Sunday, August 31, 2008

Shadow Shot Sunday/24th Street

See Hey Harriet for other participants.

In order for construction debris not to fall on your head, they now put up swathes of this orange netting.
It looks rather glamorous in the sunlight.
This particular bit is outside Whole Foods on the corner of 7th Avenue and 24th Street.
Whole Foods is an excellent shop, but it is not cheap. Sometimes referred to as Whole Paycheck. Haha.

Orange is not my favorite color, but I'll have to get used to it since some shops have Halloween stuff in already, and I saw orange squash in the fields at the other end of Long Island.

Away from the orange the street is silvery gray.
They were cleaning the windows of the high school in anticipation of school opening on Tuesday.

A typical late summer scene.
How we savor these last days of summer.

Saturday, August 30, 2008


The city of Brotherly Love - in our case sisterly love since I was there with blogging friends.
For some reason it is the little details that catch my attention and make me want to record them. Here a doorstep from a row of little red brick houses built in the 18th century. They reminded me a lot of England.

A yellow window reflecting more of the little houses - there was lots of red, yellow and green somehow.

A quiet darker doorway with a dead vine which manages to look decoratif.

And the brightest window/wall/window box combo - so amazingly cheerful.

I like things which look a little battered and shabby-chic, or, I suppose, just plain shabby.............

More of the same...........

What on earth kind of soda is this? A picture taken on the wall of a whole house made of mosaics.

The gilding is coming off but rather lovely even so.........

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Woodstock was 40 years ago now. But its spirit lives on.
What was Woodstock about? Creativity, unfettered freedom of expression, music, people from all over coming together to do whatever felt right.
So nine women - OK not the huge numbers at Woodstock - came together like the Muses -see picture.
OK a bit like the muses - you get the idea ........Yes, we did dance!

But BLOGSTOCK..........came about through the blogosphere where we meet like minded people.......through the ether.
The internet wasn't available to us in 1969 - how we revel in things modern.
Karen gathered us bloggers together from
Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, Florida and Colorado to celebrate.................
EVERYTHING good and creative and fun.

This included (in no particular order)
friendship: for enjoying
nature: - for looking at. The bird watching was stunning - 2 kinds of woodpeckers, gold finches, cardinals, hummingbirds......
food: for eating yum yum - do not speak to me of Blogrolls
wine: for drinking - what else?!
water: for swimming
messiness:: from creating things gloriously
art for looking at - the house was full of delights but for MAKING too
color: for playing with
and so on and so forth......

We chatted a lot. Exchanged confidences and presents.
We did an art project which I'm sure will be better documented in other blogs soon.

Don't these pictures make it all look fun?
We felt like kindergartners utterly absorbed in the task at hand.........the only time we were quiet at all!
I wish you were all there.
Maybe soon all sorts of Blogstocks will spring up all over the country - and even the world - where Blogland is translated into the real world and we discover how much we have in common and how much we have to offer each other.
We were thinking Venice, Vienna, Morocco...........Australia, Malaysia wherever our friends are.........

Friday, August 22, 2008

59th Street Bridge

Because Manhattan is an island, bridges and tunnels are vital when one wishes to escape.
We were going to pick up a friend in Queens.
Take the 59th Street Bridge........
But it says the Queensborough Bridge.
That's what it's really called. OK. Finally things fall into place.

Much too much railing. But we are on the outer roadway.
Over Roosevelt Island where Robert's great aunt Barbara lived in a hospital for incurables in the 1920's. She wrote poetry.

Queens in the distance.......on the far side of the East River.

Everything on such a large scale.
A perfect blue day.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Bellport Pond

The deck sits above a slow moving creek that more resembles a pond.

A very quiet spot where the sky is reflected in the water.
There are lots of ducks who like eating cracked corn.

A good place to sit and contemplate..........anything............

The creek is very shallow and one can see the ducks under the water doing very fancy duck dives.

Not the house where we were staying but a very handsome house anyway.............

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Ferry To Fire Island

All this will be stale news to New Yorkers - so this post is for others. Fire Island is essentially a vast sandbar off the south coast of Long Island. There is one bridge but mostly you get out to the Atlantic beaches by ferry.

This 45 person capacity ferry crosses from Bellport in about ten minutes.
Everyone - except us who weren't warned - was well equipped with anti mosquito spray since, immediately on arrival, we were attacked by voracious hoards of bugs. Crossing the little island on the wooden walkway through the dunes was a torment.

The wooden walkway and beach roses. The red hips look cool in contrast to the pink flowers.

Deer tracks on the beach. Some people think the deer are a menace. I rather like them.
There was an elusive butterfly too. Every time I tried to take a photo of it it closed its wings.

The water was an unusually translucent turquoise..........
The people on the beach were really friendly. We were offered anti bug spray for the walk back by a young mother who was merrily spritzing her infant daughter. She said this particular spray was less toxic than most.
Hard to balance the lesser of all sorts of evils...........We doused ourselves anyway.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Reading List

Waiting for the ferry at Bellport Beach.......

This list came from Barbara of "Ramblings from an English Garden"
I'm going to add some notes.
The brackets on mine came up by mistake. I'm only dealing with READING.............
It seems pretty British in flavor but quite fun!
I have read 72 - and attempted a couple of the others and failed to get on with them. A very few I haven't even heard of.
Of course I haven't read every single word of Shakespeare or the Bible.
Maybe I'll give marks out of ten for each book.........then other people can tell me which other ones I should read......
These are the instructions if you want to put it on your blog.

1. Bold those you have read

2. Italicize those you intend to read

3. [Bracket] those you have viewed via movie, TV or theatre

1 [Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen]10

2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien

3 [Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte]10

4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling - only the first one

5 [To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee]10

6 The Bible 10

7 [Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte]9

8 [Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell]8

9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman 2 couldn't get into it

10( Great Expectations - Charles Dickens)10

11 [Little Women - Louisa M Alcott] 8

12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy 9

13 Catch 22 - Joseph Hell
er 6 Couldn't get into it

14 Complete Works of Shakespeare 10

15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier 10

16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien 2

17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks 8

18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger 10

19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger 2

20 [Middlemarch - George Eliot] 10

21 [Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell) 8

22 [The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald] 10

23 [Bleak House - Charles Dickens] 9

24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy 10+

25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 7

26 [Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh] 10

27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky 9

28 [Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck] 10

29 (Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll) 9 - looking glass is better

30(The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame) 9

31 [Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy] 10

32 [David Copperfield - Charles Dickens] 9

33 [Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis] 9

34 [Emma - Jane Austen] 10

35 [Persuasion - Jane Austen] 10

36 [The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis] 10 - surely same as above?

37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini - Thousand Splendid Suns even better 10

38 (Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres)

39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden

40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne 7

41 Animal Farm - George Orwell 7

42 (The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown ) 2
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez 10+

44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving 9

45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins 7

46 [Anneof Green Gables - LM Montgomery]

47 [Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy]6

48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood 10

49 [Lord of the Flies - William Golding] 8

50 Atonement - Ian McEwan 7

51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel

52( Dune - Frank Herbert) -walked out of movie!

53 [Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons) 10

54 [Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen] 9

55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth

56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon - never heard of it........

57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens 9

58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley 8

59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon 8

60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez 9

61 [Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck] 9

62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov 10

63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt 9

64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold

65 [Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas]

66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac

67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy 10

68 [Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding] 8 Fun. On same list as War and Peace?!!??

69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie

70 [Moby Dick - Herman Melville]

71 [Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens] 9

72 Dracula - Bram Stoker

73 [The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett] 9 (too many adverbs)

74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson

75 Ulysses - James Joyce - perfectly impossible for me to get through

76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath 10

77 ( Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome)

78 Germinal - Emile Zola

79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray 10+

81 [A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens] 9

82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell

83 [The Color Purple - Alice Walker] 8

84 [The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro] 9

85 [Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert] 10+

86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry

87 ( Charlotte’s Web - EB White) 9

88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom WHAT!!?

89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 10

90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton 7

91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad 8

92 [The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery]

93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks

94 (Watership Down - Richard Adams) 8

95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole 5

96 (A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute) 7

97 [The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas]

98 [Hamlet - William Shakespeare] 10

99 [Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl] 10

100 (Les Miserables - Victor Hugo)

My grades are very random.
Why no Kurt Vonnegut? Katherine Mansfield, D.H.Lawrence?
This is fun..........

Long Island Rail Road

The Long Island Rail Road is useful because it helps you get out of the city. As with any local commuter rail line, there is always lots to complain about. The most dreary thing currently are the huge number of people having not very interesting conversations at a million decibels. Fascinating people don't let you overhear them.
That said, I adore any trains.

Friday was very stormy and the buildings in Queens looked dramatic against the dark threatening sky.

A strange beauty in overhead wires.
And very green grass because this year has been so amazingly wet.

We see the world aslant from the train, and everything very quickly.
Since I'm a very nosy person, I like the little glimpses into other people's back gardens.

Long Island is horizontal, rather than vertical. Good back yard snooping there.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Pink Saturday

Pink Saturday is hosted by Beverly of How Sweet the Sound. See her blog for more details.

I think these are mallow but will stand corrected.Pink flowers as big as soup plates on the bike path along the Hudson Rover.

Note the Statue of Liberty in the far distance.

English Shop and Animals

Myers of Keswick in the West Village is quite an anomaly.
An utterly English village shop - circa 1956. Its main clientele are ex-pat Brits who crave Marmite, PG Tips, Weetabix and Ribena.
All awful staples of remembered English food which we buy, not particularly because of their wonderful taste, but because they remind us of childhood when such tastes are formed.

Note the patriotic tea towels and center stage display of Heinz baked beans. It is within walking distance of our apartment. I forgot to replenish our supply of Branston Pickles so an other trip is in order.

Right next door to Myers is a rather chic children's shop. Note striped camels.

Walking home along 9th Avenue, I see roosters in the window of the crepe cafe.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

DESK/ABC Wednesday

I was really moved by Mrs. Nesbitt's own post for ABC Wednesday where she talked about her Dad.
So for today I thought I would feature my desk which was not at all photo-ready.
In my desk you will find, daughter and dogs and dihrams (Moroccan money.)

On top of the desk sits my grandmother's French traveling clock which still works and pings merrily but does not record the actual time but whatever time it wishes. It stops and starts almost randomly and is very friendly. Behind the desk is R's most recent painting which contains flowers which is good since there aren't any flowers on the desk right now.

The last picture is in sepia which always seems to indicate history and nostalgia and all that sort of thing.
A history of my desk. It was made circa 1790 and is English country oak. It was bought in 1937 for 25 pounds sterling and given to my mother as a wedding present from her best friend's family.
I often wonder about who it must have belonged to through the Napoleonic wars and the Boer War and the First World War.
But I know it was from this desk that my mother wrote letters to my father during the Second.
I have known this desk all my life. It used to have a nice big blotter in the days people used proper ink.
The desk survived the journey to the US in 1990.
Now it is a repositary for all sorts of important stuff, and reminds me very much of my mother.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Bicycles and Battery Park

Our bikes leaning against a tree.
New York is becoming more bike friendly which is good with more bike lanes all over the place. We can get from 23rd St. across to the Hudson River Park without immediate danger to life and limb.
Our bikes are ancient, and we allow bumper stickers on them. Place specific like reading People Magazine only at the nail parlor, and drinking Hawaii at shwerma restaurants.

R's has Sponge Bob and 'Montauk:The End'. I have a Rocket Dog shoes sticker - reminds me of Skippy - and Amnesty International.

Tourists admiring the wide reaches of the harbor.
My mother, arriving on a ship from England for a visit circa 1983, said she cried when the ship's orchestra played Dvorjak's "New World" as they sailed in.

Lots of lines to wait on to catch the boat to Ellis Island. But lots to look at.

For some reason, they have never finished restoring the building to the right. Ten years and still not done but an architectural gem.
The memorial for the drowning people is sad.