Sunday, December 12, 2010

Off Topic - That Was the Week It Was - December 12, 2010

Sunday morning, time to take an off television topic glance back at the week gone by in words and photos I've taken. My photo fodder is lacking a bit this week as the temperatures were frigid here in the Northern Central NJ area. Since my jacket pockets don't keep my camera warm enough, I've been putting it in my tote. Plus, I had gloves on, too. So photography was a bit time consuming each time I wanted to take a photo. Sigh.

It did get a bit warmer yesterday with highs up in the 40s. Yay! Thankfully we were spared the snow that other parts of the country received. But today, with the higher temps again, we're expecting wind-driven rain all day, ending as snow tomorrow morning. Then it's back to the cold. Oh well, it's almost winter. I guess it's to be expected.

Anyone who regularly reads this off topic weekly photo post knows I talk about birds taking over the world. Well, this week I peeked for Plainfield, NJ, on YouTube. THIS video (not taken by me) is of the recent blackbird migration going through Plainfield. Beware -- the person filming it has a bit of a PG-rated vocabulary --

See. It's not just me thinking the birds are taking over! It's not all in my mind!

I also found a video someone took in line at the Pollo Campera grand opening on East Front Street last week. Once again, it's not just in my mind. They lined up all the way down the block --

Then I found bizarreness with something from I checked it out and the writing is a bit too convoluted for me, plus it's set in areas of town I don't know well. But you'll recognize the train station in the video --

In this last video, there's this bar crawl in Plainfield. They ended up at Casanova Pizzeria on East Front Street. Huh. When I was photographing that place, the owner didn't want to be in any shots. Maybe it helps if you order pizza ...

Okay, so there's a taste of the town. I don't really know the bar scene so much, nor have I seen any celebrities involved in deep dark mysteries.

My life is a bit quieter. It's especially quieter since my rowdy ne'er-do-well neighbors in the apartment next door vanished. I do believe they're really gone. I know the maintenance folks were there drilling the door and I see new-looking locks. Good riddance, I just wish it hadn't taken that long!

My day to day social life tends to include my train commute friends. That changes as people retire or, in one case, NJ Transit closed down a friend's destination station. Yet I remain friends with the local to me train buddies, seeing each other outside of the train life. I don't know how these things happen, but most of the friends are men. Huh. Go figure. Their wives seem to approve and I've gotten to know the families, too. I guess I don't need to go to a bar to meet people!

My latest train friends are Frank and Chris. We sound like the start of a bad joke -- a blind guy, a white woman and a black man enter the train station ...
It's odd how people tend to gravitate to each other and become friends merely over a commute. That doesn't happen in a car stuck in NJ traffic, for sure!

I've rambled enough ... onto the photos of the week. Clicking on an image will open it larger in a new window.

The latest

In the continuing saga of the bird feeder whose tree died and fell over, this is the latest solution. There are no birds because it's empty. But you just know if they went through all of this trouble, bird feed is on the shopping list! East Front Street, Plainfield.

Watching, always watching

This European Starling looks ready for the attack.

They control the landlines.

Bridgewater Train Station, NJ.


These apartments usually house migrant workers who head to nicer weather come winter. This is on North Street right across from the train station. While it might be better than TV at times, I wouldn't want to live there. I prefer to hear the train whistles in the distance from my own apartment. That's pleasant. But they have to endure all of the station announcements on the PA system, loud on-top-of-them trains, plus the area itself is somewhat rowdy at night.

Speaking of the train station ...

That person found out that they will NOT open the doors for late boarders once the doors are shut. I always make sure I'm at the station five minutes before the train is due. I'd rather be ten minutes early to the station than 20 seconds late.

Done up for the holidays

The Plainfield Police Department decorated trees around the memorial with blue and white lights. No, I doubt it's for Chanuka -- the blue most likely represents the police themselves. Watchung and East Fourth, Plainfield.

Fall falls

The mums (planted way too late) on East Front Street are getting frostbitten. Perhaps they should have little petal mittens?

Foggy windows time at the bakery

Yep, the windows on Danny's Bakery (North and Watchung Avenues, Plainfield) are all steamed up once again. That's always a reliable indicator of low temperatures.

Snow on the roof

We had lots of bouts of heavy snow flurries, but none stuck on the ground. The only place I saw snow was atop of the old Miron warehouse which is undergoing a rehab into apartments. With the very low temperatures, I have noticed that the snow pile (shaved ice from the Zamboni) at the Rock Ice Pavilion skate center in Dunellen is huge! There's snow there in a pile all summer. But it's now taking over a stretch of the old defunct railroad tracks.


It's a black and white world when you sleep on the train and miss stunning sunrises. I edited this one to leave only the window in color. NJ Transit.

As dawn arrives

Watchung Avenue, Plainfield. This is a similar location to the one I took in the fog a few weeks back, perhaps a bit farther from the train overpass.


The house on East Front and Richmond is finally in full gear. The house kitty-corner from it is also full of decorations. But I haven't caught that one in the dark with its lights on. And, when I pass in the morning on my later mornings (not Monday), it's daylight and kids are waiting for the school bus. I don't want their parents to think I'm some kind of whacko taking photos of their kids!

All it needs is snow

Another angle on the house above.

You say Santa Claws is coming?

"What do you mean, have you been naughty or nice? With a face like this, it's obvious that I'm just a sweet innocent NICE cat!"

Sure, Vincent. Innocent, yeah ... right. But, yes. NICE cat. (When he's not attacking my ankles from his hiding spot under the bed. I had to trim his claws because he actually slashed my ankles! Of course, he thought he was just playing. Ow.)

That's it for this week. Tonight's The Amazing Race season finale will probably be delayed due to double-header football coverage on CBS. But I'll get a blog party post up at 8 PM ET anyway. I hope to see you there!


Delee said...

Just checked double header here too! I have no interest in the Bears vs Pats yet it is on here! So AR will be late here too!

This week's, Vincent picture is great, he looks perfect and content!

I do hope that your "new" neighbors will be quieter, but you never know! Good Luck!

Took Starry out and it is raining here but did notice my walk has a start of no no!!!

joyn said...

We have some birds (no idea what kind) that migrate thru here every fall. They kind of look like those in your 1st clip. Tons of them! They make a huge amount of noise for about 3 days and then they're gone. Occasionally they light on the ground but mostly hang in the trees around here. Very noisy. My Hitchcock moment every year.

Those guys in the bar singing Hotel California was funny. My beloved Eagles.

Congrats on the peace in your building at long last.

That bird feeder family is definitely a try, try again group, aren't they?

RyzandShyn said...

Happy Sunday!
I'm here a bit later than usual since I slept in. I know, I was pretty amazed too. I guess it's from going out to the mall early on
Saturday morning and then going to a holiday concert at NJPAC
in the evening, housework in between. I've been forcing myself to do more each day as I had become quite the sit-about, giving in to that feeling of not being able to do as much as I used to by doing nothing. Not good.
Glad to see you got the shot of the police station that was blocked last week.
I've see that crazy blackbird migration ritual quite a few times. Last week they were in the woods behind my school doing their crazy rendition of Red Rover or Mother May I. Is that how they go south, 50 feet at a time?
Staying in and getting some baking and chores done today. Not looking forward to the icy cold forecast, but am glad we dodged the snow.

Sally said...

I like the concept of train friends--what a pleasant aspect of your daily commute. You make riding the train seem appealing in general.

Wow, the "ta-da" house really is decked out. There's a lot of time, energy and expense involved in a display like that.

I'm heading out to so more shoveling. We got nearly a foot of snow overnight, and now it's bitterly cold with strong winds that keep blowing the snow around. But all the snow is very picturesque, when you're looking out from inside a warm house!