Madison Square Park and its Skyline

2011/08/10 § 2 Comments

When I think of Madison Square Park, I think Shake Shack (and its super long lines).  And nothing more.

I never tarried long enough to see just what a beautiful park it is and what a wonderful area it is in.

(Until this summer)

The park itself is tiny but restful and has interesting spaces…

A small circular reflecting pool with chairs and tables around it…somewhat reminding me of the big one at the Jardin de Tuilleries.  An enclosed playground for kids with water-spewing spirals.    Many benches under tall, leafy trees lining circular paths.  A small, black, tiered fountain…

A white sandy area used by yoga devotees every afternoon.

An oval lawn with rotating artwork such as Jaume Plensa’s Echo – a 44′ tall sculpture depicting a young girl’s face in a state of silence and reverie.

Conveying so much tranquility and peace amidst the din and swell of summer crowds…

And while standing in the middle of the Park, one sees the architectural wonders around it which makes this small area in the middle of the city my new favorite summer hangout.

The New York Life building with it’s pyramidal, golden crown.

The Flatiron building.

TheMetropolitan Life building with its 700-foot four faced marble clock.

The Empire State building.

And we haven’t even talked about the many wonderful coffee, beer and fine dining places surrounding the park which has taken much of my time and contributed to my penury.

Next post, I promise.



My Furry Friends

2011/07/17 § 17 Comments

Meet my lovable furry friends who came to visit and who I’m visiting this summer.  They’ve been the perfect houseguest and companion.

Here is James Arthur D (aka Artie).

Artie’s so great to walk around the streets with, keeping in step with me and stopping at intersections.  He’s so well-behaved and doesn’t fuss even when he has to wait outside restaurants while we’re brunching.  Neither does he complain in the company of hysterical people watching a mad game of futbol…

He’s the cutest little dog!

And this is ImmanueI Kant (aka Manny) who is also Artie’s friend

He’s got to be the sweetest cat around.  See how he sleeps with me…with his arms extended over my arm, as in a hug.

Or with his paw and head draped over an arm…

He sits patiently while I’m in front of the computer for hours…and when he can’t take it anymore, actually stands and reaches over the chair and taps my back.  And when he thinks it’s bedtime, he starts jumping up and down the bed to tell me it’s time for me to sleep as well.

He loooooves to sleep…

And even reads the blog with me…

He doesn’t content himself with nestling in the crook of my arms…

One morning, I woke up with this furry ball snoozing on top of my chest (fat belly, four legs, and all), his head on my shoulders.  Snoring….

Don’t I have the most adorable friends??!!


A Japanese Garden

2011/06/15 § 8 Comments

I’ve had a lifelong fascination with everything Japanese.

My parents used to leave me in the care of my Japanese grandmother when I was very young.  {If you’re wondering how I have a Japanese grandmother, she’s the wife of my paternal grandfather’s youngest uncle.}  I would play with her japanese dolls, marvel at her  beautiful kimonos, walk around in her geta  wooden japanese shoes, listen to her japanese music, drink tea and slurp noodles noisily with her.

In addition to this, my highschool bestfriend lived and spent many holidays in Japan and would bring home all these exquisite or quirky things from her trips – notebooks, pencils, folders, shoes, shirts.  Japanese food, books, pottery abound in her house, which I frequented.

I was increasingly drawn to their lifestyle, their art, their produce and have always wanted to experience living in a Japanese house and being in Japanese gardens.

I love gardens of all kinds but Japanese gardens have a different attraction.   More than the aesthetic beauty, their form and design invite some kind of contemplation, philosophical or otherwise.  I love that they are abstract, assymetrical and always reveal something hidden or unusual.  Rocks and stones remind one of mountains and raked gravel and sand simulates the feeling of water.  Winding pathways open up to wider vistas or to a shinto house.  The water feature – lake, fall, stream or tiny fountain soothes and calms…

 So I’m always happy to spend time in a Japanese Garden when I find one, which I did a couple of weeks ago…

How is it that I’ve traveled to so many countries, yet have not gone to visit Japan?


“We might as well dance…”

2011/05/06 § 4 Comments

It’s another Friday!  Weekend is upon us!  And if there was nothing to celebrate during the week, the weekend itself should be a cause for such.  A new day.  Sunshine!  Free time.  Friends!  And mothers, especially  [HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO ALL OUR WONDERFUL MOMS!!!].  Days pass so frightfully fast nowadays.  And we don’t even notice –  buried as we are in our virtual worlds, in our worldly desires.  It’s so easy to forget that outside our walls, outside the computer, outside the superficial trappings – we can frolic in the sun, watch the passing clouds and the swaying leaves.  We can hug and kiss and share humble thoughts, silly dreams and inane fears.

And dance.   Oh yes.  The world can be a foolish place.  And we are fools most of the time.  Some of our fears will come to pass.  And there will always be sorrow and disappointment lurking somewhere.  But there is also love and joy and laughter.  So we might as well dance…


{Images courtesy of French by Design and Haute Design}

Mes Que Un Club

2011/05/03 § 3 Comments

I keep planning to write about this …

…but events always seem to overtake me.  

Write about my love of futbol.  My love for Futbol Club Barcelona.  My admiration for the players, their skill, how the ball seem to stick to their feet, their intricate passing, the patience and intelligence of their game….probing for that one gap, creating that one space, for that one goal.  Or two.  Or five (manita!).   Or eight (Almeria).  The genius of Messi.  The genius of Messi.  These things have to be said twice.  Cause once is not enough.  And even were I say to say it a million times, it still would not be enough to fully describe the genius of this little man.  Not enough words to encompass the talent, the skill and the character of this one man.  But he alone is not the team.  What can I say about Iniesta?  Who has even better close control of the ball than Messi, if that were possible.  His silky touch,  his ability to keep the ball glued to his feet and elude five defenders on top of him.  The music to Xavi’s conducting.  Xavi.  The conductor.  The visionary.  Who finds the gap, who creates opportunities where there is none – with his perfect passing, timing and field sense.  Puyol.  The brave.  The beast.  The Lionheart.

I could go on and on.  And live in the dreamland where I reside when I watch their games.  But reality beckons.  I have other things to do.  Which I better do now so that I can watch the last El Clasico of the season.  Four clasicos in eighteen days is too much.  There is too much morbo between the clubs and its supporters for the games to be the footballing spectacle they were meant to be.   But I don’t think anyone predicted its descent to the utter madness that it has been on and off the pitch.  Thanks mainly to Mourinho and the seeming complicity of the once regal club, Real Madrid.   I have many more things to say about this but it will have to wait for another post.  Today, I pay short tribute to the footballing symphony that my team is and to the sublime joy they give us.

I hope that football will redeem itself today.  That there will be a wonderful game between two skilled, worthy opponents and not between violent, petulant children.  Most of all, I would like for us to win.  Of course.  VISCA BARCA!!!

Aren’t the cupcakes just adorable?!


{Image via artnachistic.twitpic}

Charming Prince, Fairytales, Happy Ever After…

2011/04/28 § 3 Comments

A Royal Wedding is coming up….

A spring day, a beautiful princess, splendid gowns and sparkling tiaras.  A dashing prince.  Queens, Kings and carriages.  Teas and crumpets.  Petal-strewn streets.  Warm wishes.  And love, love all around….

Isn’t it just exciting?!


{Images courtesy of this is glamorous, Haute Design, Paris in Pink}

Tulips, tulips, and more tulips

2011/04/09 § 4 Comments

Isn’t this tulip field just breathtaking?!  Look at the colors!

I remember the first time I went to Europe many years ago…

It was in late April and my first stop was Amsterdam.  I was filled with excitement.  To see tulips.  And I did see some.  In patches. Apparently I had to go out of the city to see them in large swathes such as in the photos.  I was invited for a weekend picnic out of town where the tulips were but I had to leave for a seminar in Austria.  I saw more of them at the grounds of the Schloss where we stayed in Salzburg.  But not like this.  Not this colorblocked work of art that it is en masse.

Ah….it’s springtime.  Canals and tulips beckon.  It’s time to plan a trip…


{All images courtesy of Husligheter}

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