travelswithkathleen

I am a native in this world And think in it as a native thinks

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Saturday reflections



Earlier that same rainy evening, while waiting for the uptown bus.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Urban poetry


All of my doctors are on the East Side, and I live on the West Side, so I've been spending a lot of time on crosstown buses. I miss being able to walk more, but I love taking the bus in New York. It's much slower than the subway, but if you have the luxury of time, it's more entertaining than most TV shows, watching the daily lives in this ever-changing city slide past your window.

And I see neighborhoods I haven't frequented in years. These stairs are on First Avenue, across the street from the United Nations, and there's a small park at the top where I used to occasionally eat lunch when I worked on 42nd Street. That's a quote from Isaiah on the wall:
They shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Speaking of wintry weather...



The view from my living room this afternoon as the first snowstorm of the season barreled through.

It's only November 15th!

Color


Bins of embroidery floss in one of the few remaining fabric and notion stores in the Garment District. It's been unremittingly gray in New York this week, and though we're weeks away from the solstice and the official start of winter, the high temperatures haven't been much above the freezing mark.

I'd planned to take up felting again when the weather got cold, but that takes more physical strength than I have at the moment -- you really have to knead and pound and slap the wet wool around to get it to turn into felt. So I've been doing embroidery instead, appropriate for the sickly Victorian heroine I sometimes feel like, and the perfect occupation with tea and shortbread on a wintry afternoon.

I could buy supplies online of course, but I love wandering the aisles of these stores and getting a dose of sparkle and color to brighten these gloomy days. And it feels like an achievement that I am actually able to walk all the way to West 38th Street, even if I have to stop and rest and have a hot chocolate before I'm up to tackling the walk back. A couple weeks ago I would have taken a cab.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Astronomy Tuesday



For everyone in my home state, here is the California nebula, located in the Orion arm of the Milky Way, not far (at least from our point of view) from the Pleiades.

I'm supposed to be in the Bay Area now, but had to reschedule my visit for January, when I will presumably be fit to travel again. My friends reassured me it's for the best, as the air is full of smoke from the Chico fire  and my beleaguered body probably wouldn't like it. 

My heart does ache for those affected by the fires though -- I can't imagine the horror of being stuck in a car as the fire closed in -- or rather, I can imagine it all too well.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Sunday bird blogging



I was well enough to go to Central Park last week, but not strong enough to tote my good camera there.

Still, this tufted titmouse was photogenic enough to come out all right with the point and shoot. And they always make me smile.

Armistice

This plaque is just off the Grand Place in Mons. It reads:
Mons was recaptured by the Canadian Corps on 11th November 1918: After fifty months of German occupation, freedom was restored to the city: Here was fired the last shot of the Great War.
One hundred years ago this morning.


Inside the belfry



The clockworks and the bells. 

In The Nine Tailors, one of Dorothy L. Sayers's Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries, a man is murdered by being locked up in a church tower while the bells are being rung -- the noise kills him.

I was glad these bells were silent.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Les toits de Mons


Views from the belfry in Mons. The tower, a UNESCO World Heritage site, was built in the 17th century and is only 87 meters tall, but  when these are the views you don't have to be that high up.

More Grand Place

That's the City Hall on the left. The jumbled wood canopy on the right is an art installation.

Another Grand Place


This is in Mons, a charming town southwest of Brussels where I spent the night with a friend before going to Ghent.

Saturday reflections




Waiting for the bus on 42nd Street, on my way to get yet another CAT scan.

This is maybe the fourth or fifth scan in the past two months. Between the scans and the x-rays and the radioactive isotope injections, if you plugged me in, I would probably light the Eastern Seaboard.

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