Sunday, December 30, 2012

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - December 30, 2012

It's the last Sunday of 2012! Why, that must mean it's time for my last off television topic photo post of the year. Woohoo! Of course, I haven't really been posting about television lately as everything is in repeats for the holidays. I did watch the Kennedy Center honors show this week and enjoyed it immensely. The ballet dancer seemed a bit out of her element, but I found the rest of the folks being honored people who have indeed played roles in my own life to a certain extent -- Dustin Hoffman, David Letterman, Buddy Guy and Led Zeppelin. I'm just not a big ballet fan albeit I find it beautiful when I do watch.

Last week I had a dearth of photos. This week, probably too many. You just might want to grab a big mug of coffee and some snacks before getting too involved in this. Not only did I find some things of interest in a bit better weather week locally to photograph, but I went into Manhattan on a whim on Christmas Day. 

Since I actually (for a change) had two days off -- Christmas and the day after -- with no real plans other than a quiet holiday at home with Vincent the Cat ... I decided to hop a bus into town. That means I walk about one minute to the bus stop and soon I'm dumped in Midtown. A storm was due Wednesday, but Christmas day was nice. Overcast, but I prefer that for taking photos anyway.

So, after I talked to my brother in California on the phone for a while, I was on my way. I thought it might be a bit quieter with all the big stores closed. Um. No. All the people just mobbed the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center instead of shopping! Oy. I will say that it wasn't as bad with the crowding as was the Chinese New Year parade in the city last year. I was concerned I might have a rib broken in the crowd crush for that.

I walked from the Port Authority Bus Terminal, through Times Square, over to Fifth Avenue, up to Rockefeller Center, back over by Saint Patrick's Cathedral (which had huge crowds, but scaffolding all about as they rehab the exterior), back down Madison Avenue to escape the crowds and breathe, back through Times Square, then back home. Yeah, that was one sentence. Want to make something of it? Uh-oh. I was in my travel in crowds in Manhattan persona. Oops!

The knees held up just fine. I only sat for a few minutes on a chair in Bryant Park. (Oh yeah, I went there, too.) For some reason, five different people stopped me to ask directions to five different places. Hey, just because I'm walking alone in the city doesn't necessarily mean I know where everything is! Thankfully, they all asked for places I do happen to know like Grand Central Station, Rockefeller Center and such. So I guess I was a good one to ask. I couldn't answer the folks who asked me a bus question, though. I have never been on a New York City bus. Subways, taxis and on foot, yes. Bus, no. 

Three separate groups of people -- an older white couple, a group of five black hip-hop garbed teenagers, and a family who seemed to speak either Russian or Polish -- handed me their iPhones and asked me to take photos of them. Don't they know that Mayor Bloomberg claims the rise in the robbery rate is due to iPhone and iPad thefts? Do I NOT look dangerous and thuggish? Sheesh. Yeah, I took their photos for them and handed them back their expensive playtoys. I figured I could probably only outrun the elderly couple.

Other than the trip into the city, it was a quiet week. Some real icky weather at times, but quiet for me. How was your week?

Onto the MANY photos -- clicking on an image will open it in a new Photobucket window, clicking again will make it larger. To return here, just close out the Photobucket window.

Rockefeller tree
Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

The holiday light show at Saks Fifth Avenue ...

Empire State Building
Empire State Building

The lights are even better now! They replaced the old lighting system with new LED lights and can actually do "light shows." Before, every time they wanted to change colors, they had to physically remove a huge colored lens from each light. Now, it's computerized. Since the colors atop the building change per event, celebration, whatever ... this is going to be fantastic now!

Bryant Park
Bryant Park tree and skaters


Bryant Park and Empire State Building

Bryant Park/ESB
And, again ... park and ESB!

Chrysler Building
The Chrysler Building

Yeah, I got a thing for the Chrysler Building, too.

Edge of TS
Eek. People near Times Square

Santa hat dude
Ho ho ho ... it's SANTA!

I muted all the color with the exception of his Santa hat.

8th Avenue
8th Avenue and 42nd Street

The New York Times Building

Ever since the guy in the Spider-Man costume climbed up the front of this building I look ... and hope.

Port Authority arrival
Really familiar NYC stomping grounds

If I go to the city after work, I just stay on the train to get there. However, if I leave from my home, I just walk a minute to the bus stop. I end up at the Port Authority Bus Terminal (PABT). Here's where I always step into the city. It's always like diving into the pool without dipping your toe in first.

BB Kings
The Maccabeats are playing at B.B. King's!

I really like the Maccabeats. Had I gone into the city with more than $10 in my pocket, I would have been tempted to stop in, have a drink or two, and watch the show. (Yes, I had my debit card with me, but I really didn't plan on my trip costing much other than bus fare.) Plus, at the time I took this, I still had to get up to Rockefeller Center.

Visual overload

NYPD Pinkish

Once again, the Times Square area. Those numbers are subway lines. That's a major hub, but you have to walk blocks underground to get to some of the lines!

Times Square
Times Square

Christmas Day is the closest I'll get to New Year's Eve in Times Square these days. I've done that twice. I don't like the crowds and you can't go to the bathroom for hours upon hours. No way.

Nerd barrier
Nerd Barriers

These NYPD barriers were sitting on the street. When I saw one had the "Y" missing and only a part of the "P" remaining (which made it look like an "r"), I had to make a barrier for folks like me ... NERD! Of course, I only did it on the photo, not on the real barrier.

I didn't have a marker.


For some reason, I'm always drawn to photograph the food cart vendors. While they still offer dirty water dogs, most of the vendors offer a full array of foods and have fancy-schmancy carts these days. For those not familiar with the term "dirty water dogs," it refers to hot dogs which have sat in the same water all day or days or, at least, many hours.

What looks like smoke in these photos is indeed smoke. 'Tis the season for chestnuts roasting and the chestnuts roasting smoke is horrible. It burns your eyes! And, I swear every food cart I passed had them going.

Food 6

Food 5

Food 4

Food 3

Food 2

Food 1


Dinner is over.

Sequin skirt dude
Sequin skirt cowboy hat dude

No, I didn't ask him why he was walking in the street, wearing a long sequin multi-colored skirt, a cowboy hat, spiffy new white sneakers and pushing a cart full of pieces of wood. I thought I might not like the answer. Move along, folks. Nothing to see here.

Rock 2
Back to the tree at Rockefeller Center

Rockefeller Center
The line to get in to the plaza. Eek.



Oh my!

I have no clue what this is supposed to be. A wolverine? A badger? It's definitely not a honey badger. It and a standing companion of the same ilk are inside the grounds at the TD Ball Park in Bridgewater.

Santa Claus!

Santa Claus visited my office at work on Christmas Eve. He brought me paperwork to do. Say what, Santa?!?!

Sandy still
Sandy reminder

This is at the back of my neighbor's back yard and can be seen from my windows. On the train I see many folks are just letting fallen trees remain that way in their backyards. Apparently they think no one can see them.

Slippery night
Sloppy Saturday night

We got a mixed bag of winter weather yesterday. Snow, sleet, freezing rain, a bit of regular rain, then back to snow again. As the temperatures aren't supposed to go above freezing today, it's probably way icy out there. I'm staying inside today. I have to work tomorrow. All better be shoveled and sanded or salted by then!

Snow 2

Colorful berries

Cuidado! Autobus is TURNING!

I took this shot from the westbound platform at the Plainfield Train Station looking towards East Third Street. The turning announcement the bus makes could be heard clearly from that far away.

Rehab underway

They continue to work on the buildings on North Avenue by the Plainfield Train Station. I'm really not sure where they're getting tenants (or will they?) from as the noise from the trains is LOUD and there's a bar with loud and unruly folks (as well as incidents of drugs and violence) a few doors down. There's also the half-burnt "Bull Durham" ghost sign building, now known as the Bull Building, across the street. Yet the rentals go for substantially over $1,000? Hmm. We're not talking huge places.

Da beers

Beer sign at La Bamba Bar on North Avenue in Plainfield. Well, I'm not sure if Cerveza XX Dos Equis is beer. But I know Miller Lite is beer! Tastes great and less filling, as they say.


Fungus among us series ...

The mushrooms/fungus have really taken over in that fenced off area by the Bridgewater Train Station. It was flooded for over two months with Hurricane Irene waters in 2011. Alas, the flooding came from the toxic superfund site of the nearby old chemical company grounds. Nowhere around do I see this kind of fungus activity this time of year. While the fallen trees are a mix of Hurricane Irene and Hurricane Sandy, these mushrooms are actually ripping holes in the bark of the trees. Very odd.

Fungi 5

Fungi 4

First, I have no idea where a brick came from. Nothing is brick nearby. It must have washed there with the Irene flood waters. Second, this is the now Sandy-fallen tree that used to have the intricate fluffy fungus and supported Venus, the garden orb weaver's web.

Fungi 3

Fungi 2

Fungi 1


Bridgewater sunrise

Dead People
I see dead people

Continuing my on and off series. People really shouldn't sleep near me on the train. NJ Transit, Raritan Valley Line.

Wednesday snow

We did get a few inches of snow on Wednesday before it turned into a torrential rainstorm including thunderstorms overnight into Thursday. This is looking out my window at the back of the neighbor's house.

Can you take up any MORE room, Vincent?

The sad thing is that he does this diagonally across my bed! He's a good three or more feet long all spread out like this. He is NOT a tiny little cat, for sure.


Witt said...

Happy New Year, Jackie! Thought I would pop in to catch up and see your photos and as usual they are awesome. I live in such a quiet part of MD that I often forget about how busy and lit up a place like NYC can be! The tree was beautiful; thank you for sharing all of your photos!

Wishing you a happy, healthy, and blessed 2013....

Hugs... Witt :)

Anonymous said...

Once again, beautiful pics! Here in Indiana we now have 14 inches of snow. Pretty but for this old gal it means I stay home a lot. Thanks for making 2012 more tolerable with your pics!


RJM in SC said...

WOW. what wonderful pictures. I enjoyed the trip to New York city with you in pictures. thanks for all you do.

Becky said...

First, Cerveza XX Dos Equis is beer, Jackie. Second, I loved the pictures as usual. Third, the winner is Vincent. Why do animals like to sleep ACROSS the bed?

I chuckle at Little Bit. Momma spoiled him horribly. He wants to be covered when he is in bed at night. If I go to bed and he stays up with Tommy and the girls, then Tommy covers him when LB goes to bed.

Hope you have a wonderful New Year. We will be in bed long before midnight. One of us will say, "It's midnight somewhere".

I will cook my black-eye peas tomorrow so I won't have to do in on NY Day. I do all the "good" symbol foods on NY.
Black-eye peas for luck.
Sweet potatoes for sweetness in the coming year.
Ham so will can live high off the hog.
And collard greens for money.

What will you have?

Jackie said...

Thanks for the compliments on the photos!

Becky - I'm just planning to have a homemade beef stew for New Year's day. Nothing fancy, but certainly tasty.

Cathy said...

Happy New Year, Jackie! Thank you for all your wonderful photos!

Laurie said...

Beautiful images you captured to end our year. Thank you for all you do and all you share! I love you, Jackie!

Lorraine said...

Loved seeing NY on Christmas Day through your photos. Wishing I was there. Have a great 2013 Jackie.