2019 – The Best Photos of the Year

(ignore publish date of May 1, 2017 – this was published on January 10, 2020)

Click to enlarge (you’ll see this one again later).


Basically, this is my photographic year in review. Because I get a lot of questions about some of the photos (and a lot of them require explanation) or I have thoughts about them, I’ve now made comments on nearly every picture. That’s why this post contains over 8,000 words.

It also contains over 500 pictures – more than any other post I’ve ever made. It’s a MONSTER post that I hope you’ll make it through. It might be worth your while (and time). Take small bites. Since they’re presented chronologically, try a month or two at a time.

Useless fact: 68% of them were taken from home. The opportunity to do that year after year is primarily why I live here.

I’m still shooting all the construction projects, but I’m not going to feature them as much as I did last year – it’s way too time-consuming for me and may produce too many yawns from anyone who doesn’t live around here (and from some who do).

I will post some interesting-looking (I hope) shots from those projects, but if you really want to see ALL of that stuff, here are some links with the complete stories and pix:








NOTE: Whenever you see the word “STITCH”, that image can be enlarged with a one- or two-click process. For the latter, click the image once for the initial enlargement. When you run your cursor over the enlargement and it becomes a plus sign, click it again for the full enlargement. Usually, it will be bigger than your screen, so you’ll have to start scrolling to see everything.

Your cursor will now be a minus sign. Click the image to get back to the initial enlargement and then hit your back button to get back to regular size.


Here we go:


New Year’s Day has started for me since 2009 with an Ecuadorian procession to Our Lady of the Cloud. I’m not religious, but it goes right by my building, so – hangover or not – it’s an easy and interesting shoot from the sidewalk or my roof (the roof, this year).

The lady in the last pic is scattering flower petals in advance of the statue.


“Hey, mister – did you bring enough for all of us?”


This triptych shows the best photos of an American kestrel – the smallest raptor – I have ever taken and it was right outside my living room window on top of a tree. Notice that its head has swiveled 180 degrees in the middle image:


Someone’s headlight is shining on a nice-looking wheel after a rain shower:


If he drove slower, he might not have spilled the milk:


The shadow of the First Presbyterian Church’s steeple two blocks away falls on a building that doesn’t exist anymore (and who knows how long this Sears will survive?):


The steel beams of the 395 Main project shine in the setting sun. A few months later, the view of the river (and Chicken Supreme!) were gone:


I love roof shots:


This happens twice a year:


Why is there a balloon here?


This was part of that wall of the building mentioned above that came down soon after (beginning 3 pictures from now):


How do these cloud slices get put together?


From the Empire State building to the World Trade Center (and from my living room):


The next 3 pix involve that doomed building and a drone:


I’m sure this happens a lot, but I’ve never seen a pressurized tank in flight before:


The ear muffs are big enough for a Ferengi:


More balloons!


Total address: 814 State St:


Science night on the roof (click to enlarge):


Interesting same-evening sky colors:


Neighbor hauling a wood table:


In case you weren’t sure what these were:




I saw a medical chopper approaching Hackensack Hospital a mile away, so I took 6 shots before it landed (click to enlarge):




These are 3 almost-identical shots I took from home of a bald eagle that was flying WAY too high to get good images:


This is the sequence of work on a rooftop unit almost two blocks away:


Nature’s frigid artwork on my roof storm door window:


This is a pretty dull, colorless shot when the door’s closed:


I never cease to be amazed by these cloudy skies at sunset:


It’s amazing how many people use their cars to shield themselves from the view of moving cars on the street at the end of the lot and COMPLETELY ignore the fact that there’s a big apartment building right behind them where many STATIONARY people can see (and photograph) them. I’m guessing that’s because it’s the BACK of the building and they must think those are all bedrooms and the people are in the front of the building during the day, although I’m sure there are other stupid reasons as well:


You’ve heard of Whack-A-Mole? This is Whack-A-Pole to clean your car floor mats:


Gulls: feeding, bathing and taking off:


Arboreal residences for NOISY fish crows:


A jet swerves to avoid the crane:


Vane birds, consecutive pictures:


In case he falls, I’m ready to take the insurance pictures:


Manhattan skyline and closeup:


I’ll bet you’ve never seen a sign like this before. It’s on the clubhouse of a motorcycle group that’s comprised of EMTs and law enforcement people:


From my apartment, I could see these fireworks going off in or near Manhattan. But why on February 11? I found out the next day that they were shot off on the Hudson River in celebration of the Chinese Lunar New Year:


This church is next door to me. On Valentine’s Day, I happened to go visit someone I know who works there. On the way in, I saw the sign. The sermon title seemed sort of appropriate for Valentine’s Day, but the sermon was scheduled to be delivered 4 days later. I wonder if the husband-and-wife reverends delivered it (and if there’s an mp3 of it on their site).

When I walked into the office, I saw the message in the box of donuts.

I’m guessing that the missing donut was a “T”, but I have no idea (and I didn’t ask), nor do I know who the “writer” and recipient were, but the photos just belonged together in a strangely un-churchlike way:


This reflection was SO bright that it lit up my living room:


These 3 photos were taken at sunset on February 16:


I took these two photos on the Hackensack River Walkway by Fairleigh Dickinson University in Hackensack. The first one – I’m told by a birding columnist friend – is a female downy woodpecker. Dunno the gender of the gull:


Still on the avian tip………I had never before seen a red-tailed hawk on the First Presbyterian Church’s weather vane until 2/22, so that means I had also never gotten a shot of one flying off of it before either:




I had never photographed a dog being packed into a (ventilated) carrier bag before, but if you look closely at pix 2,3 and 4, its face appears to be jammed into a corner:


When I initially looked at this picture, I thought it was a young falconer flying a snowy owl from his arm. Well, at least I got the “snowy” part right:


I have absolutely no clue what that yellow stuff is or its purpose. If you know, enlighten me:


An actual, non-military DOG tag:


This is what exists between an old residential building and one that was just built (Click to enlarge twice):



These are 15 stitched-together stills taken from my living room during the course of a day when the sculpture atop the old bank building was constructed. Every piece is shown. The skies don’t match up because the amount of cloudiness varied throughout the day. Click twice to see it all:


Looking straight down from my living room after a light snowfall (which gives excellent definition to whatever it covers versus a heavy snowfall):


This is what replaced the very colorful Geri’s Deli on Main St:


Another lovely light snowfall (or maybe it’s the same one from 3 days before). If only it kept those steel girders from rising higher:


Here’s a local first! We’ll see him again:


Fun in the snow:


Dumping stuff off a roof (that garbage bag hit my watermark):


Geese fly by The Modern 1 and 2 towers in Fort Lee (by the George Washington Bridge):


One of the few happy people at tax time:


Interesting reflection:


The is above the entrance to what was a very large bank building in Hackensack that has just been converted to residential. They wisely kept this:


This is my old darkroom, which was converted from a small second bathroom in 1988 by my brother, Ed. I don’t recall when it was last used as a darkroom (mid-90s?), but everything’s still there (why hasn’t the Smithsonian called yet?)


An interesting silhouette on the sun:


Taken on the Ides of March. Beware!


There’s no stopping this guy:


From the roof: cloud-to-cloud lightning:


If you’re up on the news, you’ll get the title:


AND he does windows, ladies:


Riding the wild cement-pouring hose at 395 Main:


Smooth operator with a big handle:


Later, I got this really close cement-pouring shot:


Unfortunately, this hungry cement-mixing truck pulled this guy in (good in$urance shot):



Overall shot of the huge cement-pumper system from home:


Another apparatus for smoothing the wet cement floor:


Need a taillight?


Ever get stuck at a railroad crossing as a LOOOOOOOOONG oil train goes by? After the first 50,000 or so cars went by, I started taking pictures: first close, then wider and then waited an eternity or two until I finally saw the caboose:


A tourist group of geese visits the new sculpture atop the old bank building:


“Whut the hell IS this thang?


An interesting pair:


This poor kid had no one to throw a football to, so he threw to himself:


Boy, there are a bunch of captions you could write about this picture, but I’ll just say that the woman is with child (or that she was due two years ago or…………):


The Modern Tower 2 shines into my living room from 5 or so miles away:


Oh, look! There’s a Leafe on the tree!


The smoking section at Wimbledon:


This is a video still taken while I was stopped by yet another train. Let’s see………..the gates came down, the bells were ringing, the lights were flashing – all by train tracks and they need a banner on the middle of the train telling me that I should always expect a train? What the hell else would I expect in that situation? A parade?


3 pix of the muscleman working at the church next door:



To shoot a mockingbird (from my living room):


I just liked the helmet:


A good Big Daddy:


I think they’re stuck:


Instant whitewall tires!


It’s not a secret anymore, kid:


The bigger Godzilla was given to me by a singer in a band that toured Japan (where he got it). The gold record came from an actual gold record that was presented to the Scorpions at a 1991 party at the Brendan Byrne Arena in East Rutherford, NJ. It got smashed when someone dropped it and this was the largest surviving piece, so……………Godzilla did it:


“Are you feeling OK?”




Earlier in the year, my wheel got bent just enough to not let the tire hold air. I spent about 2 months trying to find a decent replacement while I drove around with a wheel-less spare tire. I found a local place that offered to straighten the wheel AND make it look like new for $125.

I was hesitant but getting desperate, so I went for it and MAN, did it come out good! It’s SO good that if I ever have to use this spare, it’ll make the other 3 wheels look like crap. Judge for yourself:


I think this stained mattress was standing up against the other trash and got blown over into the street by the wind. The local constabulary spotted it, one of them put on gloves and put it back where it belonged:


Unless one foot is behind and at its height, these pictures usually turn out boring:


These are easy to have not come out well, but I like this one:


This kid was still at it. He doesn’t live there anymore, so I’ll never know if I have early pictures of a future NFL star:


The guy looks a little old for Mickey Mouse stuff, but maybe it’s his kid’s:


It appears to be a dangerous day to fly:


Gotta love the architecture of the neighborhood (so says the bird):


Bingo appears to be fading away………..literally:


These are 3 same-day photo stitches of projects at 153, 170 and 435 Main St, respectively:


It must be ugly shoes day. Didn’t Daisy Duck wear shoes that were kind of like the ones on the right? (which are REALLY unflattering):


At the Second Reformed Church next door after Palm Sunday:


If the newly-poured concrete floor is smooth, why is rainwater puddling on it?


In a local store window (actually, I think it’s a pediatric dental office…..see the toothbrush?):


You’d better watch your step, man who is working to block my river view!


Butt-buddies in a public parking lot:


Osprey over the Bergen County Courthouse:


I told you he’d be back…………and he brought 3 clones with him:


The colors! The fashion! Oy!


Hey – it’s Soupy Sales doing The Mouse! No, wait – it’s an umpire signaling “safe at home”:


I featured this gentleman once before in a video titled, “He’s not even Italian!”:


Ever seen traffic cones in this position before?


This van has been sitting in a local bank parking lot with a flat tire for ages. I shot this last April because I had already seen it there for so long. I just checked two days ago and it’s still there……….now with 3 flat tires:


These are 2 same-day photo stitches of the 395 Main project and midtown Manhattan with low clouds:



Interesting outfit:


These snowplows with headlights are in a municipal DPW site:


This is the Court St Bridge between Hackensack and Bogota:


“………for running into my car”:




I’m not sure what’s on her head:


Remember – it’s April:


This kid does NOT give up:


Looks like he’s been rejected by the washing machine of his choice and wants to end it all:


Note: an NFL kicking tee is only 1” tall:


The family funny guy?


I’ve met this man and he was absolutely charming:


“Help! There’s a boulder on my head!”


Lunar vane:


Too true:


You could turn an ankle on that crumbling curb:




Seen at a local business:


Setting-sun reflections:


I’ll bet you didn’t notice she was wearing slippers:


3-wheeled van:


Wait’ll he tries to get it through the hoop:





The backpack got my attention:


“You’ll get a flat head if you do that!”


Six pix: I saw a car pull into the municipal lot behind my building. A man and a woman got out and the man placed a drone on the car’s hood. It flew a short distance in a northerly direction (across the street in the vicinity of the Second Reformed Church).

It was in the air for less than 40 seconds before it landed back on the car’s hood. The woman picked up the drone and both people got back in the car and left.

Total time between photo#1 and photo#6: 50 seconds (sound fishy to you?).


Bad aim:


Liquor in a Health Mart?


I like the kid’s hair:


Happy meter maid:


Two pix: Volleyball practice in the church lot (taken 10 days apart):


They’re both listening to the container:


Hackensack River:


MORE balloons!




Playing catch:


The joy of fine dining:


I didn’t feel like hiding my watermark in a corner:


Just outside my living room window:


One chopper twice and one Osprey once on the same day:


Osprey between The Modern 1 & 2 towers the next day:


I’m guessing, but I think they’re walking back to Teaneck after going to a Hackensack temple on the Sabbath (May 25):


Given the state of Sears’ affairs, I shoot any nice shot of the building that I see (this time, I’m stopped at a traffic light):


Caged Osprey:


Following directions:


I hope there’s not a baby under all that:


On the front steps of Hackensack’s Eastwick College circa Memorial Day:


In front of a clothing store on Main St (I think they both have a pen in their pocket):


The News4NewYork chopper finds something of interest locally:



Two shots at the 435 Main project, including a sorta-selfie:


Something is distracting them from their ice pops:


Bogota Day – the borough’s 125th anniversary fireworks (taken from my living room):


Two planes flying into Newark Airport (shot on the same day from my roof):


On the left is one of my favorite albums of 1968 and on the right is something I saw in a liquor store (I was just there to do, um……research – yeah, that’s it):


The Hackensack Mourning Dove Rest Room Arch is in need of a cleansing rain (as will my watermark):


Camera-shy squirrels attempt a jailbreak:


Fish in the Hackensack River in very shallow water by the shore:


I wish I had shot video of that zigzag:


A tree near railroad tracks gets trimmed at the request of the RR company:


A smartphone pole rest stop:


On my LR window screen:


Clouds turn everything reddish:


I saw this little girl going down the street, followed a bit later by this guy with an “I’ll get you!” look and stance. A minute later, I saw the image on the right. I HOPE that’s her father:


Curious about things both small and large:


Check out the yellow claws!


Hey, buddy – they DO make smaller portable devices these days!


Another shot of Sears while stopped at a red light:


Interesting colors:


I couldn’t imagine what this crane was hooked up to (or working on), but you’ll see it next month:


Three of a kind:


Nice to see the woman walking ahead for a change. The hats suggest Ecuadorian culture:


Ever seen a Northern flicker before? Neither had I:


One minute, they’re holding hands as they walk somewhere. 18 minutes later, the man walks ahead in the opposite direction and she’s about 18 feet behind. They’re either texting each other or complaining about the other to their friends (I’m guessing). I wonder what happened – maybe some other photographer who’s a 9-minute walk away can tell you:


“TO THE LEFT! (Quit checking your phone so I can get around this car.)”


“But Mommy, it’s a Bob Leafe dirt pile and I wanna play!”


I have no idea what the people in the next 6 pictures are doing on church grounds. If you do, let me know:


“Thank God cars have outside mirrors.”


Saddle up!


“Mommy’s magic!”


I smelled something good coming from outside and looked straight down from my window (P.S. – I wasn’t invited):


Two more charmers on my living room window:


The next 4 images show unusual clouds and the moon:


A worker tends to whatever these are:


“I’m calling you from a spot where no one can see me” (oh, yeah?):


I couldn’t have placed this keyboard in a more obvious spot if I did it myself (I didn’t – I almost wanted to run downstairs and move it to make it look less fake):


A cement pumper at the 435 Main project (my apartment is between the two church towers):


Early (6/28) 4th of July fireworks from Hasbrouck Heights:


It is better to give than to receive:


I don’t wanna know what this guy was doing (Actually, he was working on the 395 Main project):


I captured this balloon at 4 different stages of its takeoff:


On the last day of the month – on a beautiful Sunday morning – I heard horrible-sounding metallic drilling coming from the area of my roof door. I opened the inner door to see this:


My landlord had jailed me in and took away my roof access! And for no reason (He claims “insurance made me do it”, but then will not listen when I offer to sign a “hold-harmless” agreement that would negate any insurance company worries).

The fire department made him remove the jail bars because they would not be able to break them quickly in the event of a fire, but they could not stop him when he replaced the bars with an equally-porous barrier that had an outside lock the HFD could break. The porosity is critical because when installing that barrier, he ripped out the exterior storm door that provided ventilation in the summer and protection from cold winter drafts.

Yeah – that looks pretty weather-tight to me. No way that drafts and west wind could get past that – it offers WAY more protection than a storm door, wouldn’t you say?

As I type this, that back room – which I had to close off – registers a way-below-legal temperature of 58 degrees…………and it’s only 44 outside. Imagine the fun when it gets down into single digits!

If that isn’t enough, that roof door was my second method of egress if there’s ever a fire. Now I can’t get out if there’s a fire near my front door.

Here’s a video of the “event”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPPaVU0Wx78

And here’s the 31 years worth of work it stopped:



Let’s hope the stoppage isn’t permanent.



Found outside a Family Dollar store:


NOTE: ALL fireworks – including the previous ones from Hasbrouck Heights – were photographed from home.

Fair Lawn, NJ’s July 1 fireworks:


Saddle Brook and Maywood’s July 3 fireworks:


Hackensack’s July 4 fireworks:


Remember that crane to nowhere from last month? It was replacing the pedestrian walkway over the Hackensack River that connected the two campuses (Teaneck and Hackensack) of Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Here’s the new walkway on July 4, 13 and 27 (still unfinished as of the 27th):


Two bug-eyed creatures go at it on my living room window screen:


According to this dented eye, things got a little rough:


You don’t see this in the street every day:


No idea what’s going on here:


A teenager eating pizza – how unusual:


I was sitting in my car next to the fence in the lot where I park when I took this:


Oh, no! Another life claimed by the hungry cement mixer truck!


This cheerful and non-ostentatious gentleman was working for the church next door:




Seen in a law office intake room:


Passing local showers between me and the full skyline of Manhattan:


Happy people (nice to see):


Unhappy people:


Finger food:


“Where’s the baby?”

“It’s coming…….any minute now………….”


Why is this somewhat-unkempt gentleman trying to hide behind a parking meter? And why didn’t he wear a bra?


She asked me to come back on a sunny day:


So I did – 11 days later:


Interesting orange clouds:


Photo Stitch of more low clouds over the entire Manhattan skyline:


Cleaning the parking lot:


The backside of the 395 Main project faces me a block away. At one point, the whole thing was covered with Resisto Redzone Stick VP, which – according to the Resisto site – is a self-adhesive vapor-permeable air-barrier membrane.

It’s VERY red and when the setting sun shines directly on it, everything that it reflects onto also becomes red, as you can see on this CD shelf and its backing wood cabinet:


Looks alive, but I think this possum is dead in the parking lot…………..or maybe it’s just “playing possum”?


Sister Emily was my siblings’ principal at Holy Trinity School in Hackensack. Later in life, she tirelessly visited the sick in hospitals and elsewhere. She once told me that she thought my mother was a saint.

When Mom died, Sr. Emily came to the funeral home to make arrangements for the funeral Mass. One of the choices we had was to pick the type of church bells music we wanted. We made a unanimous selection.

Sr. Emily suggested something completely opposite of our wishes. We declined. She stormed out.

At the funeral Mass, we waited to hear our choice of music for Mom. We heard………..ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! It appeared that if Sr. Emily didn’t get her way, neither would the family of the deceased!

No one in our family will ever call this street anything other than “Maple Avenue”.


From my living room, the circa 1900 Johnson Public Library is shown against the Moore St side of the new 240 Main project:


Another flattop candidate:


Watch your step, lady. You don’t want to drop that melon:


The joys of dog ownership:


Another interesting look:


1966 Cadillac convertible:


Smart guy! Those will keep him afloat if he happens to ride into the river:


Window delivery at the 395 Main project:


Resisto Red strikes again!


At the 170 Main project:


Framed by Resisto Red:


Arrested and cuffed on Ward St (I don’t know why):



Triptych of a worker tying a rope around one of the scaffolding supports:


Happy workers at 7 E. Ward St:


Casualties of the new sidewalks project:


What? No pool noodles like the guy in July?


Resisto strikes yet again on my wall:


Interesting bug above the Resisto’d 395 Main and a closeup of the handsome guy:


Unusual-looking pipe setup at 395 Main:


Tossing the tubing:


Dunno what it was, but it wouldn’t dump, so a little assistance was needed to get it out:


Looks like some kid must have had a bad accident:


Resisto makes EVERYTHING red – even the clouds!


New dead roommate:


At the time, there was a joke that this was the Jeffrey Epstein apartment (sorry, couldn’t Resisto):


Seen in a Main St window (and with one of the 346 huge projects reflected in that window:


“Greetings from The Sack”? I don’t know where the artist gets his/her information from, but I’ve lived in or near Hackensack for my entire life and have never heard anyone refer to it as “The Sack”. Nice images in the letters, but thumbs down on the name:


If you can’t spell it, you can’t do it and that’s why this place is closed (there might be other reasons):


General Enoch Poor facing the Bergen County Courthouse in Hackensack. A favorite of George Washington, General Poor is buried a few feet behind this statue. The funeral service was conducted at the First Reformed Church (Church on the Green), which is right next to the cemetery. Washington attended.


Poor’s statue is on Court St. I walked a block east and crossed the Court St Bridge into Bogota. From that side of the Hackensack River, I took the best stitch of the USS Ling WWII submarine I’ve ever taken:


Coming back over the Court St Bridge, I got distracted halfway across and didn’t make it to the other side for about a half-hour. Why?

Birds – specifically, a Great Egret (big, yellow bill), a Snowy Egret (small, black bill) and a couple of gulls (incidental on this day).

I have 10 shots to post. Here are the first 8:


I put the first pair of feeding shots together because the left shot showed a fish in the beak, but the right one showed TWO in the beak (glutton!).


I thought I was done until I saw a third shot where only one fish was in the right picture, but that whole fish was sunlit (as was its reflection):

I couldn’t pick one over the other (can you?).


That was fun. I finally got off the bridge and walked back up Court St, where I took a nice sunlit shot of Enlightenment atop the Bergen County Courthouse (I think that’s who General Poor’s statue was looking at):


Usually, when a stitch screws up, it’s because the images just don’t line up. The program tries to make parts of it line up, but in doing so, entire images get tilted and many very obvious glitches are the result from top to bottom.

In this one, the side images get very tilted, but the whole image is practically glitch-free. Yeah – if you look closely, you can see a few problems, but if I was really unhappy with it, I wouldn’t post it:


Another window delivery at 395 Main, but this time it’s picking up a couple of hitchhikers, including one who’s quenching his thirst:


Unraveling another roll of Resisto Red while hands from above apply it to the wall:


The casualties of the new sidewalks project are now lying on those new sidewalks and are awaiting a return to verticality:


Great crate collection:


…………and he’s in the blue bag!


The wood on the bottom broke and I’m waiting for the contents to come crashing down (and I’m still waiting):


Congratulations to either this 15 year-old boy or to his 51 year-old father:


This is a photo stitch I took along the Hackensack River Walkway near Fairleigh Dickinson University:


Resisto: halfway there


ANOTHER Resisto roll? Aren’t things red enough? Just look at the crane and the guy:


So I’m walking around the 395 Main perimeter and I see this van parked on the street. There’s no one in it, but LOOK WHAT’S ON THE DASHBOARD!

I was tempted, but…………


A cement pumper at the 435 Main project:


Now that looks just a little odd:


395 Main at night:


Twirl, right the Razor, ride into September:



Don’t GIRLS ride sidesaddle? (sorry, Bud)


Sucker on the sidewalk:


Saw the Teterboro-bound plane out of the corner of my eye and waited until it was between the steeple and Mount Resisto:


Interesting-looking guy – went to Waynestock AND buys yellow roses? I met him on the street one day and asked him if he went to Waynestock.

I had to tell him what it was.

BTW – it looks like Summer and Winter, judging by the clothes, but these were taken 8 days apart in the first half of September:


Resisto covers more cars:


395 Main worker enjoys lunch. Is he drinking a can of Resisto?


Saw this in my newspaper (yeah, I still get one): the front page of the circular touts all these “Fall Beauty must haves”, but by the time you get to the back page, you need “Krud Kutter” to get it all off your face.


Meanwhile, up on the roof (maybe they saw the Krud Kutter ad and ordered a ton of Resisto Remover):


“What IS that?”

“I don’t like it.”


This window was broken at the 395 Main project somehow last summer and – to my knowledge – still hasn’t been fixed. Maybe they should cover it with Resisto:


Oh, c’mon……it’s just a little spool of thread:


This was some sort of scrubber that got most of the dirt out (doesn’t the Z on the driver’s cap make him really look asleep?)


Another happy subject:


Should have kept the 3 of a kind we had earlier. A pair of twos and a joker doesn’t cut it:


“Nobody saw that, right?”


Made-up story: Dad tries to shame his son into getting a tattoo and then tries to sell him on an after-school program for 5th- and 6th-graders.

“Dad, I’m 21”:


“I give up”


Ferric mishmash at the 435 Main project:


This stitch was done on the same site:


See that little red X? At that spot on the other side of the wall is where I’m typing this:


An unusual stitch for a new sidewalk:


Is this bird saying that he’s a Ward of the State?


You can’t get much more private than NO patients:


Above the right tower is a small plane that’s pulling a GEICO advertising banner over the Hudson River, but it’s facing New York and not New Jersey. Maybe they’re worse drivers and NEED to spend the 15 minutes to save 15% or more on car insurance:


He’ll drink to that:


The caption for this picture was just thrown under the bus:


This is exactly how I found this small hand towel. It was right next to the Hackensack River Walkway.

So how does one build a small white hand towel with chocolate milk?


I saw this guy on the Fairleigh Dickenson University campus carrying what I thought was a giant pizza. I saw him later and asked him about that. “I wish that WAS a giant pizza”, he said, but it was only a standup sign advertising an FDU soccer game. What a boring story.


On the same campus stands a Martin Luther King, Jr, statue. This is a closeup with the bright sun behind his head illuminating what appears to be a spider web:


This is a comparison of the reflection from 9/21 (l.) with 3/23 (r.) – six months earlier. Both dates are 3 months away from the Summer Solstice, so I thought I’d see if the shots were identical. Obviously, they’re not.

Daylight Savings was in effect for both shots, so that’s not the problem, however, I just did further research and found that the September shot was taken 16 minutes earlier in the day than the March one, so that could very well be the difference.

Next time, I’ll do it to the minute:


Later that evening, I saw fireworks coming from south of me and the World Trade Center was in the background. I had NO idea what town they were coming from. I had to call more towns’ police departments than usual to finally determine that they were coming from Little Ferry. It turns out that they were celebrating their 125th anniversary (a lot of towns around here came into being in 1894) and they were happy to see shots of their fireworks with the WTC in the background:


After Sunday church:


If you read the Eric Leefe post – https://iaintjustmusic.bobleafe.com/?p=6242 – ,  you may remember a woman named Carol Ross, who brought the Rascals’ Gene Cornish to visit Eric. Carol manages Tommy James and is friendly with Joan Jett’s management.

That got Eric and me into the 9-22-19 Joan Jett show (on her 61st birthday) at BergenPac in Englewood, where I took this pic of Eric with Joan (the flash not going off affected the picture quality):


A much better picture was taken of Joan, Carol, and Joan’s manager, Kenny Laguna:


Eric’s tickets were 32 rows back in the handicap section (he’s been in a wheelchair all his life with cerebral palsy). I got this shot from those seats:


Speaking of birthdays, this doesn’t look like a very happy one:


Standing on the edge of my bathtub, I was able to get a shot of this guy on the ceiling in the corner:


Eric Leefe might like to have one of these:


No comment:


Found on the 435 Main site:




For all you Manhattanphiles who don’t recognize those two side-by-side bright red lights, they’re on a smokestack in Bogota, NJ:


These balloons continue to pop up, usually on weekends:


Open-meter surgery:


Hackensack street concert photo stitch:


Portable transportation:


Unusual-looking bike:


Similar bike – could it be an impatient husband of the above rider? (“She’s late!”)


No comment:


Found treasure:


I had gotten an email from Carol Ross inviting me to a meet-and-greet with Tommy James at a Barnes & Noble (he has a book out) in Clifton, NJ. The story and all pictures are here: https://iaintjustmusic.bobleafe.com/?p=8132

Meeting Tommy in the elegant “backstage” of Barnes & Noble (photo by Carol Ross):


Tommy with musical collaborator T.O.N.E-z :


Kolorful kid:


Stitch from the 435 Main project:


My cute nosy neighbors:


I have a post on this blog about “Manhattanhenge” – this would fit right in:


Enlightenment suffers a broken arm (or “How’s THAT for timing?”):


Rooftop burglar enters Resistoland:


Lucky kid:


Reflection of a liquor store two blocks away:


Are those marshmallows on that stick? I hope she doesn’t try to toast them that way:


Ecuador battles a neighboring country for…………….something:


Head solitary confinement:


Nice flowers…………and then Resisto shows up:

Nice stitch of Manhattan at sunset:


Stitch of an entire block showing the 435 Main project (but not the entire cement pumper – see next pic):


Sears (at 436 Main St) framed by cement pumper at 435 Main project:


Resisto overtakes two more cars:




Your guess is as good as mine:




Fall colors (the balloon was probably green during the summer):


Things are looking up:


Reflections illuminate clouds/steam from a PSE&G plant in Ridgefield, NJ:


Ditto for this stitch:


You’re not allowed to have anything block your front or rear windows in NJ, but maybe enforcement doesn’t want to argue against this particular one?


Rooftop A/C units have arrived at 395 Main:


Maybe 395 Main needs a locker room for its workers:


High school flag twirlers practice at the Middle School:





On November 1, Tommy James and Felix Cavaliere’s Rascals played at BergenPac in Englewood, NJ. All the pictures and the story are here: https://iaintjustmusic.bobleafe.com/?p=8163


On Veterans Day (11-11-19), I went to the George Washington Bridge to shoot the largest hanging US flag in the world (again). First, I drove under the bridge to get to the Ross Dock Picnic area – a spit of land that’s to the bridge’s immediate north:


I love this stitch: the GWB, the mighty Palisades hanging on to some Fall color, the Ross Dock Picnic Area and the same Hudson River on both ends of the stitch (and behind me), including New York probably up to Yonkers:


Then it was on to the bridge:


What’s more American than a Veterans Day shoot of the giant US flag on the George Washington Bridge with a big Walmart truck under the flag?

If you want the full blow-by-blow account: https://iaintjustmusic.bobleafe.com/?p=8238


Interesting position:


Early GrubHub:


Is this what we’ve become? Lions Clubs have to put up signs to scrounge for likes on Facebook?


A nice WTC shot:


The positioning of the box that’s still in sunlight was the only reason to take this shot:


Aren’t you supposed to remove the labels and flatten the containers as much as possible?


Interesting look:


Geese over Resisto:


Oh, goody! More balloons:


Main St is a mess (but it’s all for a good cause):


Another Resisto monster (170 Main) gets the cement pumper treatment for a new floor:


Heavy metal loads have red bottoms when Resisto is below them:


The crane arm just looks so powerful from this angle:


After the cement pumper does its thing, the floor-smoothing fan (I’m sure it has a more interesting name) gets hauled up by the huge monster crane that’s loomed over the 170 Main project for months:


Interesting-looking new establishment on Main St. Too bad that two of the “Coming Soon” enticements are for cigars and hookahs:


There’s one in every crowd:


“Greek Island Grill” – a touch of……………well, Wikipedia lists 40 Greek islands. Dunno which one has touched down in Hackensack:


Well, it’s late November and I wonder what this gentleman could be doing in a bucket over The Green – the park across the street from the Bergen County Courthouse:


Here’s a clue: “Ho! Ho! Ho!”


What an odd-looking barbershop:


Alright – time to end the balloon mystery. It’s this car dealership that thinks that festooning/ballooning the place on weekends will have the following effect on people who happen to be driving by: “Oh, look, dear – balloons! I suddenly have an uncontrollable urge to buy a car!”

Yeah – Sequitur City, right?


Like Sears’ finances, the flag is looking a little raggedy:


Two pix, one crane:


Just learned something………..this is not a gaggle (or gaggles) of geese. It’s a skein (or skeins) of geese. A gaggle is on the ground. In the air, it’s a skein. Who knew?


I like ’em both:


Resisto: still affecting everything in the neighborhood…….even my watermark:





My trusty Canon SX160 (5 years) had a slight tumble onto carpeting sometime in November. It’s happened before with no ill effects, but this time, I noticed that my zoomed in shots suddenly weren’t sharp, no matter what I did. Can’t have that!

So I dug out a newer SX170 that Canon gave me a couple of years ago, but I didn’t want to use it unless I had to (they made some changes I didn’t like).

I started using the 170 on December 1. Its first assignment? Take a shot of its predecessors. Then I shot the 170 with the 160 and put them all together:


A light snow brought cleanup efforts that night that gave me these two images:


Sometimes when I’m sitting at my computer, I hear little noises coming from my window. It’s these guys:


A nice long stitch of a cement pumper in action at the 435 Main project:


Well, if they give me the space, I’m gonna use it!


Here’s something I’ll bet you never thought about:


This is a stitch of the entire Resisto roof with all of the unpacked A/C units (this is my last Resisto comment of the year. As I write this in January 2020, two sides of the building are almost totally Resisto-free. My neighborhood, apartment and parking lot car roofs no longer are red.

That’s a last-decade thing.


Every year on a Saturday afternoon in early December, the church next door has a Christmas party for kids and every year (almost), I see a guy in a Santa suit get out of an SUV. You might have seen him in past “Best Photos” posts (one time recently, I caught him putting on his beard………….good thing no kids were arriving simultaneously and seeing that).

I usually call out to him and focus on him while he looks around to see where I am. When he finds me, he waves and I take the shot.

This year, I saw kids (and parents) arriving, but no Santa. After the party, the kids leave and then I saw this guy come out, sans Santa outfit. But I didn’t have to ask, “Were you Santa?”. I called out “Santa!”, he looked around and called back: “Where are you?”

When he found me, he waved (click!) and yelled out, “Merry Christmas”. I did the same.

I guess he found a way to keep his outfit at the church so he didn’t have to drive around in a Santa suit:


Wood haulers:


I wish this kind of shot happened more often:


Overnight ice covered everything. I had to get these shots early in the morning before it all melted. I particularly like the fourth one because it was right outside my living room window at the top of a tree:


I think I like this one better than the above one. From top to bottom: Fort Lee’s towers, Teaneck’s icy trees and Hackensack’s 395 Main St’s roof with multiple A/C units (maybe they caused the icy trees above them):



In that same tree two days later:


This might be my favorite sunrise shot of the year:


Matching coat and cart – stylish!


To me, this reflection looks like a car’s front end has exploded before the rest of the car:


You might know from past posts that I can only get this type of shot on Christmas Eve between 7:30 and 8pm because of church services on both sides of me that begin at 8. I’ve been doing this since 1992 and this was the best one this year:


Nature’s Christmas present to me on the morning of 12-25-19. The sun is rising behind the NJ tower of the George Washington Bridge – something I can only partially view when all the foliage is off the trees. I took another picture right after this one that was way too bright, so this is fortunate timing:


Looks like the city is finally paying attention to this parking lot. Let’s hope it’s not just a holiday thing:


On December 28, I visited the Great Falls in Paterson with a family I’ve recently become friendly with. They had always wanted to go there, but never made it, so I was happy to be their tour guide. It was a lot of fun.

This is a stitch that shows what you see while walking on the sidewalk outside the park:


Why is this place now a National Park?

In 1778, Alexander Hamilton visited the falls and was impressed by its potential to provide power for industry. Paterson became the country’s first planned industrial city, thanks to Hamilton. For more info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Falls_(Passaic_River)

So the first picture – of course – is of the statue of Hamilton overlooking the falls. This may be just how it looked in 1778 (minus the pedestal).


The Great Falls and the not-so-great falls:


The only blemish on this day was the fact that because the falls’ mist blew onto the pedestrian bridge over the falls and froze, the bridge was closed, and the best falls pictures could not be taken:


However, there were plenty of other things to see. Next door was Hinchliffe Stadium – of which my companions were unaware – so the tour guide was happy to provide the history lesson. Being baseball fans, they found it most interesting.

Here they are by a new mural that wasn’t there the last time I visited:


Unfortunately, everything was locked at the Stadium – there was no way in, like there was last time. But there were a couple of other things to see, like painted-tire flower pots:


…….and an unflattering depiction of the city:


How about a fancy garbage can?


On the park’s Wayne Ave periphery, I found a real rarity: the only remaining example of an original CORDED pay phone! You could walk around the falls with that cord!


While still on Wayne Ave, two men walked by and one of them said, “Take my picture”, so I did (I didn’t catch his name, so he’s now “Mr. Paterson”).


Back at Hinchliffe, there was a second new mural next to the previously-shown one:


I don’t know if that’s how it’s supposed to look or if the artist is coming back to finish the face, but if not, I nominate Mr. Paterson to fill in:


UPDATE: The DAY after I posted this, I saw the following in the paper:

I like my solution better. How is leaving the face blank the “finishing touches”?


My favorite picture of the day is the one I started this post with. It was taken where the Passaic River goes under the Wayne Avenue bridge by some mini-falls that are a few hundred feet before the real falls.

It’s been my monitor wallpaper for a couple of weeks:


So we all had a great time that was capped off by them taking me out to lunch, so thanks to Antoinette, Joseph and Angelo:


I finish up the year with two December 31 shots: a cute kid in a stroller and someone with a cart full of Easter eggs and Easter baskets – just what everyone wants on New Year’s Eve:



A few 2019 observations:

After I took the photo on the right sometime during the year, it reminded me of what was hoisted up onto shoulders in 1979. We may or may not be healthier after 40 years, but at least we’re hydrated:


I’m not on Twitter, have never been on Twitter and have never set up an account, but according to this, I have 43 followers. How does that work?


Apparently, I’m so popular in Ukraine, that they named something after me, but it’s nothing I ever aspired to have a connection to (click to enlarge – twice):

I DID insert the $ conversion figure for your convenience. I actually have emailed this company – twice – to ask how this product’s name came about, but have received no reply. I feel like I might be the Hunter Biden of water in Ukraine.


Lastly, please don’t confuse these two product names unless your goal is to have your hair smelling like real beef, pea (with an “a”), and brown rice.


That’s it – Happy 2020!

The pro- or anti-photography/verbosity Comments section is now open for business.




One Comment

  1. Elaine January 17, 2020

    . Loved this, I just started taking a new route to work and saw the structure on top of the UJB building . I thought Ghost Busters lol. Having fun locating your building from the angles of the photos. Thanks

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