September 4, 2006

Returned To Secaucus, Seventy Percent Off: DWR Annex

meadowlands_turnpike_aronson.jpg

Every once in a while, by my count--or every time we're on the Turnpike, by my wife's--I express an interest in building a vacation home in the New Jersey Meadowlands.

Not the sports complex, of course, the swamps, the marshy expanses full of 10-foot high grasses, Penn Station rubble, ancient AM radio antennas and paint factories over which loom such modern engineering masterpieces as the Pulaski Skyway and that spur from Exit 14C that goes into the Lincoln Tunnel. You know, the biggies.

[Seriously, take a long look at the Pulaski skyway sometime. It's structure is like the delicate tracery of a window in a Gothic cathedral, only stretched sideways for miles, and made out of blackened steel, not stone.]

And not a home, necessarily, just a cottage. A cabin. A sweet, ultra-green prefab, maybe made of repurposed shipping containers with their industrial grade teak floor, perched on some abandoned pylons, a real leave-no-trace kind of a place.

It'd be tucked away on a quiet pond, with the ends of the containers framing gorgeous sunrise views of midtown to one side and a backlit sunset Skyway on the other. We'd get around in a little airboat, perfect for dodging the 'gators and the whacked Mobsters lurking in the reeds. And at night, the kids would sit out on the deck and identify all the planes on approach to Newark, just from their landing lights. ["777, 6:20, Alitalia from Milano."]

And all this Walden-like solitary communion with nature [or with wildness, anyway], minus all of the Hamptons scenester nonsense, would be only 15 minutes away from the city. Sheer paradise.

But then my wife reminds me that if we did that, I'd probably end up spending every weekend hanging out at the DWR Annex in Secaucus, waiting to score some returned and discontinued furniture we don't need--including, even, some kid's stuff from the shortlived Jax days--at unheardof discounts, and that's enough to snap me back to reality.

DWR Annex is at 55 Hartz Way, in some industrial park in Secaucus, NJ, somewhere near Exit 16. [dwr.com via dt reader mharris]

1 Comment

Do check out Robert Sullivan's book, The Meadowlands: Wilderness Adventures at the Edge of a City, if you don't know it already.

k.

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