Wednesday, August 12, 2015

City Views, Country Dreams

Good evening from New York.

Yesterday's rain yielded us a brilliant sunny summer morning, without too much of the humidity that can sap our energy.

I got up early and dealt with laundry requirements in my apartment building's basement laundry room.  I was glad to see that almost all the washing and drying machines were functioning, and that I seemed to be the only tenant making use of the room

This is the sort of opportunity that can give a city dweller's day a fine start.  Once that laundry was dried, folded and stowed away, I was ready to take the subway downtown to Union Square.

This is definitely prime tomato season.  Yes, I do dream of having a garden and being able to grow my own tomatoes, but...when I see what Kernan Farms grow in nearby New Jersey, I know I must put those dreams to the side, and select some lovely ripe tomatoes from this stand and take them home.

This same stand is known for its marvelous peaches.  I did not resist their sweet and colorful call.

It is usually tricky when visiting the farmers market to know just how much to buy.  The entire idea is to be able to savor fresh produce.  I live alone, and know just about how much fresh produce I might consume before my next market visit.

Ahh, but I can admire the beautiful eggplants, and the many varieties of tomatoes, squash, and so forth.

I love the large signs around this stand proclaiming the source of their fabulous fruit and veg.

Another nearby stand was championing radishes, and a colorful variety of carrots.  I didn't buy these, but did purchase some of this farm's delicious and beautiful Lollo Rosso lettuce.  It became part of tonight's supper salad.

Do make note of that clear blue sky.  The following photograph shows just one aisle of one of my favorite plant stands.  I loved seeing this mom getting plant selection assistance from her two children.

Here's another view of the same stand showing some of their fine selection of cacti.  Sometimes there is a guitarist standing nearby serenading the plants.

Many of the flower and plant stands are now featuring sunflowers, in many varieties.  My little apartment does not have enough room to provide proper sunflower showcasing.

Now, please see how these varieties of plums shine in the almost midday sunlight.  I will perhaps get some plums on my next visit.

The colors of the bouquets for sale at a nearby stand sort of echo the colors of the plums.

It is not unusual for me to encounter some friends or acquaintances while strolling through the farmers market, but I have to admit being surprised to spy Santa at this fruit juice stand.  

It seemed a bit early in the year to let Santa know about my Christmas wish list, or to assure him of my good behavior.  

Instead, I was glad to be able have gathered several heavy bags of fresh fruit and veg before noon, and to make my way back home via subway.

This afternoon, I made more progress on my current fair isle jacket projects, had a late lunch while getting caught up with today's global financial news, did a little reading, and as the tune goes, "fell into a dream."  Isn't an afternoon nap a wonderful luxury?

I woke up to the sound of a phone call, from a person trying to conduct a political poll.  I declined.

It was almost time to prepare tonight's salad.  I thought before gathering together the various salad components, I would take a photo of the pretty peaches I bought this morning.  Aren't they lovely?  

Blueberries finished tonight's supper.  One of these peaches might take that role tomorrow evening.

Thank you all for your visits and comments.  It is so interesting to learn how our summertime months are progressing.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

City Views, Country Dreams

Good afternoon from New York.

Humid late July days were punctuated by a very wet Thursday, resulting in almost two inches of rainfall.  We had our Blue Full Moon on the 31st.  (I forgot to look for it when on my way home from a late shift at work.)

So far August weather has been warm, but has contained lower humidity than that of July.  I am grateful, and decided to walk across Central Park today.

Just outside my building, I spied masses of red begonias, a gleaming bike, a shiny white van, an American flag and several black cars.  I hoped to be able to cling to any available shade.

Reaching the West 72nd Street entrance to Central Park, I avoided eye contact with assembled pedicab chaps who took me for a tourist because I was taking photographs.

I also moved quickly through the shady Strawberry Fields area, trying not to hear the off-key performance of Beatles tunes that seemed to please other folks.

From the above photograph you can see just how clear the sky was.  If you look very carefully between the twin evergreen trees in the background, you can the top spire of the Empire State Building, located about two miles downtown.

I couldn't resist taking a photograph of some of the horse drawn carriages clip clopping along the park roadways.

I began to notice lots of brown, fallen leaves along the lawns.  It seems too early for spying these signs of autumn, but there they are.

As I gazed upwards, i saw quite a few nests newly revealed as leaves begin to fall.

This roadway has a curving incline that was proving a challenge for many weekend cyclists.  I just kept on walking along at a slow and easy pace.

These eye catching banners are hung throughout the Park to promote the Central Park Conservancy.  I thought it odd that the electric light was on at midday.

Lacy shadows caught my eye.  I also saw lots of acorns that had already been nibbled by squirrels, but saw no squirrels.

I took the following photograph to indicate the vast contrast between the shadowy areas and those in bright sunshine.

More shady leafy areas are apparent in the following photograph.

I believe that these flowers are a sort of impatiens, and were clearly loving the sunlight.  I'd thought that impatiens plants could also tolerate more gentle light.

I continue to somewhat fascinated by the types of signage that is placed around the Park.  Is it curious that this sign was limited to three languages?

As I left the Park and crossed Fifth Avenue, I had a peek at the below street level garden on the side of the opulent Ukrainian Institute.

A bit farther along East 79th Street, I noticed that this neatly trimmed box has a brave little weed sharing its space.  Perhaps none of the millionaires living in the building mind.  Or perhaps they are all away somewhere on holiday.

Since most of the pictures in this post are dominated by shades of green, I thought I would conclude this report of my sunny Sunday walk with these city views of two glorious planters.

These are just some of the beauties planted at the entrance way to the Greek Archdiocese building.  The plants and flowers are always very beautiful at the this address.

My destination today was once again The New York Society Library, where I picked up three books.  They are Milan Kundera's short story collection, The Festival of Insignificance; Zen Training by Katsuki Sekida; and Robert Macfarlane's The Old Ways.  I am about half-way through Mr. Macfarlane's Landmarks and want to pursue more of his writing.

I realize that a walk through Central Park is very far from a walk down a country lane, or through an old forest.  However, I am very grateful to have the Park nearby.  I am also very appreciative of all your visits and comments.

Best wishes to you all for more enjoyable summer days, whatever sort of weather may arrive.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

City Views, Country Dreams

Good afternoon from New York.

Yesterday, while out doing my Saturday morning errands, I noticed that another phase of the neighborhood street repaving was underway.

As the approaching midday sun began to heat up Broadway's surfacing, a team of yellow-green vested workers were freshening up the markings that we pedestrians are encouraged to use while crossing intersections.

While this fascinating striping was underway, the crosswalk path was barricaded, so we pedestrians had to take our chances, hoping that oncoming vehicles had drivers familiar with their vehicles' brakes.

In the above photograph you can see the delicate yellow caution tape that was stretched across the work site.

I was able to safely cross the street and continue on my way home.

This morning, I set out for a little neighborhood Sunday farmers market.  It was great to see the fruits of yesterday's laborers, indicating a safe pathway across Broadway.

Although I did not take a photograph of myself, let the record show that I was wearing a linen sweater featuring broad horizontal black and white stripes.

Perhaps I have always had a fondness for graphic design.  The next photo shows a view of the giant faux boulders and stony flower pots placed to protect pedestrians from danger while they wait for the flashing green Walk sign.

Having reached the safer side of the boulders, I took a photograph of a southern view, looking downtown at the space where Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue briefly mesh.  You can see that those stripe-painting fellows still have more cross walks to add.

I like the graphic design of the traffic sign posted on the traffic light.  It's definitely a tricky intersection that will benefit from fresh stripes.

I glanced down to see a charming chalk sign drawn on Broadway...presumably during a very quiet time of the day or evening.

Continuing on my way to the farmers market, I passed by an entrance way to the 72nd Street subway station, and was struck by the mix, or even jumble, of architecture on display.  You might also notice the stainless steel (perhaps) sculpture that resembles a room divider.

Here's a closer view of that sculpture.  I admit that I did not stop to read the little sign on the metal fencing.  The sign names the sculptor.  Perhaps I will take the time another time.

Passing by the other entrance way to the same subway station, I encounter Verdi Square.

This little patch of greenery is now very, very overgrown.  All the same, it's always good to have some shade trees.

The branches of these trees, surrounding the Museum of Natural History, were whooshing about in a welcome breeze.

Lots of hydrangeas, lilies and shrubbery are part of the plantings around the Museum.

Indeed, this green space is a designated city park.

There are lots of benches, and a dog walking space, too.

Finally reaching the farmers market, I glanced up to see more trees catching the breeze from the rooftop of a nearby building.

Most of the farmers seemed to be offering summer fruits, but at last I found a stand that also featured some vegetables.  I found perfectly ripe tomatoes, tender green beans and some beautiful zucchini.

Although I was tempted to buy some ears of corn, on this visit I was content to take a photograph of the ample supply of available corn.  You can also see the bushel baskets of corn waiting for ... I am not sure what ... at the curbside.

Perhaps those baskets had been set aside for a neighborhood restaurant that was going to send along a cab to pick them up.

There are often these sorts of little mysteries to be found amid daily city views.  Thank you all for your visits and comments.  It's a true pleasure to share a bit of this city with you, week by week.  
How is it possible that we have almost reached the end of July?