Tuesday, April 28, 2015

City Views, Country Dreams

Good morning from New York.

I've been taking some time off from work this week, and have had more opportunities for long walks while Spring's beauty continues.

Last weekend, I walked over to Park Avenue to check on how the tulip blooms were coming along.  I took a route through Central Park that passed by the Sheep Meadow.

Naughty parents were allowing their children to swing on the tree branches.  I continued on with my walk.

Some folks were just relaxing.  Sitting on benches provided for sitting.  You all might be able to see the little metal plaques on some of the benches.  It is possible to donate money to have these inscribed with special dedications to honor friends and family members.

As I neared Fifth Avenue, I could glimpse some luxury buildings' rooftops over the tree tops.  Isn't that sky brilliant?

This area was once known as "dog hill" and was a fine place to see dogs frolicking around off their leashes.  Now it's called something else, and rules are posted.  Green on green.

Every year I promise Merisi that I will take photographs of the Park Avenue tulips.

The above photograph shows the very same median garden space that I showed you in a prior post as a natural midday "sundial."  It's in a shady block of Park Avenue, and so few actual blooms have yet appeared.

I could not resist raising my camera to show you the downtown, i.e. Southern, view.  I cannot yet believe that NYC planners actually approved the construction of that building.  I find the tower intrusive.

And so, let us return to our search of tulips on Park Avenue, walking uptown into sunnier blocks.

I discovered lots of tulips planted in curbside gardens in front of apartment buildings.

This median garden strip is ablaze with red tulips!

And here's another batch, with yellow cabs for contrast.

Another city view.

I took a peek down this side street and loved the quiet and shady beauty.

Some buildings opt for white tulips.

For a bit of variety, I offer you all this minimal window box.  I am not sure how the gardener got those planted. 

The following photograph shows a bird's eye view of an elegant planter at the entrance way to an elegant building.

Orange and yellow tulips carry a polite suggestion.

I'm including the next photograph to give you another perspective on the variety of architecture that makes up this part of the Upper East Side neighborhood.

I am hoping that you all have enjoyed seeing a few more views of what can be seen around New York City at this time of the year.

Pretty soon the trees will begin leafing out and pollen season will be upon us.  Sneezing is forecast.  I may not be taking any long walks through the Park for a while!  

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

City Views, Country Dreams

Good afternoon from New York City on Earth Day 2015.

It's finally possible to find some city views that feature spring flowers.  I saw this curbside garden square about a week ago on my way over to Park Avenue to check on the tulips.

It was unusual for me to be in the middle of Park Avenue at midday, because of my past skin cancer history.  Every so often I do break my rule.

Although the tulip buds were not yet developed, the precise line up of stems served as natural sundial indicators.  I promise to return to take some pictures of the actual flowers in a few days, keeping my tradition of showing Merisi a reminder of her own New York days.

Yesterday I took a leisurely walk around Central Park and found abundant flowers.

It's always fun to walk though this arched underpass.  This time its echo amplified the jazz being played by a busking saxophonist.

The lawns are very green, there are still some daffs in bloom, and most trees have yet to develop their new green leaves.

In the above picture you can see Cleopatra's Needle surrounded by pretty pink cherry blossoms, a few tourists and some recycling receptacles.  (Not just for what was Earth Day Eve!)

The following picture gives an idea of the expanse of the Great Lawn where there are a collection of softball fields.

I continued my walk towards the Shakespeare Garden, and enjoyed seeing this tiny toddler running around on the lush green grass.  This might have been his first opportunity to do this solo run.  (His trusting mom was sitting nearby.)

Many daffodil varieties grow in the Park.

Looking westward across a graceful slope filled with shrubs, trees and daffodils.

This is another angled view of the slope.  Aren't all those greens lovely?

As I climbed the flag stoned steps to the Shakespeare Garden, I saw a few tulips giving that pop of red to the proceedings.

Once upon a time it was easy for me to bend my knees, and also to be able to get up again.  If it were still easy, I would have taken many more pictures of these dainty fritillaries.

More dainties.

This vista view was not taken while I was on bended knees.

Several couples were taking advantage of the very romantic setting.

This is one of the many small plaques planted around the Garden, each bearing a quote from the Bard.  I believe that this once concerns a bee and is from The Tempest.

There are some benches available for a quiet chat or even a nap.  There are also a number of politely worded green messages encouraging visitors to treat the Garden kindly.

Trees and shrubs were developing their own spring signals.

I always find nature inspiring.

Hoping that Sue gets to see this blooming quince.

Very tiny flowers.

The woven edgings gently partner with the suggestion on the green signage.

Unfurling is still in its early stages.

There are graceful curves all through this Garden.

It is possible to have a peek through some wire fencing and see the 79th Street transverse roadway and a yellow cab contrasting with sun dappled forsythia.

The quaint Swedish Cottage in the background is the site of a marionette theatre.

With the Cottage behind me, I liked the looks of these long tree shadows stretching up the rustic steps to the Garden.

As I left the Shakespeare Garden, I risked my mature knees once again to gain this photo of some very small daffodils.

Over the decades, there has been great naturalizing and expansion of the Park's daffodil family.

Here is a another view of the transverse, looking eastward.  There are sidewalks on the sides of the transverse, but I have always wondered why one wouldn't prefer to walk through the Park to travel east or west.

Lots of skaters and bicyclists and joggers were also on the move.  The Museum of Natural History can be seen in the background of this photograph.  It's just across Central Park West.

The next few photographs show some views of the woodsy Ramble, and the areas on the western edge of the Lake.

I thought that this view from the pretty bridge resembled a view from an open window.

Rhododendrons have joined the party!

On my knees again to catch the beautiful hellebores.

This lakeside bank has a mix of hellebores and bluebells.  And a few little branches for robins, sparrows and what I think were iridescently-winged starlings to have a rest, watch the goings on and perhaps spy a late lunch.

One more chance to see that bird on the branch.

Here I present the Central Park version of a romantic bluebell forest.

And here is proof that the Lake has finally completely thawed.  Its icy cover is gone.

In this view you may be able to spot some waterfowl on the bank, alongside he flowers.

Seasonal changes have been made to the refreshment vendors' stands.

The day had remained very sunny throughout my walk, and I was glad to see this mix of colors in a little area just inside the West 72nd Street entrance to the Park.

 Just across from this entrance is the famous Dakota apartment building.  The scaffolding tells me that the rich and famous who live there are currently being treated to the building maintenance that my own building has endured.  Of course, it is quite likely that the Dakota folks have other homes in which to shelter.

Here is one more view of a typical curbside flower garden.  These spaces truly do soften the angles of our city views.

It has been a pleasure to show you all some of the springtime evidence that has been spreading across New York.  I intend to take some more walks soon, and will most likely be sharing additional city views soon.

Thank you so much for your visits to my Easter Parade post and for your generous comments.