Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Bloomingdale Pride Day, 2012

Bloomingdale is one of New Jersey’s much-harried 566 municipalities.  Its population is 7,454, a two-percent decline from the 2000 Census.  Seventy-one percent of the population was born in New Jersey, and the majority of household incomes fall between $60 and $100 thousand.  Only a slim percentage of households makes above $200 thousand or below $10k.  93.96 percent of the population is White.  According to Areavibes, the town has zero African-Americans.

That statistic would come as a surprise to the family living at the bottom of Jeffrey Drive, or the tenants of Waterfall Village.  According to Wikipedia, it’s 0.22 percent and the Hispanic population is 9.3 percent.  Nevertheless, 87 percent of the population speaks English; 5 percent speaks Spanish.  Goodness knows what the other 8 percent speak.  And finally, 63 percent of Bloomingdalers are married, which is 5 points above the national average.

Bloomingdale is safer than 90.1% of the cities in the nation.  Its next door neighbor, Butler, is 56.4 percent more dangerous to live in than Bloomingdale.  You are 263% more likely to be robbed in Butler.  Butler experienced 12 murders in the last year; Bloomingdale, zero percent.  Bloomingdale had no vehicle thefts and 147 burglaries compared with Butler’s 400.  Butler, however, has many more retail businesses than Bloomingdale, so naturally its crime rate would be higher.

The poverty level in Bloomingdale is 48 percent less than the New Jersey average and 72.7 percent less than the national average.  Butler’s population is 7,539, and increased 1.6 percent since the 2000 Census.  Its median income is $79,197.  Blacks at least register, at 1 percent in Butler (78 black people).  The town has an Hispanic population of 860 (11.4 percent).  Nearby Pompton Lakes has 10 percent and is about 2 square miles, the same as Pompton Lakes.  Bloomingdale is larger, 8.8 square miles, much of which is a state forest.  In terms of residential area, Bloomingdale is approximately the same size as its neighbors.

Butler was incorporated in 1901, Bloomingdale in 1918.  Both towns had been part of what was then known as Pompton Township, comprising Butler, Bloomingdale, Ringwood, and Wanaque, and one would presume, Pompton Lakes.  Butler has an unemployment rate of 7 percent.  59.3 percent of Butlerites are married.  Butler leans Republican; Bloomingdale leans Democrat, as does Pompton Lakes.  Still, a number of people took interest in the Bloomingdale/Wanaque Tea Party booth, or at least took the U.S. Constitution pamphlets and Agenda 21 information sheets that were handed out.

Pride Day was just a nice, small town festival, where everyone mingled.  The Republicans were on one side of the field and the Democrats were on the other, with the Tea Party tent right in the middle, where it belonged.

Everyone got to show off their activity:  the junior cheerleaders, the soccer kids, the karate kids.  The PTA had a tent, as well as the public library.  The Girl Scouts had their tent, and the Boy Scouts showed off their survival skills as well as their sales skills (good manners included).  Who could resist their kettle corn?

Regionalists and annexationists would change all that.  We would all be part of, say, Newark.  Our autonomy gone, there would be no Bloomingdale Pride Day.  There’d be an Hispanic Pride Day, a Black Pride Day, a Gay Pride Day.  But no day where we would all just be one town.  Actually, Butler and Pompton Lakes were there today, even though Pompton Lakes has its own Pride Day along the Pompton Lake in August (it’s quite a festival, too, with tons of yummy food).

Certain urban planners like David Rusk don’t like our numbers.  They don’t like the serenity of a town like Bloomingdale.  They don’t like its security.  They don’t particularly like its demographics, although that 10 percent Hispanic population almost certainly puts Bloomingdale and Pompton Lakes in Obama’s camp.

Mom and Dad thought Bloomingdale was just a little too rustic back in 1961.  But they moved there all the same and stayed.  Wikipedia notes about Bloomingdale:

Like most towns in North Jersey, is a suburb of New York City. Some of the things that still link Bloomingdale to its past are its two churches (Methodist and Baptist), the Samuel R. Donald School (originally built in 1886) and the Bloomingdale Cornet Band continuously active since 1884 (Samuel R. Donald conducted the band for 50 years).

DeLazier Field, used by the Triboro Little League, was the home field for the Minor League Baseball team known as the Bloomingdale Troopers of the North Atlantic League from 1946 to 1948.  Babe Ruth was known to have attended the Troopers’ games.

Bloomingdale may not be very cosmopolitan.  But it’s home.  There’s no place like hometown - and that's something to be very proud of.

 

 

 

 

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