A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Commuting, Computing, Mental, Flashpoint

Computer network problems in my household kept me away from blogging most of the week. Glad to be back.

This has been the commuter week from hell. Early in the week, a trestle near South Amboy opened for boat traffic and refused to lock when they brought the bridge down, so my commute home included sitting "indefinitely" on a NJ Transit train at Woodbridge.

Then Wednesday's thunderstorm took out the signals on the PATH train between Journal Square (JSQ) and Newark. I left work at 4:30 pm so I could eat before a 7 pm appointment, but needless to say I didn't make it. My hour and a half commute home took more than 3 hours. My journey involved an hour at JSQ, a megaphone NJT worker announcing that we should take a bus to Secaucus, another NJT worker saying the roads were awful and recommending that we take the PATH to Secaucus. I re-entered the PATH system at JSQ and went to Pavonia/Newport, where I switched to a PATH train to Hoboken, where I caught the NJ Transit Pascack Valley Line to Secaucus Junction, where I caught the Northeast Corridor Line train to Newark, where I caught my regular North Jersey Shore train home. Rain was pouring through the roof at Newark Penn Station.

BTW, I apparently could have caught a direct train between Hoboken and Aberdeen at 6:20 pm. I thought I might have heard a public announcement in the Hoboken station in that regard, but when I asked a conductor, he dished out some serious attitude and directed me to board the Pascack Valley train. I had never been to Hoboken or Secaucus station, but that wasn't the day to learn the ropes. NJT conductors need some serious training in customer care. The NYPD SWAT model of customer service is great for sieges but inappropriate for the train riding public.)

On Friday, it was pouring rain and I was soaked to the skin. My NJT train was cancelled at Newark and they made the next train a "local", adding time to the commute. When we deboarded at Aberdeen, the gate came down at Atlantic Avenue so the train heading in the other direction could (eventually) depart. It was still raining ... and I had no ride waiting.

With computer and commuter problems, one needs to seek solace. On Wednesday, we went to Maloney's Pub for karaoke night and a couple of beers. On the way home from the train station on Thursday, we dropped in at Matawan Barbecue for takeout. (I parked in the train station lot, just across Main Street from the restaurant and jaywalked through traffic. Probably the wrong thing to do on several fronts, but it was sure easy.) Matawan BBQ has been selling Portuguese and Brazilian barbecue dishes (beef, pork, and chicken) and fish since July 2008. Two of us ate for two days on a single bbq combo order of chicken & pork ribs (with rice and black beans as our two sides) plus a fried calamari appetizer, all for under $25. They have plenty of formal seating if you want to eat in. Friday was leftovers and some TIVO. I've been enjoying the new shows Flashpoint and Mental this summer.


  1. What was your impression of Matawan barbecue. I liked the rice and beans, in general I just found everything underseasoned. Don't get the garlic shrimp, they were teeny tiny almost baby shrimp and similarly unremarlable. The plantains were pretty tasty

  2. I thought the calamari was rather salty and heavy, and it had an unusual herb seasoning on it. While the chopping of bones is normal for Portuguese BBQ, the pork ribs had little meat, so when they cut them across instead of between the bones, we ended up with mostly bone and gristle. It was difficult to eat sometimes, sort of like eating fish with the bone in. I'll go back, but I think I'll try the steaks and fish next time. And I'll stick with the chicken but leave out the calamari and pork ribs.