Sunday, January 17, 2021

Snowmen In The Street

 Shortly after Christmas I noticed three circles, crudely spray-stenciled near a curb, then more snowmen, groups and individuals, in blue or white. One set made me laugh. Someone had taken a permanent pen and given the snow people eyes, buttons and hats. Since then, I've found close to two hundred in white, blue, violet, red, green and tan, all within the borders of one neighborhood. Some are carefully positioned to "stand" on street lines. Others relate to cracks in the pavement or stand inside markings left by the gas company. An elderly lady asked me " What are they?" and then "What do they mean?" They mean that each day may have tiny moments of surprise and delight. Go on out and discover them!

Sunday, January 10, 2021

New Watercolors

Oh the thrill of new art supplies! I had looked and lusted after them for months, pondered the choice of colors and finally ordered six individual pans and an empty tin. The package was stuck for weeks at a sorting facility, buried in the flood of holiday purchases. Now, here they are in all their glittering brightness, snapped into the tin, a metallic rainbow. They are ready for a try-out; washes of color on black paper or white, with brushes or sponges or perhaps my fingers. Can there be a happier way to start a new year?

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Heart Full Of Hope

 The wooden heart cutout hung on this porch for a couple of years, first embellished with red lights, then replaced with alternating green ones during Christmas. This summer, the word VOTE in neon appeared, urging each of us to do our civic duty. Now, in addition to its usual yuletide-colored lights, HOPE shines out into the neighborhood. Yes, hope has arrived, not just on a porch, but in our hearts. This new year will not be easy, but yes, we do have hope.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Gingerbread Village

 The gingerbread house has long been a holiday fixture. In many families it's a special activity to be shared between children and their parents or grandparents. Who doesn't love a decoration that can later be demolished and eaten? A few years ago, the Anthropologie store in Manhattan chose a pastry theme for its windows. They featured  faux-gingerbread villages, a gingerbread lover's fantasy. I still think about those windows, a reminder of what can be created from flour, sugar, spices and a bit of imagination.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

The Christmas House

Before Thanksgiving, people began draping lights over bushes and wrapping garlands around bannisters. They were more than ready to create some holiday cheer. Now even the slowpokes have reindeer on the lawn and icicles along the eaves. In every neighborhood, residents look forward to the one or two truly spectacular houses, the ones so bright that you can see the glow from blocks away. Children stop here to count the snowmen and name the sea creatures swimming in the "water." Take a walk at dusk and enjoy the lights in your neighborhood. Thanks to everyone who makes the effort to brighten the darkest time of the year

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Jeweled Dinosaurs, Bergdorf Goodman

Normally, I would have spent the week in New York, visiting museums and gaping at the windows along Fifth Avenue. Nothing about this year has been normal. This restricted holiday season is an opportunity to revisit past adventures and give them more thought. A few years ago the windows of Bergdorf Goodman celebrated New York’s museums. How would you represent your favorite museum? Bergdorf’s gave us dinosaur skeletons covered in rhinestones to honor the Natural History Museum. With stores large and small closing as the pandemic wears on, let’s hope there will still be room for a few over-the-top fantasies to brighten our future.

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Sunset and Bare Trees

 One day last week, the clouds began to break up quickly after a rain. I watched them moving across the sky and grabbed my jacket. Gray turned to violet as I trotted up the street to the highest point in our neighborhood. I reached the top of the hill just as the edges of each cloud began to glow. Skyscrapers flattened into silhouettes, trees transformed themselves into lace and homes reflected tints of yellow and pink. This may be a rough year and yet there are fleeting moments of magic. Put on your jacket and go enjoy them.