Eminent Domain

6 08 2008

This weekend, exhausted after a fun night out, I decided to take myself for a walk. I wandered aimlessly for some 30 blocks and happened upon the New York Public Library. This is not unsual. I’ve passed the library many times before. I’ve even pondered entering many times before. But what is unusual is that I, who love libraries (and New York, and history), have never set foot inside. Sure, I’ve visited several branches to check out books. But the real library, the one with the lions and the history, I’ve never entered.

As I passed the steps of that familiar building, the lions beckoned. And so, finally, up I went. Up and into that gorgeous, amazing library. I definitely kicked myself for not having come sooner as I reverently wandered through those halls, into massive, intensely quiet rooms lined with heavy, tedious volumes of women’s history and man’s history and no history at all.

I saw the map room, which is possibly one of the most awesome sights there is. A librarian was showing a visitor old maps of New York, of how Central Park was meant to look, and a giant globe made me long to go exploring. I also visited the original Pooh bear and all his friends, who sit on display for posterity to see. (While it was fun to see them there was something pathetic about these tattered and well-loved stuffed animals being confined to sit under glass.)

The highlight of the trip, however, was a photography exhibit, Eminent Domain, that explores the boundaries between public and private, and the nature of photography itself, through the beautiful and poignant images of five contemporary New York photographers. The exhibit explores gentrification and disappearance, mapping (and re-mapping) the boroughs of New York through exploration of their edges, changes over time, battles of heritage, and the sanctity, beauty, and poignancy of public spaces. All with in the realm of beautiful images.

The exhibit is on display on the first floor of the library through August 29 and I encourage all to pay it a visit.

Advertisements

Actions

Information

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: