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Tag Archives: Ocean County

I found the following in the parking lot outside of a Bricktown ShopRite:

[I didn’t fill up pool it was raining]

Good lord, what does that mean!?!?!

The other side looks like:

Quote
Nestle Quick
Cherrio’s Honey Nut
Oreos
Tazo Chai Tea

That’s some shopping list.  The note goes on to say:

Quote
Kady — do the
shoping stop
[or: srop, soop, or snp]
[word unintelligible, possibly: at] [word unintelligible, possibly: school] to
get card
[word unintelligible, possibly: mom]
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When September 11th happened, I lived in North Carolina.  It was the first semester in my three year MFA program in poetry, and I was in route to Coastal Carolina Community College. Basically, I adjuncted composition classes aboard Camp Lejeune.  Anyhow, when I rolled into Jacksonville, traffic was backed up at the gates to both Camp Lejeune and MCAS New River.  The gates were sealed, and the gate guards were armed with M-16s and shot guns.    Needless to say, I didn’t have class that day.

Still, it’s interesting though, to think about differing reactions the attacks evoked.  In the south, or at least my section of it, there was sadness and outrage. People openly talked about it, and the reactions could be characterized as “citizens concerned for their country.”  In New Jersey, it’s a little bit different.

9/11 is not really spoken about much up here.  To many, it’s very personal, and it’s very painful.  The simple truth about Jersey is this: the further north you go, the more you’re in the shadow of New York City.  Basically, a LOT of people live in Jersey and commute to NYC.  So, many people know somebody who either died there or at least witnessed the attacks.  Still, it’s interesting that, now and then, there’s an open acknowledgement.    I live in the north end of Brick, and to cross into Monmouth County, you cross over a bridge.  For years, that bridge has been under construction, but it’s nearing an end.  As it turns out, the bridge is a 9/11 memorial, as well:

Right now, there are three of these Tower/Pentagon pillers.   A fourth is currently being cast in concrete:

And on both sides of the bridge, these words have been set, repeating across the entire span:

Brick, New Jersey, is mostly road to the casual eye, and the public transportation is nothing to speak of.  Basically, there seems to be nothing here.  Of course, that’s if you don’t count strip developments and a lot of commercially zoned property.  As far as I can see, there’s not a whole lot of bars, and, again, to the casual eye, there doesn’t seem to be much to do in the town.  Of course, this is New Jersey, which means the Seaside and Point Pleasant boardwalks are not that far away.    But then again, to get anywhere in a lot of New Jersey, one needs a car.

And that had me wondering.  I’m often curious as to what teenagers actually do in Brick Township.  I could always ask my community college students, but that seemed a touch too nosey.  Still, to an outsider, it seems that the suburban youth of my town have actually little to do at all.  Here’s my case:  if you go to Brick’s Barnes and Noble on a friday night, teenagers hang out not only in front of the bookstore, but also Rite Aid, Chuck E. Cheese, Applebee’s, and other places along the storefronts.  They are loud, obnoxious, and seem to congregate in packs.  I don’t mean any ill will by this, because as I said, they’re teenagers, after all.  Yet, when there isn’t a whole bunch of options but to stand in front of Barnes and Noble and smoke cigarettes, mischief is bound to happen.  Consider the following bit of graffiti, found in the shopping center, near where many of Brick teens hang out.