The Ultimate Library Adventure of Marley and Pearl: Exploring NYPL

To celebrate a milestone in her life, Carly (aka Pearl thereby making me Marley) wanted to go to the Big Apple and one of the things she wanted to do there was visit the New York Public Library. It’s been something we’ve talked about doing maybe even before our library hopping days and I decided I should join her. So I did! And so we went!

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I don’t think any one could have been more excited than we were to go the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. Even seeing the building from a distance and then reaching the main entrance getting to meet Patience and Fortitude, the Library Lions, was thrilling!

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We followed the large crowd of people in- after taking some pictures with Patience and Fortitude and in front of the library. We wanted to make sure we got tickets for the free guided tour. Then we had an hour to kill beforehand. But there was lots to see!

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The tour was helpful in focusing on certain aspects of the library because it can get overwhelming.

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I was confused that I hadn’t seen the circulating part of the library yet, I didn’t realize the building was mostly research- or for tourists. But the ground floor was a whole other story! And, unless I’m mistaken, this is the interim location called Mid-Manhattan Library at 42nd Street.

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Naturally, I wanted to explore the Children’s Center at 42nd Street, particularly seeing the Adventures of the REAL Winnie-the-Pooh.

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There were also two current exhibitions going on.

The one I was excited about was Love & Resistance: Stonewall 50.

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The second was Walt Whitman: America’s Poet.

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I still can’t believe that I was at the New York Public Library. It was more than I thought it would be. Bigger. Better. I’m glad we were able to experience this together!

Update July 11, 2019: I found some more pictures from this adventure!

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My Bookish Coast to Coast Vacation, Part 2

Continuing my Coast to Coast Vacation, which you can read about here– or, if you want the bookish version so far, here-, I arrived in Brooklyn, New York Friday night. And where else would I meet my friends but at a bookstore?

Books Are Magic is one of those author-owned bookstores (in this case, Emma Straub) that’s on my Must Visit list. Books are magic because they can bring people together and create friendships! We took the obligatory picture along their wall! Even though I didn’t really stay long enough to browse, I can see why it’s so popular. They even had an author reading going on.

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You can check out more of my New York adventures here since I’ll be focusing on the bookstores and libraries I’ve visited in this post.

While visiting the Stonewall Inn, a couple of people suggested we check out Jekyll & Hyde Club in Greenwich Village for the literary theme and for its hidden bathrooms! I wish I had more time- and energy!- to see everything about this place inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson’s story but it was late and we had a big day ahead of us!

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My friend and fellow library hopper had been wanting to visit the New York Public Library– as have I- so it was super special that we got to experience it together! You can read about that here.

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What I originally thought to be part of NYPL’s many programs, the Bryant Park Reading Room is its own entity. I love the idea of this “Open Air Library.”

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After that we went to the Strand Book Store. 18 miles of books! It reminded me of Powell’s Books here in Portland. It’s definitely a book lover’s paradise!

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We could have stayed there the rest of the day but we had lots of New York still left to see and not a whole lot of time. We parted ways as they did some more sightseeing and I, of course, went to more bookstores and libraries.

Books of Wonder, the famed children’s bookstore that inspired the Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks movie You’ve Got Mail, was my first stop by myself. Old books. New books. Collectibles. Lots of Oz merchandise. There’s so much to love about this place!

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My plan of attack was basically to zig-zag my way up the streets of Manhattan. I did have a destination in mind. I stopped by…

the Kips Bay Branch of NYPL…

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Barnes and Noble on 5th Avenue…

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the 53rd Street Library of NYPL…

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on my way to Sesame Street!

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I was hoping for more to celebrate the recent renaming of W 63rd St on Broadway as part of the show’s 50th anniversary.

Some people would have called it a day by now but I took the subway to Brooklyn to try and visit some more before they closed in about an hour.

One of the other places I really wanted to make sure I visited was Stories Bookshop + Storytelling Lab. I loved how much personality it had for such a small space. The person working there was super nice and she even gave me an extra copy of A Field Guide to Bookstores of Brooklyn that they gave out during Independent Bookstore Day the week before!

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Unnameable Books wasn’t on my radar until I saw it on the list but it was nearby so I went.

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Greenlight Bookstore is a great example of a bookstore doing it right.

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My last bookstore visit was probably my favorite- The Center for Fiction. I’m still not quite sure what exactly it is even after checking out their website but I love it! I would definitely come back.

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I think I did quite well during my time in New York City. But while we said goodbye, my trip wasn’t over yet!

In fact, leaving the Big Apple via Amtrak, I found Hudson Booksellerss at Pennsylvania Station! (I’m only counting this and not its Hudson News locations.)

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