Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas Dreams from Stonington, Connecticut

I thought it was time for me to be seasonally appropriate at last. In early December I gave you pics of a September week spent on Fire Island. I also gave you photos of Washington Square Park with leaves still on the trees.

It's time to move into winter, at least temporarily. These photos were taken on a Christmas Day walk with my family in Stonington, a town with a strong seafaring tradition and beautiful historic buildings.

At the point of land where the British disembarked from ships in 1814 and tried to subjugate the town, there is a small park commemorating the brave men of Stonington who fought back. This is the view from that point to the west, over Fisher's Island Sound and the Long Island Sound.

An historic bank on the Stonington peninsula decked out for Christmas.

The Inn at Stonington trimmed for Christmas.

A close-up of the Inn's door.

A small jeweler's shop gussied up for Christmas.

A wreath on the doorway to an historic house in Stonington.

Another home, another wreath.

An historic home's door in non-traditional colors. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!

Friday, December 28, 2012

American Dreams, or Just Dreaming?

American Dreams, or Just Dreaming?

I know I said something about moving forward to December pictures in the last post, but then I found these of Washington Square Park in September. I just had to show you some of the great things humans are doing in New York City. Some are working to make their dreams come true, some are just dreaming.

A ventriloquist sets up for a show. Next:  His own show at Comedy Central?

A jazz band performing, hoping to make it big.

The arch, and people relaxing, dreaming.

The fountain. Notice "The Thinker," with chin on fist, in left center.

Kids just out of school attracted to the water like ducklings.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Last Pics from Fire Island, NY

An American Dream on Fire Island, NY

Our dream week as a family on Fire Island gave us so much pleasure. We enjoyed each other's company and the beauty of sea and sky. My brother Chuck took the following pictures. He said our week together was "a sweet time." Our happiness was enhanced by the beautiful setting. It was an American Dream come true, and a tremendous blessing, to be together in such a lovely place.

My sister and I lamenting that the surf was too powerful to swim in that day.

A view toward the west.

Chuck photographed our friend, Susan, photographing Chris photographing the sunset.

A fawn between our deck and our neighbor's.

The four Jaeger siblings in the Sunken Forest at Sailor's Haven, Fire Island.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Fire Island and the American Dream

Dreaming of Sun, Surf and Sand

It's appropriate in cold December to take a look at September's beauty.

These pictures I cannot take credit for: my brother Chuck took them. His photos will draw you to Fire Island even better than I could. I took pictures in the September sun (see two previous posts); he took pictures of the turbulent autumn sky and ferocious surf. Enjoy!

My sister and I enjoying a madcap, un-lifeguarded September swim.

That's me approaching. The fences could hardly protect this barrier sand dune, known as Fire Island, from erosion during Hurricane Sandy.

My sister, mother, and I waiting for the ferry bringing a dear cousin.

Me, in the black straw brim, among all the wagons and bikes that homeowners lock up near the ferry. We rented for a week and got the use of the wagon, essential when bringing a week's food with you. Food on FI is very expensive because it all gets delivered to the island by ferry.

We saw hundreds of monarch butterflies in the course of a week (see center left of photo). They were migrating to Mexico.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Fire Island and American Dreaming

Sculpture, sea grasses, bikes, bamboo: An American Dream come true on Fire Island

Sculpting an American Dream

More about my family's week on Fire Island, pre-Sandy. The house below was located just behind the one and only line of sand dunes between ocean and homes in Ocean Beach. I don't know if the house is still there or not. I've heard that now you must have a permit to get on the island. The lack of ferries, and the limits on people and cargo, will slow the rebuilding process. 

This house had lots of sculpture in the yard; here's one of a reclining woman. 

Same house, different sculpture.

A line of sea grasses.

Some Fire Island houses hide behind thickets of bamboo. The stalks rattle in the wind like hollow chimes.

I rode a bike for the first time in three decades while on Fire Island this past September -- it's just like they say, you never forget!

Sea grasses backlit by September sun. Leave a comment: what's your favorite stretch of ocean, and why? Or do you prefer the mountains?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

We Lived a Slice of the American Dream before Sandy

American Dream Fulfilled: A Week at the Shore

My blog is off to Fire Island National Seashore in New York State now, to enjoy Ocean Beach pre-Sandy. My family shared a house the third week of September. The water was great, warmer than the air. It was a little tough getting into the water because the air wasn't hot, and once in, it was tough getting out, because the wind chill made our wet bodies even colder. Then it was time for a hot outdoor shower.

The living room of the house we rented. My darling Mom was surprised by my picture-taking.

The wind scattered the first leaves of autumn on the deck.

The view toward the ocean. Only a small dune (the little bump at the end of the sidewalk) separated the houses from the ocean.

Looks pretty placid, right? I've heard that Sandy wreaked tremendous damage to the island. 

A house similar to ours, near the ocean in September. Where is the house now? How about you? How many days were you without power? 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

New York City: where most people work on their American Dream

American Dreams in New York City

I'm back to New York City -- God, I love it! Almost everybody in the city is working on making their American Dream come true, no matter which way they define it. They're striving for financial security (whatever that is--the bar keeps moving and in reality there is no such thing; a cataclysmic event could wipe it out); success (whatever that is) as an actor, painter, singer, musician, writer; or to teach, practice medicine, or run a business with excellence. Most people in the city are aspiring to some definition of success that they've worked out for themselves -- or that they haven't defined but know at a gut level.  Therefore the excitement, the jazz-of-the-heart, is palpable. It's like no other city in the world. I'm taking three young Costa Ricans to see it in December, and I can't wait to see their reaction. This is a whole other ball game than San Jose.

The rider is probably inside the nearby New York Public Library.

Chess, anyone? In Union Square Park.

Beyond the workboat and crane is the financial district from Hoboken, pre-Hurricane Sandy.

A whimsical ode to trains in Hoboken. It might not still be there after Sandy.

Exactly center of this photo is an opera being transmitted from the Met to a screen in Times Square. The man in the tux is conducting the overture.

Man with an iPad taking a picture of the opera performance. Let me know -- do you love New York City? Tell me why or why not.

American Dream of Endless Summer

American Dream: Endless Summer 

Hurricane Sandy prevented me from using my computer for a week. I apologize for not posting sooner.

Now that the northeast has had its first snowstorm, it's even more of a contrast to look back at summer.  I shoveled snow this morning and longed for daffodils to break through.

These pictures were all taken in Mystic, Connecticut and remind me of the dreamy days of summer.

Colors outside a local-source restaurant on Water Street.

A windowbox in historic downtown.

A pot outside Mystical Toys.

A beautiful blend of colors planted by a gas station on Main Street.

A hibiscus.

Hibiscus unfurling.  Weigh in: are you ready for spring?

Friday, October 26, 2012

American Dreams in Mystic, CT

Last Look at Summer American Dreams

Mystic, Connecticut is a former seaport with hundreds of historic homes built by the whaling captains, carpenters, and sailmakers of the 19th century. Mystic Seaport is a living museum where you can see the old skills of barrel making, blacksmithing, and clock and navigation instrument making.

The town is full of lovely gardens and historic homes, so I've given you a taste below and in my next post.

Here's a wood-hulled catboat. Behind it the masts of a historic whaling three-master.

Among the captain's mansions is this lovely hydrangea garden.

Just one of hundreds of historic homes.

A window box overflowing with summer goodness outside a restaurant in the historic downtown.

A beautiful door in Mystic.

How many families have passed through this door since 1840 (see the plaque on the left?)