In New York City

I’ve had a great week away from home! Almost a whole week in New York City, doing research for a book, and staying with my friend Laura.

Most of the daytime I spent in the library at Columbia – I had to pay 60 bucks for a week’s access. The dusty stacks on the 5th floor were totally heaven, except the wireless didn’t work when I was that deep in books. On the second day, my computer broke! Oh my god! You have no idea, the stress. It would flake out and die without any warning, and then refuse to start up again about 3 times out of 4. I spent a good part of Wednesday in the Apple Store in SoHo. My trusty little 12 inch laptop needs a new logic board. It’s almost 3 years old so I guess it’s no surprise.

I’m using my friend’s extra laptop! Good thing she had one. And Stingykids offered me her old laptop too. It’s nice that my friends had my back.

So, back to the library. This has nothing to do with parenting or being a mom, but it’s what I’ve been doing and someone might find it interesting. I developed a procedure of quickly browsing armloads of books, then taking as many as I could carry to the reading room, where I could get wireless. Then I’d take notes. I have a nifty new wiki set up where I can keep my notes – trust me, this was FUN to set up, and is amazingly fun to use! From there, I’d bookmark the pages I wanted to xerox, and go do that when I’d finished with that batch. Then return the books and … crucial… remember to go to the bathroom. This library was particularly wonderful because it had a nice cafe and lounge on the first floor, inside the circulation area, so you could basically live inside the building.

I got very very excited at all the fantastic poetry. I have so much to work on! I wish I could be in that library for another week.

By the way, if anyone can find me a complete copy of La bandera de Chile, please tell me – I’ll pay for it plus whatever it takes to ship it or scan it or take photos! Anyone in Austin? They have it there…

When not reading, taking notes, or xeroxing, I was:

– going to bookstores
– buying a million new armwarmers from street vendors
– browsing through more books on the sidewalk
– eating really great food
– hanging out with Laura talking about our lives, about books, writing, and computers
– going (in the evening) to poetry readings and discussions of translations
– riding the subway to and from everywhere
– walking everywhere else
– getting lost
– taking blurry cameraphone photos
– tagging my photos
– blogging (mostly on the NYC Metroblog and on Composite)

It was a really great vacation and I got to see a lot of my friends and even met a blog-friend for the first time in real life.

Rook and Moomin are flying out here right now! I’ll see them in the morning – they’re going to come and join me in Manhattan, we’ll have some kind of adventure, and then we’ll head back out to the boondocks to stay with Rook’s parents.

I have to admit, I feel like an extra super duper grownup for running around Manhattan at all hours.

Every time I felt a little bit dorky about taking a photo on the street, I’d notice that all around me, other people were also looking a little embarrassed as they whipped out their cameras.

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