There are some days I kick myself for forgetting to take my camera with me. For instance, just the other day, I found myself on the very street Buzz Aldrin—the second man on the moon—grew up on. And all I had with me was my phone! (All told, the pictures didn’t turn out too bad, I don’t think.)
There’s more to Montclair, New Jersey than The Sopranos, you know. It was here—in this very town—in 1930, that Edwin Eugene Aldrin was born. Little did he know, as he played on the streets (see above for artist’s reconstruction of the young Aldrin playing as a child) that some day he would find himself the second man on the Moon!
The house he grew up in is rather grand and well-kept. It’s a private residence, so if you do decide to pop on over to Montclair do bear that in mind. Discrete. Be discrete. For instance, if you don’t take your camera with you but take photos on your phone people are far less likely to pay attention to you. I speak from experience.
Outside house, tucked away in a nook in the hedge, is a rather delightful monument to the great man. Or “Montclair’s man on the moon” as it terms Mr Aldrin.
I’m not entirely sure what the monument is made of—a delightfully craggy rock, with moss and lichen growing over it. I don’t think it’s the Real Thing. Probably some sort of ersatz moon rock. Maybe basalt. If you peer closely and ignore the moss, you could almost imagine you, yourself, are on the Moon.
The house itself has a view of a rather lovely park. I like to imagine Buzz bounding around here, practicing moonwalking (NASA-style, not Michael Jackson-style. Though maybe he did that too) on his days off (artist’s impression below).
Buzz Aldrin’s Childhood Home
Address: 25 Princeton Place, Montclair NJ 07043
Hours: Visible 24/7, albeit rather hard to see at night.
Beware: So yes, it’s a residential neighbourhood. I’m sure they don’t want hundreds of tourists prancing about disturbing their peace. Be respectful. Maybe even forget your camera too. Ahem.