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Posts tagged ‘New York’

Central Park in the fall

It is far from deserted but somehow its much quieter than in the summer, as if the cold has muted the sounds of the crowds. Almost half of the leaves, which were lush green a month ago, now carpet the surprisingly green grass. The horse carriages gracefully ply the bundled-up tourists, who are also regaled with interesting anecdotes of the Park and the City.

Some of the most beautiful fall colors can be found in the “Ramble”, the walking path that circles the Pond in Central Park in a loop. It starts from the Bethesda fountain and encompasses the pretty Bow Bridge.

Here are some of the pictures taken in Central Park in the month of November over the past few years. Central Park is truly the park for all seasons, and I am looking forward to a Winter Wonderland in the Park in the next few months (or weeks!).

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge – Spring

There is still a nip in the air, and I would not have believed you if you would have told me….. but Spring is here!! The colorful cherry blossom trees and tulips herald these days of winter finally giving way to all things new. For New Yorkers, the brief but glorious appearance made by these pink-white clusters and blooming tulips is a sign that warmer days are on their way!

I captured these pictures in Central Park and Park Avenue yesterday and they seemed perfect for the this week’s photo challenge.

 

Skytop Lodge: a Winter wonderland so close to New York!

Just a short two hour drive from New York, we found a wooded Winter Wonderland, and I could not have hoped for a better place to spend the Christmas holiday!

When the day before Christmas rolled in, I had spent a record 71 days in the tiny island of Manhattan. I love New York, especially during Christmas time, but I was in desperate need for a change of scenery.

This change of scenery came in the form of a stay at the Skytop lodge in the Pocono Mountains in the state of Pennsylvania.  The Lodge boasts of its own lake, and the moment our car approached the bridge over the lake, adorned with perfectly tied red velvet bows, I knew that this was going to be a very merry Christmas.

The bridge leading to the Skytop Lodge

The bridge leading to the Skytop Lodge

The elegant exterior of the Skytop Lodge

The elegant exterior of the Lodge

Let it snow, let is snow, let it snow..

When we arrived at the lodge, the grounds were very quite and peaceful, but a dull shade of green-brown, which is typical of the  winter in the north-east of the US. But in the late afternoon of Christmas eve, it started snowing, and my elusive dream of a white Christmas came true. The landscape very rapidly and almost magically transformed into a winter wonderland. What added to the beauty of the lodge and its surroundings was the majestic and elegant exterior of the lodge itself, red velvet bows tied to all lamp-posts, the snow-covered fir trees, the white and pure expanse of the frozen lake, a part frozen-part flowing stream, and the large Christmas tree and a wagon full of colorfully wrapped gifts in the foyer. And when we came inside from the snow and the -11C outside, there was hot apple cider and cookies in the ready! You had to be there…. but I really melted (in a good way). We did venture out into the cold again in the night to roast marsh-mellows over a campfire and then devour the hot & sticky treats.

The lake grounds, quite and peaceful, before the snow

The lake grounds, quite and peaceful, before the snow

The white expanse in the picture is the snow covered frozen lake

The white expanse in the picture is the snow covered frozen lake

Deck the halls…

.. and the halls were indeed decked. The lodge was beautifully decorated, complete with a large ginger-bread house, floor-to-ceiling Christmas trees and wreaths. Also quite christmasy were the quirky and adorable Christmas do-daa’s in the Lodge’s souvenir shop.

The Grand Hall decorated for Christmas

The Grand Hall decorated for Christmas

Christmas goodies on sale in the Lodge

Christmas goodies on sale in the Lodge

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…

The Lodge’s quaint and very American ice-cream shop advertised that it has the world’s best milkshakes. We tried the strawberry milkshake and its great taste is something that I still remember. The other meals in the in-house pub-cum-restaurant did not disappoint either.

Knockin’ around the Christmas Tree…

We did a fair bit of knockin’ around when we took snowboarding lessons in the lodge’s winter-sports center. If you have not tried snowboarding yet, consider yourself warned! Until you learn how to stop (which ain’t easy and is really the key to the whole thing), the only way to stop yourself from hitting the fence is falling on your backside or on your knees (if you should be so lucky) or on your hands or facedown or backdown. Yes, there are a quite a few ways of falling, and I experienced them all. But it was also a lot of fun, and we cannot wait to go snowboarding again.

See below for some more pictures taken with frozen fingers.

Its the most wonderful time of the year!

Winter in New York is long and hard, but Christmas in the city makes up for it. Fairy lights covering the bare trees, the grand decorations on sixth avenue; the beautifully adorned Christmas trees; the smoky chestnuts sold on fifth avenue; the street musicians giving their own renditions of the popular Christmas songs; the snow covered Central Park; very creative decorations in the shops; tourists (lots and lots of them) happy and cheerful and trying to get the “picture with the tree”  at Rockefeller Center; the wonderful Christmas spectacular at Radio city that makes you want to be a child again; truly divine peppermint hot chocolate in Starbucks; and the holidays that give you time to enjoy it all – truly make it the most wonderful time of the year!

(click on the photos!)

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