Posts tagged ‘of interest’

May 13, 2013


Asbury Park lifesaving boat in front of the Casino

For Mother’s Day, we took my mother for a walk in Ocean Grove (with a quick jaunt into Asbury Park). I hadn’t been this close to the Casino since before Sandy.

They’ve cleaned up the rest of the area pretty well, so the lifesaving boat was likely dragged and intentionally placed here recently. I guess it’s one of those icons of Sandy, a reminder, a curiosity we can show the kids.

Playing in the trashed Asbury Park lifesaving boat.

Playing in the trashed Asbury Park lifesaving boat.

Just this past week, a brand new 8-foot wide asphalt path was laid between the end of the Ocean Grove boardwalk and the Asbury Park Casino, making that area accessible again.

January 2013— After the boardwalk was destroyed by Sandy, the only access to the Casino from Ocean Grove was by walking across dunes.

January 2013— After the boardwalk was destroyed by Sandy, the only access to the Casino from Ocean Grove was by walking across dunes.

The Casino serves as the bridge across Deal Lake between Asbury Park and Ocean Grove, linking the two boardwalks. The structure itself is still fenced off, but sources say that it’ll be open for Memorial Day.

Peeking over the fence into the Asbury Park Casino, May 2013;  this will all be cleaned up in two weeks

Peeking over the fence into the Asbury Park Casino, May 2013; this will all be cleaned up in two weeks

Currently, people can get from Asbury Park into Ocean Grove by detouring around the Casino onto the beach (which probably won’t work after Memorial Day, when you have to start paying for beach access).

Side of Asbury Park Casino, 2011

Side of Asbury Park Casino, 2011

The sand drops off into the ocean right about where the old demolished Casino foundations end, so circumnavigating this area isn’t entirely safe anyway, but it’s our only option at the moment. Here’s hoping for better access in two weeks!

April 16, 2013

Former hut

Charred ends of the cabin

So remember those K-RA-ZY exciting soliders’ huts I was talking about yesterday? There are five huts in a tight little arrangement: four in a row, and one (an officers’ hut?) behind the rest, which is the one I showed you yesterday.

…Well, there WERE four in a row, before one burned to a crisp from the inside out.

Burned-up solder hut

I don’t know exactly when it happened— there’s no charred smell, so it can’t have been too recent, but there’s still yellow tape all around (tho’ it’s starting to come down). My totally uneducated guess is somewhere between 6 months-2 years ago.

Burnt to a crisp! Damn fires.

I also don’t know WHAT happened. The hut is clearly burned from the inside out; neighboring huts exhibit wax dribbles (presumably from candles?). Maybe a candlelight Boy Scout outing went awry?

April 9, 2013

My twigs are so bright, I’ve got to wear shades

Coolest tree in the forest.

Yeah man. So cool.

December 26, 2012

High Point Monument

High Point Monument in the fog... with bikers.

Ugh. Awful weather today. Apparently it’s a nor’easter.

Speaking of bad weather, how ’bout fog?

Here’s a photo of High Point Monument when there’s slightly less fog obstructing everything:

High Point Monument: so that's what it looks like!

According to a plaque at the base…

High Point Monument
Height 220 Feet

Base 34 feet square at the platform and 19 feet square where apex begins
The base of the monument is erected on the highest point in the state of New Jersey
Altitude 1803 feet above sea level
Corner stone laid June 8, 1929

Look, an informative plaque.

December 16, 2012


Piebald deer (buck without antlers)

If you live in the U.S., you’re probably familiar with white-tailed deer. Most of them are, y’know, brown.

Every now and then you’ll find an albino deer, which is all white with pink eyes.

And sometimes, you’ll find a deer that doesn’t quite fit into either category. These spotty brown-and-white deer are PIEBALDS.

Like albinism, piebald is a rare genetic thing: less than 1% of the deer population is piebald. It’s frequently associated with other weird physical stuff, like a bowed (“Roman”) nose, short or deformed legs, a curved spine, short lower mandible (overbite), and internal organ deformities.

This piebald buck— either a young button buck or a buck who’d recently shed his antlers, but I’m not familiar enough with deer to make an educated assertion— seemed pretty physically normal to my inexpert eyes… except that he was out at the wrong time of day, and totally unafraid of people.

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. (2012). “Deer: Frequently asked questions.”

December 12, 2012


Twelve twelve twelve!

We’ve had “repeating-number dates” like this every thirteen months for the past twelve years, but today— 12/12/12— is the last one we’ll see in most of our lifetimes. Think about it! The next one will be January 1, 2101, which is quite a long way away.

Seize the day!

December 5, 2012

Meanwhile, outside the general store

What a machine to get your root beer from!

Just an old vending machine for Ma’s Root Beer outside the Whitesbog General Store.

My mother raised her eyebrows when I took a picture of it. Did you grow up with vending machines like this? Are such machines commonplace and boring to you? I hardly ever see old ones, so it’s interesting to me.

December 3, 2012


The first Gladstone train in over a month!!!

Finally— FINALLY— after much griping and lots of Adventures in Mass Transit™— NJ Transit finished cleaning up Hurricane Sandy’s mess on the Gladstone branch, and as of today, trains are stopping at the New Providence station once more!

Hello first Gladstone train!

This is a momentous occasion— the last scheduled train ran through here on October 28 (2012), so it’s been over a month since we had any rail traffic (not counting test trains).

Because I am a huge nerd, I got up early just to see THE ABSOLUTE FIRST passenger-carrying Gladstone train come through. Like I said— this is a momentous occasion, not to be missed!

Goodbye first Gladstone train!

You have NO IDEA how happy this makes me. I heart Gladstone trains.

For more information, check:

(I can recommend these all as pretty decent sources that helped me get through this period of elusive information.)

September 16, 2012

(On a personal but photography-related note…)

My new Sony A57! Isn't she lovely?


It’s a Sony A57!

It’s an SLT, which is like an SLR but uses a translucent mirror instead of a flippy-flappy reflexing mirror. For all intents and purposes, it’s usually categorized as an SLR.

It’s a big change from my 5.5-year-old megazoom, which has thus far been responsible for 99.9% of the photos on this blog!

My good old Fuji S700!

I will continue to use my good old Fuji S700 in situations where my new Sony might fall short (ex. telephotos [since I only have a kit lens for now], macros [same thing], bad weather, etc.), so I’ll probably start marking posts according to which camera was responsible for the shot(s). (Who knows, you might be curious how shots from a better camera compare to those from a point-and-shoot in the hands of the same amateur photographer.)

For now, any post for which the camera is unmarked came from my Fuji S700 (megazoom point-and-shoot).

But anyway. ISN’T THAT EXCITING?! I’m excited.

September 13, 2012

Littel-Lord Farmhouse

The Littel-Lord Farmhouse!

Littel-Lord Farmhouse, Berkeley Heights, NJ. 2012. J. Conklin. Released under a Creative Comons Attribution-ShareAlike license.

Guess what! For the month of September, Wikipedia is hosting a “Wiki Loves Monuments” contest! It’s fun! Do it!

The idea is that you hunt down Nationally Registered Historic Places, snap photos, and submit them to Wikipedia! There’s some kind of a prize for the best photo, but I’m not too concerned with that part.

I already have a load of photos that were needed, and finding new places to photograph is like a big scavenger hunt! Here are some of the images I’ve hunted down so far.

And— as it turns out— a lot of these site don’t have Wikipedia articles to go with them! Well. I’m fixing that. Here’s an excerpt of what I wrote for the Littel-Lord Farmhouse, because I don’t feel like writing it again:

The Littel-Lord Farmstead is located in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey. It was built in 1760 and added to the National Register of Historic Places on March 7, 1979. It currently serves as the home and public museum of the Berkeley Heights Historical Society.

The farmhouse was built around 1760 by farmer and weaver Andrew Littel, who lived there with his wife and seven children. It was passed down through the Littel family until it was sold to the Lord family in 1867. Elizabeth Wemett of the Lord family sold the property to Berkeley Heights in 1975.

The farmstead property, all of which is owned by the township of Berkeley Heights, includes the main farmhouse, an adjacent Victorian annex in the Carpenter Gothic style (which served as a schoolhouse in the 1870s), a stone spring house, a summer kitchen, and 18 acres of farm and forest land.

On the third Sunday of the month from May through October, the Berkeley Heights Historical Society offers free tours of the farmhouse and garden.



Berkeley Heights Historical Society (Documented September 1, 2012). Spring House (sign). 28-31 Horseshoe Rd., Berkeley Heights, NJ.

“New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places – Union County.” (2012). NJ DEP – Historic Preservation Office. p.6. Retrieved August 31, 2012.

Troeger, V.B. (1996). Images of America: Berkeley Heights. Arcadia Publishing: Dover, NH. ISBN 0752404903.

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