It feels like a lifetime has passed since I took this trip to New York City- November of 2019. Today is April 26th of 2020 and I feel more disconnected from that life 4 months ago, than I did from many of the archival posts I have written. COVID-19 confirms for me that place is more than just somewhere to go- there’s a deeply profound meaning to me in being somewhere. Having a choice to be somewhere else.
An odd segue into what is one of my most favorite places to have visited probably since I started this blog. I read about the Queens Library at Hunters Point in the New York Times and I knew that I needed to visit. I do have a penchant for libraries – they are a celebration of learning and history and are often centers for community.
We visited at a beautiful time of day- the sun setting behind the city of Manhattan. The library is located right along the water and provided a silhouette for to frame the sky. I love any building that plays with the corners of a building- something truly a feat of human genius and creativity. The building seems more Miami or Copenhagen, with its stark white exterior, than it does the metal and glass of NY.
We waltzed into the building and began immediately to take photos. Before we could get one shot in, we were stopped by the staff to inform us that due to privacy of the visitors, we were not allowed to take pictures inside. I sang my swan song about being from out of town and having kids myself, so I was granted some reprieve, though not officially by any means.
The interior is small, but stacked in a way to create a number of small areas to study and to store the books. The circular is continuous and exposed so you can feel the height of the total interior, rather than individual floors. I would honestly love to throw a party in this place, but I would take a quick afternoon of reading and research too. The interior is also very reminiscent of a Scandinavian style with the birch and minimal materials.
Many times a building with a showy exterior doesn’t have much to say on the inside. All looks and no substance. This building truly is a gem, as the NYTimes says and is well worth making the visit- not just to appreciate the architecture, but also if I were a local to take advantage of what a special space it really is.