Monthly Archives: March 2016

Easter NYC

With all the years I’ve lived in New York City, I’ve never attended the Saturday evening Easter Vigil mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.  For the most part, it’s because I’m usually somewhere else with friends.  But this year, with Easter coming so early, I decided to stay in the city.

“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.”              Edith Wharton

Then came the inspiration, to walk down to the Cathedral for the Saturday Easter service.  A spectacular celebration of The Resurrection of Christ.  Renewed life.  Joy.  Light.  In churches around the world, Easter begins with this most stunning of services on Saturday evening.

Ceremony of Light, St. Patrick's Cathedral NYC

Ceremony of Light, St. Patrick’s Cathedral NYC

Since New York is a magnet for tourists, our midtown iconic destinations, like St. Patrick’s Cathedral, just across from Rockefeller Center, is constantly buzzing with people, cameras, flash bulbs and excitement.  But it’s also a parish church and NY’s local citizens frequently attend mass there, as well.

My maternal grandmother attended daily mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.  She was a true matriarch and lived an exciting city life at The Biltmore Hotel on East 43td St.   We frequently went with her, to St. Patrick’s Cathedral for mass, so although it’s a real tourist attraction, for me it’s also home.

The celebration of light begins in darkness...

The celebration of light begins in darkness…

The mass begins with the cathedral cloaked in total darkness.  Then, a blazing fire is ignited at the back of the church.  The Cardinal begins the ceremony with readings.  All of the people hold candles which are subsequently lit from the same fire.  It’s breathtaking, as the church slowly illuminates by candle light and then finally the full-on brightness of every chandelier.  It’s so moving and takes your breath away.  I find that the pomp and circumstance of rituals like these are so stirring and special.  They’re perfect too, if you’re alone on a holiday.

Blessings from the Cardinal

Easter blessings from the Cardinal

Plan your holidays, but if you find yourself alone on one, I recommend looking at your surroundings as a tourist would.  Get out and explore.  Do something you’ve never thought of before.  Thinking like a tourist wherever you are will give you wonderful experiences to treasure.  And that’s “A Table For One”.

Copyright 2016 Marion M. O’Grady

All rights reserved






Spring is arriving early!  Last year’s winter season seemed never ending.  But this year, the winter has been relatively mild in the Northeast.  And it seems to be morphing seamlessly into a March debut!

“With the coming of spring, I am calm again.”  Gustav Mahler

Spring in New York City is always a very welcome sight to behold.  It starts slowly, barely noticeably and then suddenly bursts out in full regalia.  Although it’s only March, the daffodils are already blooming.

Daffys in the city!

Daffys in the city!

In New York city, you’ll see lots of spring flowers newly planted along the streets.  Although not in an entirely natural setting, they provide a happy sign of wonderful things to come.  Set against the gray skies and dull street sidewalks, they pop out of their beds in a startling shock of awakening colors.

Spring sidewalk blooming beauties!

Spring sidewalk blooming beauties!

Then too, the ever-present flower stalls along Manhattan’s side streets take on an even brighter look with flowers that are specific to spring.  Forsythia, tulips, daffodils, all look fresh and bright and new.  An inspiration to pick out a few bouquets and bring them home to celebrate the new season!

The city flower stalls display spring flowers with cheer!

New York’s flower stalls display spring flowers with cheer!

Be sure to mark the seasons wherever you are.  Go out and observe what’s changing and then incorporate what’s new into your home as well.  It’s a great way to enjoy a day that doesn’t end, with “A Table For One”.  Celebrate!

Copyright 2016 Marion M. O’Grady

All rights reserved

St. Patrick’s Day NYC

I’ve come to think that New York City is one of the most exciting and accommodating cities in the world for Parades.  New York puts its rich diversity on display every year, with a host of parades honoring many different nationalities.  The St. Patrick’s Day parade is one of them and its said that on St. Patrick’s Day, everyone is Irish.  Certainly, in New York this is true!

“I’m Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.  I’m Italian on Columbus Day.  I’m a New Yorker every day”.  Tamara Tunie

New York's St. Patrick's Day Parade!

New York’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade!

The Parade participants march their way up Fifth Avenue from midtown all the way up to 86th St.  On display are the many counties of Ireland represented by flags, banners and people whose heritage dates back to these specific geographic areas in Ireland.  Many of those observing the parade happily cheer the counties their ancestors hail from too.

Bagpipers and their stirring aires!

Bagpipers and their stirring aires!

One of my absolute favorite things about St. Patrick’s Day is the number of bagpipers that come out in full regalia to march in the parade.  All along Fifth Ave., the stirring sounds of blaring bagpipes, drums and flutes fill the air.  It’s a truly unique and moving sight to see!

"Up Mayo!"

“Up Mayo!”

You can imagine that, with a last name of “O’Grady”, I definitely have Irish heritage.  My lineage also includes ancestors from France and England as well.  But I have to admit that I get a huge kick out of observing St. Patrick’s Day and attending the parade whenever possible.  I especially love seeing the County Mayo contingent marching.  That’s the county where my last name comes from.  In Ireland, if you said you were from Mayo, the response apparently was “God Help You”, because the soil was so rocky, it was nearly impossible to grow food there.

I like to think that some of my good traits can be traced back to this wonderful county that challenged my ancestors who learned to prevail and overcome any obstacles in their way.  As they say in Ireland “Up Mayo!”  Take “A Table For One” moment to enjoy a parade!

Copyright 2016 Marion M. O’Grady

All rights reserved


There are times that you may find yourself alone for a myriad of different reasons.  It may be brief, or it could be longer-lasting.  Perhaps from the loss of a good friend or loved one.  There will be profound moments in everyone’s life, and sometimes, it helps to know that there are many resources you can reach to.

“Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.”  Mark Twain

I’ve found that reading is a mainstay.  Yes of course, for pleasure, news and information, but in addition, a really good book can also help guide you through the more difficult times you will encounter on your life’s journey.



William Bridge’s book, “the way of transition” is exactly that.  It’s an incredibly deep and honest exploration of his own loves and losses.  His perspective “embracing life’s most difficult moments” is uplifting and hopeful.  By sharing his own experiences so truthfully, he manages to take you with him.  At the same time, he gives you powerful ways to reflect on and accept your own individual trials and tribulations.

A good friend of mine recommended this book to me, when I was going through an especially difficult transition of my own.  It was truly inspirational.  And ever since that first reading, I’ve kept this book at the front of my bookshelf.  Any time I feel daunted by the events happening in my own life, I reach for it!

Reading is certainly one of the best things you can do on your own.  In fact, for the most part, it’s a uniquely solo activity!  Reaching for a truly good book to help guide you when you feel a bit lost, yields great rewards.  Don’t hesitate to do it…that’s “A Table For One” moment.

Copyright 2016 Marion M. O’Grady





Library Walk

I was walking yesterday in New York along a very familiar street in midtown.  For some reason, I looked down, as well as up and discovered something entirely new.  The street I was walking along had been named “Library Way”.  I’ve walked these blocks in New York so many times, but never noticed this delightful tribute to the iconic New York Public Library.

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” Marcel Proust

Library Way

Library Way

I know it’s not just me.  It seems many of us are always in a rush, coming and going.  When you’re out and about on your own, no matter where it is, you have a great opportunity to take the time and really look at your surroundings.  Try to notice things that have always been there “hiding plain sight”.  You may amaze yourself, as I sometimes do, as to what you see.

Library Walk

Sidewalk Inspirations

In addition to the street signs, looking up, I discovered an entire series of amazing and inspirational sidewalk plaques lining “Library Way” starting on 41st St. and Park Avenue, all the way over to Fifth Avenue.  You could easily spend a good 1/2 hour or more meandering down this “Library Way”, reading each of the plaques that honor great authors of many centuries.

Great description of Life!

Wonderful thoughts along the “Library Way”

Of course, this wonderful pathway leads to the iconic mid-town New York City Library itself.  An architectural beauty with rich history and a bountiful offering of treasured books for the reading.

Library Way

Beautiful New York Public Library

Love this fascinating transformation of an ordinary NYC sidewalk into a magical pathway leading to an NYC landmark.  And to think it’s been there all this time unnoticed by me as I rush from one meeting to another.  I’m so happy I took the time to look up and look down!  I’m going to do this more often now.  And I hope you do too!   That’s “A Table For One” delight!

Copyright 2016 Marion M. O’Grady

All rights reserved