A Photo Review of 2015

The end of the year usually inspires reflection on the year that’s ending and a look forward to the one that’s approaching.

Maybe it’s getting older, but it seems like time moves more quickly now (I’m beginning to hear myself lamenting its rapid passage just like my mother did. I, however, prefer to think that I’m packing in 1000% more into my life, and this makes the days, weeks and months zip by in a blur). So it’s good to have this time to slow down and look back.

Photos are great for doing that. Think of them as moments of emotions frozen in time, that are re-released each time you look at them.

Unlike previous years, I didn’t have many new travel experiences in 2015 – or so it seemed until I started looking at my photos, a lot of which never made it to the blog because I didn’t post as often as I used to.

Still, whether I’m in Montego Bay or New York, I’m in a prime vacation destination. People, lots of them, leave home to see the things I pass by without noticing.

A Photo Review of New York

Take Times Square, for example. I avoid it as much as I can but every so often, it surprises me. Like the night I was hurrying through after seeing a play and saw this: two giant, colorfully illuminated lights wishing Happy Birthday to the late Bob Marley, the reggae superstar who would have been 70 last February 6th.

Times Square Marks Bob Marley's 70th
Times Square Marks Bob Marley’s 70th

Later that month, during Japan Week, I watched as a bride-to-be (winner of a contest) was dressed in a traditional wedding kimono, called uchikake, in Grand Central Station. Japan is a country steeped in culture and tradition so it was fascinating to watch this demonstration. 

On a personal note: I started learning Japanese this year. Hopefully, by the time I make it to Tokyo, I’ll know enough to get around.  

Bride-to-be being dressed in traditional wedding kimono
Bride-to-be being dressed in a traditional wedding kimono – Japan Week 2015

It goes without saying that the arts are big in New York. Here’s a look back at a few of the exhibitions I saw last year. 

I went twice to Columbia University’s Wallach Art Gallery to see Romare Bearden’s collages, drawings and watercolors that he based on Homer’s epic poem, The Odessy. I’m a Bearden fan – I even have one of his collages – but this piece touched me to the core. 

House in Cotton Field, Romare Bearden
House in Cotton Field, Romare Bearden

At the Brooklyn Museum, I revisited Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party, which is on permanent display. Each time I see it, I marvel at Chicago’s vision and her celebration of womanhood.

The Dinner Party, Judy Chicago
The Dinner Party, Judy Chicago

Also at BAM, I saw Kehinde Wiley’s, A New Republic – portraits of contemporary blacks painted against Old Master backgrounds, like the one below of Michael Jackson on a horse. I also breezed through (the museum was closing) Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Unknown Notebooks

Equestrian Portrait of King Philip II (Michael Jackson) Kehinde Wiley
Equestrian Portrait of King Philip II (Michael Jackson) Kehinde Wiley

I rush to see Cecile McLorin Salvant, who at 25, has been called a jazz “phenom.” The Grammy Award winning artist has a voice that recalls Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn and Betty Carter. She grabs hold of your attention whether she’s singing in English or French, her own compositions or jazz standards.

Cecile McLorin Salvant performing at Ginny's Supper Club
Cecile McLorin Salvant performing at Ginny’s Supper Club

When the Whitney Museum of American Art relocated to its new building in the Meatpacking District this spring, it hosted a Block Party that drew thousands of visitors. Although I hate crowds, I was curious to see the new space. Plus, the warm temperature made it the perfect weekend – the one where you linger over brunch, look at art and take long walks. 

Museum goers at the Whitney Museum's Block Party
Museum goers at the Whitney Museum’s Block Party

We waited on line for close to an hour (the museum handed out bottled water) however, by the time we got to the inaugural exhibition, America Is Hard to See, I was so over stimulated visually, I couldn’t appreciate anything I saw. I just wanted to get back outside. 

High Line Park
High Line Park

We walked the length of the High Line from the Whitney (Gansevoort Street, south entrance) to the north end at 34th Street. It was a glorious day to be out.  

In June, we saw Jamaican sprinter, Usain Bolt, run the 200 meters at the Adidas Grand Prix at Ichan Stadium. 

Usain Bolt after winning the 200m, Ichan Stadium
Usain Bolt after winning the 200m, Ichan Stadium

I love going to Coney Island but I prefer the quiet of the off-season when there are no crowds and I can hear the sounds of the waves crashing to shore, birds cawing overhead, walk the beach and look for shells.  

Luna Park, Coney Island
Luna Park, Coney Island
Coney Island beach. Where's Everyone?
Coney Island beach. Where’s Everyone?

Soon the hectic pace of summer gives way to the calm of fall. This year, we hosted Pope Francis, as well as more than 150 heads of state, including President Barack Obama, at the UN General Assembly.

Since my office is close to the UN and St. Patrick’s Cathedral, where the Pope celebrated mass, I had to plan ahead to avoid street closures and ‘frozen zones.’ I’ve never seen Fifth Avenue so deserted. 

Fifth Avenue closed for the Pope's visit
Fifth Avenue closed for the Pope’s visit

The first Sunday in November, the city slows down for elite and everyday runners and wheelchair athletes who come from all over the world to participate in the New York City Marathon.  

Wheelchair athletes
Wheelchair athlete – I doubt this is as simple as it looks
Marathoners, photo taken from my window 

New York does it up big for Christmas and the UNICEF Snowflake Star at 57th Street and Fifth Avenue is an important symbol of the season. 

The Star
The Star

A Photo Review of 2015’s Memorable Eats

Aren’t these cupcakes eye-catching? 

St. Patrick's Day Cupcakes
St. Patrick’s Day Cupcakes

When I lived in DC, my colleagues and I would go to Cristfield Seafood for lunch every payday. My favorite thing on the menu: a cup of lobster bisque and a shrimp salad sandwich. The salad was so stuffed with shrimp, I’d save half for dinner.

I returned to Cristfield’s after my White House tour and was pleasantly surprised to find the bisque and the sandwich taste exactly the same as they did the last time I had them – more than 10 years ago.

Shrimp Salad Sandwich
Shrimp Salad Sandwich

Whenever we visit my friends in Toronto, they always have a hot, new restaurant for us to check out. Last time, it was Quatrefoil and I selected this entree.

Year in Review - Quatrefoil Restaurant, Toronto
Salmon Meal, Quatrefoil Restaurant, Toronto 

The first time I had bangers and mash was at The Shakespeare in New York City, just before my trip to London. My writing group had one of our social events here. 

Bangers and Mash, The Shakespeare
Bangers and Mash, The Shakespeare

My 2015 Travels in Review

So where did I go in 2015? I visited Toronto a few times but my major trip was to London. I’ve written several posts about London, Stonehenge and Oxford. Stay tuned for my posts about Edinburgh, where I spent a day. 

If you read paperbacks, I’m sure you recognize the logo. This plaque marks the location where Penguin published its first paperback. 


Ede & Ravenscroft, London’s oldest tailor and robe makers, has been around since 1689. In case you’re wondering, they also do women’s clothing.

Ede & Ravenscroft Royal Robe Makers
Ede & Ravenscroft Royal Robe Makers

This needs little explanation.

Look Right
Look Right 

Red phone boxes similar to these probably made their way to all of Britain’s colonies – we had some in Jamaica. But with cellphones so ubiquitous these days, phone boxes are not so necessary anymore. After I took this photo, I noticed that there was a guy sleeping in the middle booth. 

Iconic Red Phone Booths
Iconic Red Phone Booths

I look forward to flying into Laguardia Airport for one reason – this incredible view of New York City.

Aerial View of New York CityAerial View of New York City

Thanks for reading and commenting on my blog and for taking this look back through 2015 with me. 

In appreciation for your support, I’d like to offer you a chance to win one of ten GPSMyCity‘s Self-Guided City Walks Apps. The app is available on iOS and Android and you can select one for the city of your choice (Please check the GPSMyCity for a list of cities). 

If you’re one of the ten lucky winners, you’ll receive a promo code that will allow you to download a full, FREE version of a City Walks app. The app includes a detailed, fully functional city map and several carefully selected self-guided city walks.

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Linking this week with Travel Photo Thursday, hosted by Nancie at Budget Travellers Sandbox, Jan at Budget Travel Talk, Ruth at Tanama Tales, and Rachel at Rachel’s Ruminations. Be sure to check them out!

Budget Travelers Sandbox

34 comments on “A Photo Review of 2015

  1. What a beautiful cultural tour of New York 2015, Marcia. I love the scale, the diversity and the built-in surprise of kimonos in Grand Central, solitude on Coney Island and St. Patrick coloured cupcakes.

  2. That’s quite a year Marcia! I think that living in NYC is an adventure and a great journey itself. You have the whole world at yours fingertips. Lucky you!

  3. I didn’t travel a lot this year, Agata, so it seemed like I didn’t do much but looking back, I feel I have. You’re right: living in NY does offer the world any my fingertips. Thanks!

  4. Glad you liked the tour, Mette, and the photos. The kimonos were a surprise but New York is full of surprises like this. It’s a real perk living here. Thanks for the visit!

  5. I loved your NYC pictures – I can’t get enough of that city. The Dinner Party has piqued my interest as well as that shrimp sandwich! You are packing in heaps and the year did go by quickly! Enjoy 2016.

  6. Isn’t it amazing how time is going so much faster (it was my dad who kept telling me that would happen and not to wish it away) and how much longer the bucket list gets? I can’t seem to reconcile those two. So glad to have you back in the blogosphere Marcia! Happy New Year and Happy Travels to you~ Jackie

  7. Love your photo review of NYC — I am so craving a trip there. Exciting that you’ll be going to Japan and learning the language. Japan is still on my list. Happy New Year!

  8. Thanks, Cathy, Happy New Year to you too! You should come for a visit.
    I’m having fun learning Japanese and looking forward to visiting. I hear it’s a very exciting place.

  9. Thanks, Jackie, thanks it’s good to be back! Happy New Year to you too!
    Isn’t it amazing how we eventually begin to sound like our parents? It’s kind of scary sometimes – the cycle of life, right?

  10. It was nice to take a walk around New York with you and recognize most of these places. I was here in 2015 for a week and saw most of the places in your photos. 🙂

  11. I so glad to hear that, Kathy! You covered a lot of territory in a week – I’m impressed!
    Hope you make it back to NY soon. Best wishes for 2016.

  12. I loved the highline park! When I lived in NYC, the park was just built and there weren’t too many people. I could see that it has become a hotspot now!

  13. Ohhh…I do SO miss New York! It will always have a special place in my heart because I spent so much time there. Can you believe it, I’ve yet to go to Coney Island, even though I lived in Manhattan? And as you shared, the museums are enviable.

    GPSMyCity is new to me. I’d probably choose Kuala Lumpur as my first download. What about you?

  14. Photo wrap-up posts are my new favorite thing! I didn’t even realize that I was such a visual person until I started blogging. Now I just can’t get enough of beautiful photos! Your photos of the city are just awesome!

  15. I think you’re very lucky to live in such a vibrant city as New York. Your posts about it is partially what got me so excited about visiting NYC when I was sitting in Malaysia dreaming about what type of travel I’d do when we returned to the USA. In some ways, I wish my town had more art museums, although I’ll have to admit I’m not very good about making the drive to the ones that are already here. I like that Michael Jackson painting.

  16. Happy New Year, Marcia! What a great year! I love the look of your Toronto salmon entree! Thanks for linking up this week. It’s great to see you back. #TPThursday

  17. Thanks and you’re welcome, Nancie. Happy New Year to you too!
    I know. It’s amazing how the year looks when you look back.
    Thanks, great to be back.

  18. I can imagine, Linda. It’s such a special city. I do hope you make it to Coney Island, especially in the summertime. And if you love fireworks, you must go on a Friday night – it’s a blast!
    Actually, I’m not sure where I’d pick – there are so many places I like. Maybe Tokyo, now that I think about it.

  19. Late checking your end of year round up but happy to see you’re still traveling and writing. I’ve checked your blog, looked for new posts and nothing when I looked but then I’ve missed a bunch. Looks like you still had a great year – and you can spend several lifetimes in NYC and still not see it all.

    Hope 2016 is kind to you Marcia.

  20. Hi Leigh, thanks for your visit and your New Year’s wishes. I did have a wonderful year.
    You’re right about New York – I still have a list, several pages long, of places to visit.
    Wish you the best for 2016, too!

  21. Oh, that’s so kind of you to say, Michele! I know what it’s like to be in one place and dream of another.
    I know what you mean about the museums – I go through long stretches when I don’t go to a museum. Please let me know when you’re coming to NY so we can meet.

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