Tuesday, May 3, 2016

City Views, Country Dreams

Good afternoon from New York.

Like today, yesterday was also quite cool, grey and damp.  Even so, I decided to take a walk over to Central Park, thinking that I would see lots of green.

It was interesting to learn that a little building, adjacent to the subway station, formerly used as a newsstand is now a mini Pain Quotidian take out eatery, complete with tables and seating for its patrons.  Business was quiet yesterday, but I think that it will be picking up as warmer weather returns. 

Perhaps because of the mood of the day (not my mood) I finally remembered to take a photograph of an intriguing sign that has been on the side of this West 72nd Street building for a long time.  It's amusing to see the logo of Sleepy's mattress shop nearby.

Still looking up as I continued on my way to the Park, I took a photo of the tops of some other 72nd Street buildings.  These are very different in character from the newer towers in the neighborhood.  One building has a fence around its rooftop garden.  There are a variety of shops at street level.

Just inside the Park, I was glad to see that some tulips were still in bloom.  I love the softness of the shades of green, with the delicate pink shimmer in the background and those blue flowers in the foreground.

Here is another view of a scene that the cool weather has prolonged.

I was disappointed to find that the wisteria flowers had come and gone.  Perhaps I will still be able to find some wisteria in bloom in another part of the Park.

A few pedicab pedalers were managing to find some patrons.  Warming blankets were available for the passengers.

No flowers on this wisteria vine either, but isn't it lovely anyway?

Azaleas have now begun their spring performance, and looked great in this little nook near a pathway that lots of dog walkers use.

The following photograph shows you this nook is also very close to the Park's edge.  If you did not look up, and did not hear any passing traffic, you could imagine you were in the country on a misty day in May.  I also wanted to take some close up pictures of pretty forget-me-nots, but my camera battery faded.

This short post is intended to let you all have an idea of how quickly the atmosphere of the city can change.

This afternoon I visited The Metropolitan Museum of Art for a members preview of a truly fabulous and thought provoking exhibit.

I took many, many photographs of the beautiful and interesting clothes both old and new that are included in the show.  It's going to take me a while to download my photographs and see which might be worthy of including in my next post.  It's my hope to add that much longer Met post this week.  Clearly retirement has increased my blogging frequency!

As always, thank you for your visits and comments.  It is so interesting to learn what you all think of these city views.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

City Views, Country Dreams

Happy May Day from New York on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

I'm going to be staying indoors, because it is pretty soggy outside; however, I do want to share some random city view photographs I took while the sun was bright yesterday.

I recently showed you all yellow tulips blooming along Park Avenue.  Over here on the west side, we also have some interesting plantings along Broadway's median areas.  These tulips are fully bloomed, but still carry some drama.

The ranunculas and pansies have been planted in window boxes decorating the front of a neighborhood Chase Bank.  I am pleased to report that they have been allowed to do their flowering performance without any pedestrian tampering.

Looking westward, I was struck by the mixed architectural angles.  It's very shady along that block.

Continuing on, a yellow cab and I passed by the local Apple shop.  Last week was a tough one for Apple stock, but the shop did look busy, if not frantically so.

The next photograph is included to reveal that there are many empty retail spaces along the city avenues.  This is a large space that has an indoor public space with tables and chairs at its entrance, created as a tax trade off to allow the building to be very tall.  The restaurant that was behind the public space closed well over a year ago.  There is a separate entrance to the luxury residential cooperative apartments that are in the upper floors.

It was not very warm yesterday afternoon.  That did not stop some from lining up for ice cream.

Lots of flats of bright annual flowering plants were on offer at this small Saturday farmers market.  Many buildings do have balconies, roof gardens, or other spots to plant these lovelies.

This is the time of year when lilacs are on offer.  Although lilacs are beautiful, I always associate them with hay fever season.  They catch and carry windblown tree pollen very well.

I couldn't resist taking a picture of this little cutie speeding down the sidewalk on her scooter.  Dad was managing to keep up with her.

Several years ago, rent-a-bike stands began to appear around the city.  The locations of these stands have increased quite a bit.  Delivery truck drivers and folks wishing to find curbside parking places are not thrilled by these bike stands.

Now, we are about to witness the operational launch of these wi-fi kiosks, that seem to be intended to replace most (but not yet all) of the old pay phones.  

I've lived in this neighborhood for over 30 years.  It is fascinating to contemplate how much change has occurred.  What's next!

It's now time for me to fix myself a little lunch, and get back to my current knitting project.  I've been commissioned to make something special.  I can say no more.

Thank you all so much for your visits and comments.  Let's have a grand time celebrating the arrival of May.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

City Views, Country Dreams

Good afternoon from New York.

I came home from a long walk to hear the very sad news that Prince has died.

My brother has sent me this link.  Skip the ad and do keep listening.


Thursday, April 14, 2016

City Views, Country Dreams

Good evening from New York.

I've been taking quite a few walks through Central Park recently, and would like to share some of those city views with you.

First of all, I wish to honor a spring tradition of showing the tulips blooming in the planted areas in the middle of Park Avenue.

These tulip photographs are specially taken for Merisi whose blog Vienna for Beginners is a treat.

Yellow cabs and yellow tulips and yellow traffic lights with luxury buildings as a background.

Walking back through the Park on my way home, I had to take some pictures of pink flowers with blue sky behind.

The brilliant green lawns looked quite good, too.  Young children were perfecting their walking skills

Some trees were flowering in a deeper rose.

Over at Bethesda Fountain, wedding portrait photography was underway.  Row boats were sailing in the lake.

Here is another view of the same area, just to show you all how lush the Park can become as spring takes hold.

Pretty blue flowers have taken over from the daffodils that were flowering here last week.

Tulips were at full bloom...very large blossoms.

I came home, and baked some cookies for my former workmates at the shop.

I made simple brown sugar butter cookies, and had a bit of fun creating some tracks along the flour left after the first batch of cookies was baking in the oven.

Here's another photograph of a mid-baking session moment, and now here's a photo of the cookies ready to be carried down to the shop.

It was lovely to see my buddies and to thank them again for the swell farewell party they gave me.

Tomorrow is my cousin's birthday, and I've mailed her the following little watercolor birthday card I painted a few days ago.

Earlier today, I took another walk across the Park and made my return walk via a stretch of fashionable Madison Avenue.  I do love the fanciful dresses on display at Morgane Le Fay.

In the bright midday sun shadows cast by the painting on the window repeated the window message below.  I wish my photograph were more clear.

Gorgeous hellebores caught my eye as I passed by a very elegant Upper East Side townhouse.  Aren't these colors subtle?

Just across the street from the subtle hellebores is another scene filled with bright light and sharp angles.

Nearing the Park again, the view of model boat pond is filled with gentle, muted colors.

I like the patterns of the sidewalks on the Central Park side of Fifth Avenue.  Lots of inspiration here for some knitting.

Daffodils are still blooming in certain parts of the Park.

Park gardeners had left their tools behind while taking their lunch breaks.

Motor vehicles are allowed access to some of the Park's roadways.  I imagine that the drivers of these taxis are glad to see some natural beauty.

No motor vehicles are allowed on this tranquil pathway.  I wish that you could also hear the bossa nova saxophone music being played nearby.

I smiled to see this large cluster of dandelions blooming on the edge of the Sheep Meadow.

This following photograph of a Central Park West apartment building window was taken just for the Weaver of Grass, whose blogs have been showing us wonderful bird nests in the Yorkshire dales.

If you look carefully in the triangular space just behind the air conditioner unit, you will see...a bird's nest.  I was attracted to it by birdsong I heard walking past the building.  I stood very still and waited a while, and then actually saw the singing bird pop back into the nest.

As you all can see, I'm really enjoying these early days of my retirement.  Thank you all for your visits to my blog and for your kind comments.  It's a pleasure to share this time of transition with you all.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

City Views, Country Dreams

Good afternoon from New York.

It's a grey and rainy day, with a chill that required me to don my down-filled coat to do this morning's neighborhood errand run.

Yesterday was just a little warmer, but still rather grim for April.  I thought it was a good opportunity to see some city views over on Fifth Avenue.  The flagship MUJI shop is just across the Avenue from the Library (where those festive holiday parties take place in early December.)

There is a current display just inside the MUJI entrance that recreates Tokyo from artfully combined merchandise one may purchase at the shop.

If any of you all happen to find yourselves in the area, please stop by and see this wonder.  It will amuse folks of all ages.  For those of you whose homes are more distant, you may wish to click on the MUJI link above to see some professional photographs of this wonder.

The translucent quality of the containers used for many of the building blocks give a certain mystery to the overall effect.  The above photograph shows a overhead view of just a small part of this very large cityscape.

The photograph below shows what I saw as I exited the shop onto Fifth Avenue.  In the overcast daylight, I thought the buildings in the background had a certain resemblance to those translucent boxes.

My main destination was another place with a four-letter name, MOMA, or more formally, The Museum of Modern Art.  I wanted to see the exhibit, Edgar Degas: A Strange New Beauty, that focuses on Degas' printmaking, primarily his monotypes.

In the MOMA lobby I passed by a series of framed works that attracted my eyes, but not my Degas-bound feet.  I neglected to discover the name of the artist.  

Perhaps one of you all might recognize whose work this is?

The identity is not revealed in the current MOMA Member Calendar, and I wasn't able to satisfy my curiosity via a search of the museum website either.  I'll find out who done it on my next visit.

I was surprised to find the Degas show rather crowded.  Most of the works on display are small, and the galleries' lighting is low to protect the pictures...and so, I did not linger as long as I had planned.  When I was attempting to learn how to create etchings and dry point prints, I never tried monotype printing, although some artists who used the same print workshop created wonderful imagery with this technique.

Leaving the exhibit, I rode the down escalator from floor to floor, and curiously peered over the protective railing that gives an overhead view of the huge second floor atrium space that's used for intriguing installations.

I continued to take a look at the atrium from each floor as I got closer to see what was going on.

It became clear that museum visitors were not allowed access to the main atrium space, which was dominated by a series of video screens on which a hand seemed to be drawing a pathway on various parts of a map.

Closer still.  I intentionally did not make note whether photography was allowed, and took a few photographs at atrium level.

The security personnel did not stop me.  If you click on the MOMA link I made available above, you can learn a bit more about Bouchra Khalili and this installation's genesis.

Back home, I knit a few more rows on my current fair isle project, and played around with colored pencils and some graph paper to plan some motifs for another project.  I also had a cup of tea (too late for lunch) and made some delicious pasta sauce for a very hearty supper. 

I am thoroughly enjoying exploring each day of my retirement.  My 2015 tax forms and payments have been mailed.  I read two books last week, and have four more waiting for me.

While the weather is still cool, I also plan on doing some baking.  Scheduling is underway so that I will be seeing more friends.  I bought two new watercolor brushes and have been doing some sketching.

I truly appreciate all your visits to my previous Easter Parade post, and the kind words regarding my retirement.  It's been grand to see comments left by new visitors.  Thank you all very much.