We had another heatwave here in the New Jersey area this past week. I was so over those after the first one this summer. I believe the latest was the sixth heatwave of the season. I don't like sweating. If I'm sweating, I should be working out and losing weight or something ... not just standing there. This summer I didn't perspire, I didn't glow. I sweated. Ack.
Between my full time job, this summer's extreme heat, the blogging gig, and Big Brother my summer's been relatively limited as far as going out of my way anywhere or doing a lot. I guess that will change on Tuesday morning when I venture into Elizabeth for jury duty. My juror number is well within those who must show up at 8 AM.
I've been poking around Elizabeth via the Google Earth Street View to check out the courthouse and the neighborhood around it. There's a lot of history in the area, dating back to the Revolutionary War and even before it. The courthouse itself is supposed haunted and the television series Ghost Hunters once did a segment on it. There are also peregrine falcons nesting there. With interesting architecture, a cemetery dating back to the 1600s, urban street characters ... I should have a field day with my camera during my travels to and from the courthouse and my lunch time. Of course, if I get selected for a trial, I wouldn't be able to post about it while it's ongoing, nor will I be taking photos in the courtroom. But I'm thinking of this as an adventure!
It will be a nice change of pace, plus I'll be doing my civic duty. I need an excuse to get out and about somewhere other than going back and forth to work. It's only a shame that I can't take my air conditioning with me as I walk around Elizabeth. While it's beautiful weather now, Tuesday will see us near 90 degrees once again.
Without further ado, here are the photos I've taken this week -- clicking on an image will open it larger in a new window --
And the sky is a hazy shade of winter
Look around, leaves are brown
There's a patch of snow on the ground.
-- "Hazy Shade of Winter" by Simon and Garfunkel
There I was walking in 96 degree heat and I came upon a pile of snow. Huh? What? Aliens? A mirage due to being delirious from the heat? I don't know. I took a photo just to prove it really did exist. Bridgewater, NJ
This was taken Friday morning as Earl was supposedly moving closer. Where I live is far enough inland that coastal storms don't really mean much other than lots of wind. Perhaps the closest "shore" point would be the Elizabeth area which is actually secluded from the ocean by Bayonne and Staten Island. That's probably about 12 to 15 miles away. Earl turned out to be nothing but good surfing waves. This was taken at the Plainfield Train Station.
Timothy Leary knew nothing about modern technology. Psychedelic drugs have nothing on the zombies walking the streets so involved in their own little technological play toys that nothing else exists. We have a generation of addicts without drugs, per se. Watchung Avenue, Plainfield.
Disclaimer: I admit to being a tech addict myself to a point with my digital camera and my Not an iPod. But, my cell phone is strictly for very rare phone calls. Real calls, I do at home. And I don't want a smart phone -- I'm Internet-addicted enough without one.
I worked later again last night and it was dark by the time I got home. Even if I hadn't worked later, this would have been the time I arrived home as there was yet another suicide by train on my line. The latest was nearby the station by my workplace. Earlier this week, there was one at the Roselle Park Station.
While suicide itself is often a drastic solution to what's often temporary problems and definitely not an advisable route, having someone else do the deed is reprehensible. My heart goes out to the engineers driving these trains -- they can't stop on a dime and they have to live knowing they killed someone. I know these NJ Transit engineers and conductors. They're mostly a great bunch of folks. There's been an increase this year with people jumping in front of trains.
It's definitely sad when someone ends their own life. But to involve others in the taking of it is even worse. Like suicide by cop, suicide by train isn't the way to do it. I don't really have answers.
the neon signs are pretty
How can you lose?
The lights are much brighter there
You can forget all your troubles,
forget all your cares
So go downtown,
things'll be great
when you're downtown.
-- "Downtown" by Petula Clark
I guess I'm in a music mood this week or, at least some of the photos are lending to song lyrics. El Palacio restaurant on Watchung Avenue in Plainfield has installed brilliant blue-hue spotlights in addition to their neon signs. Yeah, it's a bit gaudy, but it's good photo fodder. When you're in the light, it's almost like a black light effect on white clothing.
Pigeons and other birds love to gather just over Regis' head. I took this shot at the TD (Somerset Patriots) Ballpark in Bridgewater. Regis and Kelly, spokespeople for TD Bank, adorn the side of the stadium. And, might I add, draw birds.
This is Watchung Avenue and East Fourth Street in Plainfield. I like what I did with it and I don't. I should mess some more or re-mess entirely. A train is pulling into the station while car traffic flows below.
Seas would rise when I gave the word
Now in the morning I sleep alone
Sweep the streets I used to own
-- "Viva La Vida" by Coldplay
Heh, more music. But I couldn't resist when I saw this guy pushing a vacuum cleaner up the street on Watchung Avenue in Plainfield.
Badahdah ... uh-oh. I'm singing again. The early morning sun all but silhouettes a commuter on the Plainfield Train Station platform.
Yes, I messed with the editing of this photo. But I'm pleased with these results. It gives it an almost Rockwell sort of "feel" albeit very different fodder than he used in his paintings. North Street in Plainfield.
Just because they're technophobes hanging onto outdated television antennas doesn't mean they aren't going to take over the world.
A mother hugs her child while awaiting the school bus. The city schools in Plainfield actually start this coming Tuesday. But some of the parochial and other private ones started last Wednesday and Thursday. It's hard to tell anymore as Plainfield's school uniforms are just about like what these kids are wearing.
Yes, he's wildly chirping, yelling and waving his tail all about. What did I do to him? Um, well, I accidentally threw my kitchen trash on his head. How was I to know a squirrel was in my apartment building's dumpster? Sheesh! Obviously, I didn't hurt him. But he gave me what for!
You know, if I'm walking in one direction, flying ahead of me and stopping will mean I'm coming again. Why don't you hide behind me and then I'll be gone? East Front Street, Plainfield.
Right here you see four differently-colored taxi companies gathered at the taxi stand at the Plainfield Train Station. The yellow cabs (which used to be neon green) are Yellow, the blue cab is United, the red is Liberty and the orange is Caribe. There are also black, white, yellow minivans (not Yellow) and the occasional purple cabs.
Call me a cab!
You're a cab.
Thank you, I'll be here all week.
The sun peeks through just after dawn on Monday. Plainfield Train Station.
The bright lights make the sidewalk and its bench glow even in the daylight. Watchung Avenue, Plainfield.
And I didn't even throw trash on him! Apparently he's camera shy. Up on the wires overhead on East Front Street, Plainfield.
I bought Vincent a new toy my downstairs neighbor must already hate -- a compressed catnip ball. Vincent loves it, but he likes to roll it on the hardwood floor more than on my carpeted areas. Oh, well. I can hear the chihuahua barking down there. So we're even!
How was your week? I hope everyone has a great holiday!