Our Journey of Thirty-two Sleeps # 13: An addition

The Rose Main Reading Room, in the New York Pubic Library’s main building has more than 600 seats and mine was 418.  I asked one of the librarians the meaning of the numbered seating and she thinks it was how, once you requested books, the delivery came to your numbered seat. The main reading room is the quietest place in New York City and many seriously quiet endeavors were going on here unseen and unheard. It was a pleasure to sit and take part in this dramatic experience.

The room is surrounded by 14 giant gothic looking windows which let in the light as well as the views of the skyscraper backdrop.

We walked the floors of the library and then settled into the exhibit celebrating 100 years of the New York Public Library and its philosophy that all knowledge is worth preserving.  What I thought so appealing and interesting was that you were introduced slowly into the four categories, Observation, Contemplation, Society and Creativity. You have time to observe, and contemplate your own creative process and your own personal expressions. There was a moment of contemplation on how time has incorporated past information and transformed it into what we know today and how we plan to use it in the future. Society is so multifaceted as it relates through time and to each other and how the mix transforms in time. Relationships of human societies are characterized by patterns and through man’s material and spiritual evolution one can see the evidences of patterns. What is yet to come in this, our highly material world, I pondered; it so different from other societies past and or present.  If you plan a visit to New York, the Public Library and a tour around Bryant Park is well worth your time.

View from the entrance window that faces out onto 5th street.

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THE ALGONQUIN HOTEL

The Algonquin Hotel , which opened their doors in 1902, was a gathering place for literary and artistic personalities. They met at this hotel at “The Round Table and had many lengthy and illuminating discussions over the years of luncheons. I made this a major stop because I have always been fixated by some of the discussions and when I first realized the many fascinating stories and the quoted quips from the “Round Table, I wished I could have become one of this distinguished members just for a day. I would have enjoyed a little conversation with Dorothy Parker, but she was before my intellectual time and since learning about her, I have spoken to and been with many women equal to Dorothy as well as Jane Grant and Edna Ferber. I have met men equal to roundtable members like Robert Benchley, in fact I sat next to a man like him the other night, for George S. Kaufman and imagine sitting next to or across the table from Harpo Marx.

While visiting this gorgeously preserved hotel, I asked about the “Round Table” and was shown to it very matter-of-factly. My jaw dropped to be in such presence.  I quickly came down from my loft and snapped a photo, which is presented here.

In the early evening, 8 of us gathered for a dinner to remember! The 8 of us included people Skip and I have met on our travels to Australia, New Zealand, Spain and Portugal. It was lovely seeing one another again in the Big Apple. We ordered family style and I have to give G and M the prize for excellence. They ordered everything to perfection and there was nothing left over. They are very New York and very astute. New Yorkers like to eat, know where to eat, and know what to eat. God Bless Them. You know NYC restaurants are so very turned up and the sound is deafening. They like it that way so who am I to complain. I will tell you that during the dinner it was so much fun that if I had a tape recorder and put the dialogue into a play, you would all have had as much fun as we did.

After dinner we walked over to Theater # @ 311 W. 43rd St. to preview A SPLINTERED SOUL by Alan Lester Brooks, my childhood and family friend. Alan hopes that this play will contribute to and keep our world aware of the Holocaust story for ages to come. He shows some of the evils of mankind and the right we may or may not have to avenge them. It is truly a soul searching and beautifully written story presented through the characters and their involvement in telling their stories.  Thank you Alan.  Your play provided essential moments for all of us to ponder our participation in the processes of right and wrong, and like you I hope your play keeps the messages of the Holocaust ever present.

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