Sunday, November 7, 2010

City Views, Country Dreams

Good evening from New York.

This Sunday is the day that we "fall back" and re-set our clocks to standard time. As I write, it is not yet 6 p.m., but the sun set over an hour ago.

Our personal inner clocks will now have to start a gradual adjustment. Soon this city will have added lots of additional electric light in various designs as holiday decorations. These will help to brighten our dark evenings.

Today was also the day that the New York City Marathon was run. Media commentators said that the crisp, cool weather was perfect for the runners. In past years I have made a point of walking (definitely not running) over to nearby Central Park to watch many of the participants make the final quarter mile to the finish line. It is always a very cheery occasion.

Today, I had other obligations early in the day, but mid-afternoon decided to take my camera over to Central Park West, the street that parallels the western edge of the Park, to see some of the aftermath of the marathon.

Central Park West, or CPW as it is often called, was closed to vehicles today, and served as a place for runners to meet up with family and friends, a place for many international media to set up their broadcast headquarters, a place for many ambulances and medics to stand by to aid runners in need.

As the runners reach the finish line they receive crinkly metallic wraps to insulate them from the chilly temperature. You can see that these wrappers also feature lots and lots of advertisements.

The runners also received drawstring-handled plastic bags containing various treats.
The following photo shows a runner who clearly wanted to stretch her muscles and to try to regain her strength. I do not think that she felt the cold sidewalk below her.

Many family members and other supporters found unique ways to allow their runner/s to find them in the crowd. Some waved flags, some rang bells. This couple wore funny hats.

Some runners looked very fresh after their many miles. Others looked a bit worn out.

Some walked along with a jaunty pace. Others limped or trembled. I have never been a runner, and still marvel at what some of these folks decide to put themselves through.

My reservations about the whole notion of marathon running does not in any way diminish my awe at what all these folks accomplished today.

Each participant was bestowed with a medal that was hung around his or her neck. Each of these folks must be incredibly proud of their accomplishment.
Congratulations to you all.


  1. Hello Frances,
    I had to smile at your remark about internal clocks. I was up quite early as usual this morning and watched a beautiful red sunrise. It was only much later when I turned on the radio that I realised the time had changed. I enjoyed experiencing the marathon through you fabulous photos and observations. You live in such an exciting city.

    cheers Lucette

  2. Up here, we live on one of the few places in the world that doesn't get involved in daylight savings. Our clocks are as biological as anyone's, but we don't have to deal quite so much with the strictures imposed on our lives by the artificial construct of "hours."

    As for marathoners, I wish them well, but can never figure out why so many people would give themselves the "run around." There are enough others doing that to us already.

  3. Here in BC we set our clocks back last night as well. I've enjoyed the 'extra' hour today, but tomorrow will certainly be back on track.
    My sister and BIL run marathons - I just don't get it.

  4. Here in the Netherlands, we set our clocks back last weekend. I can't say that I appreciated it very much. I liked it better before. The afternoon gets dark too soon, while I don't mind it dark in the morning.

    I do admire marathon runners, simply because of their staying power, which I don't have. At least not physically. It's great fun that you got to watch the aftermath.

  5. Such an interesting post. I've only been to the Big Apple once, but your posts always make me want to go back.

    Hawaii is one of those places which doesn't go onto or off of daylight savings time. When you only get 12 hrs. of daylight, whether it be May or December, there's really no point. So today was a day like any other.

    Hope you'll have a great week, Canadian Chickadee

  6. Such an interesting post. I've only been to the Big Apple once, but your posts always make me want to go back.

    Hawaii is one of those places which doesn't go onto or off of daylight savings time. When you only get 12 hrs. of daylight, whether it be May or December, there's really no point. So today was a day like any other.

    Hope you'll have a great week, Canadian Chickadee

  7. I could never run a marathon, nor would I want to, but I do admire those who put themselves through it for a charity's sake.
    What a fascinating place, Frances, always something different to read about.

  8. Our clocks went back last weekend. Like you I am still adjusting but it does make getting up in the mornings easier!

    I used to be a runner but never enjoyed it - always had to force myself. But now it just seems mad for otherwise sane people (think Chris and PM) to subject themselves to this torture, crinkly blanket or no crinkly blanket. I think I might manage the 385 yards but I'll definitely leave the 26 miles.

  9. Frances, thank you for sharing the marathon runners with did look cold, the lady cooling down on the side walk must have worked up some heat to lie on a cold pavement like that. Our clocks went back a few weeks ago, so we have gradually adjusted to the new times. Best wishes as always, Posie

  10. Ouch - you can virtually feel the pain of the lady with her legs up, covering her eyes! Like you, I can only stand back and admire this kind of achievement. I'd rather be curling up under that cosy-looking bookshelf of yours in the first pic, trying to decide which of Frances's books to grab first!
    Thank you for your lovely comments on my blog - they are so much appreciated!

  11. The image of the lady stretching is wonderful.

    I hope you make your clock adjustments quickly, it seems to take me longer to adjust each year. It takes me a week or two to stop feeling as though my timing is off.

  12. We set back our clocks this past weekend as well. It is so dark by 5pm but at least the mornings are brighter earlier. I do love the mornings.

    I admire those individuals who train and persevere to participate in marathons. Hats off to them for accomplishing such a feat!

  13. Hi Frances ! Merci d'être passée chez moi. Tu vois, moi non plus, je n'arrive plus à écrire en anglais ! Ici aussi les horloges trahissent nos désirs et hélas, maintenant il fait nuit à cinq heures du soir, quelle tristesse !

  14. Yes, congratulations to them all.
    Personally, I never have run and never will now. But I walk a lot, you get to see so much more. You get to sniff the flowers and watch the birds, you hear the flow of water and feel the wind ruffle your hair.

    You also get to take photographs.

    And best of all, you come home full of the wonders of your walk, exhilarated and satisfied with a job well done.

    No doubt the runners don't know what I am talking about, they get all that I say in my last two lines and
    more from running.

    Ah well, to each his own.

    As for the clock business? I think it's silly.

  15. I think that like you, I would have walked over to see the spectacle. I have always been totally rubbish at running, so would have no choice in the matter. It is always heartening to see the achievements of others and I would have enjoyed cheering on the stragglers at the end.

    NYC must look amazing in the winter, especially at this time of year, I am thinking of the skating and the trees around Channel Gardens. Skating seems much more desirable and fun.

  16. Hey!

    Thank you for stopping by in my blog! And you think we have wonderful spirits - what a wonderful thing to say! Thank you so much. That`s what you think even thought I don`t always write in english in my blog and you have to use the strange google translater... I`m sorry! I wood like to write in english every time, but there are not always time for it... Because I have to consentrate a bit more than when I`m writing in norwegian.. *smiling.

    But thank you for stopping by and leave such nice words!

    Smile from Norway

    Liv ;O)

  17. Hi Frances,
    I have never run a marathon and I presume I never will. We have also changed our clocks over here in the UK. It makes it very dark in the afternoon. Oh well, next month the days starts getting longer!
    Best wishes,

  18. I'm especially envious reading this one, Frances! The atmosphere at the end of a race is always something special whether you're running or watching, but the NY marathon must be terrific. I 'll be sticking to half marathons - but well done to all of the runner and also to the people like you who turn up and give them a much-needed boost.

  19. Hello Frances,
    Hope you managed to complete your other warm sock. I am busy doing the trying to complete my pair. They seem long dark nights here so knitting in the evening.
    Sunshine and blue sky today, a lovely walk all wrapped up against the chilly air. Collected some bits to draw.
    I expect you will be soon painting your pretty teacups, how quickly this year seems to have passed. I have booked a little stall at a Christmas Fair so I am making some festive things at the moment.
    Best wishes millyx

  20. Yes, I'm totally in awe of people who manage a marathon....
    it's as much as I can do to stagger to the dog run!

    Lovely pictures and story as ever.
    Hoping to see you soon.
    Buster always enjoys your messages.

  21. Dear Frances,

    How could I have possibly missed this post.!

    Lovely pictures to your wonderful post Frances, I would dearly love to know if that is a Bloomsbury pic behind your clock to right of the picture?

    I do so admire those marathon runners, sadly I am not a runner Frances.!

    A very chilly day here in Norfolk England, definately warm coats and sweaters, even Daisy did not wan't to venture out for her daily walks, not like her at all.


  22. I'm in awe of people who do marathons, because of the endurance and dedication needed, and I'm not sure running marathon's is that good for their health either! Brave people, amazing people! Love Vanessa xxx

  23. Rather them than me! I bet teh atmosphere was exciting.

  24. Dear Francis,
    I hope you are enjoying a beautiful Thanksgiving Day!
    Big hug,

  25. Wow, indeed rather them then me. So great if you can runa marathon. Thanks for sharing!

  26. Hi Frances - I love your pics from the marathon, in fact all your New York pics. So atmospheric. My sister was in New York last autumn to cheer on friends running the marathon. I hope to visit someday too. Maybe we will catch up for a cup of tea!

  27. Playing catch up on my favourite blogs. Now I'm peering at that first picture, trying to figure out the books on your shelf! Endlessly fascinated by what people have on their shelves.

    The very thought of a marathon makes me feel ill. But, like you, I have huge respect for those who can do that... jxxx

  28. I'm always marvelled by people who can run long distances – I can hardly run a couple of metres before going totally breathless...

    I'm so looking forward to see your Santa's workshop projects ;)

  29. I like your clock Frances.
    Fantastic marathon pics.
    I too cannot understand why people run or climb mountains - life is hard enough as it is :-)

  30. Saw only a slice of the run from the train as it stopped outside the Harlem station. Always see them running and hear the theme music from Chariots of Fire :)