Sunday, April 18, 2010

City Views, Country Dreams

Good evening from New York.

On this Sunday, our spring weather has taken a few steps down the temperature charts. I was so glad that I had not taken my wool pea jacket to the dry cleaners yet. That would have been a true declaration that the chill was gone.

I was also very glad to have this day off from the work place. After taking care of various errands and home chores, there was lots of time to go out with my camera to explore the clear day under a sunny blue sky.

In the very early afternoon, I headed up Broadway, and took the photo below of tulips and beautiful trees enjoying their final blooming. If you look carefully through the branches, you'll see the blue awning of my wonderful neighborhood food market, the legendary Fairway.

On these median cross ways of Broadway, seasonal plantings are underwritten by various merchants whose shops line Broadway on our upper west side neighborhood. Sometimes we also have these areas adorned by sculptures.

And so I crossed Broadway, on my way to see what might be available today in our little farmers green market that adjoins the weekly flea market held on the asphalted playground of a school.

I've been meaning to post a photo of this entryway to a brownstone that may, or may not, still have folks living inside. I think that someone still lives here. I am always taken by the Dylanesque painting on the front door. Someone must be keeping that shrub alive?

I continued my walk through the flea market, and as usual, saw nothing that I admired more than the various bits and pieces back home in my own apartment. As I get older, vintage takes on a different definition as far as flea market finds. Antique is a word that I still hold precious.

On to the farmers market area, set up on sidewalk paving just behind the Museum of Natural History. Lots of folks were buying bunches of these beautiful cherry tree branches.

It is still way too early in the season to expect to see any veg in this market. There are still some farmers selling last year's apples. Some sell hot house herbs, and lettuces. In a few months we will see all sorts of fruits and vegetables and flowers.

And so, I rounded the corner at Columbus Avenue and 81 Street and took the following photos of the grounds outside the Museum.

The day had been a bit overcast earlier, but on my walk, I began to see the sun assert its true shining splendor from behind the clouds, and so I clicked my camera to capture the dappled green of the lawn below.

I could have taken lots of photos of the lawn around the Museum, but instead pressed on, and crossed over to the western edge of Central Park. The sign in the picture below always reminds me of how that playground came into being. If you google Diana Ross and Central Park you all will also be able to learn this history lesson.
Today, I just loved the light on the green and pink, with the sky above

And then I found a way to cross the park's roadway, dodging folks on bicycles who were definitely enjoying their Sunday exercise. It's not so tricky to weave across runners. They don't have pedals and wheels.
The picture below is a little dell just below the Shakespeare Garden. In a prior post I showed a view of it from the top of the Shakespeare garden ... back when the daffs were in bloom.

After taking that photo, I saw many more beautiful spring scenes, but also discovered that my camera's battery was just about gone. Oh No!
One of my reasons for this afternoon's eastward walk was to take some photos of the annual tulip display along Park Avenue. How could I return home with only that shot of tulips on Broadway?
And so, I have not any pictures of early spring softball games, romantic couples braving the April chill, various robins hunting for worms, frolicking dogs, and many folks marching up Fifth Avenue in this afternoon's Greek Independence Parade (including some major politicians.) Nope. I saved my battery.
The reward was being able to show these yellow tulips that are almost ready to reach stardom on Park Avenue.

And, there was just enough power still available to show the array of cherry trees that line up between the tulip beds on each Park Avenue block.

If I had done more camera preparation, you all would have been treated to more views of the Park on my walk home. Musicians, beautiful paraders and parade viewers, ducks on the lake, rowboats on the lake, azaleas, forsythia, violets, lingering daffs. And so many fabulous dogs having a grand time outdoors.
The camera's batteries have now been re-charged. I look forward to venturing out again soon to show you all some more city views.
Best wishes.


  1. What a wonderful walk that was, Frances. My view of New York City is coloured by time. The last time that I was there was in 1978! It's lovely to see New York from an up-to-date perspective, and from the point of view of one who lives with the city every day.

  2. This is a lovely eyeful already, you know how to capture beautiful moments like the sun dappling the grass, and the cherry blossoms against the rising concrete.

    It was colder here too, I put my sandals back in the closet in favour of sturdy walking boots!

    As to vintage, I concur. In the 80's I sought out vintage 50's fashion to wear, now in the 10's I am sending my 80's items to the thrift shop for the next generation to discover!

  3. I am a big city person and always thought it would be so great to live in NYC. You prove me right! I do love how you walk places and are alert to all the beauty coming your way, and your enjoyment of Central Park. Also how you "use" the museums and other amenities of the city.:-) How is the painting coming? Finished yet? Will we get a peek at the finished redo? :-)

  4. Another wonderful tour of New York! Thank you.

    When you finally retire from working at the shop, perhaps you could become a tour guide. Have you considered that career change?

  5. I enjoyed the whole walk but I loved the final photo juxtaposing the cherry trees with the buildings. Seeing Spring arrive in New York through your eyes makes me yearn to return one day. Thank you for this, Frances - a soothing, calm post in what has been a particularly fraught time juggling family and work commitments.

  6. Another lovely NY walk Frances. I always feel I am there with you, seeing the city through your eyes.

    It slightly saddened me to see the branches of cherry. I thought what a beautiful tree you had photographed, and imagined it, and trees like it, being stripped for the market.

    The tulips are so lovely, and how good to know that the traders contribute towards beautifying their city.

  7. Hello Frances, thank you sharing your wonderful photographs with me, I have really enjoyed reading your post, and lovely to see New York, I would love to go :0)

    Thank you so much for your lovely words, I have indeed found blogging a very helful tool in getting my thoughts and feelings into some sort of order.

    Take care




  8. So I must really make my way up to your wonderful part of town.
    Keep me posted about your days off.
    End of this week is looking good.

  9. You make your home city just so beautiful. I love the blossom and the tulips (my favourite flower) must be absolutely stunning!

  10. As ever you have taken us for a lovely walk through New York Frances. I will get back there soon one day... I keep promising to take my husband.

  11. Thank you for sharing your walk... and for once again showing us that a big bustling city isn't all about traffic and concrete.


  12. How lovely it is to visit your spot and see spring on its way. I was wondering too about the cherry tree branches although I suppose it was from trees being pruned.

  13. and we have glorious heat here this side of the pond. Do you think the loss of allure of bric a brac is a sign of age... I have jsut had a very dissapointing trip to a brocante and decided there was nothign there I liked enough to carry home! I love the cherry trees and keep meaning to plant some here!

  14. My dear friend Mrs Bancroft came back from the heat of NY the week before last. Glad she didn't leave it until last week otherwise she would have been stranded with that volcanic ash cloud overhead. Lovely pictures, thank you.
    Is the naked cowboy still in Times Square?

  15. It is hard to believe that all your photographs are NY scenes. There is so much greenery and colour that one might almost be in a small town somewhere.

    I too am quite tired of flea market junk. There's nothing any longer that I would wish to buy; in fact, I am looking round my own treasures with a view to pass some of them on to people who might enjoy them. But not just yet, maybe. There's time, I hope.

  16. Love that 'river' of tulips - both formal and fluid.

    Your city looks beautiful with its spring flowers.

  17. "Ne'er cast a clout 'till May be out' or in your case a wool pea jacket!

    Your words and pictures capture the splendor and excitement of springtime in New York, I only wish I could be there.

    Now, I shall google the Diana Ross playground.

  18. great post! I am looking to do a charity trip to the green flea and the upper west you feel there is lots to see there in a day? I am thinking so especially with the museum being there as well. Thanx for the info!! enjoying your blog!!

  19. Really wonderful post Frances, and the pictures you have taken with your trusted camera are lovely.

    Beautiful tulips too and pink cherry tree's against that NY skyline. The cherry and apple tree's here in my garden look a treat with their fluffy blossom, sure sign that we are in spring.

    Adore all to do with vintage, antiques too have always been a passion of mine.

    Thank you dear Frances for sharing that trip along your wonderful walk with us in New York.


  20. I love your posts and images, new York is so magical, me and steve have both said we're def coming back one day!

    yes my home is a tale of two cottages indeed! Maybe I'll play my flute at half nine on the morning when he's trying to sleep! Or let joshy play it! He blows really high and bad sounds with so much gusto!!

    How are your socks? Mine have gone wrong again I think I'll look for a beginners pattern!

    Hope you have a lovely weekend, fliss xxx

  21. Hello Frances..
    Many thanks for your visit and thank you for this delightful stroll through New York.
    I visited the Big Apple about 12 years ago, in the month of May and sadly it rained.. heavily.. for most of my stay. However.. I would love to return one day and really don't mind if it rains or shines.. it is such an amazing city and has so much to offer.
    Greetings from across the pond.
    Michele xx

  22. What a wonderful walk! I was with you every step. New York looks very beautiful in the spring!
    Have a great weekend.

  23. Blossom is WONDERFUL isn't it! You can see New York's nature stirring and coming to life in your photos.
    Love Vanessa xxx

  24. Une jolie balade sur votre blog pour la Française que je suis. Une découverte de New York, qui est aussi espaces verts et jardins... A bientôt. Véronique

  25. Hey sweetie - come stay with your Norfolk friend for our next market - that would be fun! We could go car booting together - although I suspect I'd have to fight you for cups and saucers! t.x

  26. Lovely pictures Frances I am o pleased that the batteries didn't fade too fast.
    I love the line of tulips snaking off under the trees in the first picture.