Sunday, October 04, 2009

Off Topic - That Was the Week It Was 10/04/09

It's time for my weekly look back at life in photos I've taken and words. I was sick for most of the week. As a matter of fact, yesterday was the first day I felt somewhat normal. Blech, bronchitis.

However, I went to work each day. I had to, didn't really have much choice. We were expecting an audit from the Department of Labor and I'm the one who maintains and audits those records for my company. When it comes to state or federal audits, I tend to freak out a bit and want to make sure all goes well. Phew. We passed the audit with flying colors. The man said, "You run a tight ship here." Yes!

On the home front, the relationship with Vincent the Cat continues to grow. I've asked him what his story is, but he won't tell. I've had affectionate cats throughout my life, but they pale compared to him. When I come home from work he actually leaps from the floor to my shoulder, droops over my back or around the back of my neck and purrs.

He was neutered, definitely needs a person, yet was found as a stray on the streets of New York City. It's well known there that if you lose a pet, you need to report it to New York City Animal Care and Control. No one reported him missing. So he's now my lovebug cat. He's very well-behaved, only uses his litterbox, and only scratches his sisal mat. If he had his way, he'd be attached to me 24/7. But he is beginning to understand he doesn't have to be ON me all the time -- NEAR me can suffice.

Other than the DOL audit, I had a relatively uneventful week schlepping off to work, then home, nursing my bronchitis the best I could. One day I went from the train station to drop my photo entries off at the Plainfield Library for the contest. On the way back towards a bus stop which would get me closer to home, I walked through one of the historic districts in town and fell in love with cool houses.

Onto this week's photos --

Does this shot make my butt look big?

Vincent, naturally.

Strangers on a bench

Folks waiting for the train in Plainfield, NJ. This a town which screams "Diversity!" I'm happy to be living here where there is such an array of different cultures.

The stinkhorn has grown some ...

Hey, I don't make these things happen. I just chronicle the events. It's a mushroom.

The Queen City

One of the days I didn't go into work before dawn, I snapped this shot as I approached the train station. See the teenager in khaki and red? That's the new school uniforms. With the exception of being slightly reminiscent of Target staff, the uniforms seem to solve a lot of issues. I don't know how I would react if I were still a student. But, then again, there were strict dress codes during my school days and the world was a different place. As for the "Queen City" reference on the railroad overpass, you'll see why soon. Although the town is known to be very gay friendly, that's not what the Queen refers to.

A Colt 45 in the bush is worth ...

... absolutely nothing. But in light of our Colt 45 discussion during BB11, when I saw this planter, I had to shoot it. Outside of a bar on Church Street in Plainfield.

In the elevator one morning

My landlord will rent to anyone these days. He was not a good conversationalist.


I'm going to have to stop there some Tuesday after work for that $10 take-out dinner special. While Plainfield is full of ethnic and cultural restaurants of every nationality, I'm not big on the spicy foods many of the Latino places offer. But Blackberry's specializes in Southern and soul food. This New York Times article explains it nicely. No, I don't think I'd be a fan of barbecued pigs feet. But I just love many of the Southern food offerings! Oh, gee. I went and looked up that menu and now I'm hungry. Maybe this Tuesday!

I promised him

I was sitting on a bench on Watchung Avenue in Plainfield messing with my camera. This street dude wanted me to take his picture, so I did. I told him I'd put it on my blog, so I did. He was pleasant enough and didn't ask me for money. However, he was slightly inebriated.

Plainfield YMCA

There's something about the old-style sign I really like.

To the Queen City

Okay, I mentioned this before. The houses in the next group of pictures are in the Crescent Avenue Historic District in Plainfield, NJ. Although lots of gay folks have bought up some of the historical homes, that's not why the town is dubbed The Queen City. I've read two different reasons for the name. One says it's because when Plainfield became a town a couple of centuries ago, it was known as "the Colorado of the East" for its clean air. Denver was the "Queen City of the Plains," so Plainfield became "The Queen City."

A beautiful Queen

The other reasoning behind the nickname is the architecture in town -- the Queen Anne homes and Victorian houses which are simply stunning. Some have been cut into apartments, others are still single family homes restored to their original elegance.

I SO love these!

If any Plainfield cool homes owners are looking for a good tenant with a cat for a one bedroom under $1,000 per month ... ME! Ex-governer Jim McGreevey lives in a fancy-schmancy home in Plainfield, but I deem these much cooler.

I see a red door ...

... and I want it to turn black. No colors anymore, I want them to turn black.

Okay, I'll stop singing. My apologies to the Rolling Stones. But when I see a red door, it makes me go retro-rock.

I do NOT live here

My neighborhood is very different in Plainfield. I live in a high-residential zone with many apartment buildings (including two high-rise towers), apartment complexes, and a few older original homes. I don't live in one of the historic districts, but I like my neighborhood. It's quiet and low-crime. The folks around here are pleasant on the whole and public transportation, as well as walking, is perfect. I could use a new landlord, though.

My train was late yesterday

Which gave me a good opportunity to take photos as they were setting up for the Plainfield Fire Safety Day right in front of the train station. Note the window woman was there again. No Roofus sightings this week. But the music blaring from the speakers in the foreground would have probably made him hide during this!

$100 a week for a 42-hour week!

This collage of vintage and present day images and articles takes a trip through the history of the Plainfield Fire Department.

Sparkie and Friends

Oh, a bouncy castle! Due to my late train, I watched this place inflate. Sparkie is a part of the July 4th Parade in Plainfield, NJ each year.

1923 Fire Engine

Cool, ornate. Sort of like how I mentioned the lack of creativity and neat touches on new buildings, the same speaks for new fire trucks. I know the ones today are more powerful. But, can we bring ornate back, please?


Sydney said...

wow, you saw quite a bit for an overworked girl with bronchitis! I love the Vincent pic of course. and thought the story about they guy who wanted you to put his pic on your blog was funny. I really liked the colors Blackberry used on their store. it makes them stand out.

joy n said...

A WOW! from me, too. Your pix are exceptional this week! We have Queen Anne's in our neck of the woods too and I also have always admired their beauty. How wonderful to have so much of that outstanding scenery within walking distance of your home and commuting to your job.

Glad to hear the worst of your bronchitis is over.

These Sunday morning columns never cease to make me smile. I thank you.

joy n said...

P.S. Nothing like purring to let you know how content Vincent is to be in your life. Music to your ears.

monty924 said...

Once again, beautiful pictures Jackie. You pics of Vincent and the captions always make me smile and chuckle out loud.

Those homes are absolutely beautiful and I agree... I love them too. When I was driving four hours one way, to grad school, I would take the more scenic route, state routes, rather than the interstate. Interstates are so steril and you get to see so much more on the smaller state roads. I would drive through little 'burgs' every ten miles or so and always enjoyed the neighborhoods and scenery.

One town had a gorgeous neighborhood of older Victorian 'ladies'/homes that I would drive through each trip. It was the long way through the town, with many 4-way stops, but I sacrificed the short cuts just to see them. Oh good memories!

I'll be late for TAR this evening, but will catch up with the comments later on tonight.

Happy Sunday!

Sally said...

I'll probably be singing "Paint if Black" the rest of the day. Takes me back to my teens.

Loved your weekly column. I suspect that if I was feeling miserable for the second week in a row and had so much work to do at the office, I might be shuffling around with my eyes half open. But you're out there admiring houses, finding humor in beer cans, making new friends, seeking out historical images and information, and capturing the beauty of an old fire truck. I'm impressed!

Hope you continue to keep us updated with information and photos of Vincent. It would be interesting to know the history of the "stray" animals who come into our lives. Maybe when he was young, Vincent's family included a young girl who used to carry him around on her shoulder/neck.

Laurie said...

I love those homes and thank you for taking us along to view them. I'm pretty sure I lived in one of those in another life! *smile*

Hope you are feeling better and better as the day goes on. I made a big ol' pot of chicken and barley soup this afternoon and it's simmering on the stove right now. Wish I could send some your way.

I'm so glad Vincent found you and he knows he is one lucky cat. Wait until it gets cold!

See you in a few minutes for TAR!

American Idol Download said...

Wow,It is amazing.So sweet images.Thanks for sharing.

RyzandShyn said...

Slightly inebriated? Good Golly.
You did an awful lot of walking around for someone not feeling so well in the breathing apparatus.
I hope it helped clear the cobwebs and refuel the energy levels.

Love those old houses. Thank goodness people appreciate them and are returning them to their glory days. Time, money, and patience...wish I had all three.

Here's the deal, Jackie. I think that we should form some sort of woman's commune in another 5 to 10 years and take up residence in a place like that. There'd always be someone to take a walk with or have a cup of tea with but plenty of room for alone time too. Lots of hands to clean and cook and not too much work for any one person.I can be the one that chases the kids out of our garden with a broom. I've thought this out, see :)?

Sydney said...

A few of my friends and I have been talking about that exact same plan RyzandShyn

meb said...

I'm all for that RyzandShyn and Sydney.

Jackie I second everything that everyone here has said about the Off Topic pix and notes.

I did want to comment in particular, the ugly mushrooms. I've said it before and I'll say it again... I am so upset with them. They grow overnight in my back yard. Seriously, I'll pull one bunch up an he next day there's three or four, each as big as a basket ball, growing there that wasn't there the day before. I believe you could literally sit and watch them grow they are so fast.

Vincent is another story... he is absolutely gorgeous. Thanks for adding him to the collage.. ok pictures... hey...they could be a collage!

joy n said...

Every time I look back at the pic of that koala bear in the elevator, I imagine a tot or toddler wondering where their "friend" is. Bear looks a bit lonely.

RyzandShyn said...

Sydney and Meb,
Good, then. I think lots of women have been talking about it. It's a much better plan than trying to live on our own or having our kids stuck with us. I give kudos to people who have mega savings and all sorts of plans for their retirement years, but I missed that boat when life got in the way. I haven't given up, but since 50 dollars worth of groceries fit into two light bags, I'm a little worried.

joy n said...

RandS, can I join you guys? Sounds like a great plan.