We are now in a new weather pattern. The city is now 20 degrees F cooler than it was last week. Energy is beginning to return. I am giving my little fan a rest and enjoying being more active outdoors.
Having longer walks around the neighborhood is a pleasure.
My neighborhood has a mixture of architecture, and some crosstown street blocks have some charming brownstone and limestone town houses that have attractive little front garden spaces. Other such houses present rather bland spartan faces to the street.
The pictures I am showing you here are along one side of a particular Upper West Side street that is always a pleasure to walk along. I was lucky to have my camera with me last Sunday, and to find that the prettier side of the street was also the shady side. A slight breeze was blowing, cooling the air, and encouraging me to take these photographs to show you.
I have no idea whether these buildings are filled with small or large apartments, rental or condo or cooperative. What is clear is that there are some interested gardeners at each address.
These plantings don't seem to be the work of professionals but rather the resulting efforts of residents. I imagine that even more beautiful gardens are behind the buildings.
These houses have their main entrances on the parlor floor one reaches via a stairway, but also have doorways at the garden level. I once lived in a garden level 1840s brownstone apartment in Brooklyn. There was no front garden but I shared a beautiful back garden with the other tenants. That garden had been established by our landlady who also allowed me to plant a few more flowers and vegetables. She was then midway through the renovation of another old house in the same neighborhood.
Back in those days, such old Brooklyn houses, ripe for renovation, were priced at about $25,000. It was the 1970s, and that was quite a lot of money. The renovation and rescue of those houses also cost a lot and took a long time. Many marriages, like that of my sweet landlady, broke up during renovations.
Nowadays, those houses sell for millions of dollars. Even a floor through apartment in one of the houses I am showing you here would cost several million dollars. Time passes.
I love the look of this tree's roots, and moss, and the little scalloped fencing which might protect it from unskilled car parking.
Moving along, I'll show you a few more front entrance ways.
Some of these areas have decorative gates; some have gates requiring a key. Do notice the bars on the windows.
The left over bricks and stones in the following photo have been used to fill in a space where a tree once grew. I like the arrangement and thought it might inspire some future knitting design.
I also like the rather funky look of this curvy decorative area.
Lots of greenery growing here. I wondered what might have been intended to grow on the wooden lattice leaning against the wall. It could be part of a past or future plan.
You can see the reflection of a building across the street.
Not far away from that shady block is this large building, The Lucerne Hotel. Back in the 1920s, my great auntie lived here for a few years with her husband who was a tobacco company executive. My auntie was widowed before I was born, and moved back to live in Richmond with a couple who were dear friends.
Auntie Mae never had children of her own, but was very fond of my late Dad, and very kind to me. Every Christmas she would allow me to select a very special doll as her very special gift. She also gave me a special, long lasting gift of teaching me to knit.
I cannot walk past The Lucerne without thinking of her.
When Auntie Mae died, she left an inheritance to my Dad that allowed me to attend college. She also left me some beautiful jewelry and her knitting needles.
I still use those needles, particularly the double pointed needles, to create socks, hats, and these fair isle mitts that I have been making for my etsy shop. I am now working on some red mitts.
I do wish my Auntie could see them.
It's been fun to share these late summer city views with you all. Thank you for your visits and wonderful comments on my previous post. Let's enjoy our remaining summer days, rain or shine...but I do hope our current temperature range continues.