Saturday, October 27, 2012

NY High Line

I have lived here for almost 6 years now but I still haven't fallen in love with Manhattan. Maybe it's because I never got to live in the City and lived in the suburbs from when we arrived - there are things I appreciate about it and it's been a real experience living close by, but I haven't connected with the city on any kind of emotional level like I hoped I would. Not like London, which never stopped surprising me, where there was always something new to discover, and which I unexpectedly fell for. Head over heels. Maybe because it was my first home overseas. Because I lived and worked there for 2 years. Because I pounded the pavements and knew parts of it in and out. Because it was my whole world for all that time - I felt so much more a part of it. Maybe because i was in my 20's and everything was new and exciting. In New York I feel exposed after being there for too long - for me it's a hard city with too much concrete and noise, the energy is too high, there are too many skyscrapers and not enough green or softness. I think i am the only person on the planet to feel this way, and the irony is that I live here. Funny how life works.

Sometimes it's important to see a different side of the city in order to appreciate it more fully, and today that's what happened. Today I walked the High Line for the first time, it's been on my wish list for a while now, and i saw the city in a whole new light. 

 The view from higher up is completely different - the beauty of the buildings and the streets is more visible from up there. Framed by grasses and trees along the way. 

There were surprises along the way ...

and gorgeous fall colors ...

The walkway was busy busy - everyone out to enjoy the fall air, a stroll in the green in a big city, a change in view. Children in Halloween costumes jumped and danced along.

 It was a lovely day out. We walked from Grand Central to 30th and 10th where the High line starts, and all the way down to 14th. A couple of rests were needed along the way but it felt good to be out and walking.

Coffee and a taxi back to the station ...

On the way we saw that the holiday market at Bryant Park had already opened so of course we had to stop to walk around and shop.

It was a lovely day. Sometimes that's all it takes - seeing something new, from a different perspective.


Sunday, October 14, 2012


Today I am Thankful. 

Over-the-moon thankful for Mothers that fly across seas to come a-visiting. Mine arrived yesterday and it's wonderful to have her sitting right across the table from me drinking coffee like she's here every day. Along with magazines and chocolates (South Africa does make the best, sorry Switzerland) she came with some special family treasures for me in her suitcase too - pieces which used to belong to my grandparents - they hold memories of growing up with them, their home my second one. It's lovely to have those reminders with me now, a bit of my childhood here in my home.

Thankful for the beautiful painting she was carrying when she arrived. A painting by South African artist Melanie du Toit, a surprise gift from my brother and sister-in-law (thank you thank you thank you). It was made for the wall it is hanging on in the living room and i love it. Really really love it. Teacup on a chair, a bicycle, hearts, stripey tights and gold undies hanging from the line. Shoes. A church. A bit of home. It's beautiful.

And Thankful for friends who send surprise parcels our of the blue when i most needed it. ee cummings from my bucket list. Thank you D.


i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the blue leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings; and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any - lifted from the no
of all nothing - human merely being
doubt unimaginable You ?

(now the ears of my ears awake and 
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

This is what Fall looks like ...

Living where we do, we have the city and the countryside at our fingertips altho sometimes it seems like such an effort to go out and find a new place to explore and it's easier just to stay close to home. This past weekend was rainy and we sent one grandmother home across the seas to South Africa, so we were happy just to be at home, just us, regrouping for a day ... but Monday was a public holiday and Clint took the day off too, so we set out to Croton Dam Gorge just half an hour upstate from us, to get the kids (and ourselves) out into some fresh air. I just wanted to share some photos with you ... Fall is in full swing.

We drove over new bridges ...

and stopped at new places ...

we saw a sign along the road for a farm selling Maple Syrup and we HAD to stop ... it's Hayden's staple food after all. 

And there among the wooden cabins was one stacked with pumpkins and the other held the maple syrup equipment with bottles for sale. I loved the glimpse of the the kayaks behind the flowers.

Then on to Muscoot Farm where the kids could say hello to the animals (again. we are regulars here after all!) ...

and grab a bit to eat ...

A really lovely family day out and much needed by all of us ... 

That's what Fall looks like around here.


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Inspiration and Creativity

Feeling inspired ... or not ... it's an elusive thing sometimes, this creativity. One day you can feel like you are flying and another you can think it's time to call it a day and pack your art supplies or pens away.

But it's not just about painting or drawing or making art. It's about feeling a sense of connection and flow ... feeling that one is in the right place, doing the right thing for oneself ... feeling that the balance is as it should be ... 

We express our creativity, because all of us have it, in so many different ways. The way we approach our work and problem solving when something comes up. Decorating our homes. The clothes we choose and the jewellery we slip on. Cooking, gardening, taking photographs of the toes of a baby ... it's in the ideas we come up with for a project at school or an upcoming fundraiser or a way to get a new business off the ground ... a birthday party we are throwing, a change in life direction, a new career. It's in the photo albums we make or the vacation we plan.

Sometimes it feels like we're not in the flow at all. Nothing is coming to us, we're in that grey zone of not being able to move forward and being stuck. There are so many ways to try and nudge ourselves forward from that place, because even though there has to be an ebb and flow and we are not always going to feel inspired and on fire, we also want to feel like the pot is at least simmering while we carry on with the day to day work, and not burning itself dry and melting on the top of the stove.

For me, it's about trying something new - an online course in something I have never done, a new dance class or going swimming. Going to an art movie or a gallery. Just that change in routine. Meeting a new friend for coffee and a long chat. A new restaurant or meal tried out at home from that pile of recipe books gathering dust in the corner. Finding a new beach to walk on, a new town to explore, and just keeping an eye out for new ideas along the way. Sometimes they only come after. Re-arranging furniture and having a big clear out at home is another fun way to play and to see things in a new way. Doing some silly child like drawings with big crayons on huge sheets of paper. Doodling. And then of course there is the whole wealth of artists and people online to be inspired by (so long as it's not overwhelmed like i said before!), books and magazines to get lost in for a little while and to kick start some day dreaming.

Some of my little inspirations recently are ...
this artist i found who literally took my breath away.
Stunning photos. I'd like to read up on her a little more.
I love the vintage feel of some of the IKEA prints ... this one is gorgeous but wasn't in the store when we went on Saturday ... we bought the butterfly and dragonfly which I love, and framed them in large white frames.

And to leave off, this quote by Brene Brown came up in Mati and Willo's course I am doing at the moment and I wanted to share it with you ...
“Unused creativity  is not benign. It turns into grief, judgement and shame.”

Something to think about.

Here's wishing you a little dusting of inspiration today.


   Photos taken at the Children's Garden in the Botannical Gardens,Bronx, NY