My Favorite Things – A Tribute to Two Friends and Their Magical Bird’s Eye-View Apartment on the Upper West Side

I jump at any chance to spend time with my friends Tom and Don.

Meet Tom, a very talented artist and all-around creative person with a wickedly funny sense of humor…

Sepia portrait of Tom with his camera, taken by Joana Miranda

And Don – who is never far from a book, newspaper, or his cell phone where he keeps tabs on the various kids he tutors.  (Judging by the great books and DVDs he lends me, I think I’m secretly one of his pupils, too!)

Sepia portrait of Don with a book, taken by Joana Miranda

Their apartment high above the city is like a curiosity shop with an enchanted garden.

Tom and Don's terrace, photo by Joana Miranda

Cupid frolics….

Photo of cupid garden statue, taken by Joana Miranda
Among the flowers.

Photo of pink flower, taken by Joana Miranda

(And the Mourning Dove pays a daily visit, too.)

Photo of Mourning Dove, taken by Joana Miranda

From their terrace you can see south…

Photo of Manhattan from 72nd Street looking south, taken by Joana Miranda


Photo of Manhattan from 72nd Street looking southeast, taken by Joana Miranda

And East, too (if you can’t get the view you want, just go to their second terrace!)

Photo of Central Park taken from 72nd Street by Joana Miranda

I’ve been invited for lunch, which is followed by tea, raspberries…

Photo of porcelain teapot and teacup with raspberries, taken by Joana Miranda


Photo of blueberries and yellow flower, taken by Joana Miranda

Cookies and blackberries!

Photo of cookies, blackberries and blueberries, taken by Joana Miranda

Tom and I have the same camera – I bought mine on his recommendation.   The light is so beautiful, we set up some props to practice with our cameras, comparing notes as we work.

Photo of still life with painting in the background, taken by Joana Miranda

There is no end of pretty things on the terrace to photograph, but I love these crystal candlesticks in particular.

Photo of antique objects on a table, by Joana Miranda

(The candlestick’s mate is tucked under a shrub, so I photograph it, too.)

Photo of crystal candlestick, taken by Joana Miranda

Meanwhile, the sun has gotten so hot, I head for a break inside where more “fabulous-ness” awaits!

Photo of antique odds and ends, taken by Joana Miranda

It’s like I’ve stepped into a dream world…

Photo of books and glass odds and ends, taken by Joana Miranda

Inhabited by books, miniature treasures and lots of colorful and shiny things.

Photo of books and miniature treasures, taken by Joana Miranda

Glass on the window sparkles in the sun…

Photo of cut crystal stoppers glinting in the sun, taken by Joana Miranda

While the Sultan keeps watch.

Photo of antique curiosities, taken by Joana Miranda

The iridescence of these blue and green bottles catch my eye…

Photo of iridescent green and blue glass perfume bottles, taken by Joana Miranda

While the warrior and angel keep company nearby.

Photo of warrior and angel bibelot, taken by Joana Miranda

I’d like to stay longer, but the day is done.  Until next time!


    1. Joana

      Yes, ma’am, it is. I think that Tom and Don have once of the best views in the city – for sure, I don’t have any other friends with apartments like that. Gotta work on that;-)


    1. Joana

      I told them that (that you want to meet them)! I’d love for you to see the view from up there, too – rivals the Empire State Building, I’m sure:-)

      Love you,

    1. Joana

      Hi Karen,

      Thanks so much for your comment and for visiting my blog! Don just rolls his eyes when Tom and I get “inspired” with our cameras; however, I think he enjoys our antics all the same!

      Hope to see you again sometime soon –

  1. kathy

    i have been inspired by Tom for years, thank you for showing us more of their glorious world! i wish i were in NYC to see the views, eat the fruits, enjoy these two great guys! –kathy

    1. Joana

      Hi Kathy,

      Thanks for your comment and for visiting my blog! Tom and Don are two gems and my life has become infinitely richer from our friendship. I hope you have the opportunity to get to NYC soon and join in the fun:-)

      All best wishes,

    1. Joana

      Hi Rosalyn,

      Thanks for visiting my blog! You are so fortunate to have Tom as an Uncle, and I’m so glad to have him (and Don) as my friend. Hope to meet you sometime in the City.

      With all best wishes,

    1. Joana

      Hi Tillie,

      Taking nice pictures isn’t hard at Tom and Don’s…or, should I say, there’s no end of interesting and fun things to photograph! I took pictures in the studio downstairs at Easter-time when Tom and I decorated eggs together, but I should go back now and do a post dedicated solely to the interesting things I see in the studio!

      All best wishes,

  2. Phyllis rooks

    Joana – So glad Tom shared your Blog with us. Your photos are truly lovely. But does make me envious, your being able to visit and all. If you go agan enjoy it for all of us who can’t just pop in. Phyllis Brooks, Grosse Pointe Woods, MI. a Very Old Friend of Tom & Don’s.

    1. Joana

      Hi Phyllis,

      So glad you came over to see my blog! I’ve met a lot of Tom and Don’s “virtual” friends through that post. In addition to having great taste in art, decor and food, I’ve come to find that Tom and Don have great taste in friends, too. Too bad we can’t all be in the same place! I’ll definitely continue to post (and enjoy!) our adventures together.

      All best wishes,

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