You Gonna Take That, Morristown?

Russ Crespolini says too much of what he loved about Morristown is gone.

Mendham-Chester Patch editor Russ Crespolini apparently isn't much of a fan of Morristown. Sure, he says, it's the county seat and a cultural hub — but he also says it's a hollow version of its former self.

, he told his readers:

"There is a new store where Woolworths used to be. There are new condos where Epsteins stood as a silent sentinel to the heart of the town. There is a new family in my grandmother's house on Wetmore Avenue."

And he told his readers in the comments section: "I can sum up what Morristown feels like without Epsteins ... sort of like a really beautifully wrapped present with nothing inside."

Now, to put that in context, Crespolini also explains that a lot of what he used to love about Morristown is tied into childhood memories of his grandmother. And now that both his grandmother and the institutions he associated with her are gone, it's hard to see Morristown the way he once did. And we can understand that.

But what would you tell him to turn him around? What's your favorite part of today's Morristown — where can Russ Crespolini make new memories he'll cherish with his family? Or ... does he have it right? Have we lost something special we'll never get back? Tell us in the comments.

Margret Brady April 06, 2012 at 01:33 PM
Most of those places missed by those no longer living in Town, left becuase their owners retired, or their customers moved away or started shopping at the malls. Expanding non-profits including the County and the hospital took more and more property off the tax rolls, while requiring more services at the local taxpayers expense did not help. The Community theater paid taxes, the bigger more costly Mayo Center does not. Greedy landlords asking top dollar for rents didn't help. Did Morristown let down the people or did the people let down Morristown? I don't miss the drug dealers on the Green and the gritty streets of the fifties. Not every old restaurant had good food and I'd much rather take my friends and family to the new Henneseys than the old "gritty" one. I'm thankful tMorristown has survived in times when most County Seats did not.
John Dunphy April 09, 2012 at 02:08 AM
Man, I'm gone a week and my Mendham-Chester man is badmouthing Morristown! Put 'em up, put 'em up! Looking at Russ' editorial, and the responses, my opinion kind of falls (surprise surprise) somewhere down the middle. For some, the places of their youth, with their fuzzy nostalgia, and their absence makes their impression. As one said, that new businesses always seem to take the place of old ones is a good thing. Variety for all is key. Not just in what's coming in, but what we take out of living here. Did you ever see our piece on the Morris Tourism Bureau's walking tours of Morristown? It's another great way to experience these three-square-miles of heaven: http://morristown.patch.com/articles/three-centuries-of-morristown-in-90-minutes
Richard Babcock April 09, 2012 at 03:05 AM
Much of what Morristown is now a memory. Memories of our youth are usually far superior to the reality of them, somehow time and distance seems to improve upon things. There were a few decades when Morristown was in true decline, and those are the darker days, but over the last decade she has made a real turn around. I have always been one to make every effort to live in the present and look toward the future, while all along trying to keep the past in perspective and cherishing what the past for what it was. It is the people, not the places, that make my memories special. I tend to be more positive about places and events when I shared those good times with good people. With that said, there is much to see and do in Morristown, lots of variety in our high quality dining choices, increasingly diverse shopping choices. I love Morristown and I love what is left of the old, and I welcome fondly what is new to our town. Yes, there are things that are long gone that we all can miss, but much has taken its place and continue to make her unique and great. Most of all, I surround myself with people that make my life special, and sharing time with these people in the many restaurants, bars, shops, parks, and homes of Morristown makes this a great town now, as it was then. So, my advice, don't live in the past, enjoy the present, be involved in our town, embrace it and love it because this is where we live, work, shop, eat, and share great times with the ones we love. Just love it.
Russ Crespolini April 09, 2012 at 03:15 AM
I think in this restatement of my original blog, the actual point I intended got a little bit muddied. I think one of the commenters on my original post got where I was headed. "Kendra Arnold 7:24 am on Friday, April 6, 2012 I think Morristown is awesome, but to me this essay was a sweet tribute to his grandmother. Of course Morristown isn't as great as it was to the author, because she isn't here anymore." And that, really is what the blog was about. Three decades of memories tied to someone I lost a little over a year ago. It is the people, not the places, and the person I shared my memories of Morristown with is gone. And for now, it is something I struggle with as I try to forge a new relationship with the town. Ironically, my grandmother would kick my butt for saying anything remotely negative about Morristown. She adored the town, warts and all. And defended it to anyone who disparaged it in any way. I am hoping time might soften some of this.
John Dunphy April 09, 2012 at 03:27 AM
It's definitely the people and the positive connections with them that make the places that much better, even if the person next to you disagrees. It's perception, really, and it's an amazing thing.


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