It has been a year since I started the blog site and the project has now taken me on an extensive trip to Los Angeles, a tour of the State of New Jersey and the Anniversary Day of the project to the much changing and gentrifying Newark, NJ. You heard correctly, Newark like all major cities is going through a revival and I had two afternoons and evenings at the Newark Conservatory located on Prince Street.
I have been a member of the Newark Conservatory for years but never really got involved in their events until recently. The organization is small but is currently looking at way to ‘Green’ Newark. Yes, Newark still does have its share of problems but like any other city has small groups of people trying to deal with them. I have seen so many changes in the downtown area alone.
The Conservatory has sponsored many interesting events and is doing their best to promote urban farming. On June 4th, they sponsored a ‘Strawberry Jam’, promoting their strawberry crops at the Court Street Farm. It was an interesting event with strawberry tea infusions, strawberry jam tastings and tours of the farm and the Kruger mansion, which sits on the back part of the farm. The farm has some interesting crops being grown and the strawberry crop was pretty extension. We were able to take the tour around the farm, have tastings of the various fruits being grown and see how the local kids were getting involved on the farm.
The Kruger Mansion sits at the edge of the farm like a sad remnant of a bygone era. The poor mansion, which once stood in one of the most fashionable areas of the city, is falling apart and it is such a beautiful home. It has been partially renovated but the rest of the house is falling apart. It is so overgrown that it sits like a haunted house on the edge of optimism. There are plans to fix it but like they said to me it takes money.
The other event they ran was a ‘Wine & Cheese in the Garden’ event to raise money for the main farm on Prince Street. It was a really beautiful night of tour of the main gardens, tasting local vineyards in New Jersey and a lecture on the future efforts of the gardens. The event attracted a large number of supporters and members and the gardens were in beautiful shape with long flowering beds and natural art work.
The Conservatory has big plans with the renovation of a church into an experimental kitchen and classrooms and expanding the gardens further. These grass roots efforts are really improving this area of the city.
So on this very special One Year Anniversary of the ‘Walk in Manhattan and Beyond’, I wish my best to all the readers and a very Happy Father’s Day to everyone. A big Happy Father’s Day to my dad, Warren, who could not be with me in Los Angeles or Newark on this special day but is always with me in spirit on these walks.
Its amazing how many wonderful things there are to see in your own backyard! I’ll keep on walking!
Places to Visit:
The Newark Conservatory
32 Prince Street
Newark, NJ 07103
My review on VisitingaMuseum.com: