Tuesday, April 30, 2013

apple store

I have seen stuff about how libraries could be more like the Apple shops. So I wandered in to see their Soho store. The buzz of conversation was the first thing I noticed, a blast of voices. Stand up tables, each with ROM for about 10 people and each with at least one Apple staff person, easy to spot in their blue shirts and wearing a name tag that was designed to look like an iPod , worn on a lanyard. Some tables had signs 'make it yours' or 'set up'. Some had shop devices, some just had power points and folk were using their own personal gear. Upstairs was a theatre running like a conference presentation, with a schedule of demonstrations of different tools and applications.  Plus more of the group tables, all packed. To get a spot on that floor you had to take a number and wait. The normal shop retail business was going on around the sides of the store. YES! Libraries should be able to attract similar crowds. And deliver a similar high-energy experience.

Inside the Apple store - not like a shop

subway stories

They go something like this "ladies and gentlemen, I need some help right now. My job in the construction industry ended 3 weeks ago and I am having trouble finding another job. I just need some help to get by, maybe some pennies, or a banana if you have one. Both my parents are dead and there is no one I can ask to help support me during this time..." Every carriage has a pan-handler with a variation on this tale.
Not rush hour, this one. Saturday afternoon 

 Today was the Guggenheim Museum. A queue around the block at opening time but the building has an amazing ability to absorb crowds and still feel intimate..

Walked across Central Park by the Reservoir with lunch hour joggers. Spring day, sunshine and blossom. Must have walked miles.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Noo York Noo York

The trip by shuttle from JFK was - hmmm, interesting. Not too different from Hanoi or Mumbai in some ways actaully. Pretty gritty. Grey wet Monday morning on broken-down freeways strewn with litter but still what a buzz to get the first veiw of that Manhattan skyline and then come over the bridge into a different world. A familiar one too from studying the maps so I felt right at home right away. The hotel had my room ready and the free buffet breakfast was still open which helped after a pretty uncomfortable 5-hour overnight flight from San Fran.

 Going easy on myself for the first day I walked up West Broadway to Washington Square Park (tulips getting battered by spring showers) and then back down Broadway itself via HM, Zara, Banana Republic, UniQlo, Converse, Crate & Barrel (the one with the Marimekko concept store inside) and a lovely french organic bakery. Whoo hoo - I do feel like I live here already. Will post some pics next time I hope.

BANANA REPUBLIC spring looks

Sunday, April 28, 2013

San Francisco

You can pack a lot into a weekend. There was a fog shrouding the towers of the Golden Gate Bridge and a howling gale from the Arctic Ocean blowing up the harbour. We walked part way across .  one of the Americas Cup boats was heeled over at a terrifying number of degrees down below us.

Through each of the steel 'ropes' you can feel the traffic crossing 

Then today over the Bay in Oakland it was baking hot, a sunny spring day.

 soon I'm taking the BART train to the airport for the red-eye flight to NY.
Something to read on the plane

Saturday, April 27, 2013


It's a bobby dazzler, the man behind me said , of the queues at Los Angeles Airport. The flight to San Fran is delayed. A bit like my brain after arriving into my second Saturday morning. Yesterday it was Sat in Brisbane. Free WiFi in the AA terminal

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Fashion designers on show

I'll miss Fashion Week, but in compensation Chinese-American designers, including Derek Lam, Vivienne Tam and Anna Sui, are on show at the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA)
 215 Centre St, New York

Vivienne Tam

Derek Lam

Anna Sui

Plus, spring fashion should be just hitting the streets. I might need a pair of these 

The history of Soho - all in one cafe

I'll be staying in Soho, and plan to have a coffee at Fanelli's Cafe in Prince Street.

SoHo (for South of Houston Street) was swamp and bush until the Dutch began establishing farms in the area in the 1640s. The first farms were owned by freed slaves. In fact, in 1663 the Cafe was a farm owned by Domingo Angelo, a freed slave. The Dutch West India Company had a policy of freeing slaves and granting them farms on New Amsterdam's outskirts. This was part of a Dutch strategy to construct buffer zones to protect their settlement against Indian attacks.

The English took over New Amsterdam in 1664 and renamed it New York. Greene St stayed mostly farmland through the 18th century.The 5-storey brick building was built in 1856. It was a boarding house with a grocery on street level.

Fanelli's operated as a Speakeasy during Prohibition which began in 1920 and ended in 1933. Speakeasies sold alcohol but it was advertised as tea and soft drinks. There was little danger of the small saloon getting closed. Enforcing Prohibition was a federal activity with poorly paid agents. Graft was notorious and tneighborhood saloons a were good places for them to get a cold beer on a hot summer night.

Fanelli's Cafe is the second oldest food and drink establishment, on the same site in New York city since 1847.

Reviews says they do great burgers and boozy lunches!

Yeah, that's me having lunch at Fanelli's

Monday, April 22, 2013

My 'local' NY branch library

One of the branches of the NYPL that is close to where I'm staying is the Jefferson Market Library. The building is a bit of an architectural landmark.

The original building from the 1880s included a police court, which is now the Children's Room. The Reference Room in the beautiful brick-arched basement  was used as a holding area for prisoners on their way to jail or trial.

Jefferson Market Branch Library

I'm keen to see the Community Garden which is used for a range of events. When I visit the tree peonies will be flowering.

Counting down for the next trip -- New York

Off to New York. This is a 30 sec video I made which you need to view!
This is a blog for my travels.
I'm a librarian at the Rotorua District Library, where I work in Information Services on the 2nd floor. Have a look at my Pinterest boards to see the sort of collections we have.
The last trip I did was to the Bay of Islands in the north of New Zealand. My son Matt and I did a 5-day sailing course with Glen on She's A Lady. We left from the Opua Marina and sailed out into the bay, anchoring at various bays around Urupukapuka, Roberton and Moturoa Islands.
She's A Lady, berthed at Opua Marina 


 Private residence in the Bay of Islands

Anchorage for the night