Sunday, January 22, 2017

City Views, Country Dreams

Good morning from New York.

I woke up on this foggy Sunday with a few achy muscles, perhaps as a result of a long walk I took yesterday afternoon.  I will share a few pictures showing some of the folks who were walking along with me.

You all may already have seen news regarding this walk, described as a women's march.  My photographs are those of an amateur, but will give you an idea of what I experienced along the route that sprawled  westward along East 42nd Street and then turned uptown on Fifth Avenue.

In the above photograph, you may be able to see some children waving to us from the window of the Grand Hyatt Hotel.  If you click on this link, you'll be able to learn how that hotel intersected with the early career of our new President.

The following photo features a poster that amused many folks in the crowd.

 The crowd was much larger than expected, and has been estimated to have included 400,000 people.  We really moved along at a very, very slow pace.

It took hours to reach Fifth Avenue.  

Police barricades had been set up along Fifth Avenue, to prevent the marchers from spreading onto the sidewalks, as had been possible on 42nd Street where there had been no barricades.  The above photo is a view looking down Fifth Avenue.  It was taken at about 43rd and Fifth.

I'd not seen any police presence along 42nd Street, and the slow-moving crowd had been very friendly and orderly.  Along Fifth Avenue, there were police officers who were helping at intersections with crosstown streets to let pedestrians cross east or west.  No crosstown vehicles were allowed.  Not much Fifth Avenue shopping going on.

As we drew closer to our destination, the pace of the march slowed.  I  elected to leave the group just after we passed by St. Patrick's Cathedral, and continued uptown behind the barricades on the westside sidewalk of Fifth Avenue.  This allowed my tired legs hopes of being able to be able to walk all the way home.  I imagined that the subway stations were going to be packed.

Another amusing poster.

The crowd was made up of family groups, school groups, friendly groups and individuals like myself.  My decision to participate was formed after watching the new President's inaugural address.

In the above photo, the tall building with the zigzag rooftop and the golden glow is Trump Tower, the march's 56th Street destination.  Security measures prevented most of us from reaching that location.  That didn't matter.

By the time we reached 54th Street many folks, like myself, had decided it was time to go home.  Folks were milling around, trying to locate friends, or rejoin the groups with whom they'd traveled together earlier in the day.  The warmth of the sun that had been a welcome factor was rapidly chilling.

Time to walk home.  I walked over to Sixth Avenue and continued uptown to Central Park South and westward to my apartment.  Along the way I noted that the Trump Parc space that was available on Election Day is still available.

Opportunity knocks.

I may be posting a brief video over at my Instagram page.

Once again, I thank you all for your visits and comments.  I will now return to knitting those striped socks.  I did not knit a hat for the march.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

City Views, Country Dreams

Good afternoon from New York.

Halfway through January, we seem to have been embraced by a collection of grey rainy days.  It's good to find strategies to uplift our spirits.

I actually prefer a light snowfall to a lingering span of rainy days.

Coping strategies can involve homemade soups, sampling various teas from an elegant tea chest Christmas gift, reading, and knitting.

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of attending my first Vogue Knitting Magazine Live event.  My own pre-retirement work schedules had prevented my attending these events in prior years.  The magazine sponsors such events in various parts of this country, so they are not just for New York area knitters.  

It was quite interesting to have a look at the various stands and see lots of beautiful yarns, and lots of very enthusiastic knitters.  The Shetland Wool Week stand was my absolute favorite.  Do click on the link in the prior sentence to find out more about that Week.  How I would love to visit Shetland this fall!  

Another treat was being able to tour the Vogue Knitting Magazine event along with a lovely lady visiting from California.  Many of you all might be familiar with lori times five's Instagram page?  If not, click on that link to acquaint yourself with a special person.

Because I reminded myself of just how much yarn I already had at home, I was able to resist making any purchases, but will share a couple of photographs I took.

Yesterday, my friend Elizabeth and I took a walk through rainy Central Park, over to The Metropolitan Museum of Art to see a few exhibits and have lunch.  It was interesting to discover some unusual decorations around the Museum's Great Hall and grand staircase.

Although we were not permitted to walk upon it. a very large, floral patterned carpet had been laid upon those stairs.  Around the Great Hall could be glimpsed large hedges of faux boxwood.  The information desk was being transformed into a pergola.

When I asked a security guard if a party was taking place later, I was told that the special decorations were for filming that would be taking place.  He was not able to divulge the identity of the film.  I'll see if more information becomes available as time goes on.

It was pleasant to see the spring flowers blooming on the carpet, but we eventually retrieved our coats and umbrellas, left the Met and walked a little ways down Fifth Avenue, until Elizabeth boarded a downtown bus, and I walked back home across the Park.

Even on a sort of gloomy day, there was still much to attract my eyes.

Bare branches are like delicate ink drawings.  The well worn sidewalk patterns could inspire lots of knitting.

There were some touches of green to be seen, and I also saw some rather spindly-looking snowdrops over in the Strawberry Fields area.

Elizabeth and I saw none of the usual crowds either in the Park or in the Met.

Back home, warmer and drier, I took a few more photographs of the scarf I've recently completed.  I thought of it as a sort of sampler of various fair isle motifs scattered over a neutral background.  The motifs were knit from wool; the background yarn is a blend of wool, linen and alpaca.

Another view.

And another.

And, just for fun, here's that scarf again, along with the socks I'm now working on, spread across my knitted patchwork blanket, made many years ago, but oh so welcome during the winter months.

Somehow I like the look of the mish mosh of colors and patterns.

There is a lot going on this week, besides what I've reported here.  I elected to keep this a low key mid-January city view.  Thanks to you all for your visits and comments on my New Year's post.  Whether or not those black-eyed peas are giving me extra good luck, I feel very fortunate to be part of a warm blogging community.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

City Views, Country Dreams

Good evening from New York on New Year's Day, 2017.

Yesterday I posted this photograph on my Instagram page.

It was a light hearted illustration of my jar of what remained of the dried black eyed peas that I bought a year ago.  While growing up in Virginia, I was made aware of the strong tradition of eating black eyed peas on New Year's Day in order to bring luck for the rest of the year.

In the last week of 2016, I experienced several appliance finales.  My old hair dryer stopped working.  My five-year old printer decided that five years were enough.  I felt as if the black eyed peas I'd prepared and consumed on the first day of 2016 might be losing their power.

I've bought new appliances that seem to be working just fine.

This afternoon, as I was beginning to cook some of the dried peas from the pictured jar, I also began putting away the baubles I'd chosen to decorate my apartment for the week of Christmas, including that chain of golden stars draped around the pea jar.

I was listening, via my laptop, to three hours of BBC Radio 4 vintage Sherlock Holmes broadcasts.  All was going well.

I finished carefully putting the Christmas ornaments away in their anointed place on a top shelf in one of my two closets.  The 2017 black eyed pea concoction, seasoned in Near Eastern style, was just about ready to eat.  The Sherlock Holmes tribute was over.

I poured a glad of Merlot, served up my lucky supper, and returned to John le Carre's The Pigeon Tunnel, my current book of choice.  

Dinner tasted very good.  My reading was transporting me to Moscow.  And then, I heard several popping sounds from the next room.  Going to investigate, I saw that two boxes of my carefully stowed beloved Christmas baubles had escaped their perch on that top shelf.  Some had burst into glittering glass fragments on impact, but others seemed to be unharmed.

My lucky black eyed pea supper was interrupted so that I could clear up the mess around the folding door to the closet and see how many baubles had survived.

Like spreading spilt milk, the initial view of the broken glass was more alarming that what closer investigation showed.  I tried to be like Sherlock in my calm investigations, while mourning the loss of some irreplaceable ornaments.  I got out my broom and swept the affected floor space.

I repacked the baubles and returned them to a more secure perch on their shelf.  Back to the lucky peas and the le Carre memoir.  

In just over an hour, I'll be able to view the the new television Sherlock Thatcher episode that those of you all across the Atlantic have already seen.  Tomorrow will be another day, with or without additional luck.

Thank you all for your visits and comments here throughout 2016.  It's now so difficult to know where the wind will be blowing in the coming year.  I look forward to trading comments with you all, and enjoying stretching my horizons via blog land.