Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Foreign Place (for me) in North Plainfield

East End School. To me, as a Stony Brooker, East End School was like the dark side of the moon. You never just happened to drive by it like Stony Brook or West End. It was tucked in the middle of a bucolic residential neighborhood. Tiny streets that were a challenge for a VW bug. I mean, how could a school bus get through? But there was something peaceful about it, as evidenced by this photo I snapped in November. Just look at's beautiful. Real Americana. As a student, I really only experienced it as a Little League ballplayer. And it was definitely a foreign experience. If anyone has other thoughts about the East End mystic, lemme know.

The North Plainfield blog goes on hiatus until the week of January 5. Time to head south to Florida, go fishing, go swimming, catch some flicks, read a few books, and hoist one or two frosties.

Happy New Year. Here's to our health and happiness.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The More Things Stay the Same....

....the more things change....uh....stay the same. The Howard Johnson Motor Lodge is still there on Route 22. Familiar orange roof. Swimming pool. The white noise hum of North Plainfield highway traffic. However, the Howard Johnson restaurant is gone, replaced by a Rite Aid. pharmacy. So it's not like we could have had our reunion meal at HoJo's even if we wanted to.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

About the North Plainfield Historic District

Here's an example of a wonderful home from North Plainfield's historic district that I referenced in the previous post. Does anyone who is going to the NPHS Reunion live in this area? Or have they ever lived there? Just wondering....

Good Marketing in North Plainfield

One of the pleasant surprises from my early November trip to North Plainfield, NJ, was seeing the improvements in some of the neighborhoods. There were some inevitable declines (Somerset Street and Plainfield's Front Street), but it was great to see how so much has held up in 40 years. Especially noteworthy was the intersection where Rockview Terrace and Rockview Ave. meet. It's now called Washington Park Historic District (my emphasis). That struck me as very clever. There's a cluster of about two dozen houses that are knock-out gorgeous. Some have big porches, scary gables, strange angles and offbeat colors. The street resembles sections of Savannah, Georgia.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Image from Gary Garwacke

Gary Garwacke sent me this image late last month. I think he snapped it with his cell phone. I asked for a better photo but for the moment this will have to do. I also got an email from him the day before Thanksgiving. He asked if he and his family could come up to my family's Manhattan apartment. "Wow," I thought. "That's very friendly. Maybe too friendly." Afterall, I had a dozen family membes visiting and I haven't really socialized with Gary 1968 or 1969. And besides, my apartment is on the East Side and doesn't overlook the parade route. And that's what I told Gary....but that he's welcome to come in and watch the NY Marathon which he could see partially from one of my bedroom windows. Gary replied that he was only joking!
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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Pictures from Joe Harari

I continue to receive a trickle of email correspondence. Joe Harari, who is Vet in Spokane, WA, has been sending some great dispatches from the West Coast (read this wonderful interview with him). This morning I received some images from him. The picture at the right shows Joe (in cap) taken at Spokane zoological park (seems natural that Joe would be there). Here's the interesting part: the young man in the middle s Jarod Munzer, Bob Munzer's son. He happens to work there and is training to be a big-cat zoo-keeper. I'm assuming that it's coincidence that Jarod is working there....although we need the back story on how Jarod and Joe wound up in Spokane of all places.

I'll post more Harari pictures later in the week. Would be nice to have some other images and correspondence. I'd be glad to hear from the class of 68 and I know some of you are reading this blog.