Friday, December 19, 2014

City Views, Country Dreams

Good evening from New York.

It seems that since I returned from England in November, I have been neglecting showing you all some New York City seasonal views.  I have been very busy with many projects and also with my work days.

Nonetheless, I have been taking my camera with me on some days, and will now show you a very edited selection of city views.

Thanksgiving Day, back on November 27, was a very cold and damp day, and so I did not stay too long at the annual Macy's Parade that starts not far from where I live and makes its way downtown to Macy's Department Store at 34th Street's Herald Square.


There were lots of police on hand to protect us from anything or anyone intent on disturbing the joy that assembled families might receive from the parade. Colorful balloons, for sale, also gave color to a gray day.

Gigantic helium filled balloons made their appearances in between marching bands and decorative floats boasting celebrities.  Snoopy and Woodstock are always crowd favorites.



Veteran parade viewers remember to bring their own ladders and other seating arrangements to provide better viewing.



The above photograph reminded me of birds on a wire, but that bird on the right did not know I was taking her photograph.

Some folks wear seasonal, whimsical hats.


As in my previous reports of this parade, you can see the famed Dakota apartment building in the above photograph.  People watching the parade from the Dakota's windows were warmer than I was.  I admit to going home for a hot cup of tea before Santa Claus's appearance at the end of the parade.

A much warmer occasion was the annual Holiday Open House at the splendidly grand 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue main New York City Public Library.


As always, there is lots of wonderful music, plenty of wine, lots of beautifully dressed children enjoying the fun of a party in the library where it's joyously noisy.


During these Open House events, lots of special rooms are open to view, including this one with a fabulous vintage card catalogue.  I could not resist taking a photograph.


The library building richly deserved its landmark status.


Every time that I have attended this party, I leave it with a renewed appreciation of all that I love about New York City.


The stone lions that guard the entrance to the building were looking very grand in their holiday greenery wreaths.


In past years I've shown you all the giant Rockefeller Center tree, and wanted to include a photograph again this year.  Lots of breezes blowing around this area.


I was bundled up against the chill, and continued my walk up Fifth Avenue looking for any imaginative holiday decorations.  I admit that I did not see many qualifiers until I reached 57th Street.

 Tiffany's had some rather gaudy sparkly diamond-inspired lights on its facade.  I think that the choice of yellow "diamonds" at the centers of these sprays was not as pretty as "rubies" might have been.


Over the middle of the 57th and Fifth intersection is hung a very large illuminated snowflake.  This decoration is much more dramatic after sundown.  However, after sundown, it is not so easy for the pedestrian to see the pair of sneakers that have been tossed over another set of wires above the same intersection.  Sneakers are without glamour but do have a certain nonchalance.



Leave it to Bergdorf Goodman to come up with truly inventive holiday windows.


On one side of the building the store's windows show a sort of winter wonderland, as a backdrop to some very elegant fashions.


On the Fifth Avenue side of the building there is a theme to the window.  Various members of the Arts family are represented.  The best of the bunch, to my eye, was the one representing Architecture.


There was much playing around with scale and with the tradition of blueprints.


Others of this series of windows have much more brightly colored lighting.


I still prefer the Architecture window.  As did other passersby, judging by how many cameras and smart phones were being deployed.


This is a detail of the Painting window.  All was in whitewash except for the one canvas.


Back to Architecture.  Please humor me.


The talented designers who create and install these windows are truly top of their field.


Truly.



Yes, there are some mannequins sharing the window, and yes, these mannequins are wearing some fabulous clothes, but I don't think that they are the true stars of the show.


One last peek.


I believe that the following photograph featured the Music arts.  Lots of brass horns.


Around the corner on 58th Street, this window was a tribute to sculpture, with an emphasis on ice.


I regret to report that my camera's battery signalled a farewell about the time I took that ice sculpture window.  And so, I headed home.

Shop windows are not the only sources of decorations at this time of the year.



At the farmers market there are lots of cyclamen, amaryllis, Christmas cactus, narcissus and other pretty colored blooms available to take home.

Other stands feature a great variety of greenery, either as loose branches, garlands or made up wreaths.


I like the pine cones.


I wish that I could convey to you all the delicious scent of all this greenery.


Red berries and festive ribbons have been added to some of the wreaths on offer.


Uptown in my own west side neighborhood, as in most other city neighborhoods, sidewalk vendors of Christmas trees and greenery appeared around Thanksgiving and will disappear on Christmas eve.



I love the way that these vendors have decorated their little enclosure against the chill of the night air, to create a Christmas Tree People house.  Can you all see the little figures they have made from trimmings from trees they've sold?


Not all Christmas trees have to be ten feet tall.  These are about a metre, including their stands.


Just across Broadway from The Christmas Tree People, is the legendary Beacon Theater, where currently Mariah Carey is holding forth.  I would imagine that the audience sings along with her when she gets to that particular line of that particular song.


And back home in my tiny apartment, I have added some red berried branches to my decor, surrounded by a few beautifully wrapped gifts that have recently been delivered.


I think that I have made all the required visits to the Post Office, and may or may not have baked all the cookies I will bake before December 25.

As of this evening, I am feeling rather relaxed about my Christmas preparations.  Do be on the lookout for at least one more post from me before the 25th.

Meanwhile, thank you all for your visits and comments.  It's great fun to share this time of the year with you all.

30 comments:

  1. I loved seeing all your photos of a very Christmassy New York, one of the dreams of my daughter and I is to visit NYC at this time of year.

    Helenxx

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    1. Helen, it really is a fabulous time to be in the city. There is so much going on...lots of hustle and bustle.

      xo

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  2. A super round up of the city sights! I must get up to see the windows on 5th Avenue - they look wonderful indeed.
    Merry Christmas. Memories of the Library open house the other year.
    Such a splendid afternoon.

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    1. Thank you, Elizabeth. Of course, my little round up only shows a fraction of Christmas in New York. I do recommend that my readers have a look at your posts, too!

      xo

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  3. New York in Christmas time...so lovely! Thank you Frances for taking me around the city, just love it!
    Have a happy weekend and take care...
    Warmly,
    Titti (on a grey and dull island)

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    1. I'm glad you liked the tour, Titti. I'm working this weekend, but that gives me a chance to see another side of this season.

      xo

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  4. Hi Frances, i love to see NYC in Christmastime. Especially the Public Library, I have nice memories of that building and the parc. I wish you a merry Xmas! Loevely greetings, Jolanda

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    1. Thank you, Jolanda. The Library building really is amazing. I should return with my camera to take pictures on a non-open house day.

      xo

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  5. I'm always impressed now, from my quiet corner of countryside, by how the accumulated wealth of the concentrated humanity in cities can make such imaginative opulence possible. It is such evidence that we are more than a sum of our parts, despite the yellow of the Tiffany's display being indeed a little insipid.

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    1. And I am impressed by how nature's beauty is allowed to shine in less populated, pulsing parts of the world!

      (Actually, Mise, I was surprised at the lack of holdiay decorations along Fifth Avenue. Most of the big shops really hadn't made much of an effort. My memory says to me that it was not always thus.)

      xo

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  6. Such a lovely post with so many beautiful photographs to bring back memories of Christmas in New York. I was last there in December 1985. Perhaps I should return in 2015!

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    1. Gina, there have been many changes in New York since your last Christmas visit. Yes, why don't you make a return visit next year!

      xo

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  7. Wonderful! I must agree about the architecture window, the wealth of creativity realized there is just remarkable - someone got to achieve their vision!
    I know just what you mean about that fresh pine-needle smell, and I love all the small pieces made out of the leftover bits, exactly what creative people do. In a photo just before that is a triangular Advent box with I think 24 windows?, very appealing and intriguing.
    I see you were able to find red berries at last, the perfect festive touch for home. You have been very busy - thanks so much for this peep at Christmas in New York.

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    1. Thank you for your comments, Frances. And yes, I think that was a little Advent box. And, I might need to get another few red berries tomorrow. Still have to decide whether to bring out any of my collection of glass baubles to add to the mix. And...I've been meaning to make some pomanders, but time might not be available, now.

      xo

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  8. What wonderful displays and sights you have in New York at this time of year. I hope you stay relaxed and calm right up to Christmas :-)

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    1. Good to hear from you, Su. Yes, there is a lot to see around this city right now. And it's definitely a good idea to attempt a relaxed approach to it all.

      xo

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  9. Wonderful, wonderful pictures, and a narrative that brings us along to see those same views with you. Many thanks for your beautiful Christmas card my friend, it takes pride of place on the mantlepiece.
    Nóllaig shóna dhuit a chara dheas xx

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    1. Thank you very much my dear friend! xo

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  10. Dear Frances, you've done again your best to make us feel the festive Christmas mood of New York City! Thank you for being so generous! I had the feeling I was there, walking beside you in the chilly day...
    Unfortunately, I am still very busy with our Christmas projects, so I have to postpone the reading of your post for the holidays, when I'll be calm... Now I just looked at the wonderful photos!
    I wish you a Merry Christmas in a cosy atmosphere!:)xx

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    1. Rossichka, thanks for you visit...I know what you mean about many, many projects calling upon our time in December. Good to keep our energy positive!

      A very Merry Christmas to you, too. xo

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  11. Beauty everywhere! Those windows are a Christmas/holiday gift to all who see them. Thank you so much for sharing the seasonal beauty of your city. (I have to laugh when I think of the sesonal decorations from my neck of the woods that I shared yesterday!) A Merry Christmas, dear Frances!

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    1. Vicki, I loved seeing those decorations from your neck of your beautiful woods. They have a spirit that many of our NYC decs seem to lack.

      xo

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  12. Shall I wish you Happy Christmas now, or shall I sneak in another visit before Christmas. I had better do so now as I have too many jobs in too little time. I wish you a Blessed Christmas and an inspirational New Year filled with wondrous things. xxx (I can't help but notice those beautiful knitted cushions) xxx

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    1. Thanks so much, Val, for your kind words. I've also still got a few Christmas preps to complete, but think that I can actually begin to relax a bit.

      A very Happy Christmas to you and yours. xo

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  13. Happy Christmas Frances, thank you for sharing the photos of New York at this time of year. I love seeing all your photos!

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    1. Thank you so much, Janice, for your kind comment. It is a true pleasure to share my city views!

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  14. I enjoyed seeing your wonderful New York at Christmas photos, Frances. So many amazing sights and on such a grand scale. The lights and the window displays are stunning. The architecture display is inspired!
    Wishing you a happy countdown to Christmas.
    Helen xox

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    1. Thank you, Helen. I think that Architectue window had special appeal to folks like us who appreciated hand work. My photograph only give a little indication of the details in the large window space. xo

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  15. A wonderful, memorable set of New York Holiday pictures!
    Tanks from Paris !!
    xCarolg

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  16. It was my pleasure to share NYC with you, Carol!

    xo

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