Random words and thoughts:
- While the blog pool for The Amazing Race is closed, you have until tomorrow to sign up for the Survivor: Kaoh Rong blog pool at this post. I hope to see you there -- the season premiere is Wednesday night!
- Yay! New episodes of The Walking Dead return tonight! Whoopie!
- For not being about television, this blog entry is so far talking television.
- I need to stop that.
- We need to be proud of ourselves in this area -- we broke a 100-year record for cold temperatures. Yay, us!
- I went out to grab my Sunday paper from outside the front door of my apartment building. That's it for me going out today.
- Thankfully, my apartment heat is doing well (and included in my rent).
- I don't think I've ever seen the downtown streets in Plainfield as deserted as they were last night when I arrived home from work. Even our city's hardcore homeless seem to have taken cover.
- I was just glad I didn't get frostbitten waiting for train/bus and walking in the bitter brutal evil cold. I did wear layers. But I still have red patches on my upper cheeks under my eyes this morning. Maybe that is a touch of frostbite. I don't know. I'm pretty sure it's not the glow of good health.
- I've had horrible lower back pain since I got up on Thursday morning. I don't know what I did to it. I imagine, since it came on overnight, I might have pulled something in my sleep or something. It needs to go away.
The burned-out two houses from last year's fire on East Second Street remain standing ... sort of. More of the roof has collapsed on this one. If I lived next door -- the home to the left is fine although it still has some melted siding, but people live there -- I'd be demanding it be torn down before it falls down. More parts of the roof have fallen. You can stand in the street and see through the building to East Third Street. I think a good kick could bring it down. The burned building on the right of this isn't AS bad, but also needs to be torn down. They're saved for eternity (or the life of Google maps and the internet) if you do a street view of 642 (or so) East Second Street, Plainfield, NJ. Well, it does make good photo fodder if I'm bored. I'll give it that. But I definitely would be complaining to the city about it if I lived next door to it!
|The NJ Transit 59 bus|
When the weather is bad and the bus schedule is doable with the train schedule, I take the bus to the train station rather than walk the half-mile or so. Yeah, I'm lazy like that. But this bus is a five minute walk for me -- probably less than that for younger people without knee replacements! And, it's free for me with my monthly train pass.
|The projects come down|
I took this shot from the train window. After sitting vacated for a long, long time now, Plainfield's Elmwood Gardens west end projects are being demolished. Watching the demolition daily from the train reminds me of when the projects in The Wire came down. While these buildings were a hotbed of drug and gang activity, they also were the homes of families for years. The good people who lived there are probably better off in their new residences away from the concentration of crime. And, unfortunately, the bad are spread all over town.
|Oh, there must be a bad fire somewhere|
When I saw (and smelled) this, along with seeing news helicopters all over, I knew something big was burning. This was on Thursday afternoon, a few hours after a warehouse complex in Hillsborough went up in flames. I took this shot at the Bridgewater Train Station which is at least six or seven (or more) miles from the actual fire. It was very windy and bitter cold. (Not as bitter cold as it is right now, mind you.) The fire was basically out by Saturday with just a few hot spots remaining. A few firefighters had minor injuries and, at its height, it went to six alarms.
|Road Closed AH AD|
I'm not sure why they direct people to the Plainfield Train Station along East Second Street. North Avenue in front of the westbound platform is open. I guess they think everyone wants to go through Depot Park to the eastbound side.
I really hope this street shutdown ends soon. The bridge is looking good, albeit missing the city seal which was on the old one.
|Dirty wall of snow|
On North Avenue with the Plainfield Train Station in the background. Our massive snow piles are dirty and nasty. No, I don't want fresh snow to cover them. I want them to go away.
|Is this necessary?|
There's been a lot of positive downtown development in Plainfield -- including the rehabbing and building of new rather expensive apartments around the train station area. People are really making strides to improve this city. Oh, we'll probably never be an upscale Westfield kind of town. But, I ask, is this sort of signing necessary on a pawn shop on East Front Street? We're not a city of thugs. I'm not a thug. None of my several friends or neighbors are thugs. Is this the image that the city on the whole wants to project? NO.
|Plainfield Train Station lamps|
In silhouette even!
|No playing in the halls?|
Yes, I realize the weather is bad. But that does not make the common corridors in my apartment building playgrounds for people who don't take care of their children. If they don't want them outdoors in the weather and don't want them indoors in their apartments, they need to pay attention to their kids and take them somewhere! Enroll them in one of the many programs available at places like the YMCA, take them to the circus, do something with them! They're their kids, not mine!
Plus, although this is a secure building, strangers can probably get buzzed in if they press enough intercom buttons. Some of these kids aren't much more than toddlers not being supervised. While the noise between apartments is muted, any screaming, yelling, thumping, running, playing ball, etc., is amplified in the hallways and really, really disruptive. I swear I take better care of my cat than some people take of their children. Plus, I am always considerate of neighbors and no one has ever complained about noise from me or my apartment.
|Once a home|
The metal table kind of survived. I'm not sure what that is atop it. This is in one of the windows of the burnt home from above.
|More hula for your moola|
The Dunellen Train Station always has posters for things like the Big Apple Circus and various Broadway shows. Do the advertisers think that Plainfield folks don't go to such things? We just have the basic anti-suicide signs and the occasional college propaganda posters.
|Hillsborough fire smoke second day|
I took this shot from the Bridgewater Train Station when I got off the train Friday morning.
|Day Two Smoke|
Oh, but they say it's not toxic. Yeah, right.
|Day Two smoke continues|
The smoke cloud which was picked up by weather radar and satellites spread almost 14 miles.
|No, not PuppyMonkeyBaby ...|
It's SnowmanCircusSmoke. Although the sun and rain of the week before have taken care of all but the snow piles here near the Bridgewater Train Station, that snowman is solid. Unless someone beheads him (and I come across an horrific murder scene), I think he's going to last for a long time to come.The circus is the Big Apple Circus which opened Friday evening after being set up for a few weeks. I met a few workers from it on the train. They say the heat inside the big top is great and come see the circus! The smoke is from Day Two of the big Hillsborough warehouses fire. SnowmanCircusSmoke.
|If you see something, say something|
This was odd. All of these bags, not familiar as any of the regular homeless people's possessions to me, were just sitting on a bench at the Plainfield Train Station. There was no one near them at all. It's possible the owner went to buy a train ticket from the vending machine. Now, if someone stole all that stuff it would probably cost more than the $5 surcharge for buying a ticket on the train. Trusting soul, I guess. I'm sure they weren't bombs. And, yeah ... that's snow coming down sideways.
|Worshiping the gods?|
I just don't know. One (or more) of the people who have nothing to do in life other than hang out at the Plainfield Train Station day and night builds these odd little shrines.
|Snow squall and train approach|
You can see the clear dividing line between the snow squall and just plain frigid air. That particular snow squall brought whiteout conditions for about three minutes. The snow squall got to me before my train. Plainfield Train Station.
|Sunset in Bridgewater Saturday|
I left work a few hours early last night due to my back issues and the extreme cold. I really didn't want to be out after dark (which I ended up being out after dark anyway) with the windchills below zero. The fire is out in Hillsborough and no longer does smoke fill the horizon -- those are normal clouds. We kept having snow squalls on and off during the day.
|No, he's not spoiled|
Of course not. Vincent isn't spoiled at all.