New York: a case of gold trees and beer saloons.

I love fireworks, especially the glittery kind that turn into gold weeping willow trees as they slowly fade. I parked myself on  a little stoop in Williamsburg and let them restore some new york excitement and energy back into my days.

And an entry from my great great grandmother Ella shows she also experienced some New York excitement when she visited here before she boarded her ship to Europe.

New York April 15th 1880

"Our host, Mr. Weston, insisted on taking us sightseeing and I certainly never enjoyed an afternoon and evening more. We first went to the Equitable Insurance building, took the elevator to the 8th floor and then climbed away up to the very top where we got a fine view of the city and surroundings. Then we went to the very end of the finest elevated railway in the city- up to Long Bridge through which water is conducted from the Croton River to the city- back to the museum at the entrance of Central Park. Central Park in beautiful- every turn in the walks gives one a pleasant surprise. Last night we had the rare treat of hearing Edwin Booth in Hamlet. The memory of our visit with Mr. Weston will be one of the happiest I have to take away. New York is the busiest, noisiest city I ever saw, bad odors and lager beer saloons prevail in the business part. Broadway is literally thronged with people all the time but the streets are laid out quite regularly and we saw many magnificent buildings. The city seems perfect piles mountains high of buildings. One is constantly besieged to buy in passing the stores and markets."
Sunday is my birthday, so i'm headed away for a few days to decompress from decompressing. But it's a comfort to know the city will be the same as I left it, Broadway is still too darn packed with people and the side walks can still smell wretchedly.


  1. A view of NYC...
    118 years ago.
    Loudest, busiest, bad odors and beer. Yet still the best time ever.

    And Central Park remains a joy. All the more so in contrast to the craziness that surrounds it.
    "We need the tonic of the wilderness"

    I wonder if an 8 story building was a skyscraper to Ella?

    Loved the link to Booth and learned some surprising things.
    Check it out!

    Happy Birthday away from our ever bustling city, to discover your own South Africa!

  2. Yes, 8 stories was impossibly high in those days.

    Anyway, let this complete stranger wish your blogness a happy birthday, a day late and a dollar short, to to be sure, 'though a buck doesn't buy anything now (although I did get a key ring and two sheets of sandpaper for $1.55 today).

  3. my favorite fireworks are the ones that look like golden weeping willows also so pretty

  4. Hope you are having a birthday blast and are getting lots more pictures to post.

    Miss your blog!