30-JAN-2011 On a rather balmy January weekend, Ashley and I decided to drive around to a couple of landmarks for photographs.

PHOTO BY SMASH

We started locally at the area in Port Murray, New Jersey that is the current site of the Post Office. Behind the trailer which serves as the post office, is a restored train station and caboose and a still run-down building which was once the historic Port Murray Dairy. I like to twitpic the train station and caboose because I find them interesting to look at. The building is a wonderful shade of evergreen and the caboose is of course red which is traditional. I found some spikes lying around so I brought them home. They were clearly not being used, not part of anything like a display, and partially buried by gravel. Hopefully that exonerates me from any charges of theft.

I love looking at train stations, old and modern. I think I prefer the old though. On a rainy morning in autumn, I had been at the High Bridge NJ Transit station and it looked eerie yet serene. It was a sunny day so we didn’t quite get the same look that I had wanted from last fall. Photographing railroads is apparently quite cliche but whatever, there’s a reason for that – they are composed of so many varied textures that the settings make good pictures.

Ashley then took me on a tour of Ashley: Year One and showed me the small villages of her roots. She took me to an attraction that I can’t believe I didn’t know about it. It’s the abandoned Gingerbread Castle in Hamburg owned by Joseph Urban, possibly connected to the Urban Company commercial real estate company. We watched a small group of hispters crawl through a less than secure area of the fence with their cameras. It’s easy to understand why; the sad state of the amusement park is creepy and perfect for any horror psychological thriller backdrop. It would be remarkable for a proper photoshoot of twisted fairy tales and nursery rhyme characters.

PHOTO BY SMASH

If you have any imagination at all, it seems obvious that this abandoned castle is fantastic spot for a super villain hideout. You might sacrifice convenience of a corporate penthouse in a large city but you gain isolation and privacy in West-of-Nowhere, New Jersey. With wifi expansions, you don’t need to be in a big city any more when developing sinister plans for things like shooting the Police Commissioner’s daughter in the spine or stuffing dolls with bombs and releasing them in a commercial sales drive.