Archive for November, 2010

November 30, 2010

Identical house signs…?

Frilly house sign

About one-half to two-thirds of the houses around here have this exact same filligree house sign! (with their own street numbers, of course.) Based on the manhole covers, this area seems to have been suburbanized in the 1940s-50s (which makes sense, since Bell Labs was erected in this town in 1941). I wonder if these signs designated Bell Labs company housing or something? Or maybe New Providence had some extra money a couple years ago and decided to put these cute little signs by everyone’s driveways? I have no idea what the story is.

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November 29, 2010

Down the road we go

Down the street

Admittedly, I took this a little earlier in November, but isn’t it pretty?

I’ve noticed, when I look at other photoblogs, that down-the-street shots seem to give a really nice wide-angle view of where you’re standing… which is why I’ve been including so many of them on this photoblog! Do you feel like you’re standing on Elkwood Avenue in New Providence? No? Well, I tried.

November 28, 2010

Street banner

Street banner!

I like it when towns do this! Every town’s street banners are different, and what they choose to put on the banners is kind of revealing. In New Providence, our emblem is apparently a tree. I’m not sure if that’s a special tree, or if it’s just a nod to all the trees we have, but I think it captures the essence of colonial suburbia we have around here pretty well.

FYI, I’ll be out of town for a few days, so my posts will be scheduled automatically. (I’m off to defend my graduate thesis—wish me luck!)

November 27, 2010

Great Swamp Entrance

Great Swamp Entrance

This marks one of the entrances to the Great Swamp Refuge. If you were going to go hang out in one of the wildlife blinds (which are shoddy wooden structures with saucer-sized holes cut in ’em so you can watch wildlife without the wildlife watching you), this is where you’d park your car.

November 26, 2010

Nine-eleven memorial

Those are candles, not beer cans.

I will admit—my first thought when I saw this was “wow, that’s… ugly.”

Turns out it actually has an interesting story, though.

According to New Providence’s website, the residents of Flower Mound, TX were moved by the events of 9/11/2001, but—being all the way out in Texas—weren’t quite sure what they could do.

They did some digging and found New Providence, NJ.

New Providence, which is only about an hour out of New York City (40 minutes if you catch the express!), is a heavily residential town chock-full of people who commute to New York daily. As such, back in 2001, it was heavily affected by the bombing, and apparently lost quite a few residents.

Flower Mound showed its honor for the families affected by the tragedy by donating an eight-foot-square granite memorial. The illustration was designed by a couple of middle-school twins.

New Providence was deeply touched by the gesture, and the memorial is featured prominently in Centennial Park.

November 25, 2010

Turkey Day!

(Note the giant turkey sign in the back)

Happy Turkey Day from Turkey!

We’re not called Turkey anymore. But we used to be! See that turkey sign in the background? It reads: “290th Anniversary; Settlement of Turkey, New Jersey; 1720-2010”.

To quote a local pamphlet (In & About Union County… From Berkeley Heights to Winfield. 2010. Presented by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders; p. 13), “According to local tradition, the name of this settlement was originally Turkey, but the name was changed to New Providence after the balcony of the church collapsed without causing loss of life.”

Pretty nifty, huh?

The Salt Box Museum (mostly shown here for its giant turkey sign in the background) is a haven of history for this town. I think. I haven’t been inside yet.

Anyway: I hope ya’ll in the United States (and elsewhere!) are having a peaceful Thanksgiving.

November 24, 2010

Make a left on Pine

Pine What?

I hate it when city planners do this. I often refer to streets by their name only, leaving off the “Street” or “Court” or “Avenue” or whatever, and I get horribly mixed up when you include multiple streets of the same name within the same town.

November 23, 2010

Welcome to… Summit!

Welcome to Summit

Today we venture into Summit!

I have no idea why its logo is what appears to be a stylized bowl of soup.

November 22, 2010



Birdhouses at the Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center, by the power lines.

I guess these are for wrens?

And I’m really not sure what the metal sleeves around the posts are about. Any birding fans familiar with this?

Edit: Careful reader Gerald suggests they’re supposed to discourage animals from climbing up the posts. Makes sense.

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November 21, 2010

Looking to New York

Looking to New York

This is where I catch the train every morning (at New Providence station).

You will note there is only one track.

This means that you must wait for a train to go all the way down the line before it can come back the other way.

This is not something I’d ever encountered before. When I moved here, I was pretty excited to live within walking distance of a train station… until I realized that the schedules are kind of insane. (I can’t provide you with a visual at the moment, but trust me: the physical paper schedule for the Morris-Essex line is twice the length of any other line.)

It’s not too bad, though.

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