Follow my blog on Bloglovin

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Mystery and Beauty in NYC

 My love of New York City and my love of books are intertwined in my heart. I grew up reading my most beloved books set in New York City - Eloise, Harriet the Spy, Lyle, Lyle Crocodile and From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankenweiler. So it’s no surprise that every time I visit NYC, I pay homage to the fictional city of my childhood and the book lovers paradise I know as an adult.
On a visit to the city early in December, everything I did was part of my interwoven love of books and New York City. It all started with a visit to The Frick Collection to see the Dutch Masters Exhibit. There I saw The Goldfinch, which inspired the new bestseller by Donna Tartt.  I’m enjoying reading that book right now and having seen the painting has enhanced my pleasure in this amazing book.

Later that same day, I visited the Metropolitan Museum in honor of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. The Egyptian tomb brought back memories of Claudia and Jamie’s adventures in the Met in E.L. Konisgberg’s book.  I read the book to my older daughter before taking her to the Met when she was ten.
I finished this literary NYC day with a top-notch production of Twelfth Night. This repertory performance with the amazing Mark Rylance used reproductions of the costumes and instruments actually used in that time. And the words of Shakespeare never fail to disappoint and amuse.
The highlight of my next day was the Broadway production of “Matilda the Musical” based on the Roald Dahl book is about an extremely smart little girl who loves books. The play espouses the idea that reading books is revolutionary. Surrounded by book lovers young and old, we all cheered on the irrepressibly intelligent Matilda. I was in my element.
I capped off this literary visit on my last morning with a visit to the New York Public Library to luxuriate in the Reading Room and visit a special exhibition called “The ABC of It: Why Children’s Books Matter.”  This wonderful exhibit pretty much summed up my visit. From Goodnight Moon to Where the Wild Things Are to The Phantom Tollbooth to Harriet the Spy, old friends from my childhood surrounded me. I spent at least an hour enthralled by the history of children’s books and all the fine specimens on display.
A visit to the reading room at the Public Library was my last stop. My photo here doesn’t do justice to this palace of the book.

This city and its books mirror “all the mystery and the beauty in the world,” as F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote of New York in The Great Gatsby.