Archive for August, 2012

August 31, 2012



Hibiscus is a tropical plant, and (except for Hibiscus syriacus and possibly another species or two) it dies in freezing cold winters (which is what we have around here). So how can New Jersey be filled with outdoor hibiscus this time of year?

As was pointed out to me some years ago (and confirmed by eHow), apparently people dig up their hibiscus bushes and bring ’em inside for the winter.

That seems odd to me— why not plant something pretty that’s better suited for the climate?— but I’m not much of a plant person, so what do I know.

August 30, 2012


Railroad bridge, woohoo

Just some kinda catwalk over the train tracks at Summit.

…I’ve really been overprocessing my photos lately. I’ll probably get bored of it soon, don’t worry.

…I guess this is as good a place as any to mention that my internet is nonexistent during the summer, so I can more-or-less only schedule posts and look at your blog(s) when I use the WiFi at my local public library. I can barely keep up with my own posts, and I apologize for being less polite/ social/ blog-visiting-y than usual.

You’re awesome for looking at this blog anyway. Thank you.

August 29, 2012

Les envols


There’s a new-ish group of sculptures near Summit’s Village Green.

Les envols

You might think they look like penguins (how silly of you), but apparently they are a “reflection on the multiplicity and complexity of the human character (”

They’re part of sculptress Pascale Fournier’s Les Envols body of work.

According to Google Translate— I’ve forgotten most of my French— “envol” translates to “flight,” so interpret that as you will.

More complete essays (and images) of the sculptures can be found on and Ms. Fournier’s portfolio site.

August 28, 2012

Sidewalk sales!

Summit sidewalk sale

I imagine most downtowns feature sidewalk sales in pleasant weather, and that includes Summit, New Jersey.

In case your downtown doesn’t have sidewalk sales: a sidewalk sale is when a store displays some of its sale or clearance merchandise outside the storefront, presumably as a tactic to grab attention and hopefully lure consumers inside the store to buy the full-price stuff as well. In Summit’s case, someone organized it so that several of the stores had their sidewalk sales concurrently (in an event they dubbed “the Dog Days of Summer”).

It’s all very charming.

August 27, 2012



Sometimes people drop things.

(At first glance, I thought this thing was a dead jellyfish, or a half-melted gummi worm. Verdict: it is neither.)

August 26, 2012

Brookside Drive on a Sunday

Bikers and pedestrians on Brookside Avenue on a Sunday morning

Brookside Drive, which runs north/south through the South Mountain Reservation, is closed to automobiles on Sunday mornings (7am-12pm). While this is a bit of a nuisance for drivers, it allows bikers, skaters (?), walkers, and joggers to safely take advantage of a long flat open road in the middle of a nature preserve.

Inspired by Bicycle Sundays on the Bronx River Parkway, people (including Dan Baer, the first democratic mayor in Millburn’s history) proposed and approved the Brookside Drive plan around 2005.

Unlike Bicycle Sundays in the Bronx, the Sunday morning Brookside Drive closure happens year-round.

When I first heard about this, my reaction was “Why?”, but upon reflection… nature trails are scenic, but they’re rooty and uneven; roads are filled with unsafe traffic; sidewalks are narrow and only exist in unscenic suburbs (and bikes aren’t supposed to be on ’em).

So. Why? Because it’s nice. And I guess it lets you love your town a little more.

For additional information, check this video.

August 25, 2012

Red-tailed hawk!

Juvenile red-tailed hawk! (I think)

We had an unexpected visitor at the New Providence train station this week! I think it’s an immature red-tailed hawk, based on the white breast and stripy belly, but honestly, pretty much every species of hawk juvenile is brown and white and speckle-y, so I am open to alternatives.

This guy seemed completely unfazed by the hundreds of commuters waiting at the platform not 20 feet away. Still, after a couple minutes, it got bored and flew up to the top of a telephone pole (where it remained as the train came and left).

Prep for takeoff

Didn't sitting on poles used to be a thing? This guy is a champ, check him out.

How cool is that!

…Incidentally, this is why I’m hesitant to trade my megazoom for a more convenient camera phone. I’d never have gotten this unexpected shot without my camera’s powerful zoom. (But— if the idea behind Nikon’s newly-announced s800c gains momentum, and becomes more robustly developed in the future— I’d like an up-to-date version of Android, and a headphone jack, and maybe a phone— I am totally on that boat.)

August 24, 2012

Morristown Jazz and Blues Festival 4

George Naha, and some sort of sun-blocking screen catching the sun behind him

After the Rusty Paul Band, the Rob Paparozzi and the Hudson River Rats got to play!

The guy above is George Naha on guitar, in keeping with my apparent penchant for NOT featuring the person-the-band-is-named-after in the lead photo. (See also: the Rusty Paul Band, leading with Mark Friedman the sax player.)


Rob Paparozzi (below) is a harmonica player and singer extraordinaire, and he apparently got his start in Morristown (“the Thirsty Ear,” he said, which was apparently a coffee shop back in the day).

Play that thing!


And the guy on keys was Dave Keyes. Ha! I’m sure he’s gotten jokes about that his whole life, though, so.

Dave Keyes on keys! How appropriate is that?! He looks mad.


Also: one last shot of Rob Paparozzi singin’ the blues about GODDAMN TECHNOLOGY, ‘cos I like it and maybe you will too.

I don't remember the exact lyric, but it had something to to with smiling and waving hello.


At this point, I realized that it was 4:45 and I was parked in a “permits required 5pm-9am Monday-Sunday” area, so I needed to leave.


This concludes NPDP’s coverage of the Morristown Second Annual Jazz and Blues Festival! w00t.

August 23, 2012

Morristown Jazz and Blues Festival 3

Audience, looking thrilled

From the 2012 Morristown Jazz Festival— here’s a brief montage of was happening between sets and away from the stage:

(1) The audience checked its mobile devices (and yes, we really do wear those Vibram FiveFinger shoes around here).


(2) Rusty Paul said hello to some enthusiastic fans.
Rusty Paul between sets


(3) Crew guys made sure nothing exploded.


(4) The Hudson River Rats got ready to start.
Hudson River Rats, ratting around

August 22, 2012

Morristown Jazz and Blues Festival 2

Mark Friedman! I think. He doesn't have much of a web presence, so I can't confirm.

The second annual Morristown Jazz and Blues Festival featured a performance by the Rusty Paul Band, which, according to the press release, plays a “blend of jazz, blues and funk [that] includes a tribute to the great Les Paul.”

Above is Mark Friedman on sax.

Below is Rusty Paul (himself) (son of Les Paul) on guitar…
Rusty Paul


…Steve Lucas also on guitar…
Steve Lucas


…Sonja Hensley on vocals (doing a really great “Route 66”)…
Sonja Hensley


…Frosty Lawson on keys and brass (seriously, check him out, trumpet [and valve trombone] in one hand, keyboard in the other), and Jay Dittamo (in the background there) on drums.
Frosty Lawson and Jay Dittamo


P.S. In case you’re wondering what the stage looked like:
Whoa that is totally the Rusty Paul Band on a stage.

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