Wednesday, May 26, 2010

City Views, Country Dreams

Good evening from New York.

It has been about a month since I last managed to give you all a city view. I have had quite a month, filled with challenges. I cannot give details. I have learned to find a way through some unexpected difficulties.

Having cleared my way through those shoals, I will show you some photos taken a few weeks ago, on a late spring day as beautiful as today.

This is another view of my nearest subway station. I love this station house, situated in the herringbone cross of Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue. A huge building has been going up and is just visible on the left side of my photo. It's the one with the red corner. Above street level, hundreds of tenants may eventually get around to renting expensive apartments.

At or below street level, there is to be a giant branch of a major bank, and ... more interesting to me, a giant branch of Trader Joe's, a sort of supermarket. I hope that Trader Joe's will start a price war with my beloved Fairway Market, and that my weekly grocery bills might soon begin to decrease, instead of continuing their alarming escalation.

And now, back to the little "plaza" leading to the subway station. Overnight, the two heavy female shaped sculptures arrived. They look grand from a distance, with their formal symmetry . We could not expect topiary at a subway station, yet these solemn ladies suggest it to me.
A closer view shows the distressed finish to the sculpture's skirt area. It also reveals the scattered litter drifting round the lady's hemline.

And this final photo shows an overflowing garbage bin. We New Yorkers do mostly try to dispose of our litter. If a receptacle is full, we are not so great at carrying our litter onwards in search of another receptacle.
Regular visitors to this site will perhaps recall a series of photos I took last summer showing the results of a traffic accident that had demolished an iron fencing surrounding the Broadway side of this plaza. Take a look at the right of the garbage bin and you will see that the temporary fencing is still doing duty.
All who pass by each day notice this, wonder if and when the actual repair will occur. Finances are hard for public expenditure. I want to know how the sculptures were funded. I love seeing the ladies, but also want to have that iron fence back.
Best wishes to all. I will try to write again before July!


  1. Good afternoon, Frances, for it is still afternoon out here on the west coast. It's good to see a post from you - I missed you!
    The ladies are lovely, but a repaired fence would be lovely too. Could the ladies have been financed by a private donation? It's the same everywhere, this difficulty with public monies, although I don't see that it's a problem for our politicians when it comes to spending on wining and dining.
    I'm glad that you've been able to navigate whatever shoals and eddies were causing you trouble. I know that you work very hard in a challenging industry - keep breathing - they're lucky to have you.

  2. I've been missing our personal view of New York too. I hope life's unexpected turns give you a break for a while.
    I like those iron ladies, modern and yet old-fashioned at the same time.
    Take care - is the repainting done yet?

  3. I have missed you and the guided tours of New York and the glimpses of your life.
    Those ladies,solid as they are, are so graceful. How did they come to be there I wonder.
    Very best wishes.Take great care of yourself. I will keep watch for your next post.

  4. Thanks for the interesting tour and, even more, the fascinating commentary.

    Whether it is the price of food or the cost of civic repairs, things are getting more and more expensive all the time. I notice that prices even in Walmart are creeping up, not down.

    I'm glad that you have "cleared [your] way through those shoals." May life be more exciting and fulfilling in the coming days.

  5. I Love those sculpture. They remind me of Velasquez's "Las Meninas" painting I think it is the shape of the hair and skirts that does it. Beautiful though they are I do wonder if litter clearance and fence mending might have done more for civic pride!

    Hope you month has not been too much like something from TheDevil wears Prada! Bon courage!

  6. Take care Frances. I hope life's challenges are not to hard in the coming weekes.

  7. I like the bronze ladies, are they inspired by the Infanta María Teresa by Velázquez, I wonder?

    We're all facing prioritising how money should be spent. I hope life's ambling along more smoothly this week.


  8. I hope there are not too many sharks in those difficult waters. I have missed my virtual visits to the Big Apple.

    It is a shame that the rest of the world does not share our hatred of litter, it is a most antisocial thing indeed. We have more than our fair share of litter louts here.

    There will no doubt be cutbacks here in the UK and I am sure public services will be the first areas to see the axe fall, I fear for our public gardens and streets. The lady sculptures look very durable and will grace the streets for many years to come. I agree, they do suggest topiary and have a sense of history, they are lovely.

    Take care Frances, watch out for those sharks!

  9. What gorgeous ladies! I wonder what would happen if something hit the temporary fence and landed on them. Would it be a crash, or art? It's a shame about the litter and the barrier, but I suppose art and repairs are funded from different places.

    I'm sorry to hear of your month of challenges. I hope that these are behind you now and that the path ahead is much smoother. xx

  10. I was sorry to hear thay you have had a hard time. I hope things have improved by now.
    I have missed your posts from NY.
    Love those huge ladies with their big skirts.
    Have a good day.
    Ingrid xx

  11. Lovely to see you again Frances. I love though large ladies. And can absolutely see why you think topiary. With you on the fencing too.
    I do hope your troubles lessen and that all will be well.

  12. Thank you all for the welcome back messages. They have meant a lot to me.

    Yes, topiaries or Meninas, those ladies are tough cookies. Perhaps that is why they appeal to me, even if they have endure litter round their skirts.


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  14. Somehow, those ladies don't look at all like cookies.

    But what does a Bear know?

  15. You have a lovely blog with great pictures of New York, so I hope you will be able to keep posting. Those sculptures look great – like giant bells.

  16. I loved taking a peek into your city - made me want to visit for real. Hope all goes well for you now. I think the ladies are so elegant and yes, the railings do jar, but are maybe a useful reminder to drive more slowly !!! (I say this because even in our tiny rural village we are now bedeviled by speeding traffic, so take my comment with a pinch of salt, please.)

  17. Buster was very disappointed when he heard that I had seen you sans him!
    Gosh, I need to get uptown more to see things I miss in my neck of the woods. I love the sculptures near you - a surprise since most public stuff is pretty awful.
    Such a pretty morning so am about to take the little prince out.
    Have you seen the new park at the bottom of 23rd Street?
    It really is a delight.

  18. I rather like your ladies, they remind me of traditional old brass bell decorations we have over here, with the skirts hiding the bell clapper. I do hope you are well, despite the things which have disturbed your life. Be sure that you have lots of friends round the globe sending you good thoughts, including me, who thinks of you (even when I am not *around* much) ♥

  19. First I asked when you'd go for another walk and then I miss it when you do!
    Sorry for being so late.
    I am sorry that you have had some difficulties but as you said you have overcome them and found a way round or through the, good for you. You will surely have learned something from whatever it was.

    I love the two fat ladies in their (smooth) crinolines. If I could see them every day I'd probably be so happy I'd forget to ask how much they cost. Say hello to them for me, tell them to watch their skirts with all the litter floating about. I wouldn't mind if you gave them a little pat at the same time and tell them Friko said hello.

    I wish you all the best in your travails and hope to speak to you again soon.

  20. Good to catch up with you Frances...I am glad you have got through the troubles, Posie x

  21. As usual my friend you open doors and let us walk with you through NY. Love The Ladies, not too impressed with the litter, here there is always a litter warden waiting to pounce and fine one, which is not to say that we don't get "litter-whacked" in Dublin. Keep the chin up, you're a strong swimmer and will get through these shoals.

    Love the blog; hope you got my recent e-mail re those shoals.

  22. Hello Frances,

    Love the sculptured ladies, and great pictures of New York, would love to have one of those sculpture's of lady in big skirt in the garden Frances.!

    A challenging time for you dear Frances, may your future years ahead be less troublesome and a smoother path for you.


  23. I am sorry you have had troubling times Frances and hope all is well now for you.
    Lovely post as ever.