Sunday, March 20, 2011

Off Topic - That Was the Week It Was - March 20, 2011


Sorry ... I had to get that out of my system. My absolute favorite season is autumn, but spring is second to that. I love temperatures in the 60s, crisp and cool mornings. In spring, when everything comes alive and the greens are light and vibrant, it can be a wondrous world for a photography addict.

We're not quite there, though.

But, since it's Sunday, it's time for my off television weekly reflection on the week gone by in both words and photographs I've taken. However ... mentioning television -- I'm now hooked on the new A&E series Breakout Kings. And, the guy who plays David Letterman's "Lyle the Intern" is my favorite character. "I'm NOT a mouth-breather! I have a deviated septum!"

As for the week, well it was one. We've had very chilly temperatures and one day (Friday) when the high hit near 80 degrees. But then it turned again yesterday and there might even be a slight wintry mix coming down early in the week.

In the 'field (Plainfield), there was another murder and a separate shooting. Both incidents were a bit closer to home than usual. The majority of gang issues and shootings are generally on the west side of town. I live on the east side. This week's violence was on the east. While neither shooting was all that far from me, where they occurred is no way my 'hood.

I continue to have folks (ahem, Dan and Pete, not together) yell hello to me from cars. One of the skateboard kids I previously featured went zooming down East Front street on his board yelling, "Hi, Miss Jackie!" Folks say hello on the sidewalks. I realize I'm far from the demographic involved in the violence in town, yet it worries me. There are so many good people in Plainfield that we shouldn't have this going on! Yet I have no solutions.

Another homicide(s) delayed my commute home last night. Trains on the Raritan Valley Line were suspended due to what I was told was a double homicide execution style on the railroad tracks in Bound Brook. I ended up hanging out at the Bridgewater Train Station for over an hour while police helicopters kept buzzing me and shining spotlights on me.

I finally got a train over an hour later than usual (the train before mine was canceled). I saw the scene with a gazillion cops in Bound Brook. When I got out in Plainfield, two NJ Transit cops boarded the train. That just doesn't happen. I mean, occasionally they'll be around the station. But I've never seen them actually come aboard and ride. When I got home, the NJT website said trains were suspended once again.

As I get this written up, details are very sketchy. The police are being very tight-lipped about it all. Some sources said one person is dead, another airlifted to a trauma hospital. One bit I read said the incident happened at the laundromat across the street and they ran onto the tracks. All I really know is exactly where whatever went down happened as we went by it -- by the sitting freight train cars on the eastbound track just past the Bound Brook Train Station partway to Bridgewater. Oh ... and the fact that I was very late getting home. Grr.

Oh, well. At least I've had a bit better photo fodder this week. And, the days it was a bit warmer, I was a bit more inspired. Clicking on an image will open it larger in a new window, then hit your browser's back button to get back to the blog.

Police Activity

I spliced these two together to show the whole message. What you don't get is the voice of the announcement -- "Attention, Raritan Valley passengers, may I have your attention please. Attention. Attention, New Jersey Raritan Valley Line passengers, attention, attention ..."

Whenever I hear her voice and her numerous mentions of "attention," I think I'm watching a Blue Man Group show. All I need to do is flash the floppie the banjo clown hand puppet, Rock Concert Movement #37.

So, I took a photo of the train wheel.

This was the train before mine, sitting at the Bridgewater Train Station. They said a bus would take us to Dunellen, but they didn't know when it would get there. Meanwhile, they announced that an eastbound train would pick us up on the westbound tracks. The bus came and went (full of folks) as we saw the train light in the distance. We took the train. My train buddy Donald was stuck with me, so all was good. Oh, just okay. I would have rather have gotten home on time.

I shot the moon.

I'm disappointed that I didn't get detail. It was so bright and the sky was so dark. I suppose I could have played with my settings. It didn't help that police helicopters kept flying over me with their spotlights. I tried shooting them (with my camera), but none of those shots came out well.


Now, on Friday, this would have been fine. But this is Saturday morning. It was 42 degrees with gusty winds making it feel colder. Not quite shorts weather, no matter if they're long floppy shorts! That boy needs a jacket.

Plainfield Train Station

I forgot to mention -- my train into work on Saturday was delayed a half-hour, too! So I lurked taking photos.

When is Plainfield going to take care of this?

Although boarded up on the side facing North Avenue, this place is about to crumble. Since the town already spent a fortune taking down the other building on North Avenue last year without going through proper bidding for the lowest demolition price ... is that what's going to happen with this one, too?

Looking through the window

This is peeking into the window from the train station platform. Can you say asbestos? I thought you could! While I'd love to explore some old abandoned places (but have a fear of being arrested), I wouldn't trust this building. Not at all.

Two doors down

And even worse as I think people live in this one. That roof is about to cave in.

Maybe he's calling Jenny?

867-5309. The corner of North Avenue and Gavett Place, Plainfield.

Why are these people lining up?

They're waiting for the bus to Atlantic City. I don't do that. I'm not big on gambling. Unfortunately, a lot of folks I see taking the bus regularly are the very ones who don't really have money to lose. Just like the folks who spend a small fortune every day on the lottery, it's sad. Speaking of which, I need to get my quick pick for the Mega Millions. I blow a good ten dollars a year on the lottery! East Second Street and Gavett Place.

Grown man / bicycle / sidewalk

AAAAAAAAARGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHH! As a pedestrian, I'm so sick of this. It might help to have bilingual signs instead of just the ones in English banning this practice. I've gotten to the point that I just hold my ground and they need to go around me. Unless they're flying (which most don't), if they hit me, they'll fall and I'll remain upright. I can be a very solid object. East Front Street.



I'm eating. Leave me alone.

The price of gas

Gas went up two cents here this week. If you get a brake, let me know the price where you live. Remember to check your alingment! Church and East Second Streets, Plainfield. Saturday morning.

This is it!

Last week I photographed fresh green little shoots coming up. Here they are! Plainfield YWCA, East Front Street.

This, too!

And this!

The geese love the new greenery.

Although this is the "field of geese" near the Bridgewater Train Station complete with a pond in the background, they can't get too comfortable. This is the field where the ball stadium sets up their fireworks.

No Right Turn

Now, if you turn upside down to read it, your left is a right. Watchung Avenue and East Third Street looking towards Danny's Bakery.

I see dead things.

Early in the week when it was still so chilly, I saw little fresh life. So I shot dead things. Bridgewater Train Station.

More dead stuff

These are all but petrified poison ivy vines. As you'll see, I found them fun foto fodder. Bridgewater Train Station.

And the pigeons all flew away.

Just before my train arrived Tuesday morning, this fellow swooped over onto a TV antenna. Before he could get close, all of the pigeons on the Chotola building took off. The last hawk I photographed on North Avenue was a red-tailed hawk. I'm not sure if this is a Cooper's hawk or a sharp-shinned hawk. The banded long tail feathers indicate one or the other, but he didn't turn around before my train arrived. Both hawks look a lot alike. He, although likely a she due to size, was bigger than a large crow but nowhere near as large as the red-tailed hawk.


I'm waiting for the trees to bloom on Church Street. It's always such a beautiful sight to behold.

You just wish you were this flexible!

"Yes, my back foot is attached to my body. You're just jealous that you never get as comfortable as a cat while in bizarre positions!"

"Whatever, Vincent."

How was your week? Don't forget to stop back for the blog party tonight at 8 PM ET!


~~Silk said...

Hawk - most likely Coopers. The sharp-shinned's tail is straight across the end. Coopers' is rounded at the end. (Um, not like I know birds, but my book says to look at the tail to determine the difference. For all I personally know about birds, it could be a flamingo!)

SueGee said...

Great pictures as usual! We are in the midst of back-to-back-to-back rain storms that I hope don't travel your way and turn into snow again.

Gas was $ 3.849 (regular) yesterday at Costco - about the cheapest you can find around here. And that was pump your own in the cold rain price. Does Jersey still have laws against pumping your own?

Sue on the left coast

Jackie said...

We are still forbidden to pump our own. There is a price difference between cash and credit, but it's all full serve (often by men in turbans around this area). But the men are hardly wealthy oil barons.

In other news, I've been contacted by the local news reporters. That shooting last night is surrounded in secrecy. The reporters don't know much either. I've seen conflicting message board posts that up to five people are dead, turf war between Latin Kings and someone else, etc. I don't know the true story. I just know the train ride home.

Anonymous said...

love the blooming spring pictures jackie!!! gas here is 3.99 a galllon, when i got gas on thursday, who knows what it could be today! see ya tonite,
debi in sunny calif!

Sally said...

Those early blooms are a very welcome sight! I'm tired of winter, but more snow is headed our way this week.

Those shootings are sad and disheartening, and effective solutions are hard to come by. It must've seemed odd to have reporters call you for information about a gang-related multiple homicide. "One keen observer on the train reported seeing....."

Gas here was $3.59 when I last checked.

Margo said...

Anyone here want in the DWTS pool?

Margo said...

I paid 3.41 at Sam's yesterday. Most gas stations are 3.47-3.49

Jackie said...

Alas, I'm not a "keen observer." I'm more like one train passenger

Jackie said...

Margo- I'll get up a discussion post for the show later on today!

Delee said...

Also the peeling paint probably has lead in it, so not a safe place to poke around in.

Not happy to hear about the crime in your area. Be safe out there!
Many who would not even consider crime are being pushed to the brink. About 10 miles from here some kids stole a car in another town. Drove it there, busted the windows and took cigarettes and other items. Then driving back to their town the car caught on fire. They hoofed it somewhere!

Pretzel Vincent! AR will be about 20 minutes late here!