Sunday, January 31, 2016

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - January 31, 2016

Good morning! Welcome to my weekly off television topic reflection on the week gone by in both words and photographs I've taken along the way. If you're a television fan, keep tuned for my Survivor cast posts starting later today! Yes, I'll be posting television once again! Woohoo!

As you might recall, we had a bit of a snowstorm last week. With the temperatures going above freezing and lots of sunshine, we've lost a lot of the snow cover. Instead of the nearly thirty inches of snow we had, we're probably down to a foot. Naturally, there are still huge snow drifts and piles. And, in the mornings after the temperatures go below freezing overnight, we have plenty of slippery spots and black ice. However, it's been an easier recovery from a nearly record-breaking storm than we could have expected. Yay, us.

That said, it's enough snow for the winter. We don't need any more. Thank you.

Random stuff and junk:
  • They've announced that they will rebuild Trader Joe's at its Westfield location. Good. I like that location -- it's very convenient for me either by two bus lines or train. They say the building, roof collapsed in the snow and walls buckling, will have to be torn down. Despite the folks fussing about the parking lot (or lack thereof), the Westfield location comes with a liquor license and they're hard to get. I think the liquor license, as well as how busy the location is, will keep it there. It's just a matter of waiting for the tear down and rebuild.
  • Wah.
  • A friend said to me that I'll have to go to Whole Foods now. No, I won't. I went to Trader Joe's because it's TRADER JOE'S. I have no desire to go to Whole Foods. I use Peapod grocery delivery for my normal groceries, plus there's a Supremo Supermarket a few blocks down the street. You don't go to Trader Joe's for regular groceries. You go because it's Trader Joe's and it has all kinds of cool stuff!
  • I'm on staycation this week. Yay.
  • The temperatures are supposed to peak up near sixty midweek! Super yay!
  • I plan on binge watching The Walking Dead episodes I recorded during its marathon a few weeks back. That will be returning on Valentine's Day. What a romantic thought!
  • Money is a bit tight at the moment, so I don't really have any plans for trips. I'll probably get an early start at spring cleaning right here at home. I have books and other diversions. I might go over to Westfield to check out the ruined Trader Joe's or the park. Maybe I'll finally pull the hard drives on my old computers and retrieve some of my lost (but not really lost) photos, music and writing from them.
That's it for now. It's onto the photos! Clicking on an image will bring up a larger version in a gallery.

No Parking when road is snow covered

You don't say. Why do we even bother having the signs on East Front Street in Plainfield? Every big snowstorm, some cars become snowbirds sitting there until the snowcap melts. Others are dug out but leave little private snow alcoves in which to park. Plows have to leave a bit of clearance so they don't hit the parked cars. The cars and snow extend further into the street than a normal parked cars in the summertime. Thus, with a storm of this magnitude, the street itself gets down to a tricky one-way plus rather than a free and easy two-way. And, it's a major drag in town. During the beginning of the week, traffic ended up just sitting there a lot. Even now as I write this up, if two large vehicles try to pass in opposite directions, one ends up pulling over as much as it can so the other can pass by.

Smiling no matter what

This guy is a regular on my morning trains. He's always smiling and pleasant. While a language barrier between us makes any extended conversations futile, I always get an enthusiastic greeting from him and it makes my day start off on a good note. Once I found a five-dollar bill on the bench near where he had been sitting. When I asked him if he may have lost it, he misunderstood and opened his wallet to give me money! Of course, I didn't take it. And, I ended up keeping the fiver for myself. He's a good guy indeed. By the way, despite the snow, it wasn't all that cold out when I took this shot. He's not woefully underdressed for the weather. He has on layers. Someone in Florida or Southern California might call it cold, but it wasn't bad at all for here in January.

The aftermath

Although a plow had traveled down the street, due to parked cars things were down to one snowy lane as some people started to dig their cars out. Of course, they didn't want to MOVE their cars. They didn't want anyone else to steal the space they cleared! Some people just left their cars there for nature (or the city) to do its work.


Oh noes! An accident?!?!

Nah. Just a small girl making a snow angel. It wasn't a good snow for snowballs, but it was fantastic for snow angels. No, I didn't make one. 

At least NJT shoveled paths

They did a much better job than I've seen in previous seasons. One thing they didn't clear was the handicapped access curvy walk downhill to East 4th Street. They went as far as the generator for the bridge workers trailer.

Oh, how wintry is this?

The planters near my workplace were looking all seasonal.

Whole lotta snow

The corner at Gavett Place and North Avenue in Plainfield looked impressive. Those are adults in the photo, not small children.

Not a pedestrian's paradise

East Front Street, two days after the storm.

Yeah, it's a winter wonderland

Thankfully the warmth of the days following this and the work of city staff moving the snow (to wherever they move it to in trucks) have eased the downtown snow piles conditions since I took this shot.

Mark your calendars! A first!

For the first snow ever since I've been taking the Raritan Valley Line NJ Transit train (over 10 years) at the Bridgewater Station ... THEY CLEARED THE SIDEWALK ALONGSIDE THE TD BALL PARK ALL THE WAY TO THE PLATFORM STAIRS ON THE FAR SIDE! All other winters, the physical rehab place at the corner have only done to the end of their parking lot while NJ Transit only did from their walk overpass and down the first set of stairs. I'd either have to go out of my way to use the walk overpass or walk in the street past both overpasses and then double back to the stairs for eastbound trains. I don't know who did the walk, but thank you!

Another first!

Also, the walk was shoveled from in front of the Plainfield Train Station down all the way to the corner of Watchung and North avenues!  Every other winter (for more than ten years) that entire stretch has been left to nature! The city thinks it's NJ Transit's responsibility and NJ Transit thinks it's the city's. As a result, no one clears the walk! I have a feeling the only reason it was done was due to the workers replacing the "bookends" on the Watchung Avenue rail overpass. 

Yep, still a mode of transportation

Despite the conditions, some folks are still using bikes.

The Big Apple Circus is setting up!

They put up the Big Top during the week, but it needs its walls! Those are the circus trailers you see in front of it. It normally takes them a few weeks to set up and the circus is on for two or three weeks. This is next to the TD Ball Park in Bridgewater. 

Pigeons atop the Chotola Apartments

Yeah, I messed with it.

Oh my

Two men carried this rolled up rug and left it on a bench at the Plainfield Train Station. They left, apparently to buy tickets. A train pulled in eastbound and both men and rug were gone. Hmm. It's New Jersey. Was that ONLY a rug?!?!

Springing up all over town

The city is closing off parking street by street and towing cars so that payloaders can put the snow on trucks and haul it away ... somewhere. My street still hasn't been done and needs it. But mine is a county road, so who knows? It's probably going to sit there until it melts, I guess. This is a sign I saw on North Avenue, but I've also seen (and heard the towing operations on the scanner) them throughout the city.

Well, agents? I'm awaiting response!

Can you hear me now? Agents, come in. (Plainfield Train Station and, yes, there is an audible alert which went with this.)

Here comes da train

Da train! Da train! Raritan Valley Line, Plainfield Train Station.

Vincent in Yoda mode

Heehee. If you look down on Vincent just right and take the shot, he's Yoda for Star Wars fame!


Laurie said...

You are correct. A person in Southern California would think that was cold ... very cold!
Great group of pictures, Jackie.

Jackie said...

Thank you, Laurie. Around here we welcome anything higher than 40 degrees. There are still some guys out there wearing shorts.

Palmaltas said...

I loved your snow comments and photos! Enjoy your staycation!

Jackie said...

Thank you, Pat! I surely will!

Donna in Alabama said...

You should get sidewalk chalk and write Thank you for clearing the sidewalks!!
Loved all your wintery pictures!