Musings from Brooklyn

Back in November 2011, I picked up my Nikon D5000 User’s Manual for the first time. To say I read it would be an overstatement. I recall glazing over the black Arial text; my mind was boggled by the manual’s instructions. At the time, the concepts made no sense to me, the functions sounded complicated; the verbiage may well have been written in a different language. In short, I needed something akin to Google Translate for Amateur Photographers.

A butterfly fluttered around the East Village on a steamy Saturday. It wouldn’t sit still until I snapped this shot.

Now, a few months later, I am happy to share that although there’s plenty yet to learn, I’m much more comfortable operating my DSLR. I don’t think I have looked at my well-tattered manual since early 2012. Instead, I am leaning on the advice of my fellow bloggers.

There are plenty of fire escapes in the East Village. It pays to look up!

A few lovely bloggers have nominated me for awards. I’d like to congratulate them on their awards, and in turn, say thank you for sharing such kind words about mine:

Sandstone and amber for the Versatile/ABC Blogger Award; The Sasu Post for Blog on Fire Award; miramiandmog for the Lovely Blog Award; and Paula Turner (mom)ents for The Inspiring Blog Award

As I am not following the rules per se, I have listed a few more excellent blogs.


I’m so excited, and I just can’t hide it…. | Camerahols / Food, Photography & France. This blog makes me laugh, inspires me with its wit, and make me want to take a photography course in the French countryside.

After The Rain « A Certain Slant of Light Photography. The recent series of photos from Sydney are some of the best I have seen.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Movement | Creativity Aroused A beautiful image always accompanies equally beautiful haiku. “…wisps of elegant swirls…”

Stormy Weather « Cornwall – A Photographic Journey. Meticulous with details, this blogger inspires with his photographic perspectives. I love this shot.


Happy Independence Day « 2 Rivers Photos. The HDR shots are always so well done on this blog. This post is an homage to California – a state I also love.

Wimbledon and Coffee Cocoa Cookies | mondomulia. Food shots on this blog are always excellent – so well composed, so light and bright. PS This blogger won a competition by Lavazza and is going to Turin. Congrats!


COLOUR ❤ « Arhitektura+. Tastefully curated colourful images. Though the colour wheel has been used to its full extent, the final result is harmonious.

One Shot: By the Water Pump | WITH A HOPE. Beauty and happiness captured during an expected moment in Uganda.

Simplicity… | Helen’s Journal. The pairing of a DaVinci quote with a monochrome photograph is really lovely.

Joy ! « Light touch. Beauty is always captured on this blog. This post is dedicated to a blooming bougainvillea.

Bolsena « paolapandolfini. This photo will make you want to switch on a Cafe del Mar CD, pour a glass of wine, and just look into the horizon.

Beautiful Day in Bangkok « Johnny Wanderlust. I was looking at this photo for a while. There’s so much detail when you look at the clusters of buildings. I really enjoy that about photography. It’s all about the details.


5 Top Tips for Photographing Gardens and Flowers | Random Sights and Diversions. There are always tips and interesting perspectives shared on this blog. This post may be why I took so many photos of insects and flowers over the weekend. (See my top shot)

Daisy – Oh Dai-i-aisy! « Nature’s Place. AMAZING macro shots of winged insects.

stowaway « Strange Bird. The words match the images so well, making this blog always inspiring.

9/11 Memorial: A Taste of Travel. A sensitive post about a part of New York that I have yet to visit. Thank you.


A Centennial Celebration: Thank You!

WordPress says I have written 99 posts, making this my 100th. Wow ~ 100 posts!? It sounds like a lot, but when I work it out – one post every two days – it makes sense.

To celebrate, I would like to dedicate my #100 to those lovely bloggers who have nominated me for awards. (I am a little overdue.)

Thank you to In Search of Perfect and Random Sights and Diversions for nominating me for the Versatile Bloggers Award, Red Pants And a Mustache for the 7×7 Link Award, and Third Eye as well as Vidal’s NYC for nominating me for the Sunshine Award.

The blogosphere is such a supportive community and we are shown this time and time again,  either by pressing ‘like’, or bleaving a comment, or simply offering feedback. All of these connections means someone has taken the time to stop and look, in turn leaving some of themselves behind. I am so appreciative of that.

I’d like to share some posts that have inspired me recently and award them respectively. Thank you again.

Versatile Blogger Award

Ms Sydney Life’s love for Sydney, NZ… well, the world really.. is woven through this artful blog. This post was a lovely reminder to pause, to pay our respects, and be thankful: An Introduction to ANZAC Day from a Kiwi Living in Australia « This Sydney Life.

A wonderful blog filled with architecture and design. This was my first time seeing the new MCA in Sydney, Australia. I like it! Museum of Contemporary Arts | Sydney « +.

I had a moment last week when I just needed a laugh, so I was reminded of this blogger’s motto, and I, well, laughed. Traveling with Laughter on a Sunday Morning | TravelWithLaughter.

This passionate photographer, who I have been following ever since I started a blog, gets published. No wonder – his nature shots are excellent! Yikes, I’m Published! « scottseyephotos.

The word ‘bubliki’ got me as I haven’t heard that Russian word in ages. Russian Friday – Bubliki « While Chasing Kids.

Scenes from a market in Nice during the springtime. Ahhhh. Marché de printemps « Eric Benoist.

7×7 Link Award

This great post inspired a lot of comments: The World Doesn’t Need Another Ansel Adams | Münchow’s Creative Photo Blog.

I’m enjoying going this blog’s archive for its exceptional photography and a quick wit; it’s a treat to catch a glimpse of life in the French countryside. White magic | Camerahols / Food, Photography & France.

This blog marries motivation and dedication to a love of travel and writing. Go East! | Cosy Travels of the Viking and his Kitten.

Need a gift idea or some inspiration? Scroll through this blog of lovely things. Design: Alessi « White Cabana.

Sunshine Blogger Award

I love the sun, but did anyone see the Super Moon last night? It was cloudy and foggy in NYC, so I turned to these blogs for spectacular views. Check out these images:

Japan: 149 « mozuqu noir.

Serbia: full moon over belgradestreets | belgradestreets.

Australia: Day 199 – Super Moon | cindymccauley.

Always inspiring, this is a blog full of happiness and reminders to enjoy life’s moments.  Not So Fast | in pursuit of more.

Grateful for the Altitude; Grateful for the Time

Plane trips from NY to LA – or from somewhere to anywhere – may never be the same again. For me, carry-on luggage used to mean juggling, amongst other things, a stash of magazines and guide books; the complexity of an inflight entertainment system determined, in large part, the (swift) passing of a (lengthy) flight time.

These days, WIFI has changed all of that. Whilst airport waits and high altitudes give some travelers the perfect excuse to switch off, I prefer to plug in and catch up.

This has inspired to compile an overdue gratitude post in response to a few awards for which I have been nominated. I am so appreciative for the love shared by fellow bloggers: in pursuit of morebinNotes and jmeyersforeman photography, who nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award; robertoalborghetti, who honoured me with The Very Inspiring Blogger Award; and Red Pants And a Mustache – I am grateful for the Stockholm Sunshine. Thank you!

I follow each of these blogs and encourage you to visit them when you have some time. You’ll be immersed into a world filled with the pleasures life has to offer – intrepid travel, artisan coffee, awesome art, wine briefings, therapeutic creativity, inspiring quotes, and wonderful photography – documented from various points around the globe.

I’m sharing a round-up of some excellent posts I’ve recently read, in thanks for the nominations. I hope you may enjoy them too. Bon Voyage!

Simply stunning minimalism. I will never tire of these images and can imagine them as enlarged works on the walls of my home. Day 147 – Minimalist | cindymccauley.

Ever since this post, 107 « mozuqu noir, I have been an avid blog follower. Delicate effortless beauty with every post.

Photography of fossils and ice, interwoven with vivid verbiage; a reminder that the changing of the seasons is a time to reflect on what once was. The Ephemeral and the Enduring « draw and shoot.

Street art is so refreshing; a symbol of creativity. Here’s a perfect example. This is a lovely blog for its great architectural shots too. eYe « El Bueno, El Feo y El Malo.

A reminder of the bountiful beauty that is in Sydney, Australia. Sydney’s Bay Run (in my case, walk) « This Sydney Life.

Space – stunning in its simplicity; a hint of complexity. I appreciate the versatility of this blog’s postings. Fog.. « Cornwall – A Photographic Journey.

A powerful post, balancing the abstract with the poetic. desire « Strange Bird.

Passionate about art, music, and her family; interesting and interpretative. See why: little baby you are so CUTE! « marsblackvintage.

Street art, reinterpreted through nature. Can’t wait to see this as an Impressionist series. Metallic Elements | The Lantern Room.

Always a fresh eye with photography, this post is a current favourite from Barbara’s blog – in part, for my love of chandeliers. Fred Wilson | barbaraelka.

Very much enjoying this collection of posts in tribute to Egypt, and the universality of its messages. Day 20~ March 20th~ Egypt « 365 from the archive.

Inspiring black and whites from a talented photographer. This post of people – of life – is so refreshing. Winter Winds | Klara’s Street.

A post that showcases the reality of a city; the beauty of its people; the sights a traveler comes to see, to feel, to experience. the streets of Jerusalem | the human picture.

There’s always an interesting find, a creative recipe (not restricted to the edible kind), and a wonderful sharing of art within this blog. This post immediately caught my eye. Smithsonian Magazine’s 9th Annual Photo Contest | Violets and Cardamom.

A post, well flagged. 18 March 2012 « 366 Days of Photos.

It’s nice to share in a mutual love for the West Coast of the US with this blogger. Rooftop View « 2 Rivers Photos.

A perfect end-note. I always enjoy this blog, and this post especially so. Say cheese…. | Camerahols / Food, Photography & France.

Musings at The Conservatory Garden, Central Park, NYC

The more I live, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I realize, the less I know. ~ Michel Legrand

Michel Legrand’s quote sums up how I feel about Central Park. The more I see the less I know, I thought as I left through The Conservatory Garden’s beautiful cast-iron gates yesterday and into the commotion of Fifth Avenue.

The silhouette of Manhattan from the northern end of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir.

Of his favourite spots to visit in Harlem, celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson singled out “the Conservatory Garden in Central Park just off East 105th Street.” I’d filed this mention in the back of my mind.

Main entrance into the Conservatory Garden. The gates once stood at Cornelius Vanderbilt’s mansion on 58th St and 5th Avenue

February, the first: a warmish (59F) winter’s day in New York, a day to make an uptown trip to Central Park North. As I hadn’t done any prior research, I thought  The Conservatory Garden resided in a greenhouse. Not so.

The Conservatory Garden began as a large, E-shaped greenhouse, or conservatory in 1898. It featured an indoor winter garden of exotic tropical plants and outdoor decorative Victorian flowerbeds. In 1937, the deteriorating structure was demolished and this… formal garden was designed in its place.*

Six acres of outdoor gardens define its expanse, a triad of stylized gardens, influenced by France, England and Italy. A little bit of Europe in NYC. I hope you enjoy The Conservatory Garden through this pictorial. Oh, and prepare yourself mentally to enter an “Official Quiet Zone”.

As an aside, I would like to dedicate this post to my few bloggers: Vidal’sNYC for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger award. I hope you may check out Vidal’s photo-glimpses of New York as he sees it. I’m also so appreciative of the support by robertoalborghetti and MiltonJohns Photography for reblogging my posts on Letting Love Rule @ Radio City Music Hall (Lenny Kravitz) and Gated Abandonment on Bowery ~ downtown NYC. I am really humbled by your kind comments and thank you for your inspiration. I hope you may check out the photography and art portfolios of all three bloggers. I’m a keen follower of their work and hope you will be too.

Musings at The Conservatory Garden

The French inspired part of the Garden, at its northern end.

Fountains stand empty for now. Dancing Maidens sculpture by German artist Walter Schott.

Manicured hedges and patterned green.

Winter’s calm beauty: still trees, a late afternoon sun, long shadows.

Hibernating hydrangeas; sleeping beds of roses..

A stream of late-afternoon sun rays.

The English-inspired part of the Garden, to the south.

Grassy furry plants remind me of Mr. Snuffleupagus from Sesame Street.

More puppet reminders, this time of those crazy hairstyled muppets on Fraggle Rock. Do you remember? The English part of the garden is based on Frances Hodgson Burnett’s classic, The Secret Garden, but it is so Jim Henson inspired.

Early bloomering jonguils. Perhaps spring is closer than we think.

The Italian-inspired garden, in the Conservatory’s centre.

Entangled Chinese wisteria against a Fifth Avenue view.

A blue period.

A touch of history : the original 13 states engraved into tile.

The Italian Renaissance Garden: The Medici, the ruling dynasty of Florence, used gardens to demonstrate their own power and magnificence. “During the first half of the sixteenth century, magnificence came to be perceived as a princely virtue, and all over the Italian peninsula architects, sculptors, painters, poets, historians and humanist scholars were commissioned to concoct a magnificent image for their powerful patrons.” **

At dusk, the grand gate must close.

Hello Manhattan.