We've had another week of weather here in New Jersey. Sure, every day of our lives has weather. But we're having WEATHER this winter! For the most part of my childhood years, I grew up in upstate New York. I'm not talking Westchester County; I'm talking in the foothills of the Adirondacks. One childhood year was spent not far outside of Buffalo, NY. I know winter. This year, New Jersey is having one.
The amount of snow makes things almost surreal when walking on a quiet evening. In the beginning, children played. Now many of the yards have no prints. I've seen some interesting snow sculptures from the train, though. In Dunellen there's one actual igloo built with "bricks" of snow and a rooster head of snow. Looking around, the snow makes the area reminiscent of either New England or various ski resort towns I traveled to in another life.
This week we had something new and different to spice things up -- an ice storm. While it would have been fantastic photo fodder, I only took photos out my window from my safe non-slippery apartment. My knee has definitely improved since the fall, but I'm almost phobic about falling again. I didn't used to be that way -- I was a fearless skier who knew how to fall. But falling on ski mountain and on an icy sidewalk are two different things! In skiing, you want to roll or slide. On icy sidewalks, you basically just thump.
In better news, my friends and I have our vacation house set in the Outer Banks (NC) for the last week of September. Woohoo! Ten bedrooms, tons of amenities, oceanfront, luxury, comfort, sand, hopefully some sun ... who could ask for more? What makes it even better is the group of friends, friends made originally via this blog. They rock!
Due to having to walk very carefully and avoiding going outside unless I had to, I once again have no works of art in my photos (except Vincent might think his shot is). They more or less show you what I've seen this week. For those of you in warmer climes, they might show you how the other side lives. For those of you with WEATHER, we can commiserate. Clicking on an image will open it larger in a new window.
This New Jersey Star Ledger box still sports the news from January 17. At least, if you want to know who won the Golden Globes, it's there. The nearby local Courier News box has a shoveled path to it and is stocked daily. That surprises me. Bridgewater Train Station.
Nobody, 'cause you can't get to the phone! This is at the Plainfield Train Station, the section of North Avenue which remains no man's land. No one shovels it. No revenue can come in from the parking meters because most are all but impossible to access. No one can walk from Watchung Avenue. Why does this situation go on year after year? SOMEONE needs to take ownership of that half-block section of city sidewalk and get the job done.
That footpath of ice through the snow shows that no one has shoveled this section of sidewalk since the last big storm. This is in the downtown business district on East Front Street. This shot was taken Saturday morning with a light rain coming down atop the ice and snow. It's way slippery. I saw one man fall.
Maybe I'm not thinking logically, but I think the city would have the opportunity to get some fine revenue and pedestrians would have a safe walk if city ordinances were actually enforced. Oh, silly me. I'd hate to see the lawsuit if someone ends up hurt from either walking in the city street or falling on ice.
Saturday morning was warmer and foggy in the 'hood. At least it cleared the icy spots on the walks which have been shoveled regularly. Many of the sidewalks remain single file. I was in shock the other day -- there I was walking up a single file sidewalk and a little boy, maybe 10 years old, was coming the other way. I was near a walk to someone's steps, so I stepped in there to let him pass by. He looked up at me and you're never going to guess what he said.
Manners! Manners without a parent present! Manners! If I could, I'd tell his parents. Not too many kids, inner city or suburbs, use the simple "thank you" or hold doors these days. It made me smile.
I shot this using a flash (which I don't often use) at the Plainfield Train Station. While the weather has been rough this year, there is an undeniable beauty to winter. I'm still glad I live in an area where there are four seasons. I just like spring and fall the best!
Only narrow walkways shoveled. NJ Transit never cleared the station right since the first storm of the season.
Although we're having a heat wave as I get this typed, we had some bitter cold both before and after the midweek ice storm. Watchung Avenue.
After the ice storm and then rain, a huge deep slush puddle formed at this sidewalk on the intersection of Church and East Front. Of course, when I went through the next morning after the weather, it had become cold again. I believe my weight would have broken the ice on the slush puddle and the board was icy. Oh well, it was a good gesture for the day before! I walked over the board. It brought back nightmares of balance beams.
My neighborhood Methodist church all lighted up, practically glowing in the snow. Yes, there is a single file sidewalk shoveled between the fence and the snowbank. East Front Street, Plainfield.
This is a neighbor's car. Sigh. They slid on ice. By the way, look at the walk on the left. That's my walk in front of my building. Not only is it dry pavement, it's fully shoveled and people can pass each other on it. They've done a fantastic job here this winter with the walks, the sidewalks and the parking lot.
On Berckman by the East Second Street intersection. While they had a narrow walk shoveled, plows pushed a huge snowbank over it. Those hedges are about six feet tall. I got over this one by bracing myself on the snow pile. Trust me, it's not fluffy snow. It was as sturdy as leaning on a car.
This is the view out my window at my building's parking lot as the ice storm was in action. They had gone through with the salt truck after midnight, but that didn't stop the ice. My neighbor cleared their car, but then didn't go to work (which is an oddity). The lot was re-salted when the temps went up a bit.
The little bodega seems to light up the early evening. Well, I might have helped that a bit by making the rest of the shot black and white, but ...! Note the single file sidewalk ahead.
This is going on throughout the city. Car caves with no roofs. One narrow exit to get in and out. Great parallel parking practice. But why is this happening? During previous years, they'd stick up signs telling people to move the cars or get towed on a certain date for street plowing. These snow caves take up several feet of extra space, thus narrowing the actual drivable surface. This situation has existed since the first snowstorm. While I took this shot on Berckman Street, you can see it all over.
The lights at Vest Pocket Park by the Plainfield Train Station make the ice-encrusted snow glow and dance. There is a positive to having ice cover the snow -- it won't blow around during windy times! Now if it would just melt ...
Okay, yeah ... it's really pretty.
They have a cheap version of Plainfield's cool lamps. Not only that, but one of them is glowing white.
No, I didn't fill the "on" with black marker. This is at the Bridgewater Train Station where there's a small building exposed to the elements with a huge "doorway" across the front of it. There are two heaters over the two benches. If you turn on the heat, your hair gets hot while the rest of you remains cold.
Icicles on the aforementioned Bridgewater Train Station outpost.
All he sees is snow and ice.
The snow/ice pile on Church Street just keeps growing.
These are new benches on East Front Street in front of the Monarch Building. Not only is the city not showing any evidence of caring about its pedestrians, so many of the benches are getting totally destroyed. Parking revenue isn't being taken in because meters are buried. Sure, the city has a new DPW web page up. But I'm not seeing this vast snow removal going on. I saw it ONE DAY in front of the main Post Office. One day. One block. Thank you, Plainfield!
This poor bird was trying to walk atop the ice-crusted snow. Even he couldn't get a foothold. I hope he doesn't fall and break a hip.
A man talks on his cell phone surrounded by the icy snowbanks at the corner of Watchung Avenue and East 4th.
Is there some reason you're
not carrying me around?
I guess I'm just neglectful, Vincent. Here, get on my shoulder and I'll carry you around.
How was your week?