Sunday, June 26, 2016

City Views, Country Dreams

Good morning from New York.

Last evening a friend let me know the news that the brilliant New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham had died at the age of 87.

His photographs over the years have chronicled what all sorts of folks were wearing all over New York.  Mr. Cunningham was a true gentleman whose city views were legendary.  I am fortunate to have taken a few pictures of him, like the one above from an Easter Parade.

New York loved Bill Cunningham and we are going to miss him so much.  I am glad to have had opportunities to chat with him over the years, and amused that he would always call me "young lady." 

Monday, June 20, 2016

City Views, Country Dreams

Good evening from New York on the night when a strawberry full moon will rise in an hour or so.

I bought these and some more strawberries at the farmers market and have enjoyed this collection with heavy cream for dessert tonight.

It's been a tough time recently, and I have decided to keep the details to myself.  Instead, let me show you a few other finds from the farmers market.

Taking another look at these photographs that I took last week reminds me of the beauty that arrives with every day.

Here is another reminder.

The next photograph is a huge bundle of chamomile flowers.  I have some chamomile tea bags in a tin in my kitchen.

It's a treat to help yourself to some sugar snap peas that were picked earlier that very day.

A complete change of topic with the next photograph from a door over on the Upper East Side.  The door knocker is similar to one that Tom Stevenson recently saw in Spain.

This is a tiny construction site of a white and lavender cardi being knit for a friend's soon to arrive baby.  Bamboo needles.  Postcard in the background of a Scandinavian wooden toy I saw in an exhibit months ago.

Reading a variety of books is another way for me to take my mind off worrisome current goings on.  Dark Money can tell you about the Koch brothers, and more.

John Claridge's wonderful photographic essay on London's East End is a book whose publication I helped to underwrite.  It's a book well worth looking at.

If the countryside is more your thing, as it is in my dreams, I would recommend to you, The Running Hare.

This is not a well thought out or written post, but I just wanted to take time to post something to say hello to you all.  I really appreciate your visits to my blogs and your comments.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

City Views, Country Dreams

Good afternoon from New York.

There is a horrific story from Orlando, Florida, filling the news today.  Many lives were lost and others were changed.  Gun violence continues.

Earlier this afternoon, in order to also find some positive images, I chose to take a walk around the neighborhood to embrace the brilliantly sunny day and pleasant breeze.

As I crossed Amsterdam Avenue at 74th Street, I saw some heavy equipment and some white parked at the rear of the Beacon Theatre.

I was curious to see more equipment parked along West 74th Street between Amsterdam and Broadway.  (You can see the corner of the famous Ansonia Building peeking over the left side of those trees.)

I decided to investigate what was going on at the Beacon.  It's a grand old movie theatre that has been through several renovations over the decades.  Before the renovations I remember seeing the Kinks perform here many times.

Across 75th Street I saw a television sound truck.

Crossing 75th and Amsterdam, I spotted lots of stagehands taking a break, and more white tents.

These tents extended the full length of the north side of the Beacon.  I like this picture with the two policemen, the bright orange-red traffic cones, the barricades, the top of a fire hydrant, some trees and a yellow taxi.

This is a side entrance to the Beacon that leads right into the theatre.  Lots of security chaps were making sure only those supposed to enter were entering.  Have you all guessed which big show is going to start at 8 pm tonight?

It's the Tony Awards Show...where the best of Broadway gets their statuettes.  

Preparations take a long time.

The Beacon Theatre is part of the same building as the Beacon Hotel.  The red carpet for arriving starry invitees to walk upon stretched for several blocks.

Following the path of the carpet encouraged me to take some more photographs of Upper West Side architecture.  The building in the following photographs was originally a bank.

Its upper floors are now condominium apartments.

The architect was long ago inspired by Italy.  Apple Bank's logo really seems out of place.  It was not part of the original design.

Here is where the red carpet begins at 73rd Street and Broadway.

Here is a photograph of the southern end of the bank/condo building.

Just across 73rd Street is a little park that leads to the subway station.  This lady had a very good vantage point from which to watch the stars arrive, but she would have had to wait for several hours.

Easier just to show up next Thursday at the softball game!  

Something else was going on all along the western side of the tree-lined Broadway median strip. A street fair!

All sorts of delicacies and products were on sale.

Even though the weather was grand, the crowds were rather light.

This was probably because over on the East Side of town, the annual Puerto Rican Day parade was making its way up Fifth Avenue.

I hope that you all have enjoyed my neighborhood stroll.  If I had not noticed all the Tony goings on, I'd planned to show you all some flowers from yesterday's Union Square farmers market.

Here are just a few.

I have forgotten what the flowers in the following picture are, but I thought they were very dramatic.  Worthy of a Tony, perhaps.

Thank you all for your continuing visits and for taking time to leave comments, too.  Even when it can seem that many bad things are happening in our shared world, there is also much good to discover.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

City Views, Country Dreams

Good evening from New York.

It's been a beautiful June day, and this morning I walked over to a part of Central Park that I don't think I've shown you all before.

At the foot of this curving pathway is an area that includes softball fields.  These fields are the site where various amateur softball leagues compete during the warm months.

Some games are scheduled after office hours, at twilight, for teams made up of corporate office workers.  Other teams are composed of players who work at night.  Today's scheduled games featured Broadway Show League teams.

Chain link fencing surrounds the outer boundary of the entire area, but the various individual ball fields are marked by colorful markers on the lawn or sandy surface.  There are some small bleachers for friends, family and passersby like me to sit on, but I think it is more fun to get close to the fence.

I was fortunate to watch a great game between the casts of two hit Broadway shows, An American in Paris, and Hamilton.  Hamilton is due to pick up a lot of Tony Awards at the June 12 ceremony.  Their softball team is also remarkable.

Some cast members had brought their dogs along to the game, but those pups knew that they weren't allowed on the field.

The Hamilton team wore yellow and green tee shirts.  American in Paris went for the blue and grey.  The above picture shows the record keepers for each team going over their score keeping records to make sure they agreed on who was actually on the field, due to bat next, and even what inning was just being played.  Many of the players certainly relied on these two fellows to keep it all agreeable.  There were also two umpires who made decisions about whether a pitcher's toss was a strike or a ball, or whether a runner beat a throw to first base.  This is very low tech; there is no scoreboard, only the official clipboards.

I understand just a little bit about cricket, and urge those of you who don't understand softball (a variation of baseball) to just enjoy the photographs of adults going back to childhood fun on a glorious day.

I watched some of the innings from the American in Paris bleacher  area, and then as the sun took over that shady spot, I moved over to the Hamilton side of the field.  Those Hamilton players were really good.  I was interested that each team had several female players who filled the catcher's position.  The catcher is the one who catches the pitcher's toss if the batter doesn't hit the ball out into the field.

The home plate umpire stands just behind the catcher.

Even though we were in the midst of some Broadway stars (none of whom I would recognize, having not seen either show) it was all just a very relaxed atmosphere.

 A camera man from a local television station recorded a few innings and there were also several other professional looking cameras on the scene.

Most of the team tee shirts had players' names or nicknames on their backs.  Some of the nicknames were quite funny

The little one in the following picture was pretty oblivious to it all.

I think that the fellow in the following photograph (number 1) might be a star of the show because several folks wanted to take their picture with him.  We just smiled at each other.  He was very young; many of the players were not so young.  Lin-Manuel Miranda, the big star and creator of Hamilton, is not on the team.

Hamilton won, by a score of 8 to 2.  I think that I will return to see some more of their games.  The team had a great spirit and were very good sports, too.

At the end of the game both teams ran out to the middle of the field to congratulate each other on a good game.

The rest of us strolled away, some to another part of the Park, some like myself walked home to make a sandwich for lunch

It's been quite a few years since my own work schedule allowed me to follow the drama of this particular league.  The freedom granted me by my retirement now allows me to reacquaint myself with this very enjoyable city view.  I almost forgot to mention that these games are totally free, no tickets required.

Thank you all for your visits and kind words about my recent knitting post.  I hope to see you here again.