Tuesday, March 17, 2015

City Views, Country Dreams

Happy St. Patrick's Day from a very breezy New York.

The gentle early morning rain was blown out to sea in time for the Fifth Avenue parade to begin at the scheduled 11 a.m.

I did not walk through the Park to Fifth Avenue until around noon, knowing that I might miss the first parading units that had started out about two miles downtown.  Still, it's a very long parade and after visiting it for many decades, I know it's not required to see the entire thing.

The above photograph shows how sparse the gathered onlookers were along this part of Fifth Avenue.  The crowds are much thicker in the midtown area of the parade route.  Many onlookers wore a bit of green.  The barricade above the building in the background will still be wearing green tomorrow.  The workers working up there might or might not miss the parade tomorrow.

Luxurious apartment buildings are on the east side of the Avenue; Central Park is on the western edge.

Some parade watchers dressed very nattily.  Many beautiful knits were on display.

The wind was quite strong and varied in its velocity, and clearly made the task of getting these decorative banners up the parade route a very tricky business.

More beautiful sweaters.  More workers working above.

Marching groups were from local schools, universities, international schools, and various municipal workers' groups and Irish organizations.

I'd picked a lucky spot to stand because each of the marching bands actually played tunes while passing by, rather than taking a break.

The banners always interest me.  They are usually followed by a group of folks who are from that part of Ireland.  Some of these folks might now live here, but some will have come over just for this parade.

Truly, I do admire the strength of the folks who are entrusted with these banners.

Lots of bagpipers.  Lots of kilts.

Beautiful horses wearing green.  

Marching nuns.

Another banner.

Here's a clever jacket design for the occasion.

The green street sign, indicating a nearby school, will be there again tomorrow, and the days after that, too.

Lots of green hats.  The gentleman had also dyed his eyebrows and mustache green.

More knitting on display.

This family's knitwear and tweed caps were exceptionally fine.

More pipers and kilts and hats.

I am always impressed by the lettering on the bass drums, and by the stamina of the drummers.

This couple must have been freezing...or perhaps they had their love to keep them warm.

Various souvenirs were available, for a price.

This gentleman was having difficulty keeping his hat on.

Yet another banner.

And another.

This line of marchers filled the width of the Avenue.

More shades of green.  With a touch of orange.

Here's a splendid array of American flags.

Here's a splendid array of green berets, worn by a group of marching firefighters who were taking a brief break.

As these pipers came by, the sun came out from behind those clouds.

Another finely decorated drum, lovely tartans and fine foot gear.  In the background is the beautiful Frick Gallery building.

This school band was doing some precise marching.  Clearly, they had been practicing for this big day.

The shadows at these pipers' feet show the sun was still trying to evade the clouds, with the aid of the wind.

More evidence of that wind.

I do believe this banner was from County Wicklow.

These girls had taken a light hearted approach to the wearing of the green.

By the time I took this picture, I had retraced my steps to the 72nd Street entrance to Central Park, and was about to head westward towards home.

Ahh, but another intricately designed banner passed by and I took its picture.

And then I started my walk home.  The light was changing so quickly as the sun and clouds played tag, that I wanted to take a few more photographs.

These folks had also departed the parade in favor of contemplating a classic Park view from the steps leading to Bethesda Fountain.

Suddenly the light brightened, and I wanted to photographs these young folks looking over the stone railing around the same Bethesda Fountain area.

Looking over my shoulder I liked the silhouette of these leafless trees.

And then the clouds danced in and the light flattened out as I saw this carriage go by.

 I could not resist this self indulgent photograph of some yarn I'd draped over a branch on my way to the parade.  Some of the other yarn was already gone.  Perhaps blown away.

You all can tell from the thick clouds that the light was again changing.  I find this northerly view of the still somewhat frozen lake indicates a mood very different from that of the day's Fifth Avenue festivities.

I'm hoping that you all have enjoyed seeing a bit of what New York looked like on this 2015 St. Patrick's Day.  Perhaps next year some of you might visit the parade in person.

Meanwhile thank you for your visits and wonderful comments on my previous post.  It's grand to have comments from new visitors.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

City Views, Country Dreams

Good morning from New York.

It's a grey, rainy Saturday, but I have hopes that today's showers will soon bring on some spring flowers, like those I saw at the Union Square farmers market yesterday.

I met my friend Elizabeth at the market and we were cheered by the return of some of our favorite flower stalls.  Pots of primroses, paper whites, and other lovely blooms were available to purchase.

Tulips on their way to full bloom were standing tall and proudly.

Another shelf showed a fine display of what promised to be pink, blue or white hyacinths.  I was tempted, but decided to wait until Elizabeth and I had stopped for tea, coffee and croissants at a nearby cafe before making my final decision.  

I also wanted to confer with Elizabeth about my pondering whether to join instagram.  From my research, it seems as if a purchase of a smart phone will be required.  I welcome any advice that the rest of you all might offer me.

Returning to the flower stand, I did buy a pot of white hyacinths to fill the window sill spot recently occupied by lovely pink hyacinths that have now reached cut flower status.

That bathroom window sill is far from a radiator and has been kind to quite a few potted bulbs over this winter.

The following photo shows a collection of mixed yarn snippings that I've been collecting over the winter.  The next time I go to Central Park (presumably on my way to Tuesday's St. Patrick's Day Parade) I will take these along and scatter them amongst various shrub branches for vigilant nest building birds to find.

I am so looking forward to Spring!  Thanks to you all for your visits and comments on my prior post about my walk through a wintry Central Park.