Sunday, April 13, 2014

City Views, Country Dreams

Good evening from New York on Palm Sunday.

I am delighted to report that Central Park is now in bloom.  Just before midday, I applied sunscreen, some make up, tee shirt, jeans, Toms slip on shoes, and my favorite vintage hand knit pullover and took a walk across the Park to return Stella Gibbons excellent Cold Comfort Farm to the excellent New York Society Library.

A great change had occurred since my last Park stroll.  Many of you all may already know that Central Park has a man made rolling terrain, and so you will see evidence of upstairs/downstairs levels in many of today's photographs.

Lots of yellow, white and blue flowers surrounded by a variety of green tones graced slopes near Central Park West and 72nd Street.

Lots and lots of other folks were also walking around admiring the flowers, or skating, or bike riding, or lying on the lawns, or perhaps being carried along in strollers or horse drawn carriages.  A half-marathon race was also underway.

The sunlight was brilliant and the daffodils glowed.

Some delicately hued hellebore flowers joined in the fun.

Maybe you all will be able to solve the scale of the different planes in the following photo.  Hint...the flowers in the foreground are at least 20 feet above the pathway in front of the large rocky ledge.

Here is another mix of pretty blue and white flowers.  I know that you will know their names.

Many photographs were being taken all over the Park.  A violinist played a sweet tune.

I took the next two photographs of charming Martenitzas in a large tulip magnolia tree in the Strawberry Fields area just for marvelous Rossichka.

I encourage any of you who have not had the treat of visiting Rossichka's blog to give yourselves a spring time treat and follow the link I've given you.

I saw many horse drawn carriages, and wondered if we will see them again next April.  There is currently a debate underway about whether these horses are being ill treated, and whether the carriages should be allowed.  The Mayor thinks nay; Liam Neeson and other supporters think yay.

The next picture looks down on to the western edge of the Bethesda Fountain plaza, with the Lake in the background and some lovely pink flowery trees on the left.  And, lots of people enjoying the scene.

I don't think I have ever before shown you all any views of the impressive Minton tiled passageway under the stairs that lead from the level where I took the above photo down to the plaza.

I decided to walk across the plaza, continuing towards my Library destination on East 79th Street.  Break dancers were performing on part of the plaza, but these acoustic performers in traditional attire were giving a very different performance.

The soft green of the new tree leaves around the Lake gave a very romantic setting for couples in the rowboats.

Brilliant swaths of forsythia decorated many of the arched passageways.  I thought these accommodating tree trunks gave an additional frame to the scene.

Ahh!  This tree has been basking in full sunlight for a few days and just had to burst into flower.

At this point I was getting closer to my intended exit onto Fifth Avenue.  It was almost one o'clock and the sun felt very warm.

In the following photo, you'll be able to glimpse the glamorous, luxurious Fifth Avenue apartment buildings that face Central Park.  If you look carefully in the center of the photograph, you'll also be seeing the model boat pond well known to all fans of the Stuart Little children's book.

Another archway, with a roadway overhead.  And yet more daffodils are planted on each side of the archway.  Can you see both patches?

What a lush green lawn!

More daffodils!

And here is the pathway that leads to Fifth Avenue and East 79th Street.

I completely enjoyed this walk in the Park, and am so glad to have had this glorious day off.  Next week will be Easter Sunday, and I do hope to be visiting the annual Easter Parade, taking my camera along to see what hats might be on display.

Back home today, I have been knitting a few more rows on my current fair isle scarf project.  Its color scheme is not very springlike, but more like an antique persian carpet.

I will also share with you all another symbol of the end of chilly winter weather.  I have switched my breakfast menu away from oatmeal and put away my beautiful little Riess porridge pan until next autumn.  For the next six months or so, I will be treating myself to these cheery little O's.  Pretty soon, I should be finding fresh berries in the markets to dress up my early morning meals.

Another dietary change will soon be possible for me.  Chocolate returns to my world next Sunday.  I've begun checking out various milk and dark chocolate bunnies around town, and also am aware of the availability of those irresistible Cadbury Creme Eggs.  

Thank you all for your visits and comments.  I am delighted to have a new follower, too.  See you all soon.


  1. How much I longed for this post, Frances. So so beautiful because your pictures give it all! Thank you so much for taking us to this stroll. And I love your link to Bulgaria :-), what a cute tradition to hang Martenitsas up on trees. Here now, everything is turning green, the swallows have come back - very few yet, I hope there will be more to come. Have a marvelous Easter Parade and enjoy the chocolate.

  2. Now Frances you don't really like Cadbury's Creme Eggs do you? My teeth are loosening just thinking about them!

    I loved seeing Central Park in the spring -thank you.

  3. Frances what a joyous walk. It must be such a pleasure strolling amongst all that beauty...the daffodils, scillas, hellebores and those exquisite blossoming trees.I'm sure you returned with renewed energy!

  4. Hello Frances,

    What a gloriously energising walk for you and inspiration for us your readers who have followed your footsteps vicariously. So many different facets of New York life are encapsulated in your words and images. It all gives a feeling of diversity, of fresh hope, and creative spirits. What a wonderful resource this park is and right on your doorstep!

    The Spring flowers have not lost any time in appearing after such a prolonged period of cold over the Winter. It was always our theory that, no matter what the vagaries of the weather might be, plants do have a knack of catching up eventually. And what glorious carpets of colour they make.

  5. A classic post, Frances!
    What a blissful walk. I must get up there very very soon to savor all you have shown me in person.
    I think spring is especially sweet this year, don't you?
    Buster thinks I must make the effort to get him up there this year.
    He'd love it!

  6. I do wonder how you can live without chocolate - my one essential for a desert island.

    Glad you enjoyed Cold Comfort Farm - an old favourite and always an enjoyable re-read. So many references there. Gorgeous spring photos too - you are probably about a month behind the UK as our spring flowers are going now, so even more enjoyable to see yours!

  7. Such a lovely post Frances. Central Park is a park for all seasons, beautiful in each one but especially so in spring with all the lovely flowers. Thanks for taking us on your walk.

  8. I hope you enjoyed Cold Comfort Farm too - it has long been one of my favourites for many years and one which I can read and re read.

    Loved your pictures of ring in Central Park. You've spotted so much detail.

  9. What a delightful post, I one lived one year in NJ and enjoyed several visits to Manhattan and the Park! So very inspiring to read your post and enjoy your pictures!
    I come back a little once in a while and always visit NYC then!
    I think your scarf is lovely!
    Take care and enjoy your chocolate bunny next weekend, as I will too, visiting with my daughter who lives in Sweden!

  10. I enjoyed going with you on your wonderful spring time walk through Central Park, thank you! So many flowers, so much blossom at last, and blue skies and sunshine....after a hard winter these days are even more appreciated than usual, I am sure!
    (I have given up my breakfast porridge too, in favour of different cereals now the spring is here!)
    Wishing you a happy sunny week, Frances.
    Helen xox

  11. I've never been to NYC, but my husband and son will be there this June. Have any suggestions what not to miss and where to go eat? The park looks beautiful and I know they'll go there. At least, I would.

  12. I loved seeing spring in Central Park through your eyes, Frances. We finally have a spring day here, although it's chilly. I'm hoping for a dry, sunny day on Easter Saturday when my baby girl becomes a married woman! Cx

  13. What a glorious walk! I loved seeing the boat pond as I'm a big fan of Stuart Little.

  14. Hurrah! Spring has arrived with a thunderbolt in your stunning corner of the world, Frances and I am so very glad for you and your fellow citizens of New York City!

    You will be out most days feasting on Vitamin D and flowers now, I believe!

    And now I am feeling a tad guilty that some impressive souls such as yourself have given up chocolate for Lent when I have been munching a square or three most days.

    Warmest wishes to you, dear Frances, from France as always.


  15. I enjoy your walks in Central Park showing all the pretty spring flowers. Spring is such a wonderful season. Your knitting is phenomenal - so very beautiful and interesting additions to your diet!
    Have a very Happy Easter!
    xoxo Ingrid

  16. I couldn't have wished for a better walk in Central Park! You know where to lead us and how to reveal the beauties all around. You are the best ever guide, Frances, thank you so much!
    I enjoyed every step of your walk, especially the calm picture with the boats, but I was completely surprised to see the beautiful tree with the martenitzas, tied to its branches!:D You were so kind to give a link to my blog, Thank you!!:))
    I wish you a wonderful April, full of sunny days and smiles! xx

  17. Hi Francis, I'm so glad you are finally enjoying some warm weather.
    I loved your photo's. Central park looked beautiful, especially the boating lake....stunning photo.
    Jacquie x

  18. How delightful to take a stroll round the park with you. I like those slate coloured hellebores and must find a space for some. Now to look up martenitsas and the blog recommendation .

  19. Frances, I love your knitting, the colours are exactly the sort I like, never a one for girly pinks.

    I recently broke a tooth on breakfast cereal, a very costly mistake.

    Happy Easter to you, I can't believe how quickly the Easter Parade comes around!

  20. Central Park is so beautiful, I would love to visit NYC but your blog is allowing me to see it vicariously until I arrive :)
    Thank you for your lovely comment about my sewing. How lucky you are to receive a clothing allowance .. your boss is obviously looking after you x

  21. The park looks beautiful, but I've surprised myself by also thinking it looks busy ... I'm sure it will look busier in the months ahead. I guess when you live as out of the way as we do you start to get used to no crowds, although Chester, our nearest town of note, is usually packed with shoppers, but I rarely bother to visit it these days.

    Porridge for breakfast all summer if you're me, I just love the stuff, although sometimes I eat a Larabar instead, whatever the season. Enjoy your Cheerios :)

  22. PS What Sue said about the Cadbury's Creme Eggs, or maybe yours aren't the same as our too sweet confections?