Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Blogger on the Verge of a Blogtastrophe


As I wrote on Sunday, I came home from BlogHer17 on fire for blogging. I decided to spend at least an hour every day attending to my sometimes neglected blog. I'd post regularly, respond to comments and begin my long-time planned blog makeover. I'd gone to a fabulous session about making a better blog by  Stephan and Chloe Spencer, and had a list of a dozen things I wanted to do to improve the look and visibility of Buttercupland.

Very quickly I remembered why Buttercupland had entered its semi-permanent  state of being several years ago. Changing elements of a blog is harder than it looks. For some people what I was attempting to do -- add pages -- would be quick and simple, but it's not for me. After more than an hour of tinkering and saving and tinkering and saving some more, I left it in the state you see with the title and header on the top of the page and on the right of the page. It's not what I had in mind, but it's what I got on my first five attempts. I will return later today and my hope is by tomorrow links for coffee posts, book posts and "about me" will be part of my blog.

I've read a lot about keeping my memory working and vibrant and smile at the suggestions for doing crosswords and learning a new language. Despite my frustration in BlogLand my prescription for memory work is learning new skills to apply to Buttercupland. I know I'm forging new neural pathways when I make blog attempts. Fail today? No problem! I'm hopeful I'll figure it out tomorrow (or the next day or the next week). Please bear with me in my blog revision project, Buttercupland is Under Construction.

As ever, thanks for visiting! A blog is a lot less fun without readers.
 

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Why I Fly Thousands of Miles for a Blogging Conference


For the last seven years I've attended BlogHer, a conference for women (and men) who blog. Not everyone who attends has a blog and as the years have gone by the theme has gone much more to social media in the broadest sense. But it's still a three day conference for women who write and share information. It's a mix of thoughtful presentations, workshops on blogging, platform development and memoirs and a college reunion, meeting up with friends known via their blogs and Instagram photographs.

I put this post together while I was looking out my hotel window in Orlando last night, with the Disneyworld fireworks dancing in the reflection. I knew I was flying back to New York the next morning and BlogHer had ended, but it was only when I walked into my apartment earlier today that I realized BlogHer was actually over. I was thankful for the easy flight, but after the energy at the conference my apartment was too quiet and too dark.

I enjoyed it all immensely, which is why I've flown thousands of miles five times -- two times BlogHer was held in New York and it was just a bus trip away -- for a program that was fun, thoughtful, lively and exciting. High points included hearing tennis legend, Serena Williams speak, Ana Navarro and Joy Reid being interviewed and attending two outstanding social media workshops. I had the opportunity to meet my Facebook friend Missy, visit with my BlogHer buddy Tekisha, and meet terrific women from across the country. Not bad for three days!

A definite high point was the program with Serena Williams.
 
Thanks to the BlogHer sponsors there are fun giveaway and goofy pictures. Here I am with my buddy, Charlie the Tuna, who's looking especially dapper in his red beret.


A fun visit with movie star, Tiny, of Pup Star
 
 
I've come home with a half dozen blogging ideas -- time for a remake -- and even a book project in the back of my mind. I've made new friends and great memories. That, my friends, is why I happily fly thousands of miles for a blogging conference.


Last night's sunset in Orlando

As ever, thanks for visiting. I wouldn't be a blogger without my friends who
are part of Buttercupland. 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Attention KMart Shoppers, We Have an Urgent Announcement from the Buttercupland Department of Public Safety


This is the place where this old dog relearned an old trick yesterday, and  just when I thought there weren't any tricks to (re)learn. 
 
Yesterday afternoon I went to KMart to look for t-shirts and a pair of shorts. And yes, Ms. Fancy-Pants New Yorker is a KMart shopper. It was a humid day and the KMart air conditioning was barely on. I was kind of sweaty -- no subway air conditioning -- and I got stuck in the first t-shirt I tried on. Stuck, and the variety of stuck where I thought I'd have to buy the shirt and cut it off at home. I felt as though I was wrapped in plastic wrap and the more I wriggled and twisted, the tighter the shirt became. Finally I was able to get one arm out and then the other arm and without trying on a second thing I got dressed and left K-Mart, seeking air conditioned refuge across the street at Macy's. 
 
I've been stuck in dressing room disasters before -- a few bathing suit incidents come to mind -- but this felt the most desperate. I'm less agile and it wasn't pretty. And no, there are no photos to chuckle at after the fact. Of course this entire episode could have been avoided if I had heeded the Buttercupland Department of Public Safety Summer Alert. Simply put, it addressed the issue of shopping on humid days and wisely concludes, don't. I've learned my lesson and as an officer of Buttercupland, dear friends, I'm giving you the same advice, do not shop for clothing on humid days ever! The embarrassment you save will be your own.
 
I'm sort of chuckling about it now, but if I had to go home in the KMart t-shirt, with the tags hanging down my back, I'm not sure I'd be chuckling.  
 
Today's lesson -- learned for the zillionth time -- is bring an umbrella when there are thunder storm warnings.
 
As ever, thanks for visiting and travel with your umbrella.    

Saturday, June 17, 2017

The Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Are Calling Me


I'm not exactly sure when my fascination with Cornwall began. Perhaps it was moving to Cornwall Street when I was in second grade. Perhaps it was reciting "As I was going to St. Ives..." many times when I was growing up. Perhaps it was "Poldark," or "Rebecca" or a Victoria Holt novel, read decades ago. Most likely it was a bit of all of these, but years and years later, Cornwall holds a place in my imagination.

It was only a few years ago when the idea of visiting Cornwall came to mind. In some ways it seemed more a place of imagination, than a real set of towns and villages that I would be able to visit. But I've mentioned it from time to time and today this volume greeted me when I came home from doing errands. A friend had found this book by the English writer, Daphne du Maurier, author of "Rebecca," who adopted Cornwall as her home. It is a well-loved volume, and one for which I am most grateful. Many thanks, Nora.

I flipped the pages to find a photograph to share in this post and chose this one, the harbor at Malpas, Cornwall. It is the waterway to Truro and Falmouth -- now I know where these towns on Cape Cod got their names -- and part of the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. These are areas in England, designated for conservation because of their significant landscape value. I learned that a third of the land in Cornwall has been designated as part of the Cornwall Area (AONB). If I had any doubts that a trip to Cornwall needs to be on my calendar, those doubts vanished as of this afternoon. I have no idea when I will make my plans, but I one day -- sooner, rather than later, I am going to Cornwall. The areas of outstanding natural beauty are calling me.

I tried to keep this week relatively unscheduled, but it's been hectic. Mostly good hectic, but lots going on. I got to spend one morning with Facebook friends who are now real friends and what fun that was. Thanks, Melissa and Michael for a wonderful visit.

As ever, thanks for visiting. Take good care and have a wonderful Fathers' Day.   

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Now Let's Read Some Books

This is the sixth year I have gone to BookExpo. I enjoy it more each year as I get to know more people. I enjoy the programs I attend,  I am excited to meet authors I admire and love two days of discussing books. But most of all I love the books. Each one looks more exciting than the next and I dream of coming home and reading all through the summer. But once I get home many of the books I am most excited about go unread. Not this year!

This year I made a promise to myself to really read and read a lot. My first goal is to read eight books in June, and so far I am keeping it. I am just about finished with The Dry, one of the best mystery novels I've read in a long time, and I've also started Love and Other Consolation Prizes, by Jamie Ford.
  

If you're a fan of Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet and many of us are, I can highly recommend Love and Other Consolation Prizes. I'm about a third of the way through this highly readable book -- scheduled to be published in September -- and it is sweet, tender and thoughtful, and yes, I've cried already. I know the characters, especially the main character, Ernest Young, will stay with me for a long, long time.  
 


The other book I've started reading is very different from Love and Other Consolation Prizes.  The Salt Line takes place in an America of the future. The country has been ravaged and the only safe places to live are within the salt line, burnt earth that separates the livable from the dangerous. This novel, also due to be published in September is difficult reading. It's a dystopian novel for adults, beautifully written, but also painful in sections. I don't get past a chapter before I stop reading and take a rest from the brutality of the story. Why do I keep reading? It is compelling and I am drawn back to find out what happens to the characters as they go beyond the salt line.

My goal is to read eight books this month and a book a week -- yes, every week! -- for the next year. I'll be reporting in here to keep me accountable. At the end of this month I'll be doing a book giveaway. In order to enter you will need to have read one book in June. The more books read, the more entries. Let's read some books!

We've had an actual heat wave for the last few days, though thankfully the temperatures have returned to more seasonal weather and today was just about balmy. I'm planning a museum visit tomorrow and I hope to see Wonder Woman on Friday, so there's some fun ahead.

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care.     


 

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Hello, Bette



When I was in high school one of the great treats of my life was taking the New Haven Railroad  from Hartford to New York City for Wednesday matinee day with my mother. We didn't do it very often because of the expense, and our lunch in New York was usually at the automat -- no Sardi's for these theater goers -- but what a treat it was. One of the plays we saw was "Hello, Dolly, with Ginger Rogers in the title role. Over fifty years later people still ask me if I saw Carol Channing in her signature role and I say happily, "No, I saw my dancing idol, Ginger Rogers." It's still a very happy memory.
 

Last fall I saw that there would be revival of the play with Bette Midler opening in the spring. I ordered tickets months ahead and kept busy with life. But May came around and I saw a beautiful and touching production with Bette Midler, now my perfect Dolly. When I saw Hello Dolly at sixteen, I couldn't fathom what life might be like for an older woman making her way in the world alone, as Dolly Levi does in the play. Now I totally understand it and had so much appreciation for the character, the role and Bette Midler. It's a beautiful production and if you're a fan of musicals or theater or fun, well worth seeing.

I played Stagedoor Buttercup after the show. Alas, Bette Midler didn't come out for autographs the night I saw it, I did get David Hyde Pierce's autograph on my program, which made my evening of theater complete.

I'm completing two pieces of unfinished business with this post. The first is my A to Z blogging. I omitted H and while I will be doing a post about Alexander Hamilton, I am counting this post as "H." The second piece of business is announcing the winner of the Mile A Day in May Challenge.  The winner is Jeannette at Longwell Crew. Jeannette, I have a novel and a book tote bag for you. Congratulations and thanks to all the walkers for keeping me company.

I'm reading and reading these days and did my first post on  Coffee Light and Mysteries Noir in a long time. I shared my thoughts on Jane Harper's terrific mystery, "Dry." I hope you will stop by and visit.

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care! 


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

All That Remains Are the Memories and the Books: BookExpo 2017


First thing in the morning at BookExpo. It's still calm and quiet. 
 
One of my favorite events of the year is BookExpo, the annual trade event of the publishing industry. I'm not a bookseller/publisher/librarian, but thankfully there is a place for the blogger who writes about books. I found a warm welcome from the publishers and authors I met who appreciate readers and those who share their thoughts about books. I'm looking forward to sharing the books I discovered at BookExpo and a few giveaways from publishers. 
  
This is a more accurate depiction of the floor at BookExpo. It's no longer calm or quiet the last afternoon of the show. There are long lines for well-know authors and the crowds start forming over an hour before a major book signing. My rule is not to wait in line to get an author's signature. If there are a dozen people in front of me, count me in. If there are a hundred, no thanks. Despite my line reluctance, I still had the good fortune to meet a number of authors whose work I admire. 
 
One of my favorite writers is Amy Tan -- author most memorably for me of "The Joy Luck Club. She was signing copies of an excerpt of her memoir, "Where the Past Begins," scheduled for publication in October. The line was short and I was thrilled to meet her.

I like Nelson DeMille's thrillers, but the line to meet him went around the publishers section. I settled for a photograph and will rely on the library for a copy of the book.

I did line up to meet Colleen Hoover. I have a number of friends who are tremendous fans of her work, and I knew they would enjoy this photograph.

This is a small selection of the photographs and books that are part of my BookExpo memories. There will be several more book-related posts in June.

The whirlwind of reunion, BookExpo and the beautiful graduation (and party) I attended on Saturday have totally tired me out. I did get in my walk yesterday and today, grocery shopped and worked on my hundreds of photographs, but barely crossed anything else off my endless to-do list. I'm hoping to have more energy as the week goes on and make some order out of the chaos of my apartment. There are books everywhere!

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care.
 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

104.5 and No Longer Counting

I've captured my purple sneakers on the front porch of Wilder Hall, where I lived my sophomore year in college.
 
 
It's June 1 and the Mile A Day in May Challenge is over. My goal for May was to walk 84 miles, which puts me on track for 1000 miles in 2017. The weather was (mostly) good, I gave myself a push and I am very happy to report that my total is -- drum roll, please -- 104.5 miles. I'm delighted and I feel that I've gotten myself back on the exercise track, after being somewhat slack after breaking my shoulder in February. I'm aiming for 100 miles a month for the summer and fall and feel confident that I will walk over 1,000 miles this year.  
 
I know I've had lots of friends walking with me, both around the country and beyond the United States. If you've walked at least thirty-one miles in May, you are eligible for the giveaway. Entry is easy. Please leave a comment on this post any time in the next week (by midnight Thursday, June 8) and I will post the winner on Friday, June 9. The prize is a surprise, but I am strongly considering a book (or two).
 
The best prize for this Challenge is the benefit to our health. We were up, about and moving and by walking a mile every day, we cultivated a habit of exercise. Thank you all, near and not so near, for being my walking partners.
 
It's been a hectic few days since I've been back from Reunion. Today was the first day of BookExpo America and I am exhausted, but enjoying my day of books, authors, more books and more authors immensely. I'm back tomorrow at nine for another day of books and more books. I hope to be back tomorrow for a recap on some of my favorite moments.
 
As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care!
 
     

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

You Can Go Home Again


Our formal class portrait
 
I'm now back from Reunion and I've slipped back into "real life."  I've slept in my own bed for three nights -- not missing the dorm mattress at all -- grocery shopped and begun to catch up with a dozen other errands. But more often than not, I find my thoughts turning back to the Reunion weekend. I expected to have a good time and enjoy spending time with classmates, but the experience far exceeded my expectations. There was a connection and warmth that surpassed any previous reunions -- which I've enjoyed -- and presents a path into the future.  
 

One of the highlights of the weekend was the Alumnae Parade. Each class that is present marches with the class banner and signs through the campus. We wear white to honor the Suffragettes and an accessory in our class color. The colors alternate -- red, blue, green, yellow -- and my class wears blue. For our fortieth reunion we had bright blue shawls and for this reunion gardening aprons complemented our look.  In the to-do of getting organized in the morning I left mine in my room, so I'm not quite properly attired. 
 
We had dinners, lunches and brunches and this is one of my favorite pictures from the weekend. I'm with my friends Anne and Peggy and Anne's daughters at our Saturday night dinner.

The Class of 1952, back for their 65th Reunion

After my class marched we stood at the sidelines and cheered for the classes of 1962, 1952 and yes, 1942. The women of 1952 are in their late 80s and I was impressed by their energy and enthusiasm.
There were golf carts for those who weren't able to do the walk -- about three quarters of a mile -- but most of the group walked the march route. Reunions are done on two weekends, so we didn't get to see the members of the classes of 1957 and 1967, who returned to campus the weekend before for their fiftieth and sixtieth reunions. 

I feel incredibly grateful for the good health and well-being to be able to be part of this weekend. Our class genuinely likes spending time together and we are planning (at least) four smaller reunions across the country before our fiftieth. We've met in Wilmington, Delaware and Richmond, Virginia in the last few years, but we're now looking towards the West coast to be more geographically inclusive.

Today is the last day of May and the wrap-up for the Mile A Day in May Challenge. I'll be back in the next day with my numbers and information about the giveaway. I've been keeping track and for me, May has been a terrific month for walking. I hope you've had a similar experience. 

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care. Have a wonderful Wednesday!
 

Friday, May 26, 2017

To the Class of 1972



May, 1969
 
 
I'm just about ready to leave my apartment to begin the journey back to South Hadley, Massachusetts and my forty-fifth college reunion. Suitcase packed, bag of books for the book exchange by the door and a dozen other errands completed. We've been planning this seriously for the last year, and now, somewhat to my surprise, the time is here. Two of the women in the photograph will be in the car with me and I'm grateful for their presence today and through the years.
 
 
This is a toast to friends I knew forty-five years ago and others I've gotten to know in the last five years. Thank you for laughter and friendship. Here's to another step in our journey together. 

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Forty-Five Point One and Counting

 
Last Sunday I had a great walk to The American Museum of Natural History. This was my sight while I enjoyed an al fresco lunch. 

It's time for my weekly update on the Mile A Day in May Challenge. I'm pleased to announce that I'm doing well on my goal of walking at least 21 miles a week. The first week in May I walked 22.7 miles and last week I walked 22.4 miles for a total (so far) of 45.1 miles. I'm on track for a similar amount for this week despite the weather and I'm optimistic that I will be happily surprised by my total tomorrow night. How is everyone else in Buttercupland doing?  
 

This is another view of the museum. I made it my destination to enjoy the farmer's market that takes place there every Sunday.
 
One of my favorite parts of the farmer's market are the plants. I was especially beguiled by the geraniums and captured them in this photograph. I used my new favorite app Snapseed and turned the photograph into a postcard. 

I'm off to a very long awaited event tonight -- will share in my post tomorrow -- and I am beyond excited. Does anyone else have long awaited plans? I know there are lots of graduations going on this weekend and send happy wishes to everyone celebrating.

As ever, thanks for visiting and have a wonderful weekend! 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mother's Day


My mother, Atlantic City, Summer 1936 

In the summer of 1936 my mother was twenty-one. This is the only picture of her on her summer vacation. I don't know who she traveled with -- I assume my grandparents and my uncle -- or how Atlantic City was the chosen destination. The stamp on the back of the picture tells me it was taken by Ritz Studio, Boardwalk, Atlantic City and a note in my mother's handwriting tells me the date.

It's hard to imagine my mother as a young woman. But thankfully I have this photograph. She is smiling and enjoying life and loving her summer walk on the Boardwalk.

My mother is gone over twenty-five years, but not a day goes by that I don't think of her and give thanks that this woman -- kind, intelligent, strong and faithful -- was my mother.

To all who are mothers -- with biological children, with adopted children, with children of the heart -- and to all who are celebrating with their mothers or remembering their mothers, wishes for happy times and sweet memories.

Happy Mother's Day!   

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Twenty-Two Point Seven and Counting

William Seward looks out from his seat in Madison Square Park 

Without planning it, I seemed to have taken a "blogcation" for the last few weeks. I've kept accumulating ideas and photographs, but not producing actual posts. No fear, I'm not leaving blogging and I'm even planning to get over to Coffee Light and Mysteries Noir for a very long overdue post.

I had a wonderful day with friends last Saturday in the "Flatiron" District, the area of Manhattan that is home to the Flatiron Building, one of the most iconic skyscrapers in the world. It is to the right of where I am standing as I took the picture of William Seward featured above. Alas, I didn't take a picture when I was in the neighborhood and the building deserves a post of its own.

Looking north towards the Empire State Building

One of the things I did do last Saturday was walk. My Mile A Day (or More) in May equaled 22.7 miles for the first week of the month. The weather was cooperative and I planned extra walking around the city as I did my errands. How are all the rest of the Buttercupland walkers doing?

After my day in the Flatiron area I went home to watch the Kentucky Derby on television. On my way to the subway I passed a very elegant Derby Day party at Eleven Madison Park, one of the loveliest restaurants in New York City. I have only eaten there once, but the memory stays with me. It looked like a very fun party and I enjoyed giving it a Waterlogue look.


Today the weather doesn't match last Saturday's sun. The forecast is for heavy rain and wind. It's the second Saturday of the month and I'm joining synagogue friends for our monthly study. I'm also joining my  Pink Saturday friends for blog fun and good times.

As ever, thanks for visiting. Take care and have a great weekend!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Times Square Is Not a Square


At the north end of Times Square a salute to George M. Cohan and his contributions to American music -- Give My Regards to Broadway, Over There and You're a Grand Old Flag.

Twilight looking south to Times Square
 
Times Square is dazzling, crowded and the center of theater in New York City. It is the iconic spot that almost every visitor wants to see. However, Times Square isn't a square. It's closer in shape to a polygon that starts at Forty Second Street and extends to the  TKTS (Discount theater ticket) kiosk at Forty Seventh Street. The latter is a great stop for same day discount theater tickets. 
 
In the Nineteenth century the area was known as Longacre Square (after the area in London) and it was the home of the horse trade. But the popular entertainment district moved uptown and by the end of the nineteenth century it was crowded with theaters and other amusements. In 1904 Longacre Square became Times Square when the New York Times moved its headquarters there. In 1907 the New Year's Eve ball drop began -- 100 years this year -- and the area became legendary throughout the world.  


Looking north from Forty Second Street.
 
There was some concern among the citizens of Buttercupland -- actually it was only my college friend, Karin -- that I wouldn't be finishing the A to Z Welcome to New York City. Do not trouble yourselves. I didn't finish in time for the challenge, but the remaining letters (including H) will be featured.
 
I was pleased to see the enthusiasm for the Mile A Day Challenge in May. It's nice to know that my Buttercupland buddies all over the world will be walking for good health this month. 
 
Today was errand day for me, uptown and downtown. There were a few pesky things that needed to get done and I happily checked several things off my list. It was a perfect spring day and I enjoyed being outside, walking and being productive. 
 
As ever, thanks for visiting and let's keep walking!    


Monday, May 1, 2017

Mile a Day in May


Purple Sneakers in Montevideo Uruguay, February 2017
 
One of my goals for 2017 is to walk 1,000 miles. I had a little setback when I broke my shoulder, but I'm back on track and getting in my mileage towards my goal. In April I walked 88 miles -- I need to walk 84 miles a month to make my goal -- and I'm right on schedule. 
 
I admit I have to push myself to keep walking, but then I remember it's not simply a goal, but a way of keeping fit and healthy. I've got my college friend, Jane, keeping me company on my journey of 1,000 miles, but I thought it would be fun to see if anyone in Buttercupland would like to join us. We're starting a little gentler with a challenge of a mile a day in May.  
 
The "rules" are simple. You need to walk 31 miles in May, preferably a mile a day and at least six miles each week. The goal is to make regular walks a healthy habit. Everyone is on their honor -- this is a trust worthy group -- and at the beginning of June I'll be posting a giveaway for everyone who completed an average of a mile a day. To keep myself accountable, I'll be posting about the Mile A Day every Monday and reporting my mileage for the week past. All miles count, whether you're corralling grandkids, doing errands, running or simply taking a walk after dinner.
 
I've got a busy week ahead -- errands and some fun things -- but I'm going to leave time in order to make sure I get my miles accomplished. My personal goal is 25 miles for the week ahead. It's going to take some planning, but it's a great cause, my better health.
 
Tomorrow we return to our New York A to Z fun with a visit to one of the most popular sites for visitors, Times Square. I hope you will stop by.
 
As ever, thanks for visiting and happy miles!  
    
 

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Let's Take a Ride on the Second Avenue Subway


One of the stations on New York's newest subway line, the Second Avenue Subway
 
 
The newest subway line, the Second Avenue Subway,  opened in January of this year after decades of planning. I visited on its first day of service and wrote the blog post in the link. With it's high ceilings it's very different than the stations that began subway service in New York City, built over 100 years ago. Whether you're a fan of mass transit -- as I am -- or simply want to admire our beautiful new stations, it's worth a visit to the Upper East Side to see them. 
 




I'm a tremendous fan of the art work in the new stations -- not simply because a friend was the art project manager -- but because I feel that I've stepped into an art gallery at each station. The work at the 72nd Street station was done by the Brazilian artist, Vik Muniz and the pieces at 86th Street -- one is shown below -- were done by the American artist, Chuck Close.  


My next post in this series -- later this week -- is going to be about using mass transit to get around New York City and I will give my tips to subway and bus usage. I'm a mass transit rider and especially enjoy riding the subway. Taxis are fine, but for getting around quickly, I'll take the subway.  

I'm joining my Pink Saturday buddies for some weekend fun. I hope that you will stop by and visit.

May looks to be a busy in month in Buttercupland. We'll still be visiting around New York City with the completion of New York from A to Z. Tomorrow I'm starting a walking challenge to celebrate the beautiful weather of May, and the month finishes with my college reunion. It's busy, it's fun and it will be even more fun if you're part of the good times.

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care!    

 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Rockefeller Center



For our "R" post of A to Z Blogging Challenge we're going to one of the most iconic sites in Manhattan, Rockefeller Center. Rockefeller Center was John D. Rockefeller's legacy to New York City. Completed in May, 1933 the immense project employed over 40,000 people during its construction, which was a major source of employment at the depth of the Depression. The legendary Christmas Tree Tradition began in 1931 and the icing skating rink opened in 1936. 

Prometheus stands guard over the icing skating rink. The statue is the work of the American sculptor, Paul Manship. One of the aspects of Rockefeller Center that deserves its own post is the range of sculpture, mosaic and murals that are a large part of the complex. Prometheus is only one very small -- but outstanding -- part of the art collection found here.  

I love the topiary rabbits in the spring, the chrysanthemum displays in the fall and the Christmas decorations at the end of the year. My first job in New York was two blocks away and I was a frequent visitor during my lunch hours.
 
The NBC Studios are located in Rockefeller Center.
 
A theater was planned as part of Rockefeller Center. However, the theater was conceived as one like no other in the world. The new radio company, RCA (Radio Corporation of America) joined with Rockefeller and Samuel Roxy Rothafel, who had previously opened the Roxy Theater to create what would become a legendary attraction.      

The 6,000 seat art deco Radio City Music Hall opened in December 1932. In January 1933 the format of a movie and a stage show with the Rockettes was adopted. I have wonderful memories of visiting New York with my parents. My big treat was lunch at the automat and seeing a movie and the show at Radio City.   

It's very soon to be April 27 and despite my good intentions it's highly unlikely I will finish the A to Z Blogging Challenge in April. I will post some of the last eight letters of the alphabet in April, but the remainder of posts will be published in May. For anyone keeping track, that includes the missing "H."

Our next stop will be the newest subway stations in the system, the Second Avenue subway. I hope you will join us for the most artistic ride in the city.

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care!
 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Queens: Afternoon in Astoria

 
Always time for coffee

One of my favorite pastimes is exploring New York City and one of my favorite neighborhoods is Astoria, Queens. Astoria was named for John Jacob Astor and remains a relatively low rise neighborhood of families and local stores. It's just a few subway stops from Manhattan, but a world away. On a sunny afternoon I like to take the train and ride to one of the stops on the N or W lines, and then I just start walking. There are good restaurants -- some of the best Greek food in New York City -- and interesting food stores.  


Last fall during one of my walks I discovered Leli's at 35-14 30th Avenue. The food is Maltese -- delicious -- and the service is friendly. My savory cheese pastry and coffee warmed me up on a cold autumn afternoon.   

It's always coffee o'clock for me!

 

I'm a total window shopper and I love the store windows of Astoria. The window above may be one of the last remaining hobby shops -- long may it live! -- and I spend a long time looking at the statues in the store window below.


A visit to the Museum of the Moving Image is a great activity while you're visiting Astoria. Its focus is film, television and digital imagery and it is a fascinating place to visit. There are many special events and programs, and it's a good idea to check the calendar when you're making your plans to visit New York. I was looking at the website while I was doing this post and found an event with Martin Scorsese scheduled for tomorrow afternoon. I think that's where I will be spending part of tomorrow.
 
I've enjoyed our visit to Queens as part of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.  Next stop is Rockefeller Center.
 
As ever, take care and have a great Sunday! 

Friday, April 21, 2017

A Walk in the (Central) Park: the Legacy of Olmstead and Vaux



Autumn in New York

I think one of the archetypal scenes of New York is Central Park in the autumn. Immortalized in movies, it's earned a place high on the list of places to visit during a trip to New York. Its 843 acres are set in the middle of Manhattan and form a serene center to the activity around it. Central Park was the first landscaped public park in the United States, authorized in 1853. It was designed by landscape designer, Frederick Law Olmstead and architect, Calvert Vaux.


There are summer Philharmonic concerts, Shakespeare performances and miles of jogging paths to enjoy. On a sunny afternoon -- these pictures were taken in November -- it is a beautiful place to enjoy what endless expanses of grass and trees, even in the biggest city in America.
 

Central Park is bordered on the east by Fifth Avenue and on the west by Central Park West, where I took these pictures. A fascinating added stop while you're visiting Central Park is the New York Historical Society, at Seventy-Seventh Street and Central Park West. It's one of my favorite museums, with a great restaurant and fun gift shop. I've enjoyed watching a featured movie on the history of New York, seeing the permanent collection, as well as the varied exhibitions. This poster advertises last fall's exhibition on the Battle of Brooklyn.  

If anyone notices I'm combining "O" for Olmstead and "P" for Park into one post for today's  A to Z Blogging Challenge. It's not quite the letter of the Challenge, but it is the spirit. I had trouble downloading some of the photographs I intended to use for "O," but I hope to do my original O post at a later time.

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care!