This is the fifth nice weekend in a row here, too. But it has rained just about every Tuesday night into Wednesday. Guess when my day off is? Wednesday! Well, Wednesday and Sunday.
Unless the forecast changes, it's to be that way this week, too. It's a shame because (until I saw the forecast) I was thinking I'd just ride the train all the way into the city (Manhattan) after work on Tuesday to go photo stomping. As I'm off on Wednesday, I could lurk late without worrying about getting up at five in the morning. But they're saying rain for Tuesday night and Wednesday, so that's probably not going to happen. Maybe a week from Tuesday! I could go today, but weekends are more crowded than weeknights and I'd have to be home for The Amazing Race because you never know when it's going to start.
I feel the need to post a correction about stating last week that bikes are allowed on the NJ Transit trains during off peak hours. Well, they kind of are. But, while I was on my medical leave, they changed the rules. No more bikes boarding or getting off at low platforms. My hesitancy about getting my own bike going was due to the low platform at my workplace station. If I took a bike aboard, I'd have to go all the way to Somerville, then bike it three or four miles back to work.
The new rule is putting a cramp on my new shift train buddies -- a group of tree workers. One has taken to leaving his bike locked at Bridgewater and carrying his seat back and forth on the train. Another is riding his bike from Fanwood to the Plainfield Station, passing two stations with low platforms, then getting out at Somerville and biking five miles to work.
I feel obligated (personally) to add that the latter dude doing that huge bike hike (and is a tree worker climbing trees, etc.) has an NJ Transit disability card and rides for half-fare. I've looked over the paperwork that you need to bring to a doctor to fill out and submit and I'm not seeing how he gets away with it! I probably would have qualified before my knee replacement(s) or definitely during recovery when I wasn't riding the train. He claims to have a metal plate in his foot. Um, I have metal and plastic knees! Yet I don't think I'd qualify. But then, I did have the operations so I wouldn't be disabled!
Enough grousing, I guess. He's a nice enough guy and also a photo-taker albeit with his smart phone. I just don't like it when people take advantage of the system. Onto the photos for the week ...
|The sky is a hazy shade of winter|
My apologies to Paul Simon, but it's fitting for the early morning skies this week. This is looking to the west as the sun rises in the east. Bridgewater, NJ.
|Sunset with train|
The skies were gorgeous when I got home from work early Friday evening. Plainfield Train Station.
|Sunset without train|
After the train pulled away. I have no clue why only one side of the station has its lamps on. It happens in the morning when they go off, too. It's always the westbound side which is dark first in the morning, last lighted in the evening.
It's my own theory that they cater to NYC bound passengers just like the full stations are always on that side, ticket machines on that side, etc. Even the buses favor NYC-bound with shelters and benches on that side while folks going westbound stand in the rain. Perhaps they're working under the misconception that most folks just get off trains and buses going westbound and don't have to wait to board them. Huh!
MORE PHOTOS -- HIT THE "READ MORE" LINK IF YOU'RE ON THE MAIN BLOG PAGE!
|Almost sunset over toxic superfund site|
This is Bridgewater where it was flooded for a few months after Irene. When I returned to work last month they still had the road to the eastbound tracks blocked to cars, yet the walkway was open. The geese have returned to the field, but the part of the field near the station is full of tree debris, wooden frames and you-name-it.
While I'm seeing geese, ducks and other birds there, I haven't seen any rabbits, groundhogs, deer, squirrels or chipmunks since my return. That area used to boast a large array of wildlife. I had no clue it was a toxic superfund site due to a long defunct and closed chemical plant until Irene flooded it for three months.
|Early morning train stairs|
Although my knees still aren't real great on stairs, these particular stairs on Watchung Avenue leading to the westbound platform at the Plainfield Train Station are always cool. The cut-into-stone appearance is what attracts me to them. So I look, then go around to the entrance on North Avenue!
|The train approaches|
The train! The train! Plainfield Train Station.
|Walking with a purpose|
This man walked with a determined stride along North Avenue in Plainfield. But I really should point out that the school bus yellow security gate is what they did to the new gray gate which replaced the old graffiti-laden one on that building. Oh ... why bright yellow? It frightens me early in the morning!
He's no Bernadette Peters! Bound Brook Train Station.
Nope, I didn't do my color/black & white editing with this shot. The sky was that gray and the lamp had a greenish hue on Tuesday morning. Bridgewater, NJ.
|I don't want to know the electric bill|
It would be way cool if she synchronized the lights with holiday music. After all, I live far enough away that it wouldn't bother me. Corner of East Front and Richmond, Plainfield.
I used the "illusion" filter of the GIMP photo editor to funk up this shot of the rear of the Friends Meeting House (Quakers) in Plainfield. Off of Watchung Avenue.
Her's the real shot. I took it Tuesday morning when the clouds kept the sun from rising before I hit the train station. Lately I'm hitting the station just before dawn. When it's cloudy, the skies are still dark. On clear days, it's pretty.
|Ho Ho Ho|
The reindeer legs actually move. She's got so much going on at this house that I can't take it all in with one shot! East Front and Richmond again.
|Late afternoon clouds, barren trees|
I took this one from the Fourth Street side of the Plainfield Train Station Monday when I got home from work.
|Shortcut to dawn|
Obviously one of the aforementioned clear days! This is a shortcut I take between the U-Haul buildings on the way to the train station. Last winter there was a good thirty feet of snow shoved there blocking my way. I edited this shot to leave only the pre-dawn skies in color.
|Lot of lots of U-Haul trucks|
I didn't take the between buildings shortcut on this morning and walked alongside the lot instead. This is on Roosevelt Avenue, Plainfield. U-Haul itself is on East Second.
|HELP! I'm stuck under a cat!|
He was drooped over my shoulder until he realized I was trying to get a photo of him. Silly Vincent! And ... help!