Thursday, September 15, 2016

City Views, Country Dreams

Good afternoon from New York.

It's been a while since I have given you all a true idea of how bountiful the stands are at the Union Square farmers market in late summer.

The time has now arrived for a pretty long show and tell.  Let's start off calmly, with these pastel hydrangeas.


We can increase the tempo just a bit with some dahlias.


Now it's time to start collecting some freshly picked veg, like these splendid okra samples.  They make a great addition to curries.


This same stand is one of my favorites.  They are at Union Square on Wednesdays, and have a slightly smaller set up on Sundays on the sidewalk behind the Museum of Natural History.


When I make my purchases, I will say "See you Sunday" or "See you Wednesday."


This vast array of radishes and carrots of many colors is at another farmers stand.


I particularly like the wide variety of lettuces that they sell,at reasonable prices.


Another nearby stand has brilliant arrays of spicy peppers.  These are all too hot for me, but I admire their visual beauty.


Oh look at the colors of these zinnias!


Some of the stands feature both produce and flowers.  I am leaving some of the surrounding area in these pictures so that you all might have a better idea of the scale and set up of the market.


There are quite a few bakery stands, under sheltering umbrellas.  I think this picture is too shady to show the deep teal blue green of this shopper's hair.


Let's see some more dahlias.  If you squint your eyes and look at this photo, the flowers almost look like daffodil blooms, with white edges and pink or coral trumpets.


Aren't these colors beautiful?


These flowers have a bit sharper spice to their colors.


Here's another vista view showing you more of how the market is arranged along the western and northern edges of Union Square, and how tall buildings are just across the surrounding streets.


Here is another sweet pastel display amid all the shining bright produce.


Sunflowers get their own aisle under this large umbrella.


Bright sunny and cooler shadowy areas make for pleasant browsing.


The success of Union Square's market lead to many restaurants opening nearby.  You will often see chefs shopping for very large quantities of fruit and veg for their kitchens.  However, now many area landlords are demanding very high rents for the restaurant spaces, so some of the original restaurants are having to relocate, trying not to move too far away.


It's definitely corn season, and this fellow was restocking his stand from huge baskets he'd carried over from where his truck was parked nearby.


New varieties of potted plants also begin to appear as September begins.


Chrysanthemums were all over the place!


Here's a real parade of plants.


I thought this purple kale was beautiful.  I didn't buy any, but definitely wanted to take a photograph.


Leaving the northern end of the Square, I saw another city view that I thought might give an idea of the area.  You can see some of the large trucks the farmers drive in from their farms, mostly in New Jersey or in "upstate" New York.


On that particular market day, I took a Madison Avenue bus uptown to take care of a few errands.  When I got off the bus, I enjoyed a bit of window shopping.  We've been having one of the weeks when the fashion designers show their designs to store buyers and wealthy patrons and celebrities.


This also means that windows of designer shops like that of Missoni, that I show here, want to put on a good show.


I thought that Missoni's chosen fall palette was interesting.  I've always liked all the zigs and zags and stripes of the company's designs.  The reflections in the window's glass add something to the collage of color and shapes.


I'm hoping that you all have enjoyed a farmers market visit and a taste of Madison Avenue fashion.  

Thanks so much for your comments on my prior post.  I particularly appreciated the smart phone information.  I am still weighing my options and learning more every day about factors that will help me with my decision.

58 comments:

  1. I went back and read all your kind comments on my last posts, thank you so much dear Frances. I do appreciate them very much and am sorry that I cannot read blogs as often as I used to. With everything going on here, and Jim’s Alzheimer, I despair at how slowly I am clearing out the house for our move to Nashville. Your post is so bright with all the lovely flowers and the tempting veggies and fruits. I am sure they taste so much better than those we get in supermarkets. The Missoni sweaters and scarves reminded me of Bargello needlework. Do you remember it? I now recall that I made a stool top with Bargello motifs in green and gold shades but never installed it on the foot stool – have to find it and not give it away. What a delight it must be to go to this Union Square market.

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    1. Dear Vagabonde, I am glad you enjoyed having a look at the market's joyous colors, and the pretty Missoni clothes with their bargello geometry. Yes, I also worked some bargello needlepoint ... made some cushions for my parents' house.
      I think I can imagine the vast task you have in clearing out your current home in its lovely surroundings. Wishing I lived closer and could help you! xo

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  2. I'm curious about what you bought at the market? Do you like the sweet, not hot, peppers? Do you ever buy some dahlias or sunflowers to take home? Maybe you have said in a previous post.

    Just today I stopped for the first time at a farm that I often pass on a road near here, that has signs for all sorts of produce. Some of the items the shopkeeper had to go out in the field to pick for me, so I went with her and helped pick my own kale, from the very weedy rows. She dug the carrots out of the ground and then washed them at an outdoor sink before bagging them up for me to carry on my way.

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    1. Gretchen Joanna, thanks for your visit and comment. Let's see, what did I buy...peaches, tomatoes, zucchini, greenbeans, garlic, lettuce. Yes, sometimes I do bring flowers or plants home from the market, but on Wednesday I had other errand stops on the way home, so the produce was about all I could manage.

      I love your description of your own farm stand purchase...and the freshly picked kale and carrots. What a treat!

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  3. Every photo was a dream ! I so loved your comments, it was like I was walking there with you.
    Must say I adored all the veggies but what caught my eye was the the hydrangeas, the sweet roses and the purple kale. I seem to be on a much lighter color pallet after our very hot summer.
    The Missoni collection this year looks very exciting.
    Thank You again for such a interesting post.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. Parsnip, it was great fun taking you along with me through the market. I do agree with you about the beauty of those soft colors. I took the shop window photos on the spur of the moment, and thought...oh why not just add them here at the end of my post. xo

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  4. I liked seeing the pictures of the market Frances because you talk about it so often both here and elsewhere. Now I can see how splendid it is. Thank you.

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    1. Thanks Rachel. The market really is a pretty remarkable place. Wednesday is a good day to visit because there are lots of stands, but it's not too crowded. On Saturdays, I've taken my camera along, but would only have gotten pictures of folks in all sorts of get ups shopping for fruit, veg, and flowers. Maybe I'll do that next time! xo

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  5. Flying from New York to Denver, we saw nothing but farms below (great circular, self-watering fields) for a whole two hours of the trip, mile after mile. The U.S.A. produces SO much food.

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    1. I've never traveled that far west, but do know of lots of farms in the south. Now so many are huge, sort of like factories. Another charm, perhaps even a quaint charm of this farmers market is that the farms represented are much smaller operations. Many of them stress that they are organic farmers, but I don't limit my purchases to that category.

      Thanks for your visit and comment, too.

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  6. Hello Frances,
    beautiful colours from your market and windows. I particularly love the last picture with its window glass reflection, it matches perfectly! I would have taken 5 bunches of the pink roses, oh how lovely - only if I had blue hairs and such a big hat of course ;-)
    Still not have taken the time to post on my blog --- exciting moments ahead: Monday solicitor to evaluate our house then off for the UK and Tuesday visiting a house on the Welsh borders. Back a week later. We had glorious late summer weather and enjoyed every moment of freedom, as you do :-).

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    1. Bayou, I'm so glad you found a few minutes to tour the market with me. I noticed so many empty shops for rent along luxurious Madison Avenue. Not a great sign at this time of the year when it's a fine time to go shopping...if you have the ways and means.
      Best wishes to you and yours as you do your own investigating. Hoping to get all sorts of favorable reporting before too long. xo

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  7. I see you have just had a splendid visit to the green market!
    Such gorgeous photos!
    And I loved the Misssoni windows.

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    1. It was a beautiful day. Missoni added as a little surprise at the end.

      See you soon. xo

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  8. Oh I am so envious of your wonderful market. Everything looks so beautiful.
    Those Hydrangeas and the pale pink roses would look lovely on my window ledge.
    I wish our local market was a quarter as good but unfortunately it has declined so much over the years that it is now down to one fruit and veg stall and a tool stall. It's so very sad.
    Stunning clothes in the Missoni windows.
    Hugs from The UK-x-

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    1. Sheila, over a few decades, the farmers market helped Union Square recover from a huge decline. It had become a dangerous place, but one that had several well used subway train lines connecting underground.

      Now it is a very different story there. Perhaps the same up trend might eventually take place at your local market. xo

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  9. Loved seeing the market Frances. I have read about that market. It must be so busy. A moveable feast for the eyes;) I love Missoni, but can only afford a scarf. It feels and moves like quicksilver in your hands. Have a wonderful weekend.

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    1. Thanks so much Donna. One of these days I will do a post about the market on Saturdays...it's quite a scene for people watching, not just produce and plant browsing.
      Missoni's designing family have found ways to keep their collections evolving beautifully over many decades. I only window shop there! xo

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  10. What a delightful wander round that market Frances - the produce all looks first class - and the flowers too. As for Missoni - I hardly dare to look - I absolutely adore it all but like Donna, a scarf would probably be my limit, and then I would probably leave it somewhere.

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    1. Weaver, I've really only shown you all a sampling of the stands. I'm glad that you did get a bit of an idea of riches to be found at the market.
      The Missoni windows always provide something delightful to see. They have been at that location for decades, so some folks must actually be making some purchases, or perhaps it really is a flagship showcase. Either way, it's a pleasure to see. Happy Weekend. xo

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  11. The county in the city, thank you for sharing those pics. Always remember seeing the lovely stall of dragon fruit in China Town.

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    1. Pretty soon the market will see the arrival of pumpkins of all sizes and colors and even some in odd shapes. I'll be sure to share some photos. Thanks for your comment!

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  12. What a wonderful visit to the farmers market Frances. I think I would have come home with arms laden with hydrangeas and zinnias... And baskets full of tomatoes and okra and peppers! I love those Missoni stripes too!

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    1. Dear Gina, one of these days I will do a post featuring "closer up" views of the various baked goods for sale. There is quite a variety!

      We are very fortunate to have this resource. xo

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  13. I sure enjoyed this visit to the market and all the pretty vegetables and flowers. Those markets are so fun to browse and to purchase from.

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    1. This market takes place every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, with differing numbers of stands on each of these days. There are a few farm stands that appear each "open" day, but some just turn up once a week at Union Square, while setting up their wares at other local farmers market locations around the city on other days. They are all grand fun!

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    1. Angela, that would be great fun! The market even operates during chilly winter months, so it provides us city folks with a way to realize what crops are still available after summer fades. xo

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  15. What a stunning array of colours and such a huge variety of photo perfect fruit. I wouldn't expect anything less though from NY. Thanks for showing us around, loved the stroll through your eyes.

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    1. I thank you on behalf of good old NYC. It's fun to show some city places that might not always show up in the tourist books. These places are what we locals hold dear. (I've seen many favorite places vanish in the decades that I've lived here, so hope that the current faves will be around for a while.)

      Please visit again. xo

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  16. Frances, such a beautiful post. I felt as though I had walked around the market with you, the colours and varieties of everything are amazing. You wouldn't want to shop anywhere else!
    And Missoni! Just entrancing.

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    1. Elizabeth, you know how much I have enjoyed seeing your gardens, first in France and now in Cornwall. It's a great compliment that you enjoyed taking the virtual market tour with me.

      And...I agree, Missoni continues to be a bit of all right. xo to you and yours.

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  17. What a wonderful market I would love to visit this. There is one in London called Borough Market where the variety is as wide and I grab any chance when in the city just for a walk through.

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    1. The Union Square farmers market really did rescue Union Square from some years of sad decline...and the city rejoices! I do know of Borough Market, but have yet to visit it while in London. Maybe next time. There is just something so great about the opportunity to celebrate various seasonal produce knowing that you've actually purchased the fruit or veg from the folks who grew it...in a huge city it still seems almost unbelievable to me. xo

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  18. This place is a must on our itinerary! Thanks for the guided tour. I have already directed one son to it but I don't think he has had time to go yet. They went up the Hudson Valley yesterday. Thankfully well out of reach of that explosion. I do hope you haven't been affected.

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    1. Lucille, I know your son's family will love the farmers market. This is one of its best seasons with both late summer and early fall produce and flowers looking great.

      Thanks for your good thoughts after last evening's explosion. It happened not all that far away from where some of my friends live, but all are well. There's not much more official news this morning as the police and FBI continue their investigations. xo

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  19. Frances, that really was a beautifully put together posting, with so many colours throughout, like reading my way through a giant painting.
    You may have noticed Wilma's comments on mine and the Weaver's blogs, have a look at her's from Belize, it's really interesting. www.southenglishtown.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you so much, Derek, for your kind compliment. The market's color feast is always inspiring...even when it's mainly winter root veg and apples.

      I did visit Wilma's site right after my visit to your own Kent location. Belize is an amazing place that I suspect I will never truly see for myself. I do have a good friend here in NYC who grew up in Honduras and I enjoy her telling me about her original country.

      Hoping you will stop by here again.

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  20. What bounty in the market! We've been watching a BBC TV series about NY, one episode featured the wholesale veg market. I'm now imagining the night time journey of the fruit and veg on these market stalls.
    The new Missoni designs are interesting. Love the mix of different designs.
    xx

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    1. Celia, a couple of other UK folks have mentioned that BBC show to me. Maybe I will see it eventually somehow, and will see if it looks accurate.

      The farmers who sell their crops at Union Sq. are usually just a few hours' drive away from NYC. I remember laughing to hear one farmer's elderly mom telling me that she had to get up at 5 am to get to the market, and that it meant that she couldn't watch "Dancing with the Stars" on tv the night before.

      I'm always interested to see how Missoni continues to experiment with knitting's potential.

      Years ago, I used to see Mr and Mrs Missoni walking around New York, but never wanted to say hello and "break their cover."

      xo

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  21. Like Celia, we have been watching the TV series about NYC, it is so interesting to see what keeps the place ticking. The last one featured Central Park and told something of the history. Last year I planted a white hydrangea something like the one you have photographed, they are such showy plants along with Dahlias. I am sure you will find inspiration in the new Missoni collections, they made me think of Bridget Rily and the pop art trend from the sixties. x

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    1. I do want to see that series. It was flower power folks like myself that helped bring fun back to Central Park in the late 60's. Every weekend there was a wonderful stylish promenade around the Bethesda Fountain area.

      Free concerts by the likes of Jefferson Airplane and Santana on the Sheep Meadow. Kite flying on non-concert days. Joe Papp's Shakespeare in the Park for free for anyone who would sit or stand in a daily queue during summer months (the concept is still going, but most of the outdoor theatre seats are sold for money.)

      It was a very different time, when perceived (and perhaps real) danger made the city very affordable for the rest of us. Think of Joni Mitchell's Yellow Taxi song.

      I agree with you about seeing lots of Bridget Riley in the Missoni geometry.

      It would be such fun to talk about this with you and Celia. I'll keep you all posted on my emerging travel plans. xo

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  22. Such beautiful fruits and vegetables! The Missoni look is cheerful but a little challenging to one who grew up with the notion that mixing prints, much less stripes and other patterns was just Not Done. I'd admire it on a petite person but as for me, I'll stick to solid colors.

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    1. I know what you mean about early advice not to mix prints and stripes, etc. I've always been interested in how many patterns can be beautifully combined in traditional Japanese kimonos and other garments. Wouldn't it have been interesting to learn how to accomplish such subtle melding as a child!

      I do doubt that many customers will buy entire Missoni outfits as shown in those windows, and guess that the shop's staff help their patrons find their own way to embrace the brand. That would be interesting to watch!

      (I also like solid colors...and black is a city favorite.) xo

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  23. I agree with Vicki about the stripes and prints. But I do love all those flowers and veggies. I hate to see the end of summer and the end of this garden bounty. But I also love root vegetables, and am glad for the upcoming season of beets and carrots and parsnips and potatoes. Thanks, Frances, for your cheerful and colorful photo essay. Glad that you're still enjoying your walks!

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    1. Dear Carol, maybe what I have replied to Vicki will also make you smile.

      Yes, the season of root veg and apples has got all sorts of delicious potential. I'm looking forward to the weather being a bit cooler so that I'll be comfortable heating up the kitchen's oven and able to return to baking. Longer walks are also on the horizon. xo

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  24. What a stunning market, Frances! So much life and colour. Who needs the country when you have all that on your doorstep?

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    1. Well Marianne, I do take the subway from my neighborhood downtown to Union Square, and transfer to another subway line under Times Square. Not too bucolic, that part of the experience, but once I emerge up the stairs to Union Square, I do feel transported!

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  25. Nice views from the NY markets with vegetables and flowers ...and our italian fashion!!!Good days

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    1. Thanks so much Gabri for your comment. The market is wonderful, and it's also great to see a renowned Italian fashion house finding ways to always show us a look that combines tradition with a modernity all its own. xo

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  26. So lovely! I would love visiting this market...
    Lovely fruits and flowers! Its so nice to see pictures from your city, all people and happenings...its a bit far from my life here on the countryside :)
    Love from Titti

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    1. Dear Titti, being able to see your beautiful country surroundings is a treat for me when I visit your site. Isn't it fun to be able to have a bit of understanding about life in far away places with a click on our keyboards! xo

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  27. A truly wonderful space, this market of yours. There is so much more to be had and seen there than at a market in the country where all these goodies are supposedly grown! I’d love to amble along with you and pick a juicy tomato here and a bunch of flowers there.
    :lucky Lady!

    PS: if you are a fan of cyclamen you know that indoor varieties need cool rooms and outdoor and indoor cyclamen do not like each other’s temperature preferences. I’ve added a PS to my post.

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    1. Friko, it would be great fun amble through the market with you. I have only shown you a small selection of what is on offer. There are also stands offering eggs, fish, ostrich meet, lamb, wine, yarn, honey and jam, beeswax candles...and more.

      Thank you for the cyclamen info. When I do purchase a potted cyclamen, it always gets the best windowsill in the apartment...in my bathroom. It's a deep, tiled windowsill, and away from the radiator. I usually buy a plant with white flowers, but also love the fuschia shades, or a bright red around Christmas.

      xo

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    2. Ooops, I meant "ambling." xo

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  28. Frances, How bountiful is the good earth; I always love your market scenes!
    You will soon be wearing you those wonderful woolens you've been knitting over the months,seems a chill is in the air up North.

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    1. Jeri, thank you for your comment. This is a fabulous time at the market, as "sweater weather" begins to arrive. I've even worn socks a few times recently! xo

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  29. QUE HERMOSURA LAS FLORES!!Y ESAS FRUTAS....
    SALUDITOS

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