Sunday, December 05, 2010

Off Topic - That Was the Week It Was - December 5, 2010

It's Sunday morning, time for that weekly off television topic jaunt through the week gone by in words and photographs I've taken. In a few more Sunday mornings, Christmas will be in the past. I swear time is skewed with age. As a child, the month of December seemed to take an eternity. Now, I blink my eyes and it's all over. How about you?

Although it's not winter yet, we're in a winter-like pattern sans the snow here. Yesterday we had some pretty heavy snow flurries now and then. But earlier in the week the high temperature was around 60 on Wednesday. Unfortunately the warm temps were accompanied by monsoon weather and high winds. Thankfully I was off for the day and just glanced out the window now and then telling Vincent, "Gee, it's nasty out there."

Work is still hectic and I'm still basically going home and vegetating until I must get up and do it all over again. On the home front, it's odd. My real annoying neighbors seem to have vanished, yet their cars are still in the lot. I haven't heard a noise, nor their friends beeping or yelling for them for well over a week. I'm hoping they might be gone although the cars are here. They're not the type to be traveling. I can't recall what month they moved in. So I have no clue if their lease is up. I can only hope.

At least with my walks to the train station, the train commute itself, and the sometimes bus to get closer to my apartment at the end of the workday give me people to watch. When I was younger, I'd watch people and imagine their lives. Here and now, I no longer have to do that ... I watch and listen.

For example, last night on the train, there were two dancers heading into the city (NYC). No, not strippers. Male dancers. No, not male strippers. One was talking about how he preferred the floors in the studio versus the floors in the theater. The other mentioned how he hated teaching dance to kids who knew absolutely nothing. Although they had different disciplines (one was ballet, the other was modern), they're apparently working on a show together. It can't be anything huge as they'll only earn $150 a show. Hmmm.

Then an arguing couple with a woman threatening to kill her man boarded and sat down. The dancers stopped conversation immediately, one looked my way and we simultaneously rolled our eyes. Then we listened to the couple fight.

Since I didn't feel like walking all the way to my apartment in the cold and dark, I took the bus (covered by my monthly train pass) to my neighborhood. Usually the questionable characters tend to drift to the back of the bus. Nope, not last night. Since I don't go really far, I sit in the front. So ... I was surrounded by gangbangers talking about how could "they" jump Wally out and beat him so badly. Yikes. This Wally only weighs 120 pounds and is trying to go to college. The gangbangers thought they (the gang) should just let him go on with his life and let him be. Had they asked my opinion, I would have agreed with them.

I felt like I was in an episode of The Wire or something. I don't think they were from my town. The bus eventually goes to Elizabeth and onto Newark. They didn't bother me, but I didn't think they would. I wouldn't want to be Wally, though.

On a brighter note, Pollo Campero (which I photographed last week) had its grand opening on Friday. I was in a car as I went by, so no photos -- but the line stretched halfway up the block! I'm impressed. But I'll wait for things to quiet down before I give it a try.

I've rambled enough -- onto the photos I've taken this past week. Clicking on a photo will open it larger in a new window.

She's getting there.

The house at Richmond and East Front is just about in full holiday gear. The wind wreaked havoc on some of the decorations and I haven't seen the lights come on yet, but soon. Plainfield, NJ.

NJ Transit incognito

I understand why they do this -- advertising dollars. But that doesn't mean I like it. Sometimes it's hard to tell a bus is actually NJ Transit. Note the solar panel in the background. They're all over now. I wonder if anyone is actually tracking the savings and when they'll break even for the cost of installation. Watchung Avenue and East Fourth Street, Plainfield.

After the sun dips below the horizon.

Plainfield Train Station just after sunset.

"Don't jump, Fred!"

A touch of Christmas

I edited this one to leave the background black and white. This is looking down Watchung Avenue near the North Avenue intersection. The police department has lighted beautiful trees in white and blue around their memorial. However, some SUV was parked (illegally) right in front of them last night and I couldn't get a clear shot.

A crow will lead them.

Stephen King knew it. It's the crows! They will lead the birds in the battle against mankind!

Fresh Seafood

Well, I do like to photograph odd things I see, too. At the back of Pete's Fish Market on East Second Street, Plainfield.

Plainfield Train Station at night


Continuing the saga of the dead tree bird feeder: last week the tree was propped on the jungle gym doohickey. The winds blew both the tree and the jungle gym up against the fence. So the people re-hung the bird house on the tree right there. It looks like a success. The people involved must be traitors aiding and abetting the birds in exchange for being spared when the revolution goes down! East Front Street, Plainfield.

A bit of color

Not much remains now. East Third Street, Plainfield.

Sure, he looks cute.

But he can peck you to death! It's weird. Some weeks I end up with people shots, other weeks it's birds. It goes without saying that this is a bird week. Plainfield Train Station.

His wife watches with suspicion
in her beady eyes.

A bird in the hand
is worth two in the bush

Oh my, Mi Ranchito II

What have you done? They redid the front and I'm just not too keen on it. The addition of the bars (in lieu of the roll-up security gates which were removed) and orange um ... I don't even know what you'd call it, and fake rocks ... sigh. The bars on the windows look like jail bars on psychedelic drugs. East Front Street, Plainfield.

Frost on the rocks

And on the weed, too. Bridgewater Train Station.

They're going to HIT! Run!

Oh. They're not on the same track. Never mind. Bridgewater Train Station early one morning. That's the scoreboard for TD Bank Ballpark on the right.

Odd happenings.

In all the time I've traveled on NJ Transit trains, this was a new one on me. I heard a bell, kind of like a doorbell, ring three times and that message came up on the screen. We were paused at a station at the time. It definitely wasn't the "two to go" buzzer indicating the doors are shut and the train can move. Nor was it the bell as the train arrives and leaves. I would assume the number on the little screen would be the train I was on. I don't know train numbers. I know the times to expect them.

Dawn at Plainfield Train Station

This is just about where I was when I took the foggy shot of the station last week.

Now, this is just pitiful.

Um, this is the kind of decoration used for a mantle, maybe a tabletop. But not a store window. I'd love to actually decorate these windows. It could be fun! Watchung Avenue, Plainfield.

Early morning on Watchung Avenue

I'm headed to the Plainfield Donut Shop for breakfast! (They have a full breakfast menu, not just donuts.)

I love the pre-dawn

For most of my walk, I have the sidewalks to myself. Once I turn the corner, I'll run into all the early morning day laborers, factory workers and the occasional teacher or two. East Front Street, Plainfield.

The words of the prophets
are written on the subway walls
and tenement halls ...
and whispered in the sounds of silence.
-- Simon and Garfunkel "Sounds of Silence"

Nothing better be written on these walls and it's not quite a tenement. This is a hallway in my apartment building. I don't know why some folks have mats. The hallways are all carpeted. The boxes on the walls are fire extinguishers. The hallway, like objects in your mirror are closer than they appear, is actually longer than it appears in the photo.

All bow to Vincent, the Invincible!

He thinks he's something, doesn't he?
And he is.

How was your week?


Delee said...

Vincent looks like he is telling his subjects..."You will do as I say!"

Amanda has lived in apartments that do the same thing. Mats outside the door. I never could figure that out because once you park in a tiered garage and take the elevator to your floor, what could be left on your shoes.

My bird feeders have had many visitors this week. I have a chair I place by the door window with Starry standing and watching them. Free entertainment for her!

RyzandShyn said...

Good Morning!
Whatever those mysterious numbers were you should play them in the lottery. Maybe they were the countdown until the great bird takeover :). Don't smaller birds usually move when the crow comes around or dive-bomb it or something?
I'm with you on the time thing. As a child and even when my children were young, the time between Thanksgiving and Chrismas was long. Now I'm almost in a panic about how close it is. Weeks seem to slip away like days used to.
This time of year is tough on the kids in my class since they aren't living at home. It's not usually conscious, it's more of a visceral reaction to what should be. I guess they all keep hoping for that until they get it or give up hoping and become the gangbangers on your bus.
I haven't seen those solar panels yet here in Bergen County but have seen tons of them down in the Hamilton/Trenton area. Ugly! I hope they don't put them on those lovely street lights you have on your main drag or at the train station.
It's going to be a cold week...bundle up!

Sally said...

Great photo of Vincent the Invincible, with his magnificent whiskers and royal attitude.

Enjoyed your photos again this week, especially the ones of the light standards and the sidewalk near the donut shop, with all the different color lights from the storefronts. And it's really hard not to scratch my head at that window display!

Becky said...

Vincent is the ruler of his world! And yours!

Lifeguard Laurie said...

After seeing amazing store windows on CBS Sunday Morning earlier today, your picture cracked me up!

I went out to fill our bird feeder this morning (something I usually do on Saturday) and I could hear all the birds sending out the announcement that breakfast was being served. I thought of you!

meb said...

I know I'm late Jackie... it's almost time for your next off Topic. I have been doing some extra work at the tv station and find it more and more difficult to get on the computer. It's that vicious circle of too many taped shows to watch, too many emails to answer, and no time to visit Jackie. My taped shows are starting to drop off cause there are new ones to tape, I had over 200 emails of which I will delete the majority and just start over, but I'll always be back here, even if I'm late!

Loved getting a glimpse of where you live and seeing Vincent continually be regal!