Friday, October 30, 2020

Pink Saturday Celebrates Halloween


My two favorite costumes, Halloween 2020, as seen at the Metropolitan Museum of Art gift shop. I was delighted to find a Halloween picture that had something pink for Pink Saturday fun. 

I read an article this afternoon that the retail forecast for Halloween this year was very low. But fortunately, the article reported, Halloween is in full swing all over the country. I had the same expectation for Halloween in New York City this year, too, and while things are more subdued, I can definitely see lots of signs of the holiday.     

This simple, but fun, decoration is right around the corner
 from my building. I smile every time I walk by. 

This is my favorite decoration of the season, at my favorite bakery in the neighborhood, Breads. I am always in awe of their well-carved pumpkin and this year lived up to the challenge. I wanted to see what their Halloween goodies looked like, but the line to get inside the store was literally out the door. It kept me from going in and I figure I saved at least a thousand calories.  

Boo Hoo! It's not even Halloween

I made my first visit in months to our neighborhood Marshalls this morning and was saddened to see Halloween goodies on sale already. Across the aisle there was a table of Thanksgiving treats and the staff was putting out the -- drumroll! -- Christmas selection. I was very tempted by a snowman soap dispenser, but I'm trying to restrain myself until at least November. I did buy two gifts, and if I can keep to plan, will get them wrapped and in the mail by December 1. 

I'll be back tomorrow with Pep and friends for Halloween fun. I hope you'll join the celebration. 

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Happy Birthday, Subways of New York


From Broad Street to Coney Island, from Rockaway Park, Queens to Wakefield in the Bronx, a big happy birthday wish! 

When you think about New York City a few things come immediately to mind: the Statue of Liberty, Rockefeller Center, Times Square, bagels and the vast NYC subway lines. I'm actually a couple of days late, but two days ago, on October 27, the New York City subway celebrated its 116th birthday. 

The first elevated trains were built in the nineteenth century and they were joined by the underground trains on October 27, 1904. The system was very different than the one we know today as it kept expanding to meet the growing city. Having an underground transportation system created the means for expansion in Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens.

A mural designed by the noted artist, Jacob Lawrence, at the Times Square subway station

There are 472 stations in the system, which stretches 842 miles, including the miles of track in New York City Transit's yards, shops and storage areas. This is a longer distance than the 790 miles between New York and Chicago. Until this spring the system ran 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and the hours now are 5:00 am to 1:00 am. 

Yes, it's an unusually clean and uncrowded subway car, but it is a real picture that I took a few years ago on the line that connects Times Square and Grand Central Station.

The subway is having some tough times these days with greatly diminished ridership, and a subsequent loss of fare. I'm hopeful that this iconic part of New York City will weather this most recent storm and keep providing transportation for many years to come. As a note to recent citizens of Buttercupland, I spent twenty years working for NYC Transit, which operates subways, buses and transportation for  people with disabilities. Most of my career was spent in the Department of Buses, but part of my responsibilities included subways. I am a great fan of all kinds of trains, but my heart is always with our subways.  

On a different note, this work week is coming to a close with no progress on our gas inspection. I think I was a little too optimistic that the promised event would take place promptly, and now I'm disappointed. I've kept my expectations low throughout this long wait, and now I will manage them again. But I'm hoping Santa knows how much I want a working stove for Christmas. Please, Santa!
Please be on the lookout for two days of Halloween in Buttercupland. I'm saving a surprise or two, but expect to see Pep (and friends) in his Halloween finery.

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care. Gulf friends, prayers you came through this storm safely. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday at the Farmers Market


I've tried to do Wordless Wednesday posts, but there's always something I want to say, and this week is no exception. I stopped by the Farmers Market near Lincoln Center on Saturday and the bounty was, as always, beautiful. But unlike every other year masks were part of the scene and there were lines. 

I was definitely tempted to buy maple syrup and to try the maple cotton candy (at the far end of the booth). I successfully fought the temptation, but not sure if I will have the willpower when I walk by in the future. 

I loved to see the fabulous array of vegetables. My vegetable bin was well stocked last week, but I think I will need a return to indulge my veggie cravings for next week. 

I'm pleased to report that my visit to Best Buy yesterday was productive and Geek Squad member, Elijah, was able to get my mouse working properly. I realized it wasn't the mouse, but I may or may not have read the directions very well when I got it last April. And, as promised, I am supplying the link to my fabulous new masks at CAM Creations.

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care.

Monday, October 26, 2020

It's Mailbox Monday


My new masks from my friends at CAM Creations.

We had days in March and April when the mailman didn't show up, so I've really come to value mail service. Often it's just solicitations and catalogues, but the last week has been a treasure trove of goodies. My first treat was my new masks. They're made by a friend and they may be the most comfortable masks in  my mask wardrobe. I loved being able to choose the fabrics and appreciate that they are reversible. I expect to mostly wear the buffalo plaid and the sock monkey sides, but it's nice to know that I can change them. I had hoped to include a link to CAM Creations site, but my mouse is beyond temperamental tonight, so no linking. I will post the link when I'm able.

A wonderful mailbox surprise from my
 Instagram friend, Ruth, who lives in Germany. 

Though I'm not traveling very far these days, I haven't lost my travel desire. Until traveling days return I'm happy to be a mailbox traveler.  The post card, featuring a castle that is now a school, now has a place of honor on my refrigerator, and the map book mark is waiting for me to begin my latest library book. Many thanks, Ruth!

Too cute, or what! These three little kittens have come to visit via Deb at A Day in the Life.  Thanks, Deb. I've put them on the refrigerator, too, and I smile every time I walk into my kitchen.

I made a list for the week and have launched right into it. I got to the post office this afternoon and bought my first set of stamps for holiday cards. I stopped at the drugstore to replenish some of my dwindling necessities and also managed to walk two miles in the process, which felt great. What's on your list for this week?

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care.  

Sunday, October 25, 2020

It Looks Like Peak Pink Saturday


My lunch view on Thursday, Washington, Connecticut
Does it get more beautiful?

You know my answer to the question above. No! I've loved eating out of doors in New York City and so grateful for it, but I doubt if I will find a better luncheon view in 2020. I celebrated a friend's November birthday in her hometown in Connecticut. We have a favorite place there that was only doing takeout, so we went to somewhere untried, and we will be back again. It's starting to get chilly and our visit may have to wait for the spring, but it would be lovely any time of year. 

We opted out of indoor dining -- not my choice these days and anyway the day was so glorious -- but this would be lovely in the winter. There is a big stone fireplace and eating next to its warmth and glow is something I am looking forward to. December 2021??

After lunch it was time for leaf peeping. We drove around Lake Waramaug, and it was beautiful in every direction. The proverbial New England question at this time of year is "Is it peak?" It may have just reached the peak of autumn leaf season this weekend with just a few more cold nights to help things along, but Thursday was about as close to peak as I could desire. 

The view from the road to the lake...

And when I turned around this blaze of glory was in front of me. 

Some of my favorite moments were off the road at a small lake. There were no other visitors, no other cars and one lone kayak across the lake.

Waters ripple and flow

This may be my favorite picture of all the pictures that I photographed. It combines my bittersweet feelings about autumn. I love the beauty and the bright colors, but the falling leaves speak to my sadness about the end of summer and the coming of shorter, darker days. But on this gorgeous autumn day I was once lulled into forgetting what the weather might look like in two months and the layers I might be wrapped in. 

I've loved revisiting Connecticut today and glad you could all join me for this Pink Saturday. I hope you'll be back during the week for a museum visit and a few photographs from around New York City. I'm also pretty sure Pep and a few friends will be showing off their Halloween costumes.  

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care!


Friday, October 23, 2020

(Optimistic) Breaking News

 I was about to title this post, "Breaking News." But I realized that in 2020, no good would be expected to arise from a post heralding breaking news. I had prepared several other posts that are much more photogenic, but when I got the news that the gas line (pictured above in my floor's trash closet) is scheduled to be inspected next week. There's still no word what day next week or if (praying and hoping!) the lines pass inspection the gas service will be restored. But this is a major step in my return to cooking and baking via my stove. I'm trying not to get too excited, but at least once an hour I start to dream about baking cookies in a real oven. 

Autumn in Connecticut

I don't want my only photograph of this post to be the trash  room, so as a feature of coming attractions, my Pink Saturday post for this week, I'm posting one of the pictures I took yesterday on a quick trip to Northwest Connecticut. This was taken only two hours from New York City, but it felt as though I'd entered another world. 

We're still enjoying warm and (mostly) sunny days, which means it's  possible and enjoyable to eat out of doors, including a lovely birthday lunch for a friend in Connecticut yesterday. So grateful for this beautiful weather, always enjoyable, but absolutely precious this year.  

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care! 

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Welcome to The Velvet Mill

Welcome to The Velvet Mill

In a world not that long gone, in Connecticut and all of New England, much of the employment was in mills and the factories that later replaced the original mills. When I was growing up in Hartford in the 1950s and 1960s, Hartford wasn't just the "Insurance Capital of the World," but one of the leading sites for manufacturing typewriters. Both Underwood, later bought by Olivetti, and Royal typewriters were made there and employed thousands, including my father, who worked at Underwood for eighteen years. 

But much of the manufacturing world of New England is now history or remains in a different ways. When I visited Connecticut in September we found a fascinating repurposed velvet mill in Stonington, The Velvet Mill. It's now an event space and home to restaurants and small businesses.

Once this was the home of Wimpfheimer Velvets manufacturing, which moved to Stonington from Astoria, New York in the early 1890s because of a malaria epidemic. The building had been built by the town of Stonington to encourage industrial development. 

Years ago -- before the company moved to Virginia in 1996 -- looms to make velvet filled these spaces. 

Some of the men and women who worked at those looms. 

We found this fun-looking ice cream shop -- a genuine old-fashioned soda fountain -- at the end of one of the aisles. Unfortunately it wasn't open so we couldn't sample the ice cream. However, since Sift Bake Shop was our next stop that day, we didn't spoil our appetites. 

I posted the picture of the beautiful black velvet dress above on my Facebook page. Several friends asked if I was tempted to buy it. Perhaps in a different time I might have been tempted. But I can only remember wearing a dress once in 2020, and my clothing purchases are mostly replacements for the few things I've worn out this year. Once we're socializing in person again -- how's that for optimism! -- I'm pretty sure I will look for a new dress for the first big event I'm invited to.   

On a different note, Wimpfheimer's Velvet is still producing fabric at its Virginia location. I noted on their website that they sell small orders to home sewers. 

As ever, thanks for visiting and take care.