Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Nyack

Starting to go through my USA holiday pictures [It will take some time. There are more than few] I took photos of things that I liked (of course) but particularly (on reflection) of things which struck me as "different".

So here is a selection of photos I took on our walks around Nyack, NY, with some suggestions about what makes this so very different from a town in the UK.


Siding.
Buildings over here are still usually brick or stone, though there is now more use of wood. Possibly something to do with speed of construction. And/or maybe global warming...

I like the colours of buildings in America too, they're more likely to be painted and also, painted in more interesting and varied colours than you'd generally see over here.


Porches. I'm not sure you'd find people in England sitting on their porches....

If we sit outside the house, it will be in the back garden, I suppose its a privacy thing. Although its also a class thing - in poorer and working class areas of cities over here, it would be common in the past to see people sitting out on their front door step, or on the path or pavement. But I bet it happens less these days.


A lot of the roofs struck me as a different shape than we would see over here...





Other things I don't think you'd see so much in Britain:

shutters
Maybe more likely in the country. Also, some Victorian/Edwardian houses have shutters - but on the insides of the windows. I have no theory as to why that might be.

The top half of this picture looks very American to me - but the bottom half could have been taken in this country.


verandas
(maybe just sometimes on posh country houses...)



turrets (only on castles)


(or occasionally on Victorian follies)


Fire hydrants struck me as different and exotic in France - but now I'm used to seeing them in the US as well, maybe its us in Britain who are different....


And the tangles of overhead wiring all over the place. Most of our cabling goes underground now, this is a very un-British sight....


My final 3 photos here, however, could all have been taken in the UK





27 comments:

Queenie said...

Why is there always the odd shoe randomly left on roadsides here??????
Enjoyed the photos, really interesting.

Trac said...

Yes, I've often wondered about single shoes too...

...it's not like you notice loads of people hopping about all over the place!

Oh, I would love a house with a veranda.

Great pics as always! x

Gledwood said...

You're dead right about the telephone wires... I've never been to America but have noticed them loads of times in pixx of American towns... don't they look so oldfashioned?!?

American houses are beautiful and allegedly so much bigger... the only weird thing about them is they're so often made entirely of wood, which seems vaguely unsatisfactory to us Brits, who make our home a "castle"

sounds like you had a good time, thanxx for the comment at mine, all the best

xx

;->...

Reya Mellicker said...

This is so cool, seeing the U.S. through British eyes. Wow.

and Nyack is so beautiful! Thanks for this. More pics, please??

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Oh these are wonderful - and I'm sure if you came here you'd find houses look completely different to those in both the UK and US!
Looking forward to more pics!

And thanks for the lemonade recipe! :-)

R.L. Bourges said...

Reminds me when we were living in Canada and a French niece came over to visit. There we were showing her all the old stone houses from the French period ... but she was excited about the ones with wood. They seemed to exotic to her - eh! stands to reason now that I think of it.

lovely pics, lettuce.

R.L. Bourges said...

that should read wood siding, obviously. sorry.

Steve said...

It is SO interesting to see what you notice as different.

Re. porches, a lot of newer American communities don't have them, at least not on the fronts of houses. There's been a lot of discussion about the ways a lack of porches contribute to a dwindling sense of community (i.e. neighbors no longer see each other and chat, etc.) But in older communities, yes, still lots of old porches. Not sure how often they're actually used these days.

I'm not sure why we can't get our wires buried. Maybe it's just too expensive. Again, in newer neighborhoods, you don't see them overhead as often.

Lynne said...

Oh, I liked these! And Nyack is a beautiful town.

If I had a front porch I would surely sit on it. Our neighbors across the street have a large front porch but they never use it.

On overhead jumbles of wire: I think the reason why around here they are not buried is because there is too much ROCK. Too costly to put them underground. ? All is buried in Colorado and at first it took me awhile to get used to seeing them. Now I don't even notice.

Shammickite said...

Many new houses here don't even have a window that looks out of the front of the house, let alone a verandah to sit on. I could never live in a house that didn't have a view of the street.... how could I possibly spy on the neighbours?
Wood siding is very nice but needs a lot of maintenance, e.g. painting every few years. Also it's a fire hazard.
Did you like the American flags hanging outside everyone's houses.... that's the one thing I always notice about US small towns.
Back to your previous post, I ususally make marmalade from Sevilles every Jan/Feb but they are getting very hard to get, you almost have to blackmail the store produce manage into telling you when the truck might arrive to deliver the oranges, and camp out by the delivery dock all night. I had no idea you could freeze them and make the marm later... do you freeze them whole of chopped up?

Dumdad said...

Great pix (comme d'habitude).

Akelamalu said...

You got some great shots there Lettie and highlighted the differences in things US and UK.

I'd love a porch but like you said folk would look at me strange if I sat on it!

tut-tut said...

Good eye for details. What does that radiator do all day in that garden?

Sally said...

Colours - and that overlapping wood slat style - brilliant.

I would so love a porch. Any architects out there willing to add one to the front (or back) of a London street house?

These must be Dutch-style gables: very lovely. And mansard roofs, also very lovely (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mansard_roof).

There are lots of interior shutters in Central London. And where they have been removed, they are gradually being replaced and restored by Polish builders. They keep out the early morning or late afternoon sunlight when you want to work (or 'dally'). Besides, curtains: ugh.

Sally said...

PS: that should be the 'late' morning sunlight - the stuff that gets in your eyes just as you're getting out the A4 . . .

lettuce said...

queenie i have found a pair, once. but mostly its just the odd solitary shoe. very strange...

trac i would too! but would you sit on it?

gled they are beautiful, and do seem big - and each one is different, which is so different

thanks reya. plenty more to come!

vanilla let me know what you do with the rest of the lemons :-)

rlb - thats interesting. Yes, I guess wooden houses are more likely over here than in france

Steve as i wrote this i was thinking about porches and verandas in relation to community... So are americans becoming more concerned with individual privacy too?

shammie, no window on the front?! wow, i wouldn't like that either!
re: seville oranges. I freeze them whole and it makes them easy peasey to slice, so worth doing even if its only overnight.

merci, DD. tu es tres gentil. (sp?)

lamalu, it would be interesting to see if they'd stop to chat tho?

Tut-tut, maybe we should ask ched to monitor its activity?

sally, i thought the roofs might be dutch-ish, and i think thats what ched said. Dallying sounds good to me

mouse (aka kimy) said...

wonderful commentary...

perhaps some ambitious blogger should start a website where folks can send pictures of solitary shoes they see around the world!

I would love it if all our wires were underground....as a snapping fool, I find that wires are always messing up perfectly wonderful photographs...

I can't wait to visit ched and see nyack - it seems such a charming town....

Gary said...

Excellent photos and wonderful commentary (Kimy beat me to the punch on that one). Amazing to see the world through different eyes and experiences. I really love that.

With all of these beautiful images the pic with the wires seems so out of place. They really 'uglify' the surroundings don't they? I do love the radiator in the garden. I wonder if it will stay. I am a big fan of adding unusual touches to a garden - old window frames or metal canisters seem to work well. I even saw a garden of half buried bowling balls once. Interesting stuff.

Shammickite said...

half buried bowling balls in the grden, like alien eggs.... what a great idea!!
now, where did I leave those bowling balls.......

Betty said...

Lovely photos!
We were in Portsmouth, UK, recently and saw some houses there with Dutch gables. We assumed that, because it is a port, Flemish merchants had built the houses. As Nyack is on the Hudson, could there be a similar reason for these houses?
I love the radiator in the garden, too. Its lines echo the lines of the fence.

d. chedwick said...

Who knew Nyack was so interesting... I have a house that is a combo of Bricks and wood siding--the wood siding needs painting every dozen years or so, which we can do ourselves... and it's much more beautiful than vinyl or aluminum and is easier to repair--a dent in the vinyl and you have to remove a whole section--and hope to match the color as they discontinue colors all the time. plus it simply looks like plastic, no matter what-- and you don't get to choose a new color to paint it! (I love house painting time, because I choose the colors!)

d. chedwick said...

I sit on my front porch at twilight sometimes.

Squirrel said...

I don't mind the wires--so much better to repair them in the air than constantly digging up the street to get at some underground trouble. The one shown here is in an alley behind main street--the ones on my street are much less complicated. More rural looking.

Squirrel said...

I saw one little red shoe yesterday and thought of you--and the fact that my son always lost one shoe when he was little. He even came home from kindergarten missing a shoe once!

Betty said...

I actually saw a pair of discarded trainers today. With a hub cap! Unfortunately I was working and didn't have my camera with me.

lettuce said...

kim, there are a number of flickr groups devoted to this...

gary, so happy to see your face here. :-) I loved the radiator too, also a fan of old tat in the garden! bowling balls would look fab.

betty, you're prob. right. And why is being at work a reason not to have a camera with you, at all times??

ched, i really like all the painted wood sidings. (and the painted brick too, actually)

squirrel, did you take a pic. of it?

Lori Witzel said...

I used to ride my bike to Nyack when I was a younger person. The downhills to River Road were quite a thrill! And now I live in Texas, with a front porch which has a bench but too many mosquitoes in the summer heat for fun.