Sunday, October 11, 2015

City Views, Country Dreams

Good evening from New York.

During the past week I have spent more time indoors than I prefer, in part due to some rainy weather.  Today was a beautiful day, and so I set off across Central Park before midday headed for a particular destination.

My walk took me past the well-groomed folks playing croquet on the well-tended lawn.  Sometimes it is amusing to stand just outside the fence and watch the proceedings which the players take very seriously.  I did not tarry today.



I passed by a lady who was checking her smart phone while her pup rested in its carriage.


I walked past the edge of the Sheep Meadow with those tall buildings at just south of the Park providing architectural accents to nature.



I passed by some morning glory flowers that were observing that it was still morning.


As my walk grew closer to Fifth Avenue I paused to have a long look at the beautiful American Elms.  These trees are an endangered species and are fenced off from any contagion that people might bring to them.


Here is another view of the elms.


And here is a close up view of a sculptural tree trunk.


This canine statue has been pleasing passersby for many, many years.


And then I reached Fifth Avenue, crossing over to the western side of Fifth, so that I would have the Park as the backdrop to the photographs that I wanted to take to show you.


Tomorrow is an October Monday that the States choose to celebrate Columbus Day as a national holiday.  There is a huge Italian Columbus Day Parade. I will be working tomorrow.  I was delighted not to be working today, because it is the day of the Hispanic Columbus Day Parade, honoring the country that funded Columbus's exploration.

Today's parade features contingents from Spain and also from Central and South American countries that use the Spanish language.  The Grand Marshall of the parade, a Colombian beauty who is seen wearing a camel colored coat in the following photograph, is also known as Miss Universe.


I was surprised and impressed that she was actually walking the parade route, rather than sitting in some sort of vehicle.  There were many other dignitaries walking along the route, before the musicians and dancers appeared.


 It was good to be patient.


At last we were treated to hours of entertainment by representatives of many countries dressed in traditional costumes, or in very glamorous versions of traditional costumes.


These groups moved along at a quick pace, following the tempo of music that was furnished either by loud amplified sound trucks or by live musicians.


There were quite a few floats that were sponsored by media companies of community organizations.


The Spanish delegation had bagpipers, who were wearing interesting hats.


As the afternoon continued, I saw many hats.


Flags from many parts of the Americas waved in the breeze.


This rather ordinary vehicle was transformed by being decorated by items identified with a particular country.


And perhaps this fellow is an alpaca?


Could this lady be an angel?


This dancer could seem menacing if he was not dressed so elegantly.


The parade route was a bit over a mile long.  I wonder how these folks managed to keep up their energetic performances.


Some of you might remember seeing some of these groups in my reporting of the Dance Parade last spring.



Beautifully bright colors looked great in the sunlight.


 Most of the participating groups were made of performers of many ages.  I enjoyed seeing the combination of generations.


I wonder how many hours they practice for this event.


At the right edge of this photograph, you will see a young police officer who never left his post during the parade.  Every so often I was also aware of a police officer walking a dog around the edges of the avenue.  Presumably the dog was there to sniff for dangerous items.


In the following photograph you will notice blue clad gentlemen following the bright pink clad ladies. The gents wore showy boots with bells on the spurs.


Although Miss Universe walked, other local beauty queens got to ride.


I like those hats and the ladies' intricately braided hair.


Here we have sparkly costumes with lavender feathered hats.


What a lovely smile on this lady who came over to quickly chat with someone standing next to me.


Tiny hats and tiny skirts.


Back lit green feathers keeping to the beat.


The fan-shaped headdresses on these dangers were fantastic.


Many different physiques were on display.


More of those headdresses.


This couple were amazing dancers.


In the following photograph, you all will notice a bystander on the left wearing a tiny hat.  He was very funny and had a collection of flags representing the various participants.  When Colombia passed by, he waved the flag of Colombia.  When Ecuador danced by, he waved the Ecuador flag, and so forth.  


I saw many, many twirly swirly skirts.


This vehicle represented Cuba.  It is possible that this was Cuba's first parade appearance.


A butterfly landed nearby.


This performer with the parasol was great entertainment.  Twas a man in that dress.


Still more color schemes.


What a profile.


This character was able to crack a whip.


Here's a beauty riding on a car's sun roof.


Powerful sunlight heats up the afternoon.


Ecuador was well represented.


I tilted my camera angle to capture these dancers.


I cannot remember which country these group represented.


This flag was a variation of our Stars and Stripes, with miniature images of the Hispanic countries' seals in place of the Stars.


Full house on this float...folks of all ages having a fine time.


I thought I'd show you another view of the sidelines, where the young police officer was still keeping an eye on everything.


The hats, white shirts and blue kerchiefs look very smart.


Tilting again.


One final parade view, showing another float that wanted to embrace a global theme.  


Although the parade's route was not too long, closing Fifth Avenue to other vehicular traffic really created lots of traffic jams.  My crosstown bus ride home took a very long time, but I was very glad to be sitting down!

I wanted to close this post with some close up views of some pretty plantings I saw outside an elegant apartment building


A few weeks ago, I watched a lady gardener at work here, and really liked her sense of style.



Hoping that you enjoy seeing the results of her work.


Fun to see what a bit of imagination can do.


 One last tree view.  Isn't the sunlight pretty behind the leaves of these trees on the grounds of The Museum of Natural History?


I'm hoping this long post wasn't exhausting.  It was such a great afternoon, I couldn't resist taking lots and lots of photographs, and have actually only shown you all a fraction.

As always, I appreciate your visits and comments.  Happy Columbus Day!

48 comments:

  1. What fun! I've enjoyed following the parade through your lens, as I drink my mug of tea in bed early on Columbus Day morning. We've been travelling in the US at least twice coinciding with the Columbus Day weekend and after the first time when we drove the whole width of New Hampshire before finding a bed for the night (in a down at heel motel which we now laugh about) the next time we were wise to book ahead for the holiday weekend!
    Hope you have a good Columbus Day! xx

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    1. Celia, I smiled at your recounting of that New Hampshire search, remembering a similar situation my family faced on our one and only car trip visiting various historic New England sites. I felt so sorry for my Dad...but like you all, we did eventually find shelter on the one unfortunate night we had no reservations. Dave's Motel became part of our family history!

      The parade was grand! xo

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  2. What a great parade. Love your walk through the park to get there. It's great to be able to get to see what's happening across the world via your blog. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thank you Katharine...it was a splendid day! xo

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  3. Must confess that I did not know that there was such kind of parade for Columbus day. Thank you so much, Frances for that great colourful post and all the details about the different paraders. Fabulous! Can imagine it was exhausting even for the spectators. Very impressed about the elms and that they are fenced off. Elms have always been my favourite trees but as so many have been decimated by the disease you don't see many anymore and it takes them so long to grow.

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    1. Glad you liked my reporting, Bayou. It was a pleasure to take these "motion" pictures.

      The elms are magnificent. xo

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  4. What a fantastic event! I'll come again later to see all the moments you've captured for us, but right now I'm very busy! Still it was a very nice start of the day, thank you, Frances!:)
    Happy new week!

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    1. Rossichka, I wish you could have seen the parade with me. You would have truly appreciated the artistry and theatrical aspects, along with the fun!

      xo

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  5. New York really does know how to put on a splendid parade. Lovely to share it with you Frances x

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    1. This parade brings so much joy...it was grand to have fine weather, too. xo

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  6. And a happy Columbus Day to you too Frances - what a splendid view of the event you have given us - the next best thing to actually being there.

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    1. It's so much fun to visit your site...although we do live in such different locations. I'm glad you like visiting here, too. Next best thing indeed! xo

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  7. Wonderful photos of a splendid parade!
    What dresses!
    of course I admired the tree pit plantings too....

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    1. Elizabeth, I thought of you when I took those photographs of the plantings along 81st Street.

      Yes, amazing costumes! xo

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  8. These were all beautiful pictures and who doesn't love a parade - except for those waiting in traffic.

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    1. You've said it well. It was a good day for traveling via subway trains, or overland ... on foot. The parade was to end about 4 pm, so I made my departure from my viewing point a little after 3. Experience has taught me a bit of parade-viewing strategy.

      It was so much fun! xo

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  9. Thank you for sharing this amazing parade with us, dear Frances. It really is a colourful sight....so many interesting and colourful costumes.....and I enjoyed your commentary too :) I loved seeing the pictures of the pretty autumn plantings very much as well.
    Wishing you a happy new week!
    Helen xox

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    1. Helen, when I set out with my camera I am never sure that I will take a single picture. When I know I am heading for a very visual event like this parade, I know I will wish to take many photos, and just hope that folks who see my blog post will enjoy the views, too.

      I appreciate your comment very much! xo

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  10. Now that was a parade. Who would have thought central and south America were so evident in the parade. Nice street to have it on too. Doesn't look like fall has taken a bite out of the flowers yet. Things are just beginning to turn here though I don't know why. It is still so warm. Hope that doesn't mean winter will be a hard one.

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    1. Even though it occurs on Fifth Avenue, I've always loved this particular parade. I think there is something sweetly intimate in seeing all these participants representing their native countries, and also in feeling the appreciation of the parade watchers who come from all over the world.

      It always gives me a very good feeling about life.

      xo

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  11. Oh Frances, that took me back. I scanned the pictures and didn't read the words but I felt like I was right back there. Feeling all weak. I was last in New York in 1979. I saw Blondie in the Park. Thank you, I loved your pictures. I may be back this winter time for my second visit. Thank you again for making my evening.

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    1. Oh Rachel, I think that you need to come back for another visit to NYC. It's now very, very different from those 1979 days (which I also truly loved) and is a much more commercial, expensive place. I think that is another reason that I particularly attending events like this Spanish Columbus Day parade that is built from individuals contributing their love and dedication to varied cultures.

      Who knows what I will be posting about next. There are so many city views that interest me on a small scale.

      Best wishes...I've also enjoyed seeing your posts and might just leave you a comment, too.

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  12. Thank you for sharing these beautiful, colorful pictures of the parade. My son visited Bolivia a few years ago in february. He was there during carnaval and made a film of a parade overthere. Your pictures remind me of that film a lot. So eye catching!! Groeten, Corry

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    1. Thank you very much Corry for your interesting comment. I have a feeling that lots of the Bolivian folks in Sunday's parade have also participated in that carnival. How wonderful that your son made that film! xo

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  13. Beautiful photographs of the parade France...I can really sense the wonderful carnival atmosphere...How lucky you are to live close to Central Park! (I do love the canine statue too)
    Hope you're having a good week,
    Susan x

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    1. My apology...my 's' seems to have fallen off Frances! x

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    2. Susan, not to worry about that 's'...when I type quickly I often misspell my own name.

      I really enjoyed taking all the pictures on Sunday, and am glad that I decided to include the entire mix in my post. That canine statue really is beautiful, isn't it?

      xo

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  14. Another great report from our own correspondent in NYC. My son has been enjoying the fine weather too. I didn't hear if he saw any of this parade so it's a good job you have kept me informed!

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    1. Lucille, your son has had some beautiful weather here during his stay. I greatly prefer the Sunday Hispanic Columbus Day Parade, to the one that takes place on Monday, that the officially declared national holiday and has an Italian flavor. Sunday's music and dancers are so much more fun...and there aren't so many politicians in the parade.

      How I am wishing that I could hop over to London this fall. It would be grand to see the Indian Fabric exhibit at the V&A with you.

      If you do go, please do report. xo

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    2. There are plans afoot so I will.

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  15. Hello Frances! As I look at your pictures I think that you can´t have one boring minute in this city! Everything happens round every corner! It must be very interesting and amuzing...
    Take care!
    Titti

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    1. Titti, some times the city can be a bit overwhelming with its throbbing beat, but truly, it is never boring. I am so glad that you like stopping by my blogs. I think that you know by now how much I love your posts. xo

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  16. My heavens! Sometimes it seems that the whole world comes to NYC -- if you just wait, they'll be parading your streets. (And the women in high heels -- I AM impressed!)

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  17. It's true that NYC is a big holiday desitination for folks from all over the world, but some come for business reasons, and some...come to march or dance! Of course, some like myself decide to move here. xo

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  18. I always enjoy your walks through the park Frances and your photo's of events in NY. The parade looks special. Hope the weather has improved now? It's terribly cold in The Netherlands.

    Have a good weekend ahead!

    Madelief x

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  19. Thank you Madelief...this is a very special time of the year in NYC...I would recommend autumn and spring to anyone thinking of visiting here.

    Well, the weather is a bit chilly...it's a time to layer up, but not yet any sort of time to bring out the down-filled coat. The air is crisp and the sky is blue. Lovely time for long walks...when I can find the time. xo

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  20. Frances , I so loved of all the many wonderful
    photographs you made ("took" is an expression we
    old fotog's never use lol) the woman with the bulldog
    in the ambulette dog wagon ,made me have a tear
    in my eye.
    The dog sculpture "Balto" the hero dog you made
    brings back memories of my riding him when my
    dad was making a snapshot shortly after World War 2.

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    1. Thank you so much for those kind words. I truly love sharing my city views with folks all over the world. Some of those who see this post have never visited New York, while others...have lots of connections to the places I show. xo

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  21. What a great parade! Very interesting. Love all the photos too. It really is a colorful sight. Thanks!

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    1. Perhaps some day you will be able to see this parade in person. Thanks for your comment.

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  22. Nobody does parades like New York! And nothing escapes your keen artist's eye, dear Frances. X

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    1. Gretel, I actually think that you would have enjoyed being along with me for the walk across the Park, to spend some relaxed hours being part of a very friendly (not really very crowded) celebration. I wish that my camera could have captured another beautiful, delicate sight of pretty golden leaves occasionally fluttering down from the trees, each leaf being able to catch sunlight for it descent. A very natural sparkley effect. xo

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  23. It all looks rather marvellous. I've always thought I'd like to visit NY at this time of year.

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    1. Annie, autumn really is a great time to visit this city...there is a huge variety of places to visit, each with its own atmosphere and possibility of adventure. Not enough hours in the day to do everything, but it's great to be able to make one's own selections.

      Maybe I'll see you next year? xo

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  24. In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue. I was in Genoa in 1992 and I remember the celebrations there well. Fantastic photos Frances, I could almost hear the soundtrack. Can I say that I was reminded a little of the parade in the film of "Hello Dolly", a film I loved as a young girl.

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  25. Thanks so much for your visit, Sarah. Many decades back, a thrilling feature of this Spanish Columbus Day Parade was the grand finale...three floats in the shapes of the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria. I still miss seeing them!

    Please do visit again.

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  26. Ah, Frances - you beat me to it! Having just caught up with my own blog and was enjoying your lovely photos in between getting on with a few chores here (a nice balance, I thought between the things you want to do and the the chores you have to do!). I'm always struck by the enthusiasm of folks in your city for notable dates and occasions and very much enjoyed your Halloween pictures and all those wonderful costumes. I'm unable to post a photo for privacy reasons but my new granddaughter attended her first fancy dress party last weekend and wore an amazing Elvis 'white jumpsuit' babygrow... I'm sure you can picture her in your mind's eye. One of my chores for this afternoon, because I'm a reluctant gardener, was planting up my pots for Spring - your gardening photos have persuaded me that it will all be worth while when I see the results! Cxx

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