Sunday, April 29, 2007

City Views, Country Dreams

Good afternoon from New York.

My creaking old bones were thankful to have a day of rest, after our outrageously busy Saturday at the shop. We were completely swamped by customers from the time we unlocked the door at 10 a.m. It was as if the customers thought there was about to be a sudden shortage of linen, cotton, silk.

All fitting (changing) rooms were filled throughout the day, and we were hard pressed just to return the few items tried on, but not purchased, back to the appropriate shelves/racks. We have only one register at our cash wrap counter, and that operation also kept racing to keep up with the demand. We sold over $20,000, and finished the day a happy, but tired staff.

A very sound sleep last night was guaranteed.

Since it had been a while since my last day off, I began my day of rest with lots of postponed errands, but got them taken care of fairly quickly.

Then the day was mine.

During spring and fall, there are a series of "street fairs" held in various neighborhoods on a Saturday or Sunday. Today was the first one around the corner from my apartment on Broadway. The weather was a bit iffy, but sun prevailed, though earlier heavy clouds and breezes helped to treat the neighborhood to the smell of the street food that many of the vendors sell. (Lots of smoke, and steam, and hot oil.) Other treats available include orchids, fake designer fashions, blood pressure testing, balloon sculpture, musical entertainment.

I always like to see how this year's version varies from the past. Once you have been to one 2007 street fair, you have pretty much seen all that will appear at any 2007 street fair, although some neighborhood versions do manage to put their own spin into the mix.

So, I wandered on over to see what was blooming in Central Park. We had lots of rain this week, and the plants seem to have loved getting their roots wet.

Pear, apple, cherry, dogwood trees were splendid. The really sunny areas' daffodils were past their peak, but the shady area bulbs were spectacular. Not just daffs, but also tulips, hyacinths, strange little hyacinth/tulip hybrids ?, hellebores, fritilaries and ferns. Primroses, quince and some other berry branches. Bluebells. Just all sorts of flowers in artfully planted combinations. The Parks gardeners are always at work, but in spring their efforts are shown at their very best.

People strolling all over the park, rowboats were out on the lake, rollerbladers and bikers were speeding around, but avoiding collisions with pedestrians. Even though the costumes were obviously different, and the overhead helicopters somewhat broke the spell, I could almost imagine that I was walking in one the Impressionists' paintings.

All that strolling around has made me hungry, so I will now drift over to the kitchen and see what I can put together for dinner.

Pleasant dreams to all.


  1. Hi Frances, the Park sounds lovely. Do you know about Dr Who? It's just there was an episode on Saturday set in New York and featuring Central Park. All mock ups I fear but I thought of you.
    You use the phrase'a bit iffy'Do they use that in the States? You are of course perfectly entitled to use it, but it sounds so English I was surprised. Best Wishes ToadyXX

  2. Hi Frances,
    Street fairs sound interesting and I enjoyed walking through central Park with you, I can visualise it as I have been there , just the once!
    Wow your shop was busy what a lot of clothes you must have sold! What is name of shop? I'm sure you've said way back before I started to read your blogs.
    Glad you enjoyed your day of rest.
    I'm busy cleaning Soph's room, now she 's gone I can get in and scrub it, the windows sills and frames were black with grime!

  3. Thanks for your message
    I have now looked at website and found your store, so now i can visualise you in your store, it looks very quaint for NY!

  4. Gorgeous sounding day, adore the street fairs you describe, and $20,000! Coo! Must have struck New Yorkers as some pivotal Spring into Summer day.

  5. I enjoyed walking through Central Park with you. I don't think I (or my alter ego Chicken Licken) told you that I had a trip planned to New York a couple of years ago and had to cancel. Will go there one day...

    And I know what you mean about the helicopters-they go over our fields-SO noisy and disturb the animals no end.

    Saw your comments yesterday re yr blogs-quality is important and not quantity-keep doing what you are doing, your blogs are just right. And I agree completely-I have had to take a step back from it all-blogging was consuming me-reading/writing and there really are not enough hours in the day and with everything else to do. And I don't work full time like you do either-always amazes me how you do it.

    warm wishesx

  6. You always show me such a different side to NY from the one I imagine, built up from films and the media over the years. The walk in the park was lovely, could do with visiting your shop, needing an outfit for a party, you shop sounds like heaven.

  7. Hi Frances - I have very vague memories of Central Park as a child. My uncle used to live on Riverside Drive and I went to stay for the 6 weeks summer holidays when I was nearly 12 yrs old. He took me to see The Pirates of Penzance at the theatre there - it was in 1979 I think and we sat 2 rows in front of Jackie O (Kennedy).xx

  8. I have never been to cental park but I shall now. They sell lots of your stuff in Off Sax in Florida and I am a huge fan of the linen. I guess its the previous seasons but hey, they dont know that back in UK do they!!!Well they do now!

  9. Hi Frances, I have at last managed to get over to this site and have been spending the evening catching up with all my favourites. The street fair sounded fabulous. I noticed that muddie mentioned a website showing your shop and I would love to know about it, so I can imagine you there. What sort of clothing do you sell and do you do accessories and bags as well? (I'm only curious because these items are my favourite things). Its been lovely catching up with you again, take care - Jacqui

  10. Glorious as always Frances, I could almost smell the aroma's you spoke of. Hope you are refreshed from your day off. Thank you for pouring a little NY sunshine into our lives.

  11. Hi Frances,
    I had the most wonderful afternoon in Central Park in September, the weather was glorious and I ahd my picture drawn, a carriage ride, nice horse, Irish Lad, and then supper in the lovely resturant there, Such great memoires.

  12. Hello dear Frances,
    Thank you for taking us through Central Park, I just love street fairs. Could you give me the name of your shop please Frances, thank you. Mention the word clothes, and I am HOOKED! At least your shop did a roaring trade on Saturday, which was wonderful. We like some of the same things Frances, V.Woolf I know, but I like the books of Margaret Drabble also. I do believe she was a friend of the late author Muriel Sparke.
    Warm Wishes.