Sunday, February 06, 2011

Off Topic - That Was the Week It Was - February 6, 2011

What? It's Sunday morning? Oh my! That means it must be time for me to post my weekly off television topic reflection on the week gone by in both words and photographs I've taken. I swear I'll get that last Survivor cast post up today. Really.

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.

All the news fit to sit forever in a box

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.

Who you gonna call?

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.

Is there a reason U-Haul isn't being fined?

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.

Richmond Towers

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.

"Thank you."


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!

Plainfield Train Station

Only narrow walkways shoveled. NJ Transit never cleared the station right since the first storm of the season.

Baby, it's cold outside

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.

Someone was enterprising!

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.

Methodist by night

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.

Auto body shops must be having a banner year!

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.

Then there's this sidewalk.

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.

Ohh ... that's all ICE!

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.

Again, out my window during the ice storm

East Second Street

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.

Car caves

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.

Icy snow

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 ...

Plainfield Train Station

Okay, yeah ... it's really pretty.

Bridgewater Train Station

They have a cheap version of Plainfield's cool lamps. Not only that, but one of them is glowing white.

"Get with the program, Fred. We're all facing this way now!"

Heh. Heh. It says "butt."

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.

How long can they get?

Icicles on the aforementioned Bridgewater Train Station outpost.

Bugs? I'm looking for bugs.

All he sees is snow and ice.

Have a seat!

The snow/ice pile on Church Street just keeps growing.

This is just disrespect!

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!

Icy trash bin

Even the birds slip on ice.

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.

Excuse me.
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?


Delee said...

Can Vincent get more handsome? Thrilled that you will be making OBX... I can meet you and others finally.

I agree that someone needs to become responsible for the streets and sidewalks. What I saw from your pics is short of criminal. I worked and worked to keep out front clear but now it is covered with a thin layer of ice that only warm temps will help. Afraid to use salt because of Starry's paws!

After some of the troubles your apt building has had in the past, I would make sure to tell them Good Job on keeping the exterior safe and clear.

Be safe and let us wish for some
40+ temps to melt some of this crap, trouble is that is not in the forecast. I love watching for huge icicles on older homes as we pass through towns. Many older homes do not have enough insulation so the heat passes thru the roof's thus the icicles.

RyzandShyn said...

Good Morning!
It's a real shame how terrible snow removal is in your area. The icy stuff from this week will make it difficult to move any of it now.
Like your neighbor, I also cleared the ice off my car on Wednesday, but didn't go to work. I checked the traffic channel and decided it wasn't worth the risk. The kids weren't coming to school anyway that day, the busses were cancelled Wednesday and also on Tuesday. I went on Tuesday and made my way there and home ok.
Since we're State of NJ employees we don't get the day off when the kids do because of the weather. The school itself is open, like Motor Vehicle or any state agency office would be, and we have to report to work or use one of our days. I like going in if I can to get way ahead of the prep work, making classroom life easier for us all.
Fun to know you have such a nice vacation coming your way. I'm conjuring up the smell of the ocean, the feel of the sun, and laughter with friends....nice.
Vincent looks like he's conjuring up the feel of your shoulder and enjoying it.

Sally said...

Your snowy, icy photos are very pretty! Well, except for all of those that show a blatant lack of snow removal by municipal, commercial and private property owners! How frustrating for those who travel those sidewalks and streets!

It's snowing again here, so I'll be out there shoveling again later. I'll have to time that around all the TV coverage of my Packers in the Super Bowl.

You really captured Vincent's beautiful green eyes this week. What a handsome dude.

JOEY said...

Hi Jackie, thank for all your hard work and what you have to endured so much hardship. i live in warm florida and don't have a clue about how the snow and stuffs are so i appreciate your photos as well. wish i could take photo like you, you have a good sence of humor and alway make me laugh.
thank you and so sorry for your pain and suffering with knee injury, be well, afe and warm and hope it get better for you. take care, joey

Jennasmom said...

We've been having WEATHER, too, this winter. Awful weather! And we're not supposed to have that kind of stuff in south Texas! I've had frozen pipes, pneumonia, and icy sidewalks. Ready for spring!

Hope you get warmer weather soon!

Janice said...

Your snow pictures scare me just looking at them!!
I took a look at the vacation home on the Outer Banks and I turned GREEN with envy!! You're gonna absolutely love it! I know everyone going is going to have a blast and I sure hope you post pictures for all of us to see!!
Take Care

Anonymous said...

always love reading your sunday blog! i know the feeling about the snow! we have a lot more of it up here and we're supposed to get another storm next week i heard. -jeannemarie

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ITCHY said...

Hope you have a great visit to NC. I live on the other side of the state up in the mountians of NC and we have had our share of snow. But I must bow to you guys cause altough we have had a bumper crop we have not seen anything like what you are having to deal with!