Wednesday, September 1, 2010

City Views, Country Dreams

Good evening from New York on this first day of September.

What a hot summer day this has been. I have been rambling all over town, and even managed to get a much needed hair cut. It was a surprise to discover that it had been almost three months since my talented stylist got her scissors near my hair.

The salon is very near the wonderful Union Square Farmers Market, and this afternoon the farmers were all there, showing their end of summer season produce.

There was corn.

There was squash, in many varieties. I bought some tiny zucchini...some call them courgettes.

There were many displays of beautiful flowers. I meant to buy some flowers, but did not. Perhaps I will get back to this market at the weekend and find the bouquet of my choice.

The following photograph shows a stall selling potted plants ... lots of herbs and chrysanthemums. The photo also gives you an idea of the buildings just beyond the northwestern corner of the Square. This view looks up Broadway.

Ahhh, aren't these eggplants beautiful? That glossy finish gives such a contrast to the grainy stem hat shape at the top of each purple ovoid.

If you like fresh, fresh lettuces in great variety, the Farmers Market is an ideal place to visit.

The Farmers Market stalls are arranged around the north and west sides of Union Square. In the center of the Square are some little cafe tables. I think that the city planners are trying for some sort of European ambiance, but I am not convinced that the ambiance has been achieved.

Well, I did gather some tomatoes, peaches, and early apples to take home along with the zucchini.
On my uptown subway train, I had the pleasure of transcending the underground surroundings, as I opened David Mitchell's newest book. I had reserved this book months ago, and at long last, my library's copy of the American edition was placed into my hands.
What a treat to be able find myself in another century in Japan as I traveled under the New York streets.
And, let's see what else transpired on this day off.
I got home in time to do a bit of playing around with some crocheting. As usual, I've got a few projects underway at the same time. Not sure which of these projects might yet be unraveled, and which might just zip anlong to completion.
It's quite fun to just play around with colors and stitches.
Today's post brought a heavy, glossy fall fashion catalogue to my mailbox. A sort of dreambook as far as contemplating making any purchases. I like these catalogues for the opportunity they bring to see how top designers clothing is styled, and to investigate the silhouettes of the season.
Often, when I turn though the pages, the photographs remind me of clothing I have worn before ... decades back. The two coats shown in the photos I am sampling here are so, so very smilar to coats I remember owning. I might have to go and see these actual coats and try them on, to see if they actually feel like those coats of yore.
Somehow, I have not found time all day to switch on the television to have a glimpse of what might be happening in another part of this big city ... on the tennis courts of the U.S. Open Tournament.
Perhaps I can have a long look at tennis this weekend, although there is a certain hurricane named Earl that's whirling its way up the Atlantic coast, threatening to give us a wet weekend, and to dampen the tennis matches.
Fingers crossed for more sunshine, glorious farm fresh produce, and great tennis.
Best wishes to you all.


  1. thank you for a lovely day spent wandering the Farmer's Market. It all looks so fresh and yummy; such a haven of countryside in the bustling city.

  2. I had that very double breasted maxi coat!
    I've been watching some of the US Open on the TV but the time difference makes it difficult.
    Sure looks hot, hot,hot.

  3. So it's harvest time in New York too! What a great market, all that corn! I too will cross my fingers that the hurricane treats you kindly, if such a thing can happen.

  4. What a great market - so colourful!

    I love the muted colours in your second crochet sample - I wonder what you're making?

    And I love the first coat - it reminds me of something? ... the black double breasted coat with a swingy 'skirt' - very mid-80s! It's still in my wardrobe - and it still fits ;-)

    Don't get blown away by Earl - stay in, watch the tennis and crochet.


  5. Beautiful photos Frances, I loved the one of the flowers being sold in the square, the city has such a lovely ambience portrayed in your blog. I have got an overload of 'zuchini' in the veg plot, many of the courgettes have turned into marrows.....

  6. I hope all is well this weekend with Earl. Loved you pictures.

  7. Ahh, lovely! Life's been a bit fraught so I've really enjoyed another trip to New York through your eyes - Tom and I have been talking again today about how much we loved visiting your city.

    And yes, fellow bloggers, I can vouch for the fact that Frances has the most beautifully-cut hair, but her hairdresser does have very good material to work with!

  8. What a fabulous market. I hope hurricane Earl gives you a miss.

  9. I'll have to check to see what havoc Earl has wrought - I hope he just felt like a huge wind.
    Gorgeous photos, as ever, especially the eggplants.
    I'm sure I wore the first coat in 1973 - loved it!

  10. Love your photos of the farmers market. Yes we call zuchini courgettes over here and eggplants are aubergines, both are yummy. I bought courgettes on my way home form work today in the farm shop in my village.

  11. I certainly know New York better thanks to your posts Frances. Each time you give me a lovely little tour and I can smell the vegetables in the market and the flowers in the park. The cafe ambiance looks fine and as European as needs be. We're not monolithic here Each city is different. I'm sure you could find exactly what you've got there somewhere or other. Hope you don't get too wet and have to take an EARLy bath! Could you crochet a cosy for a Purple Cow?

  12. In comparison to your delightful-looking Farmers' Market, ours is both puny and paltry. Sigh!

  13. Union Square looks pretty good - I'd swap it for our puny market any day.

    I had a Biba double breasted tweed coat - but sadly not the ground sweeping maxi version. I eventually begged my mother to buy me a maxi and struggled to keep the hem out of the mud - I was never really tall enough to carry it off. Not for me this time round!

  14. Ah, the green market
    and so beautifully recorded.
    I go there as often as I possibly can
    and love it!
    Got some yummy green plums yesterday.

    Yes, I had some splendid coats back in 1968
    with nice tight waists -- I had one once....

    If one lives long enough....everything comes back.
    Hope to see you soon.

  15. An artist friend of mine told me about that farmers market, I would love to see it. I have Country Views and City Dreams, how wonderful to be in your city now that the Autumn Collections are here!

  16. Hello Frances,
    Yes September has crept up on us again. The clothes in the shops tell us Autumn is near but we have just enjoyed a lovely summery week.

    I am thinking of getting my knitting going again and finish some warm socks before winter.
    Your crochet is very pretty. You seem to squeeze so much into your days so no need to explain that you have not managed to sketch.
    It is always nice to find your comments, thank you.

  17. regarding the European cafe ambience it all depends on which European country you wish t transport yourself to. The UK is far from achieving any continental style, it always rains!

    It was nice coming with you on your day's ramble, the leisurely pace is very kind to my creaking, ancient, joints and I can manage a beautiful farmer's market very easily. Produce such as the ones shown do tempt one enormously, I always want to buy all the fresh goodies, yet know that they will be stale and withered by the time I get around to eating the last of them.

  18. tasty post,Frances.
    It was a hot summer...
    and Earl was than he could have been.
    September is here...and Autumn days are's in the air.
    Have a beautiful evening,Frances~

  19. I really enjoyed this post and finding your interesting blog (via Merisi in Vienna). I recently blogged about our local farmers' market in England - drop by and have a look!

  20. Fabulous post as always, Frances - I do love catching up with your pictorial meanderings through your wonderful city. That market looks far more impressive than any I've seen in Europe - SO many types of lettuce!
    LOVE that maxi coat....

  21. Love the fashion and love the crochet work. And it's great to see some peeks of NY!

  22. Your descriptions of New York are as always delightful. I love how you buy a lot of your vegetables from Farmers Markets. Your crochet projects looks interesting.
    All the best.
    Ingrid x

  23. Thank you for your recent comment on my blog, I am so thrilled to discover yours. Not only do you live in one of my very favourite cities but your seem to visit and write about all the sorts of things that I adore.

    The Farmers Market looks so marvellous, what a lovely way to spend a city afternoon.

  24. I ma visiting your blog for the first time and I think I will do it more often! Fascinating report from the city market, I love also the color of eggplants. Greetings!

  25. The colours in your crochet are beautiful Frances, just exquisite, I very much look forward to seeing their progress. Love that coat in the first picture, the way it's fitted to the waist and then sweeps out in a curve, you couldn't get any winter jumpers under it though, it would spoil the line don't you think? Love Vanessa xxx

  26. Frances,
    I've just looked again at your photo of the aubergines (eggplants). It's wonderful! The reflections of the sky and the Manhattan skyline really turns the dimensions inside-out. I feel a painting coming on.
    Best wishes,

  27. Frances,
    I've just looked again at your photo of the aubergines (eggplants). It's wonderful! The reflections of the sky and the Manhattan skyline really turns the dimensions inside-out. I feel a painting coming on.
    Best wishes,

  28. A sweet hello from Vienna, deep into September by now, and our toes are testing autumn waters by now!

    My British friends always talk of courgettes, even after living years and years in the States. Foodies use it too (to confuse us commoners, I suppose! *smile*). Anyway, it is a lovely vegetable, isn't it?

    Those eggplants look like the extra-sweet kind. I had stuffed eggplant, a gorgeous looking and very tasty dish, recently at one of my favorite little restaurants here, with a Greek cucumber-yogurt dip on the side. *swoon*

    Dear Francis,
    I hope you are enjoying a beautiful Indian Summer day back in your beautiful New York City,

  29. Oh Frances, I cannot believe that I have not already left you a message... lovely post Frances and wonderful pictures too.

    I love to hear about your days in New York, I can imagine it all looking so colourful with that fabulous Farmer's Market, our Market is sadly only on a Wednesday here.

    Adore your pretty crochet Frances, just wish I had your talent.!


  30. I think one of the charms of crochet is the amazing variety of little shapes that can be made so quickly, each one independant in itself.They are so beguiling in themselves, what practical use they might have is secondary. Don't unravel them. Just wait,the right project will come along.

  31. Its always lovely to find a positive comment from you on my blog, I think your picture is marvellous ! I do so hope the weather improves for you. xx