Thursday, May 31, 2018

Books, Books and Blissfully, More Books

Finally, one of my favorite events of the year, BookExpo 2018, has arrived.
I've survived the first day -- and what a day. The day's events run from 9:30 am to 6:00 and it's a full day. I paced myself this year and didn't try to see every book signing and every panel, though it was tempting. When I arrived this morning the floor of the Javits Center seemed more hectic than I remembered and my thought was that I had no way to make my way through the crowd. But I decided to focus on the first panel of the day -- a discussion of six books scheduled to be published this fall -- and ignore the long lines for book signings and swirls of people. Once again it was a successful strategy for enjoying this event. I got my own rhythm and had great book discussions throughout the day.  
One of my favorite parts of BookExpo is meeting authors. One of the high points of today was meeting Christina Baker Kline.  She was signing copies of her latest novel, A Piece of the World, which is inspired by Andrew Wyeth's relationship with Christina Olson, the subject of his painting, Christina's World. It's a favorite painting and I am very excited to start reading. Christina Baker Kline is as nice as she is talented. I've been a reader of hers for quite awhile. If you haven't had the opportunity to read this latest book, you may know her work from reading Orphan Train. 
Going from the sublime to the less sublime, I met a favorite character from books, the very delightful Wimpy Kid.
Moving now to not sublime at all, but lots of fun, it's the Queen and two of the most beautiful corgis imaginable. They were at the Scholastic booth promoting the latest Mac Undercover book.
I've circled any number of things I want to do tomorrow, but it's also nice to know that I can be open to whatever seems engaging. There will be pictures of tomorrow's activities, but they may not appear until Saturday. I walked 7 miles today and though I'm not feeling it too badly tonight, even another five miles tomorrow may be too much activity to do more than come home, eat dinner and enjoy one of my new books -- until I fall asleep reading.
As ever, thanks for visiting. Take care and have a fabulous Friday. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

While my friend L and I watched television, Oscar enjoyed a fun cat video.
Had a great visit this weekend with my fifth grade bestie, L. We ate cookies, went to a wonderful craft show, saw two movies -- huge treat -- and had fun with her two cats. Bernie was not in the mood for photographs, but I got a few good pictures of Oscar, including one of him enjoying a cat video. Any other cat fans in Buttercupland?
Tomorrow starts one of my favorite events of the year, Book Expo. I will be at the Javits Center early in the day for panels, author meetings and eight solid hours of books and more books. There will be pictures, both tomorrow and Friday.
As ever, thanks for visiting and wishes for a terrific Thursday.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Memorial Day

I found this sign on a local store as I was running errands yesterday. Thanks, Schmackary's, for sharing your thoughts. With profound gratitude for all who gave their lives for the freedoms of our country.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

May Flowers Pink Saturday

April showers and May showers gave us these glorious spring flowers
It's been a cold and rainy -- very rainy -- spring and what should be the sunny days of May have been the rainy days of May. But when I can look beyond no sun and soggy shoes I see some of the prettiest flowers growing in the patch of grass between the sidewalks of New York and the my street. I was coming home from the umpteenth day of doing errands clad in a raincoat and I looked down and discovered these beauties. I know Pink Saturday is anything goes now, I still am pleased when I find just the right photograph that's pretty in pink.
I had hoped to get to the post for "U" today, but unexpected (and very welcome) company from California delightedly turned my plans upside down. I make every effort not to overschedule, but this seems to be one of those seasons where I've said yes to too many interesting things. I don't quite have the retirement complaint that I'm busier than when I worked, but I'm busier than I've been in a long while.
This will be a short and sweet post as I wind down to get ready for the week ahead. As always, thanks for visiting and good wishes for the week ahead. 

Friday, May 18, 2018

T Is for Times Square

T is for Times Square, of course!
When I started to put together the list of stations for this year's A to Z, I wrote down the letters of the alphabet. Next to the letter "G" I wrote Grand Central Station and next to the letter "T" I wrote Times Square. I filled in most of the letters easily, though a few were challenges. I rewrote the list several times adding names and taking others away, but the choices for G and T never changed.
I've written about Times Square several times, but this history in a nutshell includes a different twist. Originally the area was called Longacre, after the area in London. But with the beginning of the IRT subway line real estate speculation began in the area. In January 1905 a new headquarters for the New York Times was opened between Broadway and Seventh Avenue and 42nd and 43rd Streets. Longacre Square became Times Square. The New York Times is no longer at Times Square, but over one hundred years later the name remains.  
Time to stop and hear the music
This station is one of the busiest in the system and it's also one of the liveliest. Music Under New York is an MTA program that brings a wide variety of musicians to the subways. This is one of my favorite spots in the subway system to enjoy the performers.
The Times Square Station has an extraordinary selection of art. Perhaps my favorite piece is New York in Transit by the distinguished artist, Jacob Lawrence. I may have passed this glass mosaic mural a thousand times -- I am often in this station -- but really "saw" it for the first time while I was taking photographs for this series a few months ago. 
New York in Transit by Jacob Lawrence
One of the scenes of "The Revelers," by Jane Dickson

This beautiful mosaic series, of which the mural above is a part, recalls the activity that comes to mind immediately at the thought of Times Square, its legendary New Year's Eve ball drop. After a few years of watching the excitement on television I experienced it on New Year's Eve of 1966. My memory was that it was an unusually warm night for December -- I just looked it up and it was 63 degrees -- and I was visiting New York with my parents. We stood somewhere on Broadway and did the countdown to 1966 with thousands of other people who were enjoying the balmy night. For New Yorkers, however, 1966 would not begin auspiciously. January 1, 1966 is remembered as the start of a thirteen day transit strike which affected all of New York and closed every subway station.

In our next subway post we'll begin a short trip at Chambers Street. Please stop by to join our excursion. 

As ever, thanks for visiting and have a fabulous Friday!   

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

You Can Go Home Again

Dartmouth Hall
Dartmouth College, Hanover New Hampshire
In what seems a century ago I had the great good fortune to spend my junior year at Dartmouth. In 1970 women were not accepted for degrees and I was there as part of an exchange program. The following fall the Trustees voted to permit women to matriculate as degree candidates. I would have loved to stay, but alas, it was too late for me. Nonetheless Dartmouth held a corner in my heart. I've been back to visit several times, but the trip from New York is just far enough to make it infrequent. I spent last week visiting my friend K, in Vermont. She lives about ninety minutes north of Dartmouth and suggested it would make an excellent excursion. As usual, K was correct.   
For much of the year Hanover is chilly, very chilly. One of my most vivid memories of the winter I spent there was the cold and snow, and there were a number of nights in January when the temperature dropped to thirty below, wind chill not factored in. The day we were there, however, was as perfect a spring day in New England can be. Students studied on the Green in front of Dartmouth Hall, one of the first buildings on the campus. The college was founded in 1769 and the original Dartmouth Hall was built in 1784.
Baker Library
I turned to the left from my view of Dartmouth Hall and saw one of my favorite buildings on campus, Baker Library. In a different college environment, I probably spent as much time here as in my dorm room. My favorite place to study was the reserve room in the basement. This may sound gloomy, but it is also the site of an extraordinary set of murals by the Mexican artist,  Jose Clemente Orozco. In 1970 there were times it was difficult to find a seat there, but now most things on reserve are easily retrieved via computer. There were lots of seats in 2018.

Bikes and blossoms on a perfect New England spring day
The reserve room might be almost empty and the stores along Main Street for the most part are very different, but Hanover felt familiar and welcoming. With my apologies to Thomas Wolfe, you can go home again, and for one spring day in New Hampshire, I did.
I hope you've enjoyed this visit back in time. Tomorrow we resume the A to Z, which despite some comments I've gotten, I haven't forgotten. There are seven letters left in the alphabet and very interesting stops. 
As ever, thanks for visiting and wishes for a wonderful Wednesday!

Monday, May 7, 2018

S Is for South Ferry

Welcome to South Ferry!
For my absence this week, I plead a case of "SBF", aka Severe Blogger Fatigue. This little known malady -- too many pictures, too many links and way too much time in front of the computer for one brain -- coincided with the arrival of warm weather in New York City, causing said blogger to take to long walks and hours sitting outside and enjoying the soft breezes. I've got remnants of SBF, but I'm ready to resume the A to Z blogging about the subway system. S takes us to South Ferry, at the very southern tip of Manhattan Island. If I enter the subway system at my station at West 86th Street and just stay on the train, I will emerge at the very end of the #1 line in the spot above. It's about as close as I can get to "Beam me up, Scotty."
It's been a rough century for the South Ferry station. It was closed from 2001 until 2009 to repair damage from the September 11 attacks. It was then closed again in 2012 due to damage from Hurricane Sandy and reopened last year. This area of Lower Manhattan is at sea level and hurricane storm surge of fifteen + feet did tremendous damage to the subway station and the surrounding area. 

Directly in front of the subway entrance is the Staten Island Ferry terminal. The ferry runs every half hour during the day and is my favorite way of viewing New York harbor. Going out of Manhattan I like to view the Statue of Liberty. I've done it many times and it has never lost its thrill. On the return trip I like to watch the Brooklyn waterfront. If you visit New York City this ride is a must-do experience.
We looked south to the Ferry terminal and now we're looking north to the home of  the first native-born American citizen to be canonized in the Roman Catholic Church, Saint Elizabeth Seton. Canonized in 1975 Saint Elizabeth Seton founded the Sisters of Charity. This was the first congregation of religious sisters founded in the United States.
From a very different perspective the chapel and house are viewed
with their Financial District neighbors.

I'm glad to be a recovering blogger and moving ahead with the subway tour. I'm off on a quick four day adventure tomorrow. I hope to share photographs while I'm away and resume with T over the weekend.

As ever, thanks for visiting and enjoy the spring weather.