Friday, December 15, 2006

New York: Brooklyn

On this my fourth day of vacation in New York it was a little harder to get moving. Not sleeping well without my own bed, a backache, not really being able to relax. I begin to feel old, not much made for prolonged travelling. So, my companion was slow to find his way from Brooklyn, and that was ok because I was slow to get my creaky body out the door and down the street four blocks to Starbucks for that daily coffee. Let's not forget noon in New York is 9 am my time.

So I was late getting to Brooklyn to see the Art Museum there, and the Brooklyn Library a block away.

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Yeah, I'd have been better off going to the Met, but I wanted to see the library where my former big boss was wooed to, Ginny Cooper. (She's now been hired in Washington DC, where our current library director, Molly Raphael, came from.)

I found the Brooklyn Library getting a face lift. The front entrance was closed, and we could enter at the side through the children's library. Now that was a noisy library, about 3 times noisier than my busy library branch, even if the busiest in the nation. There were moms with their kids waiting for a program or a storytime. There were about a dozen teens at the tables in the back. A security guard was discussing a conflict that had arisen between the teens. I heard that same "but he did this..." "but she..." thing that I'd heard from teens when I worked on the reference desk.

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I wanted to check my email and check in for my flight the next day. I'd found when I went to Wisconsin checking in online is almost absolutely necessary...airlines are cancelling flights that aren't full enough. I found that I could either get a library card or get a guest card that cost $2. I got the guest card, which expired in an hour and gave me a half hour or so of internet access, but I didn't have to do any registering. (I wasn't able to check in online after all. Something odd happened to my e-ticket. When I got to LaGuardia I rushed about in the wrong line here and there and finally got my boarding pass and through security and got to the gate just as they began to board passengers.)

brooklyn front brooklyn lib card back

I found the section called the Popular Library. I wonder if it has always been called that, or Ginny Cooper changed the name. In our Popular Library we have fiction, recorded books, teen materials, dvds and videos, and a few internet computers. This one seems only to have media and computers. While I was there a couple of teens managed to accidentally topple one of the bookshelves standing next to the information desk, cd jewel cases snapping and shattering like they wanted to be glass houses but couldn't find the noise. I couldn't imagine that happening in one of our libraries. The safety czars would never allow freestanding tall furniture like that.

My friend was supposed to meet me, but called when he couldn't get through to me in the thick-walled building, so he gave up and went home. Yeah, well.

On my way back to Flushing, people were flooding the subway for the final Mets game of the season. I realized later that my friend probably wanted to watch the game with greater baseball fans, thus he blew me off. I tuned in to the game on the radio for the tension-filled bases loaded, two outs moment. Here's a little something I wrote in response to a baseball lover on one of my email lists:

that was sad about the mets.

i was on the subway headed back to my hotel when people were getting off the train at shea stadium.

what a neat time to be on that train.

two young men had their tallboys in paper sacks, sitting across from me. they were getting a head start.

the operator annouced "shea stadium. ....shea stadium? i believe that is the word of the day....shea stadium!" (cheers)

as people got off a lengthier salute, well-spoken. more cheers.

later, in flushing's chinatown, people in sportsgear shop, people in bubble tea cafe, eyes glued to television.


chez bez said...

Oh, how I wish I was in New York. Have a blast.

Tom Paine said...

I'm glad you found Brooklyn, it's something many visitors to NY never discover.