Thursday, March 11, 2010

The New Jersey, New York Project

Raising two kids who were born in North Carolina and Maryland, and who have never lived in New Jersey, has led to some interesting developments in their world views. Here are two kids who have lived in Beijing for a year, who have hiked down into the Grand Canyon twice, and who know their way around Beale Street in Memphis. Yet ask them about New Jersey and New York, and their knowledge doesn't extend all that far beyond Bird Avenue and Fulton Street.

Now that lack of perspective is, in one sense, a good thing. Our primary reason for heading up to the land of our youth is so that we all can spend time with Grammy, Grampy, Grandma, and Grandpa, plus other relatives and close friends when we can fit it all in.

But now that the kids are teenagers, they are beginning to ask questions. "Why don't we ever go hang out in New York City?" "What are the famous landmarks in New Jersey?"

And so it was in that spirit that, a few weeks back, I handed Julie and Z a map of New Jersey and told them to figure out how to get to the Statue of Liberty from Rahway. Into the car we jumped and our little New Jersey adventure had begun.

Question: In what state is the Statue of Liberty located?

Along the way, there were discussions about the layout of the five boroughs of New York City, the ways in which one can get from Jersey into the city, and the direction that Glenn Mott lives relative to New York Harbor.

It was hopefully the start of a new Balla tradition...



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