My Hometown

Living In Jersey, But Schooled In NYC

A panorama of Broad Street, Bloomfield, New Jersey. (Jeremy Pulmano/YJI)
BLOOMFIELD, New Jersey, U.S.A. – I’ve lived in Bloomfield, New Jersey for four years, and I have not had a problem with it. However, the fact of the matter is that nothing happens here.

Bloomfield is the epitome of boring. Let me explain.

I go to school in New York City, the city that never sleeps, the nation’s center of excitement, the concrete jungle where dreams are made. I commute an hour and
half by train to get into NYC and an hour and half to go back home. I spend a lot of time in both Bloomfield and New York City.
To compare the two in simple terms is like comparing watching paint dry versus sky-diving.
Nevertheless, I still enjoy living in Bloomfield. Why? It provides the perfect balance. I can experience the excitement and hustle-and-bustle of New York City, but I can also enjoy the serenity that Bloomfield carries.
By day, I can marvel at the lights and architecture of Times Square, and by night, I can walk the quiet streets of Bloomfield without colliding with strangers and getting enveloped in a massive crowd of commuters.
For me, being in New York City every weekday is nothing less than a privilege and a luxury.

On Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive on the way from New York to New Jersey. (Jeremy Pulmano/YJI)

I can see the sun rise over Manhattan’s renowned skyline from the train and visit and marvel at Times Square as any tourist would.

In physical education in the beginning of the year, our class visited Central Park and ran around The Reservoir. The Reservoir is surrounded by trees and city buildings, and those who run around the reservoir do so not only to get their exercise, but also to enjoy the pleasure of sight-seeing.

Times Square, New York City, in a snowstorm. (Jeremy Pulmano/YJI)

You often come across very talented musicians and dancers in New York. It’s awe-inspiring to witness them humbly performing in the subway.
Everyone’s heard about the crazy atmosphere of New York City. There are always people rushing to and fro, colliding with each other, packing themselves into subway cars. There are few places in the city where you can find true peace and quiet.

Even in Central Park, you will definitely hear noisy kids running and screaming, playing tag or pickup football.

Despite its frenzy and volume, you will often – if not always – be in awe of NYC. I have been going to school there for two years, and I still marvel at the skyscrapers, the lights, the excitement.

The Reservoir in Central Park in New York, in the wintertime. (Jeremy Pulmano/YJI)

But let’s revisit Bloomfield, my suburban home and the antithesis of New York City.
Little houses of warm colors and triangular roofs stand close together, sometimes separated by picket fences. Each house has a little porch where Bloomfielders often sit and enjoy the cool spring nights.

We experience all four seasons here. Summers are hot and winters are always frigid. Autumn is the best time to be in Bloomfield, because we do have quite a lot of trees and the weather is not too cold and not too hot.

One of Bloomfield, New Jersey’s battered streets. (Jeremy Pulmano/YJI)

The wide roads of Bloomfield demand paving but seldom get it. New Jersey as a whole is notorious for its bad roads, and the town of Bloomfield is no exception.

Recently, I received my driver’s permit, which allows me to drive a car with a licensed adult. Driving around Bloomfield myself has only made me realize how horrid the roads are. There are potholes everywhere.

There are, thankfully, many places to eat. You can visit the two McDonald’s in Bloomfield if you’re looking for fast food, but if you’re feeling adventurous, you can stroll down Broad Street, Bloomfield’s main road, and order Italian, Japanese, Filipino, Thai, or Chinese food.

A Bloomfield, New Jersey street in winter. (Jeremy Pulmano/YJI)

Bloomfield is also home to a myriad of diners, including Holsten’s, where a scene from The Sopranos was filmed. Beyond television fame, Holsten’s often wins awards for its ice cream, and it certainly deserves the acclaim. The bottom line: we in Bloomfield are very proud of our restaurants.

Bloomfield isn’t an eyesore, but it’s not much to see, either. I might have some bias in saying that, having experienced the grandeur of New York, but it’s true.
The most beautiful thing I can point to in Bloomfield is probably Brookdale Park. With numerous baseball fields, a football field, a track, and plenty of land for recreational play, it’s like the Central Park of Bloomfield.
There are a lot of trees to climb, too. A little road surrounds the entire park in a circle. Everyone – bikers, skateboarders, walkers, runners – uses this road to
get from one point in the park to another.
It doesn’t have a reservoir, which is unfortunate, but nevertheless it’s a great place to relax, meditate, and have fun with friends. I often go to Brookdale Park to hang out with friends and toss around a football or play soccer.
Bloomfield’s atmosphere is peaceful. By day, there are cars traveling less than 20 miles per hour on Broad Street, and at night, there are almost no cars at all.
Bloomfield is a town where you can take walks at night under the gentle light of lamp posts to relieve stress, taking in the silence as you collect yourself after a tough day at school or at work.
It’s not a town where everyone knows each other, but it mostly certainly is one where everyone is friendly with one another. People here are courteous and kind, sharing smiles and laughs and making small talk.

Bloomfield is no New York City. But it is the place I call home.

Jeremy Pulmano is a Junior Reporter for Youth Journalism International.

Brookdale Park in Bloomfield, New Jersey has something for everyone. (Jeremy Pulmano/YJI)

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