Starbucks holiday cup

Starbucks holiday cup

Snickers candy bar

Snickers candy bar

New York City Impressions

November 25, 2013

Flatiron Building

Flatiron Building

No one is really a stranger to New York City.  Its iconic buildings and neighborhoods feel familiar even to visitors whose only previous experience of the city is through images in movies, magazines, and photographs.  This was just my second time in NYC, and for me it is a city of multi-level row houses, water tanks atop tall buildings, fire escapes, piles of garbage accumulating relentlessly, and of course, people.  Crowded streets and subways, yellow taxis, and blue Citibikes.  Jaywalkers. Long lines.

I spent one morning on a loop walk that took me down some streets that Frommer’s identified as “The Best Walks” in New York City.  From my niece’s apartment in the East Village, I walked south to Prince Street.  There I stopped in the original Dean and Deluca’s, wandered up Sullivan to Greenwich Village, and then strolled down West 4th Street to Gansevoort.  From there I walked the High Line to West 28th Street, then east past the flower district to Broadway.  Heading south, I passed the Flatiron Building and then walked east again to Irving Place where I had a clear view of the Chrysler Building and enjoyed the squirrels frolicking in Gramercy Park.  The walk confirmed my impressions of this great city.  Here are some photos:

East Village apartment

East Village apartment

Fire escapes

Fire escapes

Water tank atop building near Cooper Square

Water tank atop building near Cooper Square

Row houses of West 4th St in Greenwich Village

Row houses off West 4th St in Greenwich Village

Row house off West 4th St

Row house off West 4th St

One of many docking station for NY's Citibikes seen from the High Line

One of many docking stations for NY’s Citibikes seen from the High Line

More Citibikes in Chelsea

More Citibikes in Chelsea

Edward Steichen's famous photo of the Flatiron Building, 1904

Edward Steichen’s famous photo of the Flatiron Building, 1904

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Steichen_flatiron.jpg)

My photo of the Flatiron Building, manipulated with special effects

My photo of the Flatiron Building, manipulated with special effects

Clear view of Chrysler Building from Irving Place

Clear view of Chrysler Building from Irving Place

These images seemed to repeat themselves regardless of where I walked.

Water tank amidst skyscrapers near MoMa

Water tank amidst skyscrapers near MOMA

Row houses in Brooklyn

Row houses in Brooklyn

Surprisingly, I was not discomfited by the crowds.  They made me feel safe walking by myself, as I knew there were always people nearby to help with directions or in the event of a problem.  I was alone, but never alone.  The movement of so many people around this city is impressive.

Looking into the next subway (train) car

Looking into the next subway (train) car

Grand Central Station

Grand Central Station

Reading room at the New York Public Library

Reading room at the New York Public Library

And finally, a word of thanks to Starbucks, whose ubiquitous coffee shops were always welcome beacons when I was seeking a clean bathroom or wi-fi connections.

Watercolor sketch of Starbucks' red holiday cup

Watercolor sketch of Starbucks’ red holiday cup

Olympic Sculpture Park, Space Needle with Calder’s Eagle

My siblings are a far-flung bunch, and I always enjoy their rare visits to Seattle.  Out-of-town guests give me an excuse to play tourist in my home town and to re-visit my favorite places. It’s no surprise that I’ve blogged about most of these excursions already (links to past posts included below).

Here’s a list of things I did with my sister and brother-in-law — what else would you have included?

Watching the sunset from Golden Gardens beach

Flowers at the Pike Place Market

Busker outside the original Starbucks store in the Pike Place Market

  • Savor the flavors of the Pacific Northwest.  We enjoyed lattes from Zoka’s Coffee Shop, salmon, steamed clams, fresh peaches and cherries from the Olympia Farmer’s Market, dinner at the Green Leaf Vietnamese Restaurant, Fran’s chocolate Gold Bars and truffles, homemade blackberry pie, and pizza at Tom Douglas’s Serious Pie (among other things).

Morning lattes from my neighborhood Zoka’s

“Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises.”
— Pedro Calderon de la Barca, Spanish poet

A line of towering trees at Green Lake

Striped leaf

Unfurled poppy

Adorned poppy seed cases

Gladioli stalks

Leaves of a dogwood tree

More poppy seed cases

Little green apple

 

The yellow-green of a new sunflower waiting to bloom

Fluorescent yellow-green escalator in Seattle’s downtown library

Seattle green is the dark green of the trim on the Washington State Ferries.

And it’s also the green of Starbucks, our local Seattle coffee company, now a worldly giant

Santa Sighting at Starbucks

December 19, 2010

Santa Claus stopping by the local Starbucks coffee shop

I was at Starbucks enjoying a cup of coffee and writing a letter to my sister, when Santa Claus walked in!  I never knew he was a patron of Starbucks, but I’m not surprised.  I suppose like many of us he, too, needs caffeine to carry him through the long dark days of winter.

Santa placing his order at the Starbucks counter

Kudos to Santa for his re-usable cup!

Creating Rituals

October 24, 2010

Sign painted on window at my local Starbucks store

Yes, there is something comforting about rituals.  Some people seem especially gifted at elevating small everyday activities into momentary celebrations. 

My branch of the Seattle Public Library is open seven days a week, and very few of us really want to work Sundays, giving up a precious weekend day.  Two or three staff arrive extra early on Sundays to get the branch ready to open, and one of my colleagues makes that morning into a special occasion by buying the early birds coffee.  It is such a sweet, generous gesture, and it really helps to lighten the day. 

Thanks, Patti!