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L.A. Parker: Summer Solstice reminds us to take advantage of the positive sides of Trenton

July 5, 2017 | Media Coverage

Originally posted on The Trentonian
By L.A. Parker, The Trentonian

Carol Burnett ended her television show with this theme tune.

“I’m so glad we had this time together,/ Just to have a laugh, or sing a song./ Seems we just get started and before you know it/ Comes the time we have to say, “So long.”

Well, say goodbye to summer and start searching for those back-to-school sales, placemat settings for Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas gifts.

The summer solstice, aka “the longest day of sunlight” offered for the year, arrives Wednesday as we start the countdown of 2017.

Actually, Tuesday delivers the longest day as the sun rises at 5:29 a.m. and sets at 8:31 p.m. for a grand total of 15 hours, two minutes and two seconds of light time.

As local high school seniors take their march of pomp and circumstance, it’s already time to start thinking about September.

Will not be long before we hear John Lennon croon “And so this is Christmas, and what have you done. Another year over, and a new one just begun.”

Seriously, plenty of time remains to make this a memorable summer, especially if you already attended one of Trenton’s Pork Roll festivals, Mill Hill’s Garden Tour and Art All Night.

Joe Kuzemka, director for AAN, took the stage Saturday to introduce Mayor Eric Jackson. Kuzemka and Jackson underscored the fact that despite challenges tethered to U.S. urban areas, Trenton exudes positive signs of life, not life support.

Both men reminded AAN guests that Trenton exists as more than just a negative headline, although perceptions matter.

A community dinner Friday in Princeton provided an uneasy feeling that negative press influences outsiders. A mother and daughter living in Princeton asked about Art All Night but they seemed reluctant to venture into the city.

The reality, as stated by Mayor Jackson, is that AAN has not experienced any significant incident in an 11-year history. Take that, all you Back Talk blowhards who seem to take joy in Trenton’s struggles.

Anyway, a personal history with AAN continued as the standard Saturday night appearance followed by a Sunday morning return to the former Roebling Wire Works building on South Clinton Ave.

Bumped into Princeton Borough resident, Clifford W. Zink, a local historian who chronicled the Roebling family exploits beginning in Germany during the 19th century and their landing in Trenton.

Zink co-authored “Spanning the Industrial Age: The John A. Roebling’s Son Company, Trenton N.J. 1848-1974. His second book, “The Roebling Legacy”, traced the family history through 200 years and across two continents.

Zink headlined a tour Saturday morning as his discussion tracked Trenton’s successful industrial age with the Roebling family production of wire rope used in the building of many U.S. bridges.

Roebling created thousands of jobs as the capital city lived up to its “Trenton Makes The World Takes” image.

While AAN presentations seemed less creative this year, Sunday produced vendors with exceptional products. Met several out-of-town artists who agreed that Trenton appears primed for an amazing revitalization.

It’s going to take time along with strong leadership and a diversity of voices to turnaround Trenton. We need all minds and hands on deck.

Trenton still shows life especially with the Greenwood Farmer’s Market which takes place on Monday’s from 1-6 p.m. at 427 Greenwood Ave.

Fresh vegetables, fruits, health screenings and information about local activities. Thursday’s Capital City Farmers Market offers similar attractions from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. followed by an upcoming run of free concerts for the Levitt AMP Trenton Music Series (June 29-August 31).

People who commute to work in Trenton or headline readers possess a jaded view of this city. You have to live or spend time here and get to know the people and players.

Incredibly cool to return to our parked car and see the laser light show announcing the opening of Roebling Lofts, a redevelopment project that will include 138 one-and-two-bedroom apartments on Clark St.

Trenton residents who really want to celebrate summer should plan a day trip to one of our state’s beautiful beaches, have a picnic at Mercer County Park, and definitely plan a party for National Night Out.

Make the Summer of 2017 a memorable one before you wonder where the time went.

L.A. Parker is a Trentonian columnist. Reach him at Follow him on Twitter@laparker6.


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