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Thy Name is Natirar

While New Jersey may be the butt of most jokes, let folks keep thinking our state is a cesspool and looks like the turnpike, little do they know how pretty NJ really is, our parks system is pretty choice. With that being said, having moved to Somerset County, temporarily, I have had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with what you see above, the Natirar Estate. Natirar is Raritan backwards.
Apparently the "estate includes 22 buildings, many historic, six wells and three bridges, NJ Transit right-of-way and three streams, a pond, woodland. The 33,000 square-foot mansion itself, grand that it may be, is sedate and austere." Here is its whole history here.
People were set up by the streams painting, there was a cool bat house on one of the trees, the streams had mini-waterfalls, the air was clean and it was the first time, besides at the Biltmore, that I wished I was a legacy to such house and property.
The coolest thing is that Sir Richard Branson of the Virgin Group has leased approximately 90 acres and Natirar is being turned into a resort property. While I was walking the loop, you cannot get near the house, but it looms magisterially, there were tons of construction type vehicles going back and forth.
Here is more info I found on Wikipedia: The Virgin Spa at Natirar is advertised to be a 76 bedroomed retreat featuring two gourmet restaurants, a 225 seat ballroom, a 10-acre (40,000 m2) Organic Farm, Culinary Center, and a "truly superb" Virgin Spa. As of now, it is expected to open sometime in 2009.

Go and check it out. You can relax on a bench, bring a picnic lunch, paint, whatever. All I know is, I am applying for a job there as soon as I can ;-)



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