Monday morning and no homework done. A crowded bridge and a haunted bookstore are the most likely culprits for that. So today I definitely needed to work seriously. As I do not have a desk or table in the apartment I decided to go to the library. Finally I would sit in the Rose Reading Room and work there, like a New Yorker.
I packed my laptop, the cable, the stories, the book and everything that I use to carry in my shoulder bag into my backpack. That and the decision what to wear – would it be cold in the reading room? – took a lot of time and it was almost noon when I finally was ready to leave and took the train to Grand Central Station. When I arrived there my stomach told me I should think about lunch. So before I walked over to greet the lions I descended into Grand Central’s food concourse. After two rounds of studying menus I decided to have chicken with broccoli from a Chinese stall. Not the best option. The chicken was perfectly tender and the broccoli not boiled too soft. It had a lack of taste though. But at least I would not get hungry during a long library session.
I proudly walked into the reading room, passed the computer area where I use to print and entered the room where people really work. I had been worried not to get a seat at all, but there was no reason for that. I chose a table where just a few people were working. Some of them had a stack of books in front of them, they all had their laptops. Laptops are not allowed on six tables in the back. No idea what is the reason for that. When I tried to plug my laptop I realized I had not thought of bringing the adapter. So I had to rely on the battery.
It was an amazing experience to work there, in this oldfashioned room with the massive wooden ceiling and paintings on it, with all those big desks having library lamps on them, surrounded by books and people using books . There is plenty of atmoshere. It’s totally different to working at a desk in an apartment. There are fewer distractions. I could not get a glass of wine or a yogurt from the fridge. I could not play Candy Crush Saga on my smart phone. I could not lie down to read. I could not go for a coffee without giving up my place. Nothing but the air condition disturbed me. Luckily I had brought a cardigan. I got two critiques roughly done and the third one begun. I just felt like not being able to concentrate on the story any more when there was an announcement that we all had to leave now. The reading room closes at 5:45 on Mondays. A library clark moved through the aisle and urged us to pack. A move went through the place. A stream of people floated down the stairs and onto 5th Avenue outside. There we merged into the crowd from midtown’s offices and joined the wave to the subway or somewhere else.
I deserved a reward now, didn’t I? To get it I followed the stream down 5th Avenue to 34th Street again. Grabbed a coffee to go to revitalize my senses. Finally bought the orange ultra-light parka and two nail polishes – Alluring Rose (holographic) and Disturbia / Audace (I would call it aubergine). Finally I entered the underground world and started my long way home, like so many New Yorkers do after a day of work in the city. I really felt like a New Yorker today. Not even the Empire State Building guys on 34th Street addressed me to sell me a ticket.
In the subway a mother and son were sitting next to me. The little boy was studying the subway map, pointed to a line and said “that’s China”. His mother laughed and started to ask him questions. What country do we live in? What state? What’s the name of our president? He answered all her questions easily. I turned to him and told him “You’re good!” He politely thanked me. That was a nice experience because I see so many mothers with their kids in the subway and the normal scenery is mother playing Solitaire or Candy Crush Saga on her phone, kids left to themselves. These two were African Americans by the way.
What I learned today:
The library is a good place to get work done.