Good evening from New York.
I have so enjoyed reading about the beautiful countrified summers being experienced by so many of you. I read of garden teas, gorgeous flowers (proved by splendid photos,) visits t0 pubs, visits to other beautiful places.
And then, I realize that I should share some of my current city views with you.
Perhaps you will recall that my apartment building was fairly recently sold to a corporation. I am lucky to be a protected tenant, so am entitled to remain in my tiny flat, as I watch other, more vulnerable tenants packing up and moving out.
As their apartments are vacated, they are renovated. Dishwashers, sanding of floors, painting of walls, and perhaps a few more improvements yield rents double what we vets are paying.
The public spaces are also being "improved." Out on the sidewalk entrance to the building, we have two large concrete planters in which have been installed mini fir trees. One of the trees is already not looking very healthy. At the base of each of these minis are some weakening begonias and lengthening vines of some sort. The curbside cherry and ginkgo trees out front have had periwinkles planted at their bases. The periwinkles don't look much better than the begonia. (In past summers, we had impatiens (busy lizzies) where the periwinkles struggle, and the impatiens were toughies who blossomed.
Our hallways are being smoothed; the prior prickly stucco finish is being banished. One of our three elevators is now out of its vertical tunnel. It will be replaced by a better, modern vehicle. Meanwhile, we can count on the stairs to see us through, when the two remaining elevators just don't show up at their requested station.
But. The worst is the lobby. The flooring has been re tiled with slippery, slightly metallic tiling.
The old lobby decor was not pretty, but did not try to be flash; it did not aspire to any sort of beauty. It was content to be functional.
Today a very large, very awful abstract painting was added to the lobby mix. I regret that I will have to see this every time I enter or leave this building. I feel very sorry for the doormen who sit at their post a few yards away from this monstrosity, hour after hour.
The painting could not have been created by a painter. I asked if it was a temporary measure, but was assured that it will be a permanent fixture.
Do you all see why I rely on my country dreams?