Thursday, July 31

Brick and Response

I spotted this abandoned post office building the other day, and it seems an appropriate accompaniment to your deco diamonds.

It was on 3rd Ave. in Brooklyn, which is a funny street. It's resisted all attempts at gentrification, and remains stubbornly deserted among the pricey condos going up in neighboring Park Slope and Boerum Hill. Walking down it on a bright, white-hot day, you almost feel like you're wandering around in L.A. or something.

la post

as i was admiring the facade of this building, i was reminded that it is a home to one of your favorite federal organizations, the united states postal service.
the deco diamonds caught my eye and i had to take some snapshots quickly because yes, there was a bus to catch.

Wednesday, July 30

Monkey Man

This should look very familiar.

He and his acrobatic, mischievous brothers arrived in a surprise package sent many summers ago (along with some novelty erasers, I believe, and a pack of Marlboro Reds).

Sadly, all the contents have been lost over the years, but I've managed to keep track of this little orange scamp. He hangs out in my kitchen, but occasionally is well behaved enough to get an invitation to the dining room table, as he did the other morning.

Tuesday, July 29

The Teenage Years

Here Ruby is, in all her glory, 12 years after we found her on a dusty, dark shelf in a Rochester Home Depot.

Note the flower shoots. She is very happy in her Massachusetts home. I should try transplanting a piece here, though, and see how it does. She's certainly proved her tenacity.

Friday, July 25

Polar Where?

Speaking of things being out of place, look what I came across during my morning walk in Park Slope.

He was splayed out over the gate. Resting? Impaled? Depressed? He wouldn't say. It looked somewhat painful to me, but he pulled it off with style.

Thursday, July 24


unless they're really good, street performers can sometimes provide an uninvited soundtrack. but this was far from that. it was melodic and curious and attracted me immediately. i heard it from about a block away and it was so pleasant and sweet but also rhythmic and smooth. as i got closer to discover where it was coming from, i realized part of why i enjoyed it so much was because it didn't clash with the city sounds, instead it blended.

this proud cuban played his wooden xylophone with fluidity and grace. he also used various chimes and bells every now and again to add to his music, but not too much. and then there was his soft voice. it didn't sound like words, and may have been a string of la, la, las, but it was perfect.
i've never seen or heard this busker before, but unlike the bucket drummer or electric guitarist whose instrument has one string, i look forward to hearing his mellifluous notes again.

Pink and Green

I had lunch in Bryant Park yesterday, and while in the middle of complaining about how it is one of my least-favorite parks in New York (too crowded, too much of a scene, too many rats), I suddenly realized what was right in front of me: a stunning tower of pale-pink begonias.

The color, playing off the green of the leaves, trees and park chairs just struck me, all of sudden. So I shut my mouth and just started appreciating what was around me.

Wednesday, July 23

what's that doing there?

on my way to work the other morning, this struck me. maybe because there is obviously some kind of story behind it. it might be something very uncomplicated, or perhaps not. while i'll never know what that story is, seemingly misplaced objects in unexpected places have a tendency to impart a narrative to me--not the actual narrative itself but that there is one, that is, simply that one exists.
i'll have to go by that block again and check to see if that kickball is still wedged between those powerlines.

Favorite Places, Part One

Sometimes, this is all you want or need.

It stormed here this morning, as the heat broke. The thunder and pouring rain woke me up early, around 5 a.m., and I stayed up and watched the light change from gray to blue to finally pale gold after the clouds moved on. I'd already decided to start my day, but the bed did look awfully inviting.

Tuesday, July 22

the hardest working man in seattle.

seattle has a lot of public art. some good. some not-so-good. (perhaps i'll feature some of the latter in a future post.) this is some of the good. and, therefore, the hammering man has a prominent place in front of the seattle art museum, which also happens to be the site of my homeward-bound bus stop. i have been known to pull up to the stop just as the #11 is pulling up, but typically, i have a few minutes to stand around after the work day and watch this guy still toiling away until his work day is through.

according to SAM: The Hammering Man's arm "hammers" silently and smoothly four times per minute from 7 am to 10 pm every day. It runs on a 3-hp electric motor set on an automatic timer. Hammering Man rests its arm each evening and every year on Labor Day.

for more info on the guy and the fellow who made him, check out this little page on SAM's website. or, just meet me at the bus stop. you know how i love buses.

Dillow Tree

Dill, why do you look so sad?

Is it because you were destined to end up like this?

Trust me, it was worth it: cold potato-broccoli soup, laced with plenty of fresh herbs. It was not fun to cook in this heat, but it was absolutely delightful to eat.

Monday, July 21

Inca Dinca Do

The only time I went out this sweltering weekend was Friday night, to explore the Met with some friends. It's open late then, and the Jeff Koons exhibition on the roof was open and hopping (a little too much for my tastes, especially when it's 95 degrees).

The backhanded benefit to the roof crowd, though, was how empty the museum was inside. Cool, quiet, cavernous rooms all to yourself- the ideal way to absorb some artistic inspiration.

This little friend was in the Oceanic-Meso America wing. Being a terrible art history student, I have no idea as to his origins, but I want to say Incan or Aztec. But maybe that's just the frozen Mexican hot chocolate I was too hot to make all weekend talking.

Sunday, July 20


i don't know what it is about these television signal things, but i like them. and in some strange way find them to be really aesthetically pleasing. i think it's the nice chunky bars of primary, and like-primary (well, secondary) colors that i find so appealing.

i don't find them on the tube as much as i used to when i was a kid and when the world of channels was a much smaller universe. now when i see them, i have a tendency to look at them for a while, not just flip by.

Friday, July 18


Even though they make me nauseous (or maybe that's just when they're indicating price), numbers have been catching my eye recently.

Both are from a trip to Queens this week- and I know the significance of the first set won't be lost on you. The second pair just had a font I really liked.

Thursday, July 17


i'm not sure if it was entirely full last night--perhaps just a large waxing gibbous (yes, i took astronomy in college)--but the moon and the light it cast were exceptionally strong.

i didn't have the patience to bother with the "shutter speeds" or whichever fancy functions may have made for a better shot. i just liked standing out there, on the dock, admiring the moon and the ripples of light reflecting on the water.

More Beaks

This is a response to your similar nautical-avian image from last week.

While walking along the north side of the reservoir in Central Park, I spotted these three cormorants perched on the edge of a roof (look closely). They seemed so relaxed and in their element, even surrounded by steel, concrete and brick buildings as far as you could see.

How's that for some anthropomorphizing?

Wednesday, July 16

the mountain's out.

on the ferry back from bainbridge to downtown seattle, the summit of mt. rainier was peaking out from behind some trees surrounding the inlet of puget sound.

in western washington, when rainier is visible from seattle or wherever you are (as oftentimes in rainy, cloudy or otherwise grey weather it is impossible to see), you'll often hear people say, "the mountain's out." i'm not making this up. and it's a worthwhile statement, 'cause trust me, there are days when it is more than out. it really is stunning.

Sunset Two

You wouldn't think Kentucky (top) and Brooklyn (bottom) have much in common.

But they do, especially at the end of the day.

I couldn't pick which one I liked better- both have their own quiet beauty. I think mindstate, far more than physical location, is what enables true appreciation.

Tuesday, July 15


It's hard to pick just one photo for today, but this one really encapsulates a beautiful midsummer afternoon in Kentucky: freshly picked wild blackberries, plump and ripe, and warm from the sun.

Brought by some new friends riding an ATV and served in a dust mask, it was one of the best meals I've had in a long, long time.

Monday, July 14

favorite fleur

peonies are my mother's favorite. yesterday at the market--packed, of course, 'cause it's so damn nice out--among the composed bouquets, fresh dahlias, and the last of the season's bing and rainier cherries, we saw this hoard of fuchsia beauties.

knowing what i now know about fresh flowers, i wouldn't recommend buying peonies like these simply because they are so bloomed out. you'd only be able to admire them for two or three more days. however, if you get some when they're all compacted into a cute little ball, then you get the joy of watching a petal explosion. these are still nice to look at though.

Saturday, July 12

for the beaks

as i admired this structure (and its reflection) off the shores of bainbridge island in fort ward state park, i noticed a couple of beaks hanging out atop it. i'm not sure what these two were up to, but it was a gorgeous day, so i'm sure it was something mischievous.

Friday, July 11


there's a new hotel a few blocks from my office and it has what seems to be a polar theme. the facade of the building is definitely impressive, with these beasts adorning the windows. i can't wait to check out the inside. this may warrant a trip to the bar for an icy cocktail.

Thursday, July 10


sometimes i miss working in the flower shop. there were times when at the end of the day i'd be told i could take anything i wanted from the unsellable flowers. there was nothing wrong with them, they just couldn't be sold because they wouldn't last more than a few days. but i had a constant supply, so a few days was all i needed. and i think if i, or my coworkers, didn't take them, then they would have been thrown away.

there are so many different varieties of rose. this one, brandy, with its gradient color is perhaps my favorite. and there is a rose bush full of them just steps outside of my apartment.

Monday, July 7


when their tops are down, i find convertibles are just screaming, "come on...take me for a spin, you know you want to..." this red vixen was no exception.

i may not know much about muscle cars, but i believe my coauthor can make up for that. what i do know is that you don't see too many shelby mustang GT350s just hanging out on the street like this one was.

for obvious reasons (weather, salt, air quality, the list goes on), i see a lot more classic cars on the west coast than i ever did on the east. even though they are less rare, they're still fun to see whizzing by.

Sunday, July 6

my little friend quiche.

this is my first quiche. it was enjoyed by some visitors from portland this morning, only the adults liked it a lot better than the kids, who really didn't like it at all. note to self: when preparing brunch for the under-11 crowd, stick with the basics. lucky for me, there is a nice bakery around the corner, where the girls were happy to find a croissant and a pastry that better fit their picky palates, so i wasn't a complete failure.

when shopping for the ingredients, i looked at the prepared pie crusts in the frozen section, and thought i should pick one up...just in case. but then i had the thing in my hand--it hadn't yet made it to my basket--when i became determined to do the thing on my own. i quickly dumped it back in the freezer. the crust may not be pretty, but it tasted fine and seemed to be the right level of flakiness.

oh, spinach and gruyere, in case you were wondering. come over for leftovers!

Saturday, July 5

the jib is up.

i was sitting in an adirondack chair (plastic) on my dock, when this little vessel sailed by. i literally ran up to my apartment to grab my camera so i could capture it. there was a nice amount of wind earlier today, and i wish i could have willed it to come by and sweep me up for a little journey.

Friday, July 4

Lady Libs, Who Else?

This is from a recent- and first-ever- trip to Lady Libs. I was surprised at how taken aback I was at the whole experience. Even just the island itself is such a gorgeous place to spend the day- so quiet, and despite all the tourists, not all that crowded (or maybe just not compared to Manhattan).

Not bad for $12.

I can't wait to go back.

Thursday, July 3

don't snap and drive.

the washington park arboretum is minutes away from where i live. similar to central park in that is an "urban oasis," it is unlike that major park because this is the northwest, and the flora are quite special, unique to this area. it's a beautiful park and i often drive through the arboretum because it's the easiest and fastest way to get to certain parts of town, but it's never a pain to ride along this windy 20mph road, because the views are lush, green and lovely.

last night and this morning we've had authentic thunderstorms...and i love it! thunder and lightning (which, when you think about it should really be referred to as "lightning and thunder," chronologically speaking) is very rare in seattle. i heard one meteorologist say that it's something we only get here maybe four times a year. for this east-coast girl, that is just not enough.

so the arboretum was soaked, which was needed as we hadn't received any rain for almost two weeks, believe it or not. it was looking vibrant and verdant. i wish i had had my big wellie-type boots on and had time to slosh around the trails.

this bridge is for pedestrians only and while it was probably slightly dangerous to snap some shots as i drove on this rainy day, i couldn't resist. the photos don't do it justice. (and the second was included for a) a closer look at the brige, and b) the other vehicle passing by, a prius...very seattle.)

and now that i look at the pics, even though this is just a two-lane road, actually it's lake washington boulevard, it almost reminded me of those delightful bridges of my favorite stretch of highway, the merritt parkway...

Pineapple Quartz

My sister made this necklace for the bead shop she worked at, but after she showed it to me in the window there one day while I was visiting, it had to come home.

It's made out of pineapple quartz beads, and the depth of color it has in the light- combined with her gorgeous asymmetrical design- intrigues me. It's like wearing pieces of the sun on your neck.

Wednesday, July 2

strong yet ephemeral

it may be hard to tell upon first glance, but this is a spiderweb on the wooden rails of the dock with the lake behind it. while not a big fan of spiders, i do find their webs oddly fascinating. this one had quite a few catches. but what i found and find most amazing is the web's endurance, as well as its industrious creator. it just rained a few moments ago, and the web is still there.

the webs are all over the outdoor furniture and whenever i move chairs around to sit on the dock, i am certain that some web that used to stretch between a chair and the rail, or a chair and another chair, is being torn and destroyed. it doesn't take much to wipe the web away, but every morning i go out there, even if one was removed from the night before, there are fresh, new webs waiting in the morning.

Lush Life

Central Park may not be the most surprising setting to look for beauty here, but there really are countless spots that cry out to be photographed.

This was looking up into an impressive American elm, while a saxophone player's soft version of "Lush Life" weaved into the air behind me. It's one of my favorite places in the entire park, incredibly green, far from both the east and west sides, and always accented with that beautiful music.

(Full disclosure: I actually wanted to photograph and post about the most amazing woMan I've ever seen on the subway yesterday, but there was no way I could take a picture without risking my life. sHe was about 6'2", longish strawberry blond(e) ponytail complete with receding hairline, gray pleated schoolgirl skirt, a white, short-sleeve, button-down shirt with a jaunty, matching gray snap-on tie, a bubblegum-pink purse, and one gold hoop earring. Then God punished me for ogling by having a huge woman carrying three gigantic shopping bags almost sit on and crush me.)

Tuesday, July 1

don't feed the animals.

the public park in my neighborhood just got a major facelift. in addition to some of the schmanciest jungle gym equipment i've ever seen, some playful sculptures have found their way in. i think i like them, but i'm not entirely sure what species these stone beings are. but they seem harmless.

After the Rain

It's been summer afternoon thunderstorm after thunderstorm here lately. It can be a bit annoying when you get caught outside in it, but the aftermath is always intriguing.

This was from my first (and probably last) cookout of the season. It was from my friend in Greenpoint's garden (actually, her evil landlord's), and it's a clematis, one of my favorite climbing flowers. They really put it all out there once they bloom.

It's less flashy, but this is my Christmas cactus who went out for a refreshing shower on Sunday. It rained really hard, and it looked like it was stretching its arms to come back in afterward.