Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Update on NY adventures.

Crazy days! Yesterday afternoon I went to the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Columbia's Butler Library. I'll be doing most of my NY research there, and it's a nice facility. In mid-afternoon the fire alarm went off. All us researchers packed up our laptops---the library told up to---and got our coats and things and walked down 5 flights of stairs to go stand outside for a while. Thankfully, it had stopped pouring with rain by this point. (And it hasn't poured since then, though it's still damp and occasionally rainy.) I took the opportunity to snap a few quick picks before the building reopened. They aren't any good, though, so I'll have to take more pics one day when I am feeling more arty.

The research room has funny Monday hours (noon to 7:45pm) and after it closed I was very ready for dinner. At first I planned on just grabbing something to eat near campus---and even asked a local where to go---but then I remembered DN! So I called him up (cell phones are rather nifty things, I must admit) and we agreed to meet up at some place called Union Square in an hour.

I made my way to said square no problem on the subway and with lots of time to spare. While waiting I saw a lot of people milling about and talking on cell phones, walking dogs, and meeting friends. And I also saw three large rats in the little park there. I wasn't looking for or even expecting to find rats, but there they were. Just like squirrels everywhere else, but less furry and a little smaller. (I saw another rat today on a subway track. Bizarre. But so, well, cliche or something.)

DN and I had dinner and then tea and dessert. We caught up and it was great to see him after nearly 2 years! Such a lovely, interesting person he is. We parted at the subway at 11:15pm. And then I didn't get home until . . . 12:30am! The subway took FOREVER to come and then, because it was late night, the train stopped at every station along the way. And since it had more than 130 blocks to travel, it just took a long time. Oy.

This morning I woke up early so I could get to the library near their 9am open time. The subway in is much quicker (and I also take a different line) so it's not so bad. I got to the library not too late and after waiting a bit for my boxes to arrive, I got to work. There's some good stuff for me there.

Not long after I'd gotten into my research, a woman walked into the reading room and said, "hello Jennifer." I looked up and saw MK and said, "hi." And then I did a double take and reiterated my greeting with much more surprise in my voice. MK!! She's my archives buddy from the US National Archives back in January. It was totally unexpected to run into her here in New York. But there you have it. Craziness. So of course we chatted for a few minutes and had to go have lunch together since it's what we did in Washington. I still can't get over seeing her today. But I guess these things do happen among historians. Yesterday I eavesdropped as two other researchers renewed their acquaintance after what must have been several years. Cool.

After the library closed just shy of 5pm today I headed down to Times Square for dinner at John's Pizzeria. The place was swarming with tourists and theatre goers---of the lowly type, not the fancy type---but it was a neat place. My historian-friend TW (with whom I presented last summer in Kansas) recommended it, so I had to go. I almost ate an entire "small" pizza, which wasn't particularly small. My belly full, I wandered just down the street, past a film crew shooting a woman singing opera outside one of the Broadway theatres, and joined the line up to get into the Broadhurst Theatre. I had a ticket to see "Les Miserables."

I was surprised by the smallness of the theatre. But my roommate here says that most of them are small. Huh. It made for a more intimate performance than I had expected. The show was pretty good, even awesome at times. I don't think theatre is really my thing, but I did enjoy it. Some of the singing was just amazing. I've read that this particular staging doesn't do justice to the musical, but it was really well done. Definitely worth the $60CDN I paid for my ticket, I think.

The subway back home was much quicker tonight. I've got a couple things I need to do before bed, but I'm looking forward to sleep! One of the cats is currently cuddled up on my suitcase. They are so crazy, those cats. They seem quite entertained by my royal blue bag. (Less entertained by me.)

1 comment:

FN said...

Theater! Yay! I'm SO jealous, Jen!

ST says you must do some shopping while you're there, but I think you're doing fine without it. :)