Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Metropolitan Museum and Knickerbocker Hotel

What a painter, what energy, what verve - how very theatrical!

How the contemporary onlookers look so deadly dull.

A splendid Henry James afternoon in Venice. How the figures are disposed in light and dark.

Most of the visitors were between sixty and death

and fun to observe.


Nice to see lots of the paintings that are so famous gathered together in one place. I enjoyed this show more even than the over the top wonderful Chinese fashion one.

We had been waiting for The Knickerbocker Hotel to reopen on 42nd Street. Times Square is not really the part of New York I most enjoy  - tacky and touristy. However the hotel is wonderfully situated

to look down from the roof bar on the crowds below.

Then the bright lights come on

and the sun sets over New Jersey.

Indoors the bar is very chic and luxe.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Annual Robert Moses Beach Post

What celestial blues!

What a perfect day for the beach.

The water was ripply and delicious.

The life guards were suitably watchful.

The surfers were out

but the children had shallower bits to paddle in too.

Even the changing room was rather picturesque.

Again with more splendid blues, our friends Caitlin and Samuel Dowe-Sandes house in Morocco with their own tiles - and one of Robert's paintings in the dining room. In September's Elle Decor. See below.

Friday, July 31, 2015

A Trip to Staten Island

Wednesday was an astoundingly hot day so we decided to discover the beach on Staten Island.

A marvelously inexpensive outing  - $1.75 old person's subway fare with bus transfer. Free Staten Island ferry with wonderful views of Lower Manhattan and splendid cooling breeze. Huge sturdy boat with lots of room on it. Thoughts of Edna St Vincent Millay's Recuerdo - a lovely poem.

Dreadfully dull photo of the Statue of Liberty - it's right there.

Docking at Staten Island.

Bus to the beach which was large and pleasant but without waves and good for swimming.

Not the glorious sand of Robert Moses which is more complicated to get to. Most of the families there were local, I think, and had had the foresight to bring their own lunch and umbrellas.

The concession stand was manned only by a young boy and a grumpy grandpa - both overwhelmed by the heat. No, no what do you have? chicken tenders? I had a hot dog. Lunch $14.50 plus a tip.

Then a bus ride back to the ferry through the land time forgot. A hardware store straight from the 50's and maybe worth exploring. An abandoned hospital romantic and depressing in it's decay. Interesting to read about these splendid buildings which have very sad histories.

The Paramount has fallen on hard times.

Anyway, back on the ferry with the very green seats

the weary

and lots and lots of families.

We dock in Manhattan

Then take the subway home from South Ferry. Grand total for  the outing for two people $20 - and very good value it was too.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Summer in the City

The Malibu Diner on 23rd Street is very popular with the lunch crowd.

It's reliably packed and fulfills your every diner dream. Quick service, huge menu, coffee refills

doggy bags, TV, vast portions

desserts wrapped in cellophane - lots of neon lighting.

Our nephew James, visiting from England, declared the Philly cheese steak "Excellent".

From the West Side to the East Side - and the physical to the historical and spiritual. Here are windows from the wonderfully restored Eldridge Street Synagogue where my friend Roberta is a docent. I spent a fascinating afternoon there.

It's really amazing that this landmark was so very nearly lost. 

The stained glass is especially lovely as is the contemporary rose window filled with stars by Kiki Smith. 

It pelted with rain last Wednesday when I was up at the corner of 23rd St and 5th Avenue. Flash flood warnings etc. I got drenched. It was rather fun.
On a more cheery note

there are lots of flowers and herbs on the roof terrace which make splendid tiny arrangements.

Monday, July 6, 2015

4th July

A celebratory weekend!
The local diner has all sorts of suitable stuff on the windows.
See below

Eagle rather fierce and fireworks. Lady Liberty looking rather grim.

A nice flower arrangements and reflection on 9th Avenue.

The fireworks were on the East River this year so only a rather distant elegant view from the roof.

Fun anyway.

In real life this art installation in Madison Square Park is elegant and enchanting. In photos rather too complicated to digest. Basically it is cut out mirror shapes. Sort of makes your head spin.

This is looking up - reflecting the beige path below.

Finally beach roses at Union Square -they smell so very heady.
Happy summer.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Contrasts and Summer Reading

I'm neglecting this blog in favor of another one - which I'm not posting on either...
 The impetus to blog waning in favor of instagram which is so immediate and fun. I'm biffwix for anyone who's interested.

But in New York news... the first proper beach outing of the year to Robert Moses on the south shore of Long Island. Rather a contrast to the city.

Overcast day, chilly water - blissful space.

A striped bass was caught - not by us - and was thrown back for being four inches too short. Hooray!

Beach wonderful.

Times Square not so wonderful.....

Lots of construction, Fox News on monitor. Cheery traffic person...Everything bright, shiny, tawdry...

and seemingly stripy. 
I continued up West 44 th Street through the theater district.

This serious, calm fellow was in

the hallway of the New York Bar Association. Very old school New York - ornate, heavy, built to last, frumpy, frowsy and so very much more to my taste than tacky Times Square.

Nearer home a slight disaster with one of our tree pits... an unfortunate U-turn by a truck.

 The flowers on the terrace are doing fine.

On the theme of contrasts, I've been lucky enough to live in all sorts of places - some of which I enjoyed more than others- and of course, I've written about most of them.
 I loved living in Morocco - would go back there in a flash if it wasn't for the grandchildren - so spent part of last cold winter uploading my notes from those days into a very small book The Little House on Derb Djedid available on Amazon or Kindle.

Rather a lot about cats and food... and what an adventure it was.

The very first place I lived in America - a very long time ago - was Los Angeles. I found California overwhelming and bizarre - and interesting. My little LA memoir is available here

So, if you need any light reading for the beach, both books are available in paperback or for Kindle.
Happy reading!