A late good afternoon from New York.
As many of you all know by now, I love reading. Most of my books now come from a great, quaint old members-only library, but the New York Public Library has a prominant spot in my heart.
I have borrowed hundreds, perhaps thousands, of books from the Public Library, and about six years ago, made much use of its free access to computers when preparing resumes and correspondence as I sought to re-enter the working world.
For many years, I have donated a little bit of money each year to the NYPL, and think of it as a small thank you for all that the Library has given me. The main branch of the Library is a splendid stone building at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. It has grand exhibition spaces where wonderful exhibits regularly appear; a rare books room that one can actually visit, after going through a few security hoops; a rare map department, a magnificent reading room arrayed with fine old books, and sparkling new computers. The building is a wonder, and many fine librarians are there daily to help everyone.
On a December Sunday each year, the Library holds a very festive holiday open house, to which all the Friends of the Library are invited. It is great fun. The place is magnificently decorated with greenery. Lots of music is played and sung. Many folks parade around in storybook costumes. Children are encouraged to attend (it is not a day for silence in the halls) and there are all sorts of entertainments for the children ... face painting, juggling lessons, magic and puppet shows, storytelling, origami, and more.
Lots of cookies, chedder cheese pastry twists, punch and lots of wine is served from many buffet tables throughout the many levels of the marble halls. In one ballroom sized area, a disco band plays for dancing, and a more elaborate buffet is on offer.
The party is great fun, and a queue forms outside the building on Fifth Avenue about an hour before the starting hour. It is so funny to have bustling Christmas shoppers stop in their tracks to ask those in the queue, what's happening, what's going on ... and to tell them it is a party, and ... if they were to become a Friend they could come to next year's party.
This year's version was just a enjoyable as those of years past. I am glad that the forecast precipitation held off, so that after I left the party, I did a bit of walking up Fifth Avenue with my camera and have tried to get a few photos to share with you all. I have pictures of the special windows in shops such as Lord & Taylor, Saks seen from Rockefeller Center, and best of all, Bergdorf Goodman. BG's windows always set the standard.