So, it's 2011, eh? When I was a child I focused on 2000 and thought I'd be "so old" by then. I have to admit I'm not in my fighting shape (whatever) of three decades back, but I don't feel that old. I think the biggest secret of life our parents never told us is that you never really grow up. Sure, you take on adult responsibilities, work, pay taxes, do what society expects of its adults, but you still have the child within you ... in awe of a huge snowstorm, delighted with the lights of the holiday season and more.
As I bid adieu to 2010, I think of it as one of my better years in many ways. My financial position is better than it's been in years despite the failing economy. My new cat Vincent has really settled in and we've bonded -- since I live alone, he's my faithful companion. I had a wonderful vacation in Texas with good friends I made on this very blog. On Facebook I've reconnected with friends from my teen years and found out they feared the "mean girls" too! My landlord lost the building and it's in better hands with the bank running the show. My loud and rowdy neighbors have moved away.
The down side of the past year hasn't been horribly down. My health only gets a C this past year, mainly due to the right knee needing its surgery. My favorite boss ever at my workplace moved on and was replaced by someone I like okay, but is really challenged in the job. TV Squad, after increasing my work with a huge assignment on celebrity bios in the beginning of the year, cut me off of Survivor reviews -- something I've always done. It was nice to watch the show without taking notes, but I did miss the income and the readers there.
On a sad note, I want to pass condolences onto blog reader Petals whose mother passed on earlier this week. Her mom, Loneseven, was a part of our community here and her contributions have been missed as her health failed. Hang in there, Petals.
In happier news, local blogger Bernice got a great shot of Roofus the cat as she ventured out after the snowstorm. She gave me permission to post it here as she knows the readers enjoy seeing him.
Life indoors inside the Budget car rental building must be more posh than it looks!
Not long after the snow started, I decided to make a run to the bodega around the corner. The sidewalk in front of my building (no longer run by my landlord) was the only one already salted. Um, not that it would do much good in the hours to come, but ...!
But she was busy talking on her cellphone, oblivious to the world around her. East Front Street, Plainfield.
The snow is really starting to come down.
I didn't go/couldn't get to work on Monday. But I decided to go out in the afternoon with my camera. Alas, the only sidewalk on my side of my long block which was cleared was my own building's. This guy was actually about a half-block away from me and seemed to be getting frustrated. I like my zoom capabilities. East Front Street, Plainfield.
A neighbor digs out his car on East Front Street.
Monday afternoon on East Front Street in da 'hood.
Thursday night on Watchung Avenue, Plainfield. I messed with the editing, yes. Want a seat?
The NJ Transit schedule was way messed up for the first few workdays. The trains were running on a weekend schedule (fewer trains) and the buses didn't run at all for two days. Unlike Metro North and Long Island Railroad, both of whom shut down, NJ Transit doesn't work with an electrified third rail which stops travel when covered by snow.
My line, the Raritan Valley Line, is diesel. We can't do a one-seat ride to Manhattan and have to change trains at Newark to an electric train as that's all they allow in the city. The electric trains on NJ Transit are run with overhead wires instead of the third rail system. So, out of the three major commuter lines in the area, NJ Transit trains did the best. They even did better than the subways as subway trains on elevated outdoor areas got stuck and stranded people.
Rear wheel drive taxi cabs have a rough time in the snow. This one is stuck on North Avenue in Plainfield on Tuesday morning.
Men, likely day laborers, wait on the corner of Watchung and North in Plainfield on Tuesday morning. That's the Post Office across the street. Street? What street? Do you see a street? Yes, it's even a main drag.
I can't imagine even trying a bike in this weather. This was Tuesday morning. Most sidewalks and streets were treacherous.
This is the disabled walkway leading to the ramp for the westbound platform at the Plainfield Train Station. Tuesday morning.
Yeah, it's great that trains are running. But shame on NJ Transit! The ONLY actual shoveled areas were the parking lots and from the parking lots to the stairs, etc. Other areas are trampled by use and dangerous. The station is NOT CLEARED properly. Unacceptable!
This was Tuesday morning more than 24 hours after the storm ended. One small path was shoved from the steps to the street. Neither the sidewalk in front of or the one alongside the main Post Office on Watchung Avenue were shoveled.
Pete's Fish Market and the Corner Store on Watchung and East Second (across the street from the Post Office above) have a scary path cleared. That snow is higher than I am. Eek.
Tuesday evening. Can't get there from here even though I took this from the crosswalk. There are paths cut in the snow elsewhere to get through.
Another tight path through the snow on East Front Street. This one was only shoulder-high.
Tuesday morning. Snowpack on the roads, slippery, snowbanks blocking pedestrians at intersections, some sidewalks not done.
Tuesday morning heading to the train station. It is shoveled, but far from clear. Wind gusts kept sending more snow over it. But, due to parked cars, the street is too narrow to dare walk in unless I have to.
New Year's eve at about 6 PM as I headed home from work.
Looking down Watchung Avenue as the sun rises.
Thursday morning, still in bad shape.
Thursday morning and the lights were on.
Friday morning. East Front Street
East Second Street on Saturday afternoon. This is a sidewalk, Plainfield! SHEESH!
Well, I know it's not a partridge, nor is that a pear tree. But I have no clue what the bird is -- he has touches of orange and sings a pretty song. I couldn't get close due to snow obstruction. Bridgewater, NJ.
It's a good thing the storm hit after Christmas. East Front Street, Plainfield.
A man waits alone for a New Jersey Transit bus on Watchung Avenue on Thursday evening.
Path to handicapped ramp at the train station.
Taking it away in front of the Post Office on Thursday morning ... FOUR days after the storm. Watchung Avenue.
I usually cut through the U-Haul lot on my way to the train station. East Front Street, Plainfield.
Ahem. Why don't they tow the snowbirds? Some of these cars have been sitting on this main drag (East Front Street) for almost a year without moving. Due to the cars parked on the street, the plowed area is narrow and two trucks/buses coming at each other from opposite directions have to creep through. BTW -- that is the bus I'd take into Manhattan if I were heading to Manhattan. Dis is my 'hood. And I want the street really cleared!
They were the ONLY people on the entire side of the long block where I live who didn't shovel their walk! It still wasn't shoveled as of yesterday although some brave people trampled a path through it. This is the same house whose summer landscapers start up horrible noise early summer mornings and throughout the fall with their leaf blowers. Hello? Snow ... people need to walk through here! Shame on you!
An abandoned noisemaker on the sidewalk outside of a bar on Church Street. Saturday morning.
He's comfy watching television.
Happy New Year, everybody!