Saturday, November 22, 2014

City Views, Country Dreams

Good afternoon from New York.

I am back from my holiday, but still just a bit jet lagged.

Can you guess where I have been?  I promise a full reporting very soon.

Meanwhile, thank you all for all the kind bon voyage messages.  I appreciate each and every one.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

City Views, Country Dreams

Good morning from New York.

I wanted to let you all know that later on today I'll be wrapping up in this newly finished alpaca/wool scarf and heading out for a short vacation.

Before long, I'll be back with some reporting and photographs.

Meanwhile, thanks for your visits and comments.  I am delighted to welcome new followers, too.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

City Views, Country Dreams

Good morning from New York.

It's a bright day, but around the neighborhood some folks have been busy decorating for the cold, dark Halloween night that will arrive tomorrow.

Some of the brownstone houses have beautiful harvest seasonal displays arranged on their front steps.

Here is a close up view to show the variety of gourds, pumpkins, plants and twigs that have been used.

As I walked along and looked up to the windows, I began to notice a certain change in the direction of the decorations.

There's a rather quiet fellow sitting by this window....

Spiders and their webs began to appear.

I spied a mummy through the window of the Magnolia Bakery at the corner of West 69th Street and Columbus Avenue.

Emboldened by the warm afternoon sun, I continued my walk.

It was difficult to actually find all the scary features that were on display in front of this house.

Children that were walking along with their parents on their return home from school were giggling and shrieking.  Many cameras were in evidence.

Large, furry spiders dangled overhead.

Strange contents were contained in a clear plastic bag.  A large orange spider crawled up the stair railing.

Minty green spider webbing created a nest for this fellow.

Are you all still with me?  This doorway was wide open.  No secret password required for anyone brave enough to enter.

The house next door was more secure, perhaps waiting to open to the sound of Trick or Treat.

Costumes featured in some displays.  Do take a look at that clear globe.

More glad rags.

He's resting up in the boxwood, waiting for the Big Night.

The thoughtful residents of this house have placed an orange caution cone at the curb edge of the entrance way.

Anticipating a big party ahead, this chap has put on his special Halloween hat.

I thought I heard a sound behind me and turned around to see another very large spider.

That spider seemed to be biding its time, planning its next web design.  The fellow below was dressed for a cool October night.

The coleus plants at the base of this tree had to share space with some spare parts.

Yes, another spider, a little brother to the giants dangling in the air.

It was almost a relief to see this charming ghostly couple watching us passersby.

Another charming duo offered a street level welcome.

I am uncertain how Trick or Treaters are going to be able to climb up this stairway to ring the door bell.

Bit of pirate spirit here.  With teeth.

More red spiders, perhaps attracted by the pretty greenery in the window boxes.  It might be a good place to spin a web.

I do hope that you all have enjoyed this little tour of some of the extravagance that makes its appearance around this time every year.

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 27, 2014

City Views, Country Dreams

Good morning from sunny and cool New York.

I am pleased to report that more brick laying, and less drilling and removal of old bricks and mortar, seems to be today's building project.  I can hear myself think.

As Halloween nears, I thought I'd share with you all some pictures of gourds and pumpkins that are now available at the Union Square farmers market.  What bounty!

It's also a good time of the year to select carrots.

Sunlit Swiss chard has got a very special colorful glow that I would like to be able to capture in a painting, or adopt in my knitting colors.

The cauliflowers also appear in various hues that make for eye-catching displays.  I have not yet bought any chard or cauliflower, but am definitely warming to the notion.

However, perchance you all can see how these vegetables have influenced the cowl I have been knitting for myself.

If, like me, you do like to play around with colors, and have gathered together a bunch of slightly similar, slightly different yarn colors, hours can fly by as loop goes over loop.

These chevron stripes are shown sideways in these photographs, which was the direction they took in the finished tubular cowl.

Here I show you all some chin self portraits, that will allow more of an idea of how the cowl's variegated colors can be arranged.

And rearranged.  I encourage you to focus on the design of the cowl and not on my old chin!

Returning now to my original theme of seasonal produce, I present to you a view of the pumpkin I chose to bring home to my tiny apartment.

The teapot, plates and saucer are included in the photograph to indicate scale.  In homage to Mise's recent Pretty Far West post, I have arranged this composition on my little blue bench, which I made myself from a Shaker Workshops kit back in the last century.

Thank you all so much for visiting and leaving me comments.  What a grand blogging community we have.  Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

City Views, Country Dreams

Good evening from warm and sunny New York City.

The warmth is a surprise after our recent chillier, cloudier and even rainier days and evenings.  I was so glad to have only needed a light sweater for today's walk in Central Park.

The horse-drawn carriages and pedal-powered carts were doing good business, but lots of folks were just using their own feet as I was.

Some of the trees are real dazzlers in their autumn splendour.

Some of the lawns are very overgrown, with lots of leaves waiting for the rake.  There are lots of partially nibble acorns and other nuts partially hiding underneath fallen leaves and green ground cover.

When the sun slipped out from behind the large fluffy cloud, the colors took on additional brightness, and the air added some warmth.

I am fortunate to have most of this week as days off from work, and have been doing a bit of very overdue de-cluttering, straightening, and ordering of various bits and bobs around my apartment.  I am very proud to have taken time to do this, particularly as it meant carrying on with my project while having the drillers still carrying on with their own project just the other side of the wall.

Taking the walk in Central Park gave me a reward for my efforts.

The following photograph shows the model boat pond, where remote-controlled model boats share the shallow water with ducks and an occasional dog.

On a day like this, the reflection added to the beauty of the surroundings.

On my homeward walk through the Strawberry Fields area, I smiled at all the tourists who were making their own respectful visits as fans of the late John Lennon.  

I like the varied colors of the leaves on this shrub.

Nearby I saw lots of the little orangey mushrooms that you might be able to see through the wire fencing in the next photograph.  Perhaps you all have some idea of their proper name.  I do not.

I really enjoyed having a bit outdoor exercise and got home in time to enjoy my sandwich lunch in peace while the drill team enjoyed their own lunch break somewhere off their scaffolding.

A few days ago I visited a members preview of the fantastic Matisse Cut Outs exhibit which has now officially opened at The Museum of Modern Art.  It is much the same as the exhibit that was a standout at The Tate.  I highly recommend the exhibit, and am very glad that my membership card will allow me unlimited visits without the bother of a timed ticket purchase.

Thank you all for your visits to this place, which definitely does not require a timed ticket.  On the topic of time, I laughed when I discovered that the Central Park Horse Show I mentioned in my last post was over before I took my photographs.  Obviously, I am not always on top of events around NYC!

I've now got to think about dinner preparations and just where my next bit of de-cluttering will be directed.

I hope that you all are also enjoying some time outdoors in this wonderful month of October.  There is so much to see! 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

City Views, Country Dreams

Good morning from New York on a rainy day.

I am delighted to report that a rainy day means that the drillers have the day off.  There is peace in this apartment for the first time in weeks.

Earlier this week, on a very sunny and clear day, the noise from the drilling on my apartment building's facade was so intense that I escaped to the great outdoors.

My first destination was the fabulous Bergdorf Goodman shop's Beauty Level.  I was in need of a couple of skin care products and discovered that my purchase also entitled me to a gift bag full of samples of other skin care products and some eye shadow and lipstick, too.  It's always fun to see what's going on inside this fashion HQ and to bring home a treat.  

Although I took a bus to BG, I decided to walk home through Central Park.  Midtown traffic was more intense than usual, because the United Nations is in session.  I find it maddening that these diplomats have gathered (including our own President Obama) as additional bombing commenced in Syria, and additional reports of terrorism arose.

With such thoughts in my head, I appreciated the opportunity to see the beauty of sunlit leaves in the Park.  Most of the leaves are still green, but a few have begun to take on those beautiful autumn hues.

I'm a big fan of shadows on green lawns.

As usual, you all will be seeing some tall buildings peeking up over the tree tops.  You can also see the brilliantly blue sky.

Our 2014 summer was cooler than usual, and mostly dry.  Keeping the Central Park lawns green requires some sprinkler action.

The northwest diagonal route of my walk took me along pathways a little different than those I usually show you.

I was surprised to encounter a large area of ground that had been enclosed by extensive chain link fencing that had been entertwined with lots of plastic ivy leaves.

It was intriguing to find out what was going on behind that fence, and I discovered that a large project was underway.  Lots of men and machinery were preparing for a Horse Show.

I peeked through some gaps in the ivy, and saw that much still needed to be done before any show occurs.  I caught the scent of horses, but saw no horses.

In the coming weeks, I will try to keep an eye out in the media and on walks in the Park to find out more about this Horse Show.  I do not remember anything quite like this happening before in the Park.

Continuing on my walk, I got closer to the western edge of the Park, and came upon the West Drive, one of the roadways that is shared by runners, skaters, bike riders and horse drawn carriages.  I do not think that any of those horses will be part of a Horse Show.

Pedestrians wishing to cross Park roadways like this one need to be alert because fast-moving traffic of many types can arrive from several directions at the same time.  Yes, there are some traffic lights that help this maneuver a bit, but not all the fast-movers can quickly stop as directed.

Recently, a middle-aged woman was struck down by a bicycle rider, who'd swerved to avoid hitting another group of pedestrians.  The woman went into a coma, and after being in hospital for some time, died.

I assure you all that I am very careful in looking in all directions before attempting to cross these roads.  Years ago, I was also knocked to the ground by a young fellow riding his bike in the wrong direction.  I never saw him coming.  I wasn't badly hurt and the fellow was very, very apologetic.  Hoping that we both learned from that experience.

On this recent walk, I found a helpful pause in the traffic and got home refreshed by my exercise.

The drillers were still at it.  I made myself a sandwich, had lunch, and then picked up one of my knitting projects.  It is yet another of my fair isle tubular cowls.  

I thought the optical illusion in the following photo was amusing.  The model on the beautiful Morgane Le Fay postcard seems to be knitting something really Big.

Maybe some of you all also tend to keep postcards with striking images?  I tend to use them as bookmarks.  They are also useful to use as markers when following a particular knitting pattern's grid.

I'm using quite a few harmonizing colors in this cowl.  A dusty denim blue, a heathery black, various shades of teal, and lots of roses and wine.  And a pale celadon green and some white, too.

Eventually I am going to be adding this and some other recently completed items to my Foakley Arts shop.

It's just past noon now, and so it's time for me to think about lunch.  A cheese omelet seems a good idea for this rainy day.  And then it will be time to knit.

May I thank you all again for your visits and comments.  I really appreciate hearing from you.  See you again in October.