Sunday, November 29, 2009

Off Topic - That Was the Week It Was 11/29/09

It's Sunday morning. I hope you're having a pleasant and peaceful one. Of course, since it is Sunday, it's time for my off topic look back on the week past in words and photographs I've taken. On the whole, my week was a bit uneventful -- a shortened work week yet the time off from my day job ended up being consumed by a writing project. The weather here this week ranged from raw and rainy to high wind warnings. Today looks like it will be nice, but the temperature is 32 out there as I get this written.

I worked on Friday, thus didn't take part in any of the madness known as Black Friday shopping. I'm more of the type who will deal with the crowds on Cyber Monday. Virtual crowds are much less intimidating. I've never shopped on Black Friday. It wasn't a family tradition (we always went to visit our cousins that day) and I don't have a crowd of people to buy gifts for, nor any high ticket purchases planned. Did you shop on Friday?

Vincent and I had a nice quiet Thanksgiving day. We lazed about. I played my old Arlo Guthrie vinyl with "Alice's Restaurant" on it and, taking a break from writing, watched my DVD of Pieces of April. Both are holiday-themed. The Guthrie tune goes back to my teens when my brothers and I would play it and life was just a bit wilder. I cooked myself up a nice little feast and enjoyed the day. I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving.

Without further ado, it's onto the photos I've taken this week. Clicking on an image will open it larger in a new window.


I'm thankful he's in my life. I still miss Scherzo. But he's SO different from any cat ever in my life before. From the shoulder napping to ripping apart cardboard with his teeth like a caveman chowing down, he's a nut. He's also the best cat I've ever had with the camera. Scherzo used to close her eyes tight even when I wasn't using the flash. Teaser was good. But Vincent goes right into the modeling daze. I'm sure Vincent thanks all of his aunts out there. He seems very happy.

Look! The spaceships!

Last week I had a shot of the parking lot lights you see in the background here. This is as I walk to the Bridgewater Train Station (NJ) to get my ride home.

Urban Christmas

A lighted Christmas tree peeks out the window of an otherwise darkened apartment building pre-dawn. This is on North Avenue in Plainfield, NJ.

Mi Ranchito II

I edited this one for the mix of black and white and color. I only wish they had the gate on the left all the way up. This restaurant does a good business from pre-dawn into the evening.

Too Much Turkey!

Er, he did have some turkey cat food in honor of the day. Vincent sleeps on his back a lot. Knowing cats as I do, that's a sign that he feels safe by leaving his tummy vulnerable.

Does that star-spangled banner yet wave?

Why, yes it does. And now they seem to have sprouted flags amongst the holiday decorations up and down the length of the business district on East Front Street in Plainfield. This is pre-dawn, not evening.

Neon Rainbow

"The city lights, the pretty lights. They can warm the coldest nights." - 'Neon Rainbow' by the Boxtops. Well, again this is really pre-dawn. But the colors of the neon signs made me think of the song.

Best Donuts on Earth

I've been a regular customer of the Plainfield Donut Shop for several years now. They're also a luncheonette, but I'm a morning customer not usually wandering around for the lunch rush. Owned by Greek-American proprietors, Maria and Tom, the service is top-rate and friendly, the donuts are super-fresh, and the prices are very reasonable. I brought a dozen donuts to work on Friday and folks loved 'em!

Often there's a line right out the door during the morning rush. Yet Maria, almost an Energizer bunny, keeps things moving and the wait is never long. The breakfasts are also tasty, filling, and not too hard on the wallet. There is an ambiance with the morning regulars and staff which make it the Cheers of the donut world.

Bikes at Night

Some folks ride their bikes to the Plainfield Train Station. If they're taking off-peak trains (not in or out of NYC at rush hours), they can bring the bikes on the trains. However, rush hour trains are just too crowded for that practice.

East Side

Heh, the next Plainfield Library Photo Contest theme is "East Side, West Side, All Around the Town." I was on the east side (East Front Street) and noticed this "East Side" scrawled into the dirt on the hood of a U-Haul truck which is for sale. I did not scrawl it it. I don't want dirty fingers! Now, if they ever want to sell the truck, they really should wash it, don't you think? And, no ... it's not going to be one of my entries next year.


This sign is in the window of Pete's Fish Market on East Second Street in Plainfield, another business I frequent on and off. Fresh fish, reasonable prices. But what I'm wondering about is the "live eels" on the sign. Huh? Are live eels a holiday fare? What do you do with them? Raise them as pets? Throw them at guests you want to leave and yell, "Snake!"?

Threatening skies at sunset ... through chainlink

Another man vs. nature kind of thing. This photo didn't quite turn out the way I wanted it to, yet I wanted to share. Bridgewater, NJ.

Fashion Statement

Oh yes, I definitely messed with editing this shot. I left the one guy in color while everything else is black and white. I also played a bit with the black and white to make it a bit grainy. The result is that it looks like the fashion plate (ahem) dude is walking by a poster or something. Well, at least to me, it does. North Street, Plainfield, NJ.

Plainfield Main Train Station at Night

The station itself is only open from about five in the morning until noon. I rarely go inside and usually get my monthly train pass from the machines on the platform. My monthly train pass also allows me to ride the buses for a certain amount of zones. All in all, it's a bargain when you consider the cost of owning, maintaining, and paying insurance on a car in New Jersey. Plus, since becoming a pedestrian walking around with digital cameras, I've found photo opportunities around every corner in addition to the train friends, business owner friends, and just plain old pleasant commutes not dealing with NJ traffic.

Only 10 MNUTES!

Misspelled signs are always a favorite of mine. One of these days I'll have to go up Somerset Street in North Plainfield to see if the chicken place still has a sign which reads "foul." As a person who used to handpaint signs back in the 70s for extra cash, misspelling a word on a sign was one of my biggest fears. Nowadays, computers have taken over the business.

Fast Firetruck

This is at the corner of Watchung Avenue and East Fourth Street in Plainfield. It was Monday night after I got out of work. Something was happening. I saw at least four fire engines and two low-flying helicopters. Yet there was nothing on the news or in the papers. I dunno.

Thanksgiving Eve

It was rainy, misty, and drizzling in the start of the business district on Wednesday. While I'm not all that keen on rain if I'm out in it, I love the reflections it makes for photos. East Front Street in Plainfield.

Looking the Other Way

I think this is my photo of the week. I like the way it turned out -- almost like a painting when you enlarge it. East Front Street in Plainfield.

EEK! Vincent's EYES!

No, Vincent doesn't have two different-colored eyes. That is indeed a gene-induced thing in white cats, as is deafness. But he's not really a white cat as he has the gray on his head and tail. And, his eyes are green. This is the reflection of his pupils with the flash. I didn't edit the colors at all.

How was your week?


Bet said...

I loved all of your pictures but I always look forward to the Vincent pics. Loved loved loved the sacked out on his back one. I called my hubby over to see that one....very cute.

Laurie said...

Sunday morning with my tea and TWTWIW. Love this start to my day.

Jackie, I saw people use live eel as an ingredient on a cooking show. Apparently it's best if eaten fresh (like lobster). No thanks, I say.

I do enjoy your neighborhood pics. Something about the Christmas tree made me sad, don't know why. Maybe it looked lonely to me. Of course, the Vincent pics are the best. It just warms my heart to see him, just as any auntie would feel. I'm so happy you have him with you and he knows he is safe and loved.

Anonymous said...

the urban christmas tree picture was beautiful!
debie in WARM calif lol

Margo said...

Hey-Great write up as always.


Sally said...

Photos of Vincent always make me smile. Thanks for sharing so many of them. He does seem to be intentionally striking a pose sometimes.

Really like that photo-painting street scene.

Sizzie said...

Ah, Jackie, Alice's Restaurant. I still have that LP, too. I listened to it many times and even heard Arlo G do it live in concert. We all knew what was coming, but he still played it up like it had a surprise ending. I was thinking of Pieces of April last week, I may still look it up and watch again. Katie Holmes, pre Cruise days. Great photos, and I agree about the street scene. Make sure you keep it when you can find it when you enter some again. And they are all great of Vincent.

Donna in AL said...

Thank you for the pics of urban life! Vincent is such a picture ham, I love seeing his pics.

Will you be taking pictures of the windows in NY during the Christmas holidays? My SIL and I have talked about visiting just to see the windows.... but I am afraid of flying!

Jackie said...

Thanks for the kind words, folks!

Donna - The holiday windows are a sight everyone should see at least once if you can. That said, I may or may not. I hoping to do a holiday season photo stomp in Manhattan this season, but the lines at the windows can be way long.

Becky said...

I am in love with Vincent. You said, "But he's not really a white cat as he has the gray on his head and tail. And, his eyes are green."

I have heard that if they have eyes of a different color or a black spot on them, then they are not deaf. Not sure of this as fact, but any white cat we ever had that had one or the other could hear.

Jackie, I love, love, love your pictures. I think every week I tell you, but will say it again, this is a high light of my week.

joy n said...

LOVE that pic of Vincent on his back!

Ah, sweet dreams, Vincent!

Anonymous said...

"Looking the Other Way" is nice, but "Neon Rainbow" is absolutely GORGEOUS, Jackie!! I was doing an early morning (5:30 am) exercise boot camp back in September/October at the dance studio on E. 2nd St., so I got to see the pre-dawn crowd in Plainfield for the first time--there is something really sleepy and beautiful about the Watchung Ave. area especially around that time--the people, the donut shop, etc. Great photos once again!