Last Saturday was so cold and so depressing I was reduced to taking photos of anything bright that was lying around the place.
I had gone down to Chelsea Market very early in search of
a rutabaga. It is waxed and somewhat resembles a canon ball. It weighs a lot too.
I had been very taken with a recipe I read in the Times. The ingredients list included the said item. I include the recipe here because it turned out wonderfully well. I omitted the sage and thyme and substituted chopped up sun dried tomatoes.
Below find a photo of a discerning diner (not eating the recipe above!)
Herewith the very fierce cat who lives at the flower shop.
For some reason the light there is often very pink.
Winter is getting a bit old hat around here - but must be even more so for the inhabitants of North Dakota and Minnesota. So I have taken to meditating on mandarins - well - looking at them anyway.
I like the ones with leaves on best.
Robert is painting - as per usual. I always find the painting eqipment picturesque in itself.
the tape, the paper towels, the blotches, the blades etc etc.
even the gloves and the face mask.
This was once a very nice linen skirt from Eileen Fisher that I had had for at least eight years - even when we lived in Morocco. (Sob sob) - and R. says it isn't really absorbent. Lil assef (too bad) quelle domage (what a pity) che vergonia (what a shame). Weird that when you get really ancient you have all this stuff floating around in your head...
As you can tell the cold is getting to us.
This is a metal baking tray with tin foil in it - and paint too. At least it's nice bright color.
snapping randomish sorts of pictures and discovered a man reading the Hollywood Reporter. I always like to snoop and see what people are reading. Yesterday on the way to Queens a young woman was reading The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison. We agreed it was a very good book. Most really studious serious types are playing video games.
Usual Saturday at Union Square with
a plethora of pears
tasteful herbs (rosemary sage and thyme)
Brussel sprouts galore
and a winesap apple which reappeared as
cupcakes with apple in them.
Wind chills in the teens, a wicked wind and snow last night tore down most of the remaining leaves and deposited them in convenient piles. (The gray splotch is my winter coat).
This last picture is of a leaf in the paper that wrapped the lovely Thai paper I ordered from Novica.
It's that time of year again. I have a $25 Novica gift code to send to one lucky person who leaves a comment here by next Sunday December 1st. I just happen to be addicted to paper, but they have silk scarves and clothing and all sorts of beautiful things from artisans all over the world.
These clusters of berries look horribly toxic. Beware!
The pin oak leaf I found on my walk this morning was astoundingly big - much bigger than the apple that I found to compare it to. Anyway...
Yesterday we all worked to make a gigantic leaf pile. Leaves were piled in the wagon and hauled from all over.
They were swept up from everywhere.
The heap was so big you could get lost in it.
Afterwards we drew pictures. Henry drew a worm. Then several worms - in fact a whole family of them...
The smell of the leaves, the crunchiness of them, the scatchy little bits of them that get inside your clothes. I think as we get older we forget some of this until we revisit it again through our children and their children.
When I was a child we lived in Essex in England in a gamekeeper's cottage on the Thorndon Hall estate - a rather magical setting for a splendidly dull middle-class childhood where I spent my whole time longing for something to happen. Much later on, when we were living in Morocco and England seemed very far away, I wrote a memoir of my leaf-scuffing, magic-seeking self in which all the stuff that I wanted to happen did happen. But quite a lot of it is about Guy Fawkes and making miniature gardens on trays and brothers who are bothersome...
First a picture of the Empire State Building from yesterday...
made to look as if it was taken a million billion years ago...
like this very pear-like pear
which seems to have a distinct personality.
Tuberorses at Union Square should come with smell-o-rama - they are so blissful and lovely and tragic.
Some herbs from the roof look melancholy too - all that sepia-saga coloring - like playing music in a minor key.
they look more cheerful in color on the old black table.
Fruit with slants from the blinds on them - to echo the stripes on the eggplant.
Like the heirloom tomatoes which look very odd but taste good.
These are very small, hard crabapples. Yes, I know you can make crabapple jelly - except no one ever eats it. Crabapples probably best used as missiles by teenagers - which is what hapened to the black-spotted ones we never sprayed when I had a crabapple tree on Long Island.
Joy and woe combined: the first pumpkins at Union Square.
Yesterday was Labor Day, the sort of unofficial end of summer and the beginning of school and back to work and the end of summer beach shares and so on.
We were in the city expecting thunderstorms. In fact, my iphone woke me up from a pleasant nap to warn of flash floods. So I went up to the roof to look for storm clouds. (In the morning I had paid 99c to add to my collection of Hipsamatic filters....)
So things did look wonderfully dramatic. Look past the Google Building to the Freedom Tower.
Looking up was turbulent and celestial.
I'm playing around with antique tintype effects. Robert thinks these very silly and distracting but I think rather fun since I'm never going to be a real photgrapher. Anyway what bliss it is to have leisure to fiddle and experiment.
Claudia just wrote from Montpellier that the French think working is for chumps. Not to go into a long disquisition, I do think lots of Americans work way too hard and feel they need to be busy all the time. They make one feel positively immoral if one is not engaged in some improving pursuit. Hate feeling guilty.
Just finished reading "The Warden" by Anthony Trollope. Wonderful moral questions.
At the movies - "Blue Jasmine": Madoff scandal meets "Streetcar". Wonderful stuff.
I took the last picture in September 2012 at Rockaway Beach about a month before Hurricane Sandy.
It really does seem to have an odd and ominous feel which is why I kept it.
Ah, the bitter-sweet summer days after Lammastide...
Well, there are plums to be had...
and sunflowers and peegee hydrangeas.
I couldn't buy this bunch yet - much too autumnal.
So I bought a bunch of half dead garden roses
and took gloomy photos of them.
On a cheerier note, I've just finished Jane Gardam's "Old Filth" Trilogy. My best reading experience in ages and ages. Such a breadth of vision and attention to detail. Wonderful wonderful stuff about passion and repression and love.
This blog has been utterly neglected lately. Also quite a lot of my blogging energy has been channeled into Instagram which keeps me in touch with close family and friends. I don't think the world really wants to see daily pictures of my lunch, my grandchildren and my dog!
Henry and Gretchen provide hours of delight playing with the hose in their backyard.
Mud is endlessly enticing and squishy.
Even though you can't see his face you can tell Henry is grinning.
Back in the city we have a visit from a friend whose twins lived the first year of their lives in our building.
So they look down from the roof
then decide to draw while the grownups chat endlessly.
I wish I still had the powers of concentration of a small child.