zaterdag 21 oktober 2017

New York New York

Where else to start than with this statue? As a 19 year old I came here for the first time, when visiting my American boyfriend. We even climbed up in there. No idea if that is still possible. I forgot how huge she is, as you can see by the little people walking around.
One piece of advice: take the official boat and don't get persuaded by one of those guys that come up to you, because you will be cheated! Long story........
The very impressive 9/11 museum. Especially the phonecalls you can hear from the people in the building knowing what would happen and calling their loved ones. Just aw-ful.
How I love all those buildings with fire escapes. It always reminds me of Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn ) in Breakfast at Tiffany's, when she is singing on the fire escape with her gitar. And also the scene in Friends with Joey and Ross, hanging together at the fire escape, remember?
At sunday we were at Central Park, joined by a lot of New Yorkers and tourists. It feels like nothing else, walking in nature looking at high rise buildings. Do you see the squirrel relaxing in the tree? What surprised us is that we saw few dogs in the park, while we were amazed how many people  have dogs in New York.
Grand Central must be the most beautiful train station in the world, I think. ( as if I have seen many train stations )
In the basement there are places to eat. A floor higher we went to the Oysterbar with its famous lobster roll and saw that we would have to pay $38,- for that roll! Are you kidding me? No way we are paying that.
There is also a very nice foodmarket, which is worth a visit.
Right in front of the Oysterbar are arches and there was a woman talking with her face into the arch. We thought she was crazy, but once we walked by it again, there was another girl doing the same thing and across from her, in the other arch, another girl was gigling. So of course, we had to try that too. We were far apart and talked into the arch and we could hear each other! So fun! Later I read that it is called the whispering arch.
Because the Oysterbar was too expensive, we went to Pershing Square, across the street, which we loved. A typical American diner with good food and a great staff.

The High Line is a walking path on an old rail track, high above the streets. A well known Dutch garden designer, Piet Oudolf, did the planting and it is beautiful. Never saw a sign that it was his design, so weird. I even felt a little insulted, being Dutch and all.
It is a very special place to walk, a lot of tourist though. At the end there is Chelsea Market, a covered food- and cute stores hall. I was in heaven in the Anthropologie Store.

Joni, my American sister in law, adviced us to visit the New York Library, which was totally worth it. What an amazing building, it is more like a museum. I was very impressed by all the beautiful lamps that were there. Even on the reading tables there were cute lights, as you can see above right. And the ceilings, gorgeous. People are just reading and working there, as if there are no tourist walking around them.
This new subway station near 9/11 is so beautiful! It is supposed to be a peace dove. Inside you can catch a subway, but also visit stores. And Eataly, but more about that later.
This is both New York. Lovely plants around trees, but we were in an airbnb in Williamsburg and there was garbage in the streets  every day. What a mess. At first we thought they were on strike, but we heard it is always like that. Too bad for such a nice neighbourhood.
As said we had a very nice airbnb with fire escape, that where we weren't allowed on. Oké, but we did need to hang the towels there after showering, you know.
Every morning, before we went for our adventures, we had coffee at the Starbucks near our house.
How about this cute Ralph Lauren kids clothes? Isn't the tiny trenchcoat cute? Ah.....
We did feel like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, in the Ralph Lauren Store.
We were welcomed with a big fake smile, but you could see them thinking; we don't need to waste our time on them!
When Joni asked us during the week, what our highlight was up till then, I didn't answer right away. We didn't dare to say we just lòved the food, we had to come up with something culturel of course. But man, what a great food we had! Even the grocery store in the street had an oven and baked the most delicious pizza.
Near our airbnb  was Martha's Bakery ( I don't think it was Martha Stewart ) and you will not believe the good stuff they had there. One evening we even had big slice of chocolate pie as dinner. Without feeling guilty! Well, maybe a little bit.
And Eataly.......omg.......só good. I wish we had that store here in Holland. It is a store with all Italian produce, it is a restaurant and they also have kitchen stuff and cookbooks. We had delicious pasta there and the icecream is divine.
When the kids came for dinner at home, I could use my new treasures right away.
The plate is from Anthropologie and the bowls from Eataly.
I have never been into buying souvenirs, but these kind of things that you actually can use, I enjoy bringing home. Every time I use the plate I will think: New York with Liesbeth, fun!

If I had to say something about New York, it would be this:

- Very, really vèry nice people.
  Everybody wanted to help us, from the garbage man to the posh types at 5th Avenue.

- Delicious food. I just remembered The Meatball Shop, also a great concept.

- Lovely old buildings, but also beautiful new ones.

- A lot of noise because of the construction everywhere. The economy is getting better of course.

- Many interesting things to see.
  We had ten days, but could have easely stayed ten more days.

- Williamsburg is a very nice neighbourhood, with plenty of restaurants and independant stores.
  It is all hipsters there. I think we were the oldest people.

- Can't get lost with all the numbered streets.

- Subway works easy.

- Expensive city. For example a cappuccino $4,50 and we didn't find a good tasting cup.
  We chose the Starbucks.

- Safe city. At least, we haven't felt unsafe at any time at all.

I'll finish with the Williamsbridge, near our house. The first day we walked over it in half an our.
By the way, all the pictures are made with my cell, because I didn't feel like dragging the heavy camera around. Most of the time it was in the 80 degrees!


zondag 24 september 2017

Enchanted Beeckestijn

The weather report yesterday said that it would be foggy today, so I set my alarm extra early. Nothing better than a walk through beautiful foggy estate Beeckestijn. As soon as I am at the end of the street and step into the forest, I am in a different world.
The only sound I hear are my shoes making noise and the heavy breathing from Robbie. And of course the whisling of early birds who don't care about fog.
I am forced to walk slowly, because of Robbie who can't walk so fast anymore and who needs his time sniffing around.
Such beauty around me. I want to take it all in and hold on to it for the rest of the day. Later on the sun will be shining and this magical world will be gone.
It is cool outside and I pull my vest close around me.
All my worries swirl away. No place for that here in nature. I look and only about what I see, I am allowing my thoughts to be about. Beauty, pure nature, divine sent, trees, life that will continue long after I am gone.....
The good thing about this early, is that there is nobody here. I am walking in silence that seems more silent, because of the cottonball blanket that lays over the fields.
The fog wets my hair a little and the wet grass makes my shoes sooking wet. My feet are getting cold, but I don't care. Soon it will be time to find my boots, because fall is here.
In the end, when we walk around the meadow, I can only vagely see the cows. I tell Robbie, but he doesn't care. He always sees everything in a fog with his almost blind eyes.
We are startled by a dog that suddenly appears in front of us and we startle the dog too. I guess we are not the only ones walking here.
Our walk has finished. We are going home, where Robbie gets his food and curls up in his dogbed. I get comfortable on the couch with coffee and a book and try to hold on as long as possible to the peacefull feeling from the walk.
I have an overwhelming feeling of gratitude that on the corner of my street is such a beautiful estate. Fog, rain or sun, it always feels good to be walking there.

                                                               Nature heals, I know for sure.

zondag 20 augustus 2017

The botanical style

 Do you also love the botanical style, which you can find everywhere these days?
Magazines are filled with it, books are being made about it and more and more you'll find trendy botanical stores. ( here in Holland anyway)

It reminds me of my teenage years, when I had loads of plants at my Amsterdam attic bedroom.

This bench was calling my name last week, at the store. It is perfect for those two plants.
The one on the right is a sparmannia africana and we might well say; a difficult plant. I used to have one already, but suddenly there was white fly all over it. A little fly 2mm big. I had the plant outside at night because I was going to sprinkle it the next morning and it even was a warm night. But this sensitive sucker couldn't take it and got all these flies.
I threw it out and bought a new one which is doing fine.
I read that they vaporize a lot of water through their big leaves. So instead of those boring plastic water containers you can hang on your radiator, I took a couple of my most beautiful vases and filled them with water for them.
And I sprinkle them every week. If I remember.............
The one in the smaller pot is my latest buy. Tolmiea menziesii it is called. We call it child in mothers' lap, because the new leaves grow from the middle of the old leaf, very cute.
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I'll find myself liking plants with big leaves. Which isn't easy when you have a livingroom of only 3.50m wide. On my pinterest boards I'll collect lots of images of big plants. Like this one, who gives an instant jungle feeling.
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This is a little one I like though. No idea what kind it is, but look at the fragile branches and leaves.
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Terracotta pots go beyond all trends. The inspiration here for me, are the plants that are led along the ceiling. What a great idea! Just need to find the right plant.
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A table full of plants; lovely! Do you see what they did with this table? They turned the top upside down, so the plants have an edge around them. There are lots of plants on it and all in different hights. This is an easy way to create a beautiful corner.
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There are many plant containers. For every style you will find something. In this case the basket is just as decorative as the plant is.
This plant is in my bathroom. Just took a board from the shed and put it over the tub.
Plant in sink bucket, cute wateringcan next to it and done.

As I am writing this, I wonder what it the added value of plants in the house is.
Of course we know they are healthy, something with oxygen or carbon acid. Or H2O or CO2? Just pick one of the above. Physics was not my favorite subject. At highschool, if you just kept quiet you always would get a B. A way to control your students, right? Now I come to think of it; at college where I studied to be a teacher, the physics teacher always read a book during tests! So I was able to copy everything from students who did understand it. (and that wasn't you, Liesbeth)

I am drifting off....back to plants.

What else do they give.....they give you an outside feeling inside the house. They breath tranquillity. They make your home more beautiful and everybody wants a beautiful home.

Do you enjoy house plants?


zondag 30 juli 2017

Kent, the garden of England

What is it with England? Why does it make me so happy?

the views - beautiful houses - nice English people - pubs - scones - tea in teapots - sticky toffee pudding - lovely shops - Waterstones bookstores - cute villages - but mostly the views
If you see this, you probably get it. A shop in gorgeous Chilham.
This store in Margate is the most beautiful dog accessories store ever. I didn't know I wanted to buy my dog a jacket, but when I was in that store......of course I didn't, but I did get him a cute tartan collar.
I am in love with a Morris Minor, a Traveler is fine also, white please, thank you.
But.........I believe I going to cheat a little with this cute one. Isn't she lovely? It's a Figaro. I looked it up and it isn't an old car, but a limited edition vintage car from Nissan from 1989. The slogan was "back to the future". It even has airco! IwantIwantIwant. ( I do think I will have to get in and out on my knees though)
Most of the beaches here are pebble beaches, but Broadstairs has a sand beach.
The food is wonderfull here everywhere at the coast, especially the oysters are divine!
We are at the north-east side of Kent and we visited these places:

Big city with a impressive cathedrale and a nice town centre.

Cute little village with nice streets and a tiny harbour.

A couple of streets with very cute stores, like that dogstore.

Herne Bay

Gorgeous houses and a small square with a tearoom where I had the most delicious scone. You can also take a nice walk from Chilham.

Nice coastal village and I recommand this restaurant: Wyattt and Jones. Great food!

We liked it the most. Beach huts like on the first picture, old fishermans huts, very cute, at the boulevard lots of little places to eat or buy art. Great restaurants everywhere and I am totally in love with the shopping street. No tourist crap, but all cute little independent stores.

Sissinghurst Castle
Love love love it. If you are into gardens, you want to go there.Yes you do!
This was the third time I was in Sissinghurst Castle and I wish I could work there. So beautiful, such an atmosphere, such a history. To bad there are so many people walking around. Go away people!
A lot was in bloom in the white garden. I climbed up the tower and from there you could see it very well.
These are my treasures. The blue rocking stool from Margate, the dog collar as well, the lantern and the plant from Sissinghurst. In the back you can see the cottage we are at. We have been in many vacation homes through the years, but this is THE best. Cute and very clean, just wonderful.
It is an columbine, a double one. Isn't she a beauty?
Look at us beïng happy......( stiff jaw from smiling though, because it took a while before the lovely lady figured out how to take the picture...)
Time to take of in my car......
 And I'll sit here for a while, thinking about our next trip.........

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