It's You Library; Check it Out!

The Big Apple

August 12, 2022
     My daughter and I are headed to New York City soon. It’s a trip that is either 14 months or 12 years in the making depending on one’s perspective. Emma started taking dance classes the summer of 2010. In June 2021 the director of her dance studio announced the senior dance troupe’s next trip would be to NYC.

     I spent the first 12 months focused on the financials of the tour package, flights and how does one get from the airport to the hotel. Now it’s time to focus on the trip.

     Two people, my mother and Miss Lisa, as well as the Booth Lake Book Club helped redirect. They recommended or are reading The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray. It’s historical fiction that tells the story of JP Morgan’s personal librarian, Bella da Costa Greene. She was a black woman who passed as white. It was Greene’s job to curate Morgan’s collection of rare manuscripts, books and artwork for the Pierpont Morgan Library.  It’s interesting that she passed by claiming a Portuguese background, which was acceptable while being the daughter of Harvard’s first black graduate was not. The Morgan Library is now also a museum. Wish me luck in convincing Emma to go.

     The other library I would like to visit is the famous Fifth Avenue branch with the two lions. I learned about Patience and Fortitude a few years ago when Josh Funk’s Lost in the Library: A Story of Patience & Fortitude was nominated for a Golden Archer Award. I always read those books to students at Little Prairie who later were eligible to vote for the award winner. The book has Fortitude searching the library just before dawn for Patience who hasn’t made it back out yet. Seeing the drawings and later looking up pictures online makes me want to just soak up the architecture in person.

     I may not convince Emma to visit the libraries, but we are guaranteed the see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island as the dancers are performing near the first one. Before we leave, I should prepare for that visit with Journey to Ellis Island: How My Father Came to America by Carol Bierman. It’s a juvenile nonfiction books, which means it will get straight to the relevant details about a family of Russian immigrants in 1922. The family is detained on Ellis Island due to the son’s bullet wound. If the medical personnel deem him an invalid, the entire family may be sent back to Russia.

     In the end the book I’m likely to use the most is Fodor’s Travel: New York City which includes a map of the city. Emma’s one request for our free day wander around Little Italy and Chinatown eating. It’s a good thing she plans on a lot of walking so we can work up appetites as well.

Currently Reading: Weird New York and Monkeewrench #10 Ice Cold Heart