Sunday, January 29, 2012

Off Topic - That Was the Week It Was - January 29, 2012

Yes, yes ... it's already Sunday once again. Time flies when you're on a staycation! I meant to post about television this week. I realize I've been woefully negligent in that regard. Obviously, I will kick it in gear once shows make their return for the "winter season." Huh. I remember when there wasn't a winter season!

I'm already enjoying the return of Southland on TNT. It's a gritty urban police drama set in Los Angeles, but created by the same folks who brought us the NYC-based Third Watch some years back. It may not be everyone's cuppa tea, but I like it! I've also been watching the American Idol auditions. So far, I'm not overly impressed with anything other than the fact that Steven Tyler still has young girls all ga-ga for him. He's probably old enough to be some of the contestants' grandfather!

On the home front, the painting/new kitchen floor has been postponed a few weeks. I'll just have to inform work that I need a few days off mid-February. That won't be an issue as I have PTO (paid time off) I can take and the payroll budget will get another reprieve without my pay for those days. PTO doesn't come out of the budget. I want to be here when workmen are in and out, both for Vincent's sake and my own distrust of strangers.

As a result of the postponement, I didn't really do a heck of a lot this week. I cleaned my closets. I napped. I read. I watched TV. All of those activities were accompanied by a cat. You know that!

My big event of the week is actually occurring today. By the time most of you read this, I'll be in Chinatown photographing and probably taking some videos of the huge Lunar New Year Parade. It's the Year of the Dragon, so I'm expecting quite the photo op! Of course, I do mean Chinatown in NYC, not Philly or San Francisco or wherever other Chinatowns might be. 

I'll probably pick up a Chinese food lunch from whichever restaurant catches my fancy followed by something sinfully chocolate and a coffee in Little Italy before catching the subway back up to Port Authority. It will be a fairly short jaunt into the city as the parade ends around 4PM. So, I'll be home in plenty of time to get a good night's rest before Monday morning hits.

Due to my lackadaisical ways this past week, I don't have a ton of photos. Next week, I will. Clicking on an image will open it larger in a nifty-keen gallery doohickey thingee.

It's forever 11:36

"I used to live in Plainfield City
Everything there was dark and dirty
Outside my window there was a street park
With a clock that always said eleven-thirty-six."

My apologies to The Mamas and the Papas and 'Twelve-Thirty (Young Girls Are Coming to the Canyon).' Oh. And my windows don't look down on this scene at the corner of Park Avenue and the East/West Front Street split in Plainfield. But I do find Plainfield, in my pedestrian ways, is usually a town where people say "Good morning" and really mean it.

You can't see me in the dense brush

Hiding in plain sight, that's the way to do it! The squirrels really seem to be enjoying the lack of snow this year as much as I am. I can only hope it continues.

Fun with photo editing

I severely messed with this one. It's actually a shot of tree branches in the rain lit up by a streetlamp. 



Anyone for a game?

I was kind of surprised that no one was playing chess on a beautiful spring winter day. This is in the same street park as the clock which always reads 11:36.


Something is going on with the windows on the ex-ValueMan building. Again, I say I'd like a loft apartment on that third floor. East Front Street, Plainfield.

Gang graffiti :-(

Unfortunately, I'm seeing more of this graffiti in my travels. In some places, it's X-ed out with MS-13 written over it. Not good, not good at all. The 18th Street and MS-13 are volatile Latino gangs. It used to be just the Latin Kings (as far as Latino gangs) here. There are many Blood factions, too. But they don't seem to be as into graffiti wars. I generally have little to fear from any of them as far as personal safety.  But I also don't roam the streets at night.

But, with them all fighting each other, there is a legitimate fear of being an innocent bystander in the wrong place at the wrong time. And, that's not just me ... it's any innocent man, woman or child.  Instead of paying Al Sharpton with illegal funds, the police department could use some beefing up. (Yes, our Mayor was sanctioned for paying Al Sharpton 20K to speak on the radio. Yes, I'm rolling my eyes.)

East Second Street at the Laundromat, another similar is on the storage building for U-Haul facing East Front Street.

Chotola detail

I thought this was kind of neat. I've photographed the Chotola apartment building from the train station for years. But I was walking by and looked up in the entrance to notice this. North Avenue, Plainfield.

In good hands ...

Even without arms, he and his doppleganger (also without arms) hold up the entrance to the Chotola apartment building. I can't help but wonder what happened to their arms. Children hanging on them? People hitting them with baseball bats? A shame, but with the exception of the arms, the cherubs (is that what they are?) are in decent shape. That in and of itself is pretty amazing.

The BULL remains

I guess the BULL is going to remain long after the Durham crumbled. The building which burnt around Christmas-time was half removed from the back and then both front and back were boarded. The street is open once again and I guess we'll just have a ghost sign which reads BULL and confuses everyone. North Avenue, Plainfield.

When will this one go?

Yet, across the street from the BULL Building, this one's been abandoned and deteriorating since before I moved to town over ten years ago. The back, which faces the westbound NJT train platform, is in horrible shape with many open windows, bricks falling off, what seems to be some structural cracks. I'm no expert, but I don't think it can be saved. This facade looks like the only quasi-stable part of the building.

Christmas is entombed

Only you and I know from my previous photos that there is a fully-decorated Christmas tree inside, now forever hidden. I edited this to leave only the sign in color. The BULL Building.

Gonna be nice!

Meanwhile, over on Park Avenue, this is going on. Wow! I'm very impressed that they not only kept the old Courier-News sign across the top, but made it new and shiny once again! I've photographed this building several times over the years. 

The marquee, which was very plain, had a sign for Thomas Fine Furniture. Over that, until a few years back, was a vertical sign which extended past the rooftop also touting the furniture store. There also originally were two big stone lions by the entrance. One vanished due to a drunk driver. The vertical sign was deemed a hazard, so it was removed. It was no longer a furniture store when I came to town, but I'm thinking due to the style and content (hours, etc.) of the signage, that the furniture store was probably active maybe from the 70s. When I moved here all of the furniture signage remained, the ghost of the Courier-News before it was a ghost. But what no one seemed to know was exactly what was under the furniture store marquee ...

How cool is this revelation?

Oh man ... they HAVE to keep this! Since they touched up the Courier-News sign on the top of the building, I cannot see them tearing this utter coolness down. "Frost Building A.D. 1909" The building is being rehabbed for ground floor retail with apartments on the upper floors. Local blogger Bernice has more photos and knows more of the history of the building than I do.

Just a few weeks back

Yep, I took this one just before the renovations started.

Yes, I'm special and you know it!

Okay, Vincent. You're special indeed. 

How was your week?


Petals said...

G'morning Ms. Jackie! Hello all!
Love the Chotola pic. Would that be considered a gargoyle? or just a building decoration?

Watching the Men's final of the Aussie Open, the longest-ever. Amazing.
Very blessed, hope this week is a great one for everybody :)

~~Silk said...

Steven Tyler has pecs appeal:

Sally said...

I hope you're having a grand time in Chinatown. That parade shuld provide great photo ops. I've been learning a bit about the lunar new year and related customs, through a nephew who's living in South Korea.

I would never have figured out what that edited photo originally was. It looks like a close-up of an eerie eye or something.

I'm glad you continue to end each weekly post with a photo of Vincent. That magnificent feline always makes me smile.

Becky said...

Good morning -- or in EST, good afternoon, Jackie. I enjoyed the pictures this week, as usual.

I, like Sally, thought it was a picture of an eye. And, as usual, I loved the pictures of Vincent. I had a thought about Roofus while looking at pictures. I wonder what happened to him. Have you been by the abandoned place that someone used to put out food for the cats lately?

Janice said...

Jackie, I love Southland too! So glad TNT picked up the show; Third Watch used to be a favorite too!
Love your pictures........its my way of seeing your area of the country/CITY that I most likely will never see.