NY Public Library at Bryant Park…

Wow… what a building! I went because my friend, Cece, told me not to miss it. I stayed for the tour because a nice, but insistent, docent said that it was a much better use of an hour than shopping would be. She was right!

The famous NY Public Library is housed in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. It’s a huge, beautiful, and you can read a lot more about it here. I’m going to share some of the pictures I took…

Patience, or Fortitude, on guard at the front door on Fifth Avenue:

Stately lions are the library mascots.

These are the actual, for real, animals from Winnie-the-Pooh:

These stuffed animals have been well-loved, worn, and mended. Piglet is much flatter than I imagined he would be—and tiny!

This illustrated book from the 14th century (if I remember correctly) is lovely, with bright colors and the penmanship is totally amazing. But I could not help thinking of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. I can hear it playing in my head :-).

The Rose Reading room is huge, beautiful, and very quiet because it is for reading. Seriously. You can get in to read or on a tour. You can no longer walk through it as a tourist who is not going to read.

Rose Reading Room
Inscription over the door to the Rose Reading Room

The chairs look comfy…

As I said, lions are the mascot. This one is on a drinking fountain. The library opened in 1911 and the marble looks worn enough that it may be original to the building.

The library houses so many collections, books both rare and common, maps, photographs, original works of all kinds… there is just so much. It is a treasure worth visiting!

NYC Streets in December…

That is either Patience or Fortitude in front of the NYC Public library, decked out with greenery.

Patience or Fortitude

These are some of the many shop windows I saw. It could be I only noticed the ones with lots of aqua OR aqua was the color this year. it could also be that I kept taking pictures of the windows at Anthropologie.

Decorations were not limited to windows…

And, of course, there are the angels, the tree, and the ice skating rink at Rockefeller Center that are festive and a little crowded, both in the daytime and at night…

Times Square is always bright and festive and I can’t help but love it :-).

Photo taken quickly from the crosswalk

I hope these made you smile!

Seen in NYC, December 2021…

I went to NYC to visit our son, Jeff, and Ted! Ted-the-cat pre-dates the pandemic, but I didn’t get to meet him then. It takes Ted awhile to get used to people so when he got that close to me I felt special!

I went to The Met and The MoMa and had a great time. I love portraits and statues because the expressions on the faces show that people then and people now must be feeling the same kinds of feelings. These from The Met:

And then there are those times when art makes you giggle. Like these two Medieval busts… they are the mean girls from high school:

Medieval wing at the Met

Or here, I can hear them saying to each other: Here, look over here! No. I say look over here! It’s over HERE!!!

There are more female artists on display at both museums and one has to wonder why it has taken so long!!! There was a large exhibit of pieces (furniture, paintings, prints, and more) by Sophie Taeuber-Arp that was amazing. Here is just one painting from the exhibit…

by Sophie Taeuber-Arp

She died at the age of 53 in 1942 from accidental carbon-monoxide poisoning in her sleep.

Also at the MoMa you will find a wonderful exhibit of Alexander Calder‘s work. The shadows are integral to the beauty of the forms and the museum has them spaced and lit very well.

That’s probably enough for today. I’ll post more in the next few days :-).

The party’s over…

I spent my last day in Venice with Karen today. We went to the Peggy Guggenheim museum. She chose to live in Venice for the last many years of her life in a lovely place on the Grand Canal. This statue, that I love, is on the terrace that faces the Grand Canal. What an amazing view she had!

She was collector of modern art and there was much of it that I love…

I continue to be fascinated by the way the shadows from the art or the frame become an integral part of the art.

We ran into a small Women’s March, followed by unsmiling policemen.

We found out that garbage is collected in wheeled bins and hoisted onto boats. The collectors are dressedin bright green. It is a system that makes sense here.

I took pretty pictures that included water…

I also took photos of a seagull happily devouring a rat. We all have to eat something, right?

We shopped, but not for crazy expensive clothes or shoes (darn it).

I took a few more pretty photos of Venice…

Here I am with this homely fellow. You might notice the red gloves and very nice black bag from Florence.

I never did ride in a gondola. It was just too cold for me, no one I saw riding looked like they were loving it. Maybe I will do that when I come again.

It has been a lovely trip. I enjoyed spending time with Karen! I’m looking forward to being home, if only for a few days. I’ll be off again soon for New Orleans! The off season is a good time to go places.

And that’s it. We had a nice dinner. I think everything is going to fit into my bag to go home. Karen is helping by taking a few small things back in her bigger bag that will be checked.


We headed to St. Mark’s this morning, via a vaporetto (water taxi) which is much cheaper than a gondola. The gondola is 80euro for 30 minutes. That would be about $45 each for me and Karen and we’d both rather buy Murano glass.

It’s nice to see the city from the Grand Canal. One thing that you really notice is how much the water affects the buildings. It is wet, wood gets rotten, there is mold and moss. That is part of what makes Venice look the way it does, but maintaining these structures must be nearly impossible.

We are here in the off season. It is cold and damp, but I like the light crowds. Shops are open, as are restaurants, and there are some deals to be had. I keep forgetting to take pictures of my purchases (maybe I’m trying to not think about that too much?) but here’s a thing I didn’t buy:

I collect Santas but not clowns so he’s not coming home with me. Although now that I look again, I kind of like him.

We went to St. Mark’s. The square was not crowded at all.

Photos are not allowed inside, but I climbed up to the dome and was able to take some photos there:

I kind of hate to be a selfie taking tourist, but everyone up there was doing it so I thought I’d join in.

We walked and shopped and ate our way back to the hotel. It was a nice day.

PS: Last night after I wrote my blog post I got to feeling queasy. And then it got worse. I suspect food poisoning from some bagged salad I ate to go with soup we had picked up. It was a rough hour or so but I am so lucky that the nausea medicine I travel with worked. I woke up feeling OK.

It’s going to be a while before salad looks good to me.

Venice, my last stop in Italy…

We rode the train and it was easy, clean, on time, and very civilized. This view greeted us as we left the station in Venice:

Of course we stopped to take pictures, and then it was a short walk to our hotel. Our rooms were not quite ready so we headed out to explore. We mostly explored the shops :-).

Venice is the place to buy Murano glass… and we did. And I know we’ll shop more tomorrow.

We did not buy a clown. They are everywhere. Maybe they’ve never read any Steven King?

There are also many shops with masks. Carnival is coming but perhaps masks are sold all year round here. I’ve not been before so don’t know the answer to that question.

We bought a meringue and ate a little of it. It was hard and very sugary.

The pastry looks fantastic, sad I can’t eat it.

I love these olive oil bottles.

I like the looks of this vegetable but have not eaten any yet.

We are finally getting the hang of selfies!

More tomorrow!