2018 – The Best Photos of the Year

 

(Ignore above publish date of May 1, 2017. This was posted on March 8, 2019.)

 

Right off the bat, I’m cheating.

The above picture was NOT taken in 2018, but rather 18 days into 2019. However, it’s directly connected to what you’ll read below. So far, it’s my favorite representation of the subject…………..and who doesn’t like cute puppies?

In 2018, I was all over the place – literally (locally) and photographically. Hackensack is undergoing many rehab/redevelopment projects in its Main St area, and – as the moderator/photographer of a Hackensack site whose administrator is both the City Historian and the Director of Redevelopment for ALL of these projects – I’ve been up and down Main St all year shooting updates on the various stages of teardowns and buildups at at least 10 of them.

Of course, the demolitions are more interesting to me, probably because they’re not terribly unlike shooting heavy metal concerts: death and destruction (sonically) all around you while you concentrate on capturing that defining visual moment.

It’s fun. It’s what I do.

So, because of the continuous length of time involved with these projects, it makes sense to stay with the monthly photo “chapters” for the entire post format and I will add various project photos at the end of each one. Hopefully, the progression of each project will be evident as you go along.

By the way…………I was 18 for ’18 (I took over 18,000 photos in 2018).

 

JANUARY

I HAVE to start off with a shot I took on January 1. Every year on that day, I shoot a noontime Ecuadorian religious procession called “Our Lady of the Cloud” (for pix and info go here: http://www.hackensacknow.org/index.php/topic,971.msg3079.html#msg3079 ). Although I might not be feeling my perkiest on the morning after New Year’s Eve, this is pretty easy to do since it comes right past my building and I can either shoot it from my roof or just go downstairs and walk outside.

Since I don’t understand the symbolism, this image seemed the oddest to me:

 

 

The rest of the non-project January shots in sequence:

 

It’s always a good idea to air out your car’s trunk during a snowstorm. Judging by the spare tire, the accumulation is between 1-2 inches so far:

 

Dressing smartly for zero wind chill:

 

The City snowplow respects the shopping cart:

 

Three shots taken on a very cold day from my LR window and my roof door (2):

 

Sitting in my car waiting for the train to pass:

 

I ran a shot in the 2014 “Best of” about a whole family who were carrying vacuum cleaners in the same parking lot. I wonder if this guy is part of the Hoover clan:

 

For the first time in my life, I had to go to the ER (nothing serious) and wound up sitting on a gurney in a hallway for a couple of hours with nothing to do but look around for things to shoot. The ER had area signs for all the different types of ailments, but the area where I was only had a sign that said “ETC area”, which I figured meant that it was for all the other, non-specific ailments, so I asked a nurse if “ETC” stood for “Et Cetera”. She told me that I gave her the best laugh of the day after she explained what it really meant – Emergency Trauma Center.

 

I saw what looked like a large red standup tool box with thin drawers and wondered why it was there until I zoomed in on the drawers’ labels:

 

Back home, I’m sitting at my computer and hear tapping behind me on my LR window. Being 7 floors up, that’s not something I’m used to hearing. It was this guy:

 

I don’t usually see anything but empty beer bottles in these recycling receptacles. Maybe someone shredded their beer bottle label collection:

 

Geese and Ospreys:

 

Some thoughtful person left food and drink on the 5th-floor landing of the stairwell:

 

Three other pictures that speak for themselves (I hope so – I got nothin’):

 

PROJECTS

IMPORTANT: Photo stitches are scattered throughout this post. The proper way to view them full-size is to click on the image and – after it enlarges – run your mouse over it. If it becomes a + sign, click the image again for the full blowup and start scrolling – usually from left to right. To get back to normal, click the image for the first reduction and then hit your back button. So whenever you see the word “stitch”……..

These are 4 photo stitches from two projects known as Current on River (horrible name, but it IS on River St) and the 170 Main project (unaffectionately known locally as “The Hole” because after all the buildings were knocked down and carted away, no serious building occurred for a couple of years, leaving an empty hole at the corner of Main and Mercer.

C on R replaces a beloved old Hackensack institution (The Oritani Field Club) whose demolition I shot 2 years ago (see http://www.hackensacknow.org/index.php/topic,2033.0.html ).

The first stitch could be called “When the wires snapped” because…………well, LOOK at it. The truth is that one of the images didn’t line up properly when the program stitched them together, but I shouldn’t have told you that so you would think I have amazing reflexes and timing to capture THAT moment.

 

This stitch shows C on R starting to get vertical:

 

Two views of The Hole from a year ago – at the moment, it’s finally starting to get vertical. By the way, on the right side of the first stitch, the empty shell of The Record newspaper building waits to be taken down (it waited another 11 months). In the center of the second stitch, you can see an historic-looking building with a red sign that says, “Buy & Save Furniture”. To its left is another project – an empty space that was about to go vertical. The furniture store burned down 9 months later and almost took the rising WOODEN project next door with it. You can see pix of the fire in the October segment.

 

The 389 Main project

Straight out my living room window and across a parking lot to State St is the easiest (and longest) project I will ever shoot: a series of two-story buildings that start on Main St and make a left onto a very short block on Ward St and then another quick left onto State St were to all be torn down and replaced by a large, five-story residential unit. While I like having the ability to shoot from my living room, I hate the fact that this monstrosity will completely obliterate my 30-year love affair with my view of the Hackensack River. Instead of having a ribbon of a view of a perpendicular river, the river has a large bend in it (Kipp’s Bend) at that point making it parallel to my view. I’m 3 blocks away from the water, but I have shots where small motorcraft appear to be heading straight for my living room.

Personally, this will be a huge loss.

Meanwhile, I occupy myself by documenting anything and everything to do with this project. I’m a year-and-a-half in with a long way to go (see http://www.hackensacknow.org/index.php/topic,3580.0.html ).

Anyway, the 3 buildings facing me on State St were a realty office, a Peruvian restaurant and a building that wraps around all 3 streets that housed many diverse offices, but was primarily occupied by Comprehensive Behavioral Healthcare, which vanned in many disadvantaged people every day from group homes and were taken care of by a large number of the building’s social workers, who vanned them back home after 6 hours.

The realty office and the restaurant were taken down in January. Here are the Hanson Realty shots (from my LR):

Three days before demo, I took this shot from behind Hanson (and the restaurant). By the way, the red X shows where my living room window is in relation to this project:

 

The destruction sequence:

 

 

One down, one to go:

 

Hanson’s pile:

 

(NOT from my LR):

Hanson’s front porch and one if its columns:

 

Hanson’s demise revealed a previously-unseen side wall of the restaurant:

 

Closeups of the interesting-looking window that would only be seen until the next day:

 

The Don Alfonso Restaurant demolition sequence:

 

This is the front canvas awning of the restaurant:

 

Stitch: two down and a huge 3-street, wraparound building to go:

 

While I was shooting stills, I used another tripod-ed camera right next to it to shoot video clips, which I put together for this 8-minute YouTube video:

 

 

FEBRUARY

I saw this plate that said “ADY RO” on a car near where I parked at Shop-Rite one morning. I immediately thought of Aidy Bryant from SNL and Ensign Ro from Star Trek Next Gen. Ro is a bit less known in non-trekkie circles, while the reverse holds true for Bryant, so I added their pictures. and the fact that Aidy’s name was spelled incorrectly.

NOW I was ready for food-shopping:

 

Early one morning, I heard all these bird noises coming from my bedroom A/C. I went into the living room and opened that window. As soon as I stuck my head and camera out, this happened:

 

Bet you can’t guess what today’s date is:

 

Is this an obscene banana gesture?

 

Why you should pull the tab:

 

Other non-project images:

 

PROJECTS

THE HOLE

 

C on R

STITCH (you know what to do):

 

389 Main

This was originally called the 395 Main project because that was the address of the big, 3-street, yellow-brick, wraparound main building, but somewhere along the way it was changed to 389. Because I shoot everything (almost), I was able to find two of my images that showed where the original 389 Main was:

 

Welding and brick recycling:

 

Three photo stitch views from across Main St (2/23), the roof behind a State Farm Insurance office (under “SIGNS” in last stitch – 2/27) – and from my living room (2/28):

 

 

MARCH

PEOPLE

 

Laundry day (2)

 

FAMILY FUN

 

OTHER

 

STITCH

 

REFLECTIONS

 

PROJECTS

389 Main

and here’s THAT story: http://www.hackensacknow.org/index.php/topic,3679

 

STITCH:

 

240 Main

 

THE HOLE (170 Main)

6-photo stitch

 

STITCH of 4 projects, as seen from my living room

 

 

APRIL

More of my interesting neighbors (all but 2 photos taken from home)

Aww…………don’t be bashful:

 

NOT bashful:

 

The gurl can hurl!

 

This must be multiples month:

 

I don’t know if this is a good or bad reaction:

 

Different “arms up” reaction:

 

This is kind of an “arms up” shot, right?

 

Big fan of the Bangles’ “Walk like an Egyptian” video (arms almost up):

 

The rest:

 

Poor Dad……………what to do?

His children – 2 – keep losing a shoe:

 

OTHER

Living:

 

DEAD:

 

Found on a hallway floor in my building:

 

MOONSHINE ON THE HACKENSACK RIVER

Pretty soon, I won’t be able to even SEE the river – let alone get rare shots like this – because the 389 Main project will block my view of it.

 

CHEATING PART 2:

In 1979, I shot a Cars in-store at E.J. Korvettes in Paramus (remember that store?………..remember that band?) that was published in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony program in April 2018, so why shouldn’t it be in the April 2018 section of this post? (because you took the picture in 1979, dumbass)

 

 

PROJECTS

149 Main (stitch)

Remember when I wrote this in the January section?

…an historic-looking building with a red sign that says, “Buy & Save Furniture”. To its left is another project – an empty space that was about to go vertical.

This is that empty space with the historic building (and the ancient McCrory’s ad on it) next door. It burned down 6 months after I shot this stitch, almost taking this new project with it.

 

 

The Hole (stitch)

 

Right across the street from the furniture store (on the left) is the lovely Hole. Up the street is the 210 Main project.

 

 

210 Main

210 is the former big bank building on Main St that was built about 90 years ago. It was the tallest building in Hackensack for quite a while. It’s being converted to residential and the only visible exterior change is taking place on top where another floor is being added on the back and sides, so there’s not a lot to shoot. The front entrance is boarded up, but this hangs in front of it. It might be as old as the building and my guess is that it’ll stay.

 

240 Main

This is what 240 and 210 Main look like from my living room. 240 is kind of L-shaped with the front on Main St and the back on Moore St. The back of 210 is also on Moore St.

 

These shots were taken on the Moore St side of 240:

 

389 Main

The night before, I heard a crash, but couldn’t see any accident from my LR, so I went out on the roof and from its furthest northern point, saw a car that had driven into the guardrail. The guardrail died a hero by doing what it was supposed to do: keeping the car from going through the fence and falling 15′ or so into the dug-out site.

 

 

 

Large pieces of concrete were dropped onto other pieces to break them in half, but this one didn’t break because my watermark held it together.

 

 

 

MAY

It’s taking me forever to get this post together. I always want to be able to post it in January since the year it’s about has just finished, but it’s already February 1 and I’m just getting to May, so I’m gonna change things up for this month.

I just noticed that I haven’t included any projects shots in May’s folder. I have no idea why because I shot projects every month. What I’ve shown so far is but a tiny percentage of what I actually shot. What I was going to do was mention in December that I’ve been posting broader updates all along on all projects on hackensacknow.org and give the links in case anyone wanted to check them out.

Instead, I’ll mention it now because of the lack of May projects pix, though there will be some in every other month.

The projects’ names and links are as follows:

“Tracking the 389 Main St rehab project” (begun in August 2017 and to be taken to completion): http://www.hackensacknow.org/index.php/topic,3580.0.html

“Demolition of The Record Building”: http://www.hackensacknow.org/index.php/topic,3750.0.html

“The Holman/Waypoint project (435 Main St)”: http://www.hackensacknow.org/index.php/topic,3789.0.html

“Projects Update” (everything else): http://www.hackensacknow.org/index.php/topic,3648.0.html

 

Speaking of updates, I DO have ONE May projects picture to post here. It’s of the groundbreaking ceremony for the 389 Main project. The old buildings are down and gone and it’s time to go vertical, so here are mayor, council, builders and all the other major people that make this project run:

 

As for May, I gonna post all pictures sequentially – just as they are in the folder.

 

 

This was part of the sidewalk in front of the recently-demolished Don Alfonso Restaurant. It was put there by predecessor State Street Café and allowed to remain. It’s supposedly going to be replaced when all-new sidewalks are installed for all sides of the new residential building.

Violent wind:

 

 

We’ll finish off May with what appears to be 6-frame soap opera:

 

 

JUNE

Is this guy wearing a red bow-tie or just leaking transmission fluid?

 

Flags over Rt 80 (which – of course – is under this bridge):

 

This is a scene from Steven Colbert’s “Late Show” open. It’s only there for about a second and it’s not overly-bright, so it’s hard to shoot without a tripod and even harder when you’re lying down on a sofa shooting it hand-held, but I like the party scene on the roof, so it took me a couple of tries. Still not great, but it’ll have to do:

 

Two scenes – taken from my living room – showing the burgeoning fishing and boating community in Hackensack (you better not eat any fish you catch here).

 

Fish crows will eat anything and park anywhere they please:

 

The lit-up tree branches are the reason I took this shot:

 

Woodchuck/Groundhog:

 

Three Great Egrets (upper right):

 

It’s like day and night (almost):

 

 

PEOPLE

Busy kid earns an H2O-van break:

 

Winner of the Pass/Block/Catch competition:

 

Never saw this before:

 

Had to investigate. He’s in the high school band and he was drumming/trumpeting up business for a car wash at the Middle School:

 

Colombia was in the World Cup and everyone with Colombian ties came to this Colombian restaurant on Main St to watch and commiserate when they lost:

 

Moving day: first, the mattress and a few hours later, the box spring:

 

The Graduate:

 

 

PROJECTS

Stitch:

 

 

OTHER

 

 

STITCHES

 

Under the Anderson Street/Cedar Lane Bridge (Hackensack to Teaneck):

 

The longest truck I’ve seen so far at the nearby construction site:

 

At Paterson, NJ’s Great Falls (which are not facing the camera):

 

 

JULY

July………….GOTTA start with fireworks, right?

This first one is actually one circular image inside another – it just fits:

 

This last one could go in the PROJECTS section because it shows the hole in the ground that is the 389 Main St project. By next July 4, I won’t be able to see any of Main St because a 5-story residential building will be sitting in that hole, so next year, I’ll probably run this shot with one from this year’s July 4 to compare:

 

Staying on the color tip, I bring you something that I’ve featured before because it gets changed every so often………..the gorgeous graffiti of the Union St Park (on the other end of my street):

 

STITCHES:

 

PEOPLE

Doing exactly what her bag says:

 

Same pooch in both pix:

 

“Hey – it doesn’t work that way.”

 

Make your own caption (if you dare):

 

John 3:16 – The sold-out concert:

 

 

PROJECTS

 

OTHER

 

STITCH (from the They Can’t ALL Be Gems Department):

 

 

AUGUST

 

PEOPLE

Dancing around the Maypole – (but it’s a parking meter……….and it’s August):

 

OTHER

 

GREAT FALLS NATIONAL PARK, Paterson, NJ – stitches and stills

This is the front area of Paterson, NJ’s Great Falls National Park (undergoing renovation in this August, 2018 stitch). The box to the right of center contains the statue of Alexander Hamilton, who saw the great power of the falls, which inspired him to harness that power and create the nation’s first industrialized city – Paterson.

 

STITCH 2 – The Falls:

 

The Mist:

 

The Love (and the rainbow):

 

The Next-Door Neighbors stitches:

 

The Overview:

 

Andohbytheway……….I shot a little video that day:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fzRh2o1Ag8

 

 

PROJECTS (in sequence)

389 Main:

 

240 Main (Moore St section):

 

Current on River:

 

Rain, C on R, 240 Main, 210 Main (l-r), Midtown Manhattan:

 

 

SEPTEMBER

 

PEOPLE

 

Lift material. hit head, smack guardrail:

 

 

Little Cuties:

 

Not found in my clothing store:

 

OTHER

My parents met at IBM in Manhattan in the early 1940s. This plaque was my father’s. Because this room is where a man supposedly does his best thinking, this has resided in this spot in my apartment for decades:

 

Great Egrets, as seen from my living room – something I may soon not ever see again from home, due to construction:

 

This might be the beginning of a good idea (use your imagination):

 

Tennis, anyone?

 

Tennis shoes, anyone? (found nearby exactly as pictured):

 

Fly me from the moon:

 

The moon four days later:

 

Before the fall colors come in…….Summer’s last gasp:

 

Former deli:

 

Teaneck fog:

 

From the tallest US residential building to the Bogota smokestack:

 

Late summer fireworks:

 

 

REFLECTIONS:

The sun reflecting off the high-rises of NYC and NJ and also off the Hackensack River is always a treat to shoot, but sometime in 2019, I’ll be losing the ability to do that off the river when 5 stories of progress gets built between me and it, so I’ve been shooting as much as I can before that happens.

I know I’ve mentioned this a few times so far in this post, but it’s hard for me to imagine that after 30 years of shooting something different and visually-stimulating nearly every day will simply vanish.

I know I have to accept it, but I’m certainly gonna bitch and moan about it in the meantime. Semi-fortunately, it’s a very gradual loss, so that makes it slightly easier.

Meanwhile………..here are some September 2018 images to reflect on:

 

 

PROJECTS

 

240 Main:

 

Current on River:

 

389 Main:

 

Giant crane – hooked up to cement truck – pumps concrete for the basement floor (above and below pix):

 

STITCH:

 

NOW & LATER

I took the first shot on 9-16-18. The second image is what the finished product is supposed to look like. As noted on the pic, the building will have a “389” on it – NOT the “359” that the rendering mistakenly shows:

 

 

OCTOBER

 

PEOPLE

Love the slippers, the hat and the shoutout, but not so sure about the tats:

 

One guy in two (merged) pictures (check out the mirror-like hood) and two guys and two pooches in one pic:

 

One pooch and one non-guy:

 

Touring the neighborhood:

 

Pre-schoolers:

 

Rolling on the roof:

 

Waving to her fans:

 

Football party:

 

Footballer/boarder encore (not invited to the football party):

 

 

BIRDS

Fish crow squawking on my A/C:

 

Commander Cormorant and the USS Ling (WWII submarine). The commander is humming his favorite Springseen song lyric from “Rosalita”: “And my machine, she’s a dud, out stuck in the mud somewhere in the swamps of Jersey”. The Ling – berthed in Hackensack at the Hackensack River for the last 45 years – IS stuck in the mud. It’s also been evicted, but can’t get out. Stay tuned…………. (and there’s a nice stitch of it that ends the below OTHER section):

 

The sun helped this picture out:

 

What gull wouldn’t be thrilled by the surrounding 9 to 1 odds and the sparkling bathroom facilities? This is a small stitch:

 

 

MANHATTAN FROM HOME

The first image is a stitch that runs from Central Park South to the Empire State Building:

 

The next 4 images begin in Midtown with a differently-colored ESB AND a daytime one (which includes a plane flying into Teterboro Airport), some new, tall buildings popping up on this side of the Hudson River in the Jersey City vicinity and end down at the Battery and 1 World Trade Center:

 

OTHER

Lynch & Lunch:

 

Yeah – that’s a sign:

 

Shouldn’t this be on the front of the bus so people will steer clear?

 

I saw this on a tree stump near my building. I’ve never seen them before. I guess they’re some sort of mushroom. Maybe I should see if Lynch wants them for lunch:

 

Geese on a river cruise:

 

I have a gold-colored tie-tack on my cap that people have been asking me about for years. I bought it a long time ago on eBay because it had my initials:

 

Does this spider merit posting?

 

Lovely Hackensack sunset:

 

I saw this on the news and had my camera nearby. I was shocked that Hurricane Michael was so strong that it picked up Panama City Beach in Florida and deposited it in New Jersey!

 

I like football, but I don’t think I’d want this at the head of my bed:

 

When it came time to clean the cobwebs out of the Holy Trinity Church (in Hackensack) domed steeple, a local crane popped the top and shook everything out (and if you believe that………………):

 

I don’t see very many seaplanes coming in to land at Teterboro, but they do have those little wheels on the pontoons that look oh-so-sturdy, so I guess it’s OK:

 

Maybe this’ll be the year that Hackensack spends 15 cents apiece for shields to block/redirect the ridiculous lighting they install:

 

Speaking of light, the sun does interesting things with Fort Lee’s The Modern 1 and 2 towers both at sunrise (3 pix) and sunset (1). By the way, that plane in the first shot just took off from LaGuardia Airport:

 

Facing the opposite direction, I enjoy capturing Hackensack’s sunsets:

 

There’s at least a quarter-mile between these two buildings, but they look like neighbors:

 

I never did find out what caused this smoke in Teaneck, but it does brighten up the early-fall colors on a dreary day:

 

I’m not sure what goes on in this building, but the deflated patriotic balloon sure says a lot about current affairs:

 

Approaching Teterboro at sunset:

 

This is the USS Ling, which I mentioned above in the Birds section. This is – by far – the BEST image (actually, a photo stitch) that I’ve ever taken of this quite-lengthy submarine (shot from across the river in Bogota). Thankfully, Commander Cormorant is nowhere to be seen, but two Hackensack projects on the right side are.

The Record newspaper’s old HQ is closest, lowest and gutted. It would be taken down completely within the next two months and replaced by a large residential building.

Behind The Record and very tall is the old bank building at 210 Main St, which had a floor added to the roof (some of it is still wrapped in blue insulation).

But the Ling is the star of this photo stitch:

 

 

BIG FIRE ON MAIN ST

 

I was on the phone one morning with Albert Dib, who is the Director of Redevelopment for all the projects going on in the Main St area. He’s also the city historian and I happen to moderate his hackensacknow.org site.

After a while, he said he just got word of a big fire at 153 Main St that’s next to one of the projects, so he had to run over there. I said I’d meet him there.

I could see the smoke from my living room window a little over a half-mile away:

 

Since it was blowing east, I drove to a location to the west of it, ran over and started taking pictures:

 

I walked over to a nearby 3-story parking garage to shoot from its roof, where I got this stitch of the overall scene. The wooden building is the project next door at 149 Main and – miraculously – didn’t burn down:

 

This is a drone still I found online the next day. The parking garage roof is in the lower right. I think I’m in the picture, but I can’t be sure (and I don’t know who to credit):

 

Back on the ground, I later ran into Al and we decided to walk two blocks east to Moore St to see what was visible, considering the volume of smoke. It wasn’t much:

 

I did one final stitch that also shows The Hole project at the bottom (it’s right across Main St from the fire):

 

Al had to get back to work and I had shot all that was available to me, so I walked back a block west to Main St, took this shot and then went home:

 

The fire was in a furniture/mattress store called “Buy & Save Furniture 2”. It was in an historic old building that was a McCrory’s 5 & 10 since 1907 (says “1910” below…………I remember it as a Woolworth’s) and originally was a Marcus Jewelers and then the Odd Fellows Hall. The photo is courtesy of Google and the information is from the Bergen County Historic Site:

Second Marcus Jewelers. Constructed 1897. Architect: William Augustus Lambert. Style: Romanesque Revival. Facade: Pair of gablets with large, arched opening with projecting bay window (now gone) on 2nd story. The Odd Fellows Hall is an interesting, eclectic building with bold, round arched openings with conspicuous rock faced stone trim. In 1898, the building was described as “one of the finest in town”. The building was erected in 1897 as the second hall for the oldest paternal lodge in Bergen County, founded in 1848. The U.S. Post Office was located here until 1910. In 1910, the stores were leased to J.G. McCrory & Co., five and dime store. The building as listed in Forbe’s Key to the Architects of Greater New York of 1899, 1900 and 1901 as the only representative work of William Augustus Lambert who had offices in Manhattan until 1896 and lived in Hackensack. He designed a large number of houses in Hackensack.

 

The Odd Fellows Hall on a postcard with a 1905 postmark:

 

If you scroll back to April in the 149 Main “Projects” section, you’ll find a photo stitch I took that shows the empty space where you saw the wooden structure next to the on-fire structure just above. That latter structure is the old Odd Fellows building and on the far right of the stitch, you can see the old McCrory’s ad on the southern side of the now-gone building it once occupied.

The last time I shot a Main St fire that had to be demolished, it was done much later in the evening, like 10 or 11pm. I figured I should go back to this one at 8pm – just to make sure I didn’t miss anything.

When I arrived at the nearest intersection, a cop was stationed there to keep the sightseers away at a safe distance. After speaking with him for a while, he asked me to wait there while he walked down the street and sought to clear it with someone.

Realizing that I might be turned down, I went over to the sidewalk and set up my camera. I zoomed in down the street half a block to the scene, adjusted the shutter speed for a long exposure, set the timer and put the camera down on something horizontal…..CLICK!

Here’s the result (can’t go home empty-handed, right?):

 

The purple is from the repeating red and blue cop car lights.

When the officer returned, he said I was cleared, but I already knew I was too late.

Turns out the building had been taken down at 5pm. Damn! I really wanted to capture that distinct façade coming down.

I saw a firefighter I know named Mike Martinelli. He was there for the takedown and proceeded to show me some video he shot of exactly what I wanted to shoot.

He later sent me a short clip. I’m not sure, but I think he enjoyed rubbing that in my face. I wouldn’t blame him if he did.

The below image is a still that I made from that video and it’s being shown here, courtesy of Mr. Martinelli:

Thanks, Mike!

 

The pile was still pretty hot and was being hosed-down from the front and rear:

 

Here’s the stitch of the whole scene:

 

There really was nothing else to shoot. Time to go home and come back in the morning.

 

Shooting over The Hole the next morning showed that the HFD was still putting water on the pile, that the wooden structure next door really DID appear to have somehow emerged unscathed, and that the same couldn’t be said of the pile’s northerly neighbor, which looked like a Battleground. I capitalized the “B” because – believe it or not – that actually was the name of the affected store: The Battleground.

 

This is as close as I was allowed to be………..almost to The Battleground. I was told that there was a sinkhole on Main St right in front of the pile, but it must have been a small one because I saw nothing unusual and no vehicles were sinking or even tilted. There really wasn’t much to shoot anyway.

 

Even so, I backtracked around to try an approach from the south, passing this sea of yellow that had kept people away hours earlier:

 

Save for a plank sticking out of 149 Main, this street view was even less interesting:

 

Time to leave.

 

BTW – four months later, the pile was still there!

 

 

PROJECTS

The Hole

Two stitches:

 

Current On River

Men at work:

 

Proximity to Manhattan:

 

 

The southwest corner:

 

The old Hess tank farm conversion in Bogota

The old tanks in 2014 and the tankless site in 2015 (this is just across the Hackensack River from the Bergen County Courthouse):

 

This stitch was taken from the Hackensack side of the Court St Bridge and shows the cranes starting work on the project:

 

The Record

Just on the other side of the Court St Bridge is the USS Ling submarine and the ready-to-come-down former headquarters of The Record newspaper.

The front on River St:

 

A stitch of the gutted south side:

 

A stitch of the unseen north side (I’ve yet to see another picture of this anywhere………it wasn’t easy getting this one):

 

This is actually part of the above stitch that stands well by itself:

 

 

240 MAIN

I think this project will finish first:

 

435 MAIN

The project just began in October.

The initial sign of activity I saw one morning was this covering – probably for asbestos remediation. It was gone by the afternoon:

 

This is the first time I saw a roof mower and an axe murderer on one of these projects:

 

389 MAIN

Loads of dirt: These were all taken on the same day. The site was getting something like 48 loads a day during this week.

The first pic shows a truck I saw coming around the corner with what look like two Michelin Men figures on top (if you want one, they’re sold on eBay):

 

A later truck dumps its load:

 

The loads pile up………….literally:

 

Smoke and ladders:

 

I’m starting to lose the view of Main St. Wait’ll this thing reaches 5 stories……….goodbye, river:

 

 

Dumping cement:

 

 

Breaking concrete blocks:

 

Arts and Crafts day for the crew (I have no idea why these were there – I was just walking around inside the site, saw it and shot it:

 

A stitch at State and Ward showing verticality on the Main St side:

 

 

NOVEMBER

 

People

 

NO idea what’s going on here (and maybe that’s a good thing)…

 

Self-indulgent (no wonder they’re called “selfies”):

 

I had seen this guy a week earlier from a distance and had no idea what was on his jacket. This week, he was a little closer – enough to think that maybe it said “sack time”. I had a hunch that it might be on eBay and – sure enough – there was the same WWII honey:

 

Men’s laundry day:

 

Self-explanatory:

 

Back-lit bags:

 

Other pix:

 

 

Fall colors in my neighborhood

 

These are from Nov. 3:

 

From Nov. 4 (the last of the four is a stitch, so click to enlarge):

 

What a difference 3 weeks makes………..this is from Nov. 25:

 

 

OTHER

I attended a couple of concerts at this Asbury Park venue c.1974. I found this item on eBay, learned that the venue had another identity in the 1940s (rink!) and bought it (the trinket – not the venue):

 

When I saw the sun playing shadow games with my cheaters (left), I took the shot, got bored, and then decided to add some color and prep them for Red Nose Day, which is May 23, 2019 in the US:

 

Indecision:

 

Fish crows:

 

Smoke signals on a windless day – I think this is a lower-case “i”:

 

Mixed emotions:

 

Johnnie better step it up – he’s already two lengths behind:

 

Just make sure it’s ship-shape:

 

I love these two shots:

 

The Rest:

 

 

STITCHES:

On Nov.15, there was a snowstorm that took everyone by surprise and tied up traffic all over NJ and NYC (and elsewhere) with traffic jams that lasted for HOURS. It doesn’t look like much, but because there was no preparation, the roads were horrible.

This is State St in Hackensack, as seen from my living room. The traffic almost never moved because every other road was the same – absolute gridlock (and, yes, the middle image in this stitch is out of focus):

 

This is the Hackensack River at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Hackensack:

 

I’m not sure why I combined these two stitches: other than NYC, they’re unrelated and were taken 10 days apart. As nice as the top one is, I think I like the bottom one better:

 

 

PROJECTS

 

76 MAIN ST

Although what’s left of the fence mural is cute, it’s been 4 years since the fire and it’s time something rose from the ashes:

 

153 MAIN

As I write this, the pile has been sitting there for over 4 months……….it’s time to go:

 

240 MAIN

Closest to the finish line:

 

CURRENT ON RIVER

I cringed every time they started another floor…….would I lose my view of Midtown Manhattan? Fortunately, they stopped just short:

 

THE HOLE

These concrete pumpers make amazing stitches. After enlarging, scroll from the right on this one:

 

THE RECORD

When is this building coming down already? It’s been MONTHS:

 

 

389 Main

The crew had to work on a pretty muddy site this day and when some of them were about to be picked up in someone’s truck to go home, they came over one-by-one with a big brush to a small street puddle to scrub the mud off before getting into the vehicle:

 

The rest:

 

Stitches:

 

 

DECEMBER

People

On the bottom, I’ve written what appeared to me to be what the guy was doing/feeling/saying. The corresponding reactions from the woman are what you’d expect: waiting/longing/grimacing.

That last facial expression made putting these 6 pictures together worthwhile.

 

The kid wonders why the lights went out and laughs when Dad tells him:

 

My guess is that she gets better cell reception when she stands on a window sill behind a hedge:

 

What is she shooting – her nails?

 

Oh no! My cover’s blown…………I’ll have to move:

 

The Three Seasons (that’s what they look like they’re dressed for):

 

Either he’s hailing a taxi where none exist or it’s John Travolta in a remake of Saturday Night Fever:

 

The rest:

 

The Christmas Day Shoot:

I try to take a nice long walk on Christmas Day that winds up totaling about 3 miles. All but the first two images were taken in the vicinity of the Bergen County Courthouse.

This may be the only pink back alley in Hackensack:

 

Somebody doesn’t like the owner of this heap, who will not be opening a Christmas present, but instead, will be opening his trunk to change a flat tire:

 

The courthouse from a short distance away:

 

This is the steeple of the historic First Reformed Church of Hackensack, known locally as The Church on the Green. It’s across the street from the Courthouse:

 

This is next door:

 

Atop the Courthouse dome is “Enlightenment Giving Power”. I played around with E’s color to distract you from her nearly-naked downstairs neighbor:

 

My favorite place to shoot here is from the top floor of the parking garage behind the complex, where I can shoot in almost any direction, so I started with E’s backside:

 

It’s not very modest to say, but to me, this photo stitch looks almost like an artist’s rendering before construction…………except the artist would not have included the red façade on the far right of the Pep Boys auto store:

 

I turned around 180 degrees from where I shot the above stitch and shot another one:

 

From the garage’s northeast corner, I wanted to shoot two of the Hackensack River bridges: the nearby Court St Bridge and the new green replacement Midtown Bridge, but Manny, (no Moe) and half of Jack (and their store) jumped in front:

 

Moving more to the east, I shot a stitch that had MM&J blocked by a tree, showed a bend in the river with construction going on in Bogota and the Costco parking lot:

 

Lastly, I took a shot in a southeasterly direction that shows River St, a gas station, the homeless shelter, the County jail and – right above it – Route 80:

River St appears to head right into Manhattan.

 

 

The Sky

This shot was taken from home at sunrise and circled is part of the New Jersey tower of the George Washington Bridge (and one of its cables). I can only see the GWB when no leaves are on the trees. If you want a good view of the bridge, move into the Modern 1 and 2 towers in Fort Lee – preferably the one on the left:

 

This is a sunset shot of my next-door neighbor:

 

The next two shots I took were of this plane coming into Teterboro Airport while passing some really interesting-looking sky scenery:

 

A bit less blazing, this shot was taken on a dark day when a small piece of sky let in some light near the Empire State Building:

 

One minute, I’m blinded by the sun and the next minute, it’s blocked, letting me take this shot:

 

I wonder if this cloud looks as good to the jet pilot………..maybe, if this was a two-dimensional world:

 

What a weird cloud……………..it looks like the world’s skinniest tornado:

 

Maybe I should have put this one with the Bergen County Courthouse shots, but it’s got a lot more sky than Courthouse (and there’s no “Geese” section), so………………..

 

 

OTHER

I found these things on my roof. They look like little pastries and a couple seem to have cannoli filing, but they’re tiny……….. maybe ¼” each. Obviously, they’re some form of excretion, but what would make something in this form/shape?

Two days later, I shot them after it rained:

 

I have a friend who writes a bird column and can usually answer my avian questions. Here’s how that went:

https://www.celeryfarm.net/2018/12/perhaps-disgusting-monday-mystery.html

 

One is looking east, one north and one south……………so who’s looking west?

Me!

 

I don’t recall ever seeing a picture like this on the side of a truck, so – of course – I had to shoot it:

 

Waiting for the transformer to explode…………………….

 

Gift-wrapped from Hackensack:

 

New Jersey Transit takes pictures of their female passengers’ legs? Watch YOUR step, guys!

 

This is my 90-year-old building’s lobby. Our new landlord decided to paint it. I don’t recall it needing paint – in fact, I don’t even recall its original color – that’s how neutral it was. Anyway, I saw the scene on the left one day…………is that a new color or the old one? In any event, 3 days later, I saw something horribly different (right half). What the hell?

A few days later, the apartment doors and trim on that floor were painted black. Who’s their designer, Svengoolie?

I haven’t taken a picture of that yet – I’m hoping to wake up from this nightmare first. If it’s real, it’s ghastly! Nice first impression. Way to class up the place!

 

What’s the purpose of having a tiny door on the traffic side of a school bus?

 

The Used Car Christmas Sale Balloon Minuet

Just picture the balloons as a pair of dancers: apart, together…………..there’s even a dip!

 

A couple of others that don’t fit anywhere:

 

 

PROJECTS

 

76 Main

This stitch is an expanded version of last month’s short mural shot:

 

Current on River

Day and night:

 

The Record

Well, everything finally came down today (Dec. 10). Of course, I wasn’t there. From the looks of an online search, I don’t think anyone else with a camera was there either, so here’s a stitch that I finished up with:

Thanks, Record!

Some friend!

 

The rest:

Pick up and drop:

 

The only thing left:

 

The final side shot stitch:

 

 

389 Main

A late-week steel delivery sat in the lot over the weekend and made for a nice stitch on Sunday. Most – if not all – of it was destined to be used horizontally on the Main St (right) side:

 

I’ve circled my living room window from where I took the previous two photos (and a million other shots):

 

The view from Main St:

 

This has to be one of the best-timed shots I’ve taken during this project. After a steel beam is brought down from the sky (see previous pic) and ready to be secured, someone below throws bolts up to the guy sitting on another beam on the second floor. They’re thrown one at a time.

I wanted to stop one in the air just as he was about to catch it.

Bingo!

 

DONE!!!   FINALLY!!!

 

Sorry it’s two months late, but adding the extra projects entries in every month and the current shooting of existing projects, with all the attendant photo editing just takes way too much time.

 

So to make it worth your while, I’m adding one more thing that I didn’t shoot – something I saved years ago, but which turned up in 2018………….something that you’ll want to run right over to your supermarket and get a supply of before they’re all gone:

Now you can have delicious chocolate AND keep your face clean. I still haven’t figured out if the white stuff in the confection is tissue or lotion, but who cares? It’s got chocolate! ENJOY while you slog through all these damn pictures!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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