Growing up in New York, one of my places of refuge as a child was an old stone building on East Sixty-seventh street. Two heavy wood doors with big brass handles opened into a world of color and silence. The marble entry hall floor was cool and patterned. The smooth old wooden bannisters on the stair, had been polished by the hands of generations of children before me. A private club, for which admittance and independence depended on the ability to sign your name. Offering a place to think and indulge in fantasy, free for the taking to all who clutched the card . The library. The tall walnut shelves tickled the ceiling and a rolling ladder gave access to even its highest reaches. I often thought I could live there comfortably. Unfortunately,the chance to move in never presented itself, and I was probably too much of a rule-follower to risk sneaking an overnight stay. What if I lost my privileges ?!! After visiting the main branch on Fifth Avenue, although not nearly as cozy as my branch, I realized it had the lock on grandeur. Imagine being guarded by lions! What a home that might have been!
September 5, 2012
Living in the Library Part One