Art, Books, Travel

Word on the Street is That…

… is back in session now; and summer is still blazing out here. I find myself knee deep in back to school forms to fill; and all the shopping that inevitably accompanies this time of the year. Word on the street (my very own, in this case) is that….

..with the heat outside, I feel the need for a cool, shaded spot in my backyard; one where I can continue my bookish summer with a book, away from all that back-to-school-stuff! But, alas, that cannot be so, not in the near future at least.

Or reminisce on the bookish summer I have had; or at least some of it. You must recall the photo I posted just yesterday on my blog – with a quote about books set on a brass plaque? Do you recall….

…the word on the street?

(See what I did there? )

On the first day of our NY trip, we had reserved spots for the hour long tours at the UN. And it was truly worth it. (more about it and on our trip itself in another post soon)

As we walked along from the UN after completing a most-informative hour-long tour there, via the Grand Central Station, with rain pattering down on us indifferently, and eyes on my iPhone to ensure we were on the right path to our next stop, I halted suddenly. There, on the wet footpath before me, was something more wonderful than those stars on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame (don’t get me wrong, I had fun there as well!).

I discovered a bibliophile’s version of that Walk of Fame. Brass plaque inserts with quotes from popular literary figures. I looked up to find out that we were on Library Way with the NYPL looming large and magnificent before us. These plaques thrilled me, and I stopped every few feet to read the quotes and take photographs; and was feeling bad about missing the plaques on the footpath across the road!

My family, you ask? They were not as thrilled. It was still drizzling and pouring in turn; we had walked for what seemed like miles already; we hungry, tired masses wanted the comfort of the building ahead of us.

I gave in, albeit reluctantly. And I had decided silently that our way out of the library would take us back down this path anyway! And we walked into the wonder that is the NYPL.

Walk of Wonder(ful Words)

Back to the word(s) on the street. To see this literary-themed public art, all you need to do is walk up Library Way to NYPL and keep your eyes down (but be aware of the pedestrians who have no idea these gems exist).

96 plaques, 45 writers, 11 countries, 20 centuries, one Library Way …and what we get out of it is – Priceless!

These quotable sidewalk brass inserts are the result of a partnership between the NYPL and the GCP (Grand Central Partnership). In the 1990s, a panel of literary experts and librarians selected quotations that reflected the importance of the literary arts. Greenwich Village artist Gregg LeFevre then set these selections spanning time and space forever in stone (so to say) on the pavements of Library Way.

Take a leisurely stroll here (while trying not to get trampled by the others in a hurry to get elsewhere!). Indulge in the words of Mark Twain, E.B.White, Langston Hughes, Virginia Woolf, and Gertrude Stein, among others.

Let them motivate you, entertain you and energize you. Let the accompanying art, inspired by the quote, spark your creativity.

And as you promenade on Library Way from where you can still see Grand Central towards Patience and Fortitude (or the lions that guard the library), you will be transformed by this(ese) word on the street.

word on the street @LadyInReadWrites #bookishsummer #ladyinreadwrites

And Word on the Street is That…

my bookish summer is almost coming to its end….

What are your comments or questions about today’s post? I would love to hear from you. Check out previous Bookish Summer posts using the links below.

20 thoughts on “Word on the Street is That…

    1. it is fun; and while Library Way is full of bookish plaques, this city has similar inserts/plaques on sidewalks everywhere and I realized I did not take photographs of the others at all.. well, next time..

  1. Since the NYPL is among my top places, I know where it is. (The all-too-unfamous but vast colelction of the MidManhattan branch is diagonally across the street, too.)
    So, tell me how the heck you got to the NYPL on your way from the UN going to Grand Central? I think you need a new GPS!!!!!

    1. 🙂 we were walking from the UN to NYPL via the Grand Central… (not to GC via NYPL.. So maybe I need to recheck what I wrote instead!)
      I noticed that other branch as well on my GPS but a severe time crunch meant just could say hello to Patience and Fortitude as we entered

  2. Love this line! For authors like me, Yes, I believe that the universe is made of stories, not of atoms.

    Anyway, thank you for sharing all your bookish summer experience and adventures.

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