Sunday, January 29, 2012

I Spy Something Yellow

Walking along West 18th Street I realized that I was surrounded by yellow. A line of typical New York City taxis waited at the light. Buses were parked along the edge of the sidewalk, waiting for schoolchildren to return from dance lessons in a studio across the street. Yellow is the color of caution, of warnings and yieldings. It's also the traditional color of schoolbuses and taxicabs. In my mind, New York is a collage in gray, black silver and yellow. Like the taxis, that particular yellow is a vehicle for excitement and possibility

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Happy Buddhas

This year, Chinese New Year starts on January 23. Here is a group of happy Buddhas ready to help usher in the new year. How is it that supposedly cute objects sometimes take on a vaguely threatening quality? This seems to be especially true when they gather in crowds, like these Buddhas. Are they laughing because they know what is ahead for us in this Year of the Dragon? The Buddhas are not talking.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Orange Storefront

Driving up Vanderbilt Avenue in Asheville, a display of "yard art" glittered in the sun. I'm always attracted to shiny objects. As we stopped in front, I was wowed by the store's facade. Wide swaths of orange were set off by olive green window trim. The colors made it look fresh and fun, but it still fit in with the other old buildings on the street. Colors are commonplace on the streets of Italy, Scandinavia and the Caribbean. Wouldn't it be great if our American downtowns gradually, steadily became more colorful places?

Sunday, January 8, 2012


The Grove Park Inn, which overlooks downtown Asheville, North Carolina, opened in 1913. A stellar example of the Arts and Crafts style, its design is rooted in a possibly-mythical past, when handcrafts were celebrated. The Inn's rustic, unfussy architecture, based in part on folk traditions, was radical for its time. I looked up at the western facade, cobbled with massive granite stones and crowned by an amazing roof. Red tiles undulate in gentle ripples, up and over the dormers, draping over the edges like a tablecloth. It evoked visions of thatched roofs in medieval-era villages and of homes for hobbits. Perhaps one day I can sit and look out from one of those windows protected by that rippled roofline.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Dawn Mists

How do people learn to sleep sitting up? It's a skill I have not mastered. Overseas flights and long train rides are opportunities to confuse my circadian rhythms and work all night, energized by the glow of my computer screen. The train rolled south. The sky changed from black to deepest blue. Dawn spread its colors right outside my window. Deep salmon pinks and violets turned to paler rose and blue, revealing the mists rising up from the scrubby Florida pines. It was the gift of a fresh new day, full of possibilities. Now we have a fresh new year, full of possibilities. Happy New Year to us all.