I found Sullivan’s book to be extremely insightful and interesting overall. Being from a state like Maryland, although so close to the Jersey area, I rarely visit. Since I do not go often I have much knowledge about New York and Philadelphia, but not much besides perceptions and things that I have heard about New Jersey. As I read the story i became more and more conflicted with Sullivan’s overall view point of the Meadowlands. He seemed very torn. Often times he would talk about how terrible and dirty the Meadowlands were, but then in other instances shed light on the resources and positives traits in the Meadowlands. Because I am currently watching the Sopranos I couldn’t help but relate my readings to the show to hopefully help bring me to some understanding of the authors angle. Very similar to the Sopranos, which is set in New Jersey, the place used to be an area rich with culture and community, but as times progressed it became less and less of what it used to be. That is the angle that I believe Sullivan is going for.He wants to like the Meadowlands for what it was, but can’t help but have a clouded depiction of the area because of what it currently is.
I found the Cronon article fascinating. In particular one of the parts I thought were most interesting was the evolution of the perceptions of the idea of wilderness. In the article Cronon describes wilderness as a symbol of fear and chaos, whereas an earlier time period wilderness was a thing of tranquility and beauty. This I thought was relatable to Sullivan’s book because the Meadowlands and swamp area use to be rich with resources and now it’s viewed ugly and abandoned.