Sunday, December 12, 2010

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

Festive and Frosty Greetings!

The sidewalks of New York are flanked with glitter, shimmer and glam, the thick of the city is receiving more tourists than ever and the eggnog is now a necessity as well as tradition.The little and big doggies fashion the latest canine trends (Taf- you are missing out!) and the New Yorkers are wrapping up. Every moment is unique as you see the drifting mist dancing and sparkling in the beam of the Christmas lights around the city- it's so special.

People from all walks of life (even if they have never come to New York) deem this city as the best place for Christmas. I can say with the most assured conviction that this reputation is nothing short of accurate.

Rather than just telling you all about it, I want to give you more of a pictorial discourse than a verbal one. But with the support of some personal anecdotes, I want to show you just how incredible this city is right now.

Momentary lapse from jolly manner:

Christmas Lovers, swivel your chairs in the opposite direction for a moment, while the Scrooge in me berates the mercenary, profit-orientated and greedy ploys used during this Holy time of year...
 Forgive my commercial cynicism but I found a Christmas tree decoration worth $75 at Macy's "Holiday Lane" on the 9th floor. Most ludicrous thing I have ever seen. Yes it was the Empire State Building shimmering in reds,green, yellow and blue with sprinkled sparkles and yes it's iconic to this city, but REALLY? Unless you plan on carrying out a Very New York Christmas, this ornament is a no-go. But with this aside, New York is positively glowing!

With all the Thanksgiving stuffing gobbled and digested, the glittering roads were calling my name...everywhere you turn you are struck by how each district is given equal imaginative weight. Even the most hidden of places are given a full and solid spotlight.

Macy’s encapsulates all that is Christmas- their yearly theme goes by the film: ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ because the film is based around the department store. 
Warm Fuzzy Feeling
Holiday Lane
Fa La La La La La
On 5th: The Pride of New York

Fifth Avenue is a shopaholic's nemesis if you are on a budget! The term 'window shopping' has never been more appropriate in this neck of the city. You have both the veteran designers with the newbies all "lightly" competing for your buck.
A Present For You, Love Cartier

Fendi: Fen La?
White Christmas
Yazzy And I At The Plaza Hotel
5th Ave. Ladies

All you have to do is just walk into any store to your East and West to get the festive whiff of gingerbread, peppermint and love. Creams, sprays, jewelry and clothes arouse all five senses, give you twinkle toes and butter fingers.The shop assistants welcome you wholeheartedly asking you how you are and offer you a basket to stockpile your impending purchases- and even if they genuinely don't care how I am, my world is still kept in orbit with these systematic friendly touches.

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

Perhaps the jewel of New York at Christmas. The most iconic of trees across the globe, thousands upon thousands of out of towners flock to this epicenter to get but an incision worth of a view. On December 2nd my friends and I attempted to combat the human traffic to see the Christmas Tree lights switch on after a succession of celebrity appearances, namely Kylie Minogue and Mariah Carey. It was so packed with people, that the NYPD had to redirect us around different blocks to get to the right block. Literally like cattle we were; any wrongful trespass would have had us in big trouble, so we just kept within the highlighted parameters and followed the directions the police gave us. Unfortunately, we missed the actual lighting of the tree because it was just heaving with too many people.
Nevertheless we still saw the lights surrounding Rockefeller Center ......

Christmas Spectacular
Even though I am not a novice when it comes to live theatre or any kind of performance but I can see myself getting spellbound by the 'Rockettes" magic! The Rockettes are an all singing and dancing group of ladies who annually perform at Radio City. They bring the best Christmas songs to life with grace and beauty and tapping hot heels. I hope to see this live before I go to Greece in a week!!

Ice Ice Baby Ice Ice:

Ice-skating in Central Park! I always refrain from informing my mother of my ice-skating escapades because she is convinced I will break a leg (it's a Greek thing) or any other part of my body. But if my poor motor skills are of any indication, she has ample grounds for her worrying! Alas, I was fine, maybe a few slippery swivels and throbbing ankles, but my body parts are still intact. 

New York City has set up three notable ice-skating rinks for the public to enjoy. My friends and I took to the best one in Central Park: The Wollman Rink.

Classic New York Experience
This ice skating haven has the perfect blend of Central Park’s majestic charm and New York City’s urban immensity. Honestly, if you ever get a chance to go, you will glide your way into a magical dimension where time simply circles...
Now I'm not new to skating, but I had put up my skating shoes a while back, so what was once an innate skill had to be acquired again through wobbly trials. As you can tell, the rink is circular, but seeing as I was unfamiliar with this alien surface, I found myself curving against my logic at every bend- I simply wanted to go straight, until I got to grips with it!
Katie and I Clinging Through The Glacial Ride
Of course I got confident after I mastered a solid balance, on the now familiar surface, which in retrospect was premature after a near fall on my bum bone (don't know the biological jargon!). But the thrill of escaping my mother's worst fear made my knees buckle from excitement- where I nearly fell again!! I tell you what though, ice-skating is a real work-out! I felt muscle tensions simmering upon returning onto New York soil, where I was in sheer need of a glacial -esque drink to cool the burn and a bench to plant my now firm aaheeemm..

Cosby Sweater Culture:

Yes! It's that time of year where you dust off and pluck your UGLY sweater out of obscurity and don it with creepy enthusiasm....I went to a party in East Harlem this weekend, where all my friends and I braved both the cold and the hideous sweaters...
My beast of a sweater was purchased at 'Screaming Mimis' - possibly the funkiest, boldest, most eclectic vintage store in the East Side. 

Festive Love

We Love Kitsch
Tacky Doesn't Even Cover It....
I think all that can be said about this night, was that it was the gayest and most enjoyable time...late-night revels are the way forward this time of year!

Check this:

I was posted in the NY Times among other people who wore garish numbers..

So now that exam season is underway, I am left to sift through notes rather than Xmas goodies on the streets....but all I can say is that this semester has stretched awesomeness to the utmost. It has been the BEST SEMESTER I HAVE EVER HAD.

I wish you the best and most sundry Christmas!!


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

We're Not In New York Anymore

My Great Aunt Xionoula. Our Blood Ties Brought Me To Indiana
The highly anticipated THANKSGIVING break had finally arrived! It came at the most appropriate time as well- I needed a short term exile from the city after a solid 3 months of the boom boom bang.
Because the 5 day trip was so fraught with events and details, I think the best way of sharing it with you, is to tailor the blog with my favourite parts in the natural order of its occurrence- a day to day structure if you like.

Day 1: November 24th 2010

Technically, it is half a day. My flight was in the evening, but it took me the whole day to gather all the gifts and clothes for the trip. With nicely (and newly) shaped eyebrows; a Thanksgiving outfit and Arabic dates to dish left, right and center, I was all zipped up and ready to leave the big city. Oddly enough, I didn’t leave from NYC; I left from Newark, New Jersey. Although this was a bit of a nuisance, I was able to tick off another state on my ‘Visited States’ list. On the NJ transit, that took me to Newark I was sat next to a 50 something year old. He had an ipad out to recommence his Charlotte Bronte perusal. Well; he needn’t have bothered because we got to chatting- for 17 minutes. I managed to get his Wisconsin childhood details alongside his catalog of travel experiences.
At the airport, I beat the holiday chaos with my swift pace and sharp direction- but I had to refuel with a cream cheese bagel and raspberry yoghurt. During my wait, I was unfortunate enough to have been next to a lady who felt it necessary to stretch her hamstring and general leg area up against the wall. The skin surrounding her eyes creased and grooved with every tense stretch. I was embarrassed for her. The worst was when people started giving me looks as if to say ‘Is she with you?’ ‘na uh’ I thought- then every passer by and I would exchanged mutual expressions of confusion. Luckily the weird lady’s seemingly ritual oddness came to an appropriate end. It was time to board. A little girl enthusiastically stated: ‘Indiana, HERE WE COME’. I couldn’t help but share the same exuberance, but to avoid any suspicious gapes, I manifested a more discreet show of emotions.
On board with us were military troops who had been given leave to spend Thanksgiving with their family. Little boys and girls were so enthralled by their being there that they detached themselves from any previous distraction and examined every detail. Through the course of their public scrutiny, their jaw dropped mouths had collected a swirl of saliva, dampening and moistening their lips. I myself stood and observed in admiration.
After an unsettlingly bumpy ride I was in Indiana! My Aunt Mary and Uncle George had picked me up to take me to Carmel, Indiana (40 minute drive). One of the first things I noticed, or rather one of the first attacks my body received was the BRITTLE COLD. Within seconds the cold was munching at my feet and my eczema patches split open again after a year of maintenance. But all was alleviated with the plentiful serving of Mousakka- my Aunt Mary had given me a hearty plateful. Mmmmmmm it was good to be in a home environment!

Day 2: November 25th 2010

Following a deep slumber, a strong stretch and a much needed splash of water on my face, I rifled through my clothes and picked out my Thanksgiving outfit ready for the big day. My Aunt Mary had the TV on in the background when the MACY's Thanksgiving parade grasped my attention..'That's near my building!!!' I'm not going to lie- my district looked as good as ever, and seeing it on screen was WOW. All was a bit chaotic in the Pappas household, everything needed for the dinner was loosely placed around the house making the hunt for them exhaustabley difficult- having said that my Aunt Mary's curlers were firmly in tact!
We were going to my cousin Alex's home, where her husband David and two girls Zoe and Jacquie had taken on the task of hosting the dinner- every guest brought a dish of something to shoulder the burden of responsibility. Before I dive into the food detail..I thought I'd show you a photo of the neighborhood in which Alex and her family live in.
Suburban Splendor
Gloomy musty inky black skies with a torrent of rainwater- maybe it's a good thing Thanksgiving is an indoor celebration? Even though the weather was not agreeable, we turned our backs to the darkness and opened our mouths for the heaviest of heavy dinners. But even before we tucked in, all 30 of us (cousins, aunts, uncles, godparents) tightly congregated around the kitchen area for a little speech. Alex had lovingly welcomed me for my first Thanksgiving dinner with 'We are so happy to have you here with us'. In moments such as these I find myself on a different wavelength. I'm at a loss of articulate words, so I just responded with an unoriginal 'Thank you so much for having me!' If only I could have repaid the gesture with an eloquent response, ah well. With a brief toast undergone, my Uncle Jeff took the role of saying Grace. Head pointing South (but with a few Northern peeps during the length of the speech), hands clasped together and a grateful temperament. I was ready to enjoy this abundance of good food with a level of gratitude at the forefront of my mind. 
From stuffing to cranberry sauce to yams to tinges of Greek food. This was a feast, for your eyes, ears, and tummies. But I stress that there is a prerequisite required in order to fully enjoy a Thanksgiving meal, and that is to have already expanded your stomach prior to this indulgence of extreme measure. Luckily, my stomach alters its length and width for any given occasion, be it planned or impromptu. My belly was full of love after the 4 servings of the main course and 2 of the dessert. But I had had an 8 month food baby by 4pm, and by 6pm the food baby was crowning away- needless to say, this was discomforting.I still had the capacity to devour more though! I was swallowing so much food, that during conversations I was swallowing my words too!
My Cousin Christina Showing Off Her Capacity For Food
Thanksgiving naps are as much a tradition as the dinner itself. I sunk my newly achieved 10 pound weight gain into the soft comfort of a lounger, and drifted in and out of a Turkey based dream while the American Football was subtly blaring in the background. I was in the heaviest of hazes that I no longer felt the grasp of my body, but funnily enough felt light as air- the scales retract this feeling.
Dinner Setting

My Family
The Meat Sweats Require A Break
Me And Zo Zo
My Cousin Jamie And I Ready To Expand Our Bellies
Christina And I

By the time we half digested this spectacular amount of food, my cousins and I went to another house to digest further- top tip: lying on your stomach does NOT help. If anything it hurts more and you risk coughing up clots of stuffing! So at my other cousin's home we all sat and chatted and filled in on lost time. It's wonderful to have a family.

Day 3: November 26th 2010

I had the most glorious of sleeps that night in a curled foetal position and half my face under the warm sheets...mmmmm......
The family gatherings continued for the day, but under the roof of my Great Aunt. As expected, I was greeted with a full embrace of both a hug and a plate of food. The hellish nightmare of revisiting that overstuffed bodily state was fast becoming a tangible torment- but it's only polite to savor isn't it?
For the record, the term 'limit' is indisputably expelled this time of year, because right after brunch, my cousins and I took a meandering drive around Carmel, heading towards downtown Indianapolis for a meal.
Of course, downtown Indianapolis bares little resemblance to downtown Manhattan, but it still has charm. It covers a 10 block radius, so it REALLY doesn't resemble downtown Manhattan at all! 
A Modest City
Would you believe me if I said we had the munchies? In true Midwestern style, we planted our swelling rear ends at a bar/restaurant that followed an unhealthy mantra 'Eat Heavy'. But the aforementioned food baby had shrunk back into a fetus- it was time to give it some life with the help of a greasy grubby gorgeous cheeseburger. I don't even know how to describe the oil situation, it was that bad. Our waiter looked like he enjoyed a burger or 3 during his 15 minute breaks. Oh my poor hardened arteries! The melted, oil dripping cheese curled on my flat tongue, the burger bits nested between my teeth, the seeds gathered at the gums, my teeth's natural coating had been smeared off and had been replaced with a tomato juice enamel. But hold the pickles please. The french fries fight for room in my mouth, the water (healthy drink option) waters it all down. Pheewww such a good experience. Although, this consumption proved to be a strenuous work out, as the beads of sweat formed on my upper and lower lip testified by weariness.
As I waddled out into the sub zero climes, a numbness shot right through my body from both the food and the cold. The 2 block walk to the Basketball stadium was to be the most challenging of treks ever to have been combated. Yes, I went to a Basketball game! It was the Indiana Pacers vs. Oklahoma City Thunders. A low key kind of game perhaps, but with a bolt of enthusiasm and energy. It wasn't just us cousins who went- the WHOLE family had tickets to go. We were practically on the floor as well! I had been to a baseball game back in New York in September to watch the Yankees vs. Red Sox (a big deal game), so it was nice to have a change of sports
Let's Go Pacers, Let's Go!!!
Tensions Ran High
Needless to say, we did not attempt to squeeze anymore food into our already congested stomachs. But we did shake off the food with a few busting moves in support of the Pacers! I wish I had paid close attention to the game itself, but I was soo excited to just be there! You know the bits in between a game, when the players are huddled to discuss their defense, and the spectators have the opportunity to be on TV as they strut their stuff? I WAS ON TV x 2. The screens had plastered a 'Shake What You Got' sign, and me being me, I shot right up to boogie on down with my cousins. When the cameras turned to us, and the screen had a big version of me on it I lost consciousness and relied on my dancing license to just make the most of my screen time. It was absolutely hilarious, I didn't stare at the screen that much, but I can say with conviction that my dance moves were probably illegal. The second time round, I was much more conservative and adopted a moderate dance style.

I vaguely remember high 5-ing a 15 year old or so boy after the Pacers got an unbelievable shot and we were bouncing up and down- my belly was not liking this.

My Cousins and I Huddled Together For A Lovely Snapshot
Unfortunately I have to start my sentence with: After our defeat (booo) my cousins and I went to a bar within the stadium to relieve the stress of the game with a cold pint. To my amazement, my tummy was begging for some filling. The untimely moans and groans stunned me. What??? Seriously? AGAIN!! Luckily, my cousins were on the same page as me with the sudden urge for more food. We said our goodbyes for the day and went to 'White Castle'. This place is a heart attack waiting to happen. I will resist the details, as I am sure you can only imagine the contents of the burger packets. Literally the most unnecessary 1am binge ever. I'm going to make myself feel better by claiming it helped bare the cold! 
And once again, I got home and put myself to bed- the bed began to form a dent from beneath. uh oh. 

Day 4: November 27th 2010

My Aunt Mary is as doting as they come. Whether you are family, friends or just someone, she will accommodate for your EVERY need. I didn't want to load unwarranted strain on her, so I did things myself and got on with it. But she is Greek. It is in a Greek woman's nature to fuss, question, re-question, solve, tidy, ask, clean, spoil people and care. For breakfast, she whipped up a cracking good meal- a cracking good breakfast for me constitutes a meal that is full and big. Again, you can imagine what was on my plate(s). What was scary (in hindsight) was the amount of hours it took me to eat again- 2.5 hours. My cousins and I went to a Mexican restaurant to snap at the tortilla chips and slurp the cheese! We actually went to watch a college football game. Again, I didn't pay that much attention- my attention was diverted to the food, glorious food. After that nourishing session was up, my cousins and I went to Clay Terrace, an outdoor shopping area.

Does Gilmore Girls Spring To Mind?

My Cousins Jamie and Katherine with Slavo
In between the outdoor grating cold and the indoor welcoming warmth I soaked up this truly American locale. I felt like I was walking the tracks of a movie site, it was quite the visceral experience, as I have always wanted to have it! Now it's in my box of memories.
By the time we had walked the length of the shopping district, we allowed our disheveled bodies to thaw in the car. It was off to my Great Aunt's house once again.
Because I was due to go back to New York again the following day, I said my bittersweet goodbyes and went back to another cousin's house to watch a movie.

Old Fashioned Gentility
Day 5: November 28th 2010
Back to business as usual, and back to New York. Luckily, I wasn't too down at all, I was soooo thrilled to be going back to the big bad city!
But before I headed off, I wanted to mark my stay with some gorgeous photos which can only be labeled as 'American Shots'.

Jamie And I. I Was Obsessed With The House Behind Us

American Mailbox
Simply Suburban

At the airport, I was getting a tingle in my feet- I was looking forward to NYC. Truth be told, these two regions are worlds a part. Each is so far removed from the other I can't even draw up any comparisons. But that was the beauty right there; I wanted a change from New York and this was as stark a change as they come!

All the things one probably hates about New York like the putrid smells, the fat rats, the balls of spit and the rude code of conduct are warm reminders that I've come home.

Nevertheless, I have the image below lingering in my mind as a token of the PERFECT time I had in Indiana.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What The Frock?

Since when have I been into vintage? Karla once said ‘George, you are always dressed for an interview’ Motorox 06'. Surely corporate doesn’t hang on the same hanger as retro does it? Well, I have converted (partially). The fusion of classic and grunge has tickled my fancy….

Urban Art
So now I’ve become a real sucker for used clothing, otherwise more widely known as VINTAGE BABY. When in London, I didn’t invest time into the little cocooned stores within the Shoreditch district or the Soho neighbourhood. But my wandering eye lead me to the Noho/Soho district here in New York where all the prized stores compete against each other for the shopper’s enthusiasm- and money.

The East side is best known for it’s eccentric clothes. I have found numerous scattered shops that are all bound by the same vibe- retro. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to capture many photographs because these type of shops don’t allow it. But with a bit of shrewd timing and a watchful eye I managed to sneak a cheeky image or two.

 The photo to your left was taken from ‘Screaming Mimi’s’ store that has long been established for 32 years. The great thing about this place is, like with any vintage store, they bring in new items by the minute- a New York minute that is! I went on Sunday and today (Tuesday). And in that 48 hour period the racks have been stuffed, the older clothes (no pun) have received a push and shove from the freshly wedged piece. This particular store has clothes from the 50s right through to the 80s. Every vintage piece I have purchased however, has only been within the 81' to 89' time frame. I'm not brave enough to don the flower power numbers from the 60s and 70s or brave enough to fill out the 50s frock. But even if I were I would then be a walking lie. It wouldn't be me- at all. For the most part anyway, it is just interesting to see the clothes. Current clothes merely imitate the past trends, but these original beauties are true to the actual time. 
I have also been to a few places in Midtown Manhattan. I found a GREAT place called 'Cheap Jacks'- This store is of the weirder variety. You can see that just by observing the ebb and flow of people in and out of the store! I went in looking for a typical 80s sweater (I now have quite a few). It's one of those stores where you need to invest some time to weed out the ridiculous and find the treasure. 'Cheap Jack's' offers a greater breadth of fashion: VICTORIAN up through to the 80s. I was trying a selection of ugly Christmas sweater types in the fitting room, when a lady to my right slipped into a soft silk 40s wedding dress. It was like the dress Sandra Bullock wore in 'The Proposal'.
Classic Meets Grunge
Vintage is NOT cheap. The cost of one item alone does not sit nicely within the budget, but of late my list of shopping goes like this: yes it is in order of priorities.

  • Milk
  • Vintage Clothes
  • Food.

Notice how adorning myself with used clothes is of a greater concern than filling myself with food. But as you can see the most important consideration is milk- even if my propensity to disburse money on clothes were to soar, I will always have milk!

Like I said earlier, I’m not known to succumb to daring and oddly pieced outfits but these wearable experiments of fashion retain a classical look. The clothes meld music, art, and fashion together to not only create an urbane look but also sets up a lifestyle choice. Mess, grunge, sleepless nights, running mascara and bedhead hair. There is something so endearing about these unorthodox customs- every second person that passed me fulfilled the above criteria, and thus I have come to realise that these features really do work! Of course the sphere in which these shops find themselves in is typically trendy- so they are in the right place. Think debris and old car pieces, think brick, think barbed wire. And then paint a wall of graffiti that supports a 'free thinking' mantra.
In Case You Were Wondering, The Whole Thing Is Painted, Even The Architectural Design 
Fashion On Your Doorstep

Keep Your Friends Close, And Your Enemies Closer....
Soho is not only home to the counter culture, but to the current culture as well. What I mean by this, is that the vintage stores are threatened by Marc Jacobs; Prada; Hollister and Urban Outfitters to name but a few. The string of designer boutique outlets may seem at first misplaced alongside the grubby and dingy shops, but oddly enough the stark differences compliment each other really well...

“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”

Coco Chanel

Aligned with Coco, fashion in New York is in the form of a subway sign; a cafe; a coca-cola advert and dare I say it: the pestering rats- rats have found their way into the New York style. A scurrying rat looks appropriately hip beside a jean jacket, jean trouser wearing youth!

In all, New York has a catalog worth of vintage finds- stashes of musty smelling articles against an urban backdrop.... And even if the stingy pennies don’t agree with my newly acquired retro style, I am pleased to report that my fashion radar is as sharp as ever- Carrie would be proud!

P.S. When attempting any kind of vintage excursion, be sure to wear sensible footwear as you will unquestionably log a mile or two!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Book Me In...

After last week's great find I decided to pick up on a dreadful tourist habit. I actually googled 'Best New York Spots' and sifted through the first few of the 389,000,000 hits and discovered the NYPL.
                                              NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY

   The Iconic Veneer Reads Classic Architecture 
Unlike I imagined, this building is one of many. I didn't realise that this is part of a cluster of libraries simply because it is the most notable and thus most acknowledged. It is considered to be the main branch of all the NYPLs.
Being on 5th and 42nd immediately justifies it's reputable prominence as the locality is a real centre point in New York with the Chrysler/Empire State Building/Time Square all within a 10 block radius.
Like on many journeys I pass the world famous 'Empire State Building' ......Leeettss heaar it foorr NEW YOKKKKKKKK

Steeped In Stature
As I have mentioned in previous blogs, there are select havens dotted around the city in which to escape it's pulsating beat to rest your restlessness, be it parks;spas;gyms but I have found solace in a literary haven not shrouded by shrubs but by volumes of humanity and social science books.

In case you are confused, much like I was upon my visit, this is not a library with catalogs worth of fiction. This is in fact the flagship research library- the field of Humanities and Social Sciences. These comprehensive collections are well preserved archives of subject matters within the humanities and social sciences sphere- many of the reading rooms are home to scholars brushing up on their already informed research to further expand their breadth of knowledge.
Do you remember at school when the 'SILENCE' sign was the subject of ridicule in the library? Well the sign in this library demands actual 'SILENCE' - the doorways/hallways are decorated with stiff upper lip policemen to enforce this stipulation if it be violated with a murmur.....mmmm perhaps a little exaggeration but even if you happen to miss the bold sign you naturally revert to hushed tones because you just feel obligated I suppose.....
Where Mr.Big And Carrie Almost Tied The Knot
I feel like I have missed out on an important detail here- the history of the building. Whilst I am not intimately acquainted with the body of works within the library I do know that this building was only recently retitled 'The Stephen A. Schwarzman Building'. Stephen A. Schwarzman is an American investor and businessman who provided $100 million worth of capital towards the expansion of the New York Public Library- he is now a trustee. With all his commitment to the enterprise it was only natural that his name should takeover the already established 'Humanities and Social Sciences Library'. As of 2008, in recognition for his donation of the aforementioned sum the library is formally known as the 'Stephen A. Schwarzman Building'.

Whilst I could brief you on all the facts and figures of the building I am going to avoid stifling you with those details and leave it to you to discover in your own time:

My experience of this building is saturated with sentiment and appreciation for timeless beauty and driven scholars who plow their way through the finest volumes of academic study. I don't see myself leafing through the coffee stained pages of 'Progress and Values in Humanities' anytime soon..but I do see myself taking advantage of the ability to sit in the Rose Main Reading Room free of charge to hone my understanding of the field I am acquainted with.
Softly Lit Room For Peaceful Study

Harry Potter-esque Aura
Where Mr.Big Abandoned Carrie
As you can see the calming feel of the interiors puts you in the right frame of mind for study. It is not a cluttered space littered with overstated paintings and murals (those are on a separate floor) but a space which functions as a blank canvas- for you to build your own visceral experience. Because the floors are made of marble you feel a real sense of 'freshness' and 'cleanliness' if you like; although you can never be too sure, I sat feeling like I was not going to contract the 1000 diseases one can develop from just one subway ride!
Below you can see the elaborate water fountain. These features are placed at consistent intervals- but I didn't want to quench my thirst, I wanted to quench my fascination over this exquisite work of art, so I took a photo of it. 

Yes. This Is A Drinking Fountain
The library always has an exhibition open to the public. Currently, there is the 'Three Faiths Scriptorium' exhibition where you can familiarize yourself with traditions of Judaism, Greek and Islamic scribes. A Scriptorium, in it's broadest sense is a place where scribes write and illuminate books or scrolls. In keeping with tradition, the exhibition hall is sealed off from the outside movement and promotes the solitary aspect of writing manuscripts. Scribes are artisans who write texts by hand and conform to a life guided by tradition and religious laws- what may seem like a commonplace act, is in fact transformed into sacred undertaking with a degree of passion and precision. The scribes who wrote the Torah; Gospel and the Qur'an have a deeply intimate level of devotion to this art form.
Shrine For Scribes

Little Urchin Wants An Adventure
Inside is a long strip table where you can pick and mix Hebrew, Arabic and Greek Calligraphy and trace your initials with the special tipped pens. Of course, beautiful calligraphy is dependent on the harmony of the pen, ink and writing surface. My conditions were far from ideal with my poor excuse for a steady hand and little children berating the supposed 'fun' they were having- they were bored beyond stupidity. Not only did they not keep within their own lines, they jostled my elbow with their spirited temperament keeping ME outside my lines. ufffffff.

Speaking of children, there is a section for the little'uns to shrink their unbounded energy into the quiet rapture of the 'Children's Centre'. This is located on the ground floor just as you come in from the 42nd street entrance. Hopefully I did not look too out of place in this environment ......since I took some cheeky photos....
On one side of the room was a little girl reading aloud a story she had handpicked with intent. She was practicing her fluency as a reader: 'AAaaAnd ThhEn Theeeeee PARty STARted'. Her father, was faced down listening with accuracy and regularly prompted her at the beginning of new sentences. I just thought this was so brilliant. Sunday In The Library With Dad- Thank You Sondheim
Eloise, Madeleine and Tintin Sit Together On The Same Shelf.
                                      I'll leave you to ponder over the following:

Just Grand

-John Milton

'a good book is the precious life-blood of the master spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life'

Best Wishes,