May 29 – Ice Cream Run
We had family in town for Memorial Day Weekend, and my two nephews were fascinated by the light rail. To satisfy their curiosity we decided to take a train ride Monday afternoon. We toyed with heading into Philly, but as Bump still has a short window where we’re able to get about freely we decided to stay closer to home. So we headed North to Burlington City to hit a local ice cream parlor, Umms.
Burlington is an old city, and in its very early days rivaled Philadelphia before its southern neighbor grew to become the major city it now is. Many people in South Jersey consider Burlington City a “no go” zone, but this is a shame. It’s main downtown area on High Street is a treat, and the architecture is fantastic. My wife and I discovered Umms about 12 years ago during one of our explorations. Back then there were many signs of the malaise from which all small downtowns suffered in the late 20th and early 21st Centuries. In those days Umms was a sign of things to come, and those things are now arriving. High Street boasts some eateries with outdoor seating, a small brewery, a charming bed and breakfast, and a unique book and vinyl record store 1. There are also a number of other interesting retail outlets which we weren’t able to explore on a holiday. Burlington City also has a ton of local history, which is a great deal of fun for nerds to explore 2. What’s going on there is what I’d like to see Palmyra pull off, though on a smaller scale.
The city has charm, as the photo below demonstrates. It’s too bad the Burlington Bristol Bridge, which spans the Delaware, doesn’t join the downtowns of those two communities. It would make for a destination powerhouse in the area.