From the Last Few Months

Finally sharing some photos from the past few months. A nice variety, I think: Doughnuts and palm trees in South Carolina, snow (and a dog!) in New York, plus flowers at All Good Things and pastries at Lafayette.

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Then and Now

It’s almost hard to believe I took the photo above at the end of November. With a late Thanksgiving, my birthday, and dear family friends visiting, it was a busy (and food-filled!) few days, in the best possible way.

Then, the weeks leading up to Christmas and New Year’s seemed to take their time, which can be a good thing when there’s so much to do. (I like Christmas and the holiday spirit that comes with it — at least in non-overwhelming doses — but I do not live day-to-day in anticipation of it during the rest of the year. I know some people do, but I just never have. So, I don’t mind that those first three weeks of December don’t go by in a flash.)

Now, January is here! I am very happy to say that I am still knitting, with just one month to go before I hit my one-year “anniversary.” These days, if I’m not knitting, I’m thinking about knitting, or thinking about how I should be knitting those mittens for my friend.

In terms of “Internet things” (I really must come up with something more clever/catchy): I’ve put this tea pot on my wishlist. | I’ve decided, maybe somewhat prematurely, to try my hand on knitting a sweater (eek!) this year and have been bookmarking a lot of posts on this blog. | There’s been a lot of “house envy” over all the beautiful interiors/exteriors Elise of Pennyweight has been posting here.

Oh, also, hot chocolate? It does the trick this time of year.

Saturday Snow

As you may have heard, it snowed on the East Coast a couple weeks ago. New York City got significantly more snow than it usually does, but we weren’t hit nearly as hard as places upstate and in Massachusetts, and, for that matter, outside Manhattan, where people are still recovering from Hurricane Sandy. I still think there was more snow on the ground after the Great Snow of January 2011 — as only I like to call it — but the way people were talking about this blizzard, it’s as if that one didn’t exist.

We went out on Saturday morning to Central Park to explore the snowfall. There were sledders all over the place. The hill was covered in bright jackets of all colors, on everyone from toddlers to adults. Almost every dog I saw was even wearing a jacket. (There’s nothing quite like feeling outstyled by a canine.)

New York really is beautiful in the snow. I do wish I’d gotten myself up and at ’em a little earlier, if only to avoid the effort of trying to take photos of the snow-covered trees without people wandering right in front of the camera. But, hey, it’s good practice, right?

All photos by Taking of Toast

P.S. This is my 100th post! It only took me just under two years to do it, wahoo! Thanks for sticking with me and the blog. 🙂

Recently

I thought I’d share some recent photos from my non-adventures over the last few weeks. I try to bring my camera with me when I know I’ll be doing something special, but I think my phone does a pretty good job (occasionally, with some editing here and there) when I’m just walking around.

As I may have mentioned in an earlier post, we went to Bobo for brunch on New Year’s Day. I’ve never sat down there, but I do like the look of bar area on the first floor of the restaurant. Still hoping to one day have a meal on the terrace. A few days later, on one of my days off from work, I decided to attempt soufflé! For my very first try, it wasn’t too bad. I gather a successful soufflé has a small amount of luck involved. At least I didn’t open the oven door to check on it?

I think the photo on the left was taken on a surprisingly warm day following a cold snap. I decided to walk home across Central Park, and it turned out to be at just the right time for taking advantage of the late afternoon light. We went to Chelsea Market in mid-January, and I was happy surprised to see all the string lights still up.

I think we’ve already had more snow this year than we did all of last year. Snow in the city tends to stay white for about half a day, before it gets muddy. Later that day, I had to cut up some limes for a party, and I had to stop halfway through to observe to myself, “I always forget how pretty citrus fruits are!”

I may have discovered my new favorite chocolate chip cookie, from a coffee shop in midtown of all places. It’s conveniently located a few steps down from a relatively new dumpling restaurant (which has a tiny library, pictured below), so you can get justify the cookie with a real meal. ( … Not that I would judge anyone for just having the cookie, or just having half the cookie. I’m a BIG chocolate chip cookie fan, and I can’t ever finish this one in one sitting.)

As I suggested above, nothing too exciting these past few weeks, but that’s okay! January’s meant to be relaxing, isn’t it?

All photos by Taking of Toast, edited with VSCO CAM

Swinging

During the day on Christmas Eve, we went to the Park Avenue Armory to see Ann Hamilton’s the event of a thread (which, unfortunately, closed earlier this month), that giant swing exhibition that was making the buzz/blog/news rounds during the last couple of months.

From the exhibition’s website, which will do a much better job than I of describing it:

Visual artist Ann Hamilton combines the ephemeral presence of time with the material tactility for which she is best known to create a new large-scale installation for the Wade Thompson Drill Hall. Commissioned by the Armory, the event of a thread references the building’s architecture, as well as the individual encounters and congregational gatherings that have animated its rich social history. A multisensory affair, the work draws together readings, sound, and live events within a field of swings that together invite visitors to connect to the action of each other and the work itself, illuminating the experience of the singular and collective body, the relationship between the animal and the human. The address of the readers to the pigeons shifts at the end of each day, when a vocalist on the drill hall’s balcony serenades their release to flight. Each day’s song is cut with a record lathe, and the resulting recording is played back the next day.

For those unfamiliar with the Park Avenue Armory, it is gigantic, taking up an entire city block. (In the summer of 2011, the Royal Shakespeare Company brought over a full-scale replica of its theatre during its six-week residency at the Armory. It’s that big.) the event of a thread took up the entire Drill Hall. Giant swings were connected by a series of wires to a — you guessed it — giant white curtain in the middle of the space. As people swung, the curtain moved. In addition to trying out the swings, I also joined a number of other visitors lying on the floor underneath the sheet, watching it move up and down and side to side. There were also men and women writing and making recordings, in addition to a number of homing pigeons. The review in The New York Times includes more information about this element of the exhibition.

Here’s a very short video I shot with my phone while lying under the curtain:


Photos and video by Taking of Toast

Some Thoughts

I’ve been spending the last few days brainstorming ideas for the blog, or at least trying to. My blog non-resolution for this year was to spend less time talking about it and more time doing it (it being something). But you know what? It’s not easy! I like that having a blog makes me more likely to take my camera places, so I have something to blog about. Yet what happens when I’ve run out of photos?

I’d like the answer to be a combination of “Take more!” and “Find other things to blog about!” This is not meant to be a mopey post, just a post about how I’m trying really hard to come up with things. I’m trying to discover new artists, designers, blogs, etc., and I’m trying to figure out how that discovery works. It’s both exciting and challenging. I gather that’s what blogging is all about. Now I sound like I’m trying to make some big “On Blogging” post, but that’s not the case, either! Just sharing some thoughts. Hopefully, this post will serve as some sort of momentum. Keep going! Keep discovering! It just takes patience.

Photo by Taking of Toast, edited with VSCO Cam*

*I heard about VSCO Cam through this post. I think I enjoy playing around with it so much because it lets me pretend I use a film camera rather than my phone/digital camera (yes, sometimes I upload my digital photos so I can try them out in the app).

Monet at the New York Botanical Garden

This past fall was the season for garden-going, apparently. There was the Conservatory Garden in Central Park, the New York Botanical Gardenand the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Whew! I can’t remember if I’d been to the New York Botanical Garden before, but I’d been wanting to go to see Monet’s Garden before it closed. The exhibition featured many of the flowers and plants Monet planted at his garden in Giverny (including that green bridge!), so   going to the NYBG was a bit like going to France. Sort of.


I smelled some of the most fragrant roses I’ve ever encountered and enjoyed imagining I was seeing the “real thing.”

That day, it looks like I was very much about the off-center macro photos of flowers (which, I guess, is what I’m often about).

The lily pond behind the Conservatory was one of my favorite parts.

I can see why so many people get married there! I would like to go back some time just to explore the grounds.

All photos by Taking of Toast