Just In Time

I turned just in time to see this fellow zipping down the street on his bike. This picture summons happy memories and I appreciate how the church, the colors, the motion and the rainy street work together.

That’s St Bernard’s Parish, finished in 1876 to accommodate a growing Irish American congregation. Now it’s called Our Lady of Guadalupe at St Bernard’s Church. Whatever you call it, this is even more stunning in person. That enormous rose window is larger than life and I am thrilled that we got to see it while strolling down West 14th Street in New York.

Ellen’s Stardust Diner

Ellen’s Stardust Diner has been in business since 1987 but operates with a fifties theme. I caught a glimpse of the statue out front but we didn’t go in. We were already loaded down with take out bags as we traipsed back to our hotel near Times Square.

I looked it up later that night, thinking we might grab breakfast the next day but the timing didn’t work out.

The waiters sing, they serve breakfast all day and it has a fifties theme. What’s not to like? They even have several meatless options on the menu.

Perhaps another time.

Meanwhile, if you want to study the menu and learn more about this New York City diner’s place in pop culture, click here to visit their website.

Pizza And Sweets At Farinella’s

Farinella’s is a small artisanal bakery and pizzeria that feels both fresh and modern and also like it has been there for generations. We were seeking shelter and a place to rest during a rain shower after a stroll through Central Park. This place was nearby.

It’s a cozy spot with just a few small tables and a robust grab and go business. Most customers were just picking up a slice to go. But I was glad to dwell a while with friends, warm and dry. We had a table in the window, a terrific vantage point for watching the world go by.

The staff was friendly, helpful and eager to answer questions despite being busy.

We started with pastries and stayed there long enough we tried the pizza too. It was a delicious treat, especially with a cold Diet Coke to wash it down.

Note that they do have a clean restroom for customers, an important thing to know in a city with limited public restroom access. Get their history and view the menu at their website.

Leave Every Day

Leave every day better than you found it.

Sometimes the best advice is the kind you find along the way while out roaming. This picture was snapped while out roving the mean streets of New York. Be nice to cashiers. Smile at strangers. Help an elderly person with that case of water they’re trying to wrestle into their cart.

Treat yourself kindly, take a walk, pick up some litter and do what you can to leave the world a better place than you found it.

It’s a rewarding way to live.

From The Car Window

Sometimes the things we see in passing or from afar are just as interesting as those things we set out to see.

We were headed to Manhattan College at the time, having just enjoyed a bird’s eye view of New York City from Summit. As stunning as the high view was, I liked this one too. The city infrastructure is interesting and I liked the sidewalk action. They say people look like their pets and this seems true in this case where both canines and humans are so tall and slender.

The next time you’re out and about, pay attention to your surroundings. Look closer at the things that you typically consider eyesores or just part of the background. There’s a lot to be seen and adventure is just around the corner.


This has been a challenging week on a number of levels. When things turn difficult, I try to be mindful of the good in my life. After all, negativity breeds more negativity and it’s easy to become so focused on the bad that you can see nothing else. Gratitude is a key to happiness.

Here are some things I’m grateful for today:

1. It’s Friday and it’s a long weekend for some of us here in the US.

2. I have plans to see my cousin this weekend. Before starting my No Spend Challenge, I decided to give myself a budget for a movie and lunch out because I have been that excited to see the new Tom Hanks movie. We will walk in the sunshine, see the movie and have a bite somewhere.

3. I’m reading a really good book right now. A Man Called Ove is actually the basis for the movie I’m going to see. The curmudgeonly hero is quite relatable.

4. I spent last night doing fun chores including some decluttering and styling shelves with things I already owned. Decluttering doesn’t equate drudgery and can actually be fun!

5. Season three of All Creatures Great and Small on PBS began Sunday night. It’s a short season of just seven episodes but for those seven weeks I have a reason to look forward to Sunday night. If you haven’t seen the show, I highly recommend starting with season one. It’s the best thing on tv right now.

6. I have a roof over my head and can afford to buy groceries. Many people are not so fortunate right now.

7. Adventure season is just around the corner and I think there will be some good ones this year.

8. Pictures are a return ticket to places and people we want to remember. The above picture is from a rainy Saturday in NYC. The below picture was sent to me by a cousin this week. That’s me with my parents in 1977. What an angry baby! Looks like I could have benefited from some gratitude way back then!

9. My cat likes me and has spent as much time with me as possible this week. He is a sweetheart.

This is not the full list but these are the highlights. What are you grateful for today?