There is a man in the library who has been here every single time I’ve been here in the past two weeks. He is Israeli with dreadlocks, dark skinned, with glasses and he wears a kippah. He has his headphones in and he is rocking the scruffy look. On a scale of 1-10 for attractiveness, I would rate him at about a 7. Maybe a 7.5. Now, for someone who wears a kippah, he seems to be more left of center than expected. His laptop is covered in bumper stickers, most of which exclaim “Tzedek Hevrati” (“Social Justice”), part of the tag line from the tent protests two summers ago.
He works diligently on something. My curiosity is piqued.
He is just about the most interesting thing to look at in here. This library clearly has not been renovated or redone since the 1980’s. The colors, the lighting, the furniture. This place is an artifact from mod and state-of-the-art design.
Curiously, the building is huge but I cannot find the English books. There is a decent size room of Hebrew stacks, an enormous and cold room for Hebrew periodicals, a well-lit and brightly colored children’s room, a small art gallery, a coffee shop, and a performance space with excellent acoustics. I’m sure I’m missing something. It can’t be that in this big building there are no English reference books.
Sitting here and thinking, I miss the grandeur of the NYPL. Specially the main branch located right on Bryant Park. It took me a few trips to figure out where the books are in that library too, but the sheer scale and prominence of that building excused its secretive-ness about its stacks. With rows of heavy wooden tables and equally heavy chairs to match, bronze lamps, frescoes on the ceiling, hand-laid tile work, statues, arch ways, and giant windows, just sitting there and trying to study made you feel instantly smarter and more important because you are sitting where all the greats have sat and worked.
I am always looking for the perfect place to write in this city. I’ve found some good options as far as cafes go, but I have yet to find the perfect solution to just go and comfortably read, write, study, think, blog, journal, or chat. This library is ok but it’s not the end-game solution. Even right now, I know I should force myself to stop blogging and start writing things for my thesis again, but I just don’t feel like I’m in the right mind- and physical-space. But where to go?
Maybe I need to go to the beach to clear my head.