We're still having record setting warmth here in this part of the country. I won't complain at all. Sure, it would be nice to have an inch of snow on Christmas Eve for the kids. But, before that and after that, I welcome NO SNOW NOR ICE on the streets and sidewalks! Who's with me?
My own week on a personal level was rather tedious and boring. I worked too much. I slept too little. Oh, well.
Onto the photos from this week -- clicking on an image will bring up a larger version in a gallery ...
|Ready for winter|
The planters near my workplace which boasted the hibiscus blooms all summer are now redone for the season. One year these berries fed extremely early returning robins through horrible cold and snow.
Looking towards the Rialto Theatre at the intersection of Elm and East Broad Streets in Westfield.
|Keyboard Man works the trumpet|
The man I've dubbed Keyboard Man at the Plainfield Train Station had a trumpet in addition to his keyboard one evening this week. I'm beginning to think he can't practice his music where he lives due to the noise factor and has found the power outlets and acoustics just fine at the station. He's not asking for money. And, while I'm really irked about all the people who hang out at the station, he's a pleasant addition.
Now that most of the leaves are off of the trees, we can see what they've been hiding. This large, very solidly built, nest is in a tree in front of my building. I'm not sure exactly what bird built it -- definitely not a sparrow!
|Elm Street, Westfield|
Westfield is always a holiday dreamscape this time of year. Soft Christmas and seasonal music is wafting from speakers as you walk by the various restaurants. The decorations at each business are attractive. In Plainfield, they've replaced the old lighted wreaths and other street decorations with huge white shiny "snowflakes" which, to me, look like giant ornate white hairy spiders with bent legs. Music is blaring and often profane when a business is blasting music through speakers. Mattresses are set out on the sidewalks for sale instead of tasteful holiday displays. Sigh.
|Westfield holidays display|
The big trees on either side of the Westfield Train Station are always decorated for the holidays. The north side of the station goes all out with a Menorah, nativity scene and Santa Claus.
One thing Plainfield did do (other than the big hairy white spiders) was plant kale and other seasonal plants in the big planters on the streets.
|Mailbox for letters to Santa|
The streetlamps in downtown Westfield are beautifully decorated and this one at the corner of Elm and East Broad even has a mailbox for children to mail letters to Santa Claus. I forgot to bring my letter.
|Mansions on East Broad Street|
Halloween and Christmas are the two holidays they go a bit crazy at the mansions.
|Um. No, but thank you anyway.|
I've never had a Christmas or New Year's entire pig for a meal. The thought kind of creeps me out a bit. This is a sign on a door at a business in Westfield.
|I just don't know|
When I got to the Plainfield Train Station on Saturday afternoon, heading to work, the entire North Avenue area by the station was inundated with a crowd of about 50-60 (or more) Hispanic families, both adults and children. Most were dressed up, the young boys were even in school clothes kind of clothes, some of the girls were in fancy dresses. The real young children played near the adults, chasing each other around, dresses flowing.
|Then there was the "older" crowd|
Boys and a few girls, about twenty of them, were playing on the lawn by the westbound train platform. Refreshingly, they played with sticks much like my brother and I did way back when. I didn't know kids played with sticks at all in this new technological age! I wouldn't think they'd know how to do it! They also climbed the one climbable tree. I found it interesting that they all talked to each other in English. But, when parents called out to them, it was in Spanish. The kids were having a great time, a bit rambunctious, but not destructive or fighting (except for stick sword fights and stick guns).
However, all grew quiet, gathered in a crowd and stared when the Jesus Shouter Dude on the station platform started screaming, "JESUS IS ALIVE! JESUS IS ALIVE! YOU WILL BE SAVED! YOU WILL BE FORGIVEN! HE WILL FORGIVE YOU FOR YOUR SHOPLIFTING! JESUS IS ALIVE!" I've seen the Jesus Shouter Dude downtown before, always screaming his spiel at the top of his lungs. He's not to be confused with the Megaphone Man who daily "works" the corner of East/West Front and Park Avenue. Thankfully, neither the Jesus Shouter Dude nor all the kids and their family members got on my train.
|Red berries and green trees|
These are growing on East Front Street. Yeah, they've seen better days. BUT IT'S MID-DECEMBER!
|What are they doing?!?!|
Pollo Campero on East Front Street can't be closing down! It's way too successful of a business! At any hour it's filled with patrons, making the Royal Fried Chicken place across the street look lonely and desolate. Oh. They're just redoing the front of the building to spiffy it up. Never mind.
|Is spring here?|
These flowers, not in shabby shape for the most part, are currently growing in a planter in front of a business on Roosevelt Avenue in Plainfield. I, for one, wouldn't mind if we skipped winter weather this year. I doubt it will happen. But I can dream, can't I?
|Vincent rules over the couch arm|
He THINKS he rules over the entire apartment. Wait ... he probably does. He's there more than I am! (Although I'm still waiting for him to pay a bill or two!)