Monday, October 22, 2012

City Views, Country Dreams

Good evening from New York.

In a couple of hours I will be watching tonight's televised final Presidential debate.  These debates provide the ultimate in Live television and no one (not even the participants) can actually predict how the 90 minutes will play.

Meanwhile, let me show you all some pictures I took on Sunday afternoon.  Halloween is not far off now, and autumn has begun changing the color scheme in Central Park.

In past Octobers, I've posted photos of a brownstone filled block near my own street that has  a special way of celebrating Halloween.  On my Sunday afternoon walk I saw only this inflatable decoration already in place.  Jolly yes, but perhaps only a tiny preview of what will be in place in another week.

And so, I continued walking towards Central Park, and in the next block came across a brownstone house that had gone decoration mad.  My photos truly do not do justice to the over the top efforts.

I was not the only afternoon passerby with a camera.  Several family groups were taking photos of various bits of the ghoulish displays.  Not one child seemed at all scared in the sunny mid afternoon.


If you looked above, a giant spider bobbed in the breeze.

Back down at street level, if you looked behind you, a strange scarecrow stood tall.

The braver folks might have taken a closer look at the actual entrance way to the house.  I saw no one who walked up those stairs to ring the door bell.

And above the doorway...yet more spiders!

On the other side of the stairway leading up to the front door, I saw more scary spirits giving us their own seasonal greetings.

It was a bit of a relief to keep on walking towards Central Park, and to find some other houses had somewhat more subdued decorations in place.

These little ghosties are kind of cute.

On to the Park, so that I could see how the leaf colors might have changed since my last walk.  The brilliant sunshine dazzled my eyes and emphasized nature's beauty.

Those buildings on the other side of the Lake are on Fifth Avenue.

Somehow, the golden tones of these leaves with the blue of the Lake behind them remind me of some of the Japanese screens and kimonos on display at the Met.

How wonderful to look up and not see giant spiders!  

As my walk continued, I could not resist taking this photo of two youngsters' bikes leaning against the rustic fence.  You can also see some of the beauty of the autumn leaves in the background

I hope that you all will enjoy these glimpses of the scenic variety I viewed on a relatively short walk on a Sunday afternoon.  I was quite tired on Sunday after a very busy Saturday workday, but felt completely refreshed after my stroll.

Isn't it interesting how a change of scene, some exercise and interesting sights can help banish achy muscles or weary minds?


  1. Dear Frances ,
    A wonderful tour of the fall season
    delights we have in our lovely old
    It does seem that Halloween
    is being celebrated quite early these past several years in NYC,remarkable too where we live near Chelsea many "pop up"Halloween stores shoot up but with such unimaginative masks and outfits.
    Your neighborhood is most assuredly not shopping in them.
    In my childhood of the 1940's and
    1950's all we needed was a stocking
    and some flour in it as we created a sidewalk and street of whiteness
    hitting each other with the socks
    till even we were unrecognizable.
    What child today in NYC even knows about those flour fights ?

    Sadly about the political debates
    they seem to have become a contest
    as if on the TV show "America's
    Got Talent".

    Mike M. of 28th St.

  2. It's lovely to think that even in a city as sophisticated as NYC people still get excited over Hallowe'en and decorate their houses. I enjoyed the walk and the view of the colourful trees. Central Park is certainly an ongoing gift to everyone in the city.
    We've just finished watching the debate - we haven't missed one. After all, what happens south of the border affects us very much. I found it, like the others, not a debate at all. Now all the pundits are at work and I can't say that I heard/saw the same things they heard and saw.

  3. I would love to stroll the streets of NYC in the fall. Well, I would love to stroll the streets any time in NYC. Such an awesome place. It would be a dream to be able to live there just 6 months. I say 6 because then I would begin to miss our quiet Kansas life. What a special place NYC is.

    They really went crazy with their decorations. We used to have a neighbor 2 blocks away when I was a child that had elaborate decorations. It was the first house everyone wanted to go to for Trick or Treating.

  4. I'm so pleased I called by your site Frances, what a wonderful walk - fun, and beauty wrapped up together. Lovely!
    All good wishes to you from Australia

  5. Oh, Frances, I did also feel some relief when you moved on from that very house! How long might it have taken to the decorators to get it like that? Wonderful golden colours in Central Park, thanks for that beautiful stroll and hopefully you will have a bit less stretching workdays this week. We here and in our neighbour countries have more and more of those pre-election duel TV shows now, they copy the idea from your side. But what to make of it?

  6. Goodness, Frances! Some of those decorations were not pleasant.
    I loved your leafy walk through the park, arent the leaves changing colour quickly now?

  7. it's wonderful you have the park so close, to have the city at your doorstep, yet nature too, is really the best of both worlds. it must feel a bit like narnia, walking through central parks gates, stepping into the green.
    i liked the cute ghosts!

  8. Dear Frances, today is the first time I have stumbled upon your blog, and what an absolutely delightful one it is too.

    I live in the countryside in the south of England, near one of our national parks, The New Forest, it is a beautiful spot of the country I think you would love!

    Just as you have dreams of the countryside, I have dreams of visiting new York, this blog is going to allow me to live vicariously through you!

    All the best,
    Hamilton Courtney

  9. From this side of the ocean some of those ghouls look a little like your Governor from Massachusetts.

  10. I do love the way Americans embrace holidays so whole heartedly... such fabulous decorations. I miss that from my time living in Boston.

  11. Hello Frances:
    This is all rather strange to our eyes as Hallowe'en is not celebrated in such a way in this country at all.Indeed, quite the reverse, where the night of 31st. October is taken very solemnly as preparation for the following day, Dead Day, a National Holiday, where cemeteries are much visited and graves are decorated with flowers and lit with candles. All very special and rather moving.

    Such difference are always of interest to see and we have much enjoyed looking at the somewhat 'wild' decorations of New York.

  12. Hello Frances I loved your autumn leafy park, how nice to be able to see it through the seasons thanks to your blog. Some the Halloween scenes are very scary...but interesting!
    Wishing you an easier week.
    Helen x

  13. Congratulation dear Frances, for that absolutely fantastic, generous gift someone did for 'your' Central Park! I heard it on the News today and immediately thought of you :-). I wonder and look forward to what you shall be able to show us about it in future.

  14. Dear Frances,

    The Halloween decorations look very impressive. People must have spent hours making it all look the way it does! Did you do any decorating yourself? We don't really celebrate it in Holland.

    I hope the debate made it clear for you who to vote for.

    It's getting colder in Holland. It won't be long before I can wear your beret :-)!!

    Have a lovely day!

    Madelief x

  15. Halloween, with children in my home is a thing of the past.
    Now, just me and Miss Callie down a long gravel road to the wonders of the woods. I love it.
    Thank you for sharing since I have 2 granddaughter's in your city.
    Will forward your blog to them :)

  16. Wonderful Halloween decorations! And your shots of Central Park are so beautiful -- what wisdom to preserve that green space for your great city!

  17. I agree, your leaves and sky image would make a most beautiful Japanese style screen.

  18. Fennie's comment has made me laugh!
    It's always interesting seeing your pictures of these extraordinary Halloween-decorated houses in New York, as besides one or two American families in our neighbourhood who go similarly all-out (I always wonder about the amount of decorations they have carted across the world!) we have nothing like this here. Meanwhile Central Park seems to look glorious in all seasons.
    I hope everything is going well with you, Frances, and wish you a happy autumn season. Karen xxx

  19. Isn't it marvellous to see how some people enter the spirit of the season? (And I'm not talking about the presidential debate either!)

    Finally, we've had some dry weather and our leaves are turning too - but I always enjoy walking through Central Park with you.

    I hope you're refreshed now and that your workload is manageable. Cx

  20. Apart from when a child - Halloween just doesn't do it for me I'm afraid. What used to be a bit of a simple but fun, pretty nondescript affair over here - in my opinion - is fast becoming more and more influenced by the decorating traditions from your part of the world. Never in my life did I see a candle lit pumpkin's face outside anyone's door - now......

    And TK Maxx certainly pushes the decoration's cause up and down the country.

    Do you think some of the more extravagantly decorated houses were created by some hired professionals? Makes me think of 'Keeping up with the Jones's'

    Can you tell I'm not a fan?

    Thankfully Central Park was next on the Agenda. You photograph of the lake was beautifully framed and it is wonderful to watch nature take care of dressing and undressing itself!

    Good luck with the election - I know who I'm rooting for!

  21. People in the UK are beginning to make their houses look fun at Halloween but nothing quite on this scale yet!
    But I'm lucky as we have a family from the states in our neighbourhood who really do go to town with their holiday decorating!


  22. Such interesting characters you have in your neighbourhood.

    And the park looks lovely, too.

    We've had snow up here; it came about a week early than usual this year.

  23. I wonder if the ghouls keep the postman away as well as unwanted visitors!

  24. It’s what they say: a change is as good as a rest.

    Your walk in Central Park gave me greater pleasure than the garishly decorated house fronts. I lack the Halloween gene, never having celebrated it. At the same time, i can appreciate that it means a lot to others, so why shouldn’t they decorate to their hearts’ content.

    All Souls and All Saints meant something entirely different to us in the olden days.

    Chin up, Frances, only a few more days to go until election day. I daresay you know that practically the whole of thinking Europe is on the side of one man; sadly, that won’t make any difference to the end result.

  25. I love all the beautiful pictures. Isn't it fun to see how much people decorate for Halloween? I carve a pumpkin every year and that about wears me out!

  26. I enjoyed your bit about the film An Unmarried Woman and considered getting it so I logged on to Amazon UK. They only wanted £124 for it!

  27. Frances,
    I imagine that after Sandy there will be few leaves left in Central Park.
    Take car!

  28. Now we're always being told you American's take Halloween seriously ... and I can see you do!!!

    Stay safe Frances, I hope you're home safe from the storm xxx

  29. Just popping in to send my thoughts to you while the storm passes. My daughter is moaning because Halloween looks likely to be wet here. I've told her to count her blessings.
    Stay safe.

  30. Dear Frances,
    Keep well and safe during the storm.
    My thoughts are with you.
    Take care,

  31. When I heard Sandy was approaching New York I immediately thought of you. aStay safe, don't venture outside and I sincerely hope you and yours are safe.
    Love Ivy xxxx

  32. Thinking of you this dark and stormy night - take care.

  33. I hope you are OK Frances... I have looked on the evacuation map on the daily mail and your patch is not highlighted, so hopefully you just have to batten down the hatches and busy yourself with crafting. Sandy chased us home on Friday and I was relieved to be home. Thinking of you... stay safe x

  34. I've seen the news here in Japan and am hoping you are safe. Take care and hope to hear from you when the weather has settled down.

  35. Thank you all for your kind wishes. That powerful storm with the flip name Sandy has finally arrived in NYC.

    All is well here in my apartment, as I watch tv coverage of weather developments around the area. There's a bit of flickering of lights as our city's electrical grid tries to deal with water, water everywhere. With a full moon overhead! (I think that Sandy is no longer holding on to hurricane status.)

    There is probably going to be more rain and wind tomorrow, and then finally, we will have one of those post-storm glorious sunny blue sky days.


  36. Hello Frances, good to see that you are safe so far. Have had just a look and was worrying by the news.

  37. Oh soooo good to hear you are ok! Take care!

  38. So good to hear that you are safe and still have electricity. I was sure that you would lose it. It sounds as if it will take a while to get the transport systems working again, but the important thing is that you are OK!

  39. Hello dear Frances,

    Great Halloween pics, thanks for sharing with us.

    I am so relieved to hear you have the power on Frances,the most important thing is that you are safe and well, when I first heard of Sandy I was so worried for you.

    Take care and stay warm.

    Lots of love,