Posts Tagged ‘New Jersey’

Every now and then I like to organize a MMT – A Magical Mystery Tour with my husband and sometimes with friends too.  Last week I surprised Peter and our two friends, Rosemarie and Murray with an early morning adventure outside of the City.  We left a 8:00AM, with my husband repeating dire warnings about rush hour traffic.  I told him we were headed across the George Washington Bridge and that’s when they knew we were leaving the island ( you know New Yorker’s).

There was lots of guessing along the way and as the signs for the Delaware Water Gap grew more frequent, everyone was really wondering just how far were we going?  It took us about an hour and a half and we were in Columbia, NJ.  Our directions took us up a steep hill and into some very rural woodsy area – we arrived at the Lakata Wolf Preserve. 

Timber Wolves

Timber Wolves

We were fortunate that the day was chilly and was drizzling on and off because there were only 8 of us scheduled for the morning tour and that made it like our very own private experience.  We were shuttled up into the huge preserve area where 4 packs of wolves reside, each in their own 10 acre compound. 

Jim, who runs the preserve with his wife Becky, was our guide.  He told us SO MANY interesting details about the wolves both in general as a species but also with anecdotes about many of his “kids”.  The wolves there have all been raised in captivity and believe it or not, they come running as he calls out their names.  Of course that fact that they know he has dog treats on him doesn’t hurt because wolves can scent for 2 miles!  The wolves are beautiful; There are Timber Wolves, Arctic Wolves and British Colombian Black Wolves.  Their luminous yellow eyes capture your attention as they study you while you’re admiring them.  The Arctic Wolves have beautiful white coats (although better not to be seen my dear) and are the least social of the packs.  They kept their distance for the most part only coming to the fence for a treat.

And they howl!! Peter and Murray attempted a wolf howl to see if any of the packs would respond but they weren’t fooled.  Jim gave out one long howl and one by one each pack began to howl.  That was AMAZING to hear!  Wolves do not howl at the moon – they do point their noses up in the air so that their howl will travel further and louder.  Howling is used for many different reasons and in different voices.  If you were a wolf you’d know whether or not the howl was meant to signal you to come and join me or if it was meant to scare you off and make the pack sound like there were more of them than you thought or should attempt to take on!

Wolf packs are structured with an Alpha male and a Beta male and as with most animal species it is the most fit that survive.  The alpha male always eats first and wolves will eat all they can at any time because they don’t know where their next meal is coming from;  hence they are on the move all the time looking for game.  These wolves are well-fed mostly with deer meat.  Jim tosses in big chunks of frozen deer meat for each one of the wolves.  By having it frozen when it lands in their den area, the alpha will take his and by the time he makes any headway into it, the others have had a chance to grab their portion and each retreats to their own corner to chow down.

I could go on and on about all the super facts and information I learned on this visit but I would rather you experience it yourself.  The link to their website is http://www.lakotawolf.com/.  There is also a store, which is as you would expect, exceptional.  Artifacts and highly unusual items fill this place and it feels like you are in a movie set for a Trading Post.  The women who run it are delightful. 

Murray Head took all of the photos in this blog.  He had a wonderful time doing so, only lamenting that the wire fence was messing up his shots!

Serious Staring

Serious Staring

Arctic Wolf

Arctic Wolf

Poised To Catch A Treat

Poised To Catch A Treat

“Can You Hear Me Now”

Oh My What Big Teeth You Have

Oh My What Big Teeth You Have





“Begging” for a treat



A Wolf At Rest

A Wolf At Rest

Beautiful To Behold

Beautiful To Behold

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It’s Tasty Tidbits Tuesday!  You know I love to cook on the weekend, especially at the shore because the kitchen is bigger although the stove is smaller as is the oven.  The real reason I love cooking in New Jersey is the accessibility to several marvelous grocery stores and two magnificent fruit and vegetable stands.  Believe they don’t call New Jersey the Garden State for nothing! Unabashedly, Wegman’s is my favorite grocery store and I love making the recipes in their seasonal MENU magazine.  This recipe for Tuscan Baked Beans is in the latest edition.   I don’t know if it was meant to be a main dish but it certainly would satisfy a vegetarian or vegan.

1 pkg dry Great Northern Beans OR 4 cans of Great Northern Beans undrained.

9 cups of water* (only needed it you use the dry beans)

24 leaves of fresh sage OR 20 if you are NOT using dry beans

2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, OR 1 if you are NOT using dry beans

1/2 cup of Extra Virgin olive oil, divided

1  1/2 pkgs of chopped onions.  (12 oz)

4 cloves of garlic, finely diced

8 plum tomatoes, chopped

1 TBS salt

1 tsp pepper

1/4 cup basting oil (olive oil with Italian herbs in it)

2 cups of Panko bread crumbs

You’ll need a stockpot* and a braising pan

** indicates usage with the dry beans

*Place sorted and rinsed beans in stockpot.  Cover with about 2 inches of water, tilt cover to vent and soak 8 hours or overnight. Drain the beans.  Put the beans and 9 cups of fresh water in the stockpot. Heat on HIGH uncovered, until boiling.  Skim off as much foam as possible.  Add 4 leaves and 1 sprig of rosemary to the pot.  Reduce to MEDIUM.  Cover, tilting to allow steam to vent.  Cook one hour, do not stir.

Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in braising pan on MEDIUM.  Add onions and garlic, cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.  Chop 20 sage leaves and sprig of rosemary, add to onion mixture.  Cook 1 minute.

Add tomatoes, salt and pepper.  Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat.

Check beans for tenderness. If not quite tender, cover completely and cook an additional 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Add beans and liquid to the onion mixture in braising pan.  Stir to combine. Drizzle remaining olive oil and bake for 60 minutes.  Beans will be done when liquid is syrupy and bubbly.  Carefully remove from oven, season with salt and pepper.

Mix basting oil and panko crumbs in small bowl.  Place mixture over beans and return to oven, bake 20-30 minutes until topping is brown and crisp.

This makes enough beans to feed 8 people. It tastes great, REALLY!!

Recipe from Wegman’s MENU magazine 

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I LOVE peanut butter and I LOVE tomatoes.  Of course if you are a regular reader of this blog you already know that.  The blog is a testimony to Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches, my favorite, my kids favorite and now my adorable granddaughter, Finley’s favorite.

 Tomatoes, especially Jersey Tomatoes are a passion of mine.  I eat them all summer long and as far into fall as I can.  Once there are no locally grown tomatoes, I literally STOP eating fresh tomatoes!  I have vintage tomato salt and pepper shakers, a tomato-shaped tea pot, tomato sugar and creamer, tomato cookbooks, a collection of cans of Italian tomatoes and best of all, a tomato tattoo.  Well now that’s out there to the world.  I was born in New Jersey and I often describe myself (to my husband) as “one hot Jersey tomato” – that’s me.

And as if Big Boy, Beefsteak, Arkansas Traveler,Bella Rosa, Brandymaster Pink, Charger and hundreds more varieties weren’t enough to tantalize your taste buds, add Heirloom Tomatoes!  You’ve seen them with their bulbous, knobby, colorful shapes.  Sometimes they look weird, misshapen and in a palette of colors not necessarily in the red family!  They don’t always look appetizing, however, they are sweet and flavorful.   They come in a variety of sizes and add great interest to your summer salads.  But don’t let their use just end up in a wooden salad bowl – here are two Heirloom tomato recipes you will love to make and serve.

Heirloom Tomato Pesto Pizza

Heirloom Tomato Pesto Pizza


1 lb pizza dough

flour for dusting

4 tsp olive oil

1/2 cup basil pesto

1 lb Heirloom tomatoes thinly-sliced

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Preheat grill to medium heat.

Divide dough into 4 balls, dust work surface with flour and roll each ball into a 9″ circle.  Brush both sides of the circles with olive oil,  place on baking sheet. Working with one circle at a time, place on grill rack and with tongs rotate the crust so it cooks evenly, browned on the bottom and air bubbles on top, 3-4 minutes.

Transfer pizza to baking sheet browned side up. Spread 2 TBS of basil pesto on crust and top with sliced tomatoes. Don’t cover entire pizza or it will be soggy.  Season with salt and pepper and dot with the cheese.  Slide pizza back onto the grill, close the cover and rotate pizza so it cooks evenly and cheese begins to melt – about 3 minutes.  Lift back onto baking sheet. Repeat with each pizza.

Roasted Heirloom Tomato Butter

Roasted Heirloom Tomato Butter


1 very large or 2 medium-sized red Heirloom tomatoes

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1TBS chopped thyme or oregano

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a small baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place the tomatoes cut side down onto the paper. Roast until the skins are wrinkled and blistered, and the tomatoes are very soft, 30-35 minutes depending on the size. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Place the tomatoes and any juices in the bowl of a foodprocessor. Process until very smooth and no seeds or large pieces of skin are visible, 2-3 minutes; stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl frequently.

Add the butter, salt, and pepper, and process until blended, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl, 2-3 minutes. Then, stir in the thyme and scrape into a small bowl and cover. (Or, make a log of butter by spooning it onto a sheet of waxed paper, folding the paper over the butter and rolling it gently until you have a sausage shape; twist the ends to seal.)

Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 4 days. You can also wrap the log in foil and freeze for up to 3 months; thaw it in the refrigerator.

**Melt this concentrated compound butter over grilled steaks, toss it with flame-kissed vegetables, or freeze some for a burst of summer flavor in the winter months. Use very ripe, very red tomatoes for best color and flavor.

Thanks to Gail for sending me the article on Heirloom tomatoes!

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NYC Subway 6 Train

NYC Subway 6 Train Otherwise Known As The Green Line.


Oy has it been a crazy past couple of days.  I left the shore on Sunday (a glorious sunny day I might add) to return to New York City by train so I could conduct an open house at one of my listings.  I gave myself just enough time with a very narrow margin for error but that wasn’t because I like to live on the edge, rather, I was dependent on the NJ Transit system to get home.


I made it to the train on time in New Jersey and as I sped away from the station, I reached into my handbag for my cell phone and uh oh it was still at the shore.  I decided not to panic, well there was nothing to be done anyway.  My concerns were not phone calls as much as possible emails and texts from brokers trying to register customers or worse from my seller who would not know why I was incommunicado at this time.


Things were moving along nicely;  the connecting train at Long Branch was there and so we took off on time.  I had my Kindle with me and not much else since the plan was that Peter and our grandson return sometime on Monday.  In the meantime, Cash’s mom arrived in NJ to spend some beach time with her father and son.  They got the sun and the sand and I got the Open House   😦Just outside of Secaucus the train stopped and I started to fidget.  THIS is exactly what I was afraid of!  What if? I don’t even have a cell phone to contact either the seller or a colleague to pinch hit for me. And since we are all now SO DEPENDENT on our electronic devices, I don’t even know what time it is because I don’t have a watch on!


The train eventually got moving and we slid into the tunnel of Penn Station and I prayed I would be able to find a rest room quickly and get on the subway to head uptown.  Oh but I forgot to tell you, I didn’t have my Metro card;  No, that was still in my apartment!  After a quick trip to the ladies’ room and boy did I ever luck out!  The line coming in as I was leaving would have given me the figurative heart attack.


I headed for the red line – Peter hates it when I refer to the subway lines by their color dots;  he sometimes refers to the IRT, whatever that is lol lol.  Really, I’m from Connecticut, to me the colors make sense.  Anyway, in order to get on the subway I had to buy a Metro card because I left mine in my apartment (like I somehow forgot I planned on taking the train back on Sunday). The line to the ticket booth was about 20 deep.  There were two lines to the two machines and each was LONG and filled with tourists.  I figure they were tourists because three quarters of the line did NOT know how to use the machine.  I tried to practice some form of total Zen zoning and not tap my foot too much.  When finally it was my turn at the screen don’t you know the cursed hunk of no good metal and electronics would not let me purchase a Single Ride.  Ever mindful of the crowd behind me I just said, “what the f__?” and bought a $10.00 card.  I have a senior citizen discount Metro card and am totally annoyed that I had to buy this card so I could get home and work.


I thought I should take a cab across town on 86th St but since everything else was going  askew and downhill, of cou


English: An Old sign for the IRT at the Wall S...

 An Old sign for the IRT at the Wall Street 2/3 stop. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


rse there were no cabs.  I wondered if they were on strike.  A bus came along and I hopped on and at least had the gratification and satisfaction of getting a transfer for my $10.00 splurge.  The bus made pretty good time or so I thought because as you know, I had no watch or phone.  I dashed across the street and flew into my building only to come face to face with the seller who was as surprised to see me as I was her.   “Did I get her text?”  Uh no, and I have to explain how I left my phone in NJ.  And by the way, please excuse me I have to run upstairs, change my clothes, brush my hair and teeth and get to your apartment if you please.


Peter on the other hand and in the other state had his daughter and grandson to entertain.  He’s not really used to being a solo host.  Well, at least they had great weather and spent two days at the beach.  They were supposed to come home on Monday which turned into Monday night and then he called to ask what did I think about them spending another night at the cottage and he would return during the day on Tuesday.  I had appointments to show my listing on Tuesday but our cat, Nicky also had an appointment at the Vet’s on Tuesday.  It was going to be grueling round trip to bring guests back to NYC, take the cat to the veterinarian and when I finished doing the laundry he brought back, we would return to NJ.  In between appointments and his return I even managed to go to Starbucks and get a pedicure.  He looked like he had been doing battle for two days.


Back and forth, up and down and around and around we go.



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What a city this is!! New York speaks loud and clear and in many language, it’s just one ginormous kaleidoscope of humanity.  You just never know what or who you’re going to come across in an afternoon.

green market, cyclists, backpack

Green Market Greenies
ice skater, Bryant Park, Central Park

Practice, practice, practice

central park

Two Tourists in Central Park

ICONIC Still Life-A girl, a dog and two birds

stretching, warm up,

Cirque du Soleil here I come!


central park, squirrel

Burying A Nut

A Nuthatch Seeking Insects

All photos courtesy of Murray Head

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Thanksgiving Turkey

Thanksgiving Turkey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Most people think of Thanksgiving dinner as the ultimate American meal.  After all, wasn’t it first celebrated with Native Americans and the Pilgrims?  Well that’s what I was told in grammar (age-related term) school.

However, this country is a melting pot, a diverse population made up of so many different ethnicities, I wouldn’t begin to try to number them.  I grew up in an Italian family (more about the German side later).  My first husband was also from an Italian family so for the first half of my life, Thanksgiving was tweaked to keep all the paisans happy.  When we celebrated Thanksgiving with my grandparents, the cry at the table was, “When do we eat the turkey”?   I wonder how many of you had to eat your way through several courses BEFORE the turkey made it to the table?  When you walk into most homes on Thanksgiving Day, the savory odor of roasting turkey greets you, or the sweet aroma of an apple pie baking in the oven.  When you entered my grandmother’s apartment, it was the rich simmering smell of tomato sauce that assaulted your nose.  The meal started with Baccala, a dried codfish served with greens.  I think it was served like a salad.  Then we had ravioli; big fat pasta puffs filled with cheese and a bowl of meatballs and sausages on the side.  I guess at some point the turkey came out but I really don’t remember it much.  

Once I was married, the Italian Thanksgiving took on another level of ethnicity.  Now there were side dishes that only would appear on an Italian table.  The stuffing was heavily flavored with grated Parmesan cheese, parsley and garlic.  We had stuffed mushrooms and stuffed artichokes right along with candied sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes and salad with Italian dressing!  

Then came the period in my life where I spent Thanksgiving with my Aunt Marian and my cousins in New Jersey.  Aunt Marian was married to Uncle Henny who was German and so Red Cabbage was always a side dish on Thanksgiving.  The creamed onions, turnips and candied sweets were there and because my cousins and myself were all adults, we made culinary contributions.  Peter insisted on a green vegetable and in those days, the only green vegetable he acknowledged was broccoli so I always steamed or sautéed some.  My cousin Marian liked to bring a lentil salad, cousin Janet baked pies.  I have five girl cousins, all with spouses and some with children.  Thanksgiving dinner was a BIG deal at Aunt Marian’s with about 20 people!

I’m actually half Italian and half German so I fit in wherever we went!  As for my own Thanksgiving meals, I often went for something different, whether it be various stuffings or the  year I tried brining the bird.  I’ve made seasonal soups and  lots of sides.  Earlier today I posted one of my favorite Thanksgiving side dishes and decided that for the count down to turkey day, I’d post a recipe a day.  I hope you enjoy them and would love it if my readers would send in comments about their favorite Thanksgiving side dish or dessert or ethnic accompaniment.  

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voting day in a small town

voting day in a small town (Photo credit: Muffet)

It has been a long time coming, 18 months to be exact.  18 months, about 77.5 weeks and approximately 542.5 days AND 13,020 hours!!!! That’s how long we’ve been listening to ads on the radio, reading columns in the newspaper, watching tv commercials, accosted by pamphlet-bearing party workers on the sidewalks, harassed  by  repeated robo calls, invited to rallies and fund-raisers, bombarded by daily emails from political organizations, and lastly not to mention the postcards, newsletters and solicitation fund-raising letters – ALL in the name of democracy, all in the pursuit of the most powerful office in the country.  Oh yeah, I was only referring to the presidential campaign you can quadruple the intensity when you factor in the local representatives, state senators, sheriffs and on infinitum.

And tonight it will FINALLY  be over – or will it?  Ohhhh,  I think the results of this year’s election will be immediately called into question!  Accusations of voter fraud are just waiting behind the curtain, recounts ordered and then further analyzed.  Absentee ballots scrutinized and possibly discarded;  Remember the hanging chads in Florida!  This year a secondary campaign was waged, to disenfranchise thousands of voters and prevent them from exercising their constitutional right.  In New Jersey, a state crippled by Hurricane Sandy, throwing the means to conduct proper voting in to chaos and confusion has instituted (can you believe this?) voting by fax!  Where states like Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky and Georgia passed highly restrictive voter ID laws, New Jersey went all out in trying to encourage voter participation where their residents lacking heat, electricity and water are understandably  disheartened  and dissuaded from making the effort to get out and vote.  This puts another nuance on the state’s unofficial slogan “Jersey Strong”.

Personally, I will be beyond thrilled to have it over.  I hope, I pray my man wins because I don’t like the person I’ve become when the other guy is on TV.  The defaming, the libel, the lies, the slander, it has got to STOP.  Fact-checkers be damned?  Are you kidding me?  I’m living in a world where the word Christian has taken on a new meaning and certainly not one that I care for or can espouse.  Let it be over please!

The polls close in my state at 9:00 – I hope everyone gets to vote. I waited about an hour and a half this morning – they said the scanners weren’t working.  I really liked the old voting machines and wish they would bring them back. If you haven’t voted yet – PLEASE DO SO NOW!

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I felt I had to write something more about what I saw two days when we finally got to the shore to check out our cottage and the town of Ocean Grove.  You’ve heard ALL the words on the news (that is if you have power to get the news) UNPRECEDENTED-UNBELIEVABLE-UNREAL-DISASTROUS-MIND-BOGGLING and on and on and on.

YES all adjectives apply.  Trying to keep things in perspective is actually easy this time around;  When I think of the food I lost, I think of the people who lost their homes.  When I think of the damage in my yard, I think of the people watched an angry sea surge over their yards and swallow them out and spit out sand where their lawns had been.  When I think of the shingles flown off my roof, I think of the residents of Breezy Point and Mantolooking whose homes were engulfed in fire.  When I was concerned about the slimy mud on the side of the house and windows, I only had to walk over to The Lillagaard Hotel where the tea room I ran is/was located and saw the layer of mud left in the kitchen and dining room left behind by the two feet of water that broke through the door and flooded the lower level.

YES, things are put in perspective, sometimes unfortunately at the expense of another’s loss and pain.

Yesterday we drove to the shore with our friends, Joe and Michael.  They were kind enough to drive us to Ocean Grove as they were going to check on their cottage.  My camera battery was dead and I had no power in NJ to recharge. Joe took a lot of photos and graciously forwarded them to me so I could post them on my blog.  This is what we saw in Ocean Grove on Wednesday!

NOT a rare sight around town

Storm surge deposited lamp post and debris across Ocean Ave

A boardwalk buried in sand

Ocean Grove NJ, fishing pier, fishing shack

Where there was once a Fishing Shack at the end of this pier!

sand piles, Ocean Grove, Ocean Ave

Mounds of sand left background-Had been on Abbott Avenue and was plowed to beach to open up the street!!!!

Ocean Grove, Jersey shore, boardwalk

Twisted railings, Note the sand is now level with the boardwalk!

Ocean Grove, Hurricane Sandy, Jersey shore,

View from the boardwalk-the piles of sand are from the streets to the west NOT washed and deposited over the boardwalk.

The Camp Meeting Association is holding a massive clean-up tomorrow (Saturday).  Our dear friends Dick and Jane who own The Lillagaard need our help to empty out the Tea Room and salvage what we can.  BUT we don’t have enough gas to get there and back and none to be had in New Jersey.  And we can’t get back into the City unless we have 3 people in the car! Do two cats counts as one person?

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Where to begin? What can you say? So much destruction, so much pain, so much loss, so much mess.  We were warned…. we took precautions…we put away the outside furniture, we took what we could out of the freezer and we dutifully left as we were told to do.  It was a teary good-bye on Sunday afternoon as we pulled away from the cottage not knowing when we would return and what would we find when we got there.  

New York City seemed to be the much safer place for us and then again we didn’t really have the choice that we had a year ago, when we decided to ride out the storm with Hurricane Irene.  This time, mandatory evacuation was insistent and I reluctantly went along with the plan.  I had plans for Monday and Tuesday in the City anyway.  So back in our apartment we unpacked, ate dinner and went to bed listening to some light wind but not much more.

This morning it was raining lightly and since the Mayor closed the subways and stopped the busses, most of Manhattan’s residents woke up with a day off!  We went to  The Mansion for breakfast with my daughter Chiara, her husband, my sister-in-law, her son and of course Finley and Francesca.  The place was MOBBED! There was a festive mood throughout the diner, really like having an unexpected snow day when you’re in school. The City was virtually closed, Broadway was dark, schools were closed, Wall Street was closed, the airports were open but 95% of  the flights were cancelled. 

By 1pm the winds were really whipping around.  It kept swirling around creating waves of whooshing sound.  By 4pm it was raining and the wind was extremely strong and by the time I walked home 6 blocks I was drenched and winded.  Things started to go downhill rapidly from that point on.  

Soon the windows were rattling and rain and wind pounded against the panes.  By now every television in the apartment was on tuned to either CNN or ABC.  Reports started coming in as the menacing storm raced to our coast line.  We were stressed to the max dividing our anxiety between Ocean Grove and Manhattan.  We felt fairly secure in our home 14 floors up but so uncertain as to what was happening to our little cottage La Vie en Rose as it sat squarely in the path of Hurricane Sandy.  And I was concerned for about the tea room at The Lillagaard.  The hotel sat only 2 properties in from the boardwalk and was extremely vulnerable – it also had been locked up, sand-bagged and left to fend off the storm by itself. 

It’s now 11:30pm and the following is a partial list of the highlights, well actually the horrors of the Hurricane:


A construction crane 90 stories high in what has been called the Billionaire’s Building partially collapses and is presently dangling over the very busy, highly-trafficked West 57th St.  Buildings all around the building were evacuated.  My cousin had to leave her home on the corner of W. 57th and 6th Avenue.  Con-Ed shut down the power in the building and the gas.

Hundreds of trees came down, littering residential side streets and I saw one fall on First Avenue – not exactly what you expect to see in The City.

The subway entrances were cordoned off and sand-bagged, the grates sealed down, the entire system shut down in hope of preventing any salt water from entering the tunnels.

Battery Park City at the bottom of Manhattan was flooded by noon. Eventually there was over 13′ of water running over the walls.  The Hudson River breached the West Side Highway and was running eastward on 23rd St.  The East River breached and flooded FDR Drive.

There were a series of explosions as transformers blew up and one sub-station.  Con-Ed also voluntarily shut down some areas to preserve equipment.   By 10pm most of Manhattan south of 42nd Street and from river to river was dark – NO POWER.

Our lights are flickering every now and then and earlier this evening I lost cable tv and internet access.

No school tomorrow, no subways, no busses, and maybe no power.  At this hour every tunnel and bridge are closed so you can’t get in and you can’t get out!  How long can the few restaurants that were open or the few grocery stores open last without receiving new supplies.


I agonized most of the day trying to find out what was happening to our seaside community.  Tonight I was able to get online and check out Blogfinger – Ocean Grove Faces Hurricane Sandy’s Destruction

The Garden State Parkway was closed south of exit 129, the New Jersey Turnpike was closed. 

Neptune Township restricted  traffic on municipal streets. Police banned cars from Ocean Avenue and people from walking along the boardwalk.

Mandatory evacuation was extended further west and along streets near the lakes.

Additional man-made sand bermes were made along South Beach.

By mid-afternoon and mid-tide, the ocean had risen to the top of the Fishing Pier.

The high tide breached the dunes and washed over the boardwalk.  Water ran west as far as Beach Ave and a storm surge flooded New York Avenue and Broadway.  Power was out in most if not all of Ocean Grove.

Wind and waves destroyed the fishing shack on the Fishing Pier.  Part of the roof of the Great Auditorium was blown off. 

A tree came down on the corner of Central and Main and also one at the corner of Main and New Jersey Avenue.

Hurricane Sandy, Ocean Grove, Blogfinger, Mary Walton

Hurricane Sandy brings down a tree

Photo taken by Mary Walton for Blogfinger

Ocean Grove, Fishing pier, Monday October 29, Hurricane Sandy

The Fishing Pier 5pm Monday October 29th

Photo taken by Mary Walton for Blogfinger

The news is most disheartening and I think I will be canceling my Wednesday plans are heading back to New Jersey to assess the damage and see what state the Lillagaard and the tea room are in.  In the great scheme of things, the loss of food is minor, even though it creates a disgusting mess.  However, prior to leaving I spent considerable time baking in preparation for some imminent tea services.  Right now the thought of having to bake everything all over again and shop for all the food destroyed is pretty grim – BUT as I said  I know that’s so minor compared to the real devastation and loss wreaked by this vicious act of Mother Nature.  

Well, let’s see what tomorrow brings.  The lights are still flickering here, so I have filled the bathtub with water to flush the toilet, filled water bottles for drinking water and two huge pots for cooking water.  

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If you are a follower of this blog, then you know we spend time on the Jersey Shore  and I have a category known as Art is Where You Find It.  Art is everywhere IF you have the eye to seek it out, the time to look for it and it helps if you have the ability to capture the sight on film or in this case, digitally.  Murray spent some of Columbus Day weekend with us and he disappeared for hours at at time, camera in hand.  Oh yes, and it really helps if you have an artistic eye for form, color and perspective.

This is the art that surrounds us;  It’s not hanging in a gallery in SoHo, we don’t have   the name of the artist but we do have the ART!

Sand Castle


Ocean Grove, Asbury Park, Jersey Shore, sunset at sea

Sunset at Sea-The Golden Hour

Ocean Grove, Asbury Park, Jersey shore, sea gull

Sea Gull and Street Lamp

jersey shore, ocean grove, asbury park

Boogie Board Art

art deco, Asbury Park, casino

Art Deco Craftsmanship-Casino Asbury Park

driftwood, solitary man

Solitary Man

Ocean Grove, Jersey shore, Canadian geese

Following the Leader

All photos courtesy of Murray Head

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