Wednesday, October 28, 2009

City Views, Country Dreams

Good evening from New York.

Halloween is a few days away, and I hope to write again before that glorious holiday ends. However, knowing how my schedule sometimes surprises me, I thought that I would show you some of the spirits around New York this evening.

As I left the shop this night and glanced upwards, as usual, to the Empire State Building, I saw that tower against a cloudy sky, through a bit of a drizzle. Its colors tonight honor our wonderful baseball team, the New York Yankees. Tonight, if the weather dries somewhat, those players will take their next step toward playing again in the World Series.

Yes, I know that the World part is a bit over the top, but we have been calling our annual national baseball championship that for quite a few decades. May the world forgive us. May the Yankees win again.

I took my usual subway ride and then, with my camera in my hand walked a bit through my neighborhood looking to see if Halloween was in the air. A brightly lit shop window had this fellow wearing sunglasses, though I am not sure that he actually had eyes.

I turned down a side street, and found eyes, very large eyes in a brownstone window. My hands shook, and the picture was blurred.

I tried again, and found myself even more shaky. How is it possible for two window shades to evoke such power?

I scurried home and cut a few lights on in my little apartment. I looked in one of my mirrors and saw that even I was succumbing to the Halloween spirit.

My goodness. I tried another click of my camera and found that abstraction had taken over.

May I wish each of you great fun on Halloween, and may your spirits celebrate, wherever you and they might be.


  1. What fun, Frances! Your photos are just right for the season - a bit other-worldly.
    We've got baseball on here - The Great Dane is a fan and I'm beside him with the laptop keeping him company. If I try to watch baseball I'll fall asleep!

  2. Hello blurred Frances :) We don't really *do* Halloween over here (at least, not in the wholehearted way that you lot over there do!) but it was lovely to see the pictures; the eyes on the window shades are inspired - so effective. I have always been puzzled by your World Series, (the naming of) and even more puzzled as to why it is on my radio, in the UK! When I can't sleep and put my little radio on - it is most disconcerting to hear the commentary floating out, and then I sigh and think, oh, it's THAT time of year again, and change to radio 4. Perhaps there is an American radio station which has commentary of one of our cricket tests? (I am only joking) Have a lovely Halloween in your beautiful city. x

  3. Eyes? Spooky, really spooky.

    But to do halloween well you really need the graveyards. And not just cemeteris full of people who died in 1920 or 1850 but those from the dim and distant past - seventeenth century will do nicely. Have you ever noticed how those old gravestones are so cracked and how they lean? Well it's caused by the perpetual rumblings among the spirits on 31st October. The one day in the year (night of the year) when the souls of the departed can pick up their worn coverings and move abroad for a while. But you wouldn't believe how clumsy they are and that's why the gravestones lie all higgledy piggledy. Usually it's because everyone has to rush underground at the first sign of day break and after a night on the tiles. Frequently they end up in the wrong graves - especially the husbands and wives - which causes no end of fuss. But you won't see any of that in New York. Spirits don't like cities - or even pumpkins for that matters. But if you know an old country churchyard, down by the sea, where the wind blows wild in the darkness of an autumn night and the banshees wail around the eaves of the church, where the barn owls hoot and you could swear there are chains and manacles clanking in the inky blackness: that's the place to go and hide behind a 1000 year old yew tree (for protection). You never know what you might find then on your camera. Sleep tight!

  4. have made a 'bloody & guts' ice cream & bramble stoker's crushed bones flavour for a customer in Whitby in readiness for the town's Goth Weekend starting tomorrow. anyone heading to Whitby better take plenty of garlic and well sharpened stakes

  5. Frightening things there, Frances. You were wise to run home!

  6. Yes, the season is afoot.
    Wonderful photos!
    I went to the Mutter Museum --part of the college of surgeons in Philadelphia yesterday and found all the skulls with bullets in and photos of the afflicted deceased horribly depressing....
    This visit wasn't my idea.
    Yes, Go Yankees... though last night's performance wasn't stellar.
    Off to the dog park with Emperor Buster as he did not go yesterday since I was off on the Bolt Bus.
    Hope to see you soon.

  7. Happy Halloween to you too Frances. Lovely photo of the Empire State Building.

  8. Hello Frances,

    Gosh, you're getting rather prolific.

    Not really a huge fan of Halloween, but the children seem to enjoy it! It's always struck me as rather odd that a country that seems to be predominantly rather vigorously Christian, which tries to get Philip Pullman's novels banned, should embrace a Pagan festival so wholeheartedly. Anyway, may you have a smashing Halloween, and all the candy you can eat!


  9. Wow! Spooky photography. Halloween is catching on here - another import from the U.S I am afraid. Children roam the streets dressed up to frighten and knock our doors to 'trick or treat'. I keep a bowl of some revolting sweet conconction to offer otherwise....
    However, I do bake a rather good pumpkin pie.
    Peg and I are making plans for our New York visit. Peg says that the 11 November is a Public Holiday and that the shops will be closed. Is this so, Frances? Does this include museums and art galleries as well?

  10. Happy Halloween! Gosh I am just mesmorised by your photos! It must be unbelievable to be living in New York! Suzie. x

  11. Brilliant photo's Frances, and such a wonderful one too of the Empire State Building.

    Happy Halloween to you dear Frances.

    The photo's of eyes are really spooky.!


  12. Ooh, clever photos, Frances, very evocative. Those pictures are a far cry from all the Halloween rubbish in the shops here which turns the whole thing into a jamboree to make the shop tills ring.

  13. Woah, those window blinds are something else. Mr Grigg is getting in a load of sweets for the trick or treaters - mostly young children accompanied by parents or older siblings. Number One Grand-Daughter has also threatened us with her presence in the form of a skeleton apparation on the doorstep.
    Your view of the Empire State Building. Beautiful.

  14. We live in such a spook ridden ancient fold in the hills that I am always a bit nervous at what our Halloween parties may draw out of the stones!

    I am about to embark on the annual baking of the chocolate mint graveyard cake for Halloween for my two small ( well not so small now) vampires!

  15. A perfect Halloween post! Have a good one.

  16. Hello Frances,
    Catching up with your last post, the textile exhibition sounds really creative. Central park looks lovely with all the Autumn colours.
    I just unearthed some knitting needles and wool. Something simple, haven't knit for years, seeing lots to inspire me. Long dark evenings, time to knit. The crochet looks very pretty.

  17. Doesn't the city at night bring to mind "In the Hall of the Mountain King" - especially at Halloween. Wonderfully other-worldly and stylishly spooky, Frances.
    Even spookier, the certainty that on November 1 the stores will be stiff with Christmas offerings and garlands of evergreen and holly.
    Happy Halloween,

  18. Frances, you are a true inspiration!
    Loved those window eyes,
    and your mirror was definitely haunted too -
    I hope you had a safe Halloween night,
    only good spirits around you! :-)

  19. I love visiting your blog Frances, I am planning to be in New York in 2011, for my 40th! Reading your blog I am becoming familiar in a sense with New York and hopefully it won't seem so daunting on the day I arrive. Love the pic of the Empire State Building!

  20. Great shots as always, thanks Frances.

  21. Oh Frances such a lot to catch up with!
    Love your abstract Photo and the eyes oooooh sends shivers from this distance so I am ot at all surprised that they spooked you.