Sunday, May 31, 2009

20th Street

I went out for a walk early yesterday morning
 in search of Shadows for ShadowShotSunday.

I peered through the iron railings into the gardens of the
 General Seminary
 where for a little while I was a volunteer gardener.
I looked at the other side of the street.

Morning light, railings. Yes, shadows there.

And the old roses on the Seminary railing......

And the leaves of the virginia creeper.

Shadows almost too intricate and complicated....

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Billy's Bakery

9th Avenue and 21st Street

How engaged and mildly cheerful the workers are in the
 window of Billy's Bakery in Chelsea.  Not a bad sort of job
 really. Decorating cup cakes used to be a very popular
 activity at our children's birthday parties

Recipe for cupcakes from memory:


The weight of two eggs in butter and sugar
I teaspoon warm water
a pinch of salt
a dash of vanilla
4 oz. of self raising flour.


Cream butter and sugar
add egg beating carefully add salt and vanilla
add water
fold in sifted flour

Bake for 25 minutes at 350' 

Something a little self-consciously retro about Billy's
 but charming nonetheless.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Mysterious Night and Wet Morning

 A poem for a wet Friday

Acquainted with the Night
by: Robert Frost
I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain -- and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.

I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,

But not to call me back or say good-bye;
And further still at an unearthly height,
O luminary clock against the sky

Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
I have been one acquainted with the night.

This morning was wet.
Had to take the dog out anyway.
Hope everyone has a lovely weekend.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

An Essay about Nothing with Red Details

Few New Yorkers object to having their photos taken.
I almost always ask first.
23rd Street

A scene on 6th Avenue. The tourists had just had their photo
 taken by the young passerby who was returning the camera.
 They had posed in front of the Bolt Bus.

Ah, the iconic Obama image by Sheperd Fairey has spawned a zillion imitations.
Here one dear to my heart.

A gallery on 23rd Street has a painted floor
 and an almost pink New York Times

How bloggerish to record lunch.

And a carpet at a friend's house.

Not to mention a plate with peas on it that seems to smile.
The tea pot looks quite friendly too.

The Holy Apostles' Garden on 9th Avenue
has fairly infrequently seen red aquilegia.


How small the people on the other side of the track look
with the red stripe over their heads.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Lists of Books

The other day the estimable Bee posted a wonderful book list. It made me think I wanted to write a list too. This should have been fun, instead it consumed a greater part of my walking-the-dog-time when I didn't have a pencil handy. I was glad  Bee's bookshelf was messy; I think the shelves of those greedy for books often are. I have omitted most books she mentions.

Herewith a short selection of books that popped into my mind
 highbrow and lowbrow all tumbled together.

Historical Stuff

Nightmare Abbey by Thomas Love Peacock
I, Claudius by Robert Graves
Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
Slaughter House Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Austerlitz by W.G Sebald

Good Read Women Writers

Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson
Frost in May by Antonia White
Once in a House on Fire by Andrea Ashworth
The Balkan Trilogy by Olivia Manning
This Book Will Save Your Life by A.M.Homes

Famous Books I have Not Managed to Read
(either tried and gave up or didn't get to yet....)

As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
Moby Dick by Herman Mellville
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig
Ulysses by James Joyce
Thus Spake Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche

Trashy Books that Were Wonderful

Princess Daisy by Judith Krantz
The Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
Sorrell and Son by Warwick Deeping
The Other Side of Midnight by Sidney Sheldon

People Who Know How to Write Short Stories

M.R. James
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Katherine Mansfield

Books to Make You Laugh

The Diary of a Nobody by George and Wheedon Grossmith
Naked by David Sedaris
Stephen Leacock
Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome
One Pair of Feet by Monica Dickens

Books I Loved as a Child

The Singing Tree by Kate Seredy
Half Magic by Edward Eagar
The Black Riders by Violet Needham
Five Children and It by E.Nesbit
The Bell Family by Noel Streatfield

This is quite long enough for a blog post.
Please write and tell me what you would have added.....

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Cultural Heritage: Bohemian Beer Garden, Queens

All good New York journeys begin on the subway...

where I spy a Bohunk heading to Queens in search of beer. 
(You can recognize them by their large hands.)

Astoria Boulevard has shadows for Shadow Shot Sunday.

You can tell we are entering central Europe by the bar signs...

and the oompah band

and little girls in lovely costumes

and lots of people eating pork and sauerkraut and dumplings
and poppy seed cake
and dancing....

and drinking Pilsner Urquell or even water.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Friday Windows and Reflections

Peonies at Union Square. Yum. 
I cannot think why I didn't buy them.

A very shiny tasteful window display at ABC Carpet on Broadway.

A very shiny untasteful window display at a clairvoyant's on 20th Street.
What's this with clairvoyants anyway?
Note the reflection of the psychic traffic cone....

In keeping with the clairvoyant theme, this window
 had sort of ectoplasm in it -- or a sheet.....

Between 5th and 6th Avenues.
Almost chartreuse.

Friday, May 22, 2009


For some reason things look more rectangular in the early
 evening when the sun is setting and the light is falling on the
 sides of buildings. What a lot of small windows there are.

Toy cars from above.
On 24th Street they go white, yellow, red, black.

Quite a lot of stripes.

This could almost be a castle. The bit on the top has a Norman look.

The building in the middle is almost finished.
The jury is out on this golden tower.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Collections of Things

This is a guessing game. I took this picture this morning on my way
 to the dog park. 22nd Street between 10th and 11th Avenues.
Lots of swanky art galleries.....
I will put the answer* in small writing at the bottom of the post.

These suitcases were outside the Chelsea Hotel.
But why are they so old fashioned?
Why don't they have little wheels?
Do you think they smell nice?
(No answers to these questions).

Guitars. Yes, you guessed right.

A collection of heirloom tomatoes.
Do they taste better or worse than regular tomatoes?
I will have to try some. 

*Bottles of Poland Spring water lying on their side. Not art. Maybe art.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

An Old Fashioned Sort of Day

Such gadgets they give you on iphoto. Although these photos
 were taken yesterday and the day before how easy it is to give
 them that retro look. The chair outside the clairvoyant's
 shop certainly looks as if its better days are over .
23rd Street.

I really hate clowns. I don't find them funny at all.
I didn't ask this young man why he had dressed himself
up like one on a sunny Tuesday morning though he was 
quite happy to have his photo taken.
9th Avenue and 24th Street.

This dapper dude --  hat, crease in pants and  shiny vest --
makes the rest of us look pretty sloppy.

Northport on Long Island has a distinctly retro feel to it.
The Sweetshop still makes its own ice cream.
Vintage neon next door to the Sweetshop.