Thematic Thursday … Literary Leap (year) in NYC

I, once again, traveled to NYC/Brooklyn a few weeks ago to visit the Fab Raabs and my younger sister. After a few serendipitous moments leading up to the trip, I decided that I’d spend a few days exploring lots of literary spots. I researched book stores and other literary places in NYC and spent two days adventuring around town … libraries, bookstores, etc.. and it was so much fun! I love a theme!

It all started with a metal statue in my new Parisian-inspired front patio that a friend loved and asked what the story was behind it. All I knew was that my friend/landlord’s mom called it “McKenzie with the bird” after one of her granddaughters. My friend did some research and found out it was a replica of the Burnett Fountain that is located in the Conservatory Garden in Central Park. My new home is behind a hedge and many passers-by call it “The Secret Garden.” Well, the Burnett Fountain is a memorial fountain dedicated to Frances Hodgson Burnett, the author of The Secret Garden. My friend/landlord had no idea how deliberate her mom had been when she purchased the statue long ago.

The seond thing that induced me to explore literary NY was that my book club had recently read The Personal Librarian, the story of JP Morgan’s personal librarian, Belle da Costa Green. It’s a fascinating story and I decided the next time I was in NY I’d revisit the library that I’d been to more than 6 yrs ago. If you haven’t been to the Morgan Library I would recommend … but read The Personal Librarian first to really appreciate the history. They also have small art installation that changes. I was lucky enough to catch a photography exhibit.

Here are pics of the progression of my two literary-themed days.

I started at the Burnett fountain at the north end of Central Park (isn’t she a beauty) …
… and couldn’t resist capturing these lily-of-the-valley popping up through the winter landscape
Next stop down 5th Avenue was the Albertine Bookstore, the only French/English bookstore in NYC, an integral part of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and located inside the historic
Whitney Payne mansion.
Isn’t it gorgeous?!
… statue honoring Le Petit Prince, a children’s book written in NY by French author, aviator and WWII hero, Antoine De Saint Exupery
… onward through Central Park, stopping to read on the Literary Walk/Mall & a quick lunch
… cute book, easy read
… then a walk through Lincoln Center to …
The New York Library for the Performing Arts to see …
… their exhibit “Border Crossings: Exile and American Modern Dance 1900-1955” about breaking barriers to perform Modern Dance and Jerome Robbins influence.
End of Day One!

On day two of my wandering I had a bit more time and hit a few more places, starting with …

The Drama Booksh0p, with every book or script related to the entertainment industry and some cool book sculptures.
… next it was on to the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library rooftop right across from the main library on 5th Avenue
It was a bit chilly, so nobody was up here, but it must be gorgeous in the summer.
… and you have to go to the main library if you’re literally across the street!
They had a cool exhibition going on that included the original teddy bear, Winnie the Pooh, and his friends, given to Christopher Robin Milne back in 1921 on his first birthday, and memorialized in his father, A.A. Milne’s books.
As I meandered my way through the exhibit I came across this hand written original manuscript page from none other than Frances Hodgson Burnett’s book The Secret Garden…WHAT?!! Now that’s serendipity!
Next stop was on to the main event, The Morgan Library (this is the old entrance on 36th St … the main entrance is now on Madison Ave)
JP Morgan’s office
The Rotunda
The library
Belle da Costa Green’s office (they’ll be having an exhibit to celebrate the 100 yr anniversary of the library honoring her October 25, 2024 through May 4, 2025)

As I continued my journey to go to lunch at what I thought was a library-inspired restaurant, I came across these gems on Park Avenue! I love public art!

I’ve had Mono-Mono on my list of restaurants to try for awhile and in looking at their website, it seemed library-like. It was somewhat, although the “library” was all albums from floor to ceiling. Very cool space and the wings are delish!

Always have my kindle with me!
…and my last stop of the day was right in time for happy hour at the newly opened Biblioteque, a coffee/wine bar that was very cool! Their website says “It’s a gathering space for the artists, bookworms, and wine lovers of the world.”
… it snowed lightly the following morning, so I stopped by Shakespeare and Company bookstore, where I chose a “blind date with a book” (such a cool idea!) and then headed to Central Park to take a few snow pictures.
I hope you enjoyed this literary romp around NYC!

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!


  1. Fabulous in every way. I heard of your adventures firsthand, but then seeing them all – even better! I want to see the public art on Park. Loved this post!

  2. Wow, thank you. That was enjoyable. The Little Prince and the Secret Garden were two of my favorite books as a child. Along with a Tree Grows in Brooklyn and the Outsiders. I added The Personal Librarian to my list on Libby, it will be 26 weeks, but it gives me something to look forward to.

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