LANDMARK Assignment Westfield

So our buddy Stphoto owner of the most excellent site View Infinitum set forth the challenge to capture local landmarks captured during a certain time mark.  Well…I blew it and missed the time mark because of work.  But I still wanted to participate, so STphoto buddy…I am posting them here with the big disclaimer…I took these today.  5:30 AM today.  Before having to go into work.  Please forgive me.  I will send you the link to this post…but I fully understand if you choose not to accept it.  The following photos have received only cropping and exposure corrections in Lightroom.  They were not treated in Photoshop.

At 5:30 am in January there is no light and as I was rushing out the door I realized I didn’t have my tripod.  So I made an Executive Decision (oh yes…always needs to be capped) and decided to seek out a living landmark.  The Westfield Train Station.  

On North Avenue in the bedroom community of Westfield, 

Is the famous Westfield Train Station…

The Westfield Station is on the Historic Raritan Valley Line which has been in numerous movies…paging Sarah Bernhardt!

This is an active thriving station which begins business in the wee hours. Many Westfield-ians take advantage of the greener transportation opportunities afforded by both mass transit and cycling to get to the station.  Even at this time in the morning, a few eager hearty souls have parked their cycles in the spaces provided by NJDOT.

The real gem of the station is the Newsstand which sells a variety of hot coffees, treats, fruit, gum and newspapers.  The newsstand has been in operation since the early days and has been deemed a historic landmark by the town.

When I commuted into the city a few years ago, my morning refuge was making my way to the newsstand.  The coffee was delicious but the service was the real salvation.  If you have ever commuted to a large city, you know how brutal and impersonal it can be.  I always felt the pride and VIP service that these men provided day in and day out…no matter how rainy, cold, or even hot and steamy it was out, was a tonic of Westfield small town charm.  This represented to me the iconic notion of home.

The real landmark are the men who work this stand and breath the humanity  into the simple act of buying a paper and a cup of joe for your commute.


16 thoughts on “LANDMARK Assignment Westfield

  1. This may seem a bit off base, but I got a “Cheers” kind of feeling from this post – You wanna go where everyone knows your name”. Whether those guys know your name or not, I bet they make you feel that way. Very cool idea for a hometown landmark!

  2. Looking at the page and the comments, gives me a great feeling to live in Westfield and be a part of the train community. And yes, the guys at the train station serving coffee and newspapers DO know your name.

  3. The man who holds it altogether is Mr Murray! he’s up at 2AM to make it all happ in all kinds of weather with a smile and good word.
    He has the full support of his loving family!
    and I’m his mother-in-law so-o-o I know!

  4. Dear Rita,
    How wonderful that you stopped by to comment. I had just missed Mr. Murray yesterday because I had to go into work.

    I think I may have to go back and visit with Mr. Murray and tell his story. Do you think Mr. Murray would be open to that?

  5. Very cool comments!
    Shrew, as always, I adore that portrait shot. What a great take on the assignment! Alright, that does it…thanks to Scott, I’m going to do a hometown tour in the spring…

  6. I know KD…Scott’s assignment really challenged me to think beyond the usual.

    The best part of this process is when I had less than optimal conditions with Scott’s assignment (yeah, yeah, yeah I am a donkey cause I blew the timeline) I was forced to think HARD and that was when I brought forward my own photographic mission. I knew I wanted people and there was only ONE place where humans were at 5:30 am…so perfect…so much a part of this town. and BINGO!

    Thanks Scott.

  7. Wonderful images. I also live in a big city, however we have a small town post office nearby. Somehow the employees there make you feel like they’ve know you all their lives. They’re full of chat and personal nuggets that warm your heart and cheer your day, just like the men at your newsstand.

  8. Well, you did great, Shrew. This is what I had hoped to do with this assignment. Get people to think about what’s in their own hometown. It’s nice to travel but there’s so much right under our noses, too.

    Nice little essay. I hope you get to follow up with Mr. Murray. Curious to meet someone with such dedication.

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