Sunday, July 26, 2015

City Views, Country Dreams

Good afternoon from New York.

Yesterday, while out doing my Saturday morning errands, I noticed that another phase of the neighborhood street repaving was underway.

As the approaching midday sun began to heat up Broadway's surfacing, a team of yellow-green vested workers were freshening up the markings that we pedestrians are encouraged to use while crossing intersections.

While this fascinating striping was underway, the crosswalk path was barricaded, so we pedestrians had to take our chances, hoping that oncoming vehicles had drivers familiar with their vehicles' brakes.

In the above photograph you can see the delicate yellow caution tape that was stretched across the work site.

I was able to safely cross the street and continue on my way home.

This morning, I set out for a little neighborhood Sunday farmers market.  It was great to see the fruits of yesterday's laborers, indicating a safe pathway across Broadway.

Although I did not take a photograph of myself, let the record show that I was wearing a linen sweater featuring broad horizontal black and white stripes.

Perhaps I have always had a fondness for graphic design.  The next photo shows a view of the giant faux boulders and stony flower pots placed to protect pedestrians from danger while they wait for the flashing green Walk sign.

Having reached the safer side of the boulders, I took a photograph of a southern view, looking downtown at the space where Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue briefly mesh.  You can see that those stripe-painting fellows still have more cross walks to add.

I like the graphic design of the traffic sign posted on the traffic light.  It's definitely a tricky intersection that will benefit from fresh stripes.

I glanced down to see a charming chalk sign drawn on Broadway...presumably during a very quiet time of the day or evening.

Continuing on my way to the farmers market, I passed by an entrance way to the 72nd Street subway station, and was struck by the mix, or even jumble, of architecture on display.  You might also notice the stainless steel (perhaps) sculpture that resembles a room divider.

Here's a closer view of that sculpture.  I admit that I did not stop to read the little sign on the metal fencing.  The sign names the sculptor.  Perhaps I will take the time another time.

Passing by the other entrance way to the same subway station, I encounter Verdi Square.

This little patch of greenery is now very, very overgrown.  All the same, it's always good to have some shade trees.

The branches of these trees, surrounding the Museum of Natural History, were whooshing about in a welcome breeze.

Lots of hydrangeas, lilies and shrubbery are part of the plantings around the Museum.

Indeed, this green space is a designated city park.

There are lots of benches, and a dog walking space, too.

Finally reaching the farmers market, I glanced up to see more trees catching the breeze from the rooftop of a nearby building.

Most of the farmers seemed to be offering summer fruits, but at last I found a stand that also featured some vegetables.  I found perfectly ripe tomatoes, tender green beans and some beautiful zucchini.

Although I was tempted to buy some ears of corn, on this visit I was content to take a photograph of the ample supply of available corn.  You can also see the bushel baskets of corn waiting for ... I am not sure what ... at the curbside.

Perhaps those baskets had been set aside for a neighborhood restaurant that was going to send along a cab to pick them up.

There are often these sorts of little mysteries to be found amid daily city views.  Thank you all for your visits and comments.  It's a true pleasure to share a bit of this city with you, week by week.  
How is it possible that we have almost reached the end of July?

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

City Views, Country Dreams

Hello from New York on a cloudy afternoon.

Last week and this week, I have had some extra vacation days off from work, and had planned to spend a fair amount of time outdoors, taking my camera along.

I'd wanted to show you some early July city views of sunny days in New York. These particular views are along Fifth Avenue.

I'd planned to also search out my first, and even second and third, ice cream cone of the season.

I regret to report that for most of last week's time off, I was laid low by a classic summer cold.  This did allow me to spend idle time indoors watching many excellent Wimbledon tennis matches on television.  

I drank lots of water and slept a lot.  I recovered in time to return to work at the weekend...and once again felt ill.  I resumed the water and rest cure and, and am beginning to feel better again.

Last evening was an opportunity, had the clouds not been so thick, to view the sunset phenomenon known as Manhattan Henge, when the setting sun aligns with the centers of certain east-west crosstown streets.

I left the recuperation center of my apartment to try to take some photographs of Manhattan Henge for you all, but think I should have left home just a tad earlier.

 All the same, as long I had my camera with me, I thought I would still take a few evening photographs of various vistas to be seen as the sun set.

There continues to be quite a bit of construction going on around town, and some of the new buildings do have interesting shapes.

Cranes fascinate me, but I am wary of walking very near them.

The evening sky's blue is reflected in many of the glass clad towers.  I am glad not to live or work in any of them.

These next photographs are mysterious views of various hard-working men and machines doing some much needed resurfacing work along Amsterdam Avenue.  After last winter's snow and ice, many potholes emerged.  A July night seems a good time to do some repairing.

Caution tape warned pedestrians to alter their route.  Vehicles other than the repair crew's vehicles were also banned.  I do love the deep blue violet of the sky.

The above photograph is bleary action shot to prove that lots of action was occurring.  The following photograph shows a bit more clearly how men and machines were teaming up to get the job done.

Back home, I wanted to share with you all some of my summer reading choices.  I usually read lots of novels, but in recent weeks have been enjoying some non-fiction.

Landmarks, by Robert Macfarlane, was recommended by Annie Cholewa, over at her brilliant site    Annie has excellent taste, and I was quite delighted to discover that my fabulous library did indeed have this UK publication available. If you are a fan of landscape and have ever tried to find words to describe favorite landscapes, I am sure that you will enjoy Mr Macfarlane's book.

Having recently greatly enjoyed reading Lucy Boston's children's book, The Children of Green Knowe, I was delighted to discover that my library's stacks also included Memory in a House, Ms Boston's memoir of time spent in the house that came to serve at the setting for many of her books.  I was amused to notice the Two Pound price on the dust jacket of this 1973 Bodley Head edition.

Somewhere Towards the End, by Diana Athill, is a very interesting book to read as I continue to find my own pathway towards another milestone birthday.  I am very glad that a dear friend loaned her copy of the memoir to me.

And, before I find my wandering way to the end of this catch up post, I wanted to show you that I continue to make progress on the current fair isle knitting project.  I am almost up to the point at which I will have do more calculations and diagrams to show me how to properly shape the front and back armholes where the sleeves will be inserted, and contemplate the gradual shaping of the shawl collar.

So far I am pleased at the way that the colors are flowing.

I'm also pleased to see from my window that the clouds that brought a brief shower seem to be clearing.  My most recent summer cold symptoms also seem to be clearing.  I just might have to venture out a bit later this afternoon to see the results of last night's neighborhood road maintenance work.

Thank you all for your visits and comments.  It's a pleasure to share New York with you.