Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Happy! Halloween!
Happy! Fall weather!
Happy! Extra hour of sleep! 
Photos taken at the quaint & delicious Eddies Sweet Shop & from an outside display at Danny Brown's. 
Saw "Amelia" last night and went to Eddies for hot chocolate & ice cream (with real whipped cream!). The T.V. had the Yankee game on and when A Rod hit his home run a soda jerk came round with a tray of egg cream shots for everyone to celebrate. Very quaint, sweet & heart warming. 
After the Yanks won again tonight comes a dilemma-would you want them to win tomorrow=away from home or would you rather they lose Monday night just so they can return to NYC and win here at home...hard choice. Since my memories are of them winning here I would have to go with that one as there is nothing like winning at home with the fans. 

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Recipe for a perfect fall Sunday : Sunshine, large birds on stilts, flowers , berries and beautifully colored leaves. Every year the N.Y. Botanical Garden has a lovely Halloween party for local goblins (this year there was music by Mecca Bodega!) & it is a great way to begin Halloween & celebrate fall...and the birds on stilts were inspiring & enchanting ! 

Friday, October 9, 2009


I woke up this morning to some always appreciated good news:over night, the Nobel committee had announced the recipient of the 2009 Nobel Peace prize : the president of the United States , Barack Obama.

I was going to write about something that at first seems totally unrelated to this event : seeds. (Around this time of year I save them for planting next year...) I'll write more on that subject on Saturday but as I have listened to NPRs morning coverage of the peace prize story and how it was being awarded to "promote ... the positive processes ..." I thought again about "seeds" and the principle of planting "seeds" in hopes of new growth in spring and in hopes of fulfilling dreams for one's self and the world in general. & so it seems fitting to me to be ruminating on the glory, wonder & magic of "seeds" of every type today. As child I was told "You reap what you sow". Metaphorically speaking, it is my dearest wish that the Nobel committee , the president & all others will work harder to sow seeds of hope, love & peace.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Smith & Hawken...R.I.P.?

Did you hear? Smith & Hawken is going out of business.
I have been a big fan of this company since it's stunning & enticing catalogs began filling mailboxes with such lovely and needed items for true gardeners & lovers of everything garden related. Each time their catalog arrived I would pour over their photos , dreaming of the day I would have a garden of my own . Fresh fruit, flowers and vegetables -all organic of course! That was the dream. It did not hurt that they had amazing & functional gear too-my all time favorite was the Japanese gardener pants, in such lovely deep blue plaid. My 3 pair wore out years ago...
A store moved into Manhattan -a bit out of the way but a treat to visit. There is a lot to be said for being able to see & touch the things you are thinking of adding to your home. One of THE reasons I will never be a big Internet shopper is what something really looks like is so important for me. Photos can sure sell but they are often deceiving & seeing an item is what tells me if it will or will not fit, work, be useful. (That store's closing was my first indication that something was up at S. & H.)

Over the years the company changed (you can search on line for the history of the original Mr. Smith & Mr. Hawken-their reaction to the closing of their company is very telling...) and in the recession sales slipped & the current owners decided to close. I will miss them. They did represent the dream for me. The life of my parents & grandparents : where you raised your own peaches, apples & pears. A life where dinner's recipe ingredients were right outside the back door, waiting to be snipped-not a grocery store's trip away. (and really, the basil does not always look so good in the stores, just when you desperately need it!) A life based on COMPOST & self self sufficiency and the smell of raked leaves , cut grass , worms, butterflies, lady bugs & fire flies. It is so interesting to me that a store & it's items could invoke so very much. More interesting : that a business begun so long ago & it's original concept could create such lasting=life long customers / followers.That is why, when I last went to visit, I felt my heart break just a bit. I was not there to get great bargains. I was there to say "good bye" to an old friend who will be much missed. &, of course, opening the mail box will never be the same.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

What does "public radio" mean to you?

October 8, 2009 / 8 p.m.

postscript: I dug up my big old Walkman radio, put in some batteries & took it with me to silkscreen class on Thursday evening. Coming up, out of the subway at about 7p.m. I tuned in to WQXR to listen to their last broadcast hour. It was sweet & sad. Come 8p.m. the station did something unexpectedly heartbreaking-they played back their end of show announcements / sign offs. Some I had not heard in years but that only served to trigger some very old memories that made me even sadder that this great N.Y. station was about to become history in just seconds . Then I tuned in to the new "Q". I heard the faintest of voices. Realizing that I would not be able to get audible reception from the printshop located on 21st Street, between 6th & 7th Avenues, I turned the Walkman off and listened to the music playing on the nearby C.D. player. End of an era , as "they" say.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Highline!

Yup. Went there. Saw it. Will go back again to see it as the seasons change. Can't wait to see it in snow & ice!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Guess where I went today!

I had been meaning to go here for WEEKS! With each passing day I knew there was something to be seen, something I was missing out on. (In this particular case that is especially true as this is a seasonal situation-think Christo's "Gates" in Central Park several years ago.)
You know how it is : something appears on the cultural landscape, you hear rumor of it and vow to go. And happens and time passes and before you know it life has passed you BY. In N.Y.C. this problem is compounded by one huge factor : crowds. Everywhere you go you are bound to find everyone else. That makes things very hard to enjoy. I love the empty , the open , the relaxed . When you add urban numbers to any event, the outcome can often be waiting in lines, hassle , and an inability to process what is going on around you since the main goal seems to be acting like Salmon as they swim up stream to get where they need to go. BIG bears chopping at them. (Thank you , Ken Burns)
So, you put things off until the Times article impact has worn off & the crowds have died down a bit. I do this ALL the time. And sometimes it means I miss things. NOT TODAY.
So here are some images from my pilgrimage. Can you tell where I finally went and explored? I purposefully chose stuff to mislead you. Or maybe I want to open your eyes just a bit to the alternative views that are to be found. The hidden vistas the N.Y.Times & the web site and the publicity tornado have ignored = the stuff I look for and love to find whenever I go exploring. But where is it?

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Did you see this?

This is what happens when life (on the 4th floor)gets busy: the blogs are the last thing to get attention...& since so much is happening out there that IS such a shame. "Cause then I find myself mentioning amazing things-after the fact. Like this wonderful & inspiring series-the latest by master story teller, Ken Burns.
This week his breath taking story of America's National Park system ran on my local PBS station and the hair on my arms stands on end just thinking back on it. The history of the system as a whole, each park itself and the personal tales of how these sacred places have touched people and moved them to act to protect the land, plants and animals for us all, forever-what a mammoth undertaking this must have been ! And what fun to do-Ken Burns did an interview on Charlie Rose this week and to hear him speak about this project was itself enlightening.
So this is after the fact but if you get the chance to see this series you will be left with such a sense of wonder, gratitude and amazement ... and being in N.Y.C.-far from the sites and immersed in car traffic and tall skyscrapers and no vast sapphire blue lakes, snow capped mountains , wild flower filled prairies or herds of sheep all I can say is we all do need these protected and well managed spaces -now more than ever.
P.S. One of my favorite thing about this series: it is a tale of the actions of individuals. The classic story of one person making a difference and transforming their own personal experience into an action of good for their country . It left me wondering why life, now-a-days seems so empty of this sort of person and action.....................