Monday, July 20, 2009

Kings Highway #45, 7/18/09

Hey, I'm back! In the same month to boot. I had a neat opportunity here, as I had finished reading Dune (for the third time) and still wanted more sci-fi nerdy goodness courtesy of Frank Herbert, so I checked which BPL branches would have copies of the second book in the series, which I have never read. And then it turned out that there was one in the Kings Highway branch, which up until recently (June 11, 2009 to be precise) had been closed for renovations! For like the past two years! Plus my new home in Kensington is much closer to that area now, and Saturday was a perfect day, so I got on my bike and rode over there.

Branch: Kings Highway
Location: 2115 Ocean Ave. (nr. Kings Highway)
Transport: bicycle
Item: Dune Messiah by Frank Herbert
Date: Saturday, July 18, 2009

The new branch is crazy! It does away with the traditional look of the "Brooklyn Public Library" signs on the front of the building (which are generally dark green, and in Helvetica I believe) and goes from some crazy modern thing! In orange and silver! WHAAAAA???

Anyway, it was a very nice, modern branch, though the building still looked like it came out of the '70s (or 1953, according to the site). There were three floors, one for very young children, one for grade school children, and one for adolescents and adults. There also seemed to be a wide variety of activities for parents and children to participate in. Oh and a good foreign language area as well.

One qualm I had, and something that to me completely defied explanation. I biked to the library, and when I'm locking up my bike my hands often get greasy, dirty, etc. So I was waiting to use the bathroom, but first I asked at the desk if there was a key (there was) and was told that someone already had it (i.e., they were in the bathroom already). Ok, no problem, washing my hands wasn't urgent, so I waited. Then when the door finally opened (it took so long, I assumed it was an old man, but it was some teenager) I went in to find a typical public bathroom, with a sink area, a toilet stall, a urinal, and even a freaking baby-changing table. It wasn't a one person bathroom. Why the hell was I waiting outside it to wash my hands? They just renovated this place, so why did they leave the door with an automatic lock? Ok, so crazy people use public libraries, maybe you cant just leave the bathrooms open to all. SO WHY NOT JUST HAVE THE ONE TOILET??

Ok, rant over. Obviously it's no big deal, just...kinda lame. But overall, nice branch. The book so far is good...well, definitely not bad. But Dune is just SO good that it's hard to reach that level of quality, and so far this book isn't really. Hopefully it'll improve. Oh, also, I still can't find my camera, so that pictures! Woo! Here they are:

They kinda made it into a cyborg. An inanimate cyborg.

Action pose!

Bow down to the monolith lest you be destroyed by it!

Now open! Woohoo!

And that's the story of King's Highway. Truly a highway of the kings. All the kings. Seeya soon!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Eastern Parkway #37, 1/30/09

Well, I did it. Three branches in one month. Unfortunately, it took me almost six months to blog about it. But what can you do! This is gonna be a short entry, because I barely remember this visit. Luckily the pictures still exist. Maybe they can jog my memory!

A lot has happened since my last entry. I've been to England and Ireland (among other places). I've moved into a new place in Kensington. I've settled into my new job at NYU, working as an adjunct cataloger at the Tamiment Library. I finished library school -- Master of Library Science! Wooooo!! Oh, and baseball season started up and is now half over. Good stuff! On to business.

Wait, almost forgot. Items from previous visit. Let's see, what were they...oh, right. Well the Philip K. Dick book In Milton Lumky Territory was very good, but also very depressing. And unfortunately, all the innovation in Dick's science fiction writing sorta disappears when he goes for the naturalistic novels. It's a shame, because he always wanted to be taken seriously for them, but they just aren't as good. And that Astro Boy DVD may as well have been a bootleg, but the cartoons were fun. Unfortunately, often times that had only one part of a two-part story. Lame!

In other news, I just finished re-reading Dune, and it's still totally amazing. So good, it makes me wanna watch the movie and read the sequel! Maybe. Now on to business for real.

Branch: Eastern Parkway
Location: 1044 Eastern Pkwy. at Schenectady Ave.
Transport: don't remember, 4 train I think
Item: The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2008, edited by Dave Eggers, with an introduction by Judy Blume
Date: Friday, January 30, 2009

There isn't much to say here after six months. My current roommate Dave used to live on Eastern Parkway. It's a wide, tree lined street. I just sneezed on my computer. The book was ok but not great. I renewed it until May and still got fines on it (now paid). The Judy Blume introduction was funny. The George Saunders essay about Bill Clinton was interesting, though I never finished it. Hopefully there wasn't some twist ending where he's some kind of lizard person. Better entry next time, I promise. Assuming I ever find my camera that is. Pictures:

Yeah, it's a corner branch.

Eastern Parkway in January.

The imposing edifice!

Door. Identification.

Well that's it for now. At this point I know better than to make any promises regarding further branch visits. But if by some bizarre chance you're still checking this, six months after the last new post, why would you stop now? There are only a few branches left!!