Sunday, December 20, 2015

A Quieter Christmas

I think my last post gave rather a garish view of the city in December. Very over the top and bright. So herewith another mood... 

Walking up the steps to The High Line on an overcast afternoon...

The current cut out paper buildings in The Flat Iron Building seen yesterday on a bright sunny morning.

The very best sort of present -  handmade and monochrome.

A pear and an apple from Union Square on a nice old Spode plate

Very simple cards

a herb wreath




and Christmas colored greens to eat - with red tongs.

Wishing you a most peaceful and lovely Christmas
and a happy and healthy 2016

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Holiday Fun

Christmas and holiday cheer...

takes many and various forms - some of them pretty hideous  - but fun at the same time. 
I wonder who thought of the ugly holiday sweater party?

This shop downtown would be heaven for someone who liked the very worst holiday gear!  I think back to the very olden days when the Lord of Misrule would turn the established order on its head. Not really the best time of year for  tasteful restraint.

Dallas Barbecue has painted its windows with Mr and Mrs. Frosty who look a bit grumpy.

The Santa troll is up on our window.

Oreos taken to Oreo heaven at Bonbons in Huntington.

A respite from red - walking home past Penn Station the other evening.

Macaroon bliss

Frosty and Santa enjoy cold brewskis

and a lot of cookies are to be had at The Malibu Diner.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

New York Public Library

 Frances invited me to join her at the New York Public Library Open House on Sunday afternoon and it was such fun.

The splendid building was all decked out for a winter holiday reception with carolers, a klezmer band

a jazz band

wine and punch

and balloon animals too

Best of all were the children dressed in their party best

entranced by the moving statue - all white and immobile one moment -and alive the next.

and the juggler was magical.

The winners of the Jane in Winter giveaway are Ridgely and Debra. Please send me an email with your mailing address and the name you would like it inscribed to. (
I'll mail them out tomorrow.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Thinking About Christmas....and another Giveaway

Walking past our local independent bookshop - which is right next to Clement Moore Park - this morning with the dog

I noticed all the classic children's books in the window. Of course Clement Moore's The Night Before Christmas was there - he lived right round the corner.

Also one of my grandchildren's favorites - Janet and Allen Ahlberg's lovely - and rather British -The Jolly Christmas Postman. And I think the blue book in front is Dylan Thomas's A Child's Christmas in Wales - all splendid stuff. And now for the giveaway. As some of you know, I wrote a children's story some years ago which I wrote about here.

It's an adventure story for the 8-12 year old set - but also a memoir of a 1950's childhood. All the places written about are real. The front cover shows Thorndon Hall where we lived in a gamekeeper's cottage. I have two signed copies to give away which should arrive in time for Christmas. I'll pick the winners on Monday. Jane in Winter, as well as my other books, is available as a paperback or in a Kindle edition from Amazon

On my morning walk I also passed Billy's Bakery where lots of people were hard at work.

The windows were all steamed up and the decorations were retro.

I'm beginning to get into the spirit of the season.

Here a snow leopard with his chum the penguin from the toy shop on 15th Street. Happy reading and decorating... and all the busy-ness of this dark month.

Monday, November 23, 2015

The sere and yellow leaf....and a winner

Almost Thanksgiving and the leaves are hanging on - well at least some of them...

Here on The High Line they are positively technicolored.

You can sort of see 21st Street through the railing.

Rather brown on the ground on 22nd Street.

Rose hips at Union Square

and my best leaf of the week - also at Union Square.

The latest gleanings from the roof. The things that look like wallflowers are flowers from the herb tarragon -which I foolishly planted and no one ever used - everything very fall color-like.

Last photo is of the dog looking quite fall-colorlike too.

And the lucky winner of the NOVICA    $50 gift code, chosen at random from the commenters, is Donna Baker of I'm sure Donna will be able to find herself or a friend a lovely handcrafted treat. 


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Changing Seasons and a Novica Giveaway

Hard to believe it's half way through November already and all sorts of holidays are upon us.

Time to knit more elf hats!

The trees are in the middle of losing their leaves - here a tree by the rail station in Huntington, Long Island where I go for my weekly visit to the grandchildren.

Nearer home Berch has decorated the barber for Thanksgiving....

but a nicotinia flower  survives outside our building.

Pods hang by Pinwheel Park.
 And now out thoughts turn to Christmas... By preference I prefer handmade presents - but I love looking at the shop windows anyway.

ABC Carpet's windows are a special treat - a sort of mingling of the exotic, the shabby-chic and the homey.

 This year they are heavy on a woodland theme

and I'm a sucker for it.

Owls, deer and all the rest...

This brings me to my annual giveaway from the  NOVICA site which has really lovely handcrafted gifts and has the additional benefit of helping craftspeople in the developing world. Here are some links to many good things - I always love the gorgeous Thai gift wrap and the Indian silk scarves - but that's just me. Jasmine suggested you might like to check out the links below for gift ideas.

A $50 gift certificate to the lucky person who comments whose name will be drawn from a hat on Monday 23rd.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Florence: File Under "Sometimes Other Places"

One of the things one goes to Italy for is to eat - and also to look at things to eat...

Herewith my first hot chocolate at Milan Station - with all the frisson of 'being abroad'.

The first day we wandered through the market near via de Macci and saw porcini mushrooms

and clementines

and pomegranates

and glittering fish.

Not to mention persimmons....

and artichokes.

On the other side of the Arno I had another hot chocolate.

More Italy photos here