Living and eating in Reading, N.J.

It’s a name with a long and rich history – when Robert E. Lee first fought at the frontiers of the county, his cause was on the side of farmers seeking the preservation of their land and farming practices. Throughout the local history, the name Reading, N.J. has been used both by the people who live there and in reference to its prominent moments: General Lee was born there, Reading Yankee Coal gave the county its nickname and at one time the borough had four distinct neighborhoods named after great literary figures from the Revolutionary War, namely Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin, Francis Scott Key and Marquis de Lafayette. For better or worse, Reading has now lost its top occupation as its population shrinks and properties dwindle. However, a local restaurant remains at the heart of this small town, where locals continue to eat and drink and treat their environment with respect.

On a recent visit to Readington, I paused by a local grocery store and found myself checking out options for my local good health. At my local 24 Hour Fitness, I noticed the prominent women’s health center in the corner – up the street in downtown Readington, is a large brick building that houses the Readington Free Health Clinic and Prescription, a small pharmacy, and it seems like that in any other community this would be a symbol of health and prosperity. However, Readington, N.J. has something else to say about it: “Hey! Why are we laughing at Readington, you snooty city slickers!”

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