I’m working on blogging ideas about community, neighborhoods and what identifies us regionally in the US. Of course this comes with trying to figure out the nuances of living in such a different place. Arizona to Colorado was a leap across state and seasonal lines. Colorado to New Jersey is a mind-boggling, culture shifting, honk-your-horn-just-in-case voyage catapult into a new life.


I cannot believe how big the United States is. More precisely: I cannot get over how many distinct groups of folks — living in different types of homes, speaking varied dialects (much less languages), in vastly contrasting climate zones — there are under one flag. (And that isn’t including all those territory folks, folks I haven’t yet had a chance to visit. Related: hi, Guam! Hola Puerto Rico! Hey there, Marshall Islands.)

I loved living in Golden; and northern New Jersey is certainly growing on me. The landscape is stunning; countless shades of green, foggy mornings, woodpeckers, bears, possums and all kinds of other woodland creatures I only otherwise know from movies like, “The Hedge.” (Gila monsters? I know a gila when I see one. Possums? Kinda look like a big, scary ferret. Especially considering I only “see” them when they are partly smushed and fully dead on the side of the road. Add raccoons to that list too. Little trash-loving, blindfold-wearing bandidos.)

Perk of living in a fancy neighborhood: kick ass thrift stores. They call them “thrift boutiques” here and with good reason. There are no nickel and dime bins, but instead clothing sorted by designers. And the prices work out nicely for someone trying to make a living on book sales.

Remember those fantastic champagne coupes I was wanting in Denver? Well. How about these babies found at the “boutique?” (Along with that hand-stitched vintage linen.)


God bless you, New Jerseyians. Jerseyites? Jersies?

Tomorrow, I start interviewing for jobs. My new interview outfit, via the “boutique” J Crew and scarf racks:


I’m kinda digging the trees and green in the backyard. And the open window. See? More perks.

Jersey, we are going to fall head over heels for each other. With any luck, in designer heels from the “boutique.”