Saturday, January 9, 2010

The High Line, 4pm, January 9, 2010

One of the wonderful features of the High Line in Winter is that, in late afternoon, one can enjoy direct sun there while the streets below are long in the shade. Today, the temperature was below zero and the wind made it feel even colder. I quite froze my hands walking around without gloves to take these pictures.

The last picture in this series (below, of Vlada and I) was taken by my father in November 2009, which was exceptionally warm in New York.
During that walk, my mother identified some plants on the High Line which she remembered growing in the city garden of my great aunts Gette and Dédette in Reims. These great aunts were the two older sisters of my maternal grandfather Henri. I only vaguely remember that garden unlike my grandfather's garden. It was a bit intimidating (to a young child) and dark, surrounded by high concrete walls. The plants in question have dark green, roundish leaves and thin stems bearing minuscule flowers. According to my mom, my aunt Gette used to call them "le désespoir du peintre" ("painter's despair"), a name that she probably had made-up for these particular plants in her garden, because of the almost non-existent flowers.