New president! How about that! I honestly wasn't sure we'd ever be able to say former President Bush (you know, about the younger one) but we made it. We did it TOGETHER. Other things that happened: me going to a library just a week after I went to a different library! I know, right? What are the odds? I'm sure I'll jinx it just by even suggesting it, but there's an outside chance I could make three branches this month, which hasn't happened in over a year (September of Aught-Seven). Yeah, those were the glory days...*sigh*. Anyway, it's time to look ahead to the future, in which I have a sweet handlebar mustache, and have visited the Saratoga Branch.
Location: 8 Thomas S. Boyland St. at Macon St.
Transport: R train to DeKalb Ave.; B26 to Broadway & Halsey
Items: In Milton Lumky Territory by Philip K. Dick; Astro Boy - Greatest Astro Adventures (DVD)
Date: Thursday, January 15, 2009
So, Saratoga. I could've taken the F to the J but that would've required going through Manhattan, and sometimes I like taking the bus anyway. Also, I hadn't read the graphic novel and I wanted to finish it on the way and I figured the bus would give me more time. Plus it was snowing and pretty. In any case, Northwest Passage was excellent. I really like the semi-cartoonish art style, and the way Chantler uses his panels to tell the story. And the story itself was the best kind of historical fiction: plenty of detail but not bogged down in it, with a strong emotional core that makes us care about the characters and their ultimate fates. Turns out it's only the first collection in a larger series (the number one was covered by the library label) so I will definitely be checking out later volumes when they come out.
The library itself is very nice. It's another Carnegie library, built in 1908, but it's been renovated three times since then. It has an excellent selection and atmosphere. Not too far from the Macon Branch I visited last week, it has a similar presence and clientele (and only slightly more confusing layout). One notable feature that I didn't get to explore was the garden, apparently designed by the Horticultural Society of New York. Luckily someone left a door open to the back, so I did get some quick pictures of it! And continuing a long standing trend, a gentleman standing outside the library as I was on my way in asked if I had been taking his picture. I told him I was just taking a picture of the library, and he said he was relieved. I'm not really sure why people have such a strong aversion to people they don't know taking their pictures. I mean, I wouldn't care for it either. I'm just wondering why specifically it bothers everyone so much.
As for the items, In Milton Lumky Territory is one of Philip K. Dick's many unpublished naturalistic novels that are finally coming into print. I'm excited to read it, as it is supposed to be one of the better ones, up there with Confessions of a Crap Artist, which I read years ago and enjoyed a great deal. As for the Astro Boy collection, I knew it was an iconic Japanese cartoon and figured I was missing out, but apparently this DVD is not a very good edition. According to amazon reviewers, two of the stories on it are part ones of two-parters (without the part twos), and the sound has also been altered. But, for someone new to the series who didn't have to pay for the DVD, I am not too bothered by these issues. I've watched a few episodes so far, my favorite being "Robio and Robiette," a faithful retelling of the classic Romeo and Juliet story with robots and car races. But, you know, it definitely captures the original tone. No happy ending!
That is all for tonight as fighting off this cold has me tired and incoherent. But I'll be back soon! Maybe even before February! Pictures:
I took this one to replace the one with the gentleman in it. Probably wasn't necessary.
Me, peeking out a door where I shouldn't be to get a snapshot of the garden!
and the garden from the sidewalk. I'll have to go back and see it when the weather gets warm and it opens up.
I almost forgot: this has nothing to do with libraries, but I recently went to Staten Island and wandered around at night in the snow, and it was a lot of fun. Comic stores, fast food joints, big parks, a mall (apparently)...this place has it all! It was cold on the ferry, but pretty and well worth it. Also free! And there are cool fish tanks in the terminal. Check it out sometime!