Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Fear and Loathing in the Valley

When a part-time job takes over your life and makes you a miserable bitter human being more often than not, it's time to leave. Sure there were good times along the way and new friends made but when you dread going to work in fear of fellow employees either not showing up entirely or forty minutes late and, even a few times, two and a half hours late it's no longer fun and worth it especially for minimum wage.

Don't get me wrong though, I was and still am grateful for the opportunity that I was given as an employee. I got to meet some great people along the way, go to an actual concert (and found one of my new loves in life - concert photography), but when you arrive to a client and they spend a good amount of time ripping you a new one for nothing that you have control over since you were told something entirely different by your boss who never answer the phone to remedy the situation, it's just not worth it.

Not to mention when you "open the door" to a service and then have the door ripped off its hinges for no tangible return, you can't help but feeling like a cheap whore being taken advantage of.

It was that and all the little things that made me sure it was time to quit, because after all I do have several backup freelance gigs booked from December throughout July. And although I'm sure I'm not the only one in this boat, but 1 B.A.+1 B.A.+Honor Societies+Dean's List+Internship shouldn't = 0 benefits part-time minimum wage job that occasionally made me want to jump off a bridge a time or two.

I'm still grateful though, which I suppose is why after my last day working for the station I couldn't have been more happy that I was leaving, but I was feeling a wee bit tearful. Throughout my nine months there, I made some great new friends that I still plan to hang out with and learned some new things across the board (if you get it, pun most definitely intended). I'm a little scared at what the future holds, but hey who isn't. I just know that I made the best decision for me.

Thank you.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The World a Little Skewed

See something wrong with this photo? 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Wheatsworth Mill

Built by Colonel Joseph Sharp in 1808 in Hamburg, New Jersey the "Old Mill" was originally owned and operated by the Uneeda Bakers who produced the whole wheat Uneeda Biscuit. The company was later purchased by the Wheatsworth Bakery company, which was again eventually purchased in 1898 by the ever growing National Biscuit Company who by that time was primarily running out of factories located in New York City. Over time the complex grew from just one stone mill to a small complex which also shared its property with the children's fun park, Gingerbread Castle.

However the National Biscuit Company consolidated their factories and moved their headquarters to East Hanover, New Jersey where they operate from today. After closing the factory doors for good, boarding up the windows a fire had gone through the main building in the early 1990's and gutted the factory. The main original "Old Mill" still sits out by the road next to the Wallkill River slowly rotting as another harsh winter is bound to hit and take another toll on the historic mill.

You can view an old postcard of the original "Old Mill" by clicking HERE.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Gingerbread Castle

When I was younger there was a place in the foothills of the Adirondack mountains where nursery rhymes and fairy tales came to life for the bemusement of children. And today, it's still standing, a relic from the 1950's kid friendly fun park, Storytown USA; only now it's called Great Escape complete with thrill rides and shows to entertain the entire vacation bound family.

Places like Storytown popped up all over the place in an ever growing post war America, however not all of them were lucky enough to be enveloped into a grander and more adventurous amusement park. Some were forgotten, left to slowly rot away and were auctioned off to baby boomers who wanted an artifact to remember happy summers spent away from the concrete jungle. One such fun park to meet this fate was the Gingerbread Castle, despite an ill-fated attempt to fix up this blast from the past and restore it for future generations to enjoy.

Built in 1904 for the St. Louis World's Fair Austrian pavillion by Austrian architect Joseph Urban, the Gingerbread Castle eventually found a new home in Hamburg, New Jersey and enjoyed many busy summers from the 1920's through to the 1970's. However as large scale amusement parks started to spring up the park's popularity soon declined and closed its doors for good in the 1980's.

Attempts to save the property from becoming another condominium complex was attempted in the early 2000's but funding proved to be hard. Now the Gingerbread Castle along with the Wheatsworth Mill sit behind a barbed wire fence as the paint slowly peels, Humpty-Dumpty about ready to take his fall and a triceratops steadily decays. It may be abandoned to lay to waste but it surely hasn't been forgotten as car after car drives by and slows down to take a peek, and fan pages and website pay tribute to one of their favorite places to visit as a child.

You can read more about the Gingerbread Castle and see period photos by clicking HERE.