Monday, June 30, 2008

From the Roof

Robert took these pictures the other day from the roof of our building. I can always rely on him to see the world a little differently than I do. In fact he uses some of his photos as jumping off places for his pictures. Take your own pictures and turn them into super calendars  . They make excellent gifts too!

Anyway, looking east you can see the Chelsea Hotel - a most bizarre and interesting place. Sort of down at heels and dumpy and the scene of all sorts of weirdness.

From above, you can see the abstract patterns the crosswalks and the taxis make. I'm always glad I don't drive in New York. Mostly I take the bus or walk. We have retrieved our bikes from our son's house. Maybe we will try out the relatively new bike path down the side of 8th Avenue.

The green umbrella belongs to the man who sells fruit and vegetables. 4 bananas for a dollar. Just now he has good blueberries.
But I do miss the fruit in Morocco and am astounded by the prices of food here - especially bread.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Shadow Shot Sunday

This is my week's entry for Hey Harriet's Shadow Shot Sunday. See her super blog for details, collages, her fun pictures of a seagull and links to other Shadow Shotters.
I was on my way to a swanky lunch yesterday with an elusive blogger and was walking through Madison Square Park when I came upon this enchanting barefoot child playing beneath the shadowy trees.

Friday, June 27, 2008

A virtual Tea Party

Vanessa of A Fanciful Twist had a wonderful idea. A virtual mad tea party. See her blog for all the bloggers joining the fun.
Who wouldn't want to come?

The art of the tea party is not lost on the English. 4pm.
The Menu
Cucumber sandwiches cut rather thin, crusts removed
Scones with butter and clotted cream and strawberry jam
A Victoria sponge cake - more cream - a light dusting of icing sugar on top.
Earl Grey tea, of course, milk or lemon to suit.

The Table Setting

A "Brown Betty" teapot - silver is pretty but doesn't make the best tea.
A collection of bone china cups collected over the years including Wedgewood and Spode.
The roses in a lusterware jug my mother once loved.

The Guest List
You, of course, and all my other blogging chums but since it's in the virtual world, it might be fun to invite a group of women writers -
Jane Austen ( of course)
Nancy Mitford
Katherine Mansfield
Kaye Gibbons
not too many people because they'd all have lots to say.......
What fun it would be.
Who would you ask?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Bridges, a Tunnel and Storage

One of the dreary sides of modern life is the accumulation of stuff.
By stuff I mean books and linens and photographs and notebooks and sketches.
Where to put it? In storage of course.
Our storage locker was on Long Island and when we went to collect it we had to leave Manhattan.

The Midtown tunnel is exciting - rather like a very very long men's room - all that white tile........

Where to take all the stuff when we had emptied the locker? Rockland County which meant crossing the Throgs Neck Bridge and then the Tappan Zee Bridge...........which gave us an amazing view over the Hudson River. In Rockland County we loaded up with more, different junk, which we had stored at our son's house.

On the way back to Manhattan we crossed the George Washington Bridge with its bold architecture.

The apartment is now full of bicycles and boxes and once familiar objects, now new again.
I rather wish that things were like food and got really moldy and had to be thrown away - instead of mildly smelly.
But how can one possibly dispose of one's childrens' art work?
One's great grandparents' editions of Dickens?
It's very hard trying to become a minimalist.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Green Thoughts in a Green Shade

Penn South - a development of tower blocks -was created in the 1960's to replace slums south of PennStation.
It's quite unusual in that several of the streets actually curve........and between the buildings are all sorts of gardens.

On 25th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues, are community gardens. Little plots with flowers and vegetables.
Yesterday we were invited in to admire the lilies.

and the lavender............ an American robin was helping himself to almost-ripe cherries.

I wish I could add the smell of the lilies to the blog.
I thought of Andrew Marvell's Garden.
See an extract below.

What wond'rous Life in this I lead!
Ripe Apples drop about my head;
The Luscious Clusters of the Vine
Upon my Mouth do crush their Wine;
The Nectaren, and curious Peach,
Into my hands themselves do reach;
Stumbling on Melons, as I pass,
Insnar'd with Flow'rs, I fall on Grass.

Mean while the Mind, from pleasure less,
Withdraws into its happiness:
The Mind, that Ocean where each kind
Does streight its own resemblance find;
Yet it creates, transcending these,
Far other Worlds, and other Seas;
Annihilating all that's made
To a green Thought in a green Shade.

Monday, June 23, 2008

By the Water

It is easy to forget that Manhattan is an island - it's so very urban. It is quite easy to ignore the water altogether.
The other day we walked down to the Hudson River where all sorts of building is going on.
For so long the dock areas were neglected and even scary - now they are getting very swanky indeed.

The tall sails of the boats are set against the tall wire cages of the golf driving range.

The motor boat has a wonderful name: The Moroccan Queen.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Shadow Shot Sunday and a Street Fair

Venetian blinds..........

.......and the laundry basket.

A Street Fair on 8th Avenue.
All the usual sort of things - the best is the Asian backrubs $10 for 10 minutes.
The little dog reminded me a bit of the late great Skippy.

A bad photo but always rather exciting to walk down the middle of what is usually a very busy road.
Have a lovely Sunday.
We are going up the Hudson to help our son work in his garden.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

8th & 9th and a Book Recommendation

American Apparel on 8th Avenue - a glittery skirt for a youthful figure.

Some hats on sale at the shoe repair shop.

Some sort of error made the sky yellow which is fun. I'm sure the hip-hop guy in his cool red sweat suit would agree.

9th Avenue is altogether more sedate.
A bench to sit on outside a cup cake shop.

A real cat in the vet's window is calm and collected while the poster dog looks frantic. Good summaries of catness and dogness

Book Recommendation:
this book will save your life by
A wonderful, warm-hearted, spot- on critique of contemporary society. Set mostly in LA. Very funny, but touching too.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Looking Up

Went for a walk yesterday afternoon in west Chelsea towards the Hudson. a brilliant blue sky and lovely white clouds.
Manhattan is pretty much a vertical city - so one inevitably looks up.
Here the cross streets of 10th Avenue and 24th.

This new building is going to have an elevator inside so people can bring their CARS up to their floor with them.
I'm not quite sure what to make of this - except to think some people must have absurd amounts of money. They will also have views of the Hudson River.

A wonderful modern building - all glass and reflections.
Yesterday west New York was in the direct flight path to LaGuardia or maybe Kennedy.

Blue skies over 11th Avenue in the gallery district.

The Good Humor man - with traditional truck and uniform.
Too hard to resist.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


I'm sure all of you who work at home or are remotely creative know the drill.
There are so many things that prevent one from actually getting down to work.
There is the standard cup of tea..........

............the sofa to sit on............

..........the early morning light falling just so. Robert's drawings of people in Djemma elFna above........

His table waiting for him him to get to work. He is much more disciplined than me.

As a last resort one can look out of the window. I do that a lot.
At about 7 yesterday evening there was a rainbow behind the Empire State Building.

From the side window, I can look down at people on the little path that runs between 23rd and 24th Streets.
I can write blogs. I can do all sorts of things.
What do you do when trying to avoid writing - or whatever it is you think you ought to be doing?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Green New York

Of course New York is a lot about buildings - how could it not be?
But if one is determined there are all sorts of places where green creeps in. One place is the Green Market in Union Square.
Needless to say, you have to go there early before it is totally swamped by crunchy-granola - Birkenstock foodies and their dogs and strollers etc etc.
Looking at culinary herbs always makes me ambitious.......basil and rosemary are staples.....

Sweet peas only have a very brief window - but they do smell gorgeous.

I envy people who can plant perennials in the city. Oh for delphiniums. Odd that blue is a color your really have to work to get in a garden.
Yellow and pink arrive almost by themselves.

Walking home down 24th Street, I admire a rather unusual hydrangea. There is a wonderful shade garden there, obviously planted by someone who knew what he/she was doing.

At home the usual urge to make still lives.......though the bananas and lemons didn't come from the green market itself but have been imported from somewhere.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Under Construction/Renovation

Needless to say, I have been doing a lot of walking about.
What I've noticed is that lots of buildings are being fixed up one way or another.
This one is on 5th Avenue around 20th Street. I like the idea that the drop cloth is pretending to be the building itself.
A useful idea.

Two more pictures of the same building...............

Of course, in view of what's been happening lately, one feels a little wary of the cranes..........but they are fun to take pictures of.

This construction is in Union Square. The billowing plastic a contrast to all the green plants below.
New York is always renewing itself.