Tuesday, November 27, 2018

A Buttercupland First: Inflation Celebration

Before Thanksgiving totally retreats into memory, I'm happy to share photographs and impressions of  the Inflation Celebration, aka Balloon Preview for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Despite hoping to get to the Thanksgiving Eve preview for many years this was the first year that I made it. It wasn't the bright and sunny day that I'd dreamed about. It was overcast and windy. I was tempted to leave several times during the walk down Central Park West and around the American Museum of Natural History. But short of telling one of the many police officers along the route that I was physically unable to finish the viewing, I needed to walk the entire route, and so I did.

 I think I look reasonably chipper in my selfie with Paw Patrol...
...but I felt more like Doughboy when I was finally home that evening.
Baby Dino
Two of my favorite characters weren't balloons, but rather balloonicles. I was unfamiliar with the term "balloonicle," but it's a Macy's term for a balloon based vehicle. The Pillsbury Doughboy is a helium-filled balloon, but Baby Dino is filled with cold air and is powered by a driver driving a buggy. Whether a balloon or a balloonicle, Baby Dino is very cute.
Another cutie, and a balloonicle, is the Aflac Duck. I loved his bright  glowing heart and cozy scarf.
I'm glad I was there, but it may be both a first and a last for me. Of course if it's a sunny Thanksgiving Eve, 2019, I may just reconsider.
Though we may get a few warm days and it's not officially winter, it's still winter coat weather in New York. I keep thinking that it's still fall and I don't need a coat, gloves and scarf. But the minute I walk outside and the wind whips up from the Hudson River a block away, I remember why I wear a scarf. I did very mundane errands today and I was grateful for my layers as I waited for the bus. 
As ever, thanks for visiting and have a cozy evening.   

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Pink Saturday Pink Fifth Avenue Windows

Once again the windows at Bergdorf Goodman are beyond fabulous
I had a totally different plan for this post. I was all set to share photographs from the Balloon Preview for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. But the weather today was closer to spring than the rest of the week's winter forecast and I walked over to see some of the Fifth Avenue windows. My first stop was at West 58th Street and Fifth Avenue at Bergdorf Goodman, where I was spellbound by this pink masterpiece. No, it's not traditional, but it is fabulous and the perfect picture for Pink Saturday.

I was still leaning to featuring the balloons when I walked past this pink and white sugarplum fantasy, also at Bergdorf Goodman.

But then I crossed the street and discovered Tiffany's fabulous windows and this pink ice theme convinced that it was pink decorations for Pink Saturday. The balloons will have to wait for later this week.

Down the block, Gucci featured pink purses, sneakers and jewelry against a bright pink background. Again, it was highly untraditional, but very eye-catching.

There's only a touch of pink in this detail from Bendel's window display, but I was taken with the cute accessories. I thought of going inside to check the price, but this is the store where I found $135. hand lotion a few years ago. I just took the picture and kept walking.

The weather doesn't look as co-operative as today for window viewing the rest of the week. But I'm starting early this year and can plan my stops in the weeks ahead. I've got a long list of places to go and Bloomingdale's Grinch themed windows are next on my list.

I hope a happy Thanksgiving was had by all. My goal for this week is organization. I've done a lot of running around in the last few months and I'm trying to declutter, get in some gym time and do all the holiday things on a very long list. Chanukah begins next Sunday and then the holiday season will be off and running. I convinced myself that I've planned very well this year, but the proof ill be in last minute calm.

As ever, thanks for visiting and have a great week. Midwestern friends, stay safe.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018


I know the sign says "pie," and I am a fan of pie, but yesterday my thanks was for cheesecake. The specific cheesecake was made by my colleague, Tom, cheesecake maker extraordinaire. Despite the fact that I have been retired for over five years -- amazing! -- I returned to my former workplace for a Thanksgiving luncheon and somewhat to my surprise I was completely at home with my colleagues. Yes, there were unfamiliar faces and some people sat in different places, but around every turn there was a familiar face and one I was so glad to see.

Tonight I am filled with gratitude. Thankful for family, for colleagues and high school classmates, graduate school friends and those I've met blogging and via Facebook. There were those I met for the first time in far corners of the world after years of comments traded back and forth. College friends, neighborhood friends and synagogue friends. I'm grateful for the "new" friends,  Weight Watcher and yoga buddies. Around New York, New England and England, Australia and Tennessee, we've pondered the universe over endless cups of coffee and shared laughter and conversation. I can't imagine my life without all of you. I can't imagine my life without any of you.  

 Tom's renowned cheesecakes.
The top cake is pumpkin and the missing piece is the one that went on my plate.
 #absolutely delicious

Every wish, my dear blog friends, for a day of gratitude and happiness.
Happy Thanksgiving

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Charleston Sunday on Pink Saturday

Pink Charleston building for Pink Saturday 
Last Sunday I was enjoying the balmier climate in Charleston and this Sunday, it's winter jacket and gloves. I'm happy to go back just a week in time to the delicious brunch I had at Poogan's Porch. It wasn't fancy, but downhome and delicious and I'm craving a biscuit -- or two -- from Poogan's again.
I ate biscuits all over Charleston, and yes, I may have overdone it. But they were all so good and not a treat I get very often in New York. It's probably just as well for my waistline, but I don't regret one of them. This batch was especially light and fluffy.
 Poogan's Porch was literally next door to where I stayed in Charleston, Elliott House. We could have walked miles and I doubt if I would have found a better brunch.  
This is the menu I had to pick from. I initially thought of chicken and waffles or one of the omelets, but after a big piece of pecan pie the night before, I opted for the Down Home breakfast, which featured scrambled eggs. As long as I got biscuits I was happy and the eggs were delicious. I guess I'll have to return to Poogan's to try one of the omelets or the Banana Foster French Toast.
I'm starting to take holiday photographs, but no Christmas or Chanukah pictures until after Thanksgiving. The first batch of pictures will be posted on Friday and I promise there will be many more after that.
On a different topic, I've had trouble posting comments on many of my friends' blogs. When I attempt to post I get a note that the site isn't safe. I sent a note to the company that notified me and got clearance for one of the blogs. I hope to get clearance for more in the next few days. I don't want to be a stranger come the holidays. 
As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care.    

Thursday, November 15, 2018

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Winter...

...and I won't make believe that I'm happy about it.
On November 15 I should be wearing my lighter winter jacket and sneakers. I don't expect to need to be bundled up in winter coat, hat, boots and gloves. Luckily, I was prepared for the snow that is presently blanketing New York City. It looks like there is three inches -- or more -- outside and I can hear the snow plows making regular rounds. This snowy wonderland is our local community garden, one of my favorite places in the neighborhood.
Just two hours before I took the snowy picture, I captured the autumn leaves. I'm two hours, two blocks and a season away from the first picture. But I got my errands done -- grocery shopping, the post office and a Christmas gift bought. Once again, I'm resolving to get my holiday errands done in a timely fashion. I've bought about half of the things on my list and have wrapping paper and tape. I've ordered cards -- thank you, Shutterfly for your generous offers -- and bought stamps. Now I just have to settle down and start wrapping and addressing.

 On sunny Tuesday I captured the last rose of summer. It wasn't warm, but it was sunny and twenty degrees warmer. Until the spring, farewell, dear roses. Alas, winter has arrived.

I had a wonderful trip to Charleston last week. Great sights, great weather, great food and great friends. I took a lot of pictures -- even for me -- but I've got them pretty well sorted out. I'll be doing a Pink Saturday post with my favorite photographs of Charleston. It's going to be difficult to choose, but I've got a few in mind.

As ever, thanks for visiting and keep cozy!

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

The Journey of 1000 Miles Continues

New York goes to the polls, 2018
Voting in New York City is no different that voting across the United States. I voted in an overheated school gym in my neighborhood. It was crowded, actually as crowded as I've ever seen the turnout for a mid-term election. Under a white canopy outside the school the PTA was running a bake sale. There was lots of staff to explain how to scan our ballots and to keep the literally hundreds of Upper West Siders in line. 
The biggest difference about voting in Manhattan and voting in most other places is that I walked to PS 163. There are closer polling places, but for some reason I cannot understand, my building was assigned to a site not quite a mile away. Despite wind and rain, I walked over. My round trip this morning was 1.7 miles, slightly more than half of my daily walking goal. 
Yes, I have a daily walking goal. I don't always make it, but usually I'm close to or above the three miles I try to walk daily. I began 2017 with a goal of walking 1,000 miles. I ended the year with a total of 1,040 miles. I started 2018 with the same goal and in the first week of November I've walked over 900 miles. My thousand miles for 2018 is right in sight. I'm hoping to make it to 1100 miles, but that will depend on the weather. Icy sidewalks are not conducive to long walks.
I've found I love to walk, and I especially love to walk outside. I don't enjoy the treadmill, so I've found that if I'm bundled up in winter or in the right combination of layers in other seasons I can do a lot of my errands via walking. I started slowly. In 2016 my goal was two miles a day, and in 2012 after my spinal surgery I was happy to do three or four blocks. I'm grateful for how far -- literally and figuratively -- I've been able to travel. 
 As much as I'd like to take the journey in 2019 it may not be possible. In the first week of January, I'm going to have a total hip replacement for my right hip. This will definitely sideline my walking journey for several months. I'm hoping by the spring I'll be walking all over New York City again and by April I'll be back on an airplane.

I'm a walker, but I also enjoy my seated yoga classes and strength training machines at the local Y. It has come as a complete surprise how much I like working out on the machines. Is anyone else a fan of weights? Yoga? Walking?

As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care!

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Pink Saturday Goes to the Autumn Farmer's Market

It's finally fall, and I am so excited.
Summer seemed as though it was going to last forever and last week we got a quick taste of early winter, but happily today was a true fall day.  I had planned a quiet relaxing weekend, but out of town visitors and last minute plans to spend time with close friends, made it less quiet. I found myself running around Manhattan -- and my running around included a trip to the Farmer's Market at Columbia University.
  There was a wonderful apple selection, including this assortment from Samascott Orchards in Kinderhook, NY, in Columbia County. I was pleased to find my favorite variety, the tart and tasty Macoun.
After buying a few apples, I noticed the pie section, especially the big cherry pie in the right corner. I was tempted, very tempted. But I've had lots of indulgences during October, especially during my visit to Tennessee. It took a lot of will power to resist the call of the cherry pie, but somehow I did. I think it would be a great choice to bring to Thanksgiving dinner. I'm not sure, however, that I could buy it earlier in the week and that it would still be whole by Thursday, especially if there just happened to be vanilla ice cream in the freezer. 
 It wasn't just pies that caught my attention. Two Guys from Woodbridge had some of the nicest produce I've seen in a long time. The assorted lettuce and herbs are grown in Hamden, CT, a suburb of New Haven. I commented to the young woman who was working at the stand that it wasn't farm country. She explained that the produce is grown in green houses without soil, or hydroponically. In a relatively small space a lot can be grown. I spent some time tonight exploring the website and was fascinated by the hydroponic process. Everything grown there is organic, too. Connecticut friends, you can find produce from Two Guys from Woodbridge in Guilford, Fairfield, New Haven and Hamden. 
   I enjoyed seeing the one of the green houses in Hamden.
Three busy days ahead and then my last adventure out of town -- that's planned! -- for 2018. I've got the usual collection of errands, yoga and my Weight Watchers meeting. My schedule also includes voting on Tuesday. It's a right, a privilege and a responsibility and I have missed very few opportunities to vote in the last 46 years.
As ever, thanks for visiting. Happy to link up with some of my favorite blog friends at Pink Saturday. Wishes to all for happy autumn days.