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NJ Flower and Garden Show Feb 13-16

The 12th Annual New Jersey Flower and Garden Show will be held at the New Jersey Convention Center in Edison on February 13th through 16th.

There will be dozens of top local landscaping companies showcasing how they would design a backyard in New Jersey and the professionals will be available for consultation. 

 

 

The beautiful display gardens will inspire you to begin planning your own garden for the spring. There are seminars to attend and a Great Garden Marketplace to begin your preparations. 

 

The Garden Club of New Jersey hosts a Standard Flower Show which is incredible. There is also a Container Challenge that isn’t unlike the Iron Chef cooking television competition.

On the last day of the show, from 5 to 6 pm, selected plant materials and garden accessories will be offered for sale from the show.

If you’ve never been to the show, it’s incredibly fun. These photos are from last year’s show. Buy your tickets here.

New Jersey Hall of Fame Mobile Museum in Newark through January

New Jersey’s Hall of Fame is a digital collection of New Jersey citizens – past and present – who have made contributions to society and the world. Nominees are elected to the Hall of Fame by public vote in the categories of Arts and Entertainment, Enterprise, Historical, Sports, and General, and an Induction Ceremony occurs once a year. Now in its sixth year, the Hall of Fame has more than 60 members including:

  • Grover Cleveland
  • Whitney Houston
  • Joe Piscopo
  • Dionne Warwick
  • Christopher Reeve
  • Tony Bennett
  • John Travolta
  • Danny DeVito
  • Frankie Valli
  • Woodrow Wilson
  • Bud Abbott and Lou Costello
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Jon Bon Jovi 
  • Jerry Lewis
  • Shaquille O’Neal
  • Phil Rizzuto
  • Buzz Aldrin
  • Clara Barton
  • Yogi Berra
  • Thomas Edison
  • Albert Einstein
  • Vince Lombardi
  • Frank Sinatra
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Meryl Streep
  • Harriet Tubman

 

The digital collection is complemented by a mobile museum enclosed in a 53 foot long double expandable trailer which expands to 850 square feet that is nearly 14 feet high. Inside, there are multimedia exhibitions about how New Jersey Hall of Fame inductees have made a difference as innovators and leaders.  The mobile museum travels throughout the State.

You can see the mobile museum from now until January 26th at the Newark Museum at 49 Washington Street in Newark. On January 28th, it will be part of Super Bowl festivities at the Prudential Center at 165 Mulberry Street in Newark. To see a complete schedule, click here.

 

Jersey Drivers

We hear about Jersey drivers from out of State folks all the time.

“Jersey drivers are the worst!”

“You guys make your own lanes!”

“What’s a rotary?” 

“Don’t speed limits mean anything to you people?”

 

 

Finally, there’s evidence that NJ drivers aren’t the worst. In fact, according to the survey by CarInsuranceComparison.com, NJ drivers are the 32nd worst in the Country, or, as we prefer, the 18th best! 

CarInsuranceComparison.com used criteria like fatalities per 100 million miles traveled, driver obedience to signals and seat belts, and the incidence of drunk driving, tickets, and careless driving.  

What’s the worst State? Louisiana.

What’s the best State? Vermont.

 

The Joisey Accent

450px-Bruce_Springsteen_1988We might get mad when people make fun of it, but there’s little denying that we New Jerseyans have a bit of an accent. We have dawgs, not daugs like they do in Boston. We even tawk about our dawgs with our dawters. I don’t know anyone who says erster instead of oyster but I know a lot of people who say dey instead of they and dere instead of there.

Here’s some good news for us –  Cupid.com asked people to vote on what they considered the “sexiest” accent in North America, and New Jersey came in 5th!

Here are the sexiest accents in North America:

1. Southern
2. New York
3. Western
4. New England
5. New Jersey
6. Canadian
7. Midwestern
8. Mid-Atlantic

So what do you think? Do you love the NJ accent or hate it?

Dear TZ – Should I be afraid of the Shadow Inventory?

Dear TZ,

I keep hearing about something called a shadow inventory. What is it? How does it impact me and my home?

Thanks,

Homeowner Harry

 

Dear Harry,

Shadow inventory…  Almost sounds scary, like it’s lurking in the forest waiting to jump out at you.

Very simply there have been homes that have been foreclosed that are now bank owned properties.  Much of that inventory is not yet on the market, hence it’s in the shadows.  The amount of inventory is not measured in houses, it’s measured in months, meaning that if no new houses come on the market, how long will it take to empty the shadow inventory at the current rate of sales.

Let’s say you live in Washington State, where there are only 4 months of shadow inventory.  Well the news there is good.  Those homes should sell and not bog the market down due to all the new inventory that it’s creating.

We happen to live in New Jersey, which currently has the greatest shadow inventory – a 65 month supply.  Yes, you read that right!  If no other homes come on the market it will take 5 years and 5 months to clear out the inventory.  Sounds like New Jersey will have a rough time.   In truth parts of the state will, while other areas won’t be affected as badly.  For example, Newark will be hit much harder than let’s say Westfield or Summit.  Towns surrounding the hardest hit urban areas will more likely feel the effect of the shadow inventory more than an upscale suburb will.

So while New Jersey has the largest shadow inventory, New York is a distant second with 41 months of shadow inventory.  In fact other than New

File:Hot Air Balloon Shadow.jpg

Mexico, Louisiana, Florida and North Dakota the states with the most shadow inventory are all in the Northeast.  This is largely due to the fact that many of these are legislative states where foreclosures must go through the courts, thus further slowing down the process long enough for significant inventory to accumulate.

So what does it all mean?  Well if you’re in a state with a higher shadow inventory and you might want to sell, do it now, because prices will continue to fall until the demand is larger than the supply.  If you’re going to buy you may “pay less” by waiting, but if interest rates rise, they way the experts are predicting, but your monthly payments will probably be higher than if you were to buy now.

Good luck!

- TZ

 

Please note that all information is reliable but not guaranteed.  Please consult with your Real Estate professional before making any Real Estate decisions.

Wayne and Jean 

The Ghost of Hannah Caldwell

Last week, we featured guest blogger Gordon Bond who told us some fascinating Union County lore, including the story behind the Union County official seal.

Hannah Caldwell, wife of the Fighting parson Reverend James Caldwell, was the first woman killed during the American Revolution. Hannah and her husband are buried in the cemetery next to the Union County Courthouse. How she was killed isn’t certain – some stories say she was mistaken for a sniper by a British redcoat. Others say she was murdered in retaliation for her husband’s activities. Still others say that it was just a stray shot that killed Hannah. Either way, her death rallied the area’s farmers to participate in the Revolution.

As long ago as the 1970s, people reported seeing ghosts in the cemetery and courthouse. Some suspect that one of the ghosts is that of Hannah Caldwell herself. Custodians report seeing a woman all dressed in white near the elevator. Visitors report lights flickering and elevators opening and shutting on their own. Other people report seeing a woman in white colonial clothing floating through the parking garage and court corridors. The face of Hannah is sometimes seen in the window of the first floor office. Ringing bells and footsteps are heard in the courthouse Rotunda. A psychic paid a visit to the courthouse and reported that Hannah was not pleased with the way her murder was depicted on the Union County seal.

Sci-Fi channel’s Ghost Hunters featured the Union County Courthouse and cemetery in 2009. While there, the crew heard footsteps while sitting in the Rotunda, and corroborated this with a high EMF (electromagnetic field) reading – sometimes an indicator of paranormal activities. Many crew members reported seeing a shadow pass by a painting of James Caldwell. They captured footage of an apparition walking across a room and through a wall. Other footage shows an apparition vanishing along a path.

What have you seen at the courthouse?

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