Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Quick Trip to Westfield

Waiting for the eastbound train.

Someday there may be a Trader Joe's in downtown Plainfield, but meanwhile I decided to go get some Tuscan Pane Saturday from the one in Westfield. Having picked up a new directory on my last trip, I also wanted to visit the Hip Thrift and Art Gallery on South Avenue.

The directory includes a map, showing all the parking lots - something I wish Plainfield had. I usually shop in the stores north of the train station and I had to get a Google map to pinpoint where the thrift shop was. So armed with my map and directory, I caught the 10:57 a.m. 59 bus at the stop outside City Hall.

It was a beautiful day for late November and along the way I could see lots of roses and other plants that had not yet been hit by a killing frost. At Trader Joe's I got the bread I like so much, and a couple of take-out dishes for a day free of cooking.

The thrift shop was intriguing, but I still find the amount of stuff in thrift shops overwhelming, though I did make one purchase.I mainly wanted to report back to Audrey, who is very skilled at finding treasures in such places. Seattle's Goodwill just held its Glitter Sale, perhaps the pinnacle of thrift events in a city that highly values recycling of everything, including second-hand Christian Louboutin shoes.

Soon it was time to catch the 11:59 a.m. train back to Plainfield and that's when I saw the eastbound platform jammed with people, some holding bags from shopping in Westfield, others no doubt bound for Manhattan shopping or holiday sight-seeing.

As for me, it was time to get out the rake and clear the fallen oak leaves off the lawn and garden on the northeast side of the building. I hauled out the old Toro blower/mulcher to reduce the piles of leaves to half the volume, then headed inside for some Trader Joe's treats.

My final thoughts on this trip were wishes that Plainfield had a current directory and especially a map of downtown parking. The business directories displayed in City Hall are very attractive, but out of date. We don't have anything as sophisticated as the Downtown Westfield Corporation, but the Special Improvement District does send out a publication with listings of businesses. A parking map would be a nice addition.

And how about a Trader Joe's downtown? It was touted as a future occupant of the PNC Bank building. way back in 2008. Meanwhile, NJTransit to the rescue for us non-car-owning Trader Joe's fans to make a quick trip to Westfield.



  1. Take the 59 or train down to Dunellen, then walk back to downtown Plainfield. See the West End

  2. What do you recommend of interest in the West End? On a taxi ride last week, I saw a lot of service businesses (such as auto repair) and bodegas, not much for shopping.

  3. Economic vitality translates to independence, but our local power brokers want dependence so whatever 'manna from heaven' comes our way comes through them. It's the source of their power and the nature of their 'street money', designed for two purposes; to be handed out in band-aid size amounts to the needy or by the bucket-load to politically connected hustlers and hucksters.

    For Trader Joe's to entertain Plainfield as a viable location, we will first need to 'Occupy Plainfield' from the bottom up and remove the top down regime that keeps us in the mud looking skyward.

  4. I think that an engaging restaurant pamphlet/PDF in English and Spanish would be such a great start. People in the surrounding towns are curious about our restaurants.

  5. I wish Plainfield did more to advertise itself, but under this administration, we find a very lazy mayor and no fresh ideas on marketing Plainfield. It is sad, as Plainfield does have a nice downtown that could use some polishing and help in bringing business from outside of town.

  6. tsk tsk Bernice... Merely mentioning Westfield and how nice it is inspires the "why would we want to be like Westfield anyway?" crowd... You know, vibrant, tax revenue collecting, clean, welcoming, growing, oozing vitality and spirt...Sure, why would we want downtown Plainfield or any part of Plainfield to mirror a success story... We should all vote Democrat in the next election so we can see change start to take hold in Plainfield...oh..oops..sorry, I'm sure it's practically knocking on our door, right Mapp and Storch?

  7. What does government have to do with which businesses we have downtown? Republicans always talk about how government only gets in the way. They want government to get out of the way of business and let the market decide which businesses survive and which ones fail...unless it is a business that individual Republican is involved in, in which case they spend a ton of money lobbying for more government help in the way of subsidies, tax breaks and/or government contracts.

  8. Anonymous...the words change and downtown were the real point. I try to keep my comments above crayon scribbled musings for the front of the refrigerator. Any particular government has plenty to do with growth of business or lack thereof. Effort, zoning, incentives, marketing and lets try effort one more time...Do you think Coach picked opening up in downtown Westfield because it's where the dart hit on the map?

  9. Once again the West End is ignored when Jefferson Street bridge over the brook is closed and no one is told. Oh well, good thing they paved the street so the kids can at lease skate on it. But in the WE is the biggest car sales lots in Plainfield, a Mormon outreach center, the health center [mores people should know about this, especially for teeth] and just into the next town ---- yes an ice skating place !!