On October 29 2011, the Garden State was hit with a Nor’easter that included several inches of snow. Known as “Snowtober,” the Halloween snowstorm was particularly problematic as trees were still in full leaf. In winter months snow falls through barren trees, but in this storm, most of the snow was held aloft in the branches. The incredible weight of all that snow resulted in hundreds of trees across the region snapping. Aside from knocking down power lines, roads were blocked, often for days. Halloween that year was cancelled as the lack of power and remaining downed power lines created unsafe conditions. In the days following the storm we learned of the incredible number of hundred year old trees that were destroyed in the storm.
The night before the storm, “Gardens Aglow” featuring hundred of hand carved jack-o-lanterns, was held at Presby Memorial Iris Gardens in Upper Montclair NJ. The snow created an eerie effect the next more. Also in Upper Montclair, Saunders Hardware still had their grills on display on the sidewalk.
Having been out that morning, I took full advantage of my journey home to capture some of Snowtober. A detour through the Olmstead designed Brookdale Park in Bloomfield NJ led me to discover the last snow kissed roses in the Essex County Rose Garden. While walking back to my car I noticed the magical area beneath the ginkgos that appeared dusted with snow, in reality several inches of snow had already fallen, but most was held aloft. The other discover of the day was just how well my Mini Clubman Olivia performed in the snow.
A collection of photos from Snowtober 2011:
So what’s the food angle? I took full advantage of the days following the storm to cook, cook, and cook some more!
John Lee is Black Tie and Flip Flops’ Raconteur-In-Chief: the World of food is his playground ~ the whole world! Having a Navy Dad gave John the passion to discover the world. Whether in one of Mr. Boeing’s flying machines, as an armchair traveler with a great book, or a plate beaming with the exotic flavors and fragrances, his day is all about discovering the world and sharing the stories with everyone he meets.
John cut his teeth in commercial kitchens starting in high school and continued into his undergrad years, then the media bug bit. After University he spent time at the Washington Post Company before jumping on the first internet wave in the 1990’s at some of the major players of the era. John also established himself as a culinary instructor where his style of cooking was first called “Comfort Food Remixed.” Don’t get him started on Disney Dining, but yes, he tried “the grey stuff” and it is delicious. He is also the Chair of Taste of Montclair and Montclair Restaurant Week. John jokes that he’s staying in NJ because he didn’t have enough miles to trade in for a return ticket home to San Diego, but we think he likes it here.