Random thoughts from the road

1)  It doesn’t matter how long you once lived in New York City.  Once you’ve returned with a small child and decided what they’d really enjoy seeing is the bright, flashing lights in Times Square, all of your accumulated “New Yorker” cred is immediately revoked and you are reclassified “tourist.”

2)  I’m sure there are many lovely, lovely parts of New Jersey.  Sadly, none of them are visible from the turnpike.

3)  In my unofficial tally of gigantic billboards promoting evangelical Christian causes or gun ownership, my conservative Midwestern home state has both Virginia and North Carolina beat cold.

4)  Being refused beer because one left one’s ID in the car, despite being of legal age for more than a decade and a half, is almost flattering enough to cancel out how annoying it is.  Almost.

Russell Saunders

Russell Saunders is the ridiculously flimsy pseudonym of a pediatrician in New England. He has a husband, three sons, daughter, cat and dog, though not in that order. He enjoys reading, running and cooking. He can be contacted at blindeddoc using his Gmail account. Twitter types can follow him @russellsaunder1.


  1. The turnpike seems actually designed to tour only the ugliest sections of NJ.

    Recently, I got carded. I was totally flattered, until the guy looked at my card with my last name (which is not really Woodhouse, but is extremely obviously of a certain non-French ethnicity) and said, “Oh! You must be French!” Then I decided this might not be the most perspicacious fellow.

  2. Hate getting carded.
    Hate even more getting asked at Costco if I’m “with someone” (translation: are you over 12, and do you have a parent along).

  3. 1) Ahhh, but were you wearing an I Heart NY shirt?

    2) New Jersey really is really a fascinating place. The more New Yorkers talk about New Jersey, the more it seems like a place I could live. The more New Jerseyans talk about it, the less so.

    3) Back home, there are Gun Show billboards that are never anything but gun show billboards. Big billboards, on interstates.

    4) My age and smoking are catching up with me, so I don’t get carded as much as I used to. When I was a kid, I wore my brother’s letter jacket. It, combined with my appearance, was sufficient so that I could buy alcohol at 17.

  4. “2) I’m sure there are many lovely, lovely parts of New Jersey. Sadly, none of them are visible from the turnpike.”

    I’m one of those weird people so in love with human achievement and structures that I love the view on the Turnpike from the Meadowlands to New Brunswick. I mean, really, it’s a wonder of the modern world.

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