Monday, November 14, 2011

Bridgewater, New Jersey November 13, 2011 - Exit 13

So That's What Flag Day is!

We made our visit to Bridgewater, New Jersey as a side trip from picking up our daughter from visiting her camp friends who live in West Windsor (that's exit 8 for those of you who were about to ask!). Bridgewater has several claims to fame including the site where the American flag was first flown on June 14, 1777. A flag of the 13-star variety is displayed at the Middlebrook encampment 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

We went searching for the location, but gave up after a while, as it had been a long day of driving already. We are pretty sure we were closing in on it when we noticed a large plywood board with the pledge of alligience written on it, but never zeroed in on the flag itself, giving us a good excuse to return some day.
Jersey Diners
Where to Eat?

We had no choice but to look for a diner for lunch when we arrived in town. With over 500 diners in this rather small state, New Jersey is well known for this special kind of dining establishment, which has spawned its own episode of  "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives", on the food network and was the topic of the New Jersey book (Jersey Diners, by Peter Genovese) Pam read during our year-long "Celebrating the States" project. New Jersey native, Jerry O'Mahony, is credited with inventing the pre-fab diner in the early 20th century.

Shortly after arriving in town we spotted the Bridgewater Diner and knew we had to look no further. 

Find Bridgewater Diner on Google Maps
Diners are meant for travelers and it seems especially appropriate that a diner in New Jersey would be not simply along the highway but in the highway. It is especially appropriate in Bridgewater; even in a state  known for highways, Bridgewater is particularly rich with divided highways and exit ramps. We looped and looped through and around the town, and the Bridgewater Diner is within a square-mile patch that includes four federal highways!

Our selections were typical diner fare: an open-faced hot turkey sandwich with gravy for Pam; Reuben for James (an indulgence a couple times a year, and almost the only way James eats sauerkraut); and grilled cheese and mashed potatoes for our daughter, Paloma. Her new friend James (xarĂ¡!) lives in New Jersey and had joined us for the ride back to school. Much to Paloma's chagrin (and embarrassment!) this meant letting a friend in on her parents' painfully nerdy habit of Bridgewater-collecting. The waiter was an paragon of unctuous service: his pad and sharpened pencil were held close to his face as he briskly and intently gathered our orders. Service was fast -- not regular fast, but fast like a Roadrunner cartoon -- and the food did not disappoint.

What Else is in Bridgewater
Bridgewater, New Jersey also boasts the Bridgewater Commons mall, one location used in the filming of the movie North 

Bridgewater Commons was in full holiday mode. This gigantic 3 story mall is actually listed as among one of New Jersey's smallest! Of course it doesn't matter how big a mall is, they all look pretty much the same, and have the same stores no matter where you go. This mall, like all others, exhibits the 600-foot rule described in the "Sprawl" section of James' Environmental Geography home page. Our only purchase was a cookie.

The Sri Venkateswara Temple is a beautiful Hindu Temple. Shortly after James wondered aloud "I wonder where that temple is" its presence became impossible to miss.

How Many Companies Called "Bridgewater Overhead Door " can there possibly be?

Well, at least two.
When Pam mentioned to one of her co-workers that New Jersey was the next stop of our Bridgewater's Project she said that her husband's company, Bridgewater Overhead Door, sometimes gets bills for a Bridgewater Overhead Doors in New Jersey. We did not find the latter. Again, a good excuse for another trip!
Bridgewater Overhead Doors

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