    @Baud: I’m saddened to have grown up on the same planet as these people.

  23. 23

    @Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho: I was sad about it and kept in contact with Mrs. B via mail for a while, but eventually that ended. I think my parents were sad about it too, but also angry.

  24. 24
    ThresherK says:

    I won tickets to a Cosmos game and on the way we stopped at a mall in Paramus, which I figure was the Bergen mall. I do not remember if I’d been in one in my (short, semi-bumpkin) life. There was a cheese shop and I tried Camembert, and liked it immensely.

    Now one can get “specialty cheese” at any bigger market in a suburb.

  25. 25
    burnspbesq says:

    You’re making me Jones for a burger and an order of onion rings from The Fireplace, Cheryl. RHS class of 19xx. Go Maroons!

    To be followed by two scoops of cantaloupe ice cream from van Dyk’s, which is still going strong at its original location on Ackerman Ave.

  26. 26
    cmorenc says:

    @Baud:

    I’m saddened to have grown up in the same country as these people.

    …and even sadder that we grew up in the same country as the millions of folks who wilfully voted for these toxic malignant buffoons. And thought that the better choice, despite the legion of irrefutable major lies, displays of overt bigotry and hate, deliberate stiffing of blue-collar white contractors, sex abuse and sexist contempt for women, russian entanglements, and so on.

  27. 27
    HeleninEire says:

    A day. I had it. Well maybe a night.

  28. 28
  29. 29
    J R in WV says:

    We once visited NJ briefly. We spent most of a week in Philly, saw the bright lights, Independence Hall, great food, stayed in a B&B built in the 1700s, so all great. Then drove to Franklin, NJ, in the northern end of the state, not far from Delaware Water Gap [where we’ve tried twice to find something to see or do, nothing so far].

    We went to Franklin to visit the Sterling Hill Mining Museum, the site of a huge deposit of high-grade zinc ore – which also created a ton of rare minerals, many of the fluorescent. There’s an annual mineral show/sale which I wanted to visit at least once.

    We were surprised at the rural feel of NJ once you got away from the freeway out of Philly. Lots of woods, farms, hilly countryside. Nothing like the suburban development we had expected. Found an interesting restaurant, but now I forget whether it was Asian of one type or another, or old-fashioned Italian…

    Anyway, the Franklin mining site was interesting. But I’m a rock collector, so maybe no one else would care about rocks that react to UV lights. The colors are out of this world brilliant, tho.

    ETA: And how strange that I couldn’t pump my own gas!?!?!

  30. 30
    gbbalto says:

    My father grew up in Boonton before WWII (Boonton High alumnus!). In the summer of 1965, my brother and I got to go to the summer camp he went to (which apparently hadn’t changed much since the 30s). Camp Morris? I can’t find it on Google, probably long gone. It was (then) way out in the country, and we had long horseback rides through beautiful scenery. It must all be developed by now, too bad…
    My father’s parents lived in an old stone hunting lodge along the Rockaway River. I was in the area some years back and found it – still with the “Mallard Lodge” sign. Unfortunately, it had shrunk in size since I was a kid.
    ETA – Cheryl, thanks for the post – brings back many good memories!

  31. 31
    narya says:

    @Ruckus: Or they’re BOTH poor and a bedroom community, depending on which side of town you’re in. One of the manufacturers moved a lot of their operations overseas, I think; that’s the one that left a brownfield behind. Another was featured in the FYNYT a few years back because of the vast number of OSHA violations and worker injuries. The third was only ever small, and the building appears to be occupied; I don’t have a clue how many people were employed there when I was a kid. Not many, I’d guess. The “downtown” street looks worn-out and tired. OTOH, the house where I spent my tween/teen years (which we built; my dad did a lot of the work on it) apparently was purchased by folks who commute to NYC. The house wasn’t all that big (at least not by mcmansion standards, but it had a wonderful yard and would be a great house if you don’t mind the commute. And, now that I think about it, apparently there is a bus or something that goes into the city (an electrician friend of my brother’s uses that), so you could even avoid driving.

    Sorry for the nostalgia . . . just visited out there last week and it’s on my mind.

  32. 32
    Svensker says:

    @burnspbesq:

    You’re making me Jones for a burger and an order of onion rings from The Fireplace,

    Yum. With lots and lots of free pickles.

    There’s a new (in the last 12 years) place on Ridgewood Ave. near the train station that has good burgers — but absolutely stellar milkshakes.

    Tricky Dick lived in Bergen Co. at the end, too.

  33. 33
    beth says:

    @germy: I just saw a friend post photos of her kids on the Van Saun Park train so yes, it’s still there. Are you old enough to remember the big mural on the wall of Alexanders at the junction of 4 & 17?

  34. 34
    bystander says:

    What’s weird is that for a member of the Kushner multimillionaire milieu of NYC going to prep school in Paramus means he couldn’t get into Fieldston, Horace Mann, or Collegiate. Unless it’s a function of the shame of Jared’s father being in the Big House so Jared had to be away from mainstream, high end NYC Jewish culture.

  35. 35
    Juju says:

    It has been my experience as a teacher, and just dealing with people in non educationally related situations,(life), that people who act entitled are raised to be that way.

    Cheryl, if you ever think of it, publish the donut recipe sometime or other. My grandmother made wonderful donuts, but she never used a recipe and never wrote down her own recipe. I have spent a lifetime trying to track down or make anything remotely similar. So far I’ve had no luck in that regard. Maybe your recipe will be close.

  36. 36
    HeleninEire says:

    @Baud: Come to Ireland. Last week me and Satby were fighting about who loves you most. Well, turns out Satby loves Cornerstone too. Did not see that coming. Go look at the threads. I love you the most! YAY ME. Hi SAYBY.

  37. 37
    germy says:

    @beth: Yes, I do.

    I haven’t thought of that one in years! Completely forgot about it.

  38. 38
    John Revolta says:

    @J R in WV: Ya gotta go up there (Water Gap) like this time of year when the leaves are doing their thing and all the little towns have their Halloween stuff up, and a nip in the air, and farm stands…………you get the idea. We lived in Hoboken/Jersey City/WNY all thru the 80s and 90s and we used to go out there every year. There’s a diner that hangs over the river, with big windows looking out. I think it’s on the NY side off of Rt 97. Beeootiful.

  39. 39
    WaterGirl says:

    @HeleninEire: Excuse me?!

  40. 40
    efgoldman says:

    @Juju:

    people who act entitled are raised to be that way.

    Yup. I grew up with lots of wealthy kids; so did our daughter. Some were assholes as kids and stayed that way. Some couldn’t have been less pretentious or snobbish, and mostly stayed that way. Boston ‘burbs, not New Jersey, but same theory.

  41. 41
    catpal says:

    I was raised on the NY side of Tice’s farm and remember it well. Jared Kushner is an entitled asshole because of his father Charles Kushner the convicted criminal who did stuff like this

    The witness-tampering charge arose from Kushner’s act of retaliation against William Schulder, his sister Esther’s husband, who was cooperating with federal investigators; Kushner hired a prostitute to seduce his brother-in-law, arranged to record an encounter between the two, and had the tape sent to his sister.

  42. 42
    John Fremont says:

    @Baud: Are the Dixie Chicks going to play your inauguration?

  43. 43
    rikyrah says:

    Johnson Says Health Care and Food Are ‘Privileges’
    October 1, 2017 at 11:40 am EDT

    Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) told a group of high school students “that they don’t have a right to health care, food and shelter,” WISN reports.

    Said Johnson: “I think it’s probably more of a privilege.”

    He added: “Do you consider food a right? Do you consider clothing a right? Do you consider shelter a right? What we have as rights is life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Past that point, we have the right to freedom. Past that point is a limited resource that we have to use our opportunities given to us to afford those things.”

    http://www.wisn.com/article/jo.....e/12655631

  44. 44
    debbie says:

    @rikyrah:

    Damn. Wish one of those kids had asked if his Congressional bennies were a right. 😤😡

  45. 45
    gbbalto says:

    @rikyrah: Of course, you can have life without food, clothing, or shelter! No big problem there! Johnson needs to live under a bridge for a while.
    ETA: of course, if you run out of food, Johnson might cook up very well

  46. 46
    gbbalto says:

    @debbie: No, he is entitled to them by the very fact of being a Congressman.

  47. 47
    WaterGirl says:

    @rikyrah: He is right out of a Dicken’s novel.

    edit: When do some of these scumbags get to experience the natural consequences from the things they say and do? I can imagine a lot of parents out there who might take this one personally.

  48. 48
    HeleninEire says:

    @WaterGirl: My bad. You too?

  49. 49
    burnspbesq says:

    @Svensker:

    Tricky Dick lived in Bergen Co. at the end, too.

    Yup. Upper Saddle River. My brothers both worked as delivery drivers for a pharmacy/liquor store in Ho-Ho-Kus. They were on a first-name basis with the Secret Service detail.

  50. 50
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @rikyrah: I consistently call his office to let him know he is an asshole. Sometimes I use different terms, but the gist remains clear.

  51. 51
    WaterGirl says:

    @HeleninEire: I can’t believe you have to ask. :-)

  52. 52
    WaterGirl says:

    @debbie: Did I read that you broke your arm? oh, no!

  53. 53
    WaterGirl says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Wow, I thought our guy was bad.

  54. 54
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @WaterGirl: Tammy Baldwin is awesome. My local rep. who replaced Tammy, Mark Pocan, is awesome. WI is quite bipolar these days.

  55. 55
    rikyrah says:

    Ryan won’t guarantee every middle class person will get a tax cut under Trump proposal

    Source: The Hill

    BY REBECCA SAVRANSKY – 10/01/17 11:07 AM EDT

    House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Sunday wouldn’t guarantee that every middle class person would get a tax cut under President Trump’s tax reform proposal.

    “That’s the purpose of doing this,” Ryan said on CBS’s “Face The Nation.” “The purpose of this is to get a middle class tax cut.”

    Ryan was pressed on whether that was a guarantee that every middle class person would get a tax cut under the president’s plan. “Well, I don’t know every single person’s little, small problem or issue,” he said.

    Ryan said the purpose of the tax reform plan is to lower middle class taxes. “So yes, people are going to get tax cuts. How big are those tax cuts? That depends on the individual,” he said.

    http://thehill.com/policy/fina.....nder-trump

  56. 56
    debbie says:

    @WaterGirl:

    No, just my hand. I was exceedingly lucky. Though it doesn’t feel lucky at the moment.

  57. 57
    debbie says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    An NPR program was just talking about the Foxconn deal. What a whore that Walker is.

  58. 58
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @John Revolta: The Hawk’s Nest diner on Rt. 97 burned down years, probably decades ago, and was never rebuilt.

  59. 59
    HeleninEire says:

    @WaterGirl: Did I miss your love for Baud? Oh wait, did I miss your love for Cornerstone?

  60. 60
    WaterGirl says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Sorry, I didn’t read closely enough – thought he was a representative. Even our piece of shit representative isn’t as bad as your guy. And yes, Tammy Baldwin is great, at least we dumped our piece of shit senator.

  61. 61
    rikyrah says:

    Stephen Curry’s social status doesn’t take away from the message
    8:29 PM ET

    OAKLAND, Calif. — Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry is very much aware that he lives a life most people can’t relate to. But he made it abundantly clear that it doesn’t mean he can’t be a voice for those people.

    In an interview with ESPN, the two-time MVP said it’s disturbing when his critics deem him unqualified for speaking out on social injustice because of his wealth and global stature.

    Individuals who share that opinion visited Curry’s social media platforms in large numbers to let their feelings be known following President Donald Trump’s tweet “withdrawing” Curry and the Warriors’ White House invitation.

    “I’ve heard a lot of backlash from this whole thing last weekend about how much money we make and ‘what are we complaining about?’ and ‘we’re in a bubble, we don’t have the same struggles and stresses of life [compared] to other people,'” Curry said. “And, obviously, I come from a privileged background with my dad playing in the NBA. I’m not denying that, but the majority of the NBA players come from the same backgrounds and socioeconomic situations that these criticisms are coming from.

    “It gets lost. We have families. We’ve got people around us that are going through the same thing. How that all kind of takes shape is ridiculous to me — trying to minimize what we’re talking about because we have money. That doesn’t make any difference to us. And hopefully with that money, we can do a lot of good with it. We still have family and people that we are connected to, that we feel what real life is like.”

  62. 62
    WaterGirl says:

    @debbie: A break in your hand doesn’t sound like much fun, either, but the bones are much smaller, so I presume that’s at least part of why it’s better.

    Either way, so sorry to hear that! How do you type? Or are you dictating?

  63. 63
    WaterGirl says:

    @HeleninEire: No particular love for CornerStone, though I’m glad he back.

  64. 64
    WaterGirl says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: As for WI being bi-polar these days, I am hoping that their dose of Trump swings them back where they belong.

  65. 65
    Svensker says:

    My brothers both worked as delivery drivers for a pharmacy/liquor store in Ho-Ho-Kus.

    I remember that place! I always went to the P.O. in Ho-Ho-Kus because there was parking and the nicest folks worked there. And got bagels at the joint across the street — extra cream cheese and semi-surly Hispanic workers. Sure do miss them bagels.

  66. 66
    WaterGirl says:

    @debbie: @Omnes Omnibus: I think your sentence could do with a few more modifiers for the word whore.

    As Omnes knows, I am trying to branch out in the swearing department, so I am keenly observing others here who are more skilled at it than I am.

  67. 67
    daverave says:

    I grew up next door to Paramus in Oradell. It was definitely a bedroom community and it seemed as everyone’s dad commuted to the city for work, typically white collar. As can be imagined, the last thing my dad wanted to do was go back there on his days off so we rarely went unless it was to our family doctor to get our shots. I dreaded those trips! We went into the city for plays once in a while in school and saw James Earl Jones perform, which made quite an impression. Dad, reluctantly, as he hated them, took us to a Yankee game maybe once a year as all of his boys were rabid fans. I also remember an incredibly smoky original MSG Ranger game. He also took the family to the 1964 fair, twice I seem to recall. My mom took us to the Paramus Mall all of the time. Despite, or perhaps because of, my undiversied, idyllic, suburban upbringing, I’ve lived in cities since graduating high school. Two summers commuting to NYC as an intern at an architectural firm ($2.50/hr minus $30/week for NJ Transit) completely disabused me of the notion that the commuter lifestyle was anything I wanted to tolerate.

    Although it was unspoken, NYC was generally perceived as a dirty, somewhat dangerous place so when we went out for dinner it was usually to the Emerson Hotel or the Little Ferry diner on the circle. The Fireplace got worked into the rotation at some point. We went to Tice’s every weekend when there was fresh corn available, 12 ears for a buck… thanks for the memory.

    As far as diversity, I remember lots of Jewish friends and a few Japanese families but I did not attend school with a P.O.C until the son of a UN diplomat moved nearby and his son attended my middle school… in other words it was lily white. My dad was a strict Republican; fortunately I got my politics from my mom who was pretty much a bleeding heart liberal.

    IMHO, Jared’s aholeishness is a product of family not environment.

    Now you kids get off my lawn, dammit!

  68. 68
    randy khan says:

    @germy:

    My parents didn’t buy many appliances (back then they lasted for a long time) but I remember commercials for Two Guys. Crazy Eddie, also.

    Sterns, Bambergers, Korvettes, Ohrbach’s, etc. were places we shopped.

    I remember all of those places – like you, I mostly remember Two Guys and Crazy Eddie from ads. Also Nobody Beats the Wiz (which, it turns out, was partly owned by a guy who’s a big DC real estate developer now).

    I grew up in the northern part of Monmouth County, which is largely bedroom communities for NYC near the Shore (alway capitalized!!) – places like Matawan, Keyport, Marlboro, Manalapan, Middletown, and Asbury Park, but becomes rural as you go further inland, even now. My equivalent of Tire’s was Delicious Orchards, which originally had its retail outlet right at the orchards deep in the back roads, but then opened up a big store on Route 34 that’s still there. (My enduring memory of the store is the beehive they built into one of the walls.) Every once in a while I get a craving for the apple cider donuts, but I think I’ve only managed to get there once in the last 20 years.

  69. 69
    Anonymous At Work says:

    Kushner wasn’t a Paramus kid who moved up to NYC. He was part of a “dynasty” that had been “exiled” to Paramus. He grew up around those that were probably labeled as his “lessers” at home.

  70. 70
    daverave says:

    @burnspbesq:

    I was a delivery driver for a pharmacy, too, starting pretty much the day I got my license. A great way to learn to drive. I also got to count pills for prescriptions when we got busy. Imagine either of those job duties for a 16 year old these days. By far the most common pharmacy delivery was, obviously, condoms.

  71. 71
    randy khan says:

    @rikyrah:

    He’s lying. But we knew that.

  72. 72
    WaterGirl says:

    @randy khan: Absolutely! When your “answer” is that you can’t guarantee that every single middle class person will get a tax cut, you are just being evasive and slimy. He can come back when he’s willing to put a number on it – say that 90 or 95% or 98% of middle class people will benefit from this piece of shit bill.

  73. 73
    John Revolta says:

    @Gin & Tonic: @Gin & Tonic: Balloon Juice! Come for the awful political news, stay for the horrible personal news!

  74. 74
    debbie says:

    @WaterGirl:

    With many errors. 🤐

  75. 75
    debbie says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Here’s a thought: Trade your grip on Baud to HeleninEire in exchange for a Scottish dictionary of swear words.

  76. 76
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @NotMax: Yes! I remember 2 Guys from Harrison. I started out in Essex County (Newark, then Irvington), but spent most of my growing up years in Sussex County. Had the hiking/biking to the farm and orchards experiences that Cheryl mentions (Windy Brow Farms, now a housing development), although I was somewhat older and we didn’t have any 4-year-olds in tow.

    ETA: My stepmom grew up in Nutley. Is that Bergen County too? (Dad is from Newark; went to high school with Michael Landon, who had a different name then.)

  77. 77
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @J R in WV: OMG. The Franklin museum was a regular school class trip for us, since we lived in a neighboring town. So cool that you’ve been there. It’s not high on the better known bucket list items. :)

  78. 78
    Mai.naem.mobile says:

    I thought Kushner went to Paramus because it was a Jewish Prep School and he chose to go there because he’s Orthodox. I don’t know if I saw that explicitly written or if it was just implied.

  79. 79
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @O. Felix Culpa: Correction. My dad went to high school with some other Jewish actor who started out with a different name, not Michael Landon. I can’t remember who, so take your pick.

  80. 80
    bemused says:

    @rikyrah:

    Snort! Guess who are the loudest whiners when they don’t get what they think they deserve more than others.

    I had a memory of newly elected Republican Rep who got very upset learning at House orientation for the newbys in Congress that he and his family of five would not be enrolled in health care coverage until end of Feb. What was he supposed to do for health care coverage in the meantime??? A little research found it was 2010 when physician Andy Harris won the Maryland seat. He said he was just pointing out the inefficiency of government run health care.

  81. 81
    Original Lee says:

    @rikyrah: He clearly hasn’t paid attention to Article 25 of the UN Declaration on Human Rights, to wit: “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and his family, including food, clothing, housing, and medical care, and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age, or other lack of livelihood due to circumstances beyond his control.”

    I don’t carry that around in my back pocket – Mr. Teenager had to memorize the articles for a test last week.

  82. 82
    janeform says:

    @beth: I am. We went to Alexanders all the time.

  83. 83
    gbbalto says:

    @daverave: Back in the 30s, on Saturdays, my grandfather would drop my father at the NJ end of the GW bridge in the morning and pick him up in the afternoon. My father (age10+) would walk over the bridge and wander freely, and never had a problem…
    ETA: My siblings and I were also expected to walk to the bus stop and navigate public transit from age 8 on.

  84. 84
    janeform says:

    @randy khan: Golden Hawks! Did you have Mrs. Garvin for English?

  85. 85
    janeform says:

    @daverave: comment above meant for daverave. Dang phone.

  86. 86
    ThresherK says:

    @O. Felix Culpa: I will go with Tony Curtis aka Bernard Scwartz.

  87. 87
    NotMax says:

    @J R in WV

    Little chilly this time of year to go upriver, rent a canoe and run some rapids, but that’s fun.

    Frank Frazetta museum is in East Stroudsburg, PA – a hop, skip and couple of jumps away.

    Dingman’s Ferry bridge has an interesting history and construction, if you’re into that sort of thing.

    And, of course, scenic sojourns on back roads.

  88. 88
    NotMax says:

    @janeform

    Yup. Alexander’s, Stern’s, E.J. Korvette’s and good ol’ A&S.

  89. 89
    janeform says:

    @NotMax: And Bambergers!

  90. 90
    NotMax says:

    @NotMax

    Trivia: One of the founders of A&S was named Abraham Abraham.

  91. 91
    daverave says:

    @janeform:

    Yup, that’s me, a Golden Hawk, although I don’t remember a Mrs. Garvin. Here’s a fun thing: check the Wikipedia page for River Dell HS notable alumni and check the first listing that comes up… I’ll wait ;-)

  92. 92
    janeform says:

    Will do this later. Plane is taking off. In suspense.

  93. 93
    daverave says:

    ETA: I will say that probably the most famous Golden Hawk is Lynn Forester, from my class, in high school that is, not in my class ;-)
    She married a Rothschild and is one of the richest women in the world.

  94. 94
    Ruckus says:

    @gbbalto:
    He might cook up very well, a nice charcoal black would be nice tone to show fully done. Then, like kale, throw him in the trash where he belongs.

  95. 95
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @daverave: The 2008 PUMA who felt thus qualified to explain that Barack Obama was an out-of-touch elitist?

  96. 96
    randy khan says:

    @janeform:

    Actually Matawan (heck with trying to leave some doubt about which town), so Huskies.

  97. 97
    lurker dean says:

    @O. Felix Culpa: I think nutley is Essex county. Small world, I lived in newark and irvington way back when..

  98. 98
    lurker dean says:

    @NotMax: yes, i knew two guys! although i wasn’t quite old enough to know it as two guys from harrison. they were all over the place in north jersey, i guess that was the 70s…

  99. 99
    NotMax says:

    @lurker dean

    Trivia: The original name the two guys from Two Guys wanted to use was Two Bastards From Harrison, but no paper would accept their ads.

  100. 100
    The Lodger says:

    @J R in WV: There is some great camping within 20 miles of Delaware Water Gap, but probably not as good as within 20 miles of wherever you live in WV.

  101. 101
    lurker dean says:

    @NotMax: ha, never heard that one!

  102. 102
    Jersey Tomato says:

    @NotMax:
    Absolutely! They had one, I believe, in West Orange where the Whole Foods now sits.Or maybe that was the Korvettes, I always get them confused.

  103. 103
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    That was a beautifully sweet story. Thanks, Cheryl, for sharing it with us.

  104. 104
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @lurker dean: Cool! These virtual intersections are fun. I went to kindergarten and half of first grade in Newark, then did second half of first grade through first half of fourth grade in Irvington. Not sure why my parents made a habit of moving in the middle of the school year.

  105. 105
    daverave says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    That’d be her. Her blurb in the HS yearbook concludes with: “dedicates all her time to helping others.”
    Wish I was that, um, altruistic.

  106. 106
    janeform says:

    @daverave: I thought you’d be older.

  107. 107
    ninja3000 says:

    @burnspbesq: No, he was in Saddle River, not Upper Saddle River.

  108. 108
    WaterGirl says:

    @debbie: Say, that’s a good idea!

Comments are closed.