Friday Noir: Dreams and Lies

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What happens when things don’t work out the way you expect them to?

When, after all the might and struggle, you still end up flat-busted broke?

You wake up each day, walk through those gates to your job, and put in your time.

Bust some knuckles, and your back, along the way.

And still you can’t break even.

More lint in your pockets, cobwebs in your wallet.

Paycheck to paycheck doesn’t even cut it.

The kitchen table becomes the judge and jury every night.

Canned crap for the kids.


Your wife doesn’t even look at you much anymore.

You didn’t expect this.

THIS wasn’t the dream you had.

Then something, an opportunity, presents itself.

Something to make the road a little smoother…

If…if you take a chance.

Sure it could swing the other way.

But if it doesn’t…

The street gets a little more easy.

Do you take the chance?

Is a dream a lie if it don’t come true?


(c)Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2016

Friday Noir: The Dark, Dark Hours

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The humidity.

That’s what you remember from that time, the humidity.

The way the air hung like a wet cloth on your face, suffocating you.

So warm, even the ice in the booze melted fast.

Too fast.

It wasn’t even worth the effort to put the ice in the glass.

It just watered down the booze.

And who wants watered down juice?

Better to let the brown liquid slide down your throat, scratchy but solving.

Especially this time.

Hard to say how things got like this.

Hard to say where things will go next.

Hard to breathe.

Just better to fill the glass again.

No ice.


(I posted a smaller, color version of this a loooooong time ago. Came across the B&W and liked it.)


(c)Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2016

New Project: #allentownnjlife

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I’ve decided to take a page out of my friend Sabrina Henry’s portfolio, and start a new personal project.

I’m calling it #allentownnjlife.

For a while now, I’ve enjoyed Sabrina’s work to capture her little town of Steveston, British Columbia. She shares slices of small-town life while saying “The Village Life documents everyday life in Steveston and in doing so, reveals something truly special.”

I’d like to do the same for Allentown, NJ. We are a small community at the upper edge of Easter Monmouth County. The town was incorporated in 1889, though there is some debate about who founded it: Either a settler  named Nathan Allen or for William Allen, who served as Chief Justice of the Province of Pennsylvania and had a hunting lodge here.

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Allentown has a quaint little downtown with a few small restaurants, a liquor store, a pharmacy, a dry cleaners, a bike shop/candy shop and a barbershop. It has a vape shop too. Progressive, in a way.

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There are many historic homes, dating back to the 17 and 1800s, and other businesses, including those in the Old Mill like The Moth Coffeehouse, that lend character and commerce to this town.

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Just off of  Main Street (yes, it’s an honest-to-goodness named Main Street), you’ll find farm land: vegetables like soybean and corn, Christmas tree farms, sod farms and horse farms.

The older kids go to Allentown High School and the younger kids go to either Stonebridge Middle School or Newell Elementary. The latter is named for William Newell, former Governor of New Jersey and the one that started the U.S. Coast Guard. He was at Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. He died right there in his house, just off of Main Street and down the block from the school that bears his name. His final resting spot is across the street from the school, in the Allentown Presbyterian Churchyard.

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(c)JerseyStyle Photography_Allentown Presbyterian Church_042016

With this new personal project, I’d like to document the day-to-day life of this little town. The people are fiercely proud of it, and many are trying to make a small-business go of it. We all stand on the backs and shoulders of the farmers in the area, though. I’m hoping to find out more about their lives and work through this project.


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This is a long-term project. I don’t see an end date, but an on-going continuation to document this community.

I hope you’ll follow along this story!

(c)Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2016



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