Thursday, April 21, 2016

City Views, Country Dreams

Good afternoon from New York.

I came home from a long walk to hear the very sad news that Prince has died.

My brother has sent me this link.  Skip the ad and do keep listening.


Thursday, April 14, 2016

City Views, Country Dreams

Good evening from New York.

I've been taking quite a few walks through Central Park recently, and would like to share some of those city views with you.

First of all, I wish to honor a spring tradition of showing the tulips blooming in the planted areas in the middle of Park Avenue.

These tulip photographs are specially taken for Merisi whose blog Vienna for Beginners is a treat.

Yellow cabs and yellow tulips and yellow traffic lights with luxury buildings as a background.

Walking back through the Park on my way home, I had to take some pictures of pink flowers with blue sky behind.

The brilliant green lawns looked quite good, too.  Young children were perfecting their walking skills

Some trees were flowering in a deeper rose.

Over at Bethesda Fountain, wedding portrait photography was underway.  Row boats were sailing in the lake.

Here is another view of the same area, just to show you all how lush the Park can become as spring takes hold.

Pretty blue flowers have taken over from the daffodils that were flowering here last week.

Tulips were at full bloom...very large blossoms.

I came home, and baked some cookies for my former workmates at the shop.

I made simple brown sugar butter cookies, and had a bit of fun creating some tracks along the flour left after the first batch of cookies was baking in the oven.

Here's another photograph of a mid-baking session moment, and now here's a photo of the cookies ready to be carried down to the shop.

It was lovely to see my buddies and to thank them again for the swell farewell party they gave me.

Tomorrow is my cousin's birthday, and I've mailed her the following little watercolor birthday card I painted a few days ago.

Earlier today, I took another walk across the Park and made my return walk via a stretch of fashionable Madison Avenue.  I do love the fanciful dresses on display at Morgane Le Fay.

In the bright midday sun shadows cast by the painting on the window repeated the window message below.  I wish my photograph were more clear.

Gorgeous hellebores caught my eye as I passed by a very elegant Upper East Side townhouse.  Aren't these colors subtle?

Just across the street from the subtle hellebores is another scene filled with bright light and sharp angles.

Nearing the Park again, the view of model boat pond is filled with gentle, muted colors.

I like the patterns of the sidewalks on the Central Park side of Fifth Avenue.  Lots of inspiration here for some knitting.

Daffodils are still blooming in certain parts of the Park.

Park gardeners had left their tools behind while taking their lunch breaks.

Motor vehicles are allowed access to some of the Park's roadways.  I imagine that the drivers of these taxis are glad to see some natural beauty.

No motor vehicles are allowed on this tranquil pathway.  I wish that you could also hear the bossa nova saxophone music being played nearby.

I smiled to see this large cluster of dandelions blooming on the edge of the Sheep Meadow.

This following photograph of a Central Park West apartment building window was taken just for the Weaver of Grass, whose blogs have been showing us wonderful bird nests in the Yorkshire dales.

If you look carefully in the triangular space just behind the air conditioner unit, you will see...a bird's nest.  I was attracted to it by birdsong I heard walking past the building.  I stood very still and waited a while, and then actually saw the singing bird pop back into the nest.

As you all can see, I'm really enjoying these early days of my retirement.  Thank you all for your visits to my blog and for your kind comments.  It's a pleasure to share this time of transition with you all.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

City Views, Country Dreams

Good afternoon from New York.

It's a grey and rainy day, with a chill that required me to don my down-filled coat to do this morning's neighborhood errand run.

Yesterday was just a little warmer, but still rather grim for April.  I thought it was a good opportunity to see some city views over on Fifth Avenue.  The flagship MUJI shop is just across the Avenue from the Library (where those festive holiday parties take place in early December.)

There is a current display just inside the MUJI entrance that recreates Tokyo from artfully combined merchandise one may purchase at the shop.

If any of you all happen to find yourselves in the area, please stop by and see this wonder.  It will amuse folks of all ages.  For those of you whose homes are more distant, you may wish to click on the MUJI link above to see some professional photographs of this wonder.

The translucent quality of the containers used for many of the building blocks give a certain mystery to the overall effect.  The above photograph shows a overhead view of just a small part of this very large cityscape.

The photograph below shows what I saw as I exited the shop onto Fifth Avenue.  In the overcast daylight, I thought the buildings in the background had a certain resemblance to those translucent boxes.

My main destination was another place with a four-letter name, MOMA, or more formally, The Museum of Modern Art.  I wanted to see the exhibit, Edgar Degas: A Strange New Beauty, that focuses on Degas' printmaking, primarily his monotypes.

In the MOMA lobby I passed by a series of framed works that attracted my eyes, but not my Degas-bound feet.  I neglected to discover the name of the artist.  

Perhaps one of you all might recognize whose work this is?

The identity is not revealed in the current MOMA Member Calendar, and I wasn't able to satisfy my curiosity via a search of the museum website either.  I'll find out who done it on my next visit.

I was surprised to find the Degas show rather crowded.  Most of the works on display are small, and the galleries' lighting is low to protect the pictures...and so, I did not linger as long as I had planned.  When I was attempting to learn how to create etchings and dry point prints, I never tried monotype printing, although some artists who used the same print workshop created wonderful imagery with this technique.

Leaving the exhibit, I rode the down escalator from floor to floor, and curiously peered over the protective railing that gives an overhead view of the huge second floor atrium space that's used for intriguing installations.

I continued to take a look at the atrium from each floor as I got closer to see what was going on.

It became clear that museum visitors were not allowed access to the main atrium space, which was dominated by a series of video screens on which a hand seemed to be drawing a pathway on various parts of a map.

Closer still.  I intentionally did not make note whether photography was allowed, and took a few photographs at atrium level.

The security personnel did not stop me.  If you click on the MOMA link I made available above, you can learn a bit more about Bouchra Khalili and this installation's genesis.

Back home, I knit a few more rows on my current fair isle project, and played around with colored pencils and some graph paper to plan some motifs for another project.  I also had a cup of tea (too late for lunch) and made some delicious pasta sauce for a very hearty supper. 

I am thoroughly enjoying exploring each day of my retirement.  My 2015 tax forms and payments have been mailed.  I read two books last week, and have four more waiting for me.

While the weather is still cool, I also plan on doing some baking.  Scheduling is underway so that I will be seeing more friends.  I bought two new watercolor brushes and have been doing some sketching.

I truly appreciate all your visits to my previous Easter Parade post, and the kind words regarding my retirement.  It's been grand to see comments left by new visitors.  Thank you all very much.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

City Views, Country Dreams

Happy Easter from New York!

I'm writing this as a fully retired person, and am surrounded in my little apartment by dozens of tulips and other gifts presented to me by my lovely work colleagues at a farewell sendoff.

Many photographs were taken during the farewell party.

I've decided...with only one exception...

not to share any of those photographs here.  I will definitely be sharing the pictures with the folks who attended the party.  I was so honored by all their kindness and generosity to me!

And so, moving on, I will show you what I saw today on my stroll over to the Fifth Avenue Easter Parade.  Taking a diagonal southeastern route through Central Park, I passed by lots of daffodils, and also the softball fields that will soon be in use.

Reaching Fifth Avenue and 57th Street, the uptown boundary of the Easter Parade just after noon, I saw lots of open pavement, and realized that as usual, most bonnet wearers would be promenading closer to St. Patrick's Cathedral and Rockefeller Center.

Some of you all may recognize the name on the building in the above picture.  I think that no one really wanted to linger in front of its entrance, in case some sort of demonstration might occur.

Quite a few of my photographs were taken on the hop, so to speak, and so you all might wish to click on the pictures to see an enlarged version.  Such clicking is optional.  There are many photographs in the post!

Madam has bananas on her hat while her consort kept his hat simple with s few colored eggs.

Lots of colorful floral exuberance on display above.

It was a bit chilly, but the sunshine felt great and made for fine lighting for the photographers, professional and amateur.

the hats in the above photograph were made from cut and furled paper, and were definitely being caught by the breezes.

The colorful fellow above was enjoying entertaining all passersby.

These ladies took a more subdued approach in their bonnet choices.

Balloon artists were able to make impromptu hats.  The cute little girl hiding behind the balloons in the next photograph smiled when I took her picture.

Some irresistible photo opportunities present themselves along the Avenue.  Did you all notice the golf course theme of the green hat?

As you can see, the crowd was thickening.

The lady chose a large rose; the gentleman in the background went for flags.

Ice cream cone on lavender hair was looking cool.

This little family group was adorable and cuddly.

This duo from other generations looked festively elegant.

This lady's blue jacket looked grand underneath her flower garden hat, complete with picket fence.

The decorated straw saucer hat above looked very elegant.  The extravagance of the creamy outfit below was definitely a one off.

Some chose to go green.

As in past years, I saw many retro fashion looks.

Bus service and other vehicular traffic was banned for the 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. duration of the parade, so this bus stop was claimed by a bunny ear head gear vendor.

How elegantly dramatic these ladies looked against the matte black wall proclaiming the opening of yet another Victoria's Secret shop.

Let us count the bunnies!

He gave up his cigar for a carrot today.

The Easter Bunny was giving out lots of hugs.

St. Patrick's Cathedral looked much more attractive this year, now that all the protective scaffolding had been removed following months of restoration work.

What a beautiful hat this lady had chosen to wear to church.

What an incredible floral cascade this lady chose to wear over her pale green coat.

And this fellow chose to delight folks of all ages with a light touch.

More retro bonnets worn by stylish ladies.

The following trio, standing in front of Saks, had made their own terrific hats.

As had these ladies, who were having a bit of trouble keeping those bonnets on their heads.

More pretty bonnets, and a jaunty fedora.

These gents were not taking any chances of being chilled.

Lots of folks were taking pictures of this family group, and so I had to wait a while to have a clear view.

When I wished the older boy Happy Easter, he obliged me with an action pose.

Over on the Esplanade at Rockefeller Center, these children were being tempted by the chocolates in the extravagant shop window.

I had to click my camera's button quickly to catch this dandy lion.

There was quite a lovely display around the Esplanade's fountains.

This little girl couldn't resist picking just one flower for her basket.  Her dad only allowed her that one posy.

Two couples moving to very different style beats.

Time for a little sit down, a snack, and a check of the smart phone.

Aren't these two children adorable?

Returning to Fifth Avenue, and beginning my homeward walk, I encountered this trio of ladies who had chosen the retro theme.

The man in the next photograph had decorated his hat with a series of wired black birds.  He actually had a lady friend helping him to walk through the crowds, so that the hat and passersby would not suddenly meet.  It was a great hat!

Here's a selection of bunnies!

The following couple had chosen forsythia for their theme, and also chosen to check their text messages.

The lady in the white feathered headdress towered over these two boys who wanted to be photographed with her.

For contrast, this photograph setting could appear in a magazine.

Here is another one off outfit.

If for any reason, someone felt under-dressed and needed to quickly assemble an Easter bonnet, this couple had provided all the ingredients for sale.

Now this is a bonnet!

Quite a fashion plate with her sash, perhaps advertising a shop.

These crafty gents were attracting a crowd.  In a way, their outfits are a sort of variation on those worn my London's Pearly Kings.

And just a few feet away, here is a touch of elegance.

I very much doubt that this pup chose this outfit.

What a stylish couple!

This bunny was having a little Zen moment of contemplation.

What a huge hat this very thin young lady was wearing!

Very cool, I'm sure.  We wished each other Happy Easter.

This family were taking pictures of Baby's first Easter Parade.

Although the main purpose of these heavy planters is to provide protection from vehicles leaving the street, accidentally or intentionally, it's nice that they have some swirly shrubs and daffs growing in them, too.

Just as I was nearing the 57th Street parade boundary I encountered this white suited, bunny-eared fellow rolling down the Avenue with his dog.

I thought that taking a few photographs of them was a fun way to conclude my Parade reporting for this year.

This was a fine day for a parade and I hope that you all will be able to get some notion of the spirit of the day.

Thank you all for your visit to my previous post and for your lovely comments, about the other parade and also wishing me well on my retirement decision.

I will be back with a new post before long...most likely not featuring a parade.  Happy Easter