Archive for the ‘Middlesex’ Category

Firefighter statue in front of the Avenel Fire Dept on Route 1

20170716_120953

The Han Solo grave of Rahway

 

When wandering thru a cemetery, most of the headstone are rectangular blocks of granite and stone, interspersed with the occasional more exotic designs. Sometimes there are carvings of specific items that meant something to the deceased, like a football or religious statuary. You might see images engraved on stones, but its unlikely you will see a headstone quite like this one.

Found in Hazelwood Cemetery in Rahway, the headstone of Bruce Berman has his face carved in to it, but he is emerging from it. As such, it has been dubbed the Han Solo headstone, a reference to when Han Solo was frozen in carbonate.

Berman was a special effects animator and was an adjunct graphics/animation professor at both Seton Hall University and William Paterson College. Berman was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig disease) in 1996 and eventually passed away in 1998. In his memory, the Bermanimation Award is given out every spring at Seton Hall University to a student in the field of computer animation.

Berman came up with the idea before he died, and had his head scanned by a computer, from which a bust was made. With the help of his friend, Rob Dressel, his wife had the headstone designed and it was installed a year after his death. He thought it was amusing and she felt it was important to see his wish fulfilled.

Asbestos

20170716_101308

The Art Walk on the Raritan

Albus Cavus is a group of artists which originated in new brunswick whose goal is to reclaim bad neighborhoods and run down areas thru public art. When one says public art, one might think of large expensive sculptures or art by well known famous artists which you can;t get close to. Their idea of public art is art in the most unexpected places, something positive and uplifting rather than the graffiti that is so often associated with poverty, crime, and neighborhoods that have need for urban renewal.

In 2007 they attempted to transform the Raritan Walk, a 1.8 mile stretch of walkway along the Raritan River into one of the largest murals in the world. Local artists were invited to add their artwork to what was otherwise a blighted stretch of concrete. In this article the idea of Albus Cavus is discussed, including the art walk in New Brunswick as well as one in DC. The hope was to maintain it and keep it fresh, but sadly that has not been the case.

I visited it in spring 2015. The art was still there and its rather impressive. The walk however, was clearly home to small groups of homeless. The vegetation was barely in check and there was garbage and debris all along its path. There was also signs that the homeless were feeding a local colony of cats. I didn’t feel entirely safe, despite not seeing any obvious threat. It is desolate and far from aid should one need it. It also appears as if the art murals done 10 years ago have been covered with your typical graffiti. If one wishes to visit, the best way to do so is park at Elmer Boyd Park and just walk North.

 

 
More Pictures here

walkwaygraffiti 29//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

walkwaygraffiti 26//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

walkwaygraffiti 2//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Old Cemetery at Piscataway High School

Visit Piscataway High School on Behmer Road and you’ll find a large sprawling school complex, a well kept parking lot and a small stadium for the football team, the Chiefs. You will also find the FitzRandolph Cemetery, a collection of barely a half dozen graves belonging to one of Piscataway’s most prominent families in the 1800’s.

More pictures

piscatawayhscemetery2015 20   piscatawayhscemetery2015 16

piscatawayhscemetery2015 1

Prince Rodgers Cemetery

Located in Bridgewater about 5 yards from a major road and yet completely invisible from it, lies a small burial plot of slaves from the 1700’s. 

 

ImageImage

 

ImageImageImage

Located approximately 500 feet from Foothill Road and Bridge Rd in Bridgewater is a burial plot. Known as the Prince Rodgers cemetery, (it has also been referred to as the VanderVeer Burying Ground), there are a handful of headstones, several of which are broken.  Prince Rodgers was born in 1813 and was a slave of Cornelius Van Horn until being freed from slavery by his master at age 25. Other sources claim that Rodgers was a slave of the VanderVeer family. Completely forgotten despite being yards from the road, it sits between two homes one of which is owned, the other appears abandoned. Several years ago efforts began to restore the cemetery. Black plastic and wood chips have been laid down and the brush was cut back, but not much progress has been made since then and the weeds and brush have returned.

 

South Plainfield Vietnam Memorial

IMAG0953

 

This is South Plainfield Memorial Park, home to momuments dedicated to the Civil War, Vietnam War, SP police, SP Rescue Squad, and a Veterans Momument, along with various flags and a town clock. The park cost over 100,000 and was funded thru donations. The standout feature of the park is the AH-1 Cobra Assault Helicopter.  It flew in Vietnam from 1970-1973 before returning home and being used at various bases stateside. I was en route to a friend’s wedding in S Plainfield when I spotted the helicopter and had to stop and check it out. 

#voiceofthemostinterestingmanintheworld: I don’t normally pose for pictures with military vehicles, but when i do I’m wearing a suit.