Sunday, November 07, 2010

Off Topic - That Was the Week It Was - November 7, 2010

It's Sunday morning, once again time for my off-television topic look back at the past week in words and photographs I've taken. The early part of the week here was cold, raw and rainy. Of course, it was a cold rain. By the time the sun came out later in the week, I was so ready for it. It's still cold, but it's November. The cold is something to be expected this time of year.

I was part of an act of divine intervention this week. Yes, really. I'm talking Girl Scout cookies. You see, I was waiting for my train home from work when I noticed girl scouts selling cookies on the other platform. I've lost all my Girl Scout cookie connections and thought ... mmm, Thin Mints. But they were on the other side. I wasn't about to walk down the stairs, under the tracks, up the stairs, then vice versa.

I thought for a moment, "Well, no trains are really due right now. It's not a raised platform. I could pass them money through the fence between the tracks and they could toss me a box of Thin Mints over the fence." No, not a good idea. I'm not so much worried about myself. I know the trains -- I would definitely get off the tracks in time. But I wanted them neither hurt, nor in trouble. So I resisted.

I resisted for a good five minutes, then saw my train approaching in the distance. I guess Thin Mints just weren't meant to be. Wait ... what's happening? They see the train and decide to make the run for it, down the stairs, under the tracks, up the stairs, across the open area. One fell, but they kept on coming.

It was fate. It was Divine Intervention. They got to my train just as I was about to board.

"A box of Thin Mints, please!" One of the conductors kept looking at me. "Aren't you going to open them and share them?"

"No." Y'see, I needed milk with them for my retro cookie trip to the past. They still taste just as good as they did 30 or 40 years ago, albeit you get fewer cookies per box and the price is way high.

In other news, yesterday was the big Plainfield Library Photo contest exhibition and awards. I chatted with local bloggers Bernice and Dan, as well as talking Amazing Race for a bit with Rebecca. I enjoy the people the event attracts almost as much as I like checking out what caught the eyes of others in town for the contest. I love Bernice's photo of the statue head from the Chotola building on North Avenue. I'm surprised it didn't win a prize.

It's hard to tell exactly the criteria for awarding the prizes. I was told that my photo "Before the Dawn" was a staff favorite, yet it didn't win anything. It was put on the cover of the program which was way cool, though.

One woman went on and on questioning the process they use to determine the winners. I believe she thought that professional photographers have an edge in the competition. I personally think it has nothing to do with things at all. The professionals (only one entered this year) really don't seem to have a better eye than the amateurs.

The man whose shots keeping winning the top awards is an amateur. I love his work (William Monroe). Perhaps professionals have better equipment, but it's the moment which often makes the shot. Or it's the composition. In 8x10's, fancy equipment which can make photos into murals isn't the key. It's the eye of the photographer, the subject matter and the moment.

That said, this amateur (moi) took second place for "Golden Lamps" and Honorable Mention for "The Walls Come Down." Two ribbons, two cool certificates and one check. I feel so honored to have won something both times I entered the contest. There are a lot of talented folks in town and I believe some of their photos were better than mine. I was also honored that they chose to use my foggy train photo (last year's second place winner) to head up the invitation card for this year's event.

I created a Photobucket album for the show and made this slideshow --

Onto the photos I've taken in my travels this week. Clicking on an image will open it larger in a new window.

Looking Up

More and more trees are but barren branches, yet some others are still sporting green. Peak foliage is over with. However, I still found beauty in Library Park. Plainfield, NJ.

Okay ... we swim across the Hudson?

A poster on my NJ Transit train. I assume there are ferries or something from those points. I've never taken a ferry other than the Staten Island Ferry. If I take the bus into the city, it uses the Lincoln Tunnel. The trains have their own tunnel -- would have an additional one in the future, but Gov. Christie shut that down. If I have to swim the Hudson, I'll stay in town, thank you. There are plenty of places to explore and stuff to eat!

Soapy's Neon

Soapy's Laundromat on Park Avenue in Plainfield along with the reflection of the other side of the street.

No, no, no!

Hmmm ... no use of CDs? I'm glad I retired my CD Walkman for my not-an-iPod. This is a sign outside a liquor store on Park Avenue in Plainfield. I don't know if it was a liquor store when the sign was put there. A marquee has been put in place obscuring the edge of the sign. I can only assume it was due to bootlegged CDs. I guess.

Sin Yu

I wonder how well this restaurant would do if they switched their name around to Yu Sin. With the language errors I see on Chinese restaurant menus, I wouldn't be surprised if it was named Yu Sin. If my Spanish was better, I'd check the menus out to see if they make similar errors in the Spanish text on them. Park Avenue, Plainfield.

Red Tower

I've shot this place before, but never managed to get this angle without cars passing by. Park Avenue in Plainfield.

Home for Adults

If you click to make this one larger, you'll see the marquee reads "Home for Adults." I would guess it was originally a hotel, but now it's more like the Greta Garbo Home for Wayward Boys and Girls for adults. No, it's not senior citizen housing. I find the building quite intriguing. West Seventh Street, Plainfield.

Sure, he looks cute

But he's probably daydreaming about his favorite movie, Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds. West Seventh Street, Plainfield.

Fall flowers

Park Avenue, Plainfield.

Wienie King

The Carmen Miranda hat's a bit of a shocker, but whatever floats his boat. The E&A Restaurant Supply store on East Fifth and Cleveland in Plainfield.

The Graffiti Wall's latest

I've decided that the ever-changing graffiti wall at the back of the E&A Restaurant Supply and Plainfield YMCA on the other side is an allowed thing. The graffiti in this parking lot shows much more talent than your average tags. One of these days I'm going to hit it as they paint. Right now there is a section all primed. I'll keep checking. I think (could be wrong) that the XMen who do these also did the graphics for the E&A building itself. Maybe they were paid in a wall, I don't know. As seen from East Fifth Street, Plainfield.

A puddle, leaves and reflections

When the white eagle of the North is flying overhead
The browns, reds and golds of autumn lie in the gutter, dead.
Remember then, that summer birds with wings of fire flaying
Came to witness spring's new hope, born of leaves decaying.
Just as new life will come from death, love will come at leisure.
Love of love, love of life and giving without measure
Gives in return a wondrous yearn of a promise almost seen.
Live hand-in-hand and together we'll stand on the threshold of a dream.
-- "The Dream" from On the Threshold of a Dream
The Moody Blues

Church Street, Plainfield.

Rain's neon glow

North Avenue, Plainfield. I edited this one for a combination of black and white and color.

More rain, more reflections

North and Watchung Avenues, Plainfield.

Abandoned Corn

Bridgewater, NJ. I don't know why. But there it was.

Last gasp of the wildflowers

They can tough it out growing in rocks by the Bridgewater Train Station, but a few more frosts are going to do them in for the winter.

Conspiring, I'm sure

Fool, get the coffee OFF the floor!

NJ Transit train. This is a full cup of coffee. Not only is it on the floor, but it's also at the edge of the aisle. What happens to full cups of coffee when the train stops? Why, they tip over! Then, due to the train's stop and go motions, as well as swaying, that single cup of coffee can end up front to back covering the entire car! Fool.

The Plainfield YWCA

By the early morning's light er, night. I like to experiment with taking dark shots without a flash. As seen from Church Street before the dawn.

I'm just SO cute, aren't I?

I've been using this as my Facebook profile photo this week, but figured I'd put it in here for those who don't use FB. Yes, Vincent, you're SO cute.

How was your week?


Suzanne said...

Jackie...You were up early, so am I. I came to see your photos, I am a fan of them, you know. Beautiful work. The bird all puffed up to stay warm is a favorite, but I like them all. Thank you.

RiseandShine said...

Congratulations on your wins in the contest! Fun stuff to be honored on the invites and program.
Girl Scout cookies! Yippee! I was a Girl Scout all the way through from Brownie to Senior. My daughter was in the program from Daisies to Senior. So many years of selling and consuming. I go out of my way to find someone to buy from now. I also get excited when Nabisco's Mallomars return to the supermarket each fall, so go figure.
I like the Fall Flowers photo very much for the colors and composition. Now that the morning frost is upon us, they will all be gone soon.
I take the NY Waterway ferry to NYC when I don't want to drive. It's a quick and pleasant way to go and their bus service once you get there is reliable.
I don't "do" FB, so thanks for the Vincent fix here.
Happy NYC Marathon Day! My son's friend is running so we'll be cheering him on.

Delee said...

So happy you made the photo contest win list 2 years in a row. Plus to be on the program!!! You have arrived!

The bird sitting on the pine branch just needs a few red berries and a touch of snow and you would have a Christmas card!

I do not buy GS cookies anymore, but did love the mint ones.

Vincent is being Vincent per usual and love how he finishes up the OT each week.

Pat in Plainfield said...

Jackie: although I enjoy your theory of CDS, I would like to point out that it means "Controlled Dangerous Substances." Keep up the good work.

Jackie said...

Ah, Pat ...that makes more sense! I'm out of the drugs loop these days, I guess. You're talking to someone whose current drugs of choice are ibuprofen and caffeine.

Prof. Williams said...

"A puddle, leaves, and reflections" is awesome, Jackie! You simply MUST enter it in next year's contest! Great chatting with you about Amazing Race--looking forward to it tonight!

All best,


Becky said...

"A puddle, leaves, and reflections" is awesome, Jackie!"

I see the other Rebecca has the same opinion of this photograph.

Congratulations on the two winning photos and the cover honor. You are very talented.

And Vincent, you are not just cute, you are adorable!

Sally said...

Congratulations, Jackie! Having two of your photos featured on the invitation and program. and two other photos awarded prizes--that's a very impressive showing!

And Vincent, you just keep getting cuter and cuter.

RJM said...

Congratulation on your awards. that is wonderful they know what we know

Delee said...

AR will be late here...4th quarter of game is just starting! I could care less about PHL/IND football game!

meb said...

Wonderful news on your awards Jackie. I have watched you take pictures and I agree that you know what you're doing. Congratulations!

Loved the bird... it looked almost like a waxed figurine.

Vincent, however, didn't. He just looked like he was having fun.

GS Cookies... Emmmmmm!

RiseandShine... did you change your spelling? Or are you a different person from RyzandShyn???

joyn said...

Congrats, Jackie! Loving these fall photos. May you make first place next year.

Mention GS cookies and I automatically think Thin Mints, too. I was never a Brownie but I made it all the way to Senior Scout, too. Loved those years.

Love those green eyes of Vincent's. Maybe because I have them too.

Anonymous said...

congrats on your awards, the program and invites! maybe next year you will take first. but i think it's a bigger honor to be on the program and invites!

love the one of the bird. how do you get so close? agree delee, all it needs is some berries and snow and you'll have a christmas card! (you're great with photoshop)

you always have great photos and such humor in describing them! love vincent! -jeannemarie

Anonymous said...

Jackie...I've been enjoying your comments and pictures for quite awhile. Love them!
Your picture of the Home For Adults brings back a few memories. It was the Park Hotel where Plainfield business men (not so many women at that point) would hang out at the bar. When State facilities for mental patients closed many patients had no where to go. Thus the Park Hotel building became their home. Still is as far as I know.
Keep up the good work and win first place next year.

Jackie said...

That is the same RyzanShyn.

I wasn't overly close to the bird -- maybe six feet away. He's actually sitting atop of a fake grass fence by the Home for Adults.

And, BB - thanks for the history on the Park Hotel. I have heard mention of it before, but wasn't sure that was the place (mainly because it's off of Park Avenue). It seems to be still housing adults with various issues. But the building itself looks like it was grand at one time!

Dottie Gutenkauf said...

Jackie, I don't often comment on blogs but I wanted to tell you I love your photos! I'm so glad you won some awards--your pix are just great.

Some day we may even meet...that would be nice...