Friday, May 31, 2013

City Views, Country Dreams

Good afternoon from New York.

Although we are technically still in Spring, our city weather has now shown its very sunny, hot and humid side.  This sort of weather is not my favorite.  I truly do prefer a medium warm Spring with a few gentle breezes.  Even rain can be welcome.

However, I did brave the heat and humidity to visit the large Union Square farmers market this past week.  It's a bit too early to see any tomatoes, but lots of flowers and herbs were on display, along with some pretty lettuces, ripe strawberries, radishes, eggs, cheese, baked goods and some apples lingering from autumn 2012.

Saturday is the busiest market day, when most farmers put up their stands.  Wednesday is less crowded, and provides a much more pleasant atmosphere for wandering.

The entertainment value of the market is great.  The colors are lovely, the fashions of the farmers and their patrons can be interesting, there are opportunities to sample the produce or baked goods.  Many dogs also come along with their owners.  There are lots of cute babies, too.

I enjoy taking a look at everything, and then doubling back along my original route to make  my purchases.  Over the years, I have found some of the stands more appealing than others, but every season a few new farmers join the fun.  There is always something you've never noticed before.

On another recent trip to the market, I actually bought a plant, called bush basil, and I made a point of stopping by to speak with the farmer from whom I'd bought it.  I wanted to let him know that I've managed to keep the basil going for almost two weeks already.

As I've mentioned before, my apartment's window sills are not very friendly to vegetation.  I have better luck with succulent plants that require minimal care and can withstand less than prime locations.

I also like the sculptural qualities of these sorts of plants.  Every now and then I buy one to add to my window sill's line up.

I think that many other folks who stroll through the plant section have country dreams.

This week's Union Square visit resulted in very few purchases, but I did bring home lots of memories of the colors I'd seen.  I am now referencing those memories in the varied color choices of my current knitting project.

The tricky part is that the arrival of the current heat and humidity is not too conducive to working with Shetland wool.  Still, I persevere, as it's quite pleasant to watch the chevron stripes appear, stitch by stitch.

It's also fun to welcome the season of fresh salad ingredients and delicious berries.  My cool weather attraction to pasta is being challenged.  It will soon be time to start drinking iced coffee.  The first 2013 ice cream cone can not be far away now.

Thank you all for your visits and for your fine comments.  I hope to be showing you more of my city soon.


  1. How lovely to see your street market. I have just returned from my first market visit of the summer. Not quite so hot and humid but much like yours in other respects.

  2. Frances, we love the buzz of farmers' markets, and there is a regular one every week here. Yours looks so colourful, and full of life.
    I would be so tempted by those geraniums!

  3. I love your posts about parks and markets ... so different from the image we usually have of New York.
    Here it is technically Spring... And today was pleasantly warm and sunny, but it has been so so cold and dull and dreary, yesterday I wore 6 layers of clothing and was still cold! Out Wisteria is just breaking into flower ... I see no my blog in past years it flowered at the end of April.

  4. I always think that a visit to a farmers' market is like a little holiday - the colours, the sounds, the smells - one is transported. I wonder how far some of the farmers travel to set up market in NYC. Some must be on the road at daybreak.
    Your knitting looks very interesting!

  5. I love markets and have been to this particular market some years ago.Your fair isle is looking wonderful and very much reminds me of Kaffe Fassett. You are very talented to be able to do this kind of work Frances. Today is Saturday and it is 7am, the sun is forcast for the weekend and I am just about to gear myself up for a bike ride before I do a bit of work. Hope it cools down for you, enjoy your forthcoming week x

  6. Hello dear Frances,

    Country dreams in New York! Yes, your post has done more than justice to this concept. Greenery can, and should, thrive everywhere. And yes you are quite right; the cactus does have wonderful sculpture, doesn't it? I'd never thought of it like that before. The strange thing is that I love sculptures but remain disconcertingly indifferent to cacti!

    Your knitting is scrumptious, Frances! You have so many gifts.


  7. Such a colourful market, the plants look so healthy. And your knitting is gorgeous, wonderful choice of colours.
    Today is the first day of our summer months....hahaha! Grey, leaden skies, cool air, a long way off most folks' idea of summer!

  8. What a fun knitting pattern. I'll look forward to seeing the finished work.

  9. Dear Frances, So you have become a windowsill farmer! I am so delighted to hear that you have taken the plunge. I know that you long for a little more land than the windowsill garden provides...but this might be the first of several steps into that direction. Happy gardening and happy knitting. ox, Gina

  10. Your farmer's market photos are lovely and your current knitting looks so great! I love your intricate color work. xoxo

  11. Well, I think the loveliest thing on show is your beautiful knitting!

  12. I find succulents to be very forgiving little plants, loaded with personality and tolerant of a variety of conditions. I hope they thrive for you, along with the Basil!

  13. Wonderful pictures, Frances! And the colors in your knotting are beautiful!

  14. Vibrant colours again, your city always looks so full of the best of the country with all of those lovely plants and flowers Frances. We have beautiful sunshine here at last too, but no humidity and still a cool breeze. I do love the change in seasons and am very ready for summer after our long winter this year. Enjoy those ice creams and iced teas, I will be having them here too x

  15. This is my first visit to your blog but I will be back. I love reading about markets and gardens. We don't go to many markets but gardening is a passion.

    Winter is settling in here so it is soup and baked dinners and wooly hats and scarves.

  16. Hallo Frances, Great Colours and patterns in that knitting and what a wonderful market you have (as you might expect) in NYC. I imagine you could find almost anything. But even our far more humble markets are always a source of pleasure for flowers and vegetables and plants of all sorts. Trust you are keeping well.

  17. As Celia has commented here, Farmers' Markets are not the first thing most of us would link to New York, so it's always fascinating to catch a glimpse of yours - and see the colours reflected in your clever work.

    The sun is shining here, but gosh,the wind is so cold. We're trying to save on our fuel bill by not putting the heating on, but I'm well wrapped up!

  18. Wow!! Your knitting is fabulous. Love the colours and pattern.

  19. Dear Francis,

    The NY farmers market looks lovely! Isn't it fun to have a bit of the country down town :-) We have a market like this in Rotterdam as well. It's only once a month, but I enjoy going there.

    Your new knitting project looks promising. Is it going to be a scarf?

    Happy week!

    Madelief x

  20. Love the colors and patterns in your Shetland wool...
    You are waiting a long time for an ice cream Frances?
    I'm worried.
    Or should I be worried for me ;(
    There is very good ice cream in Paris but don't wait till October!

  21. What a lovely sunny post. The market sounds fabulous. We're starting to see some warmer weather here at last too. And I just love that knitting!

  22. Frances,
    Your Shetland wool artistic pattern is so very beautiful.
    We do visit the Union Square farmer's market on each of the 4 days a week that it is open
    A favorite treat is
    the Chocolate Spelt cake that is sold there by the slice.

    About radishes ,I have never understood their appeal other than adding a little color to a salad.

    Another product I like at the farmer's market is the Coconut
    yogurt produced by a local farm
    that in it's earlier presence at
    the farmer's market would bring in
    a live Holstein cow for we concrete bound natives to pet and admire.

    Good wishes,

    Mike,of Mike & Kitt in Tin Pan Alley

  23. Hot and humid can be so very tiring but I have enjoyed walking around the market and seeing it through your eyes. One of those plants brought back memories of student days, I think we called it deers antlers, the one with the large, grey green antler shaped leaves.

    I love your knitting, the colours are gorgeous.

  24. What a great market. And all those lovely succulents ... I adore them but seem to have trouble getting nice ones here.

    Can't wait to see more of that knitting :)

  25. Frances, the roving reporter is back out and about. Splendid.

    A visit to an outdoor market with fresh produce from the farmers themselves, that’s delightful. How far do these farmers have to travel to get to the market? Somehow I can’t see ‘proper’ farms in NYC, but I may be wrong?

    Wandering trough a market is great fun, wherever you are. I enjoy it too; I also enjoy sniffing and admiring the produce for sale and am often tempted to buy more than I need.

    When you come I’ll take you to Ludlow Market. Small but perfectly formed and in a square surrounded by ancient buildings. Well? Tempted?

  26. I always try to do some knitting during the winter time (in my case, very simple muffler. Nothing fancy like your project!), but after winter, I just don't want to see or touch the wool!! But I wish you good luck with your project! :P

  27. Hello Frances, thanks for your comment on my NY post! We really loved our visit and i sea some things on your blog that i know:)I love that market, with a lot of plants. You live in a great city and we hope to visit it again in a few years,lovely bloggreetings

  28. Hello Frances Thank you for a lovely stroll round the farmer's market...despite the heat and humidity everything looked so fresh and colourful. It's so good to be able to enjoy a bit of the country in the city like this. Your new knitting is looking beautifully colourful too, I love the chevron stripes.
    I hope the weather settles down to just the right temperature for you, and that you have a lovely weekend.
    Helen x

  29. So looking forward to seeing you soon and visiting the green market together!
    Lots to tell you!


  30. What a beautiful post! Your corner of the world is one of my favorites. I have country views and city dreams. Loving your knit-in-progress--can't wait to see it finished. :)

  31. I like to wander around he markets, for the colours and home grown vegetables and fruits. I expect it looks even more attractive in your city.
    I have just bought a large tub of ice cream, to go with the first locally grown strawberries and English raspberries , a must for me. Of course our weather has taken a turn and now rain showers and much cooler, we have a fire again today.
    The knitting is very attractive, great colours . Wool and sticky weather not a good combination. We saw the sheep panting in the hot week, still wearing their fleece and must have been really suffering.
    Hope you find the time to walk and enjoy your park and other green areas. Enjoy your cool drinks and icecream. X

  32. Hi Frances,

    Thank you for your kind comments on my post. Hope you are well? Miss your posts!

    Madelief x

  33. What a beautiful piece of knitting, as colorful as flowers at the market.

  34. Thank you for visiting my blog while I was away. I enjoyed looking at your farmer’s market. Two weeks ago we were at the Ferry Building farmer’s market in San Francisco and I bought some luscious cherries. While we were away it must have rained as our planters look good and our basil has grown a lot. It will be another warm summer. I hope you will be able to get away on some trip.

  35. Popping back in to thank you for the book recommendations!