Posts tagged ‘ABC’

July 13, 2011

Z is for Zion

Summit A.M.E. Zion Church

African Methodist Episcopal Zion (A.M.E. Zion), that is! This one in Summit was the home base of Florence Spearing Randolph, Awesome Lady Extraordinaire.

Randolph was a major figure in local women’s history in the early 20th century. She started life as a dressmaker in South Carolina, but moved north in 1885 (when she was 19) as soon as she discovered that New Jersians would pay more for their dresses.

From 1897 through 1903, she left dressmaking behind as she became a full-fledged preacher, deacon, and elder. With these new responsibilities, Randolph began moving from church to church in NJ and NY, giving these congregations spiritual and financial leadership.

She landed in Summit’s Wallace Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church in 1925, and remained there until she retired in 1946, longer than she stayed at any other church. When she started, the congregation met in a local YMCA; it later moved into the living room and dining room of a nearby home, and finally into a permanent structure (above), built in 1935-1937. Randolph was pivotal in raising funds for its construction.

Florence Spearing Randolph!

A few other highlights from Randolph’s life-list:

  • 1892: Joined the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (the organization responsible for establishing the Summit Opera House).
  • 1911: Founded the Supply Department of the Women’s Home and Foreign Missionary Society, and served in various lead roles.
  • 1915: Organized the New Jersey State Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs.
  • 191*?: Member of the Executive Committee of New Jersey’s Suffrage Association.
  • 1920: Invited by the chair of the NJ Republican Party to help with Warren G. Harding’s presidential campaign (because she was so influential with the Suffrage Association).
  • 1933: Was awarded an honorary doctor of divinity from Livingstone College.

It’s people like these who make me reevaluate my own life, y’know? Wow.

On an unrelated note, hey, we’re done with the alphabet! I think we’ve seen the last of this for a little while.



Hageman, R.A. (2004). “The Rev. Florence Randolph: Pastor of Wallace Chapel Helped Spearhead Women’s Suffrage.” The Summit Historical Society.

New Jersey Women’s Heritage Trail. (n.d.). Women’s Heritage Trail. Department of Community Affairs: New Jersey Historic Trust; Department of Environmental Protection: Historic Preservation Office. [Informational plaque.]

July 6, 2011

Y is for YAG

YAGs and Hydrothermal Quartz!

…Yttrium Aluminum Garnet, that is. All the rocks here were grown in a lab! (And they’re on display in the Morris Museum!)

The guys on the right, including the ruby-red crystal, are YAGs. The label below them states that they are examples of Czochralski Growth, wherein “a crystal is pulled from a crucible containing the melted elements which form the crystal.” (The clear thing is “Y.A.G. ‘Diamondaire’ [pure],” and the red thing is “Y.A.G. ‘Ruby’ [Trace of chromium].”)

Although it’s not Y-related, for the sake of being thorough, the ladies on the left were grown “from a pressurized hot water solution containing the necessary chemicals.” They’re both quartz, but the bottom-right one was a gift from Bell Labs, and it took 23 days to grow (!).

Rocks are awesome!

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June 29, 2011

X is for Xanthous

I know they're a little on the orange side, but bear with me here.

After racking my brains for a sensible X word (X-ray! Xylophone! Xenophobe! I’ve got photos of none of those!), I leafed through a dictionary (X chromosome! Xebec, a three-masted Mediterranean ship! Xenon, an invisible gas! also helpful!), and finally started browsing, which recently updated its Flash or had a security breach or something, so I get a creepy error message every time I view the definition for a word.

NEVERTHELESS! I have discovered that “xanthous” means “yellow.” And these mushrooms are yellow-ish!

And there we have it.

June 22, 2011

W is for White-Tailed Deer

You can't see her tail here, but she did flick it at me.

Deer are a common sight in suburbia. They destroy gardens by nibbling, and they destroy cars (and themselves, and sometimes the drivers) by jumping into highways at night. A lot of people don’t like having them around.

But a lot of people, I’ve noticed, enjoy watching them.

…which usually involves being watched, too.

June 15, 2011

V is for Volunteer

Hooray for volunteers!

…Volunteer firefighters, that is.

Since 1902/1903, the New Providence Fire Department has bravely fought fires in our town. (But this particular structure was only dedicated in 1995.)

I don’t know what else to say. I don’t have the guts to deal with scary burny things, and I deeply respect those who do.

June 8, 2011

U is for USPS

United we post.

I will admit that “United States Post Office” is a bit of a copout, but there are shockingly few architectural terms that begin with U. It doesn’t get much easier for the last five letters, either. Bleahhhhh.

Now, I’m not sure about this, but it seems that Chatham (Borough) has two post offices, about 100-200 feet apart (30-60 meters). This is the one in the back, where all the parking is located; there’s also an ugly little storefront on Main Street. According to, one of them is the Annex. I couldn’t tell you the functional difference between ’em, though.

June 1, 2011

T is for Trail

Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center Boardwalk!

This is a swamp boardwalk in the Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center. I think it’s the Red Trail. The whole park is a good area for introducing your kids to the Great Outdoors. In fact, most of the people I see on these trails are under the age of six. (Or they’re parents of said young people.)

…FYI, my internet is functioning at the pace of a snail stuck in molasses. It’s spotty, it’s about on par with dial-up, and 21st century websites keep telling me I’m not even online. If I miss upcoming posts, it’s because I can’t connect.

May 25, 2011

S is for Sushi


Monster Sushi, in fact.

They have two locations in Manhattan and one right here in little ol’ Summit.

The sushi was fine when I visited, but I’m not much of a connoisseur of these things. The COOL thing about Monster Sushi is that they’ve got Godzilla posters and action figures all over the place. (That might be standard for New York, but… it’s less so around here.)

Go go Godzilla!

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May 18, 2011

R is for Railway station

Mmmmmadison rrrrrrailway station.

I work in a New York office, and I’m known as the employee who lives in Jersey. When my manager had to visit Madison for a client, she came back and told me the Madison train station was really beautiful, and asked if all NJ Transit stations were like that.

Answer: no.

Yeah, New Providence doesn't have staircases.

While Madison was elevating its tracks, William Haynes Truesdale, president of the Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western Railroad (formerly known as the Morris & Essex, but also known as the DL&W or “Delay, Linger, and Wait”), said that stations being built ought to be compatible with surrounding architecture. Because Madison is home to Drew University, the style of the station is collegiate Gothic; because Madison was an affluent and generous town, they raised wayyy more money for the construction of this station than other towns raised for theirs, and it is fancy indeed.

Madison station, 2011

Madison station, 1916

It was finished in 1916, and it’s been registered on the State and National Registers of Historic Places since 1984! The Gladstone-line shacks don’t have those kinds of bragging rights.

(P.S. Here’s a map of the line, in case you don’t remember where Gladstone or Madison are!)

NJ Transit, Morris-Essex Line + Gladstone Branch. Can you find Madison?

Cunningham, John T. (1998). Images of America: Madison. Arcadia Publishing: Dover, NH.

National Registers of Historic Places. (n.d.) Information board near door of station. Sponsored by NJ Transit: Madison, NJ.

May 11, 2011

Q is for Quoin

Quite the quintessential quoin, no?

A “quoin” is that usually-unnecessary decorative [ed.: and often structural; see comment below] stonework you see on the corner-edges of buildings. Did you know that? I didn’t. Now you can sound knowledgeable when you’re out with friends. You’ll be all “Oh hey, check out the quoining on that building!” and your friends will be like “wtf?” and you’ll explain, and they’ll be like “wow, you are so cool!” and you’ll be like “yeah, I know.” Try it! It works. Scout’s honor.

Otherwise, all I can tell you is that Madison’s Borough Hall was dedicated in 1935. I didn’t check the cornerstone (the actual cornerstone, not the quoining), but I’m guessing construction started sometime after 1930.

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