Monday, November 30, 2009

Day 334 of 365

I allowed myself to put the lights up before Thanksgiving this year, just by one day. That day was Nov. 25 -- so 30 days before Christmas -- and I wanted the extended family coming to the house for Thanksgiving (some seeing our place for the first time) to get the full-on holiday experience.

And I wasn't the only one. The white tree in the middle distance and the lights at the end of the block were up before mine, and the closest neighbor turned his on today.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Day 333 of 365

Burger places keep popping up these days, but I'm not one to complain. The wife and I zipped down to Montclair for lunch at Elevation Burger (Stephen Colbert approved!) to sample a worthy East Coast substitute for In-n-Out.

With a Five Guys under construction in Upper Montclair, White Manna over in Hackensack, Bill's Burger Bar near work in the City and Shake Shack always an option, I've got my burger cravings covered.

"Abandoned autumn," New Jersey, October 2009

Back in October, I took a drive along Old Mine Road, an historic trail-turned-road that's been around since the 1600s. It features several abandoned homes and camps that were left behind when plans were made to dam the Delaware at Tocks Island. It was a beautiful autumn day, a perfect afternoon for a drive with a few stops to hike along the way. I only explored about half the road and can't wait to get back.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Day 332 of 365

The sun sets in Monmouth County on the last Saturday of November.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Day 331 of 365

The new condo building on 23rd St. seems to be finally completed, and it now provides an attractive reflection of the Met Life Building in its windows -- which is pretty much the only attractive thing about it.

"High school at-bat," New Jersey, 1993

I didn't take this one, but I haven't scanned and uploaded many of my old film archives yet. But for this shot from my past, I went to a high-school baseball game in which I was playing against one of my best friends, and so I asked another friend of ours to take some photos. They're probably the only pics I have of my playing days, which ended after this season -- my junior year.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Day 330 of 365

We had 12 people over for Thanksgiving this year, our biggest gathering yet. To fit everyone, we had to bring out the old table from the attic (the first two people on either side are at the smaller one) and we placed most of the food on the hutches on the left and in the back and let everyone serve themselves. It was a spirited, enjoyable way to spend the holiday.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Day 329 of 365

When I realized that Thanksgiving was Nov. 26, I decided that one month before Christmas was an acceptable first day to put up the lights. The main reason was that I wanted everyone who came over on Thanksgiving to see them -- and they loved 'em.

The blue light in the attic window is a new snowflake I bought this week.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Day 328 of 365

A Hotel Gansevoort employee registers a Mercedes outside the front door.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Day 327 of 365

White Manna is a burger lover's dream, one of many worthy places in northern New Jersey and New York City. I get there at least twice a year when I make the drive to a Sears auto center a few blocks away, rather than going to the one closer to my house, just so I can get a plate of sliders while I pass the time it takes to rotate the tires and change the oil.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Day 326 of 365

Yeah, I've used it before, but this scene today driving west on Route 36 had me singing Springsteen in my head:

Mama always told me not to look into the sights of the sun
Oh but mama that's where the fun is

-- "Blinded by the Light"

"Warm light of late afternoon, Fallingwater," December 2007

The bare branches of winter had emerged
through the last leaf-colors of fall,
the loveliest of all, browns and yellows
delicate and nameless in the gray light
and the sifting rain.

-- Wendell Berry, "XI"

Contemplating the melding of the natural world with the man-made at Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Day 325 of 365

The cats love the new dining chairs, curling up on the soft, velvet-like microfiber surfaces. But Harry recently realized that he doesn't have to limit himself to one chair at a time.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Day 324 of 365

Lenny crawled into this bag and laid low, springing into action when big brother Harry walked near.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Day 323 of 365

Forgot my camera as I rushed out of the house to catch the train into the city, so I had to come up with something using the camera on my phone. This resulting shot reminds me of old color photos of the seedier New York of the late 70s and 80s.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Day 322 of 365

I wanted to get a shot of the Empire Diner on 10th Avenue and 22nd St. as it was in Woody Allen's intro in Manhattan (at the 30-second mark) before it changes hands.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Day 321 of 365

Erasing Bubbles

There used to be a cheery, colorful mural of cartoon characters on this Chelsea Market stairwell, including Bubbles of the Powerpuff Girls (that's her foot on the right). Sadly, with the Market trying to class itself up, it looks like the murals have to go.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Day 320 of 365

So this is what it has come to for the Tribune-Democrat of Johnstown, Pa. Down to two sections on weekdays -- A and B, with Sports leading the latter -- a little space on A1 is reserved each day to thank a subscriber. This one is not my father-in-law, but I bet Jerry Pannone is a nice guy. In another sign of the times, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has stopped home delivery to some of its far-flung coverage areas, like Johnstown. They won't even ship a stack of papers to a local store to let the subscribers pick them up.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Day 319 of 365

A few trees and shrubs still held onto autumn, as seen from my sister-in-law's porch in Pittsburgh.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Day 318 of 365

Just one view I saw as I waited outside one of the stores for the rest of the gang to finish shopping.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Day 317 of 365

Following our arrival in Johnstown, we drove over the mountain to have dinner at the Eastwood Inn outside Ligonier. I'll leave the long, historical write-up to Casey, but this was the view of the porch after we exited through the curved front door and they locked up for the night.

"Three at GE," New York, March 2008

One of these three is not like the other. Give up? It's the one in the middle -- he's not related. The other two are sisters.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Day 316 of 365

Harry found the softness of Casey's fleece pants to be the perfect pillow.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Day 315 of 365

Sign in a window at Christian Louboutin's store on Greenwich St.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Day 314 of 365

The first few times I went to the Spotted Pig, I went blindly, led by Casey. Unfamiliar with the West Village, I had no bearings on the angled streets of the neighborhood. When I changed my regular commuting route from the 14th St. PATH stop to Christopher St. (the walk is almost an equal distance) for a more enjoyable stroll to Chelsea Market, I passed the Pig on Greenwich several times before I actually realized what it was.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Day 313 of 365

A corner window of a restaurant in the West Village has a full-on autumn theme going on.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Day 312 of 365

Giants Stadium during the Chargers game. As I drove by, the game on the radio, it was in the final two minutes of the first half. I got to work in time to watch the fourth quarter and the Chargers' amazing game-winning drive -- or the Giants' amazing flop on defense. Depends on your allegiances.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Day 311 of 365

This hefty bulldog was awaiting his owner outside a takeout restaurant.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Day 310 of 365

This was the first really chilly evening of the season. I relented and pulled out the heavier winter coat and wore a knit cap and a scarf for the first time, too.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Day 309 of 365

Yes, another cat picture.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Day 308 of 365

My wife and I spent three hours raking leaves and filled up 10 bags' worth. Glad I had her, because it would've taken me about five hours on my own.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Day 307 of 365

This guy and I had the same idea. Only he was on a photo walk and was well-equiped with a tripod. I was on my way to work with only a point-and-shoot. But I managed.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Day 306 of 365

What an amazing sky on this night with the moon peeking through the clouds. It made for some interesting sights.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Day 305 of 365

I liked how the arrow for the toll lane was reflected upside down in the back of this Mustang.