Sunday, September 13, 2009

Off Topic: The Week It Was 9/13/09

It's Sunday and time to take a look back at the week gone by in images I've taken and words. This week is very image heavy, my apologies. If you're looking for Big Brother content, my most recent news can be found using my BB blog tag. Otherwise, settle in and make yourself comfy.

The week started out on a relatively routine note -- work and life as usual. Of course, the end of the week marked the 8th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. In this area, the attacks had a big impact. We will never forget and we are forever changed.

My week end had its own delightful twist. Come along for my journeys -- clicking on an image will open it larger in a new window. All photos were taken by me. I'm not proud.

Double take

A man in red does a double take at two Plainfield (NJ) narcotics officers walking up the street. Not as clear as I would have liked it, using layers to make the background black and white while leaving the Stop hand and people in color.

I hear the train a'coming ...

It's coming 'round the bend
I ain't seen the sunshine
In I don't know when
-- "Folsom Prison Blues" by Johnny Cash

It rained for a good portion of the week. No one can smoke cigars on NJ Transit trains anymore. I remember Metro North used to have a bar car. We have no such thing. Plainfield Train Station

North Street in black and white

A portion of Plainfield's North Street near the train station. Why was one building allowed to deteriorate so much while the others were obviously rehabbed at some point?

Who needs to go to Spanish Harlem?

Well, I do (keep reading). But we have a huge international touch right here in Plainfield.

Danny's Bakery

I love their croissants, but they're so often sold out of them that I don't stop by as often as I once did. Plainfield, NJ


Someone has been creeping in, I say. Plainfield, NJ.

Say what?

Oh, if I can't wear my Head Rag, I'm not going! Er ... I've never been in there anyway. Bar rules on Richmond Street in Plainfield, NJ

Wait. This isn't Plainfield, is it?

Er, no. I said I had to go to Spanish Harlem, otherwise known as El Barrio or East Harlem. But this isn't there either. It's 8th Avenue near the Port Authority Terminal yesterday. Who says all the sleaze is gone from Times Square? This is just a few blocks from there and something folks getting off buses see.

Waiting for the light in sepia

Um, self-explanatory. Midtown Manhattan yesterday.

A long walk underground

NYC subway tunnel. I'm actually heading to the 7 train to go east, then the 6 to go north.

Yes, it's the subway.

I think I just like to take train pictures.

Under NYC

I liked the lights.

Ohh ... empty car!

So I had to take a shot at it.

Spanish Harlem aren't just pretty words to say

Yes, I've emerged from the underground and I'm up on the streets in El Barrio. Lyrics in the caption from "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters" by Elton John.

In which I stop in the middle

Well, I wanted to get the shot! (I had the light.)

This just creeps me out

A doorway on 110th Street. I think the mouse is leading us into the gates of hell ... or something.

I knew it!

Yes! That mouse led us right into Hell Gate! Um, okay it's just the local post office.

No, thank you

I'd rather not have any ice from there, thank you very much. El Barrio, Manhattan

Someone did some editing

Now it's PG enough for the blog. No, I didn't do the editing. El Barrio street art memorial.

El Barrio means history

Gee, I always thought it meant something along the lines of "the neighborhood." Silly me.

And here I am at my destination.

No, not the van ... the building. NYC Animal Care and Control. I'm here on a mission. Interesting things which happened while I was there:
  • Two NYPD officers stood around and waited for a raccoon to be removed from their patrol car.
  • I saw several people bring in donations of food, blankets, and such.
  • A rottweiler being brought in bit one of the workers.
  • Two early-twenties jerks asked a worker how to turn over their dog. Worker, "What's wrong with the dog?" Jerk 1, "I don't need it anymore." Worker repeats, "What's wrong with the dog?" Jerk 2 repeats, "We don't need the dog anymore." Worker and I both make eye contact and shake our heads in disgust. For me, pets are family.

Mission completed ... meet Vincent

"My muñequita, my Spanish Harlem Mona Lisa" ... (lyrics from "Smooth" by Carlos Santana). Uh ... I guess it would have to be my "muñequito" as he's male. I'm not so keen on the Mona Lisa reference, but he is neutered. "Muñequita" in Spanish means "little doll." Let's try another song -- "There is a rose cat in Spanish Harlem ..."

Although I picked him up and took him home from El Barrio, he was actually a stray caught on the streets in or near Riverside Park (Manhattan). They estimate him at about five years old. He was assigned a number (A828344), a name (Sal), dewormed and given his basic shots on September 4. He was already neutered when they picked him up. They gave him his rabies shot and microchipped him yesterday before I could take him home.

He's a love. I didn't like the name Sal and since that was just something assigned to him, I renamed him Vincent Riverside.

Cat on a train!

It's not quite like snakes on a plane.

Cat on a different train!

He gets around, doesn't he? He didn't make a peep other than to purr whenever I reached in the carrier to pet him.

Vincent settles in to a new life

He loves his new toy, his cat mat, his window, and my lap.

Fun with Vincent

So far, he's adjusting fantastically well to his new home. He's probably relieved to be away from all the barking dogs, noise and commotion at NYC AC&C. I probably saved a life -- they're the main shelter system for New York City and they have to euthanize perfectly good companions all the time because there aren't homes for every pet.

Judging from his behavior, he had to have been a loved pet at one time. He's affectionate, doesn't get on the kitchen counter, doesn't destroy things (although he walked on top of my PlayStation and turned it on), and uses his litter box. He seems taken with me and I'm taken with him.

Special thanks go out to Sydney, RBennie, Margo, Delee, PDX Granny, Auntie Leigh, Laurie, Donna in AL, Terry in CA, Meb, Sizzie, Becky, Nana, and Laurie. You know why ... especially Sydney.


Anonymous said...

Love your off topic posts. That is a beautiful cat, by the way.


Jennasmom said...

Jackie, I'm so happy that you have a new kitty! Vincent is one fine-looking cat. Congrats!

And, great photos -- as always!

Becky said...

Vincent is a beautiful cat! Congratulations to both of you. It sounds like a match made in heaven. May you have a long and happy life together. How large is he?

Jackie, I love your blog coverage on our shows. But, I have a confession, I am addicted Sunday articles and pictures.

Laurie said...

Jackie, I've been on the verge of tears all morning and your post about Vincent let them fall. Thank you.

Vincent is a lovely cat and so very fortunate to have become your new fur-buddy. He looks like a good-sized cat, too, one who would feel really nice on a lap!

I'm with Beckie, I've become addicted to your Weekly pictures and entries. I'm learning a lot about the area and chuckling at your wit.

Jackie said...

Thank you SDD and Jennasmom!

Becky - I forgot to ask how much he weighs. He's decent-sized, I'd guess about 10 or 11 pounds in weight. I'd say the large side of the medium range for cats. He has HUGE rabbit back feet.

SueGee said...

Lucy and I are happy for you and Vincent!! All of my pets have been of the rescue pedigree and I am amazed at how far you had to travel to rescue him! Vincent must be feeling very blessed today. Cats do not like noisy jails (shelters)


Jackie said...

Thanks, Laurie. He is lap-sized!

SueGee - It's actually not that far away. Many people commute daily to the city from here for work.

RyzandShyn said...

Vincent is a beauty! Here's to tons of purring good times to the both of you.
Vincent always reminds me of Vinny bag o' doughnuts from My Cousin Vinnie. It's a fun name.

I think the rescue world is one of the nicest worlds to be a part of and am glad you were able to add to it.

My sister rescues English setters. She has two of her own now and is always fostering another and/or driving hither and yon transporting dogs on a sort of underground railroad to their forever homes.

monty924 said...

Vincent is adorable, Jackie! I'm so happy for both of you!!!!!!!!!

sizzie said...

Jackie, thank you for leading us through your trip and then the Surprise ! of seeing Vincent. A perfect name, btw. He is beautiful and to think he rode quitely and was well behaved on the train. I was hoping you would find an adult cat. You two are a good match. I hope we see more of him and read of his settling into his new life.

Jackie said...


He's only meowed once since I took him from the shelter. He's chirped the cat chirps, but one outright meow when he jumped in the carrier late last night. I think he wanted me to put it away.

sandyy456 said...

Congrats on your new addition! Vincent is gorgeous!

Laurie said...

I kept wondering why Vincent seemed familiar as a name for a cat. I just remembered my dad named one of the family cats Vincent Lombardi. Vince was a great cat and it's nice to know the name is being carried on by another feline.

Anonymous said...

When I saw the words "delightful twist" I was so hoping it was a kitty stop!

Shelter kitties are the best - one of our two was rescued from the local shelter and he is the sweetest cat in the world.

Congratulations to the both of you - I have a feeling Vincent will be as happy with you as you will be with him.

Anne in CT

Nana from the NW said...

Congrats Jackie!! Vincent is a beauty and sounds like he's happy in his new home. It's great that you saved a life and that he has brought joy back into yours. :-)

Love all the cheerleader avatars!!

Anonymous said...

Thx Jackie, I really enjoyed you sharing your week with us. The BB house is really boring. Congrats with your beautiful cat.

Delee said...

Jackie he is a beauty. Love the snippets of gray here and there. Amazing for a so-called street cat to settle in so quickly. I agree that me must have had a good home not long ago and it is great he comes with manners!!!

Enjoy--love--laugh--cuddle everyday with Vincent!!!

You are very welcome what else could we do for our favorite reality blogger!!!

Bet said...

Jackie, I am so glad you found a new furbaby to share your life with. He is beautiful. I share my life with a hubby and 6 kitties that were feral and I took them all in. I never let them out again and its been 13 years now. They never go near the door....I always tell hubby " they are afraid they will fall out by accident". Good luck and thanks for sharing part of your life with us.

Margo said...

Wow he is very handsome. Welcome aboard Sir Vincent. You picked a good human. Now take good care of her for us.


RBennie said...

Jackie, I'm so happy for you. Vincent looks like a love. He actually looks a lot like my cat, Jazz. What a lucky guy he is to get to go home with you! Enjoy each other.

P.S. loved all the pics.

mammaroos said...

Jackie I love your Sunday off topic stories they give me an idea what the other side of teh states look like lol being out west i have never been to NY or NJ but one day i would love to come out there...
Vincent is an adorable cat and he looks like he is pretty good.. Glad you found a new friend thanks again for all you do and take care

meb said...

Hey Jackie... love the GREAT NEWS! You two are going to begin a journey together and I can't wait to hear about it in the months/years to come. He's absolutely gorgeous! And being so well behaved, that's another blessing. He looks so cute playing with his toys.

Keep us posted on his antics.

BTW... even if it wasn't far, it appeared to be quite a trip. WOW!

Delee said...

I always look forward to Sunday OT's. Makes me wish everyday was Sunday to see your photos and read the descriptions that follow the photos.

I noticed his back feet also must be a good jumper!!!

Thanks you!!!

TerryinCA said...

Vincent is precious and has the bestest nice you gave us a virtual tour of the trip to adopt him into your heart...he is a sweetie and I love his name.

Jackie said...

meb - I didn't mention that Vincent and I took a livery cab from the shelter to Penn Station, then he had another cab ride from the train station to here once in town.

Getting there was complex because I had to go uptown. I only have to step out of my door and walk a few houses down to catch the bus to Midtown. The walk is longer from the train station. I have to transfer (take two trains, one ticket) to get home as my NJ Transit line is diesel and NYC won't allow it. So I switch trains at Newark Penn Station. I thought the train would be less crowded than the bus.

Jackie said...

Added note - We took the livery cab because all the yellow medallion cabs were passing us up. They must have thought I had a lion in the carrier ... or maybe an alligator.

The livery cab was cool, though. He pushed the passenger seat all the way forward and we had tons of room.

joy n said...

Jackie, congrats on your new family member. He's a very handsome cat. His eyes look green in one of the snaps. I'm partial to green-eyed cats because mine are green. I'm so happy for you and for Vincent. Looking forward to hearing more about him. Loved the way you broke the news to us.

Your pictures are wonderful as always. It's so interesting to see little pieces of NYC and NJ.

mammaroos said...

Hey Jackie have you had a chance to look at the new people on the AMazing Race... I just went to look at them and there are 2 sets of teams that are listed on the top but whne you go to listen to there bios they arent there they are Zev/Justin and brian /Erika if you click on there picture on teh top it won't come up and then they arent in the bio's on the cbs home page do you have any idea why are they not on the race? just wondering if you knew thanks

mammaroos said...

Correction to my last comment it is Sam/Dan bio that won't load

Anonymous said...

Surehope Vinnie let's you watch a lot of TV. We need you.

I'm a dog person but am so happy when someone saves an animals life. Many happy years with your pal

Anon in Indy

Sally said...

As soon as I read about a delightful twist in your post, I skipped to the end, hoping to read that you'd found your new cat. What great news! I'm very happy for both of you! (Yes, I did go back to read the rest of the post.)

And Vincent, you're only just beginning to discover what a lucky cat you are! You, young man, have truly hit the jackpot in the pool of cat owners!

He looks like a handsome guy, worthy of a strong name like Vincent Riverside. I like the subtle gray markings on his face and I'm looking forward to seeing more photos of him!

meb said...

Ahhh.. you took the livery cab. I see... un huh... right... Uh..what's a livery cab vs a yellow cab? Different color? and if so I don't want to know what color a livery cab is. It doesn't sound pretty. Does it mean they are d-livering you somewhere. Sort of like our word verifications here. Man you can tell I ain't from the city. LOL

Sally said...

I forgot to add: one of my cats is named Vinnie. She jumped out of a sofa that was donated to the St. Vincent de Paul store where I volunteered, and no one called to claim her, so I took her home. She's been a delight.

Jackie said...

Mamaroos - I peeked at the TAR teams, but didn't have the time to go through them. I have to get working on the Survivor ones first!

Meb - Different color, different ways of charging fares, and more dangerous for the drivers. They have special livery plates, unlike the illegal cabs. There's no bullet-proof glass, no credit card machine, no meter as they do flat rate trips. Most seem to be black Lincoln Towncars.

Sasha said...

Congratulations, Jackie! He's beautiful and clearly brilliant...he couldn't have chosen a better mother! Thanks for all you do!!

Laurie said...

meb, I was just going to ask the same thing. What is a livery cab? I thought it was a horse-drawn cab but that didn't seem right. Turns out it's what we might call a town car, or one you call to take you to a place as opposed to one you hail on the street. Or at least that's what my Google search told me.

Jackie said...

Here's the scoop on livery cabs. Mine did pick me up on a street after sitting at a light watching two empty yellow cabs pass me by.

Jackie said...

Laurie - The horses are hansom cabs and that would have been a really weird way to go. I wouldn't want to take a pedi-cab that distance either. (Those are the bicycle/rickshaw ones.)

meb said...

I have to comment on your pictures Jackie. The double take: Loved the handcuffs hanging off the back of the one cop in plain view.

The say what sounds a little...hell it sounds a lot like discrimination.

8th Street... play on words... MALE ROOM TOYS ..

Waiting for Light: OMG, I thought it was Natalie.

The subways looked spic and span clean?

Spanish Harlem: Young Fish.. chuckle.

Great pix of street... Glad you're still with us Jackie.

Hell Gate Station... For real?

and the three pigs... did someone add that or were they all so endowed?

Thanks Jackie.. great trip... and you know the pictures of the cat I just enlarged over and over. Just love him!

Donna in AL said...

Wonderful news Jackie and Vincent!!
He is gorgeous and so healthy looking. I am so glad you found each other.

I love your OT posts. Since I have never traveled much, you give me an opportunity to e-see so much of NY and NJ.

Thanks a million for all you do!

PlaidChick said...

Ohh I am jumping up and down for joy! I love the name Vincent, and I love his eyes!!

You didn't probably save a life, you *did* save a life.

Hugs from Texas! Plaidchick, Emma and Elliot

Jackie said...

meb - If I'm carrying packages when I come home from work, I wait for the bus (it's covered by my train pass) to get closer to home. The narcotics cops have some sort of offices in the upstairs of the building near where I wait. They're always very friendly to me, but I think they know I'll never be a client of theirs.

That particular tunnel looked spiffy and shiny. Most aren't.

Yes, that section is technically Hell Gate. The NYC area has tons of cool real names (not nicknames like Hell's Kitchen, now gentrified to Clinton). My favorites are Spuyten Duyvil and Gravesend, Brooklyn

The piglets are riding a dolphin. Hmmm ... I'm going to have to go back and double-check that one!

lynn1 said...

Congrats to Jackie and Vincent for finding each other.
Jackie, I think Vinent is a very photogentic cat.
I enjoyed seeing all your photos but have to say hearing about vincent and seeing his photos made me really feel good and smile.

Gayle said...

Yay Jackie! I'm happy for both you and Vincent! Happy that Vincent has YOU to provide a loving home for and happy that you have another cat to care for, love and to keep you company.


AlbGlinka said...

Let me add my congrats Jackie, so glad you have a new kitty in your life and he looks great! My two fur-babies keep me on my toes... (sometimes it's to avoid the hairball deposits on my beige carpeting, aack!)

Many happy healthy years together!

Anonymous said...


I loved your photo journey to the shelter and the moral of the tale (tail?) at the end.

Best wishes to you and Vincent for many years of companionship. Rescued chirpling cats are the best!

-A friend from your AOL days-

EileenM said...

Jackie I love your photgraphs! Vincent is a beautiful looking cat and I think a very fortunate one to have you in his life. I wish you both many years of happiness together.

Witt said...

Jackie, I'm a little behind this week (lots of things going on at work)so I am just getting the WONDERFUL news about Vincent! He is lucky to have such a great mommy and I know you and he will be fabulous additions to each other's lives. Congratulations!!

Witt :)

stephanie said...

I thoroughly enjoyed reading that post and looking at the photos. Congrats on the new was time....


Jim Pivnichny said...

I love your photos, and obviously I'm particularly interested in those of Plainfield. You shed some new light on the city. Perhaps these images will encourage out-of-town folks to come into Plainfield and have a look around for themselves. This is exactly what we to bring people into Plainfield to find out that it is much better than they think. Keep up the good work.