Sunday, August 8, 2010

City Views, Country Dreams

Good afternoon from New York.

How can it be August? What has happened to July? This summer does seem to speeding past. The days are hot, some of the leaves have begun to fall from the trees. Crispy brown leaves can be seen scattered along the pathways of Central Park.

Walking along one of those pathways I saw a collection of pedi-cabs operators waiting for some customers. I cannot imagine how they can do their job in the current heat.
We have had some thunderstorms during this summer, and this caused many trees in the Park to lose branches. Actually, some people were killed by falling branches. This seems impossible, but alas, it is true.

This tree remnant is not in jail, but rather is just behind a delicate bit of fencing that bears the the Central Park Conservancy id. The Conservancy is privately funded (even I make an annual contribution) and helps to keep the Park beautiful, and perhaps also safe.

Here is another photo of some damaged tree parts. There is something a bit sad about these logs.

I won't dwell any longer on these poor old trees, but will instead take you along with me to the Sunday farmers market. This week was a wonderful week for rosy red fruits and vegetables. I bought some of these peaches.

And some of these tomatoes.

I greatly admired these plums, but did not buy any. The peaches will keep me busy for the next few days. I do not like to refrigerate peaches or tomatoes, and so I plan to eat them pretty quickly.

I also found some beautiful zucchini, sugar snap peas and cucumbers. I think that it might be too late in the season for lettuces. Some of the farmers had wonderful looking corn, and eggplant, and green peppers.
My plan was to do this marketing well before midday, so that I could have many hours left to work on some of my craft projects. I am experimenting with all sorts of yarn-related notions, and can show you how my circle in the square afghan is coming along.

There is something rather crazy about crocheting with wool in the summertime, isn't there?
At work tomorrow, I will be wearing an alpaca sweater, hoping to induce the customers to buy one for themselves. There is something pretty crazy about alpaca in August, too.
I do hope that August is treating you all very well. Best wishes.


  1. I love the colors of your "circle in the square" afghan. The white just pops right out, giving spots of bright cheerfulness. I have wondered often if the re-painting of your apartment turned out well, giving you moments of bright cheerfulness as you look around and live in it. Do hope things cool off soon for you, and for all of us across the US that are sweltering in this heat! :-)

  2. Another wonderful tour of your part of the world, Frances.

    The dangers of falling trees. Sigh! Or trees having to come down, when there aren't nearly enough of them in the world.

    Loved the look of the market. Ours is far too "sanitized."

    And the picture made it easy for your to pull our eyes over the wool (so to speak).

  3. Good evening, Frances, from cool BC. I can imagine how hot it's been in NYC - I remember visiting Manhattan one summer and stying in a gorgeous old apartment that didn't have AC. I thought I'd suffocate!
    I'm another one who doesn't refrigerate fruit, preferring it at room temperature - actually warm and right off the tree would be best!

  4. The produce on the market stalls looks delicious - I hope you enjoyed the peaches.

    Our summer in East Anglia is very hot and dry too, but August has been a little cooler and we have now had some rain. I suppose it's nature that lightning sometimes brings a tree down - we sometimes see it in the big parks here too, but so tragic when people are killed by the falling branches.

    Enjoy your crochet - I'm working on a crochet project this summer too!


  5. Hi Frances, how funny we both have trees in our posts, and you are suffering heat whilst we are suffering rain! Send some of those alpaca jumpers over here - we need them in Scotland!
    Thanks for your lovely comments - Lynnex

  6. What a wonderful looking market with so many tempting treats. I'm crocheting a wool blanket this summer too! I hope you have air-conditioning at work if you are wearing a sweater.

  7. Poor trees. My father wouldn't see those logs as sad, he'd put them on his lathe and make them into something happy. I'm sorry to hear the branches killed some people though. Those plums look magnificent - what a lovely pile of fruit!

  8. Such beautiful crotchet work! I loved your trip to the farmers' market... apart from the tomatoes.

    I'll be thinking of you in your alpaca hoping that the retailers appreciate what you're doing for them!

  9. I'm loving that crochet blanket Frances... the colours are very 'you'... it's very delicate and stylish.

    I simply can't imagine NYC in the heat! I totally associate it with being teeth-chatteringly cold or ankle-splashingly wet. Maybe I will have to come again at a different time of year ;-)


  10. And please send an Alpaca Sweater to Munich too... and a bit of warm temperatures. I'm typing this with cold fingertips.
    Our summer period this year was about 15 days and it's a drama for our garden. Rain and cold temperature and slugs executed everything.
    So, I am glad to come here and get your wonderful impressions of the city I love so much.

  11. I love Alpacas, Frances, and would be tempted to have one in the right setting! How soft that sweater must be, I imagine.
    Your afghan is looking most attractive.

  12. Hallo Frances, from a wet and green and grey-skied Wales, where I am not sure that we have such beautiful fruit. I wonder where it all comes from? It always amazes me how all that food gets taken into the city and the rubbish removed. It is a triumph of logistics. And yet if something broke down we could all starve. Still better to dwell on alpacas in August which suggest new lines for an old song, something for you to skip to along the sidewalk.

    I go wearing alpacas in August
    Proud as a flag on the 4th July
    If you'll excuse an expression I use
    I'm in love with these plums that I buy.....

    And so on.

    Lovely blog as always.

  13. I wish we had such markets here. It is pouring with rain and has been another grey day here, not like August should be.
    Good luck with the alpaca sales.

  14. I love your descriptions of New York and Central Park - I'm unlikely ever to visit America as I don't like flying. It opens a world of America which is human and apart from all the political reporting. Though we (in the UK) have a good journalist who has been giving weekly talks on America on BBC Radio 4 - Matt Frei. Don't know if you can access it - the series is called "Americana".

    Lovely crochet - looks a bit like Van Gogh's stars, and also has the colours of the sea.

    The best fruit I have tasted was in a market in Bucharest, Romania: people from the country bring it to the city when it is at exactly the right stage to eat and it was delicious. Here in England most of the fruit is rock hard when you buy it, and even putting it onto a window shelf for days doesn't make it soften into anything vaguely edible by humans - I suppose you have to just cook it, with loads of sugar. There's a pick-your-own farm here (Oxford) which has wonderful strawberries and vegetables, but no pears or plums. Ah well - I'll make do with dried apricots - supposed to be very healthy because of the potassium content.

  15. thank you for your good wishes, but August is not particularly pleasurable here. Lots of cloud and damp and not very hot either.
    One gets used to it.
    I prefer working in the garden when it is cooler.

    I can imagine N.Y. being impossible to bear when the temperatures climb high into upper reaches of the thermometer.

    A visit to the market is always a pleasure, I can see you choosing carefully and carrying your trophies home triumphantly. Somehow I also see you putting your fresh produce into bowls and maybe sniffing their aroma?

    Enjoy the pleasures of life!

  16. Send Alpacas this way.. Brittany is damp and drear rather than blistering all we have is muggy weather and heavy bruised sky!!

  17. Hi Frances.!

    Love the colours of your crochet square. Alpaca wonderful to wear no matter what the weather Frances.!

    Lovely pics of the farmer's market in NY, we have a market day here on Wednesday's only.

    Our August has begun with much colder weather and some rain, completely different to the very hot weather we had in June and July.

    Think it would be wonderful for you to paint one of your beautiful water-colours of a ceramic bowl of those juicy Peaches Frances.!


  18. why don't you refrigerate toms??? I always do and am now anxious. That market looks lovely, I can almost smell it from here. We don't really have that sort of thing here, more sanitised stuff in supermarket shelves. Not that I'm complaining, it's pretty miraculous what's available to us. As for August ... yes, and our August is ratty: cold, boring, and the plants are getting that defeated, dark dull green look. A shame.

  19. Yes, signs of autumn everywhere. I actually quite like autumn. But as you say what happened to summer? Love the farmers market and all the lovely fruit. Sad about the trees - but I presume they will plant new ones. Planting something new is always positive!
    All the best.
    Ingrid x

  20. Hello Frances, My fingers were about to find your blog, sixth sense, I find your comment.
    I was planning to capture objects throughout the year and yes I do date work. Sadly gaps of days or even weeks emerge with no evidence of art. I know you will understand, that is how it goes.
    I do love your crochet, beautiful mixes of colour. Tomorrow I am going to see the Quilt show, will photograph mine hanging and post it. It was fun to be creative and use different skills and lots of bright coloured cottons. Discovering the new stitches on my modern touch screen sewing machine, very very different from our old vintage singers. Fun to mix the two.
    Lovely to read about your walk and visit to the market with the colourful photographs. Keep well.

  21. Lovely lovely post as always, Frances. Those plums looked delectable - I wouldn't have been able to resist I do so miss our wonderful pear tree at Lee Farm.

    Adore your crochet too - those colours are delicious. I have a small blanket in that pattern from my aunt - sadly she didn't have such good taste as you and the colours clash quite horribly!!!

  22. I'm so envious of you living near Central Park.

    We were in NYC last April and loved it, especially the beautiful pear blossoms all over the trees.

    The produce at the Farmers' Market looks so tempting too.

  23. the only good thing about summer zipping by is the produce at the farmer's market.

  24. Lovely walk, Frances,
    thank you for sharing your thoughts too!

    I hope these late August days are good to you.
    We are lucky here, gorgeous weather.

  25. Hello from south of France with a very hot weather ! thank you for your comment on my blog. I wandered in your world, your paintings, your crafts, and I enjoy very much. My english is limited (sorry, so far, so old in my memory)but I want to tell you my gratitude !

  26. The summer is giving way to Autumn here Frances. July was a complete wash out this year, and yet in May and June the weather held so much promise of a hot summer to come.
    What fantastic produce at the farmer's market, the peaches looked so juicy, I am just harvesting the veg from my little plot.