Category: Family

Englishtown Flea Market

Sunday, August 19th, 2007 | All Things, Family

We hit the road early Sunday for the Englishtown Auction – known more commonly as the Englishtown Flea Market – which without traffic, is just an hour’s drive from the city.

The family-owned and run market dates back to 1929, when the grounds serves as a meeting place for farmers to buy, trade and sell livestock, farm equipment and produce. Englishtown Auction continues to operate year-round, rain or shine, on Saturdays and Sundays. By 9AM, the parking lots were already filling with cars; we opted to pay the $3 premium for a spot in the lot directly across the street from the main entrance.

Englishtown flea market

Forty acres of open-air field were divided along rows with names like “Canal Street,” “Times Square,” and “Fifth Avenue.” The ambience was a mix of tag sale, Jersey Fresh farmers market and one of the less-exciting NYC street fairs with its fried foods — even a BBQ truck! — cotton tube socks, cell phone accessories, rugs and brassieres. Five larger buildings (identified by color: brown, yellow, red, blue and green) housed up to 300 additional merchandise and food vendors, though the booths this morning were only half full.

Englishtown flea market

Englishtown flea market

Englishtown flea market

Englishtown flea market

It all felt very familiar somehow.

A fine change of pace for a Sunday morning, but the fact that this was voted best flea market in New Jersey — 8 years in a row! — made us wonder about the competition. Largest, very likely… but best?

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Back to the buffet

Saturday, August 18th, 2007 | All Things, Eats, Family

Oof. How did we end up back here so soon?

Note: “Sushi is meant to be eaten with the rice. There will be an extra charge for leftover sushi rice.” Growing up, I recall sushi being less widely available, and hence, more expensive: all-you-can-eat was an astounding concept, and articles were written about how diners would try to game the system by just eating the pricey fish and hiding their sushi rice in the darnedest places, so as to maximize the value of their buffet tabs: tucked into napkins, slipped into pockets, discreetly dropped onto the floor under the table, hidden under dinner plates. Bathroom attendants at the end of the night would find the wastebaskets overflowing with discarded vinegared rice pellets.

Unethical diners? Somehow, it does not surprise me at all.

Harvest Buffet sushi

Harvest Buffet table

Harvest Buffet table

Harvest Buffet meats

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Jersey Shore — part 2

Sunday, July 15th, 2007 | All Things, Eats, Family, Travel

Is Cape May the new Cape Cod? I remember how entranced we all were by the New England seaside resort the first time we visited… enough to commit to the destination as a family Labor Day weekend tradition. Some 20+ years later, though, some of us seemed ready to be lured away by someplace new.

A couple hours closer to New York City, and not yet victim to the contempt bred by familiarity, Cape May seemed like just the place. Once the fashionable resort for upper-middle class Philadelphians and Trentonites, it boasts a quaint small-town feel, pristine beaches, and streets lined with charming, well-preserved Victorian houses — the second largest concentration of such houses outside of San Francisco.

While Mom and Dad explored the area’s abundant antique shops, I toured the 18-room mansion of the late 19th-century Emlen Physick Estate — the year-round home of a nonpracticing Philadelphia-born physician. Physick came into his considerable inheritance, having fulfilled his father’s condition of attending medical school (at UPenn), but declined a medical career for the leisurely life of a country gentleman in Cape May, without ever treating a single patient.

It seems the elder Physick should have been more specific with his last wishes. The intent, no doubt, was to continue the family’s revered tradition in medicine through his son. Emlen’s paternal grandfather, Dr. Philip Syng Physick, was an accomplished and prominent Philadelphia physician, and considered by many to be the “Father of American Surgery.”

Emlen Physick Estate

Emlen Physick Estate

Cape May antiques

Softshell crab lunch at Lucky Bones Backwater Grille, conveniently (but probably not coincidentally) located next door to the Cape May Antique Center.

Lucky Bones softshell crab

Washington Street pedestrian mall:

Washington Street

Check out the rest of the photos on flickr… though I suspect we’ll be back soon.

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