Thursday, April 25, 2013

City Views, Country Dreams

Good evening from New York.

Media news reports continue to contain many troubling stories.  I continue to seek some relaxation in my official time off via knitting.

I'm working on a scarf that uses a variety of warm and cool neutral shades of yarn.  Having a bright bit of daylight today makes it easier to see which neutrals work best together.

I've also gotten some much postponed apartment clearing and cleaning out accomplished, while wondering when the weather would actually warm up.

Well, early this afternoon my question was answered.  The sun was bright, and the temperature had reached a height that would no longer require me to wear my down-filled coat.

I quickly ate my Greek yoghurt lunch, pulled on a sweater, grabbed my camera and headed east, bound for Central Park, and beyond.

Just look at that blue sky!  There's even a reflection in the Lake.

The next photo shows a bit of the plaza around Bethesda Fountain, with some rhododendron framing the foreground.

So many trees are flowering.  So many other folks walking through the Park also had their cameras pointed at all the natural beauty surrounding us.

I could not resist taking this close up view, to remind me of this beautiful afternoon, later on when November chill arrives.

Once across the Park, I am officially walking in the Upper East Side.  I had a particular goal in mind.  Every spring, I try to take some photos of the tulips planted along Park Avenue.  These photos are dedicated to Merisi, whose Vienna for Beginners is a treat during every month of the year.

Bright red tulips against bright yellow taxis make a strong contrast to the gentler colors I'd just seen in Central Park.

Some unseen, uncredited gardeners must plant thousands of tulips every year to create these dramatic displays.

The red tulips appear at each north or south border of the median areas of the Avenue.  In the middle of the median areas other plantings take center stage.

Nature's beauty really does a fine job of softening the perpendicular architecture and the street grid patterns.

Oh, just look at that blaze of red!  The banners hanging in the background proclaim the current exhibitions at that building...the Asia Society museum

What a parade!

Some years, the tulips are other colors.  Although I do very much love these brilliant reds, I do wonder how well they compliment the trees' blossoms.  What do you all think?  I do think the clear blue sky suits both colorways.

If today's warmth continues for another day or two, I expect that these flowers will be soon taking their 2013 curtain calls.

Having bid a fond farewell to Park Avenue, I turned westward once again crossing the Park, taking a slightly different route than my earlier eastward walk.

The lawns are so green, and many are currently off limits to mere mortals.  Wire fencing sets the boundaries with signs telling us that the lawns have been newly seeded.  I did see lots of birds and squirrels who paid no attention to that signage.

Peeking through those trees can be seen a bit of city skyline.

The following photo shows an avenue of some of my beloved elms, and the lovely shadows they cast.

I'd also like to include this view of some humble dandelions.  Aren't they jolly?   

As I neared Central Park West, I passed by the wide open space known as the Sheep's Meadow.  You can seen major midtown real estate towers in the background, and in the mid-ground you might even see some early sun bathers.

This spring has been so unusual in its lingering chill, and has resulted in our seeing unusual pairings of flowers.  It is very odd to see lilacs in bloom while forsythia is still blazing.

Here is a close up of lilac buds bursting into full flower.

I liked the rather romantic look of the flowering branches as a veil over the sunny Meadow beyond.  I expect that many couples were enjoying a bit of romance in the Meadow this afternoon.

Not everyone was lolling about on the lawn.  Some folks were tossing softballs, and frisbees, and just cavorting.  I think that some of these folks might have been playing hooky from their work places.

I feel so fortunate to have had this day off.  There are only a few of these sorts of brilliant spring days every year.  I was given a gift to have been able to be outdoors, as I chose.

Tomorrow I will return to work.  I hope that the weather will continue to stay so beautiful so that other folks might be able to experience the happiness I found today.

Isn't spring grand!


  1. Fabulous to see NYC in the Spring!
    And there it is. Those blankets of flowers everywhere. None of this au natural stuff like you see in Paris where the growing process is revealed a little to much IMHO.
    I mean who wants to see les fleurs in varying stages of maturation?
    Just Bring it on!!

  2. i kind of like that pink and red together on park avenue frances, it's very striking! i'm glad you had this wonderful spring day, central park looks gorgeous!

  3. There have been a few of those days here Frances and they really do lift my spirits. So far the tulips have not made an appearance and in some shady areas snowdrops are still around. I'm so happy you had this day and your photographs really captured the freshness.

  4. Amazing insight into your part of the world, Frances and soo pretty! What a great chance to have the very day off when such a great feeling of spring is in the air. How funny that lilacs and forsythias are out together. We are just 3 or more weeks behind than normal but everything in its pace. One thing seems the same: our grass is as green as yours :-).

  5. Spring is grand, Frances, and your walk shows so much of the lovely season. You could almost have been in Holland surrounded by Tulips! I love the look of the first blossoms opening against a blue sky. What a beautiful day!

  6. I have so enjoyed these walks you shared, thank you. Maybe I ought to look at dandelions in a new light - 'jolly'? Then they wouldn't annoy me coming up where I don't want them!

  7. Most lovely, Frances. But maybe the tulips were planted many years ago and just regrow. I do not know. Anyway in Edinburgh there used to be an enormous floral clock - a large flowerbed the size of roundabout with hands that were window boxes or similar and these used to revolve and tell the time but because they moved the clock achieved something that plants can't do by themselves - that is to move and so create a kaleidoscope of colour. But to revert a moment to the tulips, I wonder why they are not planted so as to create a US flag when they emerge - I think there are blue tulips these days, aren't there? In fact you could make flags of many nations. What a wonderful display when seen from the air? I am thinking of the NYC Tourist Authority again. xx

  8. Gorgeous views, thank you so much, Frances, you really brightened my day! Such fond memories of Park Avenue at tulips time, so good to know that with all that's happening, they are still there, steadfast.

    Cherry blossoms are fading here, the tulips stills standing strong, but I am afraid the mid 80s temperatures we are enjoying right now will shorten their prime season.

    Lilacs are only slowly coming out. There was still snow cover only three weeks ago, and I am glad they are taking their time. More to look forward to!

    Thank you again, Frances! I hope that one day I will be able to walk along Park Avenue and beyond with you!

    Warm greetings from Vienna,

  9. It's always such a treat to view New York, and especially Central Park, through your eyes, Frances. Spring comes very quickly, once the decision is made to begin! Over here the tulips last a very long time because, although things have warmed up, the days will not get really warm for a good long time. I rather like that! No lilacs here yet, but the forsythia is putting on a very long show. One rhodo is starting to bloom and others will follow for the next month. I love spring!

  10. It sounds as though you had a wonderful day off Frances.. thanks for sharing it with us. The tulips look stunning.

  11. Hi Frances,
    Yes, spring is grand! And NYC looks so pretty in the spring sunshine!
    We are now having similar days in London - so spring has finally arrived - at last.
    And keep that knitting going....
    Hope you have more days like that!
    xoxo Ingrid

  12. Am particularly enchanted by the elm shadows!

  13. So nice to see the photos from your spring day!

    We're having a rather cold and slow spring here, wery few flowers so far.
    And the weather people even talk about us having more snow... Hope they're wrong. Still, it is spring and the tulips I planted this autumn are one the way up:)

  14. Spring is grand indeed and so are your images of Central Park beneath a blue sky. I love your knitting, those colours are just lovely.

  15. What glorious photos. And the scarf you are making is beautiful. xoxox

  16. Those photos are delightful, Frances. Looks like a fresh, healthy, new year in New York. I hope you have a wonderful time.

    Blessings and Bear hugs!
    Bears Noting

  17. Frances Kitt and myself were in the
    park today and was so impressed at
    the beautiful landscaping everywhere.
    At the duck pond were 4 Scandinavian tourists sleeping in the sun on the top part of the hill facing the pond.
    Visiting blackbirds were crossing
    our path in the shade as we approached the bird preserve.

    A beautiful day as lovely as your


  18. Goodness, Frances, your knitting is exquisite. The colour combination is making my eyes very happy this morning

  19. I love those red tulips against the yellow cabs. Thank you for bringing a taste of New York City into my home Frances.

  20. I have just today discovered your lovely blog through the wonderful Quince Tree & am simply stunned by your photos.
    My 'knowledge' of N.Y. is strictly limited to T.V. - 'Law & Order et al - so it was lovely to see it through your eyes. never knew about the Shakespeare Garden or Sheeps Meadow. Beautiful.

  21. It made me smile that you start with a woolly scarf and end with sunbathers!

    Beautiful tulips against the blue sky - NYC knows how to put on a display. Glad you were able to enjoy these spring moments.

  22. Yes it is.
    How very sensible of you to grab a woolly and make for the open air, camera at the ready. Your chronicle of the NY seasons is a joy to behold; your own enjoyment shines through every word and every picture.

    I hope there will be many more days like this before the summer heat knocks you out.

  23. What amazing skies! I marvel at the beauty of the park -- in this post and the previous one. Thank you for all the wonderful views!

  24. Frances you never cease to amaze me with your tales... meeting Kaffe and his admiration for your jumper! That would be beyond wonderful to me. For my birthday in May we are going to see his exhibition in London and I am so excited, not long to wait now. Raining here, very cold and windy. I have just been outside to feed the birds and noticed that the bleeding hearts flower we planted last year has just started flowering which I am delighted about x

  25. Another grey day here today Frances so that glimpse of Spring was very welcome. I enjoyed all the photos, but those elms are very lovely.

  26. Wow, gorgeous photos and the city is coming into bloom. It looks lovely Frances. The rhoderdendrons here are beginning to bloom and it is lovely, but no lilacs yet.

  27. Yes it is and I'm so glad you got a share of it on such a fine day. I too am shedding the layers.

  28. It was a fine and grand day to have as your day off and enjoy all of that colour and blossom. It is on such a beautiful Spring day that you feel you must be outside enjoying it while it lasts. I liked your mention of the dandelions, today as I walked up to my tai chi class, the sun had brought out all the bright flowering heads , all the way up the road, so nice to walk by.
    The knitting is going to make a lovely scarf. I understand how much easier it is to knit with good daylight. I hope you enjoy lots more days of sunshine and chanes to take a walk through the park. It was a perfect day , thank you for sharing.

  29. Wow! I cannot believe how green you guys in NYC are already. Here in WI the brown landscape is just starting to go away and the buds are beginning to emerge on the trees.

    I fell in love with those Central Park London Plane Trees on my first visit to New York. They look like fairy tale trees. I bought a couple and have tried my hardest to get them to grow here but I'm not having any luck. Boo!


  30. What an utter delight! I loved every photo. :)

  31. I love those tulips. I have just planted my bulbs for spring, and can never choose between all the beautiful tulips, so have to have a variety. I have a day off work tomorrow, so will enjoy a little time in my garden.

  32. It almost looks like summer!

    People talk about 'Paris in Springtime' but it seems to me they should switch to mentioning New York ... the city looks incredible in these photos.

  33. So lovely to see your bright and flower filled pictures today, Frances! I'm so glad to see that spring has arrived in NYC at last, as it has here! I'm glad you had this lovely day to enjoy, with such bright blue skies!
    Your knitting is beautiful, such soft colours.
    Wishing you a happy weekend.
    Helen x

  34. Hello dear Frances,

    Wonderful to see such lovely photo's of New York in spring, what a gorgeous splash of colour those red tulips make.

    The bramley apple has just blossomed here in the garden a pretty shade of pink, white lilacs too.

    Happy knitting Frances, love the muted colours.


  35. Oh wow, I love your color work on that scarf! Also, your pictures of the flowers in New York are lovely. xoxo

  36. I love the scarf! I've enjoyed looking through your blog. Come check out Sunshine Pen Pals and join the fun!

  37. Such beautiful spring shots of The Big Apple ... a pretty walk down memory lane :)

  38. Spring has come everywhere, I guess. I also enjoyed peaceful time in the Park yesterday. (Stadtpark, Vienna.)It's a lil bit different view from Europe, but still very beautiful. I wish I could enjoy the same as you did! :)

  39. Thank you for your wonderful views of a New York we rarely see over here. We see so much doom and gloom and violence on the news we forget the ordinary life of everyday people and the beauty of those lives. Thank you once again.

  40. I was so touched to see the beautiful spring pictures from New York! I never imagined such beauty in one of the world's largest cities. The park with it's flowering trees is wonderful.
    Thank you for letting us have a new impression of New York! You are a fantastic photographer and "poet".

    Kind regards
    Ranveig Frøvik