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Messages - BLeafe

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May 14

1-8. Except for the second picture, here are various workers doing various things. The second image shows what became of the Ward St sidewalk (there may be some State St sidewalk mixed in).

May 15

9-20. May 15 was a Saturday, so nobody works on the lot...................except me.

It's nice to get a little different perspective.

Click to enlarge.

May 12 (continued)

1. Closeup of cement pour on the Ward St side from my living room

2. A wider shot of the same cement pour and what it looked like 2 hours later.

3. I like the shadows from two angles.

4. Still building in that SW corner - laying bricks over a 5+ hour-long period (see times on right side).

5. Starting to remove the sidewalk on the Ward St side

6. You may recall back on April 28 when I showed two workers sitting on their coolers in the lot of the business on the corner of State and Ward (whose lot borders the E lot). I wasn't sure if they were E lot workers or not, but since nothing was going on at that business, where else could they be working? I still see them there every day at break/lunch time, but on THIS day, I saw them leave and walk across the E lot...............and continue onto the lot of the apartment building on the corner of Passaic and State streets, so these will be the last shots of those guys.

7. Half of the Ward St sidewalk is gone.

8. Some dirt being dumped straight down from my window

9,10. Sitting precariously on one slab of unremoved sidewalk and later removing it.

11. Sign-on-sign

12. A parking sign gets pushed, falls and is carried away.

13-15. More Ward St sidewalk work

16. Meanwhile, over on State St.................

17. The suns sets on a pile of dirt and some equipment.

May 13

18,19. Work continues in that SW corner of the lot

Click to enlarge.

May 7

1. Some now-unneeded equipment gets secured for a trip elsewhere.

May 10

2,3. Cutting & carrying

4. Parts of parking spaces

5. This guy looks jet-propelled.

6. These boots might belong to the jet-propelled guy after he took off from the top of the truck (it WAS the very next picture I took).

7. Downhill cement is NOT jet-propelled (big pic - click it)

May 11

8-12. They're building something in the SW corner of the E lot (behind the First Presbyterian Church), but I have no idea what it is (there's a bit of loose cement caught in mid-air, fresh off the trowel in IMG_9526).

May 12 (part)

13-18. The sidewalk along State gets ripped out.

19. This guy's carrying parking sign poles, but cardboard coffee cups appear to have replaced the signs. There's another view of this on May 15.

(May 12 is continued in the next post.)

Click to enlarge.


I remember driving up and down Main St every night back when it was originally 2-way in the mid-late 60s. It's where we showed off our hot cars and met girls. A big chunk of my social life was a result of "cruisin' the drag". It sounds sad when I hear myself saying that, but it was a LOT of fun.

About two-and-a-half years ago, I decided to try and see if I could find one of those "girls". I wasn't having much success until one day when I got home and found a message on my voice mail from someone who had moved away and thought the switch to 2-way had already happened:

Click below "12-4-18 call.mp3" link.

That was a 70-year-old woman who sounded exactly like she did when she was 19!

Last week, I invited her to the ribbon-cutting ceremony, but she no-showed.

Her '64 Chevy must have been in the repair shop.

A couple of hours before the 1pm ribbon-cutting ceremony, I shot a shaky, hand-held video of the northbound Main St ride from the Courthouse to Sears. Southbound was not yet fully-open, so I shot that the following morning. It's a crappy video, but it's among the first:

And this is the official City video of the ribbon-cutting ceremony:

The stills from the ribbon-cutting ceremony:

1. What gave us the room to hold the ceremony

2. The setup

3. The 'Vette and the Impala that signified both directions

4. The mayor - John LaBrosse (r.) - with 2 board members of the Main Street Business Alliance: Gary Banoun (l.), Jose Valencia (c.)

5. View of the whole scene

6. GOTTA get a shot of the beautiful police choppers

7. As the ceremony begins, MC Tom Freeman - fire chief and interim city manager - addresses the crowd as I slip around behind him to get the Chevys' view.

8. Former chairman of the Main Street Business Alliance, Jerry Lombardo

9. Current chairman of the MSBA, Bryan Hekemian

10. Mayor John LaBrosse

11. The moment (1:27pm) the ribbon got cut (someone referred to it as "the money shot")

12. It's something to clap about.

13,14,15. The mayor sends the cars in 2-way directions.

16. As far as I'm concerned - and being the son of a former Chevrolet dealership executive -  this is my favorite shot of the day.

Click to enlarge............ESPECIALLY the last one.


For the second consecutive Wednesday, there were zero workers on site. Great way to break up the week, I guess.

1. I take that back. There was ONE worker on site on Wednesday - probably because of his special skill - but I haven't seen him there before (we could have used him at Woodstock!).


OK - back to work, right?

Nope. Another day off.

2-12. I take that back. There was ONE guy who came down from his lofty perch to utilize his "skills" and take some ground-level shots for a change.

13. So it's been half a month - still have no clue as to what this will eventually look like, so here's the next street-level progress report photo stitch.

Click to enlarge.

1-3. Digging in the NE corner of the lot

4. Adding a gravel layer on the south end of the lot

5-7. Connecting electricity to a light on the Ward St side

8. Men at work, kids at play

9,10. Dirt fill-in

11. Dunno if it's related, but two Verizon trucks get added to the mix.

12,13. Red tape over the electric pipe and a fine fill over the tape

14. The little monster strikes again near the State St entrance.

15. Interesting collection of shapes

16. Before I saw what it was, I thought this tamper/thumper (how technical!) sounded like a helicopter - it was that fast.

17. Digging in the NW corner

18. The cement post-delivery wash-down

19. Not sure what these are

20. Smoothing out the recent pour on the southern end

Click to enlarge.

It was about 10:45am when I heard a helicopter over my apartment. I first saw it as it headed southeast, before it then headed north, seemingly along the Hudson River (first pic). Suddenly, it swung back and headed west. It came closest when it went by the steeple of the First Presbyterian church (second pic). I zoomed in as much as I could to get the third pic.

I can't remember ever seeing a red helicopter before, so I looked it up (fourth and fifth pix).

Apparently, I photographed a US Coast Guard helicopter in a large figure 8 that I saw half of. Anyone know why a Coast Guard chopper was flying over Hackensack yesterday?

Click to enlarge a couple of them.

1-3. I must have caught them on a break on the 27th.

4-6. On the 30th, I was told that they had to connect a drain (I think.............the man was a little hard to understand) to the main line.

All better now.

Click to enlarge.

Why am I writing about activity in the lot on May 1 - a Saturday? These guys are off on weekends.

1-3. Well, for one thing, three trucks showed up on Saturday morning.............but they said "Tree and Lawn Service" on them. Neither of those things existed on the lot and one of the workers was carrying something toward State St, so maybe it was just convenient to park there. Before I knew it, they started to trim a tree that was right next to the SE corner of the lot, but on the street side of the sidewalk.

4. Remember this "Before" photo stitch I posted on Day 1 (4-20-21)? The tree they're working on is on the far left.

5. This video covers what happened next. I thought they were just pruning some branches, as they do periodically, but then the branches started getting bigger and thicker. Before I knew it, the tree was down to a 6'-tall stump and a few minutes later, THAT was gone.

6. And just to reinforce the final image of the tree, here's the still shot:

7. But they were not done yet. I saw the trucks starting to head in my direction. Apparently, no trees were to be near the perimeter of the lot and there are two trees that are on city property just beyond my building's property line. They reach up to about the 6th-floor (I'm on the 7th) and have been a great source for bird (and squirrel) photography for my entire 32 years here.

I've photographed red-tailed hawks, kestrels (the smallest American raptor), blue jays, cardinals, mockingbirds..............even stupid fish crows (and squirrels) at the top of the tree that was on the left. I think that tree was dead, but the branches made great perches for all of them.

8. Believe it or not, it was less than two weeks ago that I watched cement being poured in the lot below as a squirrel was watching the same thing from the tree branch. It felt like COVID-spacing in the upper deck of a game at Yankee Stadium.

9-12. The tree on the right gets taken down first.

13. The top (perch) part of the tree on the left is cut and tossed.

14. When they made the big cut at the bottom, I had to hold my camera out the window. Since I now couldn't see through the viewfinder, I thought I had it properly framed, but..................

15. The two trees are temporarily reunited in their proper left/right positions by their stumps as Lefty gets cut in half. The fence separates the City's property from my building, so you can see how close they were.

16. This might be the last view of the trees.

17. The stumps and other lot detritus

18. The trucks leave.

Click to enlarge.


1. Another early morning break on the corner business' lot (that business has been closed during the pandemic).

2. A break on the south side

3. Making a dent in that huge pile of old curbing pieces

4. Making a few dents in the truck's bed

5-7. Preparing, delivering and lining up the wooden boards to start the curbing-creation process

8. Dead "Pile Snow Here" signs litter the lot from State St to my building.

9. End-of-the-day lot shot


10. From 7 floors above, this initially looked like an open-window food truck. Then I zoomed in............oops!

11. How the area behind my building looked as of last Friday at ground level. Note the two trees standing together in the upper middle (you'll know why very soon).

Click to enlarge.

April 27

1-3. Various scenes around the periphery

4. Breaking up all the old curbing pieces from the lot's southern end

5. Creating new curbing between the wooden boards on the Ward St side

6. The little monster that digs into the lot's surface to make grooves for electrical lines and islands

7. Smoothing out the top of the new curbing

8. Future light fixture has to wear a hard hat.

9,10. Cement activity by State St

11,12. Cement activity nearer to my building

13. Cement work by Ward St as Officer Squillace walks past a car that appears to have been ticketed. I think it was parked there most of the day, but I don't know if it belongs to someone who works in the E lot.

14. It appears that the wheelbarrow died from carrying all that old curbing.

15. I would almost consider this to be an artistic scene. It looks like one of the big toilet paper cardboards contains some wooden stick matches (says the laughing mouth in the upper left corner).

16. Almost every day, I try to create a two-photo stitch that shows what the whole lot looked like at the end of the work day. They almost always fail because the near part won't line up the same way the distant part does (or tries to) and I wind up just using a single photo that covers most of the lot. One day the near end looked OK, but the far end had 389 Main collapsing in the middle as if a bomb went off. In this one, 389 survived, but the near islands - which should be a straight line - aren't...............but not disastrously the image is passable.


Since this project started, I've been woken every morning between 6-6:30am - if not by actual heavy machinery, then by the incessant beeping of various vehicles in the lot as they hit reverse..............over and over....................but not this morning!

I looked out my window. No one was around. Was it a holiday? No. So I just enjoyed my good fortune of a little extra sleep.

17. Later on, I saw two workers just off the lot on the property of the business on the corner of State and Ward. Their lot borders the E lot. I think these guys work on the E lot, but I'm not certain..............and I could see no activity on the business' lot.

I did see Officer Squillace and a couple of lot workers having a discussion on Ward St, but I have no idea what that was about. In any event, no work appeared to be done on this day..............EXCEPT for:

18. Whoever got there early in the morning and removed the city's movable electronic "No Parking" sign, whose usefulness I questioned in this thread on the day before: April 27.

Click to enlarge (especially the stitch).

TOMORROW (April 29, 2021) - WALK-IN (no appointment necessary) to the Hackensack Civic Center (215 State St) from 9am to 12:30pm!

Hackensack Health Department will be providing a walk in Covid-19 vaccination clinic on Thursday, April 29th from 9am to 12:30 pm at the Civic Center, 215 State St. The J&J one dose vaccine will be offered on a first come first serve basis. You must be at least 18 years old to receive this vaccine.

There's no excuse to not be fully-protected.............git 'er done!

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