Just Back: DC

We drove to DC last weekend to visit our friends Carlos and Dianne. It was a short visit, but we got to the Mall and the National Gallery, where there is a big chicken.

Here is the bird with some props for scale.

Le coq (for scale)

Le coq (for scale)

Just back: Cape May

So we went to Cape May, at the southernmost tip of the Jersey Shore, for the weekend.  We took the Garden State Parkway to Exit 0; surprisingly for a summer weekend, it wasn’t jammed with broken heroes on a last chance power drive.  As far as we could tell, we were the only ones.

We stayed at a nice B&B, that might have been run by Basil Fawlty.

“Could we have a bottle of the Trapiche Malbec from your wine list?”,

“I’m so sorry, but it’s a Cabernet”.

“That’s fine.  Can we have some sparkling water as well?”

“Oh dear, we just ran out”.

At breakfast ,the menu says to inquire about fresh baked goods, but..

“Sorry, but we didn’t get any today”.

“OK I’ll have a bagel with cream cheese”,

“I’m afraid we don’t have any cream cheese this morning”.

“How about a small glass of grapefruit juice?”,

“Unfortunately we just have orange juice today”.

I mean, other than that, it was fine.

Daily Commute XXIII

Coleman National Business College

For Alvaro

Alvaro goes to the gym, but  I don’t.  It comes to me.

Daily Commute XXII

I took a different walk to work today, and had to cross 75 lanes of traffic.  This is the spot that fills Heidi with fear, on those few times that we drive.  It feels like you will be sucked into these lanes and forced under the Hudson, against your will, into “the city”.

Holland Tunn

Holland Tunn


Daily Commute XXI

Morning blossoms

Church Square Park - Hoboken

P. Ballantine and Sons Brewing Company Saves the Day

Everyone knows that, for cherry blossoms, you need to go to Kyoto or Washington DC, but Newark’s Branch Brook Park claims to be able to hold its own in the blossom department.  For us, the timing was off.  A cold north wind came in overnight (1), so it just didn’t work.

Instead we headed to the Newark Museum, which I walk past every day but have never visited.  It was good.  John Ballantine’s house (of Newark’s P. Ballantine and Sons Brewing Company) has been sumptuously restored and integrated into the museum.  The 3rd floor houses an extensive Tibetan collection.  And… there is a temporary exhibit of alpine landscape paintings, featuring Bierstadt and Calame.   And… there’s a planetarium that we didn’t get to.  And… unlike pretty much every museum in NYC on Sunday’s, it wasn’t over-crowded.

Naturally, the museum highlights Newark’s history, which to me feels like seeing glimpses of a vast fallen civilization.  Before its decline in the 60’s, Newark was a hub of both industry and craft.  Newark’s silversmiths were very good and much copied.  Like today’s consumer goods, not everything with the mark of a Newark silversmith actually came from Newark.

Also, a couple of weeks ago (1 April) we had a little bit of a party with some of our Hoboken friends:

April Fools?

April Fools?

  1. Ths winds round here were “born and raised in the arctic, and [] learned their manners on the way down, in Montreal—or so it was said”. (Mark Helprin, Winter’s Tale, 1983)



Daily Commute XX

Little bit of April snow today…


Daily Commute XIX


Another Nor’easter is heading for Prudential Tower in Newark.

Daily Commute XVIII (Weekend edition)

I needed some wire to hang some pictures, so I walked 4 blocks to General Lumber. I was the only one there, which happens a lot on Saturday mornings (they’re only open till 2), and which is weird. Most building supply stores are jammed all weekend.

I also like the fact that they are called General Lumber, but they don’t stock lumber. They used to, but had a massive fire, and the city wouldn’t renew their permit to reopen the lumber yard after they rebuilt. They kept the name anyway.

Daily Commute XVII Redux


Later that same day, the sun came out.

Daily Commute XVII


It is a foggy, snowy morning here in Hoboken.

Just back: Whistler 2018

Surprise.  We spent another fab week in Whistler.  Lots of snow and great company.  AWB and CSB even reverted to skiing for a couple of days, after 15-or-so years on snowboards.

Daily Commute XVI

There was a dusting of snow on the walk this morning.

Church Square Park - Hoboken

2017 Music

I know, I know: everyone else wrapped up their best of 2017 list a month ago.  But here it is.   Also, I know that nobody reads these, and therefore I am shortening the list to the top 3 albums, and the best stand-alone track.  

Having just said that, I ‘m going to diverge because I have to mention the music from Twin Peaks: The Return.   Watching this series over the summer was a mostly frustrating experience, but then maybe that’s the point. However most episodes included a full length song performance from the “Bang Bang Club” including several amazing tracks.  They weren’t new in 2017 but I feel like sharing them anyway.

Rebekah Del Rio’s “No Stars” is nothing short of stunning.   And I really, enjoyed the Chromatics “Shadow” and the Cactus Blossoms “Mississippi“.  Check them out, really!

[Read more…]

Wet and cold

Took a couple of days to go skiing at Tremblant.  Day 1 was warm and soaking wet.  Day 2 was brutally cold.  We had a great time.

We decided the conditions were sufficiently harsh that Peter earned his honorary Canadian badge on his first attempt.

Go with the flow

3 a.m. 9 Jan 2018

612 Clinton Street, Hoboken, NJ

The sprinkler system thaws and breaks after the recent bomb cyclone/deep freeze.

Remediation in progress.  Thankfully minimal impact on our place.

Daily Commute XV

Bomb Cyclone

Bomb Cyclone

The bomb cyclone closes in on Newark

Let ’em fly

Out with the old on 31 Dec 2017.  They say you could see our lanterns from Times Square.

61 Christmases

We drove back to Canada on Boxing Day, to have a Christmas celebration. It was also my mum and dad’s 60th wedding anniversary on 20 December, which means this is their 61st Christmas together.

Some photos.