Monday, June 23, 2008

Historic Tour of Main Street Orange

Karen Wells, the unofficial historian of Orange, will be leading a tour of the historic buildings on Main Street, starting at 8 AM on Saturday, June 28th.  The tour begins on the steps of the library, a building designed by McKim, Mead and White (photo).  Other historic stops: the Metcalfe Building, the First Presbyterian Church, the Masonic Temple and City Hall.  Orange has an excellent collection of turn-of-the-century civic architect.   It is one of the assets the city hopes to use to strengthen its economic base and civic life.  Karen's tour is sure to help: her love of Orange is infectious. Everything under the sun links back to Orange and she has a fact at her fingertips to prove it.  Her facts are funny and impressive: whatever you know about Orange, you'll know more after a half hour with Karen!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Roses on Main Street

David Jenkins, a friend of mine who is living with AIDS, told me about losing an aunt. "I took her flowers every time I visited her -- she got flowers in her lifetime," he said proudly. "Mindy, take time to stop and smell the flowers. Everywhere I go, I smell the roses." I promised I would. I had an unexpected opportunity to smell the roses on the way to a benefit for the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice. I got off the Garden State Parkway on my way to Branch Brook Park, in Newark, and I saw a big sign for Oakeside, the Bloomfield Cultural Center. I thought that would be an interesting place to visit -- as I turned the corner, I found out I was already there and I stopped to look at the garden. A heavenly smell hit me when I got out of my car. I walked all around the grounds of the magnificent Victorian house, spotting clumps of roses here and there. It was in the back of the house that I found what I was searching for -- a small formal rose garden with a luxurious scent. I stopped to enjoy it before getting back on the road. If you're passing by Bloomfield, stop for a moment to smell the roses. David will be so glad!