There are several reasons that I travel the two and a half hours to northern New Jersey from Connecticut every couple of months.
There’s family members, of course: living reminders that my home state is always home, even if I haven’t really lived there for 22 years.
There are the “old haunts.” Matthew’s Diner in Waldwick, the Ridgewood Wild Duck Pond, the Jersey Shore.
Now I have a tradition that stretches all the way back to 2011: stopping by The Shepherd & the Knucklehead Pub of Haledon. The bar there is diversely stocked with 90 taps, and the guys who run the place are just so friendly. They’re Jersey friendly, if that makes sense. As in — unlike New England friendly — they are inviting without the get-to-trust-you phase. Continue reading