Windows from the Past

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The little square window is one of twelve in the the studio at 19 via dei Macci where first Billy Manfredi, then Robert, lived in the 1970’s. It was the attic of a 12th century church in the leather tanning district of Florence – meant to be safe from the plague because of the fumes from leather making process.

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The church of San Remigio, built originally in about 1000, a stopping place for pilgrims on their way to Rome.

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In the Bargello, sisters play some sort of game.

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Also in the Bargello, windows are reflected in a splendid plate.

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Such a dull overcast day in the Uffizi

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and San Marco.

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We enter the 20th century…

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ponder renting a room

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or eating dinner.

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A room with a view.

Florence

I first went to Florence in 1971 –  a very long time ago. It’s where Robert and I met in 1973. We lived there for a while and have been back countless times since.

Here is a collection of photos taken in late October and early November this year.

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A stormy day in Fiesole

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and a persimmon tree whose fruits had been left unharvested.

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Also in Fiesole, pumpkins and chestnuts.

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Fish in the green water of the large fountain in the Boboli Gardens

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and more fish on a porcelain plate in the museum at the top of the garden.

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Such elegant plates…

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and as for the view!

When I win a million billion pounds in some lottery I will live in this valley.

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or walk down to the Ponte Vecchio

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and look at the river.

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I could live in a very simple cell

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as long as they sometimes let me out to eat doughnuts.

Saturday Morning

A hint of autumn in the air.

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Such a good color tissue with the sunflowers and hydrangeas.

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My friend Frances spotted Bill Cunningham who takes such amazing photos for The Times. Very chic in a French workman’s smock and very charming.

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Absolutely no filter – what on earth are these pears? From one of my favorite stands where the fruit would never pass muster in a supermarket – and all the better for it.

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Strange notice: ANTONOUKA dry but juicy. Very old (or odd)!

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The Bethel look better – or worse.

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But the star of the show are the pears with their speckles and gray leaves.

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So wonderful I had to put in two photos.

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Bread looking picturesque.

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And then on the street walking home, three paint cans just sitting there.

Men About Town and an Intrusion of Orange.

A selection of men I’ve seen during the last two weeks.

Maybe next week – or whenever I get to it – I’ll find some women to take photos of.

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The knitting season has commenced so I went to Lion Brand to buy orange cashmere for a baby hat from the Knitting Maven. Orange is not my favorite color. I have been trying to like it – see below –

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Only good as a complement to blue.

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A scene from the Long Island Rail Road.

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Back in the city, time to change the posters under The High Line.

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and ready the galleries for the opening of the fall season.

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Time to contemplate a new beer venue where Mike’s butcher’s once was on 9th Avenue

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and consider a breakfast burrito in Chelsea Market.

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Taxi waiting to be cleaned at the carwash on  24th Street this morning.

Vegetable Matter

Nature, in its place, has much to recommend it and is very pretty to look at. See hydrangeas in Lori’s yard below.

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This has been a splendid year for hydrangeas all around.

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Lovely ones at Union Square. I do get a bit bored, however, with people who ‘love nature’ in general. I make exceptions for mosquitos, black mambas, typhoons -you get the idea.

I’m more of a Marie Antoinette sort of nature lover – would hate to be like Tess of the Durbervilles  freezing miserably in a potato field – or Ivan Denysovich out in the Siberian elements.

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Cosmos – again from Union Square

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and salad stuff seen rather bigger than life size.

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Veggies that are utterly good for you when you have finished taking photos of them

and

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the one light yellow cosmos from last year’s seeds and some dill weed seeds – seen larger than life. The green plate from the south of Morocco.

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Summer

What joy to be at the beach early before the crowds have arrived.

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Seagulls and tracks on the sand

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and a few people out walking.

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Time for an umbrella IMG_2360

Then lots of digging

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and more digging.

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Flowers gathered from the garden

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and the roof.

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A drawing lesson.

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Flowers in the market then

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back to the little beach where the water is warm and the big ones can get out to the far raft.

Summer Approaches

The Sound is perfectly calm.

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The picnic table awaits us.IMG_1003

No one on the beach yet and the water is chilly.

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The children go in anywayIMG_0996

to look for interesting stones

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to toss as far as they possibly can.

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Peonies from Union Square

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like debutantes in ball gowns.

Flowers at Liberty’s

Utterly good taste, astoundingly lovely flowers cluster round Liberty’s front entrance.

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I don’t remember them selling flowers when I worked there in the early 70’s. I just remember learning that you can clean book covers with Windex and lusting after Tuffin and Foale Liberty print dresses.

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Such an enchanting meadowIMG_0450

with lupins and peonies and foxgloves... IMG_0452

all in terribly chic shabby chic containers.IMG_0480

There are even late hyacinths

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and all these can be made into bouquets by skilled hands.

Claudia and I had a cream tea instead

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and bought swanky jasmine soap.

Chelsea Physic Garden

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What bliss it would be to overlook the garden! I hadn’t been there for many years and a visit was much overdue despite horrid cold changeable weather. The oldest botanical garden in England after the one at Oxford.

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I ended up buying a red plastic poncho from the little hut in the middle background of the picture. The poncho prevented me from getting drenched.

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This almost looks like the countryside – right in the middle of town. Cow parsley – so evocative of wet walks many years ago.

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Arum lilies evocative of church.

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Wicket fences which make me think of useful projects I’m entirely unlikely ever to do.

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The sky reflected in water

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and again.

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Such green

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and more green!

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And all so assiduously tended.

Sunday

Spitalfields houses

A walk round the neighborhood.  Such lovely 18th century houses. Many beautifully restored.  

Of course I want to live in all of them.

We discover one is open as part of The Heritage Trust’s 50th anniversary. We go in.  

As lovely inside as out.    The proportions are perfect.   

The windows either have internal shutters or else reflections.
Or ghost writing by the doors.  

 

Some haven’t been done up yet.        And some have excellent door knockers.

It’s rather hard composing posts on the phone so please excuse errors!