Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Day

Hi Dear Folk,

Today has been a peaceful relaxing day,  the sun has shone and the berries are on fire.  Birds are dancing from tree to bush and twittering around feasting themselves.

Getting up late, reading The Years by Virginia Woolf, drinking tea and taking time to talk with friends across the pond and locally, just having the time to catch up.  A luxury when you work full time.

Lounging around in my new dressing gown, one of those lovely soft furry ones in shades of grey and white with a little black,  I have wanted one to cozy in for several winters now.  Enjoying The Day, I take my title from VW.


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Brooklyn Botanical Gardens Green House Area

Hi Dear Folk,

As you can see it was a very overcast day and a cold front had rolled in we made our way over to the green house area where there was also a café.

We opted for a cup of coffee and muffins, unfortunately it was an outside café, but we were warmed up by our coffee.  You can see the café area at the very end of the pond below.

Look at these very dino period looking plants.

I like the above photo very Monet.

This made me think of my mum, the giant Maidenhair fern above, because she had a glorious one in our sitting room by the French windows, the much smaller leaf fern; when I was a child and she decided to give it a treat and repot it and it did not take kindly to this and died, she was most upset.

My camera lens kept misting up in the humidity of the green houses.

Something about lily pads to me is very Wind In The Willows, aren't they just so amazing it looks like you could step across the water on them.

The above mango plant I had seen in the Everglades, Florida, I think the Indians called it The Walking Plant.

One of my favourite sections the Bonsai trees, I have grown several over the years, but even after keeping them for several years, eventually something happens and I forget to water them and it dies.  You have to be so vigilantly consistent with looking after them.

My American Robin photo I thought would make nice winter cards, I may do that.

Did you enjoy your walk around The Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, we certainly did and would love another visit.


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Brooklyn Botanical Gardens Shakespeare Garden

Hi Dear Folk,

The Shakespeare Garden at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens.

Over 80 different plants grow in this garden that are named in Shakespeare's poems and plays.

Here is Jean enjoying the garden as I did too.  We could have been walking around the kitchen garden of an Elizabethan Manor House.


Monday, November 23, 2015

Brooklyn Botanical Gardens Japaness Hill and Pond Garden

Hi Dear Folk,

The Japanese Hill and Pond Garden is one the oldest founded in 1910 and most visited, outside of Japan. 

Just need to go back when the cherry blossoms are out in spring.


Friday, November 20, 2015

Brooklyn Botanical Gardens The Rose Garden

Hi Dear Folk,

Just a walk from our digs, two blocks up the hill, cut through Prospect Park and up the road passed what we called the Arc de Triumph to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens and how lovely they are. 

It was a cold windy day, the temperature dropping steeply and I was so glad I had packed my jacket because I did have occasion to use it this day.  We decided on our plan of action, because we could not possibly see all the gardens, but I think we did well.

This seating area is like sitting in an amphitheater, when you whisper you can be heard clearly on the other side, quite fun.

Roses by George Eliot
You love the roses - so do I. I wish
The sky would rain down roses, as they rain
From off the shaken bush. Why will it not?
Then all the valley would be pink and white
And soft to tread on. They would fall as light
As feathers, smelling sweet; and it would be
Like sleeping and like waking, all at once!


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Important People, On Important Business Stay At Important Places

Hi Dear Folk,

United Nations Sustainable Development Summit, at least I think that was what it was all about.  Total gridlock around the south end of Central Park on 5th Avenue at the Plaza Hotel.  Very important people, on important business stay at important places and get driven around in black Mercedes Benz vehicles with tinted windows, and can park where ever they want because they are diplomats.

It seemed that all the fun places had been commandeered for special events.  We went up to the Bergdorf Goodman Restaurant, which is at the top of the famous department store and looks over Central Park, this was closed for a special party.  We walk on down to Grand Central Station and wanted to get a drink at the Campbell Apartment there, that too was closed for a special event.

While making the turn off 5th Avenue to the station, a coach, actually from Ithaca, Cornell University, thus it caught our attention, was trying to make the turn off 5th Avenue.  Sitting on the corner was a diplomatic car, with a guy actually sitting in it, but he said he didn't have the keys and couldn't move it.  So this coach was stuck half out in 5th Avenue and part way around the corner, blocking pedestrians walking up and down 5th  Avenue from crossing the side street and everyone had to walk around the coach.  The driver of the coach was pretty mad, and had to move all the huge plastic barriers so he could maneuver around the corner.  So much for parking where ever you want.  Probably waiting for someones wife shopping on 5th Avenue.  Am I a little jaded?

Outside the Plaza Hotel off Central Park.

Life in the fast lane.


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Weighing On My Mind

Hi Dear Folk,

Last year when I flew back from Hawaii, the cabin attendants went around with the usual credit card offers, you know open a credit card now and get 40,000 miles plus your flight doubled and all that.  I usually do not take them up on this but this time I did.  I bulked at the $100.00 yearly fee for the credit card but figured it would pay for itself if I used it on a flight to the UK.

It has been weighing on my mind that I hadn't used the frequent flyer miles and neither had I cancelled the card, so with one of those no procrastination days I just did it.  Booked the flight and cancelled the card.

Easier said than done.  Everything is online now with passwords, you already know how I feel about that.  So I'm working my way through trying to pick a non-stop flight with no black out periods for FF miles, I had the choice of American Airlines or British Airways and since the BA flight was direct from Philly and the AA flight was stopping in Manchester, I though I'll take the BA flight.  I get all the way to the end and it is asking me for $695.00 plus using my 40,000 FF miles, now I knew the taxes should be no more than approx. $275.00.  So I made an Internet support phone call which of course takes you to India, and she really could not explain why I was being charged that amount, so she transfers me back to, I'm sure the USA.

It turns out that if you use your FF miles with BA the taxes are so much more than if I use my FF miles with AA, something about exchange rates etc, what ever.  So with the help of a live person, I said go ahead and find me a flight with these date parameters, yes it did cost $40.00 to use a live person but it was worth every penny in lack of agro.

So flight out with AA stopping in Manchester where I have to change flights to BA on the way to London,  and a direct flight back with AA.  So I'm off next year just before Spring time, but hopefully the daffs and primroses will be out when I'm there over the holidays.

So something to look forward to all through the dark days of winter.

Now I'm looking for a suitcase with four spinner wheels instead of two.


P.S.  I'm already looking at AirBnB's in Norfolk, Wells Next The Sea I'm thinking of.

Belvedere Castle Central Park NYC

Hi Dear Folk,

Let's walk onto the weather station at Belvedere Castle, named for the Italian meaning "beautiful view."  We will do some climbing, lots of steps. There are two lovely balconies with a view of Delacorte Theater, the Great Lawn, Turtle Pond and the Ramble.

belvedere castle
by scp2472
Belvedere Castle in Central Park.
Originally designed in 1865 by Calvert Vaux and Jacob Wrey Mould, Belvedere Castle was intended to be a Victorian Folly, a fantasy structure that provides a great backdrop and views, but without a real intended purpose.  With its strong stone façade, grand turret and flag, the castle was merely a stunning attraction in Central Park.

This all changed in 1919 when the National Weather Service began taking measurements from the castle's tower with scientific instruments that determine wind speed and direction. Additionally, just south of the castle, other data such as the rainfall was recorded and sent to the weather service's forecast office at Brookhaven National Library on Long Island. Belvedere Castle is still used for this purpose today.

I do rather like the mood of this sky.

We had such fun even if we are two old girls.

So many unexpected areas within Central Park.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Bethesda Terrace and Fountain, Central Park NYC

Hi Dear Folk,

More on our walk Jean and I in Central Park the Bethesda Terrace and Fountain

The Bethesda Fountain is one of the largest fountains in New York, measuring twenty-six feet high by ninety-six feet wide.

It is one of the most well known fountains in the world, and the statue at its center was the only sculpture to have been commissioned as a part of Central Park's original design.

This neoclassical sculpture, also known as Angel of the Waters, features an eight-foot bronze angel who stands above four small cherubim representing health, purity, temperance, and peace.

The angel herself carries a lily in one hand while the other remains outstretched, poised in the action of delivering a blessing on the water pouring from around her feet and into the basin at the bottom of the fountain. This is to commemorate the 1842 opening of the Croton Aqueduct, which supplied New York City with fresh water.

Angel of the Waters was designed by Emma Stebbins in 1868 and dedicated in 1873, at which point Stebbins became the first woman to receive commission for a major work of art in the city of New York. Stebbins linked the new, pure city water flowing from the fountain to the healing powers of the biblical pool, and quoted John 5:2-4 at the statue's dedication, saying

"Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called... Bethesda... whoever then first after the troubling of the waters stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had."

I like the Bethesda Terrace in the background, somehow it reminds me of India, it seems that there is a Minton Tile Ceiling in there, but we missed that.  Honestly to see everything in the Park you have to go quite a few times.

On the Bow Bridge.

Made of cast iron, it was designed in the  Classical Greek style during the mid 19th century by Calvert Vaux and Jacob Wrey Mould.  The bridge spans 60 feet with a walkway constructed of Ipe, a South American hardwood that turns a rich deep red when wet. In 2008, eight three and a half foot tall planting urns were returned to the Bridge through historic reconstruction almost 80 years after the original ones went missing and they are glorious. 

Also many people take their wedding photos here.  See previous post on Central Park

The Central Park Lake, is part of the "Greensward" design plan created by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux when designing the initial features of what would become Central Park.  It is the second largest man made body of water in the Park.

What is now a stunning and picturesque 18-acre lake was once nothing more than a large, untamed swamp. After its excavation in 1857, the Lake was opened for its first winter of ice-skating in 1858.  Until 1950, the Lake was used for ice-skating during the winter months and boating in the summer. After 1950, however, the skating rink was officially closed, allowing the Lake's former wildlife inhabitants to take up residence there once more. As such, the Lake is now an excellent location for bird watching, where one can spot swans, ducks, and even the occasional egret or heron.

I hope you enjoyed more of our travels in Central Park.


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