Friday, August 31, 2012

Old Crafts: Plants

I've always loved a bit of gardening. Nothing too big or out of hand, mainly because I don't have the garden for that sort of thing, but potted plants and herbs in windows - pretty and tasty things. This summer, I couldn't grow anything cause I'm temporarily in another country. I lucked out though and my landlord really loves gardening so I pop into their garden occasionally for a handful of basil or thyme and sometimes he'll call over with cucumbers from the garden. It's awesome!

Anywho, as my last Old Craft and a homage to the fun I have growing plants, I present to you the following:

About a year and a half ago, I started growing tulip shoots that lovely Nelly brought me all the way from Holland. To grow tulip bulbs, they have to go through a "cold period" so I left them in the fridge for a few weeks and then planted them in funny, upcycled containers and left some inside on the windowsill and others in an old drawer planter outside my apartment. They mostly did awesome! The one in the teapot, however, didn't have enough drainage, I think, and soon rotted and died. But all the others grew strong and healthy. When I left for Nancy, Nelly took over the care for the tulips and she did a great job. They bloomed while I was away, unfortunately, so I didn't get to see the result of my hard work... But still, awesome.

 These basil and French Bean plants are a follow up to this post. They did really well and grew to be pretty big! I left the beans too long before harvesting and so they were pretty tough and tasteless, but the flowers on them were so precious!

And this aloe vera plant... I've only shown close ups here, of new growth, but let me tell you, the plant is pretty massive now! I was given the "mother" plant as a housewarming gift when I moved back to Galway and started my PhD. When I moved to France, my friend Christine took care of it and separated out the new growth into three baby aloe plants. I kept one of the new babies and now that one has new growth, mental! Paul and his housemate are keeping these plants safe while I'm away. With luck, I'll always have these aloe vera plants... They're very resilient and quite dificult to kill!

Monday, August 27, 2012

New York Part Deux: Wandering

We did a fair bit of walking around while I was in New York.

I took a stroll through the Columbia University campus... I even got into the library as a student of Princeton. I took a few photos of the super cosy reading rooms and old-style hallways, but was a bit hesitant of openly displaying my tourism as I was kinda masquerading as a student with an actual interest in the academic book collection... So I left quicker than I would have liked. Oh, I really love old-style libraries!

We went to Williamsburg and saw some pretty cool street art.

And then to SoHo and Chinatown...

Only to be caught in a torrential downpour! So we hid under some touristy shop displays and watched people cross the road...

Like this guy with his giant umbrella...

And this cute couple.

While I was in Central Park and Union Square, I saw a lot of squirrels. I've seen so many since I arrived in the States, they're everywhere!! And I love them! They're so cute and curious. So I thought I'd share pictures of some of the little critters that I met.*

A poor tail-less squirrel! This was sad. I wonder if he's bullied...

This guy was super cool!


*My apologies if pictures of squirrels don't interest you.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

New York Part Deux: Museums

I visited two museums while in NYC: The Museum of Natural History and The Met.

They were pretty interesting.

The Museum of Natural History:

The Met:

This is a section of the photo display containing all of the artworks that are in the museum but are not currently on display... That's a lot of pieces!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

New York Part Deux: Scenic Adventures

I wonder how many times I'll make it to NYC over the six months that I'm here... And how many variations on a blog post title involving New York I can make? Obviously, I'm already losing any creativity with this title... part duex, part trois, part quatre... it'll get veeery boring veeery quickly! But anyway...

I dub this New York Week!!*

I have three posts about my trip and I'll be publishing them over the next week. This week is Central Park and Top of the Rock, i.e. scenic adventures!

I had mentioned in my last NYC post that Central Park may be incredible and it was that and more!

What I loved most about it was seeing glimpses of bustling New York City while walking through this calm, green and beautiful space.

My favourite place may have been the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir. I know it seems a bit boring, but the water was so calm and the view of the city from over it was stunning!

And later that day, I found myself at the Top of the Rock!! We arrived, with John's great wisdom, just as the sun was setting and stayed until it was dark (and we were ready for dinner). We saw New York City in three amazing different lights:


Eh... Duskier


For anyone visiting NYC, I would recommend getting your obligatory dose of high-high-up New York at the Top of the Rock. You'll be waiting less time than if you were to go up the Empire State Building AND you get to view the Empire State Building itself!!

'Cause it's only taken three weeks to sort through, delete, name and edit these photos, go me!
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