The Morgan’s not actually a library
I went to Midtown with the intentions of stopping by the Morgan Library and Museum to see some cool old stuff; I thought it would be interesting to see the lore of the textbooks I’d read my whole life (like a Gutenberg Bible). But I got so much more.
I saw a letter from Thomas Jefferson to his wife, Martha, a petition from the Salem Witch Trials, and the only complete manuscript of a Jane Austen novel at the Morgan, which totally changed my recent perspective.
For those who will say TL;DR: The Morgan was awesome and along the way I found a Panera that will be opening soon.
For the rest of you:
Seeing the words that eventually became a novel by John Steinbeck written on a simple sheet of paper made me realize that some creativity, a pen (or maybe a paintbrush), and a piece of paper are what make the work of museums.
Throughout my experience at Columbia, I’ve felt a little silly. I’ve struggled to come to terms with the fact that I’m a college freshman and not still in high school. Surrounded by grad students and people with declared majors, I’m attending introductory lectures and completing problem sets from textbooks with illustrations and goofy examples.
Looking at an original copy of a childhood favorite, The Little Prince, that was covered in cross outs made me realize that the classics haven’t always been classics; they were at one point just ideas and the creators just everyday people.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry didn’t just sit down and write a bound and illustrated copy of his masterpiece, he wrote and wrote, making mistakes along the way, but eventually producing a work for the ages.
We’re all working towards our goals and dreams, not sure what will happen or who we’ll become after these four crazy years. We’re not always sure what to do and aren’t always happy with how it comes out.
Sure, my math homework might not end up in a museum some day, but it’s inspiring to think that Austen and Steinbeck had to start somewhere too.
How annoying is it to get there? Not terrible. Take the 1 to Times Square and transfer to the Shuttle to Grand Central; it’s about a 45 minute ride.
Did it break the bank? Admission to the Morgan is $10 with student ID.
Worth the trip? Absolutely. There’s some awesome stuff around Midtown, including the New York City Public Library, some great shopping (Lord & Taylor was having 50% off a ton of women’s sale merchandise, with some dresses ending up around $25), and the lovely Bryant Park.
And here’s a funny sign.
Getting Out of Morningside will feature a different adventure every Saturday.
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