November 12, 2012
From what I can tell, the gasoline situation in New Jersey has improved a lot since gas rationing began last week. There have been rumors, in fact, that Governor Christie may lift the rationing soon (just as New York has begun to implement its own gas rationing measures).
The mile-long lines at the gas station above, on the Garden State Parkway near the Union Toll Plaza (exit 142), were photographed last week. This week, I passed the same station, and the lines were much more reasonable.
It’s weird— things are starting to re-approach normality for some of us. (Starting. My apartment has its power back, and parts of the Morris and Essex line have started running again… but there’s still overcrowding and 2+ hour delays across the board.)
For some people, things never got ABNORMAL in the first place. The majority of my New York-living coworkers never even lost power, had perfectly fine cell phone reception the entire time, and their subway system is almost entirely back to normal now. It’s like they’re in a different country.
For some people, things will never be normal again.
Like I said— it’s weird.
July 9, 2012
Well, y’know, sometimes it’s the little things.
May 18, 2012
My best guess is that this is a wild radish; however, from the photos I’ve seen, wild radishes have widely-spaced petals that splay all over the place. These petals look too neat.
While it might not be a radish, it’s almost certainly something in the Brassicaceae family. Brassicaceae are also known as Cruciferae, which means “cross-shaped,” which refers to the four-petaled flowers.
What do you think?
May 17, 2012
While walking through the woods, I followed a dirt path off a main trail, and found myself staring at this railroad crossing sign with no railroad in sight.
Thinking of the old New Jersey West Line, I started snapping photos. Maybe this was a leftover relic of a railway of yore!
As I clicked away, an older gentleman (who’d been sweeping a nearby back porch) called out and asked me what I was doing.
I explained— blah blah, local photoblog, blah blah blah.
Since I had his ear, I asked if he knew the origins of this crossing sign.
“Yeah,” he said, “one of the guys found it somewhere and put it here a few years ago. We’re hoping to rewire it, get the lights working, and actually get a gate going one of these days.”
As he spoke, I read his shirt:
THE MODEL RAILROAD CLUB
I’d stumbled into the backyard of the local Model Railroad Club! Of COURSE they’d have a railroad crossing sign in their parking lot!
I didn’t really have time to go inside and get a full tour at that moment, but I really have been meaning to check out their offerings for a while (because, as we all know, I am a giant nerd). One of these days…!
May 16, 2012
If you’re standing in the middle of a bike path to take a photo of a bridge, remember to stay alert for oncoming bicycles.
May 15, 2012
If you happen to pass through Lenape Park in Union, you might notice a tree wearing a white hat.
If you look a little closer, your amusement might turn to sadness.
Although the hat alone tells you pretty much all you need to know, Segundo Padilla was smoothing the path here when his roller toppled off the edge of a shallow embankment (presumably the one near this memorial).
The ink on the hat is fresh, and it’s my guess that the hat was just recently nailed here in memory of the one-year anniversary of his death.
It’s a tragedy, any way you slice it.
May 13, 2012
I am visiting my parents this weekend, so for Mother’s Day, I had my mother choose from a few flower photos I’d taken. She liked this shot of a tiny blue flower. (Happy Mother’s Day!)
And then we couldn’t identify it. Her first idea was a forget-me-not, but forget-me-nots have five petals, and this has six.
A Google Image search pulled up a few other photos of this wildflower, usually with a caption like “I found a little purple flower, isn’t it pretty” or something equally useless.
Some searches later, I’m pretty sure it’s a blue-eyed grass! Blue-eyed grass is actually a rhizome related to irises, not a real grass. But it’s still a nifty little wildflower!
That seems like a funny name for a flower, though. Maybe the little stripey things on the petals look like the striations on an eyeball-iris, so they themselves look like blue eyes? And/or the resemblance to an eye-iris was a subtle pun on the flower’s relation to a flower-iris? Who knows?
December 23, 2011
I have yet to read any Union Township historical references, and the internet kind of ignores Vauxhall, so I am afraid I can’t tell you anything about the Vauxhall post office. The architecture looks 1960s-1980s-ish (to my completely untrained eye), so it’s very likely not too historical anyway.
Here is what I can tell you: it’s a teeny smidgen east of a Whole Foods/ Best Buy/ Target shopping center, and its hours (as of December 2011) are:
M-F: 8:30am-5:00pm (lobby: 7:15-5:30)
Sat: 8:00am-12:00pm (lobby: 7:15-3:30)
Updates to hours can be found on the USPS website.
…Gosh I hope the post office doesn’t go completely out of business. 😦
December 21, 2011
I dunno, I was strolling around Vauxhall, and the light was catching this fire escape just so, and I thought it was kind of pretty. But of course you are free to make your own judgements.
P.S. Happy Hanukkah!