It was a field trip kind of day, a holiday. I went to Brooklyn for a long walk in Prospect Park, and was struck all over again by how many moments of unsurpassed elegance there are in this city, often unheralded, discreet.
This time what did it to me were the ceiling tiles in the 1905 Boathouse. I could have sworn they were Guastavino tiles of the sort that are found in the vaulted arcades in Grand Central Station but no one could tell me.
I was especially taken by the color of the tiles, and their raked, corduroy texture.
After craning my neck and staring at them for a while, my gaze drifted down to the water in front of the building; there were the same, murky, emerald to bronze to mud hues.
And then because I was in a walking kind of mood I visited the botanical garden next door, where I was entranced by a wizened and quirky survivor of a tree, a Camperdown Elm planted in 1872. Marianne Moore, one of my favorite poets, saved it from certain death when she wrote a poem about it in the late sixties--at a time when the parks were suffering from general neglect, and, as Moore wrote to her friend Elizabeth Bishop, she was becoming afraid for her safety in her neighborhood. A group of concerned citizens came to the tree's rescue.
My first camellia sighting of 2013, a dashing crimson against the leaden sky.
And not far from her is a scarlet gate whose audacity is far more remarkable in the dead of winter.
Sluggish fish, halfway hibernating under halfway frozen ice.