A Money Magazine perennial biennial: Middletown. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)
By DUSTIN RACIOPPI
Middletown, NJ, unlike its myriad namesakes up and down the East Coast, can boast of certain things that make it particularly noteworthy in the small-town America category. In between its oft-congested nerves of commerce, Routes 35 and 36, lie acres of cherished open space; a burgeoning arts center pulses; a high school football team that hangs championship banners regularly; and, still, a cinematic landmark sells cigarettes to touristy film wonks.
It’s for these diverse reasons and more that plenty of people, including high-profile folks like Bon Jovi and Debbie Harry, choose to call it home. Others, like legendary football coach Vince Lombardi, choose to stay forever.
“There’s people who are filthy rich and there’s working class,” said Tim McCarty, who’s lived in Middletown for 15 years. “It’s not pretentious in any way.”
The editors at MONEY Magazine seem to think Middletown (population: 69,000) is pretty OK, too. The magazine named Middletown No. 89 on the 100 Best Places To Live list in its August edition.