I had the chance to travel to New York and New Jersey for a few days last weekend. It was incredibly hot, muggy, and humid. Typical for summers in the East Coast but unbearable for someone who’s used to the temperate and beautiful [summer] Seattle weather. I was there for a speaking engagement at Metro Community Church. If you’re in Northern Jersey/Fort Lee or even in the Manhattan area and you’re looking for a church, check them out.
I don’t travel too often for speaking engagements anymore but when someone in New York City or New Jersey calls, I’m there. Why? It’s like a second home. Exactly 15 years ago, I got into my parent’s Toyota Camry station wagon and trekked solo across country from San Francisco to Princeton, New Jersey for grad school at Princeton Seminary. I have many fond memories including enjoying the first five months of marriage there.
During this trip [because I have the hunch it may be my last trip to Princeton for a while], I did my best Jason Bourne impression [without the violence] and visited some of the significant and memorable places that helped shape my identity…
1st stop: Got right off the plane at Newark Airport and thought food. Met up with seminary classmates Joseph and JP and trekked into Manhattan to dine at Gahm Mi Oak. They got some scary looking hot peppers that are the size of your arms.
2nd stop: Minhee and I enjoyed the first five months of our marriage at this simple 1 bedroom apartment in a town called Cranbury [just east of Princeton]. We had some pets called rats that gave us company. No furniture, one TV, and no bed but when you just got married, everything is fun.
3rd stop: If you’re from that area, you know what this is all about. Hoagie Haven is legendary.
4th stop: Miller Chapel at Princeton Seminary. I spent lots of time praying, questioning, doubting, and reflecting – mostly the last three. After getting married in Korea, Minhee and I “officially” got married again at Miller Chapel. Woke up one morning and asked six of my friends to meet us there for our wedding… Life was so simple then.
The beautiful organ inside Miller Chapel.