08 May 2008

Spring and a Lovely Book Jaunt

Besides a yucky soppy Friday, this week has given New Yorkers some of the best weather days of the year. Even when it came close to 80 degrees, it was perfection. There were pleasant breezes all around - and I'm happy to say my feet held up pretty well with all the extra walking I did.

Most of the week I had lunch al fresco. Bonnie and I have covered a lot of territory in midtown Manhattan in the search for decent outdoor lunch areas, and it's not been in vain. Well, Bryant Park is a no-brainer, but if your nerves are a little frazzled it might be avoided. As soon as the climate is lovely, everyone gets the same idea and they crowd the Park, annoyingly loud yuppie conversations included and cigarette in hand...not the best atmosphere for a wound-up lady like myself. As an alternative, we found a quiet little park near the United Nations building that was sparsely occupied. It wasn't empty, but certainly airy enough. Plus, there was enough floral activity going on in there to please the eyes as we ate. The only problem is that it's over a 10 minute walk - good exercise but not enough sitting time. Not the biggest roadblock, of course. Anything is more tolerable with a spring breeze surrounding you, in my opinion. I first realized this in Junior High School. I was sitting in math class, the year before it became my worst subject, but nonetheless not my favorite place to be. It was springtime and I sat near a half-opened window. This fresh slightly warm breeze blew in and it was like I was flying. No, nobody was smoking weed outside, I enjoyed the little wind on its own. From then on I was a firm believer in spring and early autumn.

It used to be when the nice weather came along I'd hit the shops right away. Since I've been able to curtail by shopaholic tendencies this doesn't happen as often. I did, however do a little bookstore browsing in my spring promenading. As a result, I finally visited a bookshop I can't remember every entering. This is the Argosy, a used/antiquarian bookshop on 59th Street. I've passed by this place before, and I even had a book from there - an old book about London which was a gift from a very thoughtful coworker. I never had the guts to in on my own, because I figured it would be expensive and stuffy. This week, though, it occured to me that I cannot possibly leave a New York bookshop unvisited, and if I can mosey around the Met on my own - oh, and go to a Broadway show all by myself, oh yeah, and do afternoon tea on my own, then what's a bookshop? Well, this didn't all pop into my head at once, but it's true. So in I went, and I was enthralled. It was a little bit like how I'd pictured Marks & Co. in 84 Charing Cross Road - full of old, dusty books (I sneezed frequently), and old prints and pictures. And speaking of 84 CCR, I noticed in one glance a number of books Helene Hanff requested in the course of the famous correspondence. Love was all around me! Sadly, the shop was closing for the day, so my browsing time was cut short. I'm glad I saw it, though...so many prettily bound books - especially those little hand held books one might see a character in a Jane Austen adaptation reading. My guess is I'll be back there before long.

Zenobia. (I had to mention a cat at some point didn't I? Oh, and tea - oolong?)


Anonymous said...

I've passed by that bookstore, too. I'll have to go in next time I'm over there. And yes, we have had fine weather.

Bubuck. And jasmine green tea ;)

Marie said...

You went Parading! Ha ha ha. Sounds like a really nice time. I'm looking forward to visiting and not having to lug a coat. :)

Sanikdotes said...

ihaven't read this entry out yet---but i find it very interesting that the picture---is full size.........where as every other one is not..........hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm..