late september.

September 25, 2012

hydrangea apples2630 montague street butter and oats sedum, promenade pear jam sparse hydrangea apple crisp with pear jam

Fall comes quietly to the city. You have to be a keen observer of things to catch its beginnings.

In the country the season makes a more obvious splash. Here, the tops of trees start to change color, but the shades are muted, mostly. City hydrangea does a costume change like its country cousin, but you have to look harder to find it, all smushed between wrought iron and brick.

To watch a season change in the city, at least in part, you have to watch the people. They pull woolly socks over their chipping August pedicures and wrap scarves around their necks. They cross to the sunny side of the street on their walk home and order warm drinks at sidewalk cafés.  Most of our discrete neighbors will keep their autumnal enthusiasm at bay until October 1st. They’ll wait until they flip their calendars and then they’ll bedeck their homes with jack-o-lanterns and hay bales and potted chrysanthemums. They’ll bring the country right to their stoops.

Inside, we preheat the oven and turn apples into comfort food, suddenly preferring a spoonful of apple crisp to a slice of watermelon.  We eat it with the window open and our legs wrapped under a blanket because that’s the way to best feel the season when it’s only just beginning.

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  • Reply Charlotte September 25, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    This post is so beautiful, I sit with the windows open wrapped in blankets too, it really is the best way.. even if it does feel like a bit of a strange thing to do sometimes. I just love the smell of the season!

    I started noticing Autumn creeping in this past weekend, everyone around here is switching from summer jackets to winter coats, everyone is carrying an umbrella and our local starbucks is packed to the rafters at all hours. I love it xx

  • Reply J+H @ Beyond The Stoop September 25, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    i love this post so much!

    you're right though, summertime walks are on the shady side of the street, and the rest is for the sunny side.

    last year was my first time living in a brownstone with a stoop (jersey city) and ALL but 1 of my 4 potted fall plants got stolen 🙁 STOLEN! one at a time too… so instead of having just one day with a sad face, i had three, noticing the missing plants when i stepped outside for work.

    i'm not sure if i can handle being disappointed again, but my stoop looked just so darn cute when all 4 were still there 🙂

  • Reply Tori September 25, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    We're coming into Spring here – I'm missing Autumn in the UK…… thanks for sharing such lovely Autumnal scenes xx

  • Reply Linda Zimmerman September 25, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    Beautifully written! The last paragraph captures the true essence of early fall!

  • Reply Alexa September 25, 2012 at 1:36 pm


  • Reply Anonymous September 25, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    so lovely and romantic. i'm also looking forward to apple crisp 🙂 -jen

  • Reply Milynn {Love + Whimsy} September 25, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Beautifully painted words describing fall in the city. I've been yearning to move into the city to experience the changing seasons. In Florida, fall kind of just blends into winter; happening closer to the end of the year instead of when it's supposed to.

    *apple crisp sounds so good!

  • Reply hana September 25, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    your writing is beautiful. it is indeed a special time of year. xo

  • Reply la domestique September 25, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    So true. I spent the weekend in the wilderness where fall was making its presence known, but upon returning to the city yesterday it was much quieter. Walking through an alley with thoughts on my mind I heard the crunch of fallen leaves underfoot and thought, "Fall, is that you?" Beautiful post.

  • Reply Caitlin September 25, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    loved this.

    simple and beautiful and true

  • Reply TL September 25, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    everything about this post softly whispers c-o-z-y. 🙂

  • Reply leyla. September 25, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    these photographs just scream fall. everything is really lovely!


  • Reply Azrakun September 26, 2012 at 5:49 am

    true… I love crossing sidewalks to follow the sun… and i love scarf! yay for fall..

  • Reply Pixie September 30, 2012 at 12:03 am

    I love fall in the city! the crisp air, the sunny side of the sidewalk, the pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks…lol. Beautiful pictures.

  • Reply April September 30, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    We have a hydrangea with that same coloring just outside our tiny house. 🙂

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