Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Lost mitten

This time I was walking back to the subway back towards Grand Concourse and there it was just sitting- some poor mite will be missing it.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A day at home

My usual Sunday morning routine has changed.
Yep I still start out the day with the New York Times and breakfast and a cup of coffee.
It's the way the coffee is made that is new.
Sue gave me coffee making machine and I am now becoming an expert latte maker.

A day out of the foul weather that was happening around us today was a good idea but I was basically oblivious to it all going on around me as I spent the day getting a number (6) pages done.
I was going to do scrapbooking yesterday but that didn't happen and I had also arranged with Julia to visit and do some pages if she wanted so I set myself up on the dining room/area table and got on with it all. It is so cathartic- one gets lost in the moments and the layouts.
And so I managed to get caught up on classes and the 52 Challenge pages and creative things .

Friday, February 20, 2009

A night out

It was a big weekend starting with a big Friday night.
We went to Birdland and then on to Giz's exhibition. We caught the train down to 8th Street and walked along through the freezing cold to the school where Giz's exhibition was.
Walking along the street was an interesting experience as there were a range of stores we hadn't looked in but didn't really have time to go in- another time perhaps.
The exhibition of Giz's work was great- really liked some pieces that reminded both Julia and I of some of the work we have seen and done in Dina Wakleys Art Journaling 101.
Giz is an Australian friend of a friend of a friend...... living in New York while she studies at art school. She has been coming to our apartment to use the views as inspiration for her art work and her thesis work at the art school on 8th Street.
She has a blend of collage and paint the theme of one piece is exploring Times Square. She had bought some Australian wine and saved it until we were there. So we spent another part of our Friday evening sipping wine and perusing not only the works of art but also the other students. There were some particularly fascinating ensembles. The sartorial splendor of art students is possibly the same the world over. I was particularly entranced by the young man who was wearing beige baggy shorts over gray torn leggings accessorized with gray socks and black crocs. He wore some sort of baggy gray top to finish the outfits wondrous blend of messiness.
There was also the aging artist in the torn paint spattered jeans.
It was lovely interlude before we headed to Marie's Crisis where the night ended in the early hours of the morning.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Look at the sky

It is always a surprise the beauty and brilliance of some sunsets. These photos don't actually do it justice.
Many days I am encouraged by Sue to.... "Look at the sky now!"

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Life continues on but my blog has been seriously neglected so thought I'd post simply with the photos of certain days and minimal explanation.
These roses are over a week old and still looking gorgeous. Ann brought them when she came to dinner, on Tuesday 10 February!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Cropping away

The Manhattan Scrapbooking Meetup often has a meetup crop on one Saturday each month at the Muhlenburg branch of the New York City Library. It starts at 10am (when the library opens) and finishes at 4pm (when the library closes.
Today I had a really productive day and got 8 pages done.
The class I am currently doing at Get it Scrapped! is about using products in different ways. I wanted to meet the challenge that Doris, the teacher, had set and managed to do it with this Titjikala layout. I didn't have enough "i's" to do the title and so used the "j" upside down and masked it with the star. I'm really pleased with the whole effect. I've been wanting to get these photos in an album and get the page right. I really love it.
The "Running David" page I'm not so happy with- the journaling I like and the title but it doesn't flow as well as I'd like so may need to do it again but I'm leaving it for now.
I was able to get some double spreads andfelt really happy with the results of them.
There were about 15 people at the crop and it was pleasant way to chat and laugh and get to know these great women better. Some of them have attended before and then others were new so it was a lovely mix.
At lunch time (my self appointed lunch break) I walked along 23rd St to the Utrecht Art store and got some supplies for the Art Journaling 102 class at get it scrapped. It starts in about two weeks. I found the fine white Sharpie marker- it is so wonderful- it glides over the paper and makes a lovely fine mark- I may just have to go back and get other colours.
I worked right through to 4pm and when I came home I found that Sue had gone to the supermarket to gett bits and pieces for the pizzas. Dale and Julia and Margie came and we had a lovely evening. I shared my pages with them, it turns out that Dale loves scrapbooking and made books with recipes for her kids. What a lovely thing to do- her grandson rang recently to say that he just cooked something from her recipe book. Each recipe in each of the books are that particular child's favourite recipes. Lovely idea.
I like the relaxed nature of our pizza nights and the ebb and flow of conversation- they are becoming a favourite part of my week.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Jacques Tati eat your heart out

There is a scene in Monsieur Hulot's Holiday that resonated with me today.... I was successful in getting to the school where last week I had spent a futile 40minutes wandering in circles in the snow and cold. It turned out this morning that the school scaffolding (yes another school being renovated in some way) can be viewed quite easily from the corner near the station, if one knows what to look for that is! I blame the sun in my eyes, the ice on the footpaths, the snow on the street signs and my stubbornness, for my getting lost last week. However back to today's adventure.....
Having spent an entire day, not entirely fruitfully, working on a grant application for the school I headed back to the "J" train to make my way home in midtown. The train pulled into the station and traveled two stops and then they announced that the train was terminating there at Myrtle Avenue. Off we all pile and wait for the next train which duly arrived and while we waited for all the people to get off the announcement came from that train that it was terminating at this stop. Only by listening to the other passengers did we hear that there was problems on the Bridge- a work vehicle was stuck or something.
So what to do? Listening to the young commuters talking about what they would do helped me figure out my options. One young man was saying he had to get to his grnadmother's in Queens. His friends suggested that they all had 4 options- Wait for the next train, get a bus, walk to another subway (which in their opinion was miles away) or go back the way we came but on the M which stopped at another part of Myrtle Avenue and connected with the "L". Now that sounded like a good idea to me but I thought I'd wait to see if the next train was getting through.
No it wasn't to be- the next train arrived and a similar announcement- now here come the Jacques Tati piece.... I went down the steps and up the other side to the platform for Brooklyn bound trains just s I reached that platform another train arrived back where I had left and they announced the next stop would be Flushing Avenue so that sounded like the trains were heading over the bridge again. I headed back down the stairs and up to the platform arrving just as they announce the train won't be going beyond this stop. So back down the stairs I rush as the train to Brooklyn was arriving- I checked to see if it was an M or a J and lucky for me it was an M - not so lucky for others who had to leap off again before it headed out. The remainder of the journey to Myrtle Avenue and the subsequent transfer to the L and the the N at 14th Street went without incident. Unfortunately the N stopped at 42nd St for an inordinate amount of time but I wasn't going to get off and walk those 9 blocks I had had enough and was content to sit!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Two in one day!

My collection of photos of lost gloves has expanded as is my reputation for being weird I think. Having vowed to myself that if I see a lost glove or item of clothing then I will photograph it in situ- I now stop mid stride and try to scurry over to a spot so that I am not in anyone's way and then grope for my camera in my handbag. Once I manage to extricate it I then have to not lose one of my own gloves as I hold and shoot the photo using one hand only. One handed photo taking has it faults- the photos sometimes end up quite blurry and too far away but I am not going to zoom the shot- difficult one handed but also it means there is more likely to be blurred shots and they don't crop as well. Why one handed? I'm usually on my way to or from work schlepping my usual clobber or I'm trying to keep hold on my gloves. The black glove was outside CVS on the coner of Malcolm X Boulevard and 166TH St. The bluey coloured one was on W 26th St, I spotted in on my way home from a scrapbooking crop at Cheryl's office. It was so tempting to walk right past it at 11:30pm. There was a large group of people coming up behind me as they walked toward 6th Avenue. So I moved to the side of the footpath sort of pressed up against the scaffolding as I began the find the camera ritual. This was little more anxiety ridden as another young man was hanging around not on the same quest as me but looking for a friends apartment. How did we survive without cell phones? The young man was asking where are you? which buzzer do I press? In my anxiety to not draw attention to myself photographing a lost glove on the footpath I had to take three shots - the third one using the flash but it being New York I am the least weirdest thing they say that night I'd say/ hope!
My work for the day was again highlighted by Ronald who last week asked the wonderful question about the First Lady. Today I was working with a small group and we were talking about the difference between questions and clarification. Ronald said "Clarification questions are different from plain old questions because..." what a great turn of phrase Ronald has.
Throughout schools and this school in particular there are great displays of information about Barrack Obama and the historic presidential election. It is coming up to Presidents Day (and some holidays!!!) and it is also Black History month so there are bound to be many displays linking to the election.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Could it get any worse?

Little did I realize that the calamity of yesterday was but the tip of the iceberg!
Actually I didn't get lost but adventures on mass transit continued.
I got my head together from yesterday's misfortune and armed with my map of New York City- a little spiral bound book the size of a paperback- useful but nowhere near as good as a Melways but much smaller, I headed for Brooklyn again!
The A train goes express from 42nd St and although it means a walk to 42nd St I'd rather that than take the C and change at 42nd as I also need to change back to the C at Uttica in Brooklyn. Off I head to 42nd St and onto the correct platform where they announce that the next C train won't be coming for 20minutes due to "an earlier incident on the C". My thought initially was "glad I walked to 42nd rather than try to get the train." My next thought... "Glad I bought the map so I can work out where to walk from one of the express stops." None of the thoughts that went through my head encompassed the train ride I experienced.
The A train arrives and it is packed and became more packed as we all tried to get on. I did the first part of the journey standing (strap hanging) stretched in many directions as I held on to the overhead bar with one hand and my work bag with the other. Eventually I able to turn around and hold the lower pole but that had me face to face with some largish bloke who seemed to be giving off a rather fruity aroma and was sining something to himself while keeping his eyes closed. At the next stop he got off and then the woman further up the carriage started her shouting either complaining about people crowding her or worried where her friend was. Her friend shouted back to her from the other end of the carriage reassuring her he was there. I wished he'd ask her to keep quiet especially when she yelled at the conductor to "Shut the f***ing doors for f***k sake!" Finally I got to sit down and try to retreat into my book but the fruity aroma pervaded the carriage again and I'd realized the largish bloke was only guilty of singing to himself not the fruity aroma. The fruity aroma was coming from the homeless guy in the corner seat who had been out of my sight (but not my nostrils) due to the crowd in the train. The shouting woman was still on the train and manged to locate her friend. She decided she needed more space and was too hot so she moved down the end of the carriage and started peeling off layers of clothes stopping at her t-shirt. She then said in a very loud voice "It stinks down here" needless to say she had try to set up camp opposite the guy with the fruity aroma. She heads back down to near me and sits on opposite side of the carriage from her friend carrying on a rather loud conversation which included such interesting snippets as "I took my medication before I came out!" and "We just have to get the papers signed and can head back home after that". Two very tightlipped women were making a note of the carriage number- not sure who or what they were going to report. Shortly after I noticed that the fruity aroma had been replaced by the smell of cigarettes. Our homeless guy had started a cigarette- interesting how the carcenogens were preferable to the smell of the great unwashed.
The A train was running "local" until after my stop. It had been stopping at all stops for a while before the shouter realized. I didn't have to resort to the map or to trying to change to the nonexistent C.
It was a very slow ride but entertaining!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A day down the.....

Actually it wasn't completely bad as I managed to get this photo and an idea for a page that I will do on Friday night but the start of the day was distressing to say the least.
It was a day when "mass transit" was not my major problem, rather it was my inner compass and memory. Having headed to one of the school's I'd visited last week I was on my way to my first day (one of three) at a middle school in Brooklyn. Now I think about it the train journey was a problem last time I went to this school- the feuding pastry vendors however I managed to make an absolute muddle of getting to this place.
It started by my catching the R train as no N train was arriving. I thought that Hopstop was just sending me on the N because it is express but in fact just because the two trains travel to the same location, Canal St, they do not enter the same platform and so my easy quick walk up the stairs to the J train turned into a frantic rereading of signs a 10 minute run around in circles changing from one place to another and finally amidst much mental self criticism.
I arrived at the appropriate station and "exited the building"- I'll blame, initially, the sun reflecting off the snow and dazzling me as the reason I headed in the wrong direction fully confident I was going the right way. After some careful walking along very icy and snow laden paths I began to realize that perhaps I should have doubled checked or even brought a map let alone made sure I had the exact address written down! I stopped an asked a person clearing the pat outside a school , working on the assumption that most people who work in schools know where the other schools are, but not this one! I started back the way I came and met a crossing guard who thankfully knew where I meant and gave me great directions in spite of her shock at how far away I was from the school in question. I eventually arrived at the school 40 minutes after leaving the train station!
The day proceeded pretty well although I am a touch ambiguous about how much I am assisting them in the work they want me to do.
The day was not a complete waste as I managed to get a photo of the principal's bathroom and it had me thinking about the traumas of finding "the facilities" in schools. A story for another day I think....

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The snowy day

It was snowy on the way from work. Not unexpected. It began at about 9am and appeared not to be sticking as it had been 50F yesterday.
Once I was out in the street I could see there was plenty of snow and more coming down. It was quite large and sloppy so was melting when it hit some of the warmer salted paths.
However there was enough around to stick on twigs and to outline trees.
Not sure how long it will all last but usually enough to bring sloppy footpaths and gutters. It depends too on whether it is freezing overnight as to whether it becomes ice on the footpaths.

I ventured out in the snow to 29th St and the NY Cares office for a volunteers orientation. It really in time I put something more back in to the community so have been looking for a while for some more meaningful and useful way to provide some "input" into the community. My disastrous Friday a few weeks back's "disastrous-ness" was contributed to by the delay in being able to volunteer or as I said at the time- give myself away. So now I am registered and orientated as I volunteer I need to "sign up" for something. I have yet to decide which is the best. An interesting thing in the orientation was that NY Cares is an international organization. Oh yeah I thought- probably California but no in Asia somewhere and three other locations including Melbourne Australia!
The wildly enthusiastic type who was our presenter irritated me a tad but that was probably bound to happen. Why do people insist on speaking incredibly loudly in a small room to a group of 30. Teachers do it all the time- One needs to project ones voice but not shout at us. The other aspect of his presentation that irritated
was his insistence/ carry on joke about not liking kids. He doesn't have to but I don't know that that is the best light to be seen in when trying to get people to volunteer to work with all the community. Another aspect that annoyed was not to do with him but to do with one of the other people present who kept stretching. bending and generally getting in the way of the data projector. Other than all that.... it was a relatively painless hour out!! Talk about a whinger but at least I know what I like and don't like.