Grandpa's Grandpa was a Norwegian immigrant. He lived on East 67th Street between First and Second Avenue, in the penthouse apartment above the 67th Street Branch library. He was the custodian of the three-story building, and at the time, the custodian lived above the library (there was a dumbwaiter, but no elevator) as part of his employment package. Every Sunday when the library was closed, my Grandpa would come over to Manhattan by himself to visit his grandparents, wander around the library, and play on the roof.
Grandpa told me all of this a couple weeks ago when I mentioned I was coming to New York. I decided then and there that I had to see if this library was still there. It was.
"I'm sorry," I said, "But let me just tell you why I'm here." I explained that I had come from San Francisco, and I told her about Grandpa's magical childhood. Her face changed. "Oh," she said. "Come with me." We climbed to the very top of the staircase and arrived at a door.
Every floor except the top one.
I felt like a ghost haunting my Grandpa's New York youth. As a child, over seventy years ago, he walked these very floorboards. How could it have happened that one of his nine grandchildren now traced his footsteps? I was on the verge of tears.
I am so thankful for being able to walk around that apartment. I don't know what will happen to it, but a tiny piece of my heart will always feel at home there.
And then it was back to the fashion. Later this afternoon it rained very hard. By the time it stopped, dusk had fallen.
I think this photo is my favorite that I have shot so far during my stay. Two totally random girls skipping down the sidewalk. I had but a few seconds to get my dinky little point-and-shoot out.Jennine. Later on, her, Christina, Tony and I went out for Thai food and then Pinkberry for dessert.
Tomorrow I venture to Brooklyn and the Temperley show. It's 2:30AM and I'm still wide awake. I wonder if tonight I will dream of libraries. If it happens, you'll be the first to know!