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The Strand


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I can't seem to write about New York right now. I seem to be somewhere else--in my head maybe. We crawl from one corner of the city to the other, searching out food and, occasionally, enthusiastically, those little temples to literature I find in the form of libraries and bookstores. We browsed the Strand today, for as long as Chris could stand it. Difficult to explain my love of bookstores since I never buy anything. Maybe it's just comforting to be in the company of so many friends, gently beaming their familiar titles at me. The Strand boasts 18 (8?) miles of bookshelves, which I found difficult to contemplate. (Certainly each shelf in a bookcase must be counted separately?). I thought: a dustier, more historic version of Keplar's in Menlo Park. Still, it was no Powell's. I know with these careless words I must be stomping on some old and sacred ghosts, but that's all gone now, isn't it, and it's not coming back. That's what all of New York feels like to me, pasting over all the character and tradition, all the grime and humanity, with anything that is bland and chic and new. Sometimes I turn away with an excess of helpless disgust, but then I always look back, oddly fascinated.

Posted by chschen 05:00 Archived in USA

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