Why It’s Important to Read Uncomfortable Books

Uncomfortable books

The above linked article talks about how important it is for kids to read books that make them uncomfortable, since history was messy, and they need to know about history. They shouldn’t be sheltered. The books below were mentioned in the article. I’ve only read one of the books, but it was wonderful and I don’t regret reading it at all. The others are in my TBR pile. Classics.

The Grapes of Wrath

 Uncle Tom’s Cabin 

 Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

To Kill a Mockingbird

Bryant Park and the library


The Sales Force building
The statue of William Bryant in Bryant Park.Unfortunately, most of Bryant Park was closed to prepare for the winter festivities.  The carousel was open, though.The carousel at Bryant ParkThe side entrance to the library, and the Chrysler buildingI was disappointed that I didn’t get to see the lions.The architecture in the library was amazingly beautiful.  I can see why people do wedding photos, etc here.  We had the option to do a docent tour, but I didn’t want to spend two hours there.A painting of Truman Capote.  It was the only one done in the early 1970s, so it kinda stood out.I gota NYC library card!Bags in the library gift shop.The outside of the library.

Statue of Liberty

We weren’t supposed to go onto the ferry to see the statue, but we were earlier than expected and decided to try it. We arrived and were approached by a ticket seller who assured us that we were right on time for the last ferry.   Sure we were, but we were in the wrong place. 

We got to the right place, but had to exchange the ticket for the ferry ticket.  We found out that there was no guarantee that we’d make it onto the ferry, unless we went on the 7 pm night tour.  Sold!  Plan C.  This meant that we’d miss the 911 memorial and we would be returning to Pennsylvania late.  We also had two hours to wait.  We checked out the stores and looked into happy hour at the block party that was nearby.


The shoes in here were amazing, but there’s no way I could ever wear them.Of course, we found a bookstore.  After the ferry returned, we walked by and realized there was an upstairs to the store.  I missed it.  Oh well.  Next time.There was an art store.   This particular piece was $1150.  I don’t think I need anything like this, though.  My goal was to get through this without breaking anything.  Goal met!We got in line for the ferry.  The view was amazing.I took several photosThis is my attempt at a panoramic photoThis is actually a museum we didn’t get into.I didn’t forget my ticket! We hadn’t taken any photos together at this point.The ferry went under the bridges.  Brooklyn, Manhattan and I never found out what this is. The views were just beautifulThe World Trade Center nowThe Empire State Building and the Chrysler buildingThe bridge where the NYC Marathon starts.This cracked me up.  The water was rocky, so it bounced us a bit.The beautiful lady libertyA woman on the ferry offered to take our photo.   Her husband got nosy and photo bombed us.  All four of them were awful, but they entertained us and gave us a good laugh.Michelle’s camera takes better photos than mine.  I hope she’ll blog her version of the day, too.

Headed to New York City

Michelle and I headed from Pennsylvania to Trenton, New Jersey to catch the train to Penn station, New York. Three states in one day. Kind of foreign to this Californian. It was very doable.

We got our tickets and got breakfast and headed to the platform to board the train. We would arrive just before noon in New York City.

Round trip from Trenton to Penn station. Here we go!

Of course, I attempted to read, but I was too busy looking at scenery and being lulled to sleep by the train moro motion.

New Brunswick. I meant to look up what it was, but I haven’t yet.

Last stop! Penn station. Get out.

Pulling into Penn station was fascinating, but it was too dark to video it. There are tracks EVERYWHERE. 21 tracks to board trains. I can’t believe how many people go in and out of here daily.

I was amazed by the shops and other things to see in the station. It took us a while to figure out where we needed to exit to get pointed in the right direction. We are both from big cities so we weren’t thrown too much with the noise and crowds. Once we figured out which direction to head, we were good.

NYC

We went into New York City for the day. We took the train in. The goal was to walk from there to Times Square to the library and tour it. Then to Grand Central Terminal. We’d see the Chrysler building and the Empire State building and the Brooklyn Bridge on the way to the statue of liberty. Then we’d see the 911 memorial and head back. Doable, since we weren’t planning on going inside to see anything that required a line.

We had a loose schedule and no real timeline. We were prepared for plan A. Ready to switch to plan B. At one point, we switched to plan C.

We had had a great time, but I took too many photos again, so I’ll have to break the trip into pieces again, and post out of order.

Reading Terminal Market

There was so much here to see, eat, and buy.  It was overwhelming.

This stand had beef jerky and lots of other types of jerky.

The view down just one of the aisles.I had been sent for butter cake, so I figured I should try some.  Nope.  Not my thing.I ended up getting chicken coconut soup for breakfast.This was a spice, nut and candy store.  They sold in bulk.  You brought the container to the cashier and they weighed out what you wanted.Another view down an aisleI was going to get one for the pups at home, but they wouldn’t have stayed fresh long enough to make it home.Vats of picklesI wandered for a long time here before heading down to the Constitution Center.

Constitution Center Museum

I went into the museum and was immediately told to not take photos, so I didn’t until I was allowed.

The person at the front, selling tickets, told me about two live shows that were about to start, back to back.

The first one was just an actor talking about how the Constitution came to be.  It was interesting, but ran over. 

The second was a play about the timeline of abolishing slavery.  It put everything on a timeline and made it clear to me how long it actually took for the concept of equal rights to be closer to where it should be. 

The next group of photos are a reenactment of the room where it happened, to quote the play.  In reading the signs, I realized that not all of the people were actually in the room.  They signed it later, or not at all. 

I couldn’t get the docent to move, so I just took photos with her in them.The panoramic view of the room.  This was the special exhibit.  It was full of information about the civil war and beyond.  One of the timelines.Lincoln’s handsI hadn’t realized that they didn’t catch John Wilkes Booth immediately.  I just assumed that they had grabbed him off the stage and that was the end of it.
The other timeline.  Why did it take so long?  Over a hundred years to get it somewhat together.

This next group of photos was about Hamilton.Fact vs fictionThe dueling pistolsThis shows how close Hamilton and Burr really were.