July 11, 2008

A Fair Night in Jersey

I braved the swampland of Secaucus tonight to stomp around the Giants Stadium parking lot for the New Jersey State Fair Meadowlands. I wasn't sure what to expect, as an avid visitor of The Great New York State Fair and having been relatively disappointed by the Tennessee State Fair. But at the very least, I always like the sights and smells of an amusement park at night, so it would be a nice place to walk around on a Summer Friday.

We were pleasantly surprised at how entertaining it was, with lots of freak shows, including an "Angel Cobra" girl which was basically a woman sitting under a table with her head stuck through a hole and a stuffed snake body wrapped around it. When I was giggling hysterically, she asked me, "Are you laughing at my body?" in a Jamaican accent. I replied, "No, it's beautiful!" and Dan let out a "hee hee." She said to him, "Do you like my body?" and then turned to me knowingly, admitting, "The men, they always like my body."

We cozied up to some real animals at the petting zoo, and although I didn't have any quarters to crank out the food pellets that you find at every petting zoo, I did spend some quality time with a baby ram or llama or something that wasn't old enough to not like having a good scratch from someone with no food to feed him with. For a moment, I caught the eye of the camel, and our gazes locked. I told him I didn't have any food, and he just stared at me. I talked to him like he was human. I think he could see into my soul.

We were hungry too but we both felt compelled to scout out the entire midway before choosing our dinner, but we finally settled on the Main Street Butcher Block, where Dan ordered a Pot Roast Sundae.

The picture on the awning looked like this:
but in reality, it looked like this:

I passed on the juicy vat of slow-cooked meat in favor of the charred, sizzling virgin London Broil that was sitting on the grill in front of us, which they promptly slapped onto the meat slicer and piled up into a huge sub sandwich for me, with melted cheese, mushrooms, peppers and onions and a squirt of hot sauce. I ate the whole thing and was still kind of hungry afterwards.

As the sun started to set and a cool breeze blew my hair into the peppers and onions dangling before me, we decided to take a ride on the chair lift so Dan could shoot some birds-eye video of all the sights and sounds below. Though Dan has a fear of heights, he overcame it quickly once he was able to take in all the bizarre beauty of the blinking lights, brightly colored awnings and billowing flags - all those things that keep attracting me back to carnivals, fairs, and amusement parks.

The sun pretty much set while we were in the air, though our tickets only took us in one direction, so we had to buy more tickets for the return trip, facing the sunset.

It was a nice change of pace from my normal nausea-inducing rides on the attractions. Since Dan is not a fan of rides, and I'm not a fan of riding them alone, we stuck to the leisurely pace of the chair lift, with one round on the sub-par bumper cars which were way too slow and not nearly as exciting or as dangerous as the ones at Krazy City.

As the sun hung low and red in the sky, we stumbled upon the free aerial stunt show, featuring a motorcyclist and an acrobat's act on a trapeze line. It was graceful and stunning against the dangerous sky. Much more exciting than the pig race we stayed late for (though the pigs were much bigger in Jersey than in Tennessee).

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