Saturday, June 24, 2017

City Views, Country Dreams

Good afternoon from New York.

As the end of June grows closer, and summer's heat and humidity have indeed arrived in New York, I admit to having become an even lazier blogger.  Before July actually shows up, I'm determined to show you all some city views.

My favorite NYC farmers market is the one in Union Square, and it has finally come into its glorious summertime bounty.  Flowers and produce displays grow more marvelous every week.

Another June feature is rain, even thunderstorms.  Sometimes the downpours coincide with farmers market days, and keep me indoors.  Sometimes the weather is perfect, just like the strawberries in the following photo.

On rare cooler days, I continue to work on a current knitting project, a tubular fair isle cowl destined for eventual inclusion in my shop.  The colors are cooling, even if the wool yarn is not!

Something else that has been taking my waking time is my recent return to oil painting after a sixteen year break.  I have begun trying to rescue a painting I abandoned back then.  Within the first few hours of sitting at my old easel, I realized how much I have missed painting.

Pleasant weather has also added opportunities to get together with friends.  There have been lots of lunches and museum visits and walks in Central Park. 

I've been reading quite a bit, and would recommend two recently finished novels, Transit by Rachel Cusk and Cold Earth by Ann Cleeves.  Keeping up with constantly changing current events and writing and calling my elected government representatives has also been a regular activity. 

There have been lots of walks around my West Side neighborhood.  My smart phone keeps track of my walking mileage, and I am sometimes surprised to discover how many miles I have walked!  Always wearing sunscreen, as I dutifully follow the advice of my excellent dermatologist.  A recent semi-annual skin cancer check up received the "your skin looks fine" verdict and I rejoiced.

On Sundays, another farmers market takes place along the Columbus Avenue sidewalk behind the Museum of Natural History.  It's a short walk for me, and a fine alternative to the much larger Union Square market that requires a subway ride.

Delicious tomatoes have finally appeared.  Cauliflower looks grand, too.  Actually, just about all the summer produce is now on display.  Cherries, zucchini, varieties of peas and beans, lettuces...the works!

On a recent hot Sunday afternoon walk home from the farmers market, I encountered a sweet little kitty who wandered onto the hot sidewalk in front of its home, offering me a warm greeting.  

However, realizing just how hot that concrete sidewalk was, the little kitty gracefully retreated toward a shadier spot.

On another sunny afternoon, I left my oil painting, to take a walk around the neighborhood, and passed by Lincoln Center, discovering this rather wonderful oversized ballerina sculpture had been installed in Dante Park.

The sculptor (whose name I did not discover) clearly was having fun with inspiration from Degas.  This ballerina seemed to be wishing she could be on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House, along with the American Ballet Theater company.

Or was she perhaps gazing at the ice cream truck parked right in front of the Lincoln Center Plaza?

One late afternoon this past week, NYC's commuting home hour was also the time for a series of very fierce storms to pass through the metropolitan area.  Lots and lots of strong rain and wind.  The following morning was a gorgeous sight as I walked across Central Park to meet a friend at the Met Museum.  After viewing a very interesting exhibit of ancient Chinese art, we had lunch at a Park cafe terrace and then walked a bit.  That was when I saw the above scene.  One of the grand old willow trees by the Lake had toppled over during the storm.  It will be interesting to discover how the Parks Department will handle this fallen beauty.

I am hoping that this long overdue blog post will give you all an idea of what else has been going on around here.  I will leave you all with this view of the progress that I have been making on rescuing my old painting.  I think it is almost done, but want to let it rest for a while.  (Hot summer days can also encourage painters to take naps!)

As always, thank you all for your visits and lovely comments.  I realize that I owe you all many visits and will be trying to catch up with commenting on your summer posts.