As I commuted to work this week, the town of Bound Brook was bypassed due to the flooding. I had hoped to get some decent shots, but the train sped through the town. It's sad to see personal belongings stacked on the curbs, the fluorescent orange "Danger - Don't Enter" stickers on some doors, as the townspeople go about doing flood clean up once again. A restaurant which had been abandoned after the last flood had just reopened under new ownership a few months back. Now it's closed again. The actual waters had receded from the Main Street area by Monday. However, the town's power was shut down and they weren't letting folks drive or come by train.
I found out that flood waters weren't all that far away from my own place. While I didn't go out last Sunday when the weather was still bad, I could see the debris line where street flooding (not river, like Bound Brook) hit from next door to next door and east down my very own street. At the nearby church and the home on the other side, water had flooded a good thirty feet to the front steps. No wonder my street got shut down!
Outside of the weather, nothing eventful has really happened this week for me. No good news, no bad news, just kind of rolling on. Well, you know, that's how I roll. I was reminded one day how much I'm enjoying living in this town and how friendly the people are when compared to other places I've lived. I know a big part of it is my pedestrian ways -- you see the same people day after day exchanging pleasantries and the next thing you know, it's a friendly world after all. Throw in the diversity factor you encounter living in Plainfield, and it's always interesting, too.
On the Internet, I'm quite vocal. However, I'm more of a loner in life. By getting out and about on foot, I've met more people and become friends than I have in years outside of friends I've made through the workplace. I don't go to bars; I don't carouse.
One day this week, I chatted and mocked passersby with "pants on the ground" with a long time bus stop friend. I got off the bus, stopped in the bodega where I was greeted with "Mommy!" and asked if I wanted to run off to Guatemala by the man behind the counter (who seems to have some sort of odd crush on me). Then I bumped into Big Marvin and his little dog Princess as I walked home from the bodega. He looks like some kind of linebacker and is a corrections officer. The dog is a lhasa apso, usually wearing bows. We talked about the Storm of the Century for a bit, then went our separate ways. Then I was joined by Steve from upstairs with his son Christian (of the snowman fame) and the new baby boy (whose name I haven't a clue). Christian told me tales of going outside to play at school for the first time since fall. As we talked, Jake rode by on his bike shouting a hello. For me, this is a wondrous thing.
Heck, Plainfield tends to have a bad reputation spread by people who don't live here. Yet, it's the friendliest place I've lived in decades and the friendly people come from all races, cultures, and walks of life. I like that. I spent my childhood years in an area where everyone was pretty much the same. As an observer of people type person, this is much more intriguing and rewarding.
Onto the photos I've taken this week -- clicking on an image will open it larger in a new window ...
This is the view out the train window in Dunellen, NJ. I don't think that police incident command van has moved since I've lived here. I guess Dunellen doesn't have many incidents, eh? I edited this shot leaving the sign in color, background black and white and "posterized."
Yep, the seagulls are guarding East Front Street in Plainfield. No, we're not a shore town. But that never stops seagulls. I recall them hanging out at dumps in way upstate New York, as landlocked as you can get without being in the Midwest. Of course, these seagulls are probably soldiers in the war to overthrow mankind.
But he's never at these bail bond places. Strategically placed near the police station, I guess Action does get some action. But not from me. I'd have to drastically change my lifestyle to get arrested these days and I don't like hassles. Thus, I won't be stepping in the door. Watchung Avenue and East Fourth Street in Plainfield. I edited the shot, obviously.
I took this last night from near the Bridgewater Train Station as I was heading home from work. It would be nice if the ball park kept all of their lights lit as the dark one annoys me. But they don't care.
Nope, not naturally growing -- someone planted these daffodils. I'm still looking for natural flowers blooming and haven't even come across a crocus yet. I know they must be out there! This is in the cemetery behind the Friends Meeting House on Watchung Avenue in Plainfield. They probably should have raked, too. I couldn't get close as there's a fence between the flowers and me.
Yes, spring is on the way! The trees on Church Street all of a sudden sprouted buds. Soon the trees lining both sides of the street will be in full bloom. It makes me sneeze, but they're so pretty every spring. Church Street in Plainfield, outside of the Union County College building.
Back to the sunset from last night in Bridgewater. The geese were honking, soon the ducks will join in quacking. Then it's a cacophony of honk, honk, quack, quack. I'm awaiting the return of the chipmunks, groundhogs, and the occasional fox.
When it's a shadow! The harsh angles of the winter sun are lessening and this could be my last chance shot of this for a while. The side of the Friends Meeting House (Quakers) on Watchung Avenue in Plainfield.
I met these two high school kids on East Front Street in downtown Plainfield on Wednesday. Alas, the sun was so bright that it washed out the green of the girl's pants. They looked so SPRING that I asked if I could take their photo. They cheerfully obliged and seemed to be very nice kids. Their parents should be proud. And, of course, she's the epitome of teenage fashion with those glasses and the outfit! I edited the shot to make the background black and white.
Um, is this a secure way to transport your millions? Could it be a crime in progress? I just don't know. But it's not every day you see and armored truck being hauled away. East Front Street in Plainfield.
Okay, I'm joking. I believe they're doing more than changing the light bulb. I caught this scene on the corner of East Second Street and Watchung Avenue in Plainfield.
I was shocked when I went to mail a certified letter this past Wednesday. I dread going to the main Post Office on Watchung Avenue in Plainfield because there's usually a line of twenty or thirty people and everyone has an involved transaction. But I went in and only one person was being waited on and no one else was in line! Unfortunately, only one window was open and the clerk was CHATTING with the person being waited on. So, I still had a wait. But nowhere near as long. This is a long shot of the mailbox area. I don't have a mailbox there.
This deli on the corner of East Second and Richmond in Plainfield has changed hands more than a few times since I've lived in town. Yet, the original old "Lucky Spot Deli" sign remains no matter the name change. Yes, another edited photo.
This is the scene on North Avenue and Gavett Place early one morning this week. I edited it to leave the cab and street cleaner machines in their brilliant yellows while the background went sepia.
It's nice to see green again.
Sigh. When I got my first digital camera in 2003, I roamed about town taking photos of as many of the police and fire boxes I could find. Many are cool and sort of historical like this one. In the years since, most of the doors to them have vanished, either being sold on eBay or for scrap metal by druggies. I have to find my old files of the photos. This one is on Watchung Avenue near the Plainfield Train Station. I've closed its door twice this week. I bet the door will vanish before long. Why can't people just leave cool things alone?
He's working his assigned post, I'm sure.
Perhaps reluctant soldiers in their plot to overthrow mankind, the doves are pacifists at heart. I edited this shot taken at the Bridgewater Train Station overpass.
I'm sure they were originally red. This is a junkyard I see from the train near the Dunellen - Bound Brook area. I edited the shot to leave the men pink.
Don't judge me by the color, confuse it for another
You might regret what you let slip away
Like the geek in the pink
Like the geek in the pink, pink, pink
The geek in the pink, yeah -"Geek in the Pink" by Jason Mraz
The rest of the sign remained intact, yet no one has repaired the missing section obliterated in last week's storm.
The train actually made a stop in Bound Brook before the daylight on Monday. It was the last stop made there until late Friday afternoon. I have no clue why they stopped there Monday. The town's power had been cut off although the flood waters had receded. I had to lighten this shot some just so it didn't look like a rectangle of black. The light in the background comes from one of the trucks with lights like you see at night construction spots. Those were placed every few blocks up on the hill.
It was raining (again, still, whatever) as I headed to the train Monday morning. Thanks to daylight saving time, it's also dark again at that hour. This is the west corner of my street, not where the flooding was its worst. Plainfield Police, who scrambled for their barriers during the flooding, left the sawhorses there all week. No wonder they can't find them when they need them. The corner of East Front and Richmond in Plainfield.
Trust me, he's active enough, though! He's no longer the lanky street stray with the coarse fur I adopted six months ago. He's to the point where I'm going to have to start watching his weight and his fur has gone all glossy and soft. He's a happy cat and I'm happy to know him ... and be owned by him.
How was your week?