Thursday, September 29, 2011

Penn Station

I don't think the pigeon has anywhere in particular to go.

but he likes to keep on top of things.

At 7:48 there are a lot of wage slaves rushing about

and one man looking Hopperish reading The New York Times.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

42nd Street

I have been let loose with a new (free) phone app called Instagram. 
This may not be a good thing but fun anyway....

Life on the bus in late rush hour. 8th Avenue and 42nd Street. 
Not a part of town I'm often in.

42nd Street itself --so brash, glitzy and exciting.

Bryant Park behind the library

Monday, September 26, 2011

San Gennaro, Little Italy

The Feast of San Gennaro is always fun in an overwhelming sort of way. All these photos taken on Mulberry Street.

Lots and lots of tasteful t-shirts

and piles and piles of sausage and onions and peppers

and gelato.

Here the sugar is about to be sprinkled on the fried batter. 
Flour sugar and grease. Impossible not to like.

How very RED everything is!

These vendors are a bit more low key. I think they are selling nougat.

Betty Boop looks more willing to help.

As well as all the food, there are games to play. The prizes would delight a five year old.

The central character in the  cigar shop window is really rather alarming.

I think he might have jaundice.

So we decide to sit and have lunch.

It would not be wise to steal this young man's snacks.

Caffe Roma for dessert

which is a respite from the swirling street.

We end on a sweet note.

Friday, September 23, 2011

People and a Hot Dog Stand

One of the great things about New York is that you can dress exactly as you please

and no one will really take any notice. This is a pirate trying to get the dog's attention

and here someone whose hair screams: Look at me ! Look at me!

This litte old lady had sensible shoes and a nice bright mac and
 a splendid crochet hat which matched her stockings. 

At the dog park

This is the new St.Sebastian in the window of Kleinfeld's. He is not
 pierced yet. In fact he looks rather calm about the whole thing. Gosh!

A particularly eye-catching hotdog stand near 14th Street.

What a study in yellow it is!

Pouring with rain now and set to do so for the whole weekend.
Hope your weather is better.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Period Piece

As LP Hartley so famously put it: "The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there".
When I set out to write a book about my two mothers ( my German birthmother and the English one who brought me up)  I never quite realized how much research it would entail.

circa 1912, 1954,1983

Here is Betty who appears in the story as Ruth. Then Elizabeth, the 'fortunate child' of the title, who appears as Jane, last Claudia (Julia in the book).

Here is Betty in the garden of her grandparents' house in England 
-- a privileged child circa 1915.

Garden of the architectural museum, Wroclaw. photo: Elizabeth Wix 1999

My research took me to Wroclaw in Poland, a city which had once been Breslau and a part of Germany until after the Second World War .

How busy the square is --the photo probably taken at the turn of the last century. The older parts of city have been beautifully restored after being almost entirely destroyed in 1945.

Breslau circa 1904
My story is about England and Germany, mothers and daughters, 
families, and a little about Europe's sad history.

This is Mall House in Faversham, Kent, called Fairleigh Lodge in the book,
 where some of the story takes place.

The drawing room of Mall House about 1952 --a house I only dimly remember. To me it is a quintessentially English house. Note the Victorian water colors, the loose covers, the flowers and the family photos in pride of place on the mantelpiece.

The book A Fortunate Child is now available as a download on iTunes here. or as real world book here. In both cases you can read the first thirty pages free  --by which time you will have some idea if you will enjoy reading the whole thing.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Morning, Evening and Night

On the whole, I'm interested in flowers and gardens and poems and cups of tea -- oh dear. A severe shortage of muscle cars and weapon of mass destruction in this blog.

However, Henry takes a great interest in people doing things -- particularly if the things include large machines. So good to see the world through new eyes.

Herewith, a very large mechanical digger about to dig up the gas line.  The chances of being blown up are slight in general, and, in the event, would put my money on Con Ed over terrorists.

Here are lots of men with hardhats and yellow vests and orange cones who are allowed to paint on the street and dig holes in it! Cool possibilities.

Lo and behold! A Mack truck passes by -- a carting truck no less. What more could we wish for?

At this time of year the evening sun's reflects off the Starrett-Lehigh building

photo courtesy of Robert Schmid

and the moon rises next to the Empire State Building.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

An Excursion to the Mysterious East Side

I  rarely venture much above 23rd Street,
so this part of New York seems almost a different country

full of very important people doing business type things.

The architecture is mid last-century and reminds me, oddly, of Ayn Rand.

In the forties 

they take skyscrapers very seriously indeed.

Even the Chrysler building looks odd.

ps. I just gobbled up my copy of Tess Kincaid's Patina, a collection of her vivid and touching poems which arrived from Amazon on Monday.I'm proud to say have been blog friends (and out of blog) friends with Willow for five years now. This is a super collection. My favorite is Blue Plate Special. Highly recommended

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Stormy Day at the Beach

I always find going to the beach in September extra sweet.

The children are back at school. The light is changing and you know
 that the number of beach days is growing smaller and smaller.

Yesterday we we greeted by the sight of wild waves. 
"They were much bigger yesterday," the life guard said. 

Such wonderful, crashing, disorganized waves. No chance of swimming. 
Hurricane Katia somewhere miles and miles away. 

I think the lifeguards have fun in their dune buggies.
 I think the lifeguards have fun in general.

Hurricane Irene had cut into the dunes making a little cliff.
Later on the biting flies came out.

A splendid day for being beside the sea

A small person on a large beach!

but no one was allowed in it

except the surfers.