Sunday, December 21, 2014

Rockefeller Center Pink Saturday

It's time for  Pink Saturday -- on Sunday -- fun with a visit to perhaps the most iconic place in New York City at Christmas, Rockefeller Center. I enjoy stopping by any time of year, but it's magical at this time of year. The tree, the skaters and the decorations are among my favorite parts of the season, and ones I never want to miss.

 I had a very sunny day for my visit this year. It was great not to be cold, but it didn't make for bright lights. 
This year was as crowded as I have ever experienced. so much so that I couldn't get close to the skating rink to take pictures. I promise to return later in the winter to take pictures of the ice skaters. 
Looking east through the skyline to St. Patrick's Cathedral
He's tooting out wishes for a very merry Christmas and a very happy new year!
On a different note, my prayers for safe days for New York City police officers and fire fighters, and their colleagues across the country. 
 I'm somewhat amazed that Christmas is this week. I've wrapped and mailed presents and done some of my cards, but I have a number still to write. I feel more organized than during my working years and happily not as rushed. I've really enjoyed being able to visit so many places in New York City this month and share the photographs. Tomorrow we return to the Union Square Holiday Market.
I hope you're having a great weekend. As always, thanks for visiting and take good care!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Foodie Friday at the Union Square Holiday Market

I had a great visit yesterday to the Union Square -- East 14th Street -- Holiday Market. This was my first visit to a holiday market this year, and I'm sorry I waited so long into the season to do this. There were wonderful gift ideas and delicious foods presented. I especially enjoyed the local artisan food companies and the unique crafts that were sold there. I collected a number of cards and had a great time taking pictures. The day was relatively mild, but on a colder day I could have fortified myself with delicious looking hot beverages that were for sale.

Besides the hot cider this booth had beautiful and delicate wooden decorations. 
I completely fell in love with Fatty Sundays, the best looking -- and tasting -- gourmet pretzels I've encountered in a long time. They were so pretty and delicious. I will definitely be on the lookout for them for gifts and fun hostess presents.   
I sampled the Sprinkle, and I bought a box of the Toffee Crunch to bring as a get-well cheer up gift for a friend who had knee surgery. The toffee crunch definitely brought cheer. 
There were a large number of food booths, all very enticing. I especially enjoyed the spicy pepper cashews at Nuts+Nuts. They are imported from Indonesia and have the added benefit of working with local farmers in Java and Bali. I am a cashew fan and these were not the norm. They were plump, delicious and an immense treat.
I enjoyed chatting about the company and sampling their wonderful choices.
Not to leave out our canine friends I found this booth with doggie food treats -- the cutest -- and clothes, equally cute. 
 This company, YoYo Dog, doesn't have a website, but if anyone is interested in their products I am happy to share their phone number. 
The holiday market, surrounded by skyscrapers.

I hope you've enjoyed your visit. We'll be back on Sunday for gift ideas and decorations that I think you'll enjoy. Tomorrow we're going to one of the most iconic New York Christmas sights, Rockefeller Center for seasonal Pink Saturday. 
As always, thanks for visiting! Take care and hope you're having a fabulous Friday. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Day in My Life on Broadway

No, I haven't been cast for a Broadway show -- that would take a very big miracle -- but I have a few pictures to share from my walk up Broadway after the gym. It was a warm, almost balmy, day here with temperatures in the fifties. I decided this would be the day I treated myself to a cup of ice cream. I would walk up Broadway getting a little extra exercise, leisurely enjoy my ice cream with peppermint candies mixed in, and stroll home.

I passed this sidewalk café. Though it was warm for December, it wasn't café weather.

Ten blocks later I was around the corner from the ice cream store. I turned the corner and there was no ice cream store. I was so sad I didn't even capture the moment on film. Instead of ice cream, there was a big "For Rent" sign.

What is a disappointed ice cream eater to do? Take pictures!

This tree has many New York City ornaments.
I can't resist a florist display and this one was so pretty. It went  a long way to cheering me up.
What cheered you today?
As always, thanks for visiting and wishes for cheer and good tidings! 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Nights of Light

The first candle of Chanukah

Tonight is the first night of Chanukah, the eight-day festival that celebrates a miracle of faith over two thousand years ago. One candle is lit daily for each day of the holiday. On this first night one candle was lit and tomorrow two candles will be lit until the last night when all eight candles are lit. The middle candle is the helper, or shamash, candle and lights all the others. 

My prayer class was scheduled for tonight, but instead of our regular study we lit the menorah, sang songs and ate jelly doughnuts, one of the traditional foods of the holiday. Our wonderful rabbi spoke about the meaning of the holiday and it gave me new insights into the festival of light. I don't think I can do justice to his thoughts, but I'd like to share my notes with you.

Though there was just enough oil for one day, there is a place for miracles. We need to find the crucible of oil that's within us to light our spirit. The first step in finding our spiritual purpose is to light the first candle and encourage the light to grow. The miracle is that when we act in faith, help comes from Above, but it is our duty to act, and look for the light within us.  

Besides the bears and snowfolks I have Chanukah items, including my favorite, my camel menorah. I bought this in Israel over twenty years and it brings back sweet memories.

This is the scene at my local bagel store/deli, which is a frequent stop on my retiree calendar. It's not fancy, but they have some of the best bagels in New York. After sampling coffee throughout the neighborhood I found I liked their coffee best of the dozen places within three or four blocks of my apartment. I've become a regular and three or four times a week I'm there to drink coffee and read the newspaperThe latkes, or potato pancakes, are in the pan to the left. I haven't tried either the latkes or doughnuts served here, but I bet they are good.

On this night when we celebrate light and faith I leave you with these lines from a song we learned this evening.

"Kindle my candle and my light, O G'd,
They will then shine forever."

Monday, December 15, 2014

Wishes for a Beary Merry Monkee Monday

Pepe and friends wish you a beary merry Monkee Monday. Paws and Miss Fluffy, both in festive holiday attire, join Pepe, Ricky and Lucy and Socko, to wish all in Buttercupland a happy day.
The music makers on the mantel join the chorus...
...and the snow people sing the encore!
That's the scene at my house today. Besides a trip to the gym and a very quick errand, it's a day for package wrapping and cards, and I'm not complaining a bit. These folks are great company.
Hope you're all having a great day. As always, thanks for visiting and take good care!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

What's Your Favorite Foodie Treat?

Yes, it's Foodie Friday and Pink Saturday on Sunday, but I've got an important question for Buttercupland:

What's your favorite food treat at this time of year?

I've given this question a lot of thought. I've been careful with my treats and I'm trying to be really selective and only eat those items that are special, and I do have criteria for special. The food has to be exclusive to this time of year and something I really liked. I spent time thinking about this and after a visit to my local mall and some browsing, narrowed it down to two choices.

My nearest mall, the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle
I scanned the shelves at Whole Foods and Williams-Sonoma. I found some enticing treats at Whole Foods, including this Pink Elephant themed beverage. It's not at all my choice, but I couldn't resist the photo for Pink Saturday.
These sea salt truffles were closer to my taste. I do like candy, but they weren't unique to the season.
I found my answers at Williams-Sonoma. I debated between the legendary Peppermint Bark and the variation of Peppermint Bark peanut butter cups...
...and ginger spice cookies.
I debated and debated, and there were samples to help my decision. Would it be chocolate and peppermint or would it be ginger spice?
The winner of the Buttercupland favorite Christmas food is...
 Peppermint Bark!
The ginger spice goodies were delicious, but I stayed with my favorite peppermint bark. I am a chocolate and peppermint fan throughout the year and on those rare times when I get a sundae it's always mint chocolate chip and hot fudge.
It was a lovely day in New York and I spent the afternoon walking and enjoying a relatively balmy day. I continued my decluttering this morning and worked on my coat closet, which now has three less coats. Linen and storage closet are next on my list. 
As always, thanks for visiting and take good care!
Please note: This is not a sponsored post. The only compensation I received were the samples available to all Williams-Sonoma customers. 

He Knows When You've Been Bad or Good...

...And he knows when you've been shopping in Soho. 

I've got three or four posts in my head and the pictures are all cropped and picked, but life in New York City seems to be getting in my way. There's Foodie Friday and Pink Saturday and Christmas at the Metropolitan Museum still to come. But instead of blogging I spent a lot of today getting myself organized. My decorations are now unpacked and on display. I've begun writing cards and I just spent an hour on Amazon figuring out a subscription to Teen Vogue for my cousin for Chanukah. I pushed the wrong send-to and you can imagine the rest. Happily the folks at Amazon Customer Service chat are very helpful, even at 11:00 at night.  

I had a wonderful afternoon in Soho -- south of Houston St. -- doing a little shopping, lots of looking in store windows and having coffee -- with my friend, Betsy. It was just the sweet afternoon with a friend that makes me realize how precious friendships are. We did try to go to Laduree Soho, for macarons, but there was a line on the sidewalk to enter to simply buy macarons and the restaurant was so crowded that we couldn't get coffee without a reservation. We'll try again in January.

I hope your day was as fun and productive and I hope you'll be back tomorrow for more glimpses of Christmas in New York. As always, thanks for visiting.