Sunday, April 24, 2011

City Views, Country Dreams

Good evening from New York on Easter night.

What a busy day I have had today, filled with fun. I was up early this morning, wondering if our weather was actually going to provide the forecast thunderstorms and other showers. If so, the annual Easter Parade on Fifth Avenue was going to suffer.

The sky still looked very iffy when I decided to take my camera over to the parade. At first, I did not spy very many bonnets with my little eye, but did see some very fashion conscious folks, like this gent in the plaid suit.

In front of this church I saw some of the expected balloon entrepreneurs, and began to find a few hats, too. However, it seemed as if most were wearing very casual attire. Too many jeans.

The fellow in the following photo showed some originality in his bonnet.

Now these ladies decided to find some pretty vintage styles for their sashay down the Avenue.

Eggs on a bed of feathers are featured in this confection.

I am not too sure what this designer had in mind.

I asked this young lady permission to take her picture, and the answered yes with a big smile.

The crowd did continue to build as I got closer to St. Patrick's Cathedral and Rockefeller Center.

There were quite a few family groups who all decided to go in costume.

These ladies had interesting hats that were also lady like.

These ladies obviously like daffodil season.

Can you tell that one of the gentlemen has covered his top hat in jelly beans?

The next photo shows more vintage styled parade goers, caught quickly, not posed.

These two little girls were wearing very big bonnets!

The lady in the next photo designed her own very stylish hat. She looked more glamorous than most in the Parade.

I think that the following gentleman designed his hat, too. It is clever, if not too glamorous.

I am not sure it the next photo shows a family group or a group of milliners.

And here is a bit of elegance and grace.

Just one glorious flower, artfully placed, can carry a lot of impact.

I made my way down to the esplanade at Rockefeller Center and saw more bonnets, lots of lilies and quite a few azaleas.

Can you just spot that little bit of blue sky emerging from the clouds? It began to seem as if the thunderstorms might pass us by.

The gentleman's conical hat is covered with marshmallow "Peeps" candies. Very sweet.

This lovely family had actually attended a church service before their walk down the Avenue.

This shows the top of St. Patrick's Cathedral, and a bit of the scaffolding that is now covering much of the building.

This happy couple had wonderful bunny ears and great smiles.

Here's another custom made hat. The gyroscope type shape is not part of the's part of the Atlas sculpture at Rockefeller Center.

This lavender-based group looked great as an ensemble in their ensembles.

The gentleman in the blue jacket is famed New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham. He is also the subject of a current documentary film. He has been taking photos of street fashion for decades. I think that we might have taken some similar photos today.

These two little girls met each other just before I clicked this picture. I think that they are adorable.

I had such fun at the Parade, but my Easter Day treat was not yet over.

I returned home for a quick lunch and then decided to try my luck at getting a ticket for the theatre.

What luck! I bought a ticket for a very good center row seat and got to see the remarkable actor Mark Rylance in Jerusalem. The entire cast was perfect, the play caught up the audience from its first moments. We gave the performers a standing ovation at the final curtain. This is fairly rare for New York audiences.

Another Easter note. My supply of Cadbury creme eggs have begun to disappear. How can this have happened?

Hoping that you all have had a fabulous weekend!


  1. Woah! You know, Suffolk would seem soooo quiet and low key to you!!!

    Happy Easter

  2. I do wish I could have been there - it looks such fun. Fantastic hats.

  3. You can practically hear the Irving Berlin, can't you. Like Ladies Day at Royal Ascot - (where are the horses - they are more visual than any hats). Another lovely blog Frances. What hat were you wearing now?

  4. What a wonderful photo essay, Frances. Cunnigham has nothing on you!!
    I'm glad NYC had such a lovely day of weather. In Seattle, it was absolutely gorgeous on Saturday but Sunday bucketed down with rain.
    Oh well, c'est la vie!
    Canadian Chickadee

  5. Amazing hats! Nothing like that here in this corner of old Blight!

    Pomona x

  6. Thank you for sharing the wonderful Easter parade with us - what a fabulous selection of hats and bonnets... I'm wondering if you wore one?
    Thank you too for your very kind and supportive comment on my last post Frances. A weekend of sunshine, gardening and good food with family and friends has certainly lifted my spirits!

  7. I'm envious of the tradition of all those Easter Bonnets, What fun. New Yorkers do know how to celebrate their holidays.

  8. A very handsome parade of bonnets, but still no picture of your hat?
    I am disappointed.

  9. So much FUN!!!
    I should have gone...
    Next year! And you caught Bill.
    See his movie if you haven't already!!
    Merci Carolg

  10. Dear Frances,

    What a great post! I never realised the 'Easter parade' really did exist. I believe I saw it mentioned in one of those old movies with Fred Astair ;-)! The people you photographed look fantastic. What a lovely event!!!

    Enjoy your day!

    Lieve groet, madelief x

  11. Oh what glorious hats Frances! I loved the little girls hats especially.

    Just to let you know I've awarded you the Versatile Blogger award if you'd like to come over and get it sometime.

    Here's the post with it on -

    Well deserved, and I'm very pleased to have blogged alongside you over the years.

    warm wishes

  12. Further to your comment, the Sunday Telegraph article about us is online now - I have linked to it on my blog. All the Francine Raymond pieces are worth reading - she is a good writer, and a very sweet lady.

    Pomona x

  13. Hi Frances,
    I was hoping you would show New York Easter Parade!! How fun! I love your photographs.
    All the best,
    Ingrid xx

  14. That Frances is an amazing sight a real Easter Parade I wish I had been there to enjoy it as well, although we did have a wonderful time relaxing ont he Isle of Wight but nothing as spectacular as you Easter.

  15. Frances,
    This quite jaded and old New Yorker
    loves the joy and lightness you
    perceive our city & it's citizens to be.
    By the time I arrived on 5th avenue
    there were so many attendees that
    I was unable to enter.

    Thanks for your swell photo's
    and lovely word's.

    Yes, Bill Cunningham is a treasure
    for the New York Times co.

  16. I am inspired! Now I need to go find me a hat! A mad hatter type hat woudl be awesome...
    Thank you for taking me to a parade again!

  17. Hello Frances Thank you for sharing your Easter parade photos. I enjoyed this post, especially seeing the amazing hats! Thank you also for the gingerbread recipe, it looks delicious and I'm looking forward to trying it. It might even be The One!! Have a happy first of May!
    Helen x

  18. Hello Frances.!

    Thank you for sharing the Easter Parade with us on Fifth Avenue, wonderful photo's.! So many glorious styles of bonnet's, wish I could have been there, we have nothing like that over here.

    If you see Bill again next year at the Easter Parade, ask him if he would kindly take a pic of you with your camera of you sporting a hat Frances.

    Happy 1st of May Frances.


  19. I'm late to this post, but so enjoyed it. I love the creativity that goes into these hats and had no idea that this was a big part of NY's Easter parade. My personal favourites are the daffodil and jellybean hats, but dare I say that some of the more outlandish creations would not have looked too out of place at the royal wedding!
    I also enjoyed your view of St Patrick's - on my visits to New York I've always loved that shock of seeing its huge Gothic facade in the midst of skyscrapers.
    Glad you had a happy Easter!
    Karen x