Tag Archives: NJ

Classic Art Goes to Fruit and Fungi by Barbara Dexter

Classic Art Goes to Fruit by Barbara Dexter

Yes you heard right, classic goes to fruit and fungi. The classics like Van Gogh’s works are now appearing on fruit. Take a stroll through downtown Livingston, NJ and see for yourself.

Vincent Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” on a banana.

Van Gogh was thought to have gotten  his inspiration from a bible verse in Genesis. Then he dreamed still another dream and told it to his brothers, saying, “Look, I have dreamed another dream. And this time, the sun, the moon and the eleven stars bowed down to me.”Genesis 37:9.”

Picasso on a pear.

Pablo Picasso’s “Tete d’une Femme Lisant” (Head of a Woman Reading), 1953. This one is in a fitting place, across the street from the Livingston library.

Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” appearing on a mushroom.

Edvard Munch’s diary reports this about the paining. “I was walking down the road with two friends when the sun set; suddenly, the sky turned as red as blood. I stopped and leaned against the fence, feeling unspeakably tired. Tongues of fire and blood stretched over the bluish black fjord. My friends went on walking, while I lagged behind, shivering with fear. Then I heard the enormous infinite scream of nature.”

Salvador Dali’s “The Persistence of Memory” on a strawberry.

Dali described his work as a hand-painted dream photo.

In case you could not tell this is a mushroom and an strawberry.


Cherry Blossom Festival at Branch brook Park by Barbara Dexter

Cherry Blossom Festival at Branch brook Park by Barbara Dexter

The cherry blossoms are right about at peak, as of last evening.  Hopefully today’s rain didn’t have too much of an effect on the blossoms.  The Cherry Blossom Festival is in Branch Brook Park in Newark, NJ. Simply drive along Branch Brook Parkway and see the blossoms without having to walk. I prefer to take a stroll among the blooms.

Beautiful pink blooms


A large cherry tree with white blooms.


Drive along Branch Brook Parkway

Many people take photos of themselves, or “selfies” if you like, near the beautiful blooms. Although yesterday was cold and breezy, it was very relaxing to stroll in the park. This park is in an urban area, that doesn’t see many tourists, unless the trees are in bloom. The county has set up an information booth and rest area in accommodation.

Spring Bicycle Ride on the Columbia Trail by Barbara Dexter

Spring Bicycle Ride on the Columbia Trail by Barbara Dexter

Well I set out for my inaugural bicycle ride down the Columbia Trail from Long Valley to Highbridge.  I wanted to test out my new bicycle seat. It was said to be very comfortable and not hit the backs of my legs when I stand up. Yes there is a split down the middle, which does seem unnerving to me. I assure you not part of me was trapped inside. It is surprisingly comfortable. I was able to go for about ten miles before my soup bones let me know it was there. This is not bad since I was wearing jeans and a t-shirt. That means I had no additional padding from special spandex shorts for comfort. I will see how long it takes for me to become completely used to it.

New ergonomic bicycle seat
A view from the trail

This is one of the first views on the trail. I thought it to be very picturesque. It shows the beautiful and rural nature of living in the area.

The first bridge spanning the Raritan River , as you proceed from Long Valley to Highbridge.

The first bridge spanning the Raritan River is not very dramatic, but it is fully functional.

The clydesdale farm as seen from the trail.

While biking on the trail don’t be surprised if you encounter an extra large horse or two. They have use of the trail as well. They generally ride to one side and allow you to pass. They are very grand and beautiful creatures.

The second bridge on the trail.

The second bridge spans a section of Ken Lockwood Gorge. There are beautiful views of the river. Do pull your bicycle off to the side when you stop so that others may pass. This trail is wonderful because every so often there are benches to rest or simply enjoy your snack.

A view of the river from the trail.
Is it haunted or not?

This old building looks like it should be in a scene from a movie. At first glance it looks like there is a ghost inhabiting the vacant structure. I will let you be the judge of that.

A view of Ken Lockwood Gorge.

I took the long way and enjoyed the day. I took pictures as I traveled. I bicycled about 25 miles. You don’t need to do the whole trail at once. there are different parking areas along the route or simply start at one end of the Columbia Trail in Highbridge one day and maybe the other end on the next visit. Many people walk, run, or bicycle on this trail. If you bicycle it is best to have wide tires because it is mostly a crushed, compacted rock surface that is typical of a converted rail road bed. The Columbia trail is also open for cross country skiing in the winter time.

A Winter Hike at South Mountain Reservation by Barbara Dexter

A Winter Hike at South Mountain Reservation by Barbara Dexter

Once again it felt like the four walls of my home were closing in on me and I just had to get outside and do something.  It was a cold winter day this day. A hike in the winter needs a little preparation, but is not undoable. Think long underwear under your regular comfortable clothing. Proper footwear and socks for warm, and dry feet are also a must. If it is icy outside, adding ice gripping attachments to your shoes goes a long way to keep you from falling and injuring yourself.

The trail through the woods.


A fallen tree covered with a blanket od snow.


Check out the root ball on this fallen tree.


Washington Rock
Description memorializing the rock


Cannon shot and powder statue
View near Washington Rock
The viewing platform
Yet another view

South Mountain Reservation has a plowed road (Crest Rd) that is available to walk on year round. It is a frequent place for families with children just learning how to ride bicycles, or with baby strollers. It is also a favorite of dog walkers.





Drawing at Max’s on Main Street in Boonton by Barbara Dexter

Drawing at Max’s on Main Street in Boonton by Barbara Dexter

It was a rainy day that started out with my wondering how to occupy myself. I went to the gym to continue my stretches and exercises that were issued at physical therapy. Then I remembered I could join up with a group of people and draw. I had never been to Max’s but I must have driven past it at one time of another. The thought of an old brick firehouse that was converted to a restaurant and pub. They have live music and an awesome food specials. Of course, the first thing I wanted to know was where the pole went. I was told the firehouse was too old for a pole to be original to the building. Upstairs is and old jail and courthouse. Main Street has some beautiful shops that were decorated for the holiday season. Boonton has the look of a small town, but is still relatively close to the city.

Max’s on Main St.
A beautiful building in Christmas colors.
Check out the statue of the Mexican man that welcomes patrons in front of the Mexican restaurant.
Check out this artistic version of a holiday tree.


Cool gingerbread house in the bakery window.
Upstairs at Max’s.
Awesome stained glass.
Jail that is located upstairs at Max’s.


Coffee on Main St.
My drawing.


I enjoyed myself, drawing and talking at Max’s on Main Street. I was able to finish the drawing I will feature on my Christmas card this year.  We were invited back to draw or hang out at any time.