How the heck have I made it this long without talking about bookstores in NYC? I guess I take them for granted now, though one of my earliest memories of life in New York is making the trek from Clinton Hill to the Barnes and Noble on Court Street. It was my very first weekend here and I wanted to buy a book that had just been released. I looked up directions and walked all the way over there and back, a roundtrip of about three miles. The things we do for books.
When bookish friends come to visit me, if I’ve already taken them to the NYPL, Union Square is a great place to visit. Within a few blocks you have the huge and lovely Barnes and Noble on E. 17th St, at the top of the Park, Forbidden Planet at 13th St and Broadway, and of course, the Strand, at 12thand Broadway.
Last Friday I made my second-ever visit to the Morgan Library & Museum. The Morgan, which began as the private library of Pierpont Morgan, father of J.P Morgan, is now a complex of buildings that houses rare books and materials, and even includes a performance space. Admission is a bit pricey, but it’s free on Friday nights between 7 and 9 p.m., and when I was there they had a pair of musicians playing in the courtyard, near the café.
I am fairly certain that I have taken almost every person who has visited me since I moved to NYC to the main branch New York Public Library, also known as the Stephen A. Schwarzman building. My reasons are simple: It’s in a great location near other tourist outings (Bryant Park, Grand Central, Rockefeller Center, and Times Square are all nearby), I love libraries and this is a particularly beautiful one, and, of course, it’s free.
Excerpts from “What Christmas Is as We Grow Older”
By Charles Dickens
Time was, with most of us, when Christmas Day encircling all our limited World like a magic ring, left nothing out for us to miss or seek; bound together all our home enjoyments, affections, and hopes; grouped everything and every one around the Christmas fire; and made the little picture shining in our bright young eyes, complete. Continue reading
When you live in Brooklyn and work in Manhattan, going to Queens is terrible. It involves multiple subway lines, or, probably (I’ve never tried it!), multiple buses. But there are a couple places I’ve been to in Queens that make the effort absolutely worth it—even if I do try to time my visits to when my family (or friends), who have a car, are in town.
On a Sunday in October a few years ago, I met a friend in SoHo to go to mass the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral. It’s a beautiful church and was the first cathedral church in the Catholic Diocese of New York. It was a gorgeous fall day and we’d heard there was some chocolate festival going on (read: free samples at all the local chocolate shops) so we decided to wander the neighborhood and check out a few.