Day 28 – New York Public Library
Cnr. Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street.

I know this isn’t a hotel.

But if there were ever a place in New York where an author can feel all inspired, and overcome, and utterly humbled, surely this place is it. The names chiselled into the marble in the foyer (yes, literally chiselled and literally marble) are enough to make your mouth drop open. Here is the history of New York – the men and women who built this city physically, artistically, socially, you name it.
And the wonders come to you before you even set foot inside as you stand on the front steps between the famous lions (named ‘Patience’ and ‘Fortitude’, how apt for the author with a WIP) and gaze around knowing that, yes, here they filmed Ghostbusters.

The plan was to go to the famous Rose reading room – the largest in the building at nearly two blocks long. However, it’s closed for a major renovation. ‘At least a year,’ the security guard told me. But, trust me, in a building of this size there are more than a few options. Opposite the entrance to the Rose room is the delightful Edna Barnes Salomon room, so that became the office for the day.

It goes without saying that you can’t order coffee and grapefruit brulee at a place like this and it might not surprise you to learn I’m not a man who’d be seen carrying a Thermos (unless in some kind of emergency, the likes of which I can’t imagine at the moment). So it was a ‘dry write’. But it went well. Perhaps it was the countless portraits staring down at me (either urging me on, or snarling, ‘you call this working?’ I can’t be sure which). Or, maybe it was the still grandeur of the place (marble has a strange, sense-of-history effect on me). In any case, the words flowed freely. Roger Spoffin got himself into trouble then out of it again and it was only the rumbling of my stomach that made me cease and descend those marble stairs and go searching for a burrito.

Today’s word count: 3275

Word count to date: 69, 405

  • ‘Patience’ outside the library. Imagine what his eyes have beheld.

  • It wasn’t until these guys turned up in 1984 that New Yorkers really started to notice the New York Public Library.

  • I can say with confidence the Ashfield Public Library doesn’t have doors like these.

  • The entrance to my office for the day.

  • The Author – with WIP – coming to terms with the lack of coffee service in the Edna Barnes Salomon reading room.

  • Beautiful Bryant Park right behind the library.