Saturday, September 26, 2015

California Asters In Bloom - Hiking Windy Hill

California Asters - Aster chilensis
Hey, Purple Asters!
Autumn pollen can be found
Though Windy Hill dry.

Following a Unicorn to The Cloisters (NYC - Field Trip)

I came hunting unicorns. 

Long ago, in a job far, far away, I'd heard unicorns resided somewhere here in Manhattan. But that was twenty years ago, in a life that sometimes seems like it was lived by another woman.

Had I not known that the ancient Unicorn Tapestries were here, somewhere, in the most populous of modern cities, I never would have sought out The Cloisters

And I would have missed a time travel adventure.

Secret enclosed pocket gardens filled with aromatic, medicinal, and lovely flowers compliment centuries old architecture.

Hidden chambers flow unexpectedly from a corner you didn't see when you entered the room, and have to look sharp to find.

Mystic arts ensure that ancient beings live on.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Grenwich Time - Walking Jefferson Market Garden (NYC Field Trip)

I went part way along with Rosalinda when she headed off to her graduate studies Friday night , then made an abrupt turn at Washington Square and headed for West Greenwich Village.  Yah, yah, I know they call it "the village" around here. I was in the mood for a walk that involved more than window shopping, and I found it when I stumbled on Jefferson Market Garden. The garden is one of those hidden gems I always hope I'll discover on a ramble.

Backed up by the gorgeous historic Jefferson Market Library building, this secret garden packs a floral wallop in a compact footprint. Even in September the roses are still blooming in the sunny spots, along with varied colorful daises.  Hydrangea, a variety of tuberous and wax begonias, and a plethora of shade-loving flowers and ferns gather close beneath a green canopy. There's an inspirational greenhouse and pond as well - complete with water plants. 

 Despite it's small size a number of people, pups and kids had all managed to find a bench and a place to hang out and companion each other. I could have stayed all day, but the Boheminian charms of the West Village were calling.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Hats Off to Public Transit (NYC - Field Trip)

While Rosalinda is involved with her new graduate studies, I've taken in a fewwww New York City sights. Headed through downtown Manhattan, on the R train, and bound for the free Staten Island Ferry past the Statue of Liberty, I spotted some lovely art work at the 23'rd street station
If you follow my sewing blog, and/or listen to my sewing podcast, you know I love hats. So on the way back, I hopped off to check out these subway tile beauties.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Still Holding a Torch for You (New York - Field Trip)

Remember folks, The Bronx is Up and the Battery's Down
I've been on a prolonged visit to New York City, helping my beloved daughter, Rosalinda, move into her new apartment on the East Side of Manhattan.  Rosie's come to take a bite out of the big apple and pursue a graduate degree. I've come along for the ride. As much as I'm looking forward to returning to my California home, I've been savoring this ultimate big city experience.

One of my favorite discoveries was learning that we got an excellent view of  that celebrated Old Lady - a.k.a. The Statue of Liberty - from the cafeteria window at Ikea! Hey, don't you think the Old Gal must be getting tired of holding that torch up for everybody by now?
 ~ ~ ~ How to Acquire Apartment Furniture in NYC ~ ~ ~
Many of us are familiar with that new-apartment dwellers-shopping utopia, Ikea. Back home in California, we use our own car to load up our purchases. Over here in the land of 8.8 million people, it works a little differently for those without a car - which seems to be the majority.

Here's how my daughter acquired an assembled bed, compact eating table with two chairs, and a desk.

-  We called ahead to get advice on ordering on-web versus going to store. Nice man told us that if we ordered on-line, it would take two or three weeks, but that by visiting the store we could get a delivery date of our choice. Not wanting to sleep on the floor in Rosie's new apartment, we went to the store. - Give yourself a solid day. We went late morning Tuesday and it took us about four hours - though we did eat lunch first in the cafeteria. Yes, my daughter had already identified the names and product numbers for the furniture she wanted. Thank goodness.
-  Locate the various free Ikea shuttle stops in (our case) lower Manhattan. You can take a bus or subway to those. The MTA website might help you find them. There is also a water taxi which, I believe, leaves from Wall Street. Sounds fun but we were too exhausted to locate it after we heard this fun fact in the Home Delivery line.
- You might want to pay to have your items pulled from the shelves in the self serve warehouse area. We did not. The mattresses were really shoved in tight and I was glad I'd had a nourishing lunch, as I slammed my body repeatedly against one to make way for another to come out. Other bed pieces were pretty durn heavy. Between the two of us we just managed it - oh and my daughter had a stress fracture on her foot. Normally here, I work on being her feet, but there we were - us and those big heavy cartons that had to get into the carts. I do not recommend moving in this temporarily disabled condition. Given that fracture, we should have paid the forty bucks to have somebody else pick the furniture.
- Once Rose paid for the furniture boxes we'd struggled to load into and onto two carts, we thought we were all set. 
Har de har har.
It took an hour and a half to get through the Home Delivery line. Funny, it didn't look that long. But we moved at a snail's pace. It was like a Disneyland queue were they forgot to keep folks going.
- Rosalinda got the date and delivery window of her choice. The two men that came, schlepped the stuff up her five flights of stairs, assembled the furniture, and carted the boxes back down to her recycling area, were really nice. I practiced my Spanish with one of them. The other, who spoke English as his first language, communicated effortlessly with his non-English speaking helper. He looked to be of Italian ancestry. I've noticed many, many non-Latino folks in the area speak excellent Spanish. No, I didn't know before that 25% of people in the area are of Hispanic ancestry.
- Flat delivery fee at this time was $99. What a deal! Rosie also paid for the assembly - I think it's calculated based on weight. I've seen my husband assemble Ikea beds before and knew it was a big job, so I was really glad we didn't have to deal with it on our first day in.