Thursday, October 29, 2015

City Views, Country Dreams

Good evening from New York.

Once again, it is that special time in my neighborhood when strange sights appear on West 69th Street.  Walking along this afternoon, at first I was surprised to see a pumpkin patch had sprung up over night.


And then I realized that there were several pumpkin patches.


And yet another row of pumpkins, with some corn growing at the top of the stairway.  And then, my eyes were caught by something just below a nearby window.


The brownstone row houses began to look just a bit scary.  On these stairs a perfectly gracious couple and their black dog were joined by several skeleton blue grass musicians with flashing red eyes.


Next door things got even creepier.


This collection gave a new meaning to Animal House.  That yellow Police caution tape seemed wise.


Looking up, I realized that lots of spiders of a generous size were settling in as new neighbors.


I'm not too sure about the identity of this spook, but it certainly did have a certain aura.


Jeeeepers!  More spiders.  Along with a warning to folks who were planning to park along this street on October 31.



As I look back at these photographs, it is somewhat tricky to separate the real from the other worldly.


Look carefully if you dare.


There was a steady rain all day yesterday and through most of the night, and so I am pretty sure that none of these creatures appeared before today.


How many skulls do you count in the following photograph?


Perhaps this chap is a tree-hugging environmentalist?


Down on the ground below, this fellow is having a little rest next to the large pumpkin.  Can you tell that he's crossed his legs and has a show on one foot?


Yet more spiders blowing in the breeze.


There's a rather mixed group hanging out at this entrance.


As a nanny passing by with her young charge pointed out, There's the Devil!  And more spiders, of course.


Here is a rather subdued addition to the shrubbery.  Just chilling out.


The rather elaborate entrance to this limestone building has acquired some new residents.  And didn't they just bring along another spider for fun.


Lots and lots of stretchy cobwebs on display, mostly white, but some in an unnatural green shade.


Just across the street, a chorus of ghosties were taking an afternoon break to feel the afternoon breeze and admire their chalky white pumpkins.


I hope that you can discern that the first red letter is a B.  The two jack o'lanterns look rather jolly, but do not be fooled.


This next entryway is quite elegant, and I wondered if perhaps a party might be taking place there on Saturday night.


If there is to be a party, at number 29, I think this gent is all set for a fabulous evening.  See how we waves hello to all who pass by!


I am hoping that you all have enjoyed seeing these amazing sights.  I wish you a very Happy Halloween, and thank you, as always, for your visits and comments.

58 comments:

  1. I don't mind the spiders, and I love the look of the pumpkins...but the rest leaves me cold, I'm afraid. It seems sad in this lovely Autumn season to put such horrid things on display!

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    1. Thank you for your comment, Elizabeth. Yes, some of those displays are a bit over the top, but they only come out for a few days. Then it's back to just the pumpkins. xo

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  2. Thank you for sharing a glimpse of a New York halloween Frances. It certainly seems to be a big event in your neck of the woods. Here the only concession to halloween will be to watch Sleepy Hollow on Sunday night.

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    1. On Halloween night itself, this part of 69th street is closed to car traffic, and there's a lot of trick or treating...party time. The Block Association raises money for this project from a book sale in last summer.

      xo

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  3. OK...........well that makes my little party for my daughter in laws' birthday on Saturday look a tad tame....lol!!!
    I could cope with most of it but boy are those spiders big....they would freak me out.
    Wonderful to see how it's done in New York.
    Hugs from The UK-x-

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    1. Sheila, thanks for stopping by. Yes...not only are those spiders big...they are also hairy!

      Happy Halloween! xo

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  4. Those are gorgeous decorations! How wonderful that people make such an effort.

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    1. Phyllis, perhaps some October you might find yourself in NYC and could see the decorations for yourself. There's also a huge, crazy parade in Greenwich Village downtown on Halloween night. Anyone in costume can join the parade.

      xo

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  5. Jeepers indeed, people do give it their all over there. And there was I feeling proud at having risen to making a tea-brack with coins and rings. Perhaps I should pop a few of my scary aunts out on the front terrace as well.

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    1. Mise, I think that some of the folks along these blocks are In the Theatre, and love setting up a scene. It's a bit different every year.

      How would you persuade those aunties to pop out? If you manage it, a photo would be appreciated.

      Happy Halloween! xo

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  6. Dear Frances, Of course I love all of the Halloween decorations. How nice of people to go to so much trouble. My favorites are the pretty pumpkins, berries, cacti and assorted greens. Thank you for sharing, you have given me a few great ideas for decorating our steps.

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    1. Gina, you've already got the makings of beautiful decorations ... straight from your own garden. I think your own arrangements would inspire these brownstone folks. xo

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  7. Wow! New York is really going for it this Hallowe'en. What a stunning display and a real pleasure to look through your photos. Thank you x

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    1. Marianne, not every NYC street goes all out for Halloween the way this street does. It's been a great tradition in my neighborhood for decades.

      xo

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  8. I am surprised that all those that dwell there decorate so. It is a treat for the neighborhood I bet. Here at the farm, nada. Nor the city house. I used to heavily decorate when the kids were here, but I've never had a trick or treater at the farm and we'll see this weekend at the city house. I better go get some candy. And, I have to wonder, where would all those parkers park their cars?

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    1. Donna, wouldn't it be fun if you get to have some cute little costumed trick or treaters visit your new city house?

      I admit to being amused that these particular city blocks can decorate to the max, and please hundreds, or possibly thousands, with the holiday decorating, and the accompanying street party as sunset nears tomorrow night.

      Make sure the candy you buy is something you and yours like!

      If folks cannot find other blocks with available parking spaces, they can always just pay a bit of money for this one day to park in an underground parking facility. Plenty of those in the neighborhood, too.

      Happy Halloween! xo

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  9. Blymey! The decorations get more elaborate each year, the huge spider with the mixed group is my favourite. I can only think that this street must be inhabited by window dressers or stage set designers. I wonder what happens to those pumpkins and other edibles when the celebrations are over? It would be a shame to see them go to waste. Have a Happy halloween Frances and keep those ghosties away. x

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    1. Blymey indeed, Val. I also think the decorations get better each year. Yes, I do recognize some of the props, but there are new additions, and everything gets all mixed up in an arresting sort of way.

      In past years, I think that most of the pretty pumpkins (not the gap-toothed jack o'lanterns) just keep their pretty places on the steps. Perhaps in some cases some soup or pie might be made.

      The other ghosties and spiders get put away for another appearance next year.

      Happy Halloween to you and yours. xo

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  10. I love the art. I see it as terrific street art. I like it so much. Thank you, I wish I was there to see it for myself.

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    1. Rachel, I'm so glad you like the goings on over on West 69th Street. It really is a gift from some of the street's residents to the rest of the neighborhood. It is terrific street art.

      Why don't you plan an October 2016 visit?
      Happy Halloween!

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  11. Dear Frances,

    You Americans definitely know how to celebrate Halloween! Great decorations, so very artistic! Wishing you a good time tomorrow!

    Madelief x

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    1. Thank you Madelief. I think I am fortunate to live in a neighborhood in which folks still celebrate occasions in a way that others can enjoy.

      xo

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  12. So very spooky!! I am amazed at some of these sights and decorations .....like a movie! Wishing you a very Happy Halloween dear Frances.
    Helen xox

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    1. Helen, you are right about the spookiness and the cinematic quality. Remember...I took these photographs in the afternoon light.

      It all must be even more spooky after sunset.

      Happy Halloween to you, too! xo

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  13. It's too scary for me! But I must admit that Halloween in your neigbourhood promises to be a remarkable event...

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    1. Rossichka, all this spookiness is along just two blocks of one street. Most of the rest of the neighborhood is much more subdued in its Halloween observances.

      I am imagining what wonderful decorations you would make...and masks for children, too.

      xo

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    2. Hello, Frances! We made papier-mache masks. I will send you some photos!:))

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    3. Rossichka, you are so inspirational to those children. I very much admire the masks that allow those children to take on new personas...without being scary personas. Thank you for the photos! xo

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  14. Oh, my goodness! City folk do go all out! These are wonderful. (I almost wonder if there is some company people hire to decorate.)

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    1. Vicki, the best part of this annual celebration is the fact that the neighbors get together to do it themselves. Yes...I think that there might be some very talented folks living along these blocks, but no hired decorators for this one.

      The block also hosts a children's street party after sundown on Halloween. A book sale is held on the street in late September to raise money to fund some of this fun.

      Happy Halloween to you and yours. xo

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  15. Thank you, Frances, for taking us along to see all these elaborate and hilarious Halloween displays. I thoroughly enjoyed the ride!
    Happy Halloween,
    Merisi

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  16. Merisi, it is my pleasure to share a bit of this NYC seasonal fun with folks who live in other wonderful parts of our wonderful world. xo

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  17. Great photos! I love it when people get in the spirit and express themselves for the world to see. This is my first visit to your blog. It makes me wish I was in The City to see this for myself. And to get a decent bagel. Have a great Halloween.

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    1. Colette, I glad that you enjoyed your first visit and hope you will return again. The next time I buy a bagel I will think of you.

      Happy Halloween!

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  18. What a great and spooky Halloween greeting. Such fun to wander down this decorated street with you and your camera. We had snow here in Alaska yesterday, and people just don't seem to go all out on Halloween here the way they do in New York City and also in Portland, Oregon. Happy Halloween!

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    1. Snow already! Wow, Carol, it just seems too early for that, although I did see some vintage local tv coverage of a Halloween snowfall some years ago right here in NYC.

      Lovely weather here today, though, so I've got a supply of chocolate bars...just in case some little goblins who live in my building might ring my doorbell later on this afternoon or evening. Lots of folks of all ages are out and about in costume already.

      xo

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  19. That was a total blast! 13 skulls? I love the imagination and hilarity of it all... leave it to New Yorkers to make the most of a Holiday! What fun it must be to walk down that avenue amidst all the "ghastly horrors". Do you have trick or treaters? I hope so, that makes it even more fun.We haven't had any in 25 years, living off the beaten path as we do. Still, a pair of simple Jack o Lantern's beckon from our porch, nothing so spectacular as your neighborhood.

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    1. It really is quite a show over there on 69th Street, Jeri. I actually am not sure about the actual skull count. 13 would be a good number on the 31st.

      I don't usually get any trick or treaters, but perhaps this year will be different. I think that sometimes the folks in the building who have children arrange to visit each other's apartments, but I haven't seen any sort of official note about tonight. I have candy at the ready....

      Bet your porch looks lovely. xo

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  20. Goodness gracious me! Don’t people at your end take a lot of trouble over Halloween. Is it a company who comes and arranges the displays or does the (rather posh?) householder actually do it him/herself?

    It’s great fun to look at, I agree; a bit silly for this sober citizen of the UK, but that’s presumably what Halloween is for: being silly.

    I am still in the Central European mode of commemorating the dead at this time of year. Serious and a bit gloomy rather than frivolous. I could get used to your way of doing things too.

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    1. Hello Friko. Yes, Halloween celebrations are quite frivolous. When I was at the farmers market earlier today, I saw a 20-something woman, dressed up as a rabbit, carrying around a bunch of carrots (perhaps organic carrots.) I did laugh.

      The decorations shown in my photos are all done by the folks who live in those brownstone/limestone buildings. You are right about some of the places being quite posh, but some are broken up into flats.

      Still promising you an email. xo

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  21. I love this annual Halloween visit to your neighbourhood. Such wonderful decorations. Mine didn't extend beyond a single Jaco o lantern.

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    1. Gina, I think just one jack o'lantern is a perfect Halloween decoration. Not a single trick or treating little goblin rang my doorbell last night...so I'll be taking the chocolate bars I bought over to the store today. I'm pretty sure I will find some chocolate fans amongst my colleagues! xo

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  22. Hello Frances, now that is quite something! I wonder by myself what is really enjoyable about all that but I suppose it is a tradition. Wonder also how it all looks after the rain. We are not really familiar with Halloween, we went at that moment of the year out with lanterns made of cheese boxes which had a wee candle lit in it. I must always think of where all these decorations will hide during the next months before they come out again ... ;-) Looking forward to the Christmas lights and decorations, though.

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    1. Yes, Bayou, it is all a bit of a strange celebration. There was a very lengthy rain storm the day before the decorations were put up, with steady winds part of the storm, for many hours. Once that weather front passed through the area, we had beautiful autumn weather...good for Halloween and also the NYC Marathon Race.

      I'd like to see pictures of those cheese box lanterns. My Dad liked to make things out of salvaged wood, and created many beautifully decorated trays from large circular brie boxes. I am fortunate to still have one...it's a bit fragile, so I keep it for the memory of my Dad.

      xo

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  23. Wow! Those front steps put my one-pumpkin-and-a bucket-of-branches seem rather lacking!

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    1. Pondside, I bet that your pumpkin and bucket of branches was lovely. I assure you that most NYC streets really had no Halloween decorations. The over the top goings on over on West 69th stand out in the crowded city.

      xo

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  24. I love your Halloween pictures! The pumpkins are my favorite. What a big celebration it is in your country. It never has been overhere but last years there is more Halloween to see in Holland.

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  25. Thanks for your visit and comment, Jolanda. I do enjoy taking photographs of what these folks do to transform their street. It's a bit different every year. xo

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  26. Thank you for sharing these lovely photos with us. I had never imagined Haloween decorations are so elaborate and artistic . I really enjoyed it.
    Greetings from Greece,
    Tina

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    1. Tina, thanks for your visit and lovely comment. Hoping you will be back again to see more city views.

      Best wishes.

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  27. I'm very late, but not too late I hope, to marvel once again at the stupendous effort that goes into these decorations. We didn't even have a pumpkin in the window this year.

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    1. Not too late at all, Lucille! Thanks for marveling along with me. Maybe you'll carve a jack o'lantern in 2016?

      xo

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  28. What a horror show Frances :) A day to remember in NY i guess...
    Have a great week, take care!
    Titti

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    1. All the "horror" bits have now been taken down...the steps are now decorated with just beautiful pumpkins and gourds. Autumn peace abundantly apparent. xo

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  29. Your neighborhood has such great decorations for Halloween – very colorful. This is great fun for city folks. Here, I may have seen just a couple of pumpkins on door steps. Actually there were fields of pumpkins for sale in front of a couple of churches. No kid rang our door bell – we’ll have to eat the chocolate … Your pictures are lovely.

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    1. Glad that you enjoyed seeing some of the elaborate Halloween decorating, Vagabonde. Not a single trick or treater came to my door either...so I just took all the chocolate candy to the shop on Nov. 1...where my colleagues helped it to disappear! Promise you an email soon. xo

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  30. oh wow, love all the imagination..my fave is looking at the brownstone apartments..love looking at those..

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