Reading the Landscape: 51



My bike stopping to check out some local history. Washington stopped in Rahway, New Jersey on the way to New York City (the first capital of the USA) to just before taking the oath of office to serve his first term as president. My home state of New Jersey has as much history as New England (which markets itself much better) but there’s something vaguely idolatrous about turning what was basically an Eighteenth Century B & B into a museum just because the President stopped there for a night. I doubt Washington himself would have approved. The real point of the whole area anyway is traffic. Traffic has stomped history into the ground. The Inn on the left is strikingly old, as is the adjacent cemetery. But there are genuine Eighteenth Century houses on the next block in disrepair, houses which have avoided being torn down and rebuilt as McMansions only because the property values in Rahway aren’t really that high.

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