It was a glorious May Day here in Brooklyn...sun was shining, birds were singing...and the faint scent of urine wafted up off the hot sidewalks. sigh. hey, two out of three ain't bad.
I hit the Gowanus Nursery to plant out another couple containers in my backyard (SO proud of myself that I am not buying more than my pot capacity!). It was a really charming, albeit small, garden center. One of those whose appeal lies more in charming vignettes, unusual plants, and interesting objects than row upon row of impatiens and geraniums. You'll have to check out http://365daysinmyhouse.blogspot.com/ tomorrow to see the results of today's plant shopping.
After the nursery I drove around Gowanus a little bit...am KICKING myself that I did not slam on the brakes when I saw a group of people, literally about to Dance Around the Maypole at a community garden. By the time I circled the block (not always an easy feat in Brooklyn), they were done, and the photo opp missed. Sigh. I *did* see this charming community garden at Summit St & Columbia Ave with some turquoise chairs that looked particularly inviting.
I do love a rainy day...it always feels like the perfect excuse to not go anywhere and just stay home in my nighty and piddle about. A little work, a little movie watching, some snacks...
but on this grey damp day I thought it would be nice to look back at a lovely sunny day. they're *also* nice :-)
Sunset Park in Sunset Park, looking towards Manhattan. You can just see bits of the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges. With all the activity in the park that afternoon, I loved the guy in green curled up and napping in the middle of a lawn.
now, HERE I KNOW I was in Williamsburg. I think. I'd just come over the bridge and don't think I'd turned and hadn't gone too far.
I've seen the torn-out fashion-magazine page as wallpaper, furniture coverings, and collage backgrounds, but I think this is the first time I've seen it as Window Treatment! I wonder if they've doubled-up so they have something interesting to look at on the inside, too.
I do see a lot of REALLY covered-up windows in Brooklyn...windows that look like they NEVER see the light of day. And they're not always street-level...which I GET. I wouldn't DO it, but I GET it. What is that, exactly??
I had planned to go to Brooklyn Botanic Garden this Sunday to admire and photograph the cherry trees in full bloom...but I had an attack of conscience and decided that since I'd had a "play" day Saturday, I really should stick around the apartment and catch up on some work and cleaning. Sigh.
So, in lieu of carefully manicured and tended "park" trees, you're getting a Mermaid Ave, Coney Island street tree. Still a lovely display...and maybe even a little more appreciated than the "kept" trees.
The Good News is I finally sat down and forced myself to complete the financial aid forms for my daughter's college...and a bunch of other stuff that's been piling up (like dirty dishes!). I guess all's well that ends well, and hopefully next weekend I'll get to BBG and the showers we're expecting this week will not have knocked all the blossoms to the ground.
I'm a b-a-a-a-a-d blogger :-( I keep forgetting to jot down where the heck I am when I take photos! I do a lot of random driving around looking for "where I will live next," and am not really clear on the borders between some areas. If I believed CraigsList apartment postings, I would *never* know where I was! Williambsurg, East Williamsburg, Bushwick/East Williamsburg?? Anything they can do to put Williamsburg in the location name! I need to find a map with *firm* boundaries w street names. In the meantime, forgive my CraigsList-like locations...because I really *don't* know when I've crossed from W'burg to B'wick (or other places. Basically, I NEVER know where I am anymore!).
So, here is a cool wall mural in mumblemumbleWilliamsburgorBushwickmumblemumble all about Asthma! I love how it appears many different artists worked on it yet it's such a cohesive overall picture.
I love coming across little community gardens all around Brooklyn...they're a delight to find in the midst of so much concrete. Most I've seen recently have been busy and blooming...so I was a little disappointed to see this one earlier this evening in (on?) Coney Island. I hope the residents spring into action soon and take advantage of the upcoming growing season and fix up this garden...because there's an opportunity here to have a really lovely space in the midst of...a not very pretty area.
I got back to the Narrows Botanical Garden this afternoon...there were some charming tulip displays, and the roses look prematurely ready to do something...and there was cactus! But today what I found most fun were these giant metal butterflies...dancing in the air, backlit by the sunset over the _____ (whatever that water out there is called). I'll keep checking back as different things should be coming into bloom...
I feel like that could sorta be the title for my life right now...
My daughter and I had breakfast Saturday at Jacques Torres Chocolate Shop in DUMBO. They don't really have breakfast food. It didn't matter. We had thick rich hot chocolates (she classic, and me wicked, w chili pepper, yum) and some kind of sticky bun thing. Then we walked down Water St to Brooklyn Bridge Park. There was one of those...gosh, I don't know what they're called, but they put them up when they're doing construction on buildings, like a hallway, sort of. Anyway, all along the building inside the "hallway" was interesting graffiti. I enjoy graffiti. You know, the arty kind. Not so much the "destructive w no apparent message or purpose" kind.
I don't know if these items go together - the warrior girl and the "lost" message...but I like them together.
amazing that in just the last few days the trees have leafed out...I barely noticed the bud stage, there were just brown twigs, brown twigs, brown twigs, POOF, leaves! I love this time of year.
the child was home from college this past week and came in to brooklyn for a whopping 24-hours to visit her mom. sigh. yesterday we headed to DUMBO in the morning for breakfast and a stroll through Brooklyn Bridge Park (more pictures to follow), then to Red Hook for some plant shopping at Chelsea Garden Center...you'll have to visit http://365daysinmyhouse.blogspot.com/ to see the results.
So, FINALLY a reasonable commute home last night, like the "good old days" before the winter break in February. Home IN THE APARTMENT at 5:45. THAT'S what I'm talking about!
That gave us plenty of time to explore a new park - Sunset Park - the PARK, not the neighborhood. I'd never quite found it before. But yesterday all the planets were lined up just so and EVERYONE found it, cuz it was PACKED! Kids and families and bikes and dogs and balloons and ice cream push-carts, it was great :-)
I was really looking for the off-leash dog run...and when we first entered the park, veering out of the path of enthusiastic scoot-ers and kids flying by on bicycles, I could just make out a dog running Way Over There...so we made our way across...stopping to get a couple shots of the NYC skyline (always a lovely thing no matter how many times you've seen it), but that's for another time. We got to said dog, a large border collie type, with his owner putting him through his paces of frisbee, come, down, stay, etc. In typical border collie style, he was all attention and intentness. I felt bad interrupting them, but as I saw no entrance to the grassy hill they were on (alone), I asked.
Turns out the young man is a dog walker/trainer in the city and he showed me the "secret entrance" to the nice private area...pretty much enclosed by fence between it and the rest of the park, but "open" to the street side, but for a 5' or so drop to the sidewalk below. A dog would have to *really* want to get out of the area to jump down, and Caleb is so not a run-away-er that I felt comfortable being in there. BUT it was a little precarious getting in - I had to climb up onto a low narrow ledge, that got higher as you went along...Caleb trailing along behind me...and sort of sidled along til I could get to the opening in the fence.
Finally we were in (and alive, to boot! yay!), and Caleb and Logan (the border collie) got to play while Teo, the young man, and I chatted dogs. We stayed til the sun was almost down...and then we climbed back out (a little scarier than climbing in, but I'll do it for Caleb!) and headed home.
Teo told me about a doggie play group there some mornings...we'll try to make it back up there some weekend soon...and a beach somewhere along the Belt Parkway where dogs are allowed off-leash and can swim. Caleb would love that!
tonight we drove over to shore rd, to look for the Narrows Botanical Garden. We walked and walked and walked...made the hairpin turn right before the Verrazano Bridge...and walked some more. I THOUGHT the gardens were up at that end! I was SURE they were! We walked and walked. Past busses and empty lots and tennis courts and fallen trees and playgrounds and lawns. The closest thing I saw to a "garden" was these little clumps of daffodils on a hillside.
not EXACTLY the stuff that botanical gardens are made of :-( We kep walking...down, down down....seemed so nice...til I realized D'OH!!! EVENTUALLY we're gonna have to go back UP! We finally got to this LONNNNNNNG staircase curving back up to Shore Rd. I will forever think of it as Heart Attack Hill. The whole way up I was realizing I have STILL not made myself an emergency ID card to carry around...and I was hoping Caleb was clever enough that when I collapsed, clutching my chest, he would know to get the cell phone out of my back pocket and call 911.
Fortunately it didn't come to that. But I got to the top and realized I should have taken a picture of the staircase from the bottom...but there was No Way I was going back down for a picture - just to come back UP again. Sorry, I love taking pictures, but I'm not dying for my art. Not today.
PS - when I got home I looked up the Narrows Botanical Garden, and I was TOTALLY in the wrong spot! I'll save that for another day.
She lives! with the traffic flow (or the lack thereof) the way it's been for the past month, I should change the name of this blog to "Every Nine Days (or so) in Brooklyn." sheesh. but tonight, finally, I got home while it was still light enough to get the dog and get somewhere. and we chose to take a stroll on the Coney Island boardwalk. Til now, I've only seen it in its depressed winter state. But tonight there were rides open and running, and a couple open food concessions. I got a slice...Caleb was admired by the passersby...one woman even asked if it was alright to have her picture taken with him. He loves the attention. But more than that, he loved the Boardwalk! Or, I should say, all the FOOD dropped on the boardwalk! He was like a little canine bulldozer, walking along, nose to wood...snuffling up anything in his path - pizza crusts, matzohs, funnel cake remains. He thinks Coney Island is The Greatest Place on Earth!
Anyway...standing out on the Steeplechase Pier, looking back across the beach towards the Wonder Wheel and other rides...
Caleb and I had a lovely afternoon at Prospect Park today. The hills were definitely alive with the sound of springtime...tons of families and dog walkers and kids chasing balloons....and some defiant soccer teams practicing!
As you know, 5 months ago I moved from Islip (Suffolk County), Long Island to Brooklyn. Where in Brooklyn exactly? Uh, The Belt Parkway.
That's definitely what it feels like lately. The traffic ebbs and flows...and we're definitely in a high tide situation....as my afternoon commute has gone from an hour-fifteen to two or more hours OUCH. Sometimes there's bad weather, or an accident, and then I get it. But on a clear dry day?? Then it's personal. Then it's the 12,000 other people traveling west on the Belt Parkway between 4:30 and 7:30 pm PURPOSELY getting in my way. I don't know what I did to them, but it must have been pretty bad. You think if I gave them each a Starbucks gift card they'd GET THE HELL OUT OF MY WAY?????
I've been waiting FIVE MONTHS to go to Little Cupcake in Bay Ridge w my daughter. FINALLY, yesterday, we got there. It was charming...and PACKED. She had a peanut butter cupake - why - and I had coconut. Honestly, the cupcake itself was a smidge, uhm, not that moist. The frosting was AWESOME. I'll certainly give it another try. I can sometimes forego a little on the food itself, for a charming atmosphere, and it certainly has that.
driving around brooklyn this past month... I saw lots of valentine's decorations...as this weekend got closer, I saw some signs of the upcoming chinese new year...but this window is the one and only nod I've seen to Presidents Day.
about to place my order for chinese food dinner in honor of chinese new year (that and the fact that it's been months since i've had chinese food!). anyone got a favorite place in brooklyn for chinese take-out? i haven't found a great place yet....
caleb and i went for a long walk yesterday around 4:30, still snowing, still windy...everything was really slushy and heavy. most shops on the avenue were not open so much of the sidewalk was not shoveled. I love being out in near desolation :-)
I wonder how many deliveries this bike had to make....
driving around red hook this weekend it seemed like i saw more interest in yards and gardens than I've seen in other areas of Brooklyn. maybe the fact that there were two garden centers right across the street from one another! anyway, it got me thinking about my little dirt backyard, and what I can start doing in a couple months to springify it.
this backyard looks kinda messy right now, but i think there was sort of a plan - or at least an effort - at making an interesting backyard space.
it was a gorgeous day...Caleb and I went to dog park for the usual romp, then headed to Fairway in Red Hook. O. M. G!!! Brooklyn Fairway SO much better than Long Island Fairway! It was incredible. I went for the lemon verbena soap (yum) and co-q-10 face cream...and walked out with a $96 bill!!! I was extremely indulgent and bought flowers (lots) and treats and the biggest portobello mushroom cap I've ever seen!
after, we took a walk along the promenade there, sat on the benches in the sunshine. caleb enjoys being admired by the passers-by. then drove around red hook - such an interesting area. from block to block it's SO different, but you can see a definite artsy influence in parts.
anyway, we sat on a little wall across from this bar for awhile and just enjoyed the sun and the people walking by.
Driving further north up 3rd Ave today than I'd been before...I think I was nearish the Gowanus area at 3rd Ave & 3rd St...this house just grew up out of an area otherwise flattened by demolition. Funny thing was as I was pulling up, a foot photographer stopped in exactly the spot I was headed for and also took pictures of the house. Ha. I drove around the block while he finished up. Amazing. All of Brooklyn, and we've got two cameras in the exact same spot trying to take a picture of the exact same thing.
Anyway, handsome building. Wondering why it remains when everything around it has been wrecking-balled.
Wish I had a *good* map of neighborhoods so I knew where was I was all the time!
I see the top of this house from the Belt Parkway every morning on my way to work...it looks like a ship, complete with masts and portholes...I found it from street level yesterday when my daughter and I were trying to go to Loehmann's in Sheepshead Bay (which was, incidentally, "closed for emergency," which seemed weird, but whatever). I was finally going to have some time to drive around picture-hunting...took the picture of the house, turned the corner....then my car started banging, so we headed slowly home :-(
$800 estimate later, I am home today with my car in the shop getting a new exhaust system. sigh. it's always something, right??
I don't think you quite get the "boat-ness" of it from street level, but...
it was crazy cold here today. with the wind chill it was down in the single digits, with episodes of blasty snow flurries. the last thing i feel like having is ice cream - let alone, MEAN ice cream! click on the picture to enlarge. i know that pink scoop is supposed to look all girly and nice, but i think she looks a little scary. life is hard enough, your ice cream shouldn't be scary.