I just love reading books and always enjoyed going to libraries in my hometown. After moving to the US, I enquired a coworker about libraries in our county. Seeing the interest, she suggested I should visit the library in New York whenever I get a chance. I did a quick search for images of this library on Google, and I knew I wouldn’t miss this place at any cost!
The place I am referring to is New York Public Library (NYPL), one of the largest libraries in the US! NYPL has its branches in many parts of New York, and I visited the Main Branch in Manhattan near Bryant Park.
It is also called as Stephen A Schwarzman Building, named after an American investor and philanthropist who contributed to its expansion. The humongous marble library’s centre of attraction is the main reading room called Rose Main Reading Room on the third floor. During my initial research, I learnt that it was under restoration for two years and opened to the public in Oct 2016.
Furnished with sturdy wooden table and chairs and lit with grand chandeliers, brass lamps, and massive windows, the room is lined with numerous reference works on floor level and the balcony. It is also provided with computers to access library collections and docking facilities for personal laptops. The Rose Main Reading Room consists of two adjacent rooms, where one is open to Public, and the other reserved for research and quiet study. I spent over an hour in the library reading and admiring the architecture. NYPL sure is going to be my new haunt in NY. I have never visited a place like that in the past, and I’m grateful to my colleague who introduced this place to me. I hope to visit the largest library in Washington, D.C. some day.
Located adjacent to NYPL is Bryant Park also known as Manhattan Town Square. Surrounded by iconic skyscrapers, Bryant Park is famous for its seasonal garden, al fresco dining and activities around the year. A short walk from the library took me to Grand Central Terminal, another icon of NYC.
The railroad terminal in Midtown Manhattan serving more than 70 tracks and 44 platforms for passenger service on two levels, all below ground is the world’s largest station for all its grandeur! The terminal serves commuters travelling to Connecticut and Long Island. It contains a grand concourse, intricate carvings, and sculptures adorning the terminal both on the inside and outside. Its interior has numerous restaurants, retail stores, chain stores, and an Apple store. New York City’s gateway had to be majestic and seems like no detail was overlooked.
Wayfaring the 5th Avenue, I reached Central Park on the 59th Street, passing by impressive skyscrapers. New York is best seen on foot, and if you intend to explore the entire Central Park, it is ideal to plan a visit just to explore the park as it’s huge! If you just have a couple of hours to spare, it’s advised to enter either at 5th Avenue or Columbus Circle where much of the action is in the park. You could also hire a bike or ride a horse carriage for sightseeing. The park has numerous playgrounds, lakes and boathouse, a zoo, statues, bridges, and mini adventure parks to name a few. Central Park is thronged by visitors around the year; sunbathing in summer and ice-skating in winter! I want to visit again in fall to enjoy the fall colours.
From Columbus Circle Station I rode the subway to High Street – Brooklyn. Five minutes walk from the station took me to the pedestrian entrance to Brooklyn Bridge. By spanning the East River, Brooklyn Bridge one of the oldest suspension bridges in the US connects Manhattan and Brooklyn.
There are three other bridges across East River and Brooklyn Bridge offers a panoramic view of Manhattan Bridge. It has a wide pedestrian walkway open to cyclists and walkers with a dedicated bicycle path above the automobile lane. A series of plaques at both towers of the bridge, detailing how the Bridge was built is awe-inspiring. It’s not just the greatest engineering work of the age but also a great work of art. Midway between the towers is spectacular views of the NY skyline.
I walked the entire stretch from High Street Brooklyn to Center Street; a good 1.3 miles walk from one borough to the other. Satisfied with the day’s exploration and making a mental note of the places to visit the next time I took a subway from Center Street to Penn Station to board my train back to NJ.