Sunday, March 17, 2013

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - March 17, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day to y'all! Erin go Bragh and all that stuff. While I'm saying "Forever Ireland" and I do have red hair, I'm not Irish. Neither is my old high school friend who played the bagpipes in the NYSDOC marching band in yesterday's big parade in Manhattan. She's Italian and about 5'1" tall. She grew up to be a NYS corrections officer and play bagpipes. Who woulda thunk it? 

Since it is Sunday, it's time for my off television topic reflection on the week gone by in both words and photographs I've taken along the way. Later tonight, we'll have the blog party for The Amazing Race. I fear it will be the father/son team quitting due to Dave's injury. Sigh. Stop back and enjoy the show with us starting at 8pm ET!

I scored a good buy on corned beef yesterday at Target. I had checked their prices the week before and the briskets were just too costly. Yesterday I went in there on my way to work and one brisket remained in their sale bin -- less than $6. Yay! So, today (although I'm not Irish), I will have traditional corned beef and cabbage, then have some leftovers for sandwiches during the week. I like corned beef, but the only time it's reasonable is on sale during St. Patrick's Day. I should check at Target again tomorrow. Perhaps the sale goes to midweek. I could stock up.

I'm still suffering from the daylight savings time change. Wah. I'm walking to the train station in the dark once again. The sun isn't quite up as I get into work.

My new upstairs neighbor is still a mystery. It's definitely only one person up there who takes off his shoes for walking around on the hardwood floors. He's taken showers without flooding my bathroom, so it can be done! Every now and then when I don't have my television or music on, I can hear muted sounds of music or television from up there. Nothing unreasonable, so he's still the best upstairs neighbor I've had in a dozen years of living in this building. We're talking two weeks now!

In other apartment building news, I've mentioned before that the front of the building is like a revolving tenant door. My hallway/wing/floor is very quiet with long term tenants. Who knows who lives in the front wing? I had my police scanner on shortly before hitting the sack last night. What? A three car call to MY building? Yikes! Someone in the front wing, first floor, was apparently having a party with people going wild in the halls, etc. I couldn't hear a peep from my apartment. Apparently it wasn't too wild as the first cop who arrived called in that the tenant is turning the music off and people are going home. I really didn't see any signs of hall abuse when I went out early to get my newspaper this morning.

Also on the scanner last night ... I heard a definite firework sound -- the whistle and bang -- coming from East Second Street in back of me. Nothing all that unusual. Well, a cop responding to an alarm call up the street reported it to headquarters as shots fired! A second one whistled and banged. The whole police department went rushing to the apartment complex further down the street from me. The Shot Spotter technology didn't report it although some civilian also called it in as gunfire. It was fireworks, people, fireworks. Apparently the Mexican Polka Band in the summer people who shoot off fireworks (and sometimes guns) for every holiday must have been celebrating St. Patrick's Day. 

It snowed all day yesterday, but didn't stick. It's supposed to snow tomorrow night into Tuesday. I want spring. Although, looking back on some old photos, I noticed that in 2004 we had deep snow cover and at least two decent sticking snow storms around this time. Eep. It can stop. I want spring.

Onto this week's photos ... 

Sunrise3 photo IMG_5461a_zpsb4a74c65.jpg
Just before the sun rises

Bridgewater, NJ

K Radiator photo IMG_5456a_zps98a74e8c.jpg
Predawn K Radiator

One morning my now dark walk to the Plainfield Train Station had a stunning velvety blue sky. I took this looking at K Radiator down Church Street.

Plainfield Train Station photo IMG_5474a_zps3e967621.jpg
Plainfield Train Station


No train pickup photo IMG_5477a_zps09b6e5e5.jpg
No pickup, no standing!

Signs. Signs. Everywhere a sign. Bound Brook Train Station.

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Trespasser on the train tracks

Had I seen this idiot earlier, I would have called the police. Now, I'm at the train station because my train is due soon. I wasn't really paying attention down the tracks looking westbound. Then I heard a crunching noise. This FOOL was walking down on the tracks, obviously at least the length of the platform! Unlike the subway platforms in the city, you could actually duck under the platform here in Plainfield. But still. 

As you can see, he was approaching the end of the raised platform. He climbed around the fencing and went down the stairs to Watchung Avenue.


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Goodbye fake coyotes, hello geese

They set about fixing all of the Hurricane Sandy damage at the TD Bank Ball Park next to the Bridgewater Train Station this week. I can no longer see inside it easily. They also removed the dummy coyotes and the grid of strings on the field. Saturday morning, I heard geese honking in there.

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Don't look into the sun!

Forget it. Stare at it. This is Saturday's sun before it snowed all day.

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Monarch Building graffiti

In her blog, Bernice reported on a town hall meeting during which folks in the "luxury" condos in the Monarch Building complained about ne'er-do-wells who frequent the adjacent liquor store and quality of life issues. This is the other side away from the strip mall parking lot. That particular area is the sleaziest I pass on my way to the train. If I'm going to spot a dead body, that's where it would be -- alongside the building where I noticed this graffiti. There was indeed a dead body in that location (two of them, actually) pre-Monarch building. Thankfully, I spotted neither.

While I certainly sympathize with the folks who have bought and live in the Monarch Building, it was a foolish place to locate "luxury" condos. If people can afford to rent or own one of the condos, they can afford much quieter neighborhoods. I feel the same about the exorbitant rents on the buildings being rehabbed downtown. Until the quality of life improves, who wants to pay a small fortune to live in those places? I wouldn't want to live next door to a bar, would you? My rent here isn't cheap, but the neighborhood is usually quiet except for the bus brakes on the NJ Transit 113 bus coming from Manhattan. That stops across from my apartment every half-hour during the evening hours, every hour otherwise.

Demon Hello Ice Cream Truck photo IMG_5469a_zps9263fc35.jpg
Return of the Demon Hello Ice Cream Truck

Wah! Wah! We're still having winter temperatures and have patches of dirty snow here and there on the ground. I heard it before I saw it. Wah. Corner of East Front and Berckman in Plainfield.

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In the pink

I like this guy's fashion taste with the pinks and greys. I'm not so keen on his backpack - it should be a lighter pink to match his shirt and sneakers. He was older than a teenager, probably college-age, walking along Watchung Avenue in Plainfield. It would have been much cooler had he spontaneously burst out singing 'The Geek in the Pink' by Jason Mraz.

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Seagull feeding frenzy

If they were sharks, we'd be in trouble.

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Traffic jam on 287 as the sun rises

"Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning." True dat! I took this one looking towards the traffic jam on Route 287 in Bridgewater. By taking the train, I avoid such things. It's a lot more relaxing.

Sunrise1 photo IMG_5445a_zps774cd8f4.jpg
Almost sunrise time

A particularly pretty just before sunrise in Bridgewater, NJ.

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Dark and spooky

I took this one on Church Street looking to the east. What appears to be perhaps grassland, rolling hills or a pleasant meadow are actually clouds. This area of New Jersey is all but flat with the exception of the Watchung "Mountain" Range which is to my back as I took this. Moving here from mountainous and really hilly locales, my first impression was how FLAT the state is here!

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Big Top in the morning dark

With cloud cover, things are still quite dark as I arrive to the Bridgewater Train Station. Here's the Big Apple Circus in the predawn. I expect them to be there for another week, perhaps two.

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Big Top in a drop

I took this at the Bridgewater Train Station, eastbound side. In the background you can see the Big Top of the circus at the top of the photo -- beyond the train tracks and on the other side of the ball park. In the droplet, you see a more clear image of the Big Top, albeit upside-down.

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Droplets on poison ivy vine

The hairy vines of the poison ivy at the Bridgewater Train Station are perfect for gathering raindrops.

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Even more droplets!

These reflect an upside-down image of the surrounding barren trees.

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UHaul fun facts

I usually cut through the closed UHaul lot early in the morning on my walk to the train station. It's not closed "out of business," mind you. It's closed as "not open for the day yet." If the trucks aren't parked too close together, I generally check out the facts about places throughout the United States and beyond. Heck, I didn't know anything could even be mined in New Jersey, say nothing about something rare and kind of cool.

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Geese learning to sky write

Well, they certainly can't fly in a proper V formation! Perhaps sky gibberish suit them best.

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Look! Look! Teensy blossoms!

I spotted these itsy bitsy blossoms on Saturday morning.

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Look! Look! Snow! Sigh ...

Then, later on Saturday, the snow came down wildly all day. It's only this time of year that it can snow heavily for hours on end and not add up to anything. Although it's been colder than I want it to be, the pavement areas and even the ground were too warm for it to really stick and stay.

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Vincent is all comfy

Vincent specializes in being comfy. How come cats always look so comfortable while we humans toss and turn looking for such comfort. I know! The cats steal all the comfort out of us and use it to their own devices! I'd say "Look at his delicate little paws," but they're Paws of Death at the moment. I need to trim his claws. Maybe today.


Laurie said...

I do believe cats steal our comfort in the mornings. I say this as Lily sleeps and I've been up since 5 am! On a Sunday!
Jackie, I love the droplets of water. The first one gives me an illusion of movement. I stared at it quite awhile, quite sure I would see it fall.
So glad your upstairs neighbor takes his shoes off and is quiet. Heavenly!

Bernice said...

Hmmm ... I have a new neighbor upstairs after two years. Cops came twice for noise one early a.m. but we are hoping it was an anomaly. Regarding The Monarch, the Senior Center was a centerpiece of the mayor's 2009 re-election campaign and there may have been pressure on the developer to finish the building, even though he was dropping plans in other towns. About bus noise, I can hear the audio all the way inside my house when the robot lady announces the bus is turning. Do I really need to know that?

Palmaltas said...

Your upstairs neighbor is most intriguing. I hope you get to meet him someday--just to let us know what he looks like! Your droplets photos are very creative.

Sally said...

Love the droplet photos. I'll be looking at droplets more closely now, to see the upside down images.

Your photo of the velvety blue sky is impressive too.

Jackie said...

Bernice - It seems the NYC buses like the 113/114 haven't picked up the "Cuidado! L'autobus is turning" (whatever) technology yet. I can hear the 59/819/65 buses a good half block away. I'm sorry to hear about your new neighbor. I hope it was indeed an anomaly.

Thanks for the kind words about the drops photos, folks! My fodder is lacking, I know.

Anonymous said...

Jackie, just a comment about the "Irish" tradition of corned beef & cabbage: According to a Food Network show several years ago, (CRS which one) The typical Irish person could not afford beef, corned or not. It was only when so many came to the US, lived in tenements along side Eastern European Jewish, that corned beef & cabbage became popular.