March 5, 2013
I don’t know what Mindowaskin Park was before it was Mindowaskin Park. It’s pretty well established that (a) the park was established in 1918, (b) there was some debate leading up to its development, and (c) it was named after “one of the four Indian chiefs who deeded the lands now comprising northern New Jersey (Lipson 1996, 58).”
But with a fancy footbridge like this, I dunno, I thought the park was built from a leftover estate. Maybe Mindowaskin Park was simply established during a time when little community parks deserved the very best.
Lipson, S.H. (1996). Images of America: Westfield: The Golden Age of Postcards. Arcadia Publishing: Dover, NH. ISBN 0752404067.
Philhower, C.A. (1923). History of Town of Westfield: Union County, New Jersey. Lewis Historical Publishing Company: New York. http://www.westfieldnjhistory.com/scanned.books/ (PDF).
February 26, 2013
This was taken on November 25, 2012, a month after Hurricane Sandy swept away east coast.
The boat is lying on a bridge in the Sea Bright-Rumson area… maybe the Shrewsbury River? I wasn’t the navigator, so I’m not entirely sure where this was.
Ed.: The navigator speaks!— this is the Navesink River, as seen from Middletown, NJ.
This represents the level of destruction in that area, I think… as long as the road was passable, a boat on a bridge didn’t fricking matter.
January 31, 2013
Fog is pretty!
About halfway through yesterday’s morning commute, I put down my book and stared out the window.
I didn’t see much. The fog was pretty dense, and visibility was maybe 100 yards. Barely anything I could take a picture of, if I’d wanted to.
We were lucky enough to pause directly under I-95. It’s one of my favorite scenes from NJ Transit anyway (I have low standards), but it looks awesome in fog.
January 21, 2013
The wrought-iron bridge over the creek in Briant Park is probably the most elaborate bridge over a creek I’ve ever seen in a county park.
Here’s my guess: the bridge was constructed when it was still part of a private estate.
I don’t have direct proof, but Briant Park was established as a Union County Park in 1925-1930, and it was formed from the property of Isaac Briant (map 1, map 2).
So, I mean, if you owned a big tract of land with a creek running down its middle, and you had lots of money, wouldn’t you build a decent bridge so you could get from one side of your property to the other?
And then, if you went and formed a public park out of someone’s estate, and it already had this decent bridge on it… wouldn’t you keep the bridge?
I’m putting way too much thought into this. It’s a f&^%*ing footbridge.
August 30, 2012
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.
July 27, 2012
This is outside of my New Providence radius, and it’s blurry and grainy and unprofessional, but it’s still New Jersey and I like it.
I wouldn’t want to live in the Meadowlands, but it’s interesting to watch the quiet stalemate between man and nature. It’s a very industrial area, since it’s right outside of New York City, but it’s very swampy and impossible to really develop. There are wide swaths of swampgrass and rivers and wildflowers, peppered with abandoned factories and smokestacks here and there. Most days, I see snowy egrets hanging out by the railroad tracks.
Every day when I take the train into Manhattan, I get to see some variation of this scene. I still think this area, where I-95 splits around the Hackensack River, is one of the most beautiful parts.
July 8, 2012
Though this tiny branch of the Rahway River looks too shallow for any fish to consider swimming in it (to my eyes), fishers in Millburn’s Taylor Park know better.
…I mean, I assume they know what they’re doing. I guess I didn’t actually see anyone catch any fish while I was there, but it would be silly to fish in a fishless stream, wouldn’t it?
June 17, 2012
The South Mountain Conservancy sponsors free group hikes, which I’ve done before. It was a lot of fun the last time I went, but I kept asking these difficult questions about the history and origins of the area, and the hike leader kept telling me “man, you’ve GOT to go on Dave’s historical hike.”
Well, Dave’s historical hike was this weekend!
Dave Hogenauer is the conservancy’s official South Mountain Reservation historian, and he knows all sorts of things.
That bridge we’re sitting on was probably built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a public work relief program from 1933-1942, borne out of Roosevelt’s New Deal. The CCC was responsible for much of the construction required to turn the South Mountain Reservation from raw wilderness and tree lots and mill properties into a natural, publicly-accessible series of trails.
It’s a neat little hike, if you’re interested in that sort of thing (which I am)!
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 5, 2012
At the base of Campbell’s Pond, in the South Mountain Reservation, there is the foundation of an old bridge that you’re probably not supposed to walk on. There are no railings, and the wooden beams are rotting, and the “no trespassing” fence has collapsed, and there’s a 15-to-25-foot drop off one side.
But it seems pretty sturdy, and this fisherman is hanging out on it, so why not?
Initially, I thought it might have been part of the New Jersey West Line railroad, which was never finished but had some functional tracks that passed through the Reservation… unfortunately, this bridge is too far north to be a part of that. As such, I have no idea why this bridge was originally constructed, or for whom, or by whom. Any thoughts?
Edit, 6/21/12: Campbell’s Pond was formed from a branch of the Rahway River, dammed in 1882 to be a supplemental reservoir for the City of Orange. It was in use at least into the beginning of the twentieth century, possibly longer. For references and additional information, see a more recent post about the Campbell’s Pond pumping station.
Edit, 8/14/12: The “No Trespassing” fences have been re-erected on both sides of the bridge. It is now almost impossible to cross here.