Y’all already know I’m a huge fan of libraries, especially the New York Public Library and its lions. But you may not know that I feel the opposite about mornings. Get them out of here. When my parents were visiting me last month, I had a suspicion that they’d wake up at the buttcrack of dawn and they sure did. Because I don’t typically do a lot in the mornings, I didn’t know what to do with them before our lunch in Chinatown. Luckily, my dad suggested the library since they had never been. Plus, there were a couple of exhibits we could check out, just like we’d done the day before at the Beatles exhibit at the NYPL of Performing Arts.
Too often on the streets of Manhattan you run into a stranger who you want to know more about. For example, the guy on the subway on New Year’s after midnight who jokingly asked me if I could tell him what day it was since I was carrying a calendar that I’d won at the party. Or the man at my old laundry place who was the best but because of the language barrier, we only said a few words to each other each time I picked up my stuff. Or the man I’ve seen walking around several times with his cat perched comfortably on top of his head.
Getting your books at Strand Bookstore is about as NYC as sharing a eyebrow raise and a smile with a cute stranger re: the old lady in front of you yelling at no one in particular about gloves. I had never gone to Strand until this past week, despite it being a short walk from my apartment. Aubrey put this item on my 28 Things list. She is an expert in cute little bookshops around the city, but Strand is pretty much the crème de la crème.
Libraries and I have a good thing going. When I was younger, I would beg my parents to take me to our township library almost weekly. Our local librarians were just like Lori Beth Denberg in All That in that they were loud, obnoxious, mean and they also always made me pay extra money when I lost my library card every few months, but I loved going there.
Many of my friends had more than one awesome suggestion for my 28 Things (to do before I turn 28) list, and Kater has the honor of being the first duplicate suggestion-maker (this is akin to being the most decorated Olympian in my world). She also happens to have two suggestions in a row, as she is who I have to thank for the Upright Citizens Brigade show (and I am now on 4 UCB shows and counting). Kater’s second suggestion on my list was to go to a book signing, which she said could be “weirdly inspirational” and she was absolutely right.
Last week, I decided to pick up another book to read, in addition to the five other books I’m in the middle of (I’m not joking and will list them out if you request it). This book has been on my mind for a really long time actually and I hadn’t read it since I was in elementary school.
If you haven’t read any of Christoph Niemann’s “Abstract Sunday” blogs for the NY Times, do yourself a huge favor here. You may have recently heard of Niemann because he sketched his way through the NY marathon in the fall, “26.2 Miles, 46 Sketches” (also read about MY watching of the NY marathon, here). But what I really wanted to share with you today is Niemann’s entry on building NYC with his sons’ Legos, entitled “I Lego N.Y.”