Sunday, February 10, 2008

My Birthday - Exploring More of NYC!

Ah...another year older! Actually 29, even though it's close to the dreaded 30, does not really bother me all that much. OK, well maybe I hadn't written it out anywhere and now I'm suddenly feeling a little stressed about it...just kidding.

Jon asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday and in the spirit of exploring more of NYC I came up with the perfect Beth activity - a tour of the New York Public Library. The New York Public Libaray gives tours twice daily at 11AM and 2PM. So we had a leisurely morning, went to the gym, made a nice brunch, read for a little bit, and then we were off. The tour lasts about an hour and is very informative about the history of the sight, the building, and what is stored in the library.

Now, I have to say that when I first moved to NYC I was so excited to go to the New York Public Libaray (NYPL) because I loved visiting the Boston Public Library and I used to go there to read some nights when Jon was working late. A week or two after we moved here we went to the NYPL and inquired about getting library cards. The women informed us that the library had no books in circulation and that it was strictly a research library. She directed us across the street to a shabby building to get our library cards and begin checking out books. At the time, I was extrememly disappointed, why build this beautiful library if no one can check books out of it!

During the tour I learned that it is one of the four most important research libraries in the Western Hemisphere. So I guess I'll get over it not having any books in circulation. The building is beautiful and HUGE! We got to see many rooms and learn about all the rare books and special collections that they have there, it was pretty impressive.

After our tour we went to see the Special Exhibit celebrating the 50th Anniversary of one of my favorite books - On The Road by Jack Kerouac. They had his journals, photographs of him with all the people in the book, the infamous scroll, among other things. I'm definitely going to go back and visit it again before it leaves in March. I think it might be time to re-read the book.

After the library we headed over to ESPN Zone to meet up with my brother and his fiance. We spent over an hour exhausting ourselves playing all the fun video games - rafting from dinosaurs and whirlpools, boxing, playing basketball, and pretending to be jockeys in a horse race! It was so much fun and I have to admit I was pretty tired when we were done.

For dinner Jon and I went to Pete's Tavern in Grammercy Park for burgers. It is the longest continuously running bar and restaurant in New York City. During prohibition it's cover was a flower shop, but once inside you could enjoy a nice Ale. It was a fun place to have dinner and a New York Institution, I'm glad we went.

Then it was back to the house for more games with friends. All in all a great blend of family, friends, exploration, and history!

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