Friday, December 23, 2016

City Views, Country Dreams

Good morning from New York, just a few days before Christmas.

Even though I had planned on another post about my London visit, the recent days have been filled with New York City centered fun, and so I will just jump ahead and share some local city views.


Let's start with photographs from some neighborhood shops.  The above picture is from a gift/antique shop that always features lots of tree decorations.

The following two pictures are of scenes in a dry cleaner's shop window.  The proprietors of this shop seem to have a large collection of retro toys and doll house accessories that can be combined to create rather amusing retro settings.


These window displays are at child eye level.


A bit further down Amsterdam Avenue is Posies, a lovely flower shop that is always worth a visit during various holiday seasons.


It's a tiny narrow hallway of a shop, filled with beautiful botanical treats.  The talented staff are experts in making up lovely bouquets for special occasions.


These are just a few samples of what I saw in the shop.


What I bought to bring home to add some seasonal color to my little apartment were these red-berried branches.  Peeking out from behind the berries is a large bowl filled with old glass ornaments.  In some past years, I have bought some branches of greenery upon which to hang these baubles.  This year I will stick with the berries.


The past few weeks have sped past, as I kept quite busy baking cookies, knitting gifts, buying other gifts, wrapping and mailing those gifts, going to parties, and painting this year's Christmas tea cup cards.

And so, it was not until a day ago that I found time to walk over to 57th Street to take photographs of some extravagant shop windows.  Following the horror at Berlin's Christmas market, I spotted a massive police presence around a similar Christmas market set up at the Columbus Circle entrance to Central Park.  I did not take any photographs of the massive uniformed police officers holding machine guns.  I was not tempted to visit any of the market stalls, but kept walking towards 57th Street.


Even along that street Police Department barricades appeared alongside festive decorations.  What a sad comment.


The above photograph shows the Fifth Avenue and 57th Street intersection where Tiffany's faces Bulgari.  An obliging yellow taxi obliged me by passing by.  I composed this picture to minimize any view of the home of the President Elect.

Now, I will show you a selection of pictures of the Bergdorf Goodman shop's windows.  Even though it was nearing sunset, I am sorry that reflections add a certain distraction from what I truly wanted you all to see.


The theme of this year's window designs is Extraordinary Destinations.  Each tableau features at least one major designer's fashions plus a collection of fanciful props.


I think that if you click on the photographs to enlarge them, you may be able to discover more of the window's details.


The above little box of a window merely settled for showing off some amazing jewels.


Please forgive me for those reflections.


Some of the fun of seeing these windows is noticing how scale is handled in a playful way.  Some usually small items are greatly enlarged, or perhaps encrusted with sparkles, or given a new color scheme.


I remember that the following window was called The Hitchhiker and featured a very glamorous cowgirl.


Lots of desert plants showed off a galaxy of greens.


Another view.


I think this window was called A Bird's Eye View.  Lots of birds surrounded the mannequin.


Lots of huge insects in this window...not sure how appealing that would be to every viewer.


The next picture shows a window that had an undersea layer.

 Lots to look at.



This very green tableau featured a tropical rain forest.


It took some patience on my part to wait for the other folks viewing the displays to allow me a closer view of my own.


Bergdorf's windows are without question the best in NYC throughout the year, but in December the shop's OTT displays really stop pedestrian traffic.


Another view of A Bird's Eye View.


Each window has an intricate frame.


Back to that rain forest.


I hope that the above photographs give you all a bit of an idea of what one might see this week in New York.  I thank you all for your visits to my blogs throughout the year, and looks forward to reading your comments in the New Year that will soon be arriving.

And now, let me share wish you the image that I painted for this year's Christmas tea cup cards.


As you can see from the above photograph, each one of the cards is painted individually, and so no two cards are quite identical.


It is my pleasure to wish you all a very Happy Christmas!  This wish is sent with lots of love.

54 comments:

  1. What brilliant shop windows. Must say the ones in your dry cleaners I like the best. So nice they are on a child's eye level as well.

    Love your painted cards.

    Hope your Christmas is safe and happy. Kronia Polla and Kala Christouyenna from Greece

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    1. Thank you very much for the lovely wishes all the way from Greece!
      I will try to remember to take some more photos of that dry cleaners shop window in the New Year. They are always very whimsical! xo

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  2. Love how your cards turned out Frances. I was hoping you'd show us. Thank you for a glimpse of those storefront windows. I can't imagine what they must look like in person. I wondered how you got them without the lookers. I read once that they start on designing and making those windows the day after Christmas for the next year. Have a wonderful holiday dear Frances.

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    1. I'm so glad you like the cards, Donna. Perhaps you can tell how much i enjoy painting them?
      Oh, it would be such fun to look at those BG windows with you...I'm sure that you would spot all sorts of intricate, funny details that I have totally missed.
      Best wishes to you...let's look forward to 2017. xo

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  3. It's a good job I don't live in New York as I would spend all day just looking in shop windows as I just love retail displays. I would have to soak up every tiny little detail.

    As a huge red berry fan I love your little display and your teacups cards are beautiful.

    I hope you have a wonderful Christmas.
    Love and Hugs from The UK-x-

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    1. Dear Sheila, I also really enjoy the very creative shop windows, and generally think that BG and Anthropologie are the tops, although some small shops have great designs and imagination on display, too.
      Aren't red berries cheery! Thanks so much for your kind words about my little cards.
      I am already getting ready to listen to the King's Lessons and Carols service via the BBC, remembering how beautiful Cambridge was a few weeks ago.
      Best Christmas wishes to you and yours, Sheila. xo

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  4. Some store windows are unusual but very characteristic.
    Thank you for your wishes Frances; your card is so delicately pretty! I would also like to wish you a happy and peaceful Christmas. I started reading your blog only a few months ago because I liked the comments you left on other blogs. I like your blog and the lovely colourful photos of NYC (and London of recent) that you post. Thank you. A big hug.
    Greetings Maria x

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    1. Oh Maria, it is a joy to know that you like visiting my blogs...all the way from Italy! There are so many places in New York that I want to share with folks who might not otherwise know about them.
      Wishing you a fabulous Christmas...and let's not forget about all the promises of a New Year! xo

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  5. I loved seeing the amazing store windows, thank you for sharing all those lovely pictures! Your tea cup card is a beautiful design and colour, and I love your red berries. Merry Christmas dear Frances.
    Helen xox

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    1. Helen, I am so glad to have been able to get to know you through blogging. I admire your creativity so much and also appreciate your introducing me to places in the UK I have yet to see for myself. And so, it is my pleasure to share some of the NYC I love with others, like yourself.
      Thank you for your comment about my cards and those amazing red berries. Isn't this a grand time of the year! Merry Christmas. xo

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  6. Thank you for such a lovely tour of the New York Christmas windows Frances. How lovely it must be to see them for real. Your tea cup paintings are beautiful. Wishing you a very happy Christmas xxx

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    1. Cheers, Gina! I was so occupied with Christmas projects at home that I really didn't get out to see most of the Fifth Avenue windows...glad to have finally gotten over to 57th street.

      Thank you for your kind words. Happy Christmas to you and yours. xo

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  7. Fabulous window dressing, my vote goes to Destination Extraordinary for such imaginative displays... I must have this thing about insects and reptiles. I think the reflections actually add to the interesting window interiors. Your Christmas cups are always very delightful and quaint. I hope the recipients are saving them from year to year. Have a lovely CHristmas Holiday Frances!

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    1. Jeri, I confess, that I also sort of like the reflections...more puzzle pieces.

      Thank you for your kind words re the tea cups. Yes, it's now been decades that I've been painting them, and it is still a pleasure to keep this tradition going.

      Best wishes to you and yours for a very Happy Christmas! I look forward to visiting the Hollow often in the New Year. xo

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  8. What a fabulous post today. From the toy windows, flower shop (love this one) to the unbelievable BG windows.I am so happy to have found your blog this year and have so enjoyed your trips around NY.
    So wonderful that I was a recipient of one of your Tea Cups ! As I said I am framing it after Christmas.
    Have a lovely Holiday and let us all hope for a peaceful New Year.

    cheers, gayle and thehamish

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    1. Gayle, I am so glad that you enjoyed seeing these Christmas city views. It's such a pleasure to share the city.
      Glad that you like the tea cup, too.
      Yes...lots of hopes for good days to come in the New Year. xo

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  9. Beautiful, beautiful and beautiful. Thank you Frances, and Merry Christmas!

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    1. Thank you so much, dear Frances. I would urge folks to have a look at the brilliant Advent paintings that you have posted during December. They are in for a treat!
      Happy Christmas! xo

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  10. Frances, there are some wonderful window displays there - I can just imagine the crowds. But the one I admire best is your teacup! Happy Christmas.

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    1. Oh Pat, thank you very much for your message. I've always enjoyed this time of year in NYC and am glad to be able to share some of the atmosphere.
      Yes, lots of crowds, but over the years I have sort of figured out my own strategy to hold on to "my own space" even as others push and rush past me!
      I'm so glad you like the tea cup. I went for a different rather pastel color way this time around, rather than the brighter colors of years past. xo

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  11. Dear Frances, I think that the reflections in the Christmas windows make for an especially interesting affect. Thank you for sharing and have an especially wonderful Christmas.

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    1. It's funny Gina, when I was posting those window photographs, I thought of the puzzle pictures you have shown us from time to time. Name all the flowers in the picture, and so forth. And so, it's so lovely to read that you did like the reflections!
      Happy Christmas to you and yours...and let us all look forward to the New Year. xo

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  12. MERRY MERRY CHRISTMAS!
    Love from Titti

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    1. Thank you, dear Titti, for your kind wish and also for the joy that your posts always bring. xo

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  13. Thank you for sharing the beautiful photos of NY at Christmas!! Hoping you have a very Happy Christmas and New Year!
    Linda

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    1. You are quite welcome, Linda. Hoping that you will be visiting here again in the New Year. Meanwhile...Happy Christmas!

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  14. Oh, Frances, what a beautiful tour of the Big Apple at Christmas! Thank you for these lovely photos. I've enjoyed looking at them over my second cup of coffee this morning!

    I hope you're having a wonderful Christmas Day! I'm so happy to have met you this year. Thank you for sharing your life in New York with us!! May 2017 be joyous and full of warmth, friendship, and good fortune for us all!!

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    1. Jennifer, there are so many other Christmas views in NYC to show you...I try to vary my "reporting" each year to mix it up a bit. I was fortunate to have some above freezing weather on the afternoon I took most of those photographs.
      Today has been a beautiful, relaxing day, catching up with family and friends, and opening up some pretty packages to find some lovely gifts, too. I will soon be having my Christmas dinner (chicken, not turkey!)
      I'm so glad to have connected with you this year, and truly look forward to sharing lots of good days that will be filling 2017. xo

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  15. Really beautiful Christmas views from N.Y. I m happy to follow you also in IG...have a magic Christmas

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    1. Glad you liked walking around festive NYC with me Gabri...isn't it interesting to see each other both here and over at IG?
      I've got some lovely candles lit now to add to the Christmas magic. xo

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  16. Dear Frances,
    So nice to see a little bit of the windows of my college's in New York :)
    New York must be the most wonderful place to be in December. Christmas EVERYWHERE! Sad about the Berlin Christmas Market, so close to Holland. But lets enjoy the good things in life and be nice to others. Thank you for your lovely comments on my blog. I wish you all the best and more for the new year. With lots of love from Rotterdam, your blogfriend, Lia

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    1. Dear Lia, I think you realize how much I love sharing New York City with folks who might not have opportunities to actually visit here. It's grand for me to have the pleasure to learn so much about fascinating Rotterdam from your posts. One day I do hope to see the House of Seasons for myself, and have lots of strolls around Rotterdam. The Netherlands appeal to me very much.
      Yes...let's enjoy what is good about life and look forward to the New Year. xo

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  17. What lovely pictures Frances and what fabulous Windows. But for me the best picture is of your Christmas teacups. So personal. So special. Hope you have had a great day.

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    1. Thank you so much, Elizabeth. Yes, it's been a lovely relaxing Christmas Day.

      Although, not long ago, I have heard news about yet news of yet another death of a talented, far too young musician, George Michael. It's got to cast a shadow of this Christmas.

      xo to you and Ian.

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  18. Hi Frances, forgive me for being so late to visit your world in NYC. I loved looking at the fabulous window displays and thought that the reflections added a sense of place. I already congratulated you about your famous tea cup paintings! Xxx

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    1. Valerie, I wish you and yours a great Boxing Day...think it's got about another 10 minutes to go.
      Thanks so much for your comment. I'm glad that you feel like I do about those pesky reflections. While I was in London and visited the Bankside Gallery near the Tate Modern, and saw a group show by excellent printmakers. I made a point of mentioning your name to the gallery staff folks who were that that day...and then walked across that Bridge over to St Paul's.
      May 2017 be a very good year. xo

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  19. Oh my goodness, those shop windows are just amazing! Love your card. Best wishes from Scotland.

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    1. Liz, the folks who put on the show in those large shop windows are masters of theatrical drama...and definitely have a sense of humor, as well.

      I'm so glad you liked the card.

      Sending lots of wishes for a great 2017 all the way to beautiful Scotland! xo

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  20. I love to see NY in Christmas Time. But I'm also curious at your Londonpictures:) Next time you're in Europe you must come to see Holland:) I wish you all the best for 2017! Lovely greetings from Jolanda

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    1. Dear Jolanda, thanks so much for this comment. There is surely something unique about NYC at Christmastime, but I am also a bit enchanted by what I have seen of how the season arrives in the Netherlands. Your posts and those of others have surely caught my imagination.
      Perhaps I will manage to return to the Netherlands...and visit Rotterdam for the first time ever, in the new year that will soon arrive.
      It's also been a very long time since I have been in France and so my travel yearning has several focuses.
      Happy 2017 to you and yours! xo

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  21. This grateful recipient certainly does (keep them)! Thank you and a very Happy New Year to you Frances.

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    1. Lucille, I am so glad you're keeping the cards. It does make me smile to think of those tea cups in far away places!

      Happy New Year wishes to you and your family. Hoping 2017 will treat us all well. xo

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  22. What amazing windows! And I love the posies at Posies. But your handpainted teacups are the best!

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, dear Vicki.

      I'm so glad that you were able to be home for Christmas!

      The BG windows are always a treat, throughout the year. Sometimes I happen to be in the area when the designers are installing a new series, and it's a great pleasure to thank them for the joy they bring.

      Posies' flower and plant selections are so good. Back in my shop managing days, I used to always buy their bouquets as special birthday and anniversary gifts for staff members. Every single one was fantastic and completely unique.

      I do love painting those cards!

      Happy 2017 to you...I must go check on Miss Birdie now. xo

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  23. One of the great pleasures of living in London was the Christmas window displays. I loved them.

    Congratulations on your cup cards; beautiful.

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    1. Cro, it seems to me that well done window displays are an art form. Commerce enters the frame, but creativity sometimes trumps.

      Thank you so much for your kind words re the tea cups.

      Best wishes for 2017. I really enjoy visiting your posts.

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  24. Wonderful, vivid, colourful scenes Frances. Gorgeous! And thank you! Hope you enjoyed a lovely Christmas and wishing you a very happy 2017 xx

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    1. I'm so glad you liked this sampling of NYC in the weeks before Christmas. There is always so much to see, Marianne...this was a very small sample.
      I do love Christmas...and now am looking forward to the potential of what a New Year might bring. Happy 2017 to you, too! xo

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  25. Wow and wow! Such magical photos - thank you so much for all the patience and hard work sharing them with us. And thank you for pointing me in the direction of Instagram which I'm also enjoying! Wishing you a very happy New Year. Cxx

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    1. You are quite welcome, Chris! I'm also enjoying the opportunities offered by IG, while still appreciating those to be found in blogging.

      Being able to learn more about beautiful western Wales from your posts is a joy. I'm looking forward to seeing more of your country views in 2017. Wishing you and Tom a very Happy New Year. xo

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  26. Happy New Year, dear Frances! Hope you have a good 2017 in good health, happiness, kindness, peace... all your dreams come true
    Greetings Maria xx

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    1. Thank you for those kind wishes, Maria. It is such a pleasure to be able to connect with you via blogging. May this brand new year bring you and yours lots of happiness, kindness, peace...and of course, good health, too!
      It's good to keep our dreams alive, and to do what we can to allow them to become reality. xo

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