Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Exploring My New Neighborhood

The first comment I got on facebook about our moves was Albert Einstein's quote, "The only thing you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library."  The first thing that John and I do when we move to a new state is get a new licence, the second thing I do is go get a library card.
Now I have all three.
Well, I found the library and it is spectacular.  It is the Central Library branch for San Diego and it just opened at the end of September.  It has nine floors, and with the exception of two floors that house a charter school, all of them have books!
You can see the library dome here on the far left.
The dome on the top of the library is 143 feet in diameter and made of 1,500 aluminum panels.  It shades a reading room on the 8th floor (with a series of bright turquoise furniture in it that has to be custom) and from the ninth floor, the center of which is open to the dome and sky, you can hear the panels sing.  The wind moves through them in a way that makes it seem like the whole building is trying to speak to you.
With the exception of the ninth floor the library is, as all libraries should be, very quiet.  In fact, walking the fourth floor was the first time since we moved to San Diego that I have experienced true silence.  I think I will be going there at least once a week for the silence if nothing else.
Beyond its structural significance, this library is very welcoming.  Unlike some other urban libraries I have frequented there is a feeling intention to learn.  This may just be the difference between a city where people go to the library to keep warm and one where it is sunny and beautiful every day.
Something else that I thought was clever about this library is that it has a dedicated teen space.  Now I don't mean a YA department, but a space where teens can go, read, spend time together, and feel like the space is theirs.  They even have a sign.
The view of the Coronado Bridge and what I think is one of the Laguna Mountains (correct me if you know I am wrong) is pretty spectacular from the upper levels.  I think I took these pictures from the 7th and 9th floors, respectively.

The library is right on the trolley line and located near the convention center and Petco Park.  To learn more about the building and verify my facts, check out the Central Library website.

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