Saturday, February 26, 2005


Okay. I'm back at the Seattle Public Libarary. In fact I've been back three times. Today is my last day in Seattle so I'm happy to be able to spend part of it writing here again.

This place is so full of surprises. I went down a staircase to find a restroom that was on the conference room floor. The entire floor is red. Not just the floor actually, the walls and the ceilings, the doors, the stairs--all of it glossy fire engine red--like it has been coated with shiny red patent leather. Even the recessed lighting is red. There are no straight walls. The doors to the conference rooms are numbered, but the numbers are actually huge seven-foot blocks of text in the shape of numbers. The text is poetry.

Then, as I came up the 10-story escalator to the upstairs reading room I kept noticing texture again. The long narrow escalator, which is lit from within with a yellow light, is coated in that same shiny surface as that of the red floor. It is like riding up an enormous number two pencil. As you near the top, the view of glossy, luminescent yellow is joined by a bank of the fun and fluffy acoustic ceiling pillows and the glass and aluminum curtain wall that makes up the wall of the building's exterior with the blue sky outside.

I wish I could take the Seattle Public Library home with me.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

one time i turned the corner to the children's section of a new library in memphis and it brought tears to my eyes because it was so beautiful and magical. floor to ceiling trees in technicolor. children interacting with information in every form. a professional storyteller in a monster suit winding up story hour. it was like when you have a music moment, but without music, per se. i remember what i was wearing, how i felt, how the sun angled in the second story windows, how my sneakers squeaked in the hush of the foyer, how my breath caught in my throat. it screamed promise, innovation, hope... it was so real. hope you are well, T. greetings from snowy cleveland. :)

5:38 PM  

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