Thursday, September 30, 2010

City Views, Country Dreams

Good evening from New York.

On this windy evening, we New Yorkers are awaiting the next round of rain and wind that will spatter us with vertical or perhaps diagonal or horizontal rain, and wind that might do more damage to old trees around town. In various parts of our city there may be what the weather forecasters call local flooding.

It seems to me that this September has been experiencing windy weather that might actually have made time move more quickly. It was weeks ago that I took the following photo of a couple attempting to cross Fifth Avenue between the traffic lights of 56th and 57th Streets. I liked the billowing of the lady's coat and marveled at the height of her stilettos. Without the willing arm of the gentleman, she would have fallen.

Ahhh, to have the willing arm of a gentleman to guide one though turbulence.

Since my last post, I have had another birthday, and this has let me now qualify for various senior citizen benefits. So far, I have not had the time to do much research to find out what procedures might be needed to actually acquire these benefits.

I am grateful to be healthy and still able to carry on in my career. This career does have a connection to the fashion industry. Although I still do cling to the notion that I might be a painter, even an artist, I admit that the evidence of this is thin on the ground this year. I keep hoping to gather more time to my own interests, rather than following my inbred work ethic that seems to encourage me to devote my hours to the causes of others. Well. I do get a pay check, and so must not moan too much here.

Last week, friends whom I first met in the 1970's when we all worked at the marvelous, wonderful Metropolitan Museum, and I got together for a lunch. Is it not marvelous to stay in touch with folks who remember who you were decades ago? These folks and I do meet every now and then and always laugh and talk and talk and talk. And again, we never quite have enough time to catch up.

Back to fashion. After that lunch, I sped downtown to the Fashion Institute of Technology's Museum to take a look at the current exhibit there. It is full of marvelous, inventive contemporary Japanese fashion. This school has trained many of our top designers, and its museum stages delights, one after the other.

And, as September raced ahead, I fell back into the routine of work, sleep, errands, meal preparation and dining. Repeat. Repeat.

This disconcerting treadmill view of days passing got a bit of a check when I finally found time to take a walk over to Central Park to see how the end of summer might be treating my favorite place, the Shakespeare Garden.

I have shown you all this area in various seasons, and so perhaps you'll enjoy seeing it at the end of September. I love the bikes propped up against the rustic fence at the western entrance to the Garden.

Most of the summer flowers had turned to seed pods, so I let my camera turn to various foliage that showed beautiful contrasts in color and shapes.

This garden is on a gentle incline, and its gardeners always allow it to go a bit wild. I love the mixture that results.

Something that always impresses me about this part of the Park is the quiet. Another encouraging bit is that the visitors do seem to treat the entire area with the respect that these wonderful plants deserve.

My recent walk had an unexpected reward, as I found about six butterflies in complex flight and landing patterns around a particular bunch of flowers that matched the orangy tones of the butterflies' wings. I was stopped in my tracks for quite a while as I enjoyed watching this aerial ballet. I hope that you will enjoy this single photo that I was able to take, catching a beauty in a quick still moment.

The Shakespeare Garden has many roses, and a few were still having a glorious final act last week.
There is something about this part of Central Park that always welcomes anyone who lingers for a while. No matter what pressures might be facing us in our day to day existence, it is very encouraging to see that even in a huge city, nature can thrive and teach us much.
Although I was not able to take any photographs, I was also able to stop in my tracks last week and have a long, long gaze at the full moon, as I returned home from work.
And then, another treat occurred when my workmates and I treated ourselves to an evening yacht ride around the New York harbor. The sky was overcast as we set sail, but just as we passed under the Brooklyn Bridge, on our return back to the Chelsea pier from which we'd set off, the clouds parted and the almost-still-full moon showed its cinnamon golden face. We applauded it, and then the clouds again drew their veil..
I fervently hope that October might have a different pace, and that each day might have something remarkable to report.
Best wishes to you all.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

City Views, Country Dreams

Good evening from New York on this first day of September.

What a hot summer day this has been. I have been rambling all over town, and even managed to get a much needed hair cut. It was a surprise to discover that it had been almost three months since my talented stylist got her scissors near my hair.

The salon is very near the wonderful Union Square Farmers Market, and this afternoon the farmers were all there, showing their end of summer season produce.

There was corn.

There was squash, in many varieties. I bought some tiny zucchini...some call them courgettes.

There were many displays of beautiful flowers. I meant to buy some flowers, but did not. Perhaps I will get back to this market at the weekend and find the bouquet of my choice.

The following photograph shows a stall selling potted plants ... lots of herbs and chrysanthemums. The photo also gives you an idea of the buildings just beyond the northwestern corner of the Square. This view looks up Broadway.

Ahhh, aren't these eggplants beautiful? That glossy finish gives such a contrast to the grainy stem hat shape at the top of each purple ovoid.

If you like fresh, fresh lettuces in great variety, the Farmers Market is an ideal place to visit.

The Farmers Market stalls are arranged around the north and west sides of Union Square. In the center of the Square are some little cafe tables. I think that the city planners are trying for some sort of European ambiance, but I am not convinced that the ambiance has been achieved.

Well, I did gather some tomatoes, peaches, and early apples to take home along with the zucchini.
On my uptown subway train, I had the pleasure of transcending the underground surroundings, as I opened David Mitchell's newest book. I had reserved this book months ago, and at long last, my library's copy of the American edition was placed into my hands.
What a treat to be able find myself in another century in Japan as I traveled under the New York streets.
And, let's see what else transpired on this day off.
I got home in time to do a bit of playing around with some crocheting. As usual, I've got a few projects underway at the same time. Not sure which of these projects might yet be unraveled, and which might just zip anlong to completion.
It's quite fun to just play around with colors and stitches.
Today's post brought a heavy, glossy fall fashion catalogue to my mailbox. A sort of dreambook as far as contemplating making any purchases. I like these catalogues for the opportunity they bring to see how top designers clothing is styled, and to investigate the silhouettes of the season.
Often, when I turn though the pages, the photographs remind me of clothing I have worn before ... decades back. The two coats shown in the photos I am sampling here are so, so very smilar to coats I remember owning. I might have to go and see these actual coats and try them on, to see if they actually feel like those coats of yore.
Somehow, I have not found time all day to switch on the television to have a glimpse of what might be happening in another part of this big city ... on the tennis courts of the U.S. Open Tournament.
Perhaps I can have a long look at tennis this weekend, although there is a certain hurricane named Earl that's whirling its way up the Atlantic coast, threatening to give us a wet weekend, and to dampen the tennis matches.
Fingers crossed for more sunshine, glorious farm fresh produce, and great tennis.
Best wishes to you all.