Sunday, April 30, 2017

City Views, Country Dreams

Good evening from New York.

It is now May Day Eve.  This realization reminds me how I have become a very lazy blogger.  It also reminds me that it's been grand to have been spending much more time outdoors as my winter down-filled coat has been traded in for various layers of cotton, silk and wool.

At home, on the breakfast front, Quaker Oats Old Fashioned oatmeal, prepared with raisins, a dash of cinnamon and brown sugar and milk, has been replaced by the simpler goodness of Cheerios.  Winter and summer oats promise to be kind to my cholesterol levels.  When berry season appears at the farmers market, strawberries will replace the raisins. 

Over in Central Park, flowering trees have been flowering.

Daffodils have surpassed their peak blooming season.  Tulips are on display.

The blue sky days are blissful.  Even when clouds roll into town, we now know that snow won't be part of the package.

Romantic couples (memories...) and friends rent rowboats to travel the Lake in Central Park.

My Mom just celebrated her 99th birthday, and I hope that she won't mind my sharing with you all the watercolor anemone blooms I painted for her card. 

On the knitting front that is always lurking around my apartment, I have begun an experiment with a new technique, Entrelac, that creates a sort of basket weave effect.  I have been following the technical advice given by Entralac.  Once you get the gist of the basic maneuvers, there are countless variations possible.  Give it a go...not that complicated.

My recovery from that February fall is almost complete.  I have participated in some more political activities and continue to communicate with my elected governmental politicians.  On a bus ride yesterday, I noticed that "stand by" barricades are still up in front of Bergdorf Goodman, located diagonally across Fifth Avenue from Trump Tower.

The NYC taxpayers continue to fund this, as the First Lady and her son still dwell in TT.

Moving along, here is a view of the current garden space that is planted just above the subway station at 72nd Street and Broadway.

On an afternoon walk today through my neighborhood, I stopped to take this picture of a classic Upper West Side brownstone building that features a well-chosen planting for its parlor floor window boxes.

Thank you all so much for visiting and leaving your comments.  I continue to also appreciate the pleasures of Instagram and invite you all to also visit me at my page there.  I also promise to continue visiting you blogging pals.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

City Views, Country Dreams

Happy Easter from New York.

Today is gloriously sunny and warm, and so I walked over to take a look at this year's Fifth Avenue Easter Parade.  I will share some of the photographs I took this afternoon.

Lots of folks were taking photos of themselves.

The man in the red hat was ready to let you join his frame.

Extravagant hat added a festive touch to the little black dress.

Another opportunity waits....

It almost looks as it the vendor's umbrella is part of this gentleman's hat.

Quite a stylish couple.

Balloon hats were available.

That is quite a hat to have resting on one's noggin.

Eager to pose and please many photographers.

Momma is encouraging her child to pose with this willing couple.

This father and daughter were having a grand afternoon.

This gentleman will probably leave the hat at home when he returns to his office tomorrow.

Ice cream became a popular choice as the sun warmed up the crowd.

If you click on the above photo to enlarge it, you might be able to see that this lady made it from folded paper.

Several dressing styles sharing the Avenue.

Global awareness.

These cheerful fellows were passing out chocolate eggs to children.  I broke my own Lenten chocolate fast with a stop into the busy Lindt shop.  Delicious truffles!

Lots of bunny tails on this group.

Some bonnets were very chic.

Some bonnets adhered to the more is more concept.

The above chap branched out!

I am also going to post some more Easter Parade pictures over on my Instagram Page.

Meanwhile, I will close this post with a photograph of a little painting I made and sent as an Easter Card.

I wish you all a wonderfully Happy Easter, and thank you for your visits and comments.  It is my intention to be less of a lazy blogger, even though milder weather is tempting me to spend much more time outdoors

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

City Views, Country Dreams

Good evening from New York.

The calendar tells us that Spring has officially arrived.  We have reset our clocks to Daylight Saving Time.  March is just about to yield to April.  

In some ways, time has seemed to move quickly.  In other ways, as I have continued the healing process after my fall in late February, time has been measured not in days or weeks, but rather in intervals between applications to my forehead of my makeshift ice packs.  I have seen my facial bruising patterns change colors, perhaps mimicking the aurora borealis.  My lacerated finger has had its stitches removed, and I have heard the hand specialist doctor tell me I could stop using Neosporin and no longer need to use non-stick gauze pad bandaging.  He advised me to keep moving the injured finger.

Even as these gradual improvements were taking place, I admit to retaining a certain sense of fragility.  When I ventured out for neighborhood errands, I was extra careful to watch where I was headed and to check the streets and sidewalk surfaces for dangerous uneven areas.  I never before was so wary.

It's been cold and I have spent lots of time indoors, reading 

several good books and lots of articles from The New Yorker,

or knitting, 

or watching Congressional hearings regarding either the Russian investigations or the questioning of various Presidential appointments to his Cabinet.  I haven't been to any more marches or rallies, but have been keeping up regular email correspondence with my elected governmental representative.

I've had the pleasure of getting together with old friends for lunches and phone calls.  On days with temperatures above freezing it has been a pleasure to take some walks in Central Park.

Some time has also been devoted to doing a draft of my Federal and also my New York State and Local taxes.  Naps have been part of the healing regimen.

Finally, today's bright sunshine broke into a recent pattern of damp, grey, cold days.  It was time to take the subway downtown to Union Square to replenish my apple supplies and to see if any flowers might be on offer.

How grand to discover quite a colorful selection was available at several of my favorite stands.

I'm showing you all just a small sampling of the flowers I saw.

If I had some sort of garden space, or terrace, or some such area to give plants a chance, I suspect that I would make many purchases at this time of year.

However, my small apartment has no garden or terrace.

I do have several windows, but they provide what might be termed limited sunlight, definitely not full light.  The larger windows also have at their bases steam radiators.

And so, even when I admire displays such as those I saw today at Union Square, I limit myself to very minor purchases.

Part of the fun of visiting the green market at this time of the year, is seeing what other folks are selecting and vicariously sharing their enthusiasm for the season's potential.

Today, I bought this pretty potted primrose and also a small rosy red ranunculus plant.  It is my hope to keep the duo alive and in bloom until late April  We shall see.

It has now been a year since I retired.  I have thoroughly enjoyed having made this change in my life and am now looking forward to adding even more interests to my already full days.

Blogging may remain intermittent, but I don't want to give it up altogether.  I so appreciate our community, and as always, thank you all for your visits and comments.  See you soon!

Friday, March 10, 2017

City Views, Country Dreams

Good afternoon from New York.

When I look out my window, I notice that the morning's big floppy snow flakes have now yielded to very fine snow.  The sky is brightening, too.

Thank you all for your kind response to my previous post.  I am pleased to report that I am steadily recovering from my fall.

Yesterday was sunny and unseasonal in its warmth.  A friend and I had plans to visit the Morgan Library.  It was to be my first such day out for pleasure, not merely accomplishing a required errand.

As I was having my oatmeal and tea breakfast, I followed my routine of listening to BBC Radio London via the laptop.  It's fun to have this vicarious London visit at the beginning of my day.  However, yesterday's news of the death of a favorite artist, Howard Hodgkin, at age 84, definitely saddened me.  As a small remembrance, I took this photo of a postcard I bought at London's National Portrait Gallery many years ago.  The postcard is placed on top of the cover of the current issue of The New Yorker magazine that features a scene from an art gallery opening.

I now understand that the NPG will be exhibiting a Howard Hodgkin retrospective this spring.  I would like to see that show, as well as quite a few others that are on a late winter/early spring schedule.

However, yesterday I went to see the marvelous Emily Dickinson exhibit at the Morgan.  I admit to not being as familiar with ED's work as I would now with to be.  My introduction to her genius has arrived via the beautifully poetic blog post Merisi's Vienna for Beginners.  I definitely recommend this site to you all.

The current exhibit is in a medium-sized gallery space on the second floor. reached by a glass-walled elevator.  Entering the door to the gallery takes one into Dickinson's 1800s era in New England.

I took a few photographs to give you an idea of the quiet, yet thrilling atmosphere of the exhibit.  The above photo is in Dickinson's mature handwriting, and the following photo of the adjacent label tells of her interest in another poet.  Please forgive my not quite centering the photo of the label...I'll blame my bandaged finger.

Another section of the exhibit features a digital slide show of the poet's herbarium, which clearly indicates her close observation and desired connection to nature.

Here is a photo of just one page from the slide show.  In a protective glass case next to the slide show device is the precious herbarium itself, open to one page.  I decided to rely on the digital pictures for my own photographs. 

I would recommend this exhibit to any of you all who love poetry.

I would also recommend settling into the sunlit atrium cafe on the Morgan Library's main floor.  My friend Elizabeth and I decided to each order the extravagance of the Morgan Tea.  It was delicious!

The "new" extension to the Morgan is a well-designed three-story space.  Through a doorway, one may also enter the original Library building which is also a must see.  

Mr Morgan's actual library is quite luxurious.  Even the huge carpet is beautiful.  In this current age of billionaires who do not always practice philanthropy, it's interesting to contemplate how it is that we mere ticket holders can visit what was once one man's library.

Quite a hearth and quite a tapestry.  Morgan's office also contains some precious paintings.  The link to the Library's site that I have provided above will give those interested much more information.

It was a great pleasure to join a good friend for such a day of cultural treats.  It was easy for me to reach the Morgan via the subway...just two stops away, plus a very short walk.

I'm looking forward to being able to share more city views with you all very soon.  There is so much to see!