Signs of spring in beach-side thicket

Red current blossoms and red buds, March 4, 2012

There’s nothing like glimpsing spots of magenta in a thicket of winter-bare branches for proving, on March 4th, that spring is marching forth!

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The March (and April!) of spring and . . . Happy B-day to Mike!

These photos are of a particular tree at Union Square as it came into bloom beginning in late March; as I type on May 8th (Happy Birthday Mike!), the blossoms have all given way to luxurious big green leaves . . .

March 30, 2011

April 9, 2011

and . . . a week or so later!

Interestingly, each of these was taken on a different device: the top one on an “iTouch,” the second on a phone, and the third on an actual camera!

Coming soon: full report on the 5-Boro bike ride!

Bonnard and beyond . . .

The best thing about living in NYC is how people come to visit, and then a person gets to discover all kinds of new things about the city and take advantage of it in all kinds of ways she’s not in the habit of doing. Like for instance, couple weeks ago Arcadia came to visit! Here’s a round-up of all the places we went and things we did:

The first afternoon she was here (after a night flight and making her way to my house on the subway) we took a long walk all over relatively uncharted territory on the lower eastside: from 7 Washington Square North we headed down (south) Thompson and left (east) on Prince, and discovered McNally Jackson Bookstore between Lafayette and Mulberry; then we kept going east, all the way to Norwich Street to walk by the Angel Orensanz Foundation (a storied building where I’d recently attended a program on the Library of Dust); then we turned north and discovered Pinisi Bakery on 4th street between 1st and 2nd Avenues, where we bought cupcakes for dinner (for dessert for dinner, that is!); then we tacked back south to Houston to the new Whole Foods there for more provisions; then we headed north again to search for a certain chocolate shop one of Arcadia’s bosses had heard of–one that sold gold-leaf covered chocolate buddhas! We knew the shop was called Bond Street Chocolate, so we searched Bond Street (only a few blocks long) diligently from one end to the other, getting drawn, in the process, into the fun John Derian shop, where the shopkeeper told us that Bond Street Chocolate is on 4th Street, luckily only a few blocks away! After visiting there and acquiring one of the aforementioned chocolate buddhas (and a few other chocolates!) for Arcadia’s boss, that was enough exploring for one day! Arcadia went out to see one of her Bard friends in the evening while I got ready for class.

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We have declared spring!

8 April: We have declared spring! The temperature rose to over 70 three times this week. The flowering currents are spectacular (down in the back where only I see them), the service berry is almost ready to burst out, Nancy picked 118 dandelions this noon, and I took all my woolies to the cleaner. (Tomorrow’s forecast is for rain, and it was 42-this morning at 10:00). Also, tomorrow we will go to Lopez for four days, maybe have a burn pile, maybe walk to Iceberg, or maybe hunker down and read, or all of the above.

The last week of March Seattle hosted the Northwest Scientific Society annual meeting. This year’s meeting marked Steve’s 11th year on the board, and his fifth and last year as President. We had a very pleasant visit before and after the day’s affairs at his meeting. Dinner with all the Seattle based family members. Amy and Lib left the next day for several days at Aspen. David and Alexa took Steve for a nice walk in Discovery Park. Since he left, Nancy and I discovered (again) another walk for Steve and family when they are here again- Mercer Slough in Bellevue. No pictures with this blog. Martha’s pictures, and Amy’s wonderful video from Okiboji are greatly appreciated. Dick

Ramp-mania (or: spring is here!) ~

rampsIt’s still on the “brisk” side here in NYC, but the tulip trees (or what I call the tulip trees) are starting to bloom and even more significantly, ramps have appeared for their annual ultra-short but gastronomically acclaimed run at the Union Square farmers’ market. Ramps (read more about them here), otherwise known as Allium tricoccum and A. burdickii–or wild leeks–are super-delicious in omelettes or sauteed with mushrooms and served on polenta . . . whatever a person does with them, there’re a sure sign that spring is here: as I was buying mine at farmers’ market on Saturday, all of the other shoppers lined up for them were exclaiming — ah, ramps! spring is here!

That was yesterday; today, I logged some bike miles getting ready for another NYC spring event: the Five Boro Bike-Ride! 42 miles, through all the boroughs ofwindyapril5_09 New York City, starting in lower Manhattan and finishing there too by way of the Staten Island Ferry, and made possible (for me) by Amy and Lib’s being able to do it with me (yay)! So today I rode ten miles–up to 86th street and back on the bike path–next week I’ll go further! It was super super windy today; see windy-ness exhibit A at right (the flags!).

Before Amy and Lib come to visit, though, Arcadia will be here–to see the Bonnard “Interiors” exhibit at the Met–more anon on that!!