It's snowing lightly tonight, continuing to build a gentle covering that began this afternoon. There is something very strange about trying to sell folks beautiful early spring clothes in this sort of weather. In theory, we are selling the resort collection in the shop. In the current financial atmosphere, I don't how many folks are able to waft off to a warm resort.
I was glad to have my warm, down-filled coat, cashmere-lined gloves and snug woolen beret when I left the shop to walk over to the subway station to go home, an hour after sundown. As I walked past the lovely architectural iconic Flatiron Building, I could not help but look up and see the Empire State Building and the superbly art deco Chrysler Building shining brightly through their veil of snow. Magic. It is these sorts of sights that make me so happy to live in this city. Millions have seen these same sights through many decades, and enjoyed them just as much as I did tonight.
We know that spring will arrive within a few months, and my little antique china plates and saucers show images inspired by long ago springs. English springs, not New York springs, but it is the same sun, after all.
This Minton plate is so pretty, and I have had the nerve to let a cheap tin green bird rest on its shoulder.
This plate is very old, not sure quite how old. I show it, remembering the lady from whom I bought it in the Portobello market years ago. She was a retired teacher who loved old china even more than I, and certainly was more knowledgeable than I will ever be.
Whenever I would visit London, I would make a point of checking in with her and catching up with a long chat. We would always exchange Christmas cards and letters. Sadly, she died before last Christmas, and it makes me quite sad knowing that we won't again have any of those catch ups. She was someone whom I initially met by pure chance, yet got to know well over the years. I have always treasured the opportunities that life tosses us every day.
Here is another odd little spring like Minton motif on an odd saucer. The colors are so lovely. I do not have the cup, never saw it.
Let me now return to that wintry New York subway system, where many commuters, who would otherwise never meet each other, mingle every day.
Yesterday, on an errand trip downtown, I stepped into a train car, and then saw two men enter, carrying two folding chairs and three large drums. My spirit rose immediately. I had not seen these fellows in months. They are amazing musicians and full of joy that they easily spread to all who hear them play.
We exchanged smiles, they quickly unfolded their chairs and sat, one man began an easy beat on his drum to start their conversation. Then the other man began to charm intricate rhythms from his two drums. All the fellow travelers watched, smiled, some did a little dance to the beat, as the train rushed along to its next stop.
The musicians knew just how to time their performance, ending it just before the train made its final brake, when the passengers for that stop needed to make their moves toward the doors. I said Happy New Year, and great to see you, to these gents, and they returned the greetings, also having recognized me. As they passed their caps around for any money that their audience might offer, they made a point of saying that they really did play for joy! Joy that they give and joy that they receive. I am very sure that they also play "real" gigs and that this subway bit is just a way to have some fun, try some new routines.
Just like glimpsing those architectural beauties in tonight's snowfall, hearing that duo play yesterday and seeing how their music created a three-minute community proves to me how wonderful this city can be. Yes, it can be a harsh place, and crime and tragedies abound, but as this year gets off to its beginning, how I appreciate being reminded of its splendor and unpredictable fun.
Sweet dreams to all.