Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Walking through Art of the Twentieth Century

The Calder mobile welcomes visitors to the Guggenheim Museum
I wasn't an art history major in college. My only art history class was a sweeping survey class that in one semester made a good attempt to cover all of Western Art History. As much as I loved art history I became totally overwhelmed memorizing the floor plans of thirty cathedrals and didn't take another art history class in college. Not surprisingly I don't remember learning much about the twentieth century or even getting to Impressionism. I've taken a number of lecture classes since moving to New York, but there are many areas where I have tremendous gaps.

I spent yesterday morning filling in some of those gaps, and what a perfect way to spend a rainy Tuesday morning or any time. My friend, Nancy, and I have spent a number of afternoons in museums this summer and thankfully, Nancy has a keen eye for the museum calendar. She realized this exhibit on the history of the collection at the Guggenheim Museum is scheduled to close next week and we quickly set up a time to visit. It wasn't a quick museum visit, but rather a fabulous overview of the history of art of the first half of the twentieth century. My only regret is that I didn't get there sooner and may not get a chance to go back before it closes.    

"Painting is by nature a luminous language"
Robert Delaunay is one painter that I wasn't familiar with and after seeing several of his paintings in the exhibit, I am officially a major admirer. This is "Circular Forms," originally inspired by observations of the planets and stars. 

I've been an Alexander Calder admirer for years and I enjoyed both the mobile and the reflection.

If you're in New York, you've got slightly less than a week to visit this extraordinary exhibit. Fortunately we can all enjoy the museum website and visit as often as we'd like.

We got the first feeling of autumn yesterday. It was rainy and jacket weather. Today we were back to summer, but the morning still had just a twinge of a chill. I enjoyed my regular Wednesday schedule -- Weight Watchers, lunch at the diner in the neighborhood and yoga. I spent the evening catching up with my friend, K, and my next destination is the New York Times crossword puzzle.

My heart continues to break for Houston and all of Texas and the Gulf. I can't say I know how you feel, but I do know how it feels to have your city devastated by a hurricane. My continuing prayers.

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care.


Saturday, August 26, 2017

Pink Saturday Goes Back to School

Growing up, one of my favorite activities was back to school shopping. Even though I preferred dresses with crinoline petticoats and my mother leaned strongly to shirtwaist dresses and cotton slips, I enjoyed the ritual of shopping for school clothes every August. Even though I didn't especially want to return to school and it would be too hot to wear any of my new purchases it was one of my favorite activities. Now that I'm retired my wardrobe is composed mostly of yoga pants and jeans, but I still like looking at the fall clothes. I don't buy a lot of clothes these days and I don't miss shopping, but I like looking at clothes. I was buying new towels last week and somehow I drifted into the clothing section.  

I love these cardigan sweaters and this picture is perfect for Pink Saturday. I like all of the colors, but I'm most drawn to the ruby/cranberry one on the right. I'm not sure that I need it and I'm going to think about before I buy a sweater that may end up sitting forlorn in a drawer.
I think this is an elegant look, but a little too elegant for my casual look. Yes. it's almost always dress-down day on my calendar. 

But I did do a little end of the season shopping. Bathing suits were advertised as reduced 90%. This top was only reduced 82%, but that still made it very reasonably priced. It fits, it somewhat flatters and the price was definitely right. Sold! I also bought the yoga pants -- my new wardrobe staple -- also at 80% reduction. I've never bought expensive yoga pants, being unsure if I would stick with it. But I'm back to classes after my broken shoulder hiatus and I'm getting to class twice a week. This year my fancy new yoga pants are my back to school/welcome to autumn shopping. Quite a change from the pleated skirts and cable sweaters of my school years. Do you buy new clothes at the start of a new season? What does your wardrobe look like now?

Back to school clothes, Halloween cards in the stores and apples at the market -- autumn is almost here. I'm still savoring summer and I'm glad I got to use my new bathing suit at the beach last weekend.

My prayers to all in Texas and the Gulf region. Stay safe and as dry as you can. Harvey, it's time for you to go way, way out to sea and fast!

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care.


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Tonight My Heart is in Barcelona

The view of Barcelona from the art museum

I've tried to blog several times this week. I try to keep Buttercupland light and fun and every time I got ready to organize my photographs or sit down at the computer, something happened that was far from light and fun. I was all set this afternoon for a fun post of sights on the streets of New York, when I saw an alert on my phone. Barcelona...and I was glued to the television for hours.

Barcelona is one of the cities of my heart. I've only made one trip there, but I loved it and have been thinking of a return trip. I did several blog posts about my 2011 trip and chose this one to share tonight. My trip to the Mercat Santa Catarina (the fabulous retail food market of Barcelona)  evokes a peaceful day in Barcelona and my prayers are that day returns soon to Barcelona and to every other place sorely in need of peace and calm. 
Along the waterfront of Barcelona
The Cathedral of Barcelona

On a happier note...I've been remiss with announcing the winner of the giveaway for The Farmer's Market Cookbook. Joy Nissen, I'm happy to let you know that I'll be sending a copy of this terrific cookbook to you. Congratulations and happy cooking!

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

I Love Saybrook in the Summer When It Sizzles

In black and white...

...and the same view in color.
With my apologies to both Cole Porter and to the beautiful and non-sizzling weather in Old Saybrook, CT today, I love this view in every season. It's the marina view of the Saybrook Point Inn. My friend Lonni's daughter was married here a year ago and Lonni and I enjoyed the time spent here so much we have returned in every season. Sometimes -- like today -- the marina is complete with boats and other times -- as in the photograph below -- the boats are waiting out the winter elsewhere.

Each visit brings changes and this visit brought the new wood carvings throughout the property.
With each visit Saybrook captures another tiny piece of my heart. I spent many summer days at nearby beaches when I was growing up and the visits bring up memories of childhood summers with family. So many of those loved ones I shared those days with are long gone, but their memories are vivid in shores and shadows of Long Island Sound. 
 When I was replaying "I Love Paris" before writing this post I thought the words weren't quite right for my experiences along the Connecticut shore. There was no romance and no romantic memories, so the phrase "because my love is there" just wasn't appropriate for this post. But love takes on many meanings and my love is definitely there with family and the dearest of friends. I love Saybrook every season because my love is there.   
Yes, this dessert was as delicious as it looks.  
There are memories, there is the view and the water and there is also the food. One of the highpoints of our visits are long, leisurely, delicious lunches. Today I discovered Gelato Giuliana, made in New Haven. I had vanilla and salted caramel. Both were delicious, but my favorite was the salted caramel. I'm on the lookout for finding this fabulous gelato in New York. If I'm unsuccessful I will just have to make more visits to Connecticut. I'm especially eager to try the signature flavor, La Giuliana, which is espresso, mascarpone and chocolate swirl. 

Tomorrow I resume my regularly scheduled life: yoga, Weight Watchers -- the scale may not be a friend -- and grocery shopping. How are you spending August?

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Pink Saturday Celebrates Sunflower Sunday

A salute to Sunflower Sunday, postcard filter courtesy of Snapseed. 

A picture is worth a thousand words and four photographs of the flowers of mid-summer should be worth an entire book. Even in the land of pavement of New York City flowers surround us. It takes a little work to find them, but really very little. All four of these photographs were taken within a half mile of where I live. The weather has been beautiful the last few days and I've been out flower scouting. The reward has been more than enough to last me through the short days when November turns to December and it seems as though spring is a lot more than months away.
My project of the day was a walk to the farmers market, where I found these bouquets and zinnias in the picture below. I thought of buying a bouquet -- or two -- but I had plans to venture to Macy's before I got sidetracked listening to music in the park next to the farmers market.

I discovered these roses at a school program for green careers. These beauties were totally unexpected and a great surprise as I walked along Amsterdam Avenue this morning.

I love these summer days. There 's still lots of light, no jackets are needed and I can find flowers just about around every corner. I also found the first local apples of the season at the farmers market. Not quite sweet yet, but I'm always excited to see the first fruits.

I'm joining my friends at Pink Saturday for more summer fun. Please stop by and visit.

As ever, thanks for visiting. Hope your weekend was fun!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Farmers Market Time


One of the pleasures of BlogHer was meeting and getting to know bloggers from throughout the country. I enjoyed a wonderful conversation with Lucy Hendry, blogger at Lucy's in the Kitchen. We had a great time talking and discovered our mutual love of healthy eating and vegetables. Lucy graciously offered a copy of her terrific cookbook, The Farmer's Market Cookbook -- a link is on her blog page -- for a giveaway for the citizens of Buttercupland. 

It's an easy peasy giveaway. Please be a follower of Buttercupland -- via Google+, Bloglovin or directly on the blog and leave a comment mentioning your favorite purchase from a farmers market. This month I'm looking for stone fruits. Love all the peaches, nectarines and plums of this time of the summer. There's an extra entry for Instagram followers  -- just mention you're following Buttercup in your comment. I will choose a winner next Thursday, August 10, so please be sure to leave your comment by Wednesday, August 9.   

I live near three different farmers markets and I pass by at least one every week. I visited the 97th Street market last week and found lots of goodies. The organizers were featuring summer squash and shared cooking tips and recipes.

I'm not a beet fan -- though I keep trying to learn to love eating them -- except when it comes to photographs. I love the look of beets using a Snapseed postcard filter. 

I am a radish and lettuce fan, especially when they are freshly picked.

My August calendar is very uncrowded. Top of the list is reading -- so many books are calling me -- decluttering, catching up on medical appointments and finding a few new iced coffee places. I've neglected my coffee explorations and I plan to change that in August.
What are your August plans?
As ever, thanks for visiting and have a fabulous Friday!