February 23, 2014

It seems like such a long time ago when I first  learned that FISH KICKER, my novel, was going to be published. Maybe it’s the long and unpredictable winter weather that’s added to making this season feel like it’s stretching out forever. The East has been hit with one bone chilling storm after another, with mysterious spring like days in between.

But life goes on with slight inconveniences. The schools stayed open during all but one storm. Shops and offices remained open for business and public transportation hardly skipped a beat. There were mounds of icy snow everywhere and for a day or two negotiating the sidewalks of New York was a challenge, but life went on pretty much as normal.

There are pockets of community gardens in NYC and though they are unmaintained during the winter months, little splashes of color and displays of artifacts bring life to these otherwise fallow grounds.

One day, after a brutally cold storm, we went out onto our terrace and made a snow person. The snow had turned to ice crystals and was impossible to roll into a ball. So we slapped handfuls of icy lumps together and made a crude character. Using Kalamata olives for eyes, a classic carrot for a nose and my green Yankee cap, it looked quite the snow creature. By the end of the day it was frozen solid, but then in four days our creation was nothing more than a small lump of snow.

But then, we had another snow storm. The next day the sun came out, the sky was a magnificent blue, the air was surprisingly still and the snow stayed on the trees for the entire day. Central Park was stunning.

I walked for hours in the park, awed by the beauty. It was like I’d been transported into a movie set because it was just too lovely to be real. There were so many people walking around with cameras taking pictures that it was like going to a convention of photographers.

The snow has stayed with us for weeks, and even these dancing female divinities standing on a street corner in the Chelsea area of NYC must wait out the long thaw.

NYC has dozens of farmer’s markets that travel throughout the various communities and they hit the streets year round, rain, shine or snow. These are my favorite apple guys and though their fruit was taken from the trees months ago, if you like a yummy apple you cannot go wrong by choosing a Pink Lady.

But when the snow sticks around for too long, and this winter it certainly has, then it just looks nasty. The street grime and carelessly tossed candy wrappers makes the city look even dirtier than it should.

Several days ago a dense fog descended on NYC. I grabbed my camera and headed for Central Park. It was a school holiday and I expected to see large numbers of kids frolicking in the snow. But the place was dead quiet. Hardly anyone was around. A few runners whizzed by and there were lots of dog walkers, but the park had an eerie calmness about it.

The pond near West 100th Street is still frozen, the ducks hang out on the far side in a spot that has not yet iced over. The walkways around this area are a bit treacherous with slush and the runoff from the melting snow that froze again during the night. But it was a magnificent day to visit the park.

Though the weather has been unpredictable with freezing temperatures and truckloads of snow there are consolations. The other day I picked up my grandson after school and we stopped by the Venieros Pasticceria (pasty shop), a place that has been around since 1894. We needed comfort food. With all the yummy items on display, we ultimately chose something chocolate. I could not help but take a photo of these delicious looking delights because they reminded me of summer.  The lusciously pillow-like vanilla cake split and stuffed with pastry cream, a dollop of whipped cream topped with a honey dipped strawberry, who wouldn’t dream of summer when looking at these beauties.


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  1. Sharon on February 23, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    Your writing is always interesting and your photo’s give your story life. Always an enjoyable read , my friend. Those pastries look delicious!

    • Pushing Time on February 23, 2014 at 4:06 pm

      Sharon, thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  2. thelma straw on February 23, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    Your dense fog pictures are so evocative. T. J. Straw

    • Pushing Time on February 23, 2014 at 10:41 pm

      Thanks Thelma. It was a magnificent day in the park, really like no other I’ve experienced!!

  3. Jeri on February 24, 2014 at 12:13 am

    You really caught the feel of New York in this rough winter weather. I loved the fog – it’s not a sight you see often. The pastries – they make me hungry!!!!!

    • Pushing Time on February 24, 2014 at 8:04 am

      Thanks Jeri for your comment. The fog was totally amazing, and it kind of put a blanket over the city making everything just a tad bit quieter.

  4. Marsha R. West on February 24, 2014 at 10:02 am

    What amazing pictures you take, Margaret. Love these.My favorites are of the woman walking two big dogs in the park in the snow and the third from the bottom, the snowy tree in the fog. Here’s hoping that spring isn’t too far off for you. We’ve already had the temps hit 85. Frankly, I’m dreading summer, which might arrive in April! Thanks for this lovely post, I’ll share.

    • Pushing Time on February 24, 2014 at 10:11 am

      Thanks Marsha!! 85 degrees!! You sure live in a different climate that I do. I hope your summer is not to brutal!! Does the weather affect the way you write?

  5. Toddi/Claudia on February 24, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    I was not hungry until I reached the end of your blog. Those strawberries looked good enough to eat. Sorry about the Yankee smow person, it is always sad to see a work of art and just plain work drizzle away to a blob. Your artistic ability just blows me away. And your energy to just go with the flow and walk until you see a view worth capturing. Keep writing and photographing; you are excellent at both. Just a few days to count down and your novel will be here. Toddi

    • Pushing Time on February 24, 2014 at 9:50 pm

      Toddi, you are the best!! Such encouraging and loving words. Thank you, thank you.

  6. thelma straw on March 5, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    I am so aware on your behalf that it is countdown time for you… Fishkicker is about to be born to the whole world!!!! Hope you and Steve have the champagne handy!!! Thelma Straw in Manhattan

    • Pushing Time on March 5, 2014 at 5:43 pm

      Yes, Thelma, the launch date is so close. I want to thank you for your support over the years. You have been very instrumental in helping me keep a balance during those days of dreary rejection. Our coffee shop conversations will always be important to me!!

  7. Susan Bernhardt on March 10, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    Margaret, congratulations on the release of your mystery, Fish Kicker. Somehow I missed the announcement. Best wishes! I’m sure you’re still celebrating! Enjoy!

    Susan Bernhardt

    • Pushing Time on March 11, 2014 at 12:31 am

      Yes, Susan, I’m still celebrating.