Yes, we made it home. But I thought you might enjoy some New York MUSICA and a few big city scenes before we go back to small world reality.
We caught the Island Home for our return trip on the MOST beautiful day. I must say, the weather for our whole trip was brilliant! Cool enough for a sweater, warm enough for basking.
Here we are tooling along, we’ve just turned out of the city onto the FDR Drive going north past the east river toward Connecticut.
Lots of I-95, the Connecticut Turnpike is very very ugly, which I’ve always found hard to understand because Connecticut is so beautiful, how did they let this hideous road run right along next to the shore??? I don’t know! (venting time) But since Joe was born and raised in Connecticut he has this other “secret” road to take us on instead. It’s not a very big secret, and it’s not a very big road, it’s called the Merritt Parkway.
It’s famous for the beautiful bridges and overpasses built beginning in the 1930’s. Each one is designed in a different architectural style, all designed by the same person, and all built by the WPA — which it would be nice if we had again! This country got some of it’s prettiest roads and buildings because of the WPA.
My favorite part about the bridges on the Merritt Parkway is that they are all too low for trucks. Wizardry in bridge building is what I call it. Hence, no trucks on this road!
It’s so civilized, 37 miles of just-beautiful ~ it’s actually in the National Register of Historic Places!
Like a street in Central Park.
That’s not to say there is no “nature” in The City. Just the opposite. Besides the miracle that is Central Park where the city goes to drink in the trees and the sky and have picnics and play ball and run and walk, we had our own little miracle of nature ~ Joe took this picture of a dragonfly that landed just over our head where we were sitting at the time on the 16th floor of our hotel (the Affinia Shelburne, at Lexington and 37th, BTW). That is some wandering dragonfly.
See the string of lights? That’s where the dragon fly alighted. This is the top floor of our hotel, where, on beautiful evenings like this one . . .
They serve cocktails in this “room” with a view.
Joe loved it up here and so did I. Next time we want to bring our binoculars!
From our stools we could feel the breeze (remember, we are still on an island) and look off in all directions, and down onto “roof gardens” such as this one. These people must have worked late or were out of town, because no one in their right mind would have been indoors on an evening like this if they could have helped themselves.
Just across from our rooftop was this interesting old building, with open roof and arched windows and green growing up inside the walls and lots of people inside celebrating TGIF.
Even though we’re on the 16th floor, we had to look up at these two. It’s so wonderful to see the old architecture alongside the new.
Even more interesting when the sun goes down and the lights begin to come on.
And of course, right from our stools we could see the Empire State Building, all lit up. Green this time. The building lights up in all colors depending on the event being celebrated at the time.
Green was to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Police Athletic League, but they change it for the Fourth of July, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, for almost any celebration imaginable.
Saturday we had lunch in this wonderful French restaurant called Les Halles (pronounced Lay Ahl).
The food was wonderful!!! I had a Salad Niçoise and Joe had Steak au Poivre and both could not have been more delicious.
We took the whole day off.
After lunch we hopped into a taxi and went to . . .
One of my favorite stores in New York called ABC Home ~ which is seven stories of gloriosity ~ everything you need to help you remember what a wondrous world this is.
It’s like a museum because everything is so artsy and special and one-of-a-kindish, but better than a museum because if you see something you simply can-not live without, you don’t have to just cry inside, you can buy it!
They have beaded horses, elephants and lions, which I know everyone needs. But that’s not the point, the point for me at ABC Home is looking and ooohing and aaaahing and taking pictures, and these fanciful colorful creatures are perfect for that! I may not need them, but I still think they are wonderful and appreciate the creativity that made them.
Everything is artistically and carefully arranged. Someone really cares about the details in this store. This lamp is so fun, little pricks of light come out of it as you move around it. The copper pots? Yes, I know.
They even make timers, whisks, and potato mashers look good.
There’s all kinds of beautiful bedding and towels, a whole floor of it, and lovely fluttery curtains too.
And every so often, for no reason except to pleasure the eye of the beholder, eye candy like this. They are real roses and smelled wonderful. The eye and the nose were pleasured to the nth.
Vintage dinnerware! Silver candle sticks and serving pieces. They have kept away from the dull, the humdrum and the mundane.
It’s anything but. They had antique and new drinking glasses in every color, some of them paper thin. See the ceiling? The whole building is in an old warehouse.
They believe in art . . . these little salts! Everything is so different.
And if you need a wooden-handled pestle and mortar or a sparkly carafe, you have come to the right place.
Lots of furniture too, in all styles, sofas and chairs, everything . . . useful and original too, like this cart on wheels.
Yes, they have a baby department that is truly hard to get out of.
I just wished I could squeeze into one of these little girl dresses! I would take the one with the big red polka dots.
Of course, they have the dinosaur division.
I know you want to know what we bought. The only thing I needed was to fill up with inspiration and beauty and there was plenty of that. I just so enjoyed looking at everything and taking pictures. The jewelry was made by designers, it was delicate and just gorgeous ~ I could never have chosen just one thing. But, this ↑ is what I bought. It’s for asparagus and pasta among other things and we needed it. Did I tell you I am pretty practical (not very practical, but pretty practical)? Unless I need it, or I can’t live without it, I try not to buy it.
But I needed this hipster charcoal onesie and could not go home without it ~ for our new baby boy (my great nephew) Xavier. The pottery X has a hole in the back; it can be hung on the wall. A cool hip New York baby outfit for my Central Coast of California Baby is on it’s way.
We had drinks at King Cole Room, at the St. Regis Hotel, a place we accidentally discovered one lovely rainy night many years back when we could not find a cab. We’ve always come back to see the amazing Maxfield Parrish Mural over the bar.
We spent the morning at The Morgan Library and Museum. Saw lots of paintings of romantic landscapes and other amazing and beautiful things ~ such as this. This IS George Washington! This life mask was molded right on his face in 1785 and the miracle is now we could stand in front of it and take a picture of it. That’s George Washington! Can you believe it!?
One of the ceilings in Morgan Library. Talk about filling your inspiration cup . . . there is nothing like beauty and history and . . .
the music of the night.
Mas Musica? Cuz we’re goin’ home . . .
And here we are on the boat, heading home . . . passing our sister ship . . . skirting Old Cape Cod . . .
The light was especially beautiful as we drew closer to the island and the sun was getting low.
Here we are arriving into the harbor. You can tell the season has changed, the sailboats are coming back! (They put them away during the winter and the harbor is empty. Sailboats with flags flying are a harbinger of the summer season.)
Yes, we had our people waiting for us. As we are emptying the car, they watch. They were adorable, wriggling around on the floor to be petted, which we did happily. Elizabeth and Diana took such good care of them. While unpacking, we turned around in time to see the moon coming up . . .
The next morning, Sunday, real life, we walked along quiet shady streets over to Elizabeth’s new house because they were having a yard sale in her driveway. From left, that’s Daisy, she’s the darling daughter of Mimi holding the whale, then Amy in the stripes, I’m behind Amy, then Diana, and up front, that’s Elizabeth. Elizabeth’s new house is on the left.
We walked downtown to have breakfast at the Waterside Market . . . then we window-shopped up Main Street. I heard Mimi say, “Hey isn’t that your house?” And I looked in the window, and by gum, yes it is! Someone had painted it and the painting was for sale in the window of this gallery! Pretty good eh? We thought so!
So then we went back home. And put the flag away until Independence Day, once again making ourselves incognito.
And played with Jack, watered the garden, did laundry, made tea, and sat down to write to you.
And here we are, ready to begin life again. Only twelve days from today and we go back out to Connecticut to Gladys Taber’s House! Can’t believe it! And the next time I post, it will be the celebration for our three years of blogging, five years of Facebook with fun giveaways for my Girlfriends!
Hope you enjoyed New York! It’s always fun to have you along. ‘Course I think of you with every click of the camera! Rabbit-Rabbit Girlfriends. Happy June! XOXO
Love your blog, your artwork, Your spirit, Jack, your photos, your quilts, your home & the collectibles within it, the garden & its gates, the birds outside your windows, the recipes you share — just everything, including every bit of Martha’s Vineyard — and much, much more! So thrilled Autumn will be reprinted as my copy has been missing for 2 years and I have searched high & low for a replacement, to no avail. The June giveaways are simply to die for. Thank you for all the joy you spread to all of us, everywhere, even all the way south to Texas! Forever grateful 🙂
I am also a huge fan of your blog. They are fun, inspirational, conversational and put smiles everywhere….on my face and in my heart! Your Susan Branch quilt makes my heart beat faster! Your art, your talent put a song in my heart. Thank you for all the ways you start my days.
I feel like I was a companion with you on your trip to NYC! Thank you for letting me experience all your thrilling adventures and the exciting varied culture! And I absolutely cannot live without your calendars and your books! God bless you with many more years of sharing the love!
I check your blog and website everyday, I’m addicted! I crave the happy images I find here. 🙂 Vintage china and dishes and glasses and foods and quilts and every good thing (deep breath now)! I may need a 12 step program soon! Thank you so much!
San Clemente, CA
It’s non-fatttening 🙂 does that help?
Been following you and your work since I was first introduced to your beautiful drawing’s , recipes, & books in the early ’90’s! So excited to see what you will come up with next! Teresa
Good morning, Susan.. just saw your latest posting on facebook. I so enjoy reading your blog. Its so uplifting and fun. Oh how I love the fabrics you put together for quilting. And I can’t wait to sit in a quiet spot with a cuppa and read the Autumn book again. Its my most favorite time of the year. Congrats on your 3 year old blog. Time goes so fast. **hugs to you**
Thank you so much Jo Ann!
YIKES!! Trying to get the house in order for the visit next week of 4 adorable grandkids and their folks when I see your blog!!!! Makes me want to take out everything I just stashed out of sight and CREATE – SOMETHING!! You’re right, if you make it, it IS art! And when anyone else ‘gets’ it, CELEBRATE! Just bought a quilt pattern, would LOVE to use your fabrics so wish me luck in the drawing and keep on keepin’ on – you’re amazing! xoxoxo
I love your blog, books, everything. Thank you for the contest!
Good Morning! You have such a wonderful website and books! I love everything you love, or so it seems. LOL I have some antique quilts too and they do just make me so happy! Thank you for all you do!
What a great read! I love the fabric and calendar photos as well. Thanks for taking the time.
Love the beautiful kitty’s, fabrics, quilts and dishes.
Love to read your posts. I love your fabrics and even entered your quilt challenge at The Farm all those many years ago. We miss your shop here in California.
Thank you for sharing. I love your art, I used to scrapbook with your papers and stickers and now I have started quilting and I am in love with your fabric designs. My niece and I have recently started painting and are going to try out watercolor paints next, I will show her your work and we’ll see if we can make anything half as good, but we always have fun trying. I may have to stick with cooking though, that is my best talent. I just got your Summer book out and I am patiently waiting for my summer vegetables to bloom. Happy Summer to you and your family and thank you for sharing your life with us.
This is the first comment I’ve ever made on someone’s blog, and I can’t think of anyone I’d rather comment about than you, Susan. What AMAZING talent you have! We have such similar interests, and although we’ve never met, I feel like we’ve been friends for years! I can sit for hours and admire your work. I can’t believe someone actually has penmanship like you do, and your artwork is unbelievably cool. God threw away the mold when He made you!
🙂 too sweet Liz! xo
Love reading your blog. thank you. Susan
I LOVE your calendars & your cat! 🙂
I am so excited about the material give a way! I am in the process of making a scrappy sampler quilt. I have a few of your pieces included in my quilt top. I love all the soft colors as well and the give a way material will feel at home in this quilt top of mine.
I love your blog & books so much. They are filled with ideas and adventures that I would someday love to see myself.
Summer in Arizona is winter in Martha’s Vineyard. We hunker down and stay inside to avoid the weather. It can be up to 120 degrees outside and I am inside working on a quilt. The pictures of your flowers are beautiful.
Hi, Susan!! Your blog is beautiful and it inspires me to make things. It encourages me to not be afraid to try something new and to listen to my heart and do what it tells me…no matter what anyone else may think. Courage and a lightness of spirit–that’s what it requires. When I’m feeling that the world is too much with me, your blog helps ground me again. Thank you.
Aaaaaaahhhh is what I feel when I see anything Susan Branch. 🙂 Thank you so much for all the hard work & inspirations. I gave your Summer book to my mother years ago and it’s her all time favorite book. I love how your creativity can transform a room, without spending a fortune! Bring something from outside, add a candle and “pretty room”. The recipes are tried & true & yummy! Keep sharing your adventures & inspiration & art. Loved by soooooo many 🙂 Kim
Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and artwork with us. When I read your site I feel as if I am sitting there with you. It is like a breath of fresh air each time I do! You are a blessing from above and make our days so refreshingly beautiful. Thank you so much.
I’m so glad I live in a world with summer vacation! Just seeing your quilts makes me head to Hobby Lobby!
You’re so right about the Mock Orange. Gosh! Mmmmm! The scent comes in through my kitchen window. There’s nothing like it. Congratulations on the blog’s anniversary. I am SO happy to be a girlfriend. I am fussing over my ‘A Fine Romance Girlfriend’ nametag right now in preparation for Saturday at the Gladys Taber Reunion. I keep fussing and fidgeting so that it is just right! I’m excited but I’m much more excited for you, Susan. I can’t wait to welcome you to the ‘Nutmeg State’! I am going to email you a couple of wonderful CT sights that are just off of I-84 which I know you will travel on to Danbury. I can just see you snapping (pictures) away at the thousands of roses in the Elizabeth Park Rose Garden (150 years old…a National Historic Site) and lunching at the Eliz. Pk POND HOUSE Restaurant at the pond’s edge. OMG the food is delicious whether you dine inside or al fresco on the pond! Then a quickie drive up the street to Mark Twain’s House/Mansion (another Nat’l Hist. site) to see the room and desk where he wrote ‘Tom Sawyer’ and ‘Huckleberry Finn’ (Remember how you felt about Jane Austen’s desk?) Ask the guide about the story-telling-mantelpiece. The mansion is lavish with Tiffany design. Eye candy! Next door to M.Tw. is Harriet Beecher Stowe’s house where she wrote ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’ at a certain desk. Such a feeling of empowerment for women when you visit her home. Maybe you’ve seen it all but if you haven’t I hope you can make time for these sites during your visit to the Nutmeg State. Then there’s just a hop, skip, and a jump back on to I-84 East toward Boston. See ya on Saturday!
Love, Carol tra la !
thank you for giving us a cozy place to go: your blog
Really enjoy your blog. FUN!
Since I just painted my sewing room yellow with watermelon trim I would love to win all of this Yellow fabric…..I see curtains, etc. in my future……thanks for being you!
Reading you blog makes my day! I LOVE your quilts. The colors and textures bring back summer memories of sleeping out on an open-air porch at my grandparents’ house back in the 50’s. We would wrap up in colorful quilts and talk for hours. Thanks for sharing!
What an interesting life you have. So much talent, so many beautiful things.
I love your style, your quilts, your teacups. Its all so much fun! Blessings always.
I also just read your latest on Facebook. I have loved your art since I first saw it years ago…I miss not being able to find things now. I agree with you about how wonderful the older quilts look, the fabrics, colors, stitches. After 50 years, my sister is trying to teach me how to sew ( I can by hand, but not with a machine), so now I am obsessed with fabric…and yours are wonderful!! I would love to be in the middle of your life, for just a day!
I posted a comment last night around 9:30. I don’t see it here Nd I am sad if I am not in the running for the giveaways. Why wouldn’t my comment be posted here?
Here’s one . . . it’s because the comments have been coming in so hot and heavy, I haven’t been able to keep up with them, but I’m on the boat now — a 45 minute ride, we’ll see how far I can get! You’re definitely in the contest!
Decorated a graduation gift box with your stickers, today. Edging vintage embroidery textiles with fabric trims….oh, my. Think I might finally know what to do with my gr-grandma’s tea towels. I love how you bravely use the things you collect.
I’ve been a fan of your cookbooks for years so when my daughter game me your, “A Fine Romance” for Mother’s Day I was delighted. I couldn’t read it right away because I was in the middle of another book but I kept looking at it, (not daring to open it up until I was done with the other book.) I’m not big on deferred gratification so a couple days ago I just picked it up and opened it. I haven’t gotten anything done since. I read until 3:30 this morning. So many wonderful treasures. I was so excited when you went to Betrix Potter’s home I started to cry. Can you imagine!? I don’t want it to end. You MUST write stories about Lambie-Pie Cuddle-Bunch. I had wondered too why she never wrote about a lamb. My other book is just lying there waiting for me to finish ,”A Fine Romance.”
Thank you Barbara, that is so nice to hear!
Your colors and collections make me yearn for the simpler times I grew up in. My grandmother was a quilt maker. I have the two she made for my children. The vivid colors of both cloth and dish bring back memories. That’s why I so enjoy your blog, your writing and your art. It’s a softness that is hard to find today. Thank you for sharing you.
It’s hard to describe the happy feeling your “art” gives me, whether books, fabric, stickers, or sharing from your heart. Thank you, Susan Branch! I’ve long been a fan of yours and I didn’t take it personally when my recipe didn’t make the cut for your desserts book! Love You! Love Your Style, Love my “Joe” – his name is Greg! 🙂
Just love to look at all the pretty stuff on your blog. Wish my garden looked like that!
Love your blog! Especially loved the 30s quilts and how they’ve inspired you. The giveaways are awesome; it would be so wonderful to win one!
I have been loving all your blogs and every other part of Susan Branch ~ books, calendars and recipes etc.. Just loved your wonderful England tour and really loved being part of every day you spent there. Of course the book was perfect and I have lent it to many friends who have become girlfriends as well! Hoping this note puts me in the “giveaway” of all the wonderful gifts you have described. Happy Summer!
I have been a big fan for year and carried all your lines of fabric in my quilt shop, now closed. I enjoyed meeting you at Quilt Market and in San Luis last fall. I now will have to search for Glady Tabers books, as I am running out of my favorite authors to read. Thanks for your blog it cheers me up and make me want to create and play in my studio. Lindy
I love all the quilts you have. I only have a few that were made by family. They are old and faded and I will not use them for fear of getting torn. I see you are a collector of dishware too.
To borrow a phrase
From Kern and Fields,
“A Fine Romance” …
Is a tome that yields…
A kick of joy,
A blast of color
A jolly time
That’s like no other.
Handwritten, hand drawn
With swirls and sentiment
Reading its tales
Brings such content.
Then there’s the blog
A delight without end
I could really go on,
But I think I’ll hit “send.”
Thank you, Susan, for years of “tickle-me-pink” enjoyment!
Cutest thing! Very jolly! Thank you Susanne!
So much excitment! Love it all!
We just passed the Empire State Building on our way to Danbury we are so looking forward to seeing you and Joe , all our Gladys Tabor friends, and Stillmeadow.
love your blog! love the quilts and all your books. cant wait for the new autumn book in august!
Thanks for posting that pic of Maxwell Parrish’s mural — amazing! He is a relative of MFK Fisher — of her 2nd husband, I should say. Fascinating people. I love her writing. And, I’ve at last begun reading Gladys Taber and find her so very delightful. Only on the first book (Stillmeadow Sampler), but will read many more.
The fabric you have is so cheerful.. I have many small pieces. LOVE the Blog..
Thanks for making yourself available to come and be the guest speaker on Saturday in
Danbury.. It was worth the wait..
Oh my.. the Merritt Parkway! I used to have to travel it almost daily and haven’t seen it now for over 30 yrs! I’m originally from Ct and now in AL (mentioned in another comment) and that just makes the pining… hurt a big more (a good hurt). I’m planning a trip labor day wkend for a wedding and I can’t wait to see it all again! I’ve just discovered you via a link at Bunny Mummy’s Brit walking blog and I’m working my way back thru your entire blog and having a grand ‘ole time! Delightful! I’ve also enjoyed the ‘reruns’ of Downton Abbey!
I bet it’s barely changed! Bigger trees maybe!