I've been having fun with Pinterest, adding my pins and looking at other people's inspirations to fuel my own. It's certainly making me focus on what I really care about. I like a lot of things but only a few conjure strong emotions and while it would be fun to be able to buy all those lovely things on my wish list, that won't bring inner peace or happiness. So here, then, are a few things that make me feel peaceful and happy.
When people think of New York they're generally thinking about Manhattan and that's where I grew up. It's noisy and crowded and fast paced. But smack in the middle of the city is an 843 acre oasis of nature and beautiful tranquility. I love Central Park and spring is probably my favorite time there.
One of the 7 bodies of water in the park is Conservatory Water, also known as the Model Boat Pond. Surrounded by lovely tree-shaded benches, you can sit and watch people sail their toy boats or rent one in the kiosk and sail it yourself. Located about a mile from our apartment, it's one of our favorite places in the park to sit and relax.
In the spring of 2009, after many years of wanting a dog, I felt I was finally ready for one. And on a lovely April day, Brian and I strolled along the pond, sat on the benches and discussed a future puppy. On a horse farm, two hours north of the city, Hadley was born that day. We met her before she could even walk and now here she is in the park with us.
The South Shore
|West Hampton Beach off Dune Road|
For those of you not from New York, the south shore of Long Island encompasses the Hamptons (West, East and South Hampton) as well as a number of other towns on the tip of the island and ending at Montauk Point. To most people, the name signifies the summer playground of the glitterati and the year-round homes of the rich and famous.
|The side yard|
But not all the towns on the southern shore are so illustrious and that part of the island was once a series of fishing villages. The towns of Blue Point (once the source of the famous Blue Point oysters found in the bay), Sayville and Patchogue still retain much of their old fishing village characteristics and that is where we have a house.
|The front yard|
Far from fancy, it's a 100 year old Dutch Colonial in constant need of extreme repair. But it's a few minutes from West Hampton's glorious white sandy beach and sits on nearly 2 acres of woods and grass. A small creek runs behind the house and the area is home to a veritable orchestra of singing birds and hooting owls. We spend most of our time during the year in Manhattan but, for me, this house is all about summer. It's about fresh air, the dog running free, frozen cocktails, outdoor grilling and spending way more time outside than in. I absolutely love being out there.
|Nubble Lighthouse in Cape Neddick|
When I think back on all the fun vacations Brian and I have taken, the one that stands out most was summer on the southern coast of Maine. It was my first time there and it was love at first sight. From the rocky coastline to the stunning lighthouses, the quaint waterfront towns, the smell of the water and the crowing of shore birds, I loved every bit of it.
We stayed in Kennebunkport, in a sweet bed & breakfast, and took day trips all around. We especially loved the waterfront of Portland and spent many hours there. Last year we opted for Cape Cod, since neither of us had ever been there but it didn't have the same magic. We'll be heading back to Maine this coming summer and I feel like I will be reuniting with an old love.
The Hudson River Valley
Even non New Yorkers will recognize a few of the towns that overlook the majestic Hudson River. Author Washington Irving set his headless horseman in the town of Sleepy Hollow, the famed Culinary Institute of America's campus is located in Hyde Park and former first daughter, Chelsea Clinton, got married in the scenic town of Rhinebeck.
All throughout the valley are apple orchards, pumpkin patches, dairy farms and some of the most beautiful foliage around. Even those city residents that can't make the drive north can enjoy the fresh goods grown and produced there when the farmers set up their stands in Manhattan's Union Square Market several times a week.
|Roth Hall at the Culinary Institute of America|
Brian and I take the drive north a few times a year. In the spring we like to head to the Culinary Institute of America for a delightful lunch at one of their student-run restaurants. We stroll through the stunning campus that overlooks the Hudson River and enjoy the scenic drive of flowering trees and spring blooms.
|Freshly picked apples at Fishkill Orchards|
In the fall we leaf peep in the valley and wonder at the amazing colors of autumn. We stop at various farms to load up on freshly picked apples and pumpkins. Sometimes it seems the whole valley smells like freshly baked cider doughnuts in the fall.
He and I also have a long standing romantic tradition of driving through the valley on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend. The weather is cold and the leaves are gone but the day holds a special memory for us and you can read the story here
. I took this photo on one of those trips and it remains one of my favorites.
So there you have a bit of what moves me. Find me on Pinterest
and share your inspirations with me.
Love the cherry blossom tree. My most fave tree in the whole wide world.ReplyDelete
Love the photos. Thanks for sharing.ReplyDelete
Your beautiful photos have me now yearning for spring, summer...anything but winter!! Thanks for sharing a link to your Pinterest page...following you now :)ReplyDelete
Wonderful scenic pictures here, I can see why it brings you a sense of peace. Thanks for sharing some of your favorites here.ReplyDelete
I love this post ... what a nice look at your life and loves ... it's so nice to get to know fellow bloggers a bit more through their non-food-centered posts. Pinterest sure is catching on!ReplyDelete
Beautiful photos. Some of those places I've been to and the pics bring back memories.ReplyDelete
I was just turned onto pininterest as well. It's fun. :)
I grew up on the coast of Maine near Boothbay Harbor and spent my summers with my grandparents in Cape Cod. The Cape used to be a great and magical place, but now it's over-crowded, tacky and touristy as all get out. Definitely not what it once was!ReplyDelete
Great pics- so serene! Thanks for sharingReplyDelete
Thank you for sharing your escapes.ReplyDelete
I love Central park for me Fall is my favorite but it truly is an oasis in the city at any time.
What awesome photos - you sound like you are having a wonderful time :DReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing with us!
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I'm new to Pinterest. It sure is fun!ReplyDelete
Love the CIA image.
Hi and Good Morning! Love your article..I have tried getting to Pinterest and keep getting back..I'm on their waiting list..Any suggestions you may like to give me.. www.iliketobakeandcook.blogspot.comReplyDelete
Thanks, M.J.! If you send me your email address (my private email is on the side of my blog) I'd be happy to send you a Pinterest invitation. I also had to put myself on their waiting list when I started (which I think is ridiculous) but I found that I was accepted within a week or two.Delete