Sunday, December 09, 2007
Today was the grand opening of the Central Library here in Indy, so, after sleeping far too long, then putzing about on YouTube for far too long, and then reading some Dorothy Richardson (which is what I should've been doing all along), I get in the car and check it all out. Millions and millions over budget and months behind schedule, it's still not quite done, but it's open.
Ever since the thing was only a plastic and cardboard model in the lobby, I wasn't terribly impressed. The model showed a building that was curved and all glass, looking quite a bit like an enormous IMAX Drive-In theater screen or a gigantic billboard, blocking the view of the skyline from the 8-story apartment building that shares the block, as well as other buildings in the area. Now that it's essentially finished, it looks all right, but it still makes a better door than a window, in spite of all the glass. It'll grow on me, I'm sure.
For all the views it has compromised, it has some great panoramic views of the city, which certainly will afford better photographs in less Seattle-like weather.
They were kind enough to consolidate all of the things I would go to the library for onto one floor in the new section (Recordings, Orchestral/Instrumental scores, Poetry and Lit Crit) and all of the general novels into the East big oak-paneled reading room of the old section. In the last ten minutes the place was open, I stumbled upon a five-foot by six-foot city planning map of Indianapolis, showing all of the lots that were slated for demolition back in 1976 for construction of the highway. I've been searching for such a map for the past five or so years, back when I got that idea for a novel where all of the characters had jobs that no longer exist, in buildings that no longer exist, and after clocking out went to homes on streets that no longer exist. As with Andrei Biely's Petersburg, the city itself would be a character, in a way; a city that no longer exists.
Though the library certainly was done with a large (and evidently an impressively expandable) budget, it was certainly odd to see these on the walls--they look exactly like the clocks that were on the walls in the ugly 1970s-era addition to the library that was also torn down. This one is new, but it makes one wonder if this style was selected to match the old ones, salvaged for re-use on the other floors?
Back to reading. I'm starting a new regimen tomorrow. I'd been searching for a Chinese buffet that would turn me off of Chinese buffets for a while, and it appears I found one. Good. No more Chinese buffet food for me. Starting tomorrow I'm eating sensibly, spending a minimum two hours reading and two hours writing. Active avoidance of all things Britney. A brisk walk around the neighborhood in the afternoon. Household chores only every other day and only after all the other above stuff is done. This Shall Be.