Exploring Brooklyn and beyond

I’ve visited New York a few times, but we seem to have been here a lot recently – four times in the last four years, in fact!

This time we thought we’d find some different things to do, and I’m going to share them with you regularly. I’ll also be sharing some things I made over winter which haven’t been worn before.

The trip was fraught with difficulty. Our apartment fell through a week before we left and I had to find another one.  Then our flight to LA was delayed by ten hours due to mechanical problems, meaning that we missed our connection to New York. We were rebooked on a domestic flight with a fourteen hour wait at LA airport! I rang the airline and they found us a different flight from Sydney, via San Francisco with a two hour connection time, and I was assured that we would be expedited through immigration. Unfortunately we still had a long wait in Sydney, but it sounded like a better option, so I booked it. Sydney was experiencing severe winds so only one runway was in use which meant that the new flight was delayed slightly, cutting down that two hour connection. We finally arrived in San Francisco and were in immigration (where we certainly weren’t expedited!), with about a million other people and I could see we were going to miss the connection. I checked the flight and found that it was delayed by four hours! Huzzah, we weren’t going to be stranded!

We landed in New York at 4am and got ourselves delivered to our son’s apartment as we couldn’t get into our own until a more reasonable hour. This is a photo of me after three days of travel loitering on Archie’s front steps with no way of contacting him as his buzzer doesn’t work and I had turned data roaming off on my phone. He eventually came out to see where we were so we were rescued and given a nice cup of tea!IMG_8656

We had decided that we would stay in Brooklyn this time to give us an opportunity to explore somewhere a bit different.

I have to say that this was a good decision – it is a much more relaxed area, quiet and leafy and there are some gorgeous buildings, with quite a few houses like this one sprinkled around.

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I noticed lots of these plants around with petals like hydrangeas, but that’s where the resemblance ended. We saw this one in a florist shop and bustled over to look and it is a hydrangea! So different from the pink and blue ones. IMG_8662

Just as an aside, I’m wearing a very old self-drafted denim skirt, a top based on the Pattern Union Maisie drawstring dress, which is a free (with the coupon “Maisie”) set of drafting instructions (not an actual pattern – you draft it yourself based on your own measurements), made with a striped linen remnant from Potters, which I bought when I visited with Lynne from Lynnesews.  Hat is, of course, the Sorrento bucket hat.

We visited Greenpoint which is the  northernmost neighbourhood in the Borough of Brooklyn. It was originally farmland which was developed and which has undergone gentrification and is now a rather lively place. This street art caught my eye for all sorts of reasons!IMG_8708

I’m wearing the 1960s tablecloth top and very old white Jalie Eleonore jeans.

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The views across to Manhattan are pretty good too.

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We also explored Prospect Park, which is bigger than Central Park and designed by the same two people. It is a peaceful and cool space for a walk. I’m back in the denim skirt and a Kingfisher top made from some beautiful indigo gauze given to me by Lynne from Lynnesews  during that same visit.

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I had compiled a list of places I wanted to visit and The Cloisters was on the list. Archie then suggested a visit together, so it got bumped up the list. It is part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met) and is located in Fort Tryon Park at the northernmost point of Manhattan. It opened to the public in 1938 and is in a building which was purpose built and is in the style of a medieval European monastery.

It is located in a four-acre park overlooking the Hudson River, and is a mixture of ecclesiastical and non-ecclesiastical architecture, gardens and artefacts collected from Europe. I always wonder at the way that both the British and Americans collected all these antiquities from Europe, and can only assume that, in the days before easy travel, it was a way of educating the general populace.

I enjoy ceilings so here are a few for your enjoyment.

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I adore this wooden barrel vaulted ceiling

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and don’t get me started on this one! We saw a few like this in churches in the UK.

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The gardens are magnificent, especially when viewed through these archways.

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This garden overlooks the Hudson River.

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It is beautifully laid out,

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without being too manicured

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and has magnificently espaliered camelias. IMG_8751

The building was designed and built locally, but the tower was imported. It was a ruin and had to be painstakingly rebuilt. It defies comprehension that what was basically rubble could be recreated so perfectly.

I took many photos  inside, but find I prefer the outside. However, there are some magnificent tapestries, this is a ca. 1400 – 1410 wool tapestry of Julius Caesar – and not at all how I imagined him!

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I managed to capture one of Archie examining the light fitting.

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The entrance “tunnel” is just magnificent and chandeliers are hung from the ceiling on special occasions. IMG_8789

There is a lot of detail on the Cloisters at The Met site if you want to read further.

The parkland is also very beautiful and we had a lovely time wandering through the various gardens and, of course, admiring the magnificent stone walls and bridges dotted about. IMG_8776.jpeg

From here we visited the Neue Galerie on the Upper East Side. We had passed by on previous trips but there always seemed to be a queue, but fate was with us and this time there were no crowds so in we went. We were there to see the remarkable Klimt paintings as well as other work by Austrian and German artists and designers. No photos are allowed in the galleries, but here is a photo of me in front of a reproduction of the Adele Bloch-Bauer painting about which the film “Woman in Gold” was created. It is really worth reading the book or seeing the film – or both, as I did!

IMG_8800There is a lot of detail about this painting – for example, the way she’s holding her hand is to disguise a disfigured finger, and the dress is gold leaf full of symbolism. It is a most intriguing piece of art. There are four other works by Klimt in the exhibition and they are all worth viewing.

We also loved the other collections, particularly the clocks and furniture. Some of the silverware was exquisite too. This gallery is definitely worth a visit.

I have to finish off with this photograph. Dogs on the subway are required to be carried in a bag and I love this little corgi sitting happily in the specially designed backpack. I will try and take a photo of quite large dogs stuffed into bags, which is quite funny to see but probably not so funny for the poor dog.

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I think this post is quite long enough, so TTFN and I’ll be back soon with more adventures.

Fadanista

2 thoughts on “Exploring Brooklyn and beyond

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