Giving the city of Trenton another chance

I’ve never been charitable about Trenton. I’ve lived in New Jersey forty years (!!), but in that time I think I went to Trenton voluntarily only twice, to cheer for the Thunder, Trenton’s minor league baseball team. Otherwise, I went to Trenton for work, under duress, and I blessed the occasional opportunity to attend a meeting by teleconference and save myself the three hour round trip drive. (Wait, I’m forgetting… I also once participated in a political demonstration at the state capital.)

Imagine my surprise, then, upon receiving an INVITATION to a social event in Trenton! My husband’s alumni association offered a docent-led tour of the Trenton City Museum, to be followed by a potluck/barbeque at a home nearby.

In Trenton?? Yes! Said museum is located in an old mansion in Cadwalader Park on the north side of Trenton. We decided to accept this unusual proposition, and headed up Route 206 last weekend, trusting to GPS to get us to our destination.

Cadwalader Park was occupied by family groups using the barbeque grills. Our group assembled at Ellarslie Mansion. It’s present incarnation as the Trenton City Museum began in 1971. Our docent/tour guide/hostess has been a Trustee of the Museum for many years.

I knew that Trenton had an industrial past, but the details (about ceramics manufacturing) were much more interesting than I expected. Additionally, the annual juried art show was in progress. All the entries were for sale. Some were decidedly tempting!

After our tour we drove to a home half a block away, a big, old stone mansion with a charming back yard, where we relaxed and socialized.

So… I take back most of what I’ve said about Trenton! There is hope for it, and citizens are working for its improvement. The day may come when I’ll say to a friend “Let’s go up to Trenton, see the Museum, go to a restaurant…” Won’t that be a surprise?!

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One thought on “Giving the city of Trenton another chance

  1. My friends (an eccentric crowd) are prone to comment on my blog via e-mails. I would prefer them to share their insights here! But here’s what one of them had to say:

    “It’s the POLITICIANS who give Trenton it’s (well-deserved) “armpit” reputation, and perhaps knowing that its primary manufacture (aside from corrupt legislation) was toilets. The city was always interesting, especially the surroundings of the original Roebling Steel Plant (which made cables for suspension bridges), its riverfront and canal location, its Revolutionary War historical role, its cheek (Trenton Makes; The World Takes), and its campuses (Rider and Trenton State/TCNJ). The architecture is very fine. I lived in the time before the NJ Turnpike, when the main route between NYC and DC included that bridge. Is Cadwalader an Olmstead park?”

    Yes, it is an Olmstead park. And the neighborhood, I was told, is an Olmstead neighborhood. I will try to find out what that means.

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