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Picnic, Summer 2009

  1. Oct 14, 2008 #1
    In informal PMs that passed between Shoshana and myself, it was suggested that a picnic might be a nice way for PF members in the Phila/NY area to meet. The halfway point between the two cities is roughly New Brunswick, NJ, home to Rutgers and several other schools. There are many parks in the area, but I don't know if they can accomodate a picnic. I will look into this matter. If anyone can suggest a place they know of, that would be nice. As for a date, I have no agenda except that we should avoid July 4, if we actually want anyone to show. Would people be more likely to show on a Saturday, or a Sunday? For definiteness, I propose Saturday July 18. This is totally arbitrary and if someone has a better date, they should let me know.
     
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  3. Oct 14, 2008 #2

    Moonbear

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    Cool! If you pick a Saturday, I can possibly take a long weekend trip to my old stomping grounds and make it to the picnic. The parks could accomodate a picnic, but I don't know what it would cost to rent them out. I just checked the prices for the log cabin and pavillion at the Rutgers Gardens, but that's $530 even at the alumni rate, which would be too much for an unpredictable, possibly low number of attendees. I was hoping there was a cheap option somewhere there for alumni. :frown:

    I'm trying to think of a place where one could set up a picnic without having to pay a big fee for reserving a space. If it's just a small group, and all cold dishes (i.e., no grilling) and soft drinks, we could just hang out on any of the Rutgers' lawns...people picnic there all the time, play frisbee, etc., and nobody stops you if you're not causing trouble.

    There are a lot of good places to eat in New Brunswick too, so we wouldn't be limited to picnicking. I highly recommend Old Man Rafferty's...it'll be a bit of a wait for a large group, unless you get there early in the afternoon and then annoy them by occupying the table all night (I've done that many a time as a student when we had something to celebrate). You can get a variety of foods there, from really good burgers to fancier dishes. Another good place is Old Bay, which has great seafood (I think there's stuff for the landlubbers on the menu too). Both of those places also serve good beers. There are several other restaurants cropped up around where they are since I was a student, and don't know how they all are, but those two have really lasted. Walking distance to the Hyatt Hotel too, if folks need a room for the night.

    Oh, I just remembered the other park that's nice. Johnson Park. They have rentable picnic areas that are more reasonable. $80 if you're not a county resident, $40 if we can find a resident to get the permit (isn't SpaceTiger at RU now?) There's another $50 fee for a beer/wine permit. But that's more reasonable, even if only a few people show up to share the costs.
    http://www.co.middlesex.nj.us/parksrecreation/johnson.asp
    http://www.co.middlesex.nj.us/parksrecreation/fees.asp
    Hey, they even have permits available for model airplane flying! Who's bringing their model airplanes?

    The other one near there is Donaldson Park.
    http://www.co.middlesex.nj.us/parksrecreation/donaldson.asp

    My aunt lives near that park, so if we got our act together early enough, maybe I could talk her into helping get the resident rate for a reservation in exchange for getting to see my bright, shining face. :biggrin:

    Expect them to book pretty early for summer weekends. (Unless we get more than 10 people, I still think meeting up at one of the local restaurants is a better way to go.)

    Oh, and we'll make the PF field trip to Thomas' Sweets too. :biggrin:
     
  4. Oct 14, 2008 #3

    turbo

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    Spend more money on gas and get cheaper lodgings in Maine. I'd love to meet more PF'ers. (Yes, even you, Jimmy, who routinely accuses me of "hoping" for a recession that is currently decimating my state.) It's pretty up here, and lobster is plentiful, if not always cheap.
     
  5. Oct 14, 2008 #4

    Moonbear

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    If he plans it in June instead of July (when I'd likely be teaching a summer class), I could take a longer vacation and head up to Maine too. Though, I'd have to remember to launder clothes in scent free detergents...certainly not the detergent I'm using now....the perfume in it is giving me headaches. :yuck:
     
  6. Oct 14, 2008 #5

    turbo

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    That takes a LOT of planning, Moonie! It can take 10 or more hot washing/drying cycles to get fabric-softener fragrances out of clothing. My wife works in an industrial setting, and though she likes to look nice at work, it can be frustrating to buy nice casual clothes and have them stained by oil, grease, etc. For a time, she was able to buy tops and pants at nice clothing stores that specialized in lightly-used clothes. Unfortunately, she had to stop that after I was sickened by them for weeks at a time.

    My condition makes me a pain in the *** to live with. I live with a saint. Luckily, she puts up with me and she loves to cook as much as I do. We'll get by.
     
  7. Oct 14, 2008 #6
    lets meet up at college ave for some fat cats! haha

    i know of a park in milltown and a whole bunch in woodbridge twp, which is just a little more north.

    but, this sounds like a great idea.
     
  8. Oct 15, 2008 #7

    Moonbear

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    Are you in the area too? Cool. I think the park in Milltown might not be such a good location, mainly because there just isn't much else there. You never know if everyone at such a gathering will get along, so I like to have in mind places where there are more things to do so if folks don't really hit it off in person, there are other things to do so it's not a total waste of a day or weekend to have traveled there. Plus, the park in Milltown has a small parking lot and otherwise you need to drive around the block looking for street parking. Though, is the good pizzeria still in that strip mall on the corner of Ryders Ln. and Tices Ln.? I'm trying to remember the name...Grande Pizzeria or something like that I think?

    Oh, I just thought of another advantage of the restaurants in downtown New Brunswick. They are within walking distance of the train station. So if folks want to avoid driving and parking, they can get there from NYC or Philly, as well as any other points along the NJTransit rails; I think the Acela from DC stops there too, but if it doesn't, it's probably just one train change to get there. No worries about rain dates or reserving picnic areas either.

    Once in downtown New Brunswick, aside from restaurants and bars, there are a few different theaters, and you're only a couple blocks from the College Ave. campus (and Thomas' Sweets...this is a place no chocolate lover should miss!). On the College Ave. campus, there's also a little art museum that's open to the public, if that interests some of our members. If there's nice weather and folks want to do some outside activities, there are plenty of campus lawns within walking distance too. Or, hop a bus to the Douglass Campus (don't walk there from downtown!), and play disc golf, or bring your bike and ride around that more park-like campus. Once you're there, the Cook Campus farm has plenty of areas open to visitors, so if anyone is traveling with family, the kids can go see some animals. Basically, if people are making a weekend trip of it and planning to stay the night after the gathering, they'll have an easy time finding more things to do.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2008
  9. Oct 15, 2008 #8
    you're right about the park in milltown. I forgot about the parking lot. And are you talking about franks pizza? In the corner by shoprite and best buy?
     
  10. Oct 15, 2008 #9
    Who pays park fees anyway? Give some homeless guy 3 dollars to sleep on a picnic table and hold it for you.
     
  11. Oct 15, 2008 #10
    Thanks for posting this Jimmy.
    If Saturday is a good day to meet, then we are not limited to June/July.

    Suzanne
     
  12. Oct 15, 2008 #11

    Moonbear

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    There wasn't any ShopRite or Best Buy in Milltown last time I was there! :bugeye: No, it wasn't Franks Pizza. I guess it's gone. :frown: It was my favorite pizza place in the area.

    Edit: Oh, wait, I just did some Googling. I was just WAY off remembering the name. It's still there. Dusal's! :biggrin: If you're coming from Milltown heading down Washington Ave., when you get to Ryder's Ln., hang a left and it's in a little strip mall there (there used to also be a 7-11, a laundromat, and a bagel shop/deli there).
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2008
  13. Oct 15, 2008 #12
    ohh milltown haha... franks is in east brunswick. ill be in south river tonight. ill ask my friend about it, he would know better than me. im from colonia. but, he delivers mail for milltown and lives in south river. ill find out.

    which strip mall though? ryder and tices? is it by the hong kong supermarket or more north, closer to dunkin donuts and hess?
     
  14. Oct 15, 2008 #13

    Moonbear

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    I found it (you probably didn't see my edit). There's a gas station on the corner...I can't remember what brand, and who knows if it has changed. There wasn't a Dunkin Donuts in Milltown when I lived there. I wish! I had to drive to East Brunswick for my donut fix while working late nights on my dissertation...and at that hour of the night, had to head to the one on Rt 18 nearer to Edgeboro Rd (the back of that one was onto Old Bridge Tpke), because it was the only one open 24 hours. The one at the corner of 18 and Tices closed early.
     
  15. Oct 16, 2008 #14
    I hate to put myself in a position of deciding when and where. However, if we decide on a picnic in a park as opposed to meeting in a restaurant, then I am in an excellent position to get information on sites. I live about 45 minutes south of New Brunswick. My wife and I enjoy getting out to the countryside, so I'm sure she would help me tour the various parks in the area to see what facilities they have. Also, my cousin is a historian for the D&R Canal and she or her coworkers may be very well informed on what is available. I will call her later today. Here are just a few of the parks just to the south of New Brunswick.

    North Brunswick Twp Park
    Bicentennial Park
    Country Lane Park
    Six Mile Run Park (This is huge)
    Davidson's Mill Pond Park
    Pigeon Swamp State Park
    Jamesburg County Park

    Some of these are conservation areas and therefor may not have recreational facilities.
     
  16. Mar 8, 2009 #15
    Ah, what is so rare as a day in February, even in a leap year? Actually, yesterday was a beautiful warm March day so I dragged the family out to look at parks. I only got to two of them.

    Mercer County Park is really fabulous. It is huge and there is a great lake in the middle of it. There are bike riding trails all about. There are ample picnic tables. However, there seem to be very few grills. This could be a problem in that there will surely be competition for them. I have a small one that I could bring, but I don't know how many others would be willing or able to do that. There is a Recreation and Events dept. but they were closed. It's probably too early. When they do open and I get a chance to talk with them, they may be able to help not only with MCP, but with other County and State parks in the area.

    Six Mile Run Park is also huge. However, it is more a nature preserve than a park. It seems to have no picnic facilities. The bulletin board warns you to wear orange and avoid white gloves which might resemble a whitetail deer's tail to a hunter. I prefer less exciting picnics. There is a smaller park nearby that has picnic tables, but there is only one grill, so we would face the same problem as MCP.

    There is nothing my wife likes better than to be dragged to a park, so I will continue my investigations. If anyone is familiar with the area and has a suggestion, then by all means shout it out.
     
  17. Mar 8, 2009 #16

    lisab

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    Bora Bora? :wink:
     
  18. Mar 8, 2009 #17
    If I get my internship in Massachusetts for the summer, then I will do my best to show up.
     
  19. Mar 8, 2009 #18

    Math Is Hard

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    I'm in!
     
  20. Jul 7, 2009 #19
    I had the best of intentions to follow through on this. However, constant rain in June has set things back for me along with other obligations that have filled my weekends. Moreover, my wife is taking a course and has no time to help me on this. So, unless someone else puts this together, it won't happen this year. There is a short window between my wife's final exams and our trip to France, where she is planning a backyard BBQ for friends and family. If you want to show up, PM me first. I live in Burlington County, NJ.
     
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