Wednesday, March 29, 2017

City Views, Country Dreams

Good evening from New York.

The calendar tells us that Spring has officially arrived.  We have reset our clocks to Daylight Saving Time.  March is just about to yield to April.  

In some ways, time has seemed to move quickly.  In other ways, as I have continued the healing process after my fall in late February, time has been measured not in days or weeks, but rather in intervals between applications to my forehead of my makeshift ice packs.  I have seen my facial bruising patterns change colors, perhaps mimicking the aurora borealis.  My lacerated finger has had its stitches removed, and I have heard the hand specialist doctor tell me I could stop using Neosporin and no longer need to use non-stick gauze pad bandaging.  He advised me to keep moving the injured finger.

Even as these gradual improvements were taking place, I admit to retaining a certain sense of fragility.  When I ventured out for neighborhood errands, I was extra careful to watch where I was headed and to check the streets and sidewalk surfaces for dangerous uneven areas.  I never before was so wary.

It's been cold and I have spent lots of time indoors, reading 

several good books and lots of articles from The New Yorker,

or knitting, 

or watching Congressional hearings regarding either the Russian investigations or the questioning of various Presidential appointments to his Cabinet.  I haven't been to any more marches or rallies, but have been keeping up regular email correspondence with my elected governmental representative.

I've had the pleasure of getting together with old friends for lunches and phone calls.  On days with temperatures above freezing it has been a pleasure to take some walks in Central Park.

Some time has also been devoted to doing a draft of my Federal and also my New York State and Local taxes.  Naps have been part of the healing regimen.

Finally, today's bright sunshine broke into a recent pattern of damp, grey, cold days.  It was time to take the subway downtown to Union Square to replenish my apple supplies and to see if any flowers might be on offer.

How grand to discover quite a colorful selection was available at several of my favorite stands.

I'm showing you all just a small sampling of the flowers I saw.

If I had some sort of garden space, or terrace, or some such area to give plants a chance, I suspect that I would make many purchases at this time of year.

However, my small apartment has no garden or terrace.

I do have several windows, but they provide what might be termed limited sunlight, definitely not full light.  The larger windows also have at their bases steam radiators.

And so, even when I admire displays such as those I saw today at Union Square, I limit myself to very minor purchases.

Part of the fun of visiting the green market at this time of the year, is seeing what other folks are selecting and vicariously sharing their enthusiasm for the season's potential.

Today, I bought this pretty potted primrose and also a small rosy red ranunculus plant.  It is my hope to keep the duo alive and in bloom until late April  We shall see.

It has now been a year since I retired.  I have thoroughly enjoyed having made this change in my life and am now looking forward to adding even more interests to my already full days.

Blogging may remain intermittent, but I don't want to give it up altogether.  I so appreciate our community, and as always, thank you all for your visits and comments.  See you soon!

Friday, March 10, 2017

City Views, Country Dreams

Good afternoon from New York.

When I look out my window, I notice that the morning's big floppy snow flakes have now yielded to very fine snow.  The sky is brightening, too.

Thank you all for your kind response to my previous post.  I am pleased to report that I am steadily recovering from my fall.

Yesterday was sunny and unseasonal in its warmth.  A friend and I had plans to visit the Morgan Library.  It was to be my first such day out for pleasure, not merely accomplishing a required errand.

As I was having my oatmeal and tea breakfast, I followed my routine of listening to BBC Radio London via the laptop.  It's fun to have this vicarious London visit at the beginning of my day.  However, yesterday's news of the death of a favorite artist, Howard Hodgkin, at age 84, definitely saddened me.  As a small remembrance, I took this photo of a postcard I bought at London's National Portrait Gallery many years ago.  The postcard is placed on top of the cover of the current issue of The New Yorker magazine that features a scene from an art gallery opening.

I now understand that the NPG will be exhibiting a Howard Hodgkin retrospective this spring.  I would like to see that show, as well as quite a few others that are on a late winter/early spring schedule.

However, yesterday I went to see the marvelous Emily Dickinson exhibit at the Morgan.  I admit to not being as familiar with ED's work as I would now with to be.  My introduction to her genius has arrived via the beautifully poetic blog post Merisi's Vienna for Beginners.  I definitely recommend this site to you all.

The current exhibit is in a medium-sized gallery space on the second floor. reached by a glass-walled elevator.  Entering the door to the gallery takes one into Dickinson's 1800s era in New England.

I took a few photographs to give you an idea of the quiet, yet thrilling atmosphere of the exhibit.  The above photo is in Dickinson's mature handwriting, and the following photo of the adjacent label tells of her interest in another poet.  Please forgive my not quite centering the photo of the label...I'll blame my bandaged finger.

Another section of the exhibit features a digital slide show of the poet's herbarium, which clearly indicates her close observation and desired connection to nature.

Here is a photo of just one page from the slide show.  In a protective glass case next to the slide show device is the precious herbarium itself, open to one page.  I decided to rely on the digital pictures for my own photographs. 

I would recommend this exhibit to any of you all who love poetry.

I would also recommend settling into the sunlit atrium cafe on the Morgan Library's main floor.  My friend Elizabeth and I decided to each order the extravagance of the Morgan Tea.  It was delicious!

The "new" extension to the Morgan is a well-designed three-story space.  Through a doorway, one may also enter the original Library building which is also a must see.  

Mr Morgan's actual library is quite luxurious.  Even the huge carpet is beautiful.  In this current age of billionaires who do not always practice philanthropy, it's interesting to contemplate how it is that we mere ticket holders can visit what was once one man's library.

Quite a hearth and quite a tapestry.  Morgan's office also contains some precious paintings.  The link to the Library's site that I have provided above will give those interested much more information.

It was a great pleasure to join a good friend for such a day of cultural treats.  It was easy for me to reach the Morgan via the subway...just two stops away, plus a very short walk.

I'm looking forward to being able to share more city views with you all very soon.  There is so much to see!

Friday, March 3, 2017

City Views, Country Dreams

Good evening from New York.

As February has given the stage over to March, I would like to thank all of you who have left comments on my prior post, and to present a bit of a catch up.

After the February snow was cleared away, our weather warmed up, and it was a pleasure to take some walks in Central Park.

Not many flowers besides snowdrops and aconites were blooming.

On Sunday afternoons it was fun to observe international fashions while strolling along a pathway by the lake.  Ducks swam in the lake.  

Meanwhile, I'd also been knitting, keeping up with current news developments, conferring with friends, calling and writing to my elected governmental officials, and participating in rallies and marches.  Those of you all who visit my instagram page will be able to see a video I filmed at a rally a few weeks ago.

Last Sunday, I participated in a rally and march to honor Freedom of the Press.  The rally began at the HQ of the New York Times, and then the group continued over to the Fox Network's News Corporation building and then walked over to NBC's Rockefeller Center HQ.  

Each of the rallies in which I have participated have been friendly gatherings.  When I left last Sunday's demonstration, I decided to walk home.  It was a sunshiny day and I enjoy walking.

Fate intervened.  I stumbled on an uneven patch of sidewalk and had a hard fall. My forehead struck the sidewalk with a sound I will always remember.  My right hand struck metal grating that delivered a two inch laceration to my right hand.  I am thankful to be left-handed and to be able to type this post.  Gentlemen working at a nearby Halal food cart immediately came to my assistance.  They helped me up, poured bottled water over my bleeding finger, wrapped that finger in a mass of paper napkins, and flagged down a taxi that took me to the emergency room of Mount Sinai Roosevelt Hospital.

My hand was x-rayed, treated and sewn together with eight neat stitches.  My poor noggin received a CAT scan.  It was determined that it was safe for me to go home.  And so I did, via another cab.

Since then, I have been quite a homebody, taking required antibiotics, regularly applying my friendly ice pack, and changing the bandage on my finger every morning.  I visited my primary care doctor on Tuesday, and will see a "hand specialist" doctor on Monday.  It has been so weird to watch the migration of colors across my face.  Sort of Francis Bacon meets Lucian Freud.

The actual pain has been minimal, and I took only one of the prescribed pain relief tablets.  My friends have rallied to my assistance, yet so far I have found I'm able to handle my reduced daily requirements.  On Wednesday, March 1, I began this year's Lenten chocolate fast.

I found an old, long unused, pair of large black sunglasses that I've been wearing whenever I leave my apartment...even to check my mailbox in the building's lobby.  Would not want to frighten my fellow tenants.  The building staff have been very helpful to me

A few weeks ago, I bought a large pot of hyacinth bulbs, and it has been a comforting pleasure to watch the flowers come into full bloom, bringing their delicate scent.  Today I snipped off the final two stems, and placed them in this pretty little cup, given to me some years ago by two artist friends.  I think this picture is a happy image with which to end this post.

I'm greatly looking forward to regaining full use of my right hand, and to setting aside my ice pack.  I miss reading, drawing, knitting, but am still able to keep track of developing news.

Again, many thanks to you all for your visits and comments. I hope to be catching up on your recent posts very soon.