The usually barren and lifeless two-story-high wall of the New Providence train station underpass has recently been given some life by a couple of wayward vines.
I am all for organic decor.
A visual chronicle of suburban NJ
At first I thought this teepee-looking thing in the South Mountain Reservation might be an educational Native American exhibit, something like the the Lenape hut in the Great Swamp. But after seeing a few more of these trees with sticks propped around them, and hearing chatter about local artists who come out here to play in the woods… I think it’s art.
It’s about 5 feet tall, and it’s got an entrance, so you can even go sit inside, if you like!
The Watchung Stables need somewhere to store their hay, of course. This just happens to be one classy-lookin’ hay structure.
People passing through Scotch Plains might note a huge ugly-looking tower right in the middle of town. It is not, in fact, just there because the people of Scotch Plains enjoy huge ugly-looking towers.
It is part of a World War I monument (the entirety of which consists of the 80-foot flagpole [aka. "huge ugly-looking tower"], the traffic island on which it sits, a bronze plaque, and a cannon).
The cannon, which I unfortunately didn’t capture very well, has a slightly more interesting story:
The captured German cannon was a gift from the government, in appreciation of the fact that Scotch Plains had the largest percentage of over-subscription to the Victory Liberty Loan in any non-banking community in the Second Federal Reserve District. This subscription tallied to almost $700,000… against its quota of $25,500 (Bousquet and Bousquet, 1995, p. 124).
From what I understand, Scotch Plains now had a cannon on its hands and didn’t know what to do with it, so the Victory Celebration Committee said “Aha! Let’s make it part of a big memorial. With a flagpole and stuff! That would be so cool.”
So there it is.
Bousquet, R. and Bousquet, S. (1995). Images of America: Scotch Plains and Fanwood. Arcadia Publishing: Dover, NH. ISBN 0738563188.
And… it’s… a trailer.
While this was somewhere between tragic and hilarious, it didn’t quite seem in keeping with what I know of New Providence, so I did a little research.
The post office used to be an operation with an actual storefront in the Village Shopping Center. But a year after the Acme moved out, apparently the post office got kicked out so the A&P could expand into their space. Since then, the post office has functioned from these “temporary” quarters, in a back corner of the old A&P parking lot.
There’s hope! Last I heard, there were plans to relocate about 200 feet to a store in that old A&P shopping center—”retail-only,” so I guess you couldn’t actually mail anything there (?). Theoretically, the move is supposed to happen this very month, but I guess we’ll wait and see.
Nagi, A. 2010. “Post office begins countdown to move.” New Providence Patch.
Neavill, M. 2010. “New Providence post office selects Central Avenue location.” Independent Press.
This is [one of?] New Providence’s electrical substation[s], at 11 Floral Avenue. It’s right next to the New Providence Firehouse, which is in an area of Murray Hill primarily comprised of giant sprawling corporate buildings (not residences).
I like electricity. Don’t you? Here’s a song about it.
(Electricity – Schoolhouse Rock)
No idea what this little thing used to be, but it looks like nowadays it might house a power station-y thingie for the Summit train station. It’s almost under the Summit Avenue bridge.
Most stuff in downtown Summit isn’t this dilapidated, so this structure really stands out.
Edit: According to my dear darling mother, this may have been a hangout for either the yard master or the train watchman. I’m not clear on the duties of the yard master (I guess he’d generally supervise?), but the train watchman would watch for trains, and—from what I understand—try to make sure they didn’t run over anyone when they passed through.
Although there’s an automotive/pedestrian bridge over the tracks now, if this structure predates that bridge (but post-dates that road), it’d make sense that someone would’ve needed to operate a gate to keep people safe.
This is the Berkeley Heights train station. From the looks of things, there used to be a “Mama’s Caboose Cafe and Concierge” inside (!), but at the moment, the interior is under heavy (re?)construction, which is unfortunate for the commuters who have to stand outside in the cold until that’s over and done with.