Check out your local park

Peter Pan

Today I was walking through the neighborhood and noticing that many people have left for the beach or for Central park and even Prospect Park in Brooklyn. It had me wondering if many people visit their local parks – maybe one without name recognition. In NYC there are more than 1700 parks and playgrounds  spread throughout the boroughs. Many of these are staffed by volunteers who help make “their” park special.

Hidden Artist


If you follow my blog you know that my favorite park is Carl Shurz. A small vibrant park along the east river that has beautiful flowers , lawns, benches, restrooms, dog runs, basketball, and kiddie play areas – all for free and without traveling. And, sometimes in some nook or cranny a plein air artist.

Also, it has a promenade that follows the east river and overlooks  Roosevelt Island and the borough of Queens. The river is always busy with a wide variety of boats.

East River – Roosevelt Island Light house – Queens

A visit to a park at this time of year allows you to enjoy an abundance of flowers and real green grass. Also, the weather, for the most part, is ideal for taking a walk or reading a book away room the living room.

Sometimes a vist to your local park can bring a smile or a chuckle.

NYC – Extra Stuff

NYC –  A NYC side street

Sometimes, when walking through the city, I stumble upon many interesting buildings or events. Yesterday ,I was going to walk to the park and photograph flowers – that are now popping up in abundance. Unfortunately, the wind started to pick up, making it almost impossible to get good tight-in focus shots.                                                                                                                                                                          

Heading back, I got thinking about a web site where he author tried to create as many pictures as he could in fifteen minutes. Also, I just finished reading about “Extra-Stuff” that fill in our in our lives. Here I was on a non-descriptive block with very little of interest within view, can I find some pictures that represent “extra stuff” on city block.

 So I thought I would challenge myself to take ten pictures of items that might seem to fit the category on this one-city block. (retired people have time for these things).

 Challenge: Take at least  ten pictures, that show extra things that are within this city block. Of course, “extra” is subject to individual meaning so I guess you can say that the following might  be considered “extra”.

Here are my subjective results.


I know I printed twelve but maybe when I discard a not=so=good=one, I’ll have ten. Also, the walk took me about ten-minutes.

Central Park North – Where once there was a glass pavilion -Conservatory Garden


 South of the  Meer  you will find the Conservatory Gardens. This a very formal garden area. In warm weather it is a cool spot as it has many trellises  arbors and trees. Again, this is a peaceful place to linger. (Bathrooms are here as well). There are a few m,museums across 5th avenue and a bus stop where just about every bus can bring you back down 5th avenue. At this writing. bus is $2,25 coins only/ or Metro card. (Click on picture to enlarge)






 The Conservatory Garden of Central Park replaced a glass conservatory at the same location.
It is a formal 6-acre garden sectioned out into three traditional styles: Italian, French and English.

  • You enter the Garden from Fifth Avenue and pass through the Vanderbilt Gate, which once bordered the entrance of the Vanderbilt mansion at Fifth Avenue and 58th Street.
  • ·The Garden is composed of three distinct parts, skillfully restored since the 1980s, and is accessible through the Vanderbilt Gate at Fifth Avenue and 105th Street,
  • The central section of the Conservatory Garden is a symmetrical lawn outlined in clipped yew, with a single central fountain jet at the rear.
  • To the left on the south side, is the garden of mixed herbaceous borders in wide concentric bands around The Secret Garden water lily pool,
  • To the right of the central formal plat is a garden also in concentric circles, round a Fountain, that highlights the  bronze figures, Three Dancing Maidens by Walter Schott (1861-1938).

Is there a glass pavilion in your area of the world?


This is about the time of year that I start looking at the flower gardens in and around my neighborhood. Often, from year to year,the flowers take on a different appearance.  It is almost as if I am seeing them for the first time – I wonder if is the light or the time of day?  Whatever the reasons, I continue to enjoy trying to capture the beauty of each flower. I will continue to include pictures of them in this Blog throughout the year.



NYC – Did you ever hear of the Navy Terrace in Central Park?


Well, I didn’t either? That was until I walked down the steps at the Bethesda Fountain and noticed the brass sign in the pavement. This terrace was dedicated to our service men and women  and was dated 1947. I guess we will need to now say the Bethesda Fountain at the Navy Terrace. Note located along the 72nd Street tranverse.

Here are a few pictures from a short walk I took from east 70th Street up through east 72nd Street along the paths in Central Park.This time of year where everything is springing to life makes you appreciate what you have and where you are.

The Mall, The Fountain and the Arbor are all on every tourists list of things to see.

NYC – Dag Hammarskjold and Katherine Hepburn?

What might seem like an unlikely pair these two very diverse people share a common spot on earth.

Dag Hammarskjold Park

I decided to walk down 2nd avenue from 57th to 45th. I couldn’t help but notice this very long park with inviting columns and lightposts. The park is opposite the United Nations and I guess they chose this location to honor Dag Hammarskjold, the second secretary-general of the UN.

Known, officially as Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, it occupies the entire south side of the block between First and Second Avenues on East 47th Street in the Manhattan neighborhood of Turtle Bay.  

The lighting fixtures are based on the historic New York City lamp. Two rows of benches line each side of the block-long promenade. The benches are reproductions of the classic park bench developed for the Worlds Fair.
Toward the center of the plaza, the columns form a crescent, known as the Colonnade. This area is frequently used for performances and community events.
Enjoying the walk through the park, a solid iron fence inside and parallel to the park separated the park from a natural garden trail.

Katherine Hepburn Garden

I found and entered from a gate behind the fountain nearest First Avenue and the park café. A winding path offers a serene walk in the woods amid the skyscrapers of midtown.
I noticed the stepping stones with quotes and images of Oscar-winning films of the late actress Katharine Hepburn. The garden bench was a gift from her estate. I thought, ”
Of course Katharine Hepburn has a garden named after her. ” Ms. Hepburn was an avid gardener. The Four-time Oscar winner, who lived on east 49th Street, in Turtle Bay, NY, for more than six decades, was honored with this tiny garden in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza in 1997
unfortunately, it is winter and  it definitely leaves you wanting to go there when the flowers are in full bloom, Some areas of the garden have flowers so it gives you an idea of what it’s like in warmer months.

Ms. Hepburn was an avid gardener. Among the trees and shrubs and flowers you will find many of Hepburn’s quotes on the paving stones throughout this cozy little place.

Among them “If you survive long enough, you’re revered, rather like an old building,” and “Cold sober I find myself absolutely fascinating.”

Fredericksburg VA – Falmouth Va – unexpected find

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This is part Three of Three parts covering Falmouth VA 


I took advantage of the nice weather and strolled down this narrow street and came to this absolutely beautiful house. I think it is a lawyer’s office. It certainly fits in with the “colonial and Civil War history” of this area. I don’t think it original but it sure looks it.

Fredericksburg VA – Falmouth Va – The Union Church

This is part Two of Three parts covering Falmouth VA  (just a little part of it)

As I approached the area of the Hobby School I looked up and saw this brick church – The Union Church. It was on a very narrow street and  somewhat on the top of a hill.  Like so many churches in tis area it served as a military hospital during the Civil War. It was built in 1819. It served the Falmouth community until 1935.

You can imagine my surprise when I went to look at the side and rear of the church


Where is the rest of the church?

Later, I found out that the church part of the building was brought down by a storm. The narthex of the old Union Church is all that remains.

I had to look this up: The narthex of a church is the entrance or lobby area, located at the end of the nave, at the far end from the church’s main altar.

The church is located on the edge of a union cemetery.

Wrightsville Beach – the sun came out

Finally, we had a half-day of sun. It allowed me to walk through the small garden in front of where we are staying. Hopefully, the following slide show will give you an idea of how nice the garden is.

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Wrightsville Beach – a short walk

I hope you like the new look of my blog

It has been raining here in North Carolina. The rain stopped for a while so I got a chance to take a short walk. I found a path leading to the beach and decided to find something of interest to photograph.  The path probably wasn’t 50 feet long but had snow fences and plenty of flowers along the way. Also at the beach end were the classic two chairs with an umbrella. I would have loved to have had a sunny day but I am always surprised at the many things I find to take pictures of as I take my daily walk.