Monday, July 21, 2008

Our Visit to the New York Public Library or How I Nearly Died of Disbelief in a Public Landmark

Our family spent a perfect (albeit blisteringly hot) day in Manhattan this past Saturday. We started the day at the famous toy store FAO Schwartz with the kids' grandma. They left there with feet that had danced on the big piano, faces that had been painted, and hands holding new toys. We could have happily gone home at that point, but we decided to leave a trail of sweat around the Big Apple. The kids pretended to be knights and a princess in Central Park's Belvedere Castle. We toured the garment district, stopping at Mood Fabrics to add to Hayden's button collection and to add to my love of all things Project Runway. This was followed by a nice lunch in midtown. Actually, I could have eaten gruel and boiled bugs. Who cared? The restaurant was air conditioned. Finally, we stopped in at the New York Public Library and I almost died. We've been there many times before, eating snacks on its steps and posing for pictures with Patience and Fortitude, its famous marble lions. Saturday we went in. Four of us walked around the huge beautiful lobby in awe. One of us, in a very loud voice said, "What a waste of space!" To my shocked "Excuse me?" he repeated that this was the biggest waste of space he had ever seen. While my husband patted his pockets for the smelling salts I was about to surely need, I launched into a speech on the importance of books and research and knowledge. At the end my son said he agreed, so much so that he thought the cavernous lobby could be used for more bookshelves. Oh, okay. Crisis averted. On the ride back to New Jersey, Hayden read Mary Poppins, Aaron read a Boxcar Children book, and Bill, Ethan and I just enjoyed resting our feet and feeling the air conditioning.

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