I love Rhode Island. You know I do. I talk about it. Often.
But I also love my home state of New Jersey. Rhode Island is accommodating, but New Jersey is truly diverse. It could be its own sovereign nation. Rhode Island has a dignified strangeness and eccentricity but New Jersey… ah!… it’s flat out weird! I could start listing all my highlights, but it would drone and on and never finish. And I would probably get mixed up and start listing things that aren’t actually in New Jersey, like New Hope, PA. And then I would have to specify that I really meant that the drive out to New Hope, PA is one of my favorite things. Particularly the part where you’re driving along between the river and a steep hill and then this huge, looming, abandon brick structure that looks like an ancient prison is towering over your car. It’s totally immersive and you should be keeping your eyes on the road but, damn!, it’s so hard and that building is so neat. I’m pretty sensitive to place. But it just occurred to me that this place might only exist in my head. That’s okay, too.
And I certainly don’t spend quiet, winter nights searching for postcard images of Rhode Island (with exception to cards featuring the 1960 US Postal Service building.)
And you had better believe that my folks have a photo of me riding in those same little boats that you see in the foreground!
Finding non-resort themed postcards for New Jersey is kind of hard. Tourism is important and all those twinkling lights are just so damn pretty. Also, it might seem heretical of me, but I think that I am starting to enjoy the later 20th century photo postcards more than the printed linen ones. There’s a really charming and awkward truth to the photos thanks to the little details that didn’t escape the frame. I wouldn’t use the term “gritty” but there is a little bit more to hold on to. Plus, as I think I have noted before, Kodachrome is surely a weakness of mine.
You’ve made it through! Here’s a medal for your troubles.
What do you like about where you are from?