Opened on May 23, 1911 on the site of a former reservoir, this main branch of the New York Public Library is a true wonder of the city. Upon its completion, it was the largest marble structure in the United States, and the classical design elements ensure that it remains as breathtaking now as it was then. In 1965, it became a National Historic Landmark. The Main Reading Room is an enormous hall, with murals and intricate relief work lording overhead and large, open windows allowing for bright sunlight to pour across the books being huddled over. Small exhibitions to art and cultural histories pepper the halls. The entire structure is truly a pleasure to explore, one of the grandest and most wonderful buildings in the entire city, and we spent a pleasant afternoon wandering the halls in a book-drunk daze trying to absorb it all.
A psychological and cultural resource center combining a bookstore, libraries, training institutes, and continuing education, the C. G. Jung Center serves as a fulcrum for all things Jungian in midtown Manhattan. An air of learnedness wafts throughout the premises, awash in the smell of old books and older dreams. Carl Jung's wide-reaching areas of interest wind their ways through our unconscious, through dreams and myths and memories, and all are represented in the literature available here. The bookstore downstairs has readings on these and more from authors Jungian and otherwise, but the real treasure is the library on the fourth floor. We stopped in and chatted with Robin, a psychoanalyst-in-training who waxed historical on Jung's break with contemporary academics and with Freud, symbols, myths, and newer-age psychoanalytical practices. One of our writers, a once and future psychology student, spent quite a bit of time perusing the literary offerings, happily flipping through tomes from "The Presence of Siva, " to "Existential Psychotherapy" to "Sexual Behavior in the Human Female" and "Psychopathia Sexualis. " The reading room is carpeted with a large, worn, oriental rug and furnished with colorful squishy seating. Chairs sit in a pleasantly haphazard arrangement around a wooden table, giving the impression that the ghosts of scholars remembered and forgotten were sitting in the room reading just before browsers arrived. Certainly, they have not strayed far from this house of learning.
The General Society of Mechanics & Tradesmen predates even the U. S. Constitution, as it was founded two years before the document was signed. For well over two centuries, the organization has been a hub of skilled activity, and its Mechanics Institute offers tuition-free courses to help people learn an A to Z of trades within the construction and building fields. The building, with its elegant marble staircase, mosaic tiled floors and stained glass window, is yet another 44th Street New York City landmark listed in the National Registry of Historic Places, and serves as a museum to the long and storied past of the organization, where many of the traditions continue. Known to be the second oldest in the city, The General Society Library opened its doors in 1820. With a sky-lit high ceiling to let in natural light, I found it to be a beautiful room to browse through both the technical books and others selected for recreational reading. A lesser-known fact, however, is that the building houses the John M. Mossman Lock Museum, which boasts one of the world’s most complete collections of bank and vault locks. Visitors can meander through the assortment of over 370 rare locks and keys — some of which can be traced back to 4000 B. C. — and wonder at the treasures they have safeguarded. “The collection has grown in popularity as people have come to appreciate the exquisite craftsmanship of the lock mechanisms and the beauty of the keys, ” said Executive Director Victoria A. Dengel.
I can attest to the immediate success of Carmine's on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in the early nineties as my family and friends stood on the lines to get in on a number of occasions. Owner Artie Cutler's concept of serving large, family-style portions to guests, in a warm, friendly atmosphere connected with diners immediately. It did not take Mr. Cutler long to realize that he had a success on his hands and that it was time for expansion. In 1992, the theater district had another hit in Times Square, in the form of a grand, traditional Italian restaurant.
Teddy Roosevelt, Amelia Earhart, and Charles Lindberg are among the noteworthy clients that E. B. Meyorwitz & Dell has been crafting “made-to-measure” frames for since 1875. Today, be it in their New York, London or Paris shops, one can still be fitted for a pair of the same classy, high quality spectacles.