Sunday, March 4, 2012

City Views, Country Dreams

Good evening from New York.

I decided to return a book to the library this afternoon, and decided to walk across Central Park to the east side library location and take a crosstown bus back home.

It was a slightly overcast day, and mild enough that gloves and hat were not required as I walked along the edge of the lake, noticing which flowers had bloomed since my last walk.

There were lots and lots of snowdrops still in bloom, but the daffs had also joined the party.  In this particular part of the Park, you'll also see lots of hellebores around this time of the year.  (It's no longer February, so it seems less startling to see all these flowers.)

Lots of ducks were swimming around the Lake, and honking loudly, hoping that someone would toss them some bread crumbs.  

I took a little detour off the main pathway to get closer to this beautifully decorative cast iron pavilion.

It is my understanding that over the years, many folks have selected this place for their wedding ceremonies.  It is a very romantic setting.

Today quite a few bicycles were leaning up against the railing, while their riders were sitting on some large rocks adjacent to the pavillion.  One could sit there for a long time, contemplating the city view, the trees and the water.  It is very peaceful here at this time of the year.  Later on, in summertime, it's more crowded, and is often a place where musicians try to earn a bit of money singing old folks tunes or pop songs.  The atmosphere is very different.

I walked through the pavilion, and down the stone steps, to take some photos of this other view.  The sun broke through the clouds.

Isn't this a sweet little building?

Returning to the main path, I proceeded along to the Shakespeare Garden, and took a few photos of gentle signs of spring.

It is still hard to believe that we will be spared more frost and perhaps even snow.

A short time later, I was in the library, doing a bit exploration of the treasures to be found in the stacks.  I selected two vintage books, Stefan Sweig's Twenty-four Hours in the Life of a Woman, and Dorothy Whipple's Someone at a Distance.  When I returned to the Circulation Desk to check out the two books, a library let me know that one of reserve request books was available, and so I added the large Steve Jobs biography to my bag.

It was time to return home to the west side, and what luck...a crosstown bus appeared.  

In my last post I featured some pictures of the new hybrid bendy buses that are being deployed for the curvy Central Park transverse route.  I erred in creating the impression that these hybrids were the first bendy buses we have had in New York.

Not true.  The following photos taken today will try to show you what the non-hybrid, old-fashioned buses look like.  They hold many more passengers and are easier for passengers to navigate.  I am not sure if which bendies are easier for the drivers to navigate.

The next photo was taken from the window at my side, and shows the final uphill curve as Central Park West looms just at the edge of the Park.

Here's another view of that flexible pleating connection.

Once again looking out my window I can spot the front of the bus making a turn onto West 79th Street while my part of the bus is still on Columbus Avenue.

From the next picture you can see that these old buses have one level inside, and no elevated seats.  

And here is a clear view of the turntable that swivels back and forth.  Children love to sit on the seats in this area or even stand there for the thrill of the spin.

I exited from the rear exit, as requested by the electronic announcement, and then quickly clicked this photo of the bus exterior.  That advertisement is worrying.  I believe it refers to some upcoming cable tv movie.

I much prefer the message on the side of the bus stop, don't you?

When I got home, I did some sketching based on some of what I'd seen in the Park, and somehow resisted the temptation for an afternoon nap.  It's now time to prepare supper.

I hope that your Sunday has been as enjoyable as mine.


  1. Well I certainly enjoyed my walk and I particularly enjoyed Central Park.

    I also like your selection of books from the Library, enjoy your read!

  2. What a lovely walk! I like the Victorian pavilion very much and I can visualize a Victorian couple seating in it (even though it may have been built in modern times.) You have some good reading ahead of you. I enjoyed the Steve Jobs bio – I’d like to hear what you think of it. I also think these types of buses are in Paris – but I don’t remember their interior. Have a nice week!

  3. So that's Central Park. I've not been there so it's good to get your artist's eye view. Thank you.

  4. that sounds like a perfect sunday frances. thank you for sharing the bus information. perhaps one time i'll try it!
    a nap would have been hard to resist, especially after all the walking you do (love that about new yorkers). i am looking forward to seeing your sketches.
    take care, xxx lori

  5. Thank you very much Frances... I felt quite tearful seeing those pictures - in a good way I hasten to add. I will show my husband your post this evening and I know he will enjoy it also. I hope you enjoy your week and are suitably rewarded for your good deeds! x

  6. I loved sharing the "Sunday afternoon in the Park with Frances" the Pavilion reminds me of the ones along the prom at an old fashioned British sea-side resort.

    The posters seem so typically New York... direct statements 'war is coming' 'walk' 'don't walk' ... in London we'd probably say 'er it seems likely that, um sorry about this, but looks as if there might be a war.'


  7. Frances, how lovely the park must be looking right now. We too are finding Hellebores and daffodils, but they are slow to come after very frosty weather.
    What a magical little pavilion that is!

  8. Frances, thanks for the, as always, precise and beautiful descriptions and photographs.

    Now on the turntable bus photo there appears to be an old Soviet Russian prosthetic limb, fixed into an old running shoe. Can you explain that?

  9. It is so lovely to see you have already the daffodils up - way to go here.
    And how exciting, Frances! Do you also fly in to Frankfurt? Or do you only visit THE island?

  10. That was fun!
    We have those bendy buses in Vancouver and I don't at all like to sit on the high seats - feel quite exposed and about-to-fall!
    Bayou's remark has me wondering....

  11. Thank you for sharing your walk through Central Park, so many wonders to discover, each and every time you go there!

    The bus looks interesting. Some of our newer metro trains are but one long vehicle, with a few swiveling turntables.

  12. What a beautiful day you had! The pavilion looks beautiful. A romantic place indeed. I can already see daffodils in bloom. In Rotterdam it's only buds yet. Can't wait for the flowers to appear!

    Happy new week,

    Madelief x

  13. I so love to see your personal take on your city, and yes, that pavilion is delightful :D

  14. Ah, your spring is a little further on than ours - I am going to join the pavilion fan club, it really is like the ones you get by the British seaside, very bijou and elegant.

  15. Lovely little pavilion - another fan here. How good it is that the weather is mild enough to sit and contemplate spring in the park.

  16. A young lady I know is to be married in what I imagine is a place just like your Pavilion but in Brooklyn. Her parents are booking their NY trip and I am very envious.

  17. I enjoyed that walk too! I'm always fascinated to see new parts of Central Park through your posts - it really seems to have worlds within.

  18. I hope you enjoy Dorothy Whipple. I have read and liked several of her novels republished by Persephone Books.

  19. What a wonderful thing to see that lovely pond and all the tall buildings in the distance! I can't imagine living in NYC but if I did, I'd be grateful for Central Park. And buses too, I expect.

    Thanks for a glimpse at a life so different from my own!

  20. Gosh all the daffs!
    I don't go to Central Park enough...
    But then I have you to reconoiter for moi.
    merci carolg

  21. I love your posts, Frances. I really enjoy the atmosphere of living in NY that you create, it's like dipping into a novel. By the way, I love the books you chose...and Dorothy Whipple is one of my favourites....I keep buying each one of her novels that Persephone Books publish, but there are never enough!
    Thinking of you over there, and hope you are enjoying a little sunshine and more signs of spring.
    Btw,I loved the views both inside and looking out from the new bendy buses.
    Have a happy week ahead.
    Helen x

  22. I've come belatedly to your post but I love it! Your flowers are way ahead of yours - and my husband has reported this weekend that his parents' flowers (in southern England) are also well ahead of ours here in the south of France. We are blaming our hot, dry summers - I can't think of any other reason! Thanks very much for your comment about our much-loved jam pots.

  23. A lovely walk Frances, although I don't know if I would like sitting on the bendy bus at the 'bendy' bit, it is a bit like the way train carriages are joined together.

  24. I am amazed: Sunday? Your library is open on a Sunday? Buses run on a Sunday? You must be living in a city; in the countryside nothing is open on a Sunday.

    Signs of spring are everywhere. I do so hope that you are right and that we will be spared new frosts or snow. I am prepared for the new season in my mind and would find it difficult to switch again.

  25. Thank you for the stroll Frances. Beautiful pictures which make me feel I was with you.

    I love the sound of the books you have chosen, especially the first. Let us know if it was good please!

    What a gorgeous ornate pavillion - it almost looks like a wedding cake! Have a lovely week dear Frances and thank you for your sweet comments on my blog xx

  26. It certainly lifts your spirits when you see the spring flowers but is till do not think we are over the cold days, the hills were covered in snow just over a week ago.
    I enjoyed your walk in central park and seeing the spring flowers. Your views of the high buildings and a journey through your city on the new bus.
    Glad to see you have been painting and visiting Another art exhibition. You use your time so well and feed the soul. Hope you relax and enjoy a good read.

  27. How funny that you chose to write about your spring walk as I have just written about my spring ride, isn't this time of year wonderful as everything begins to emerge once again ?