Category Archives: Location

France, Paris – Shakespeare and Company Books

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I had read about this establishment and was finally able to visit recently. Shakespeare and Company is an Independant and predominantly English language bookstore in Paris at 37 Rue de la Bûcherie, 75005. Shakespear and Company was founded in 1951 as Le Mistral. the name was changed in 1964 to the current Shakespeare and Company on the 100th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birth. The name change was also in honor of Sylvia Beach, who’d founded the original Shakespeare and Company in 1919 and which remained open until 1941.

This is a very eclectic book store that can be found just across the river from Notre-Dame in a 17th century building with room after room of books on two floors. They also have a cafe next door. Unfortunately the weather was cold, wet and windy during my visit, otherwise there would have been tables set outside the cafe.

If you enjoy a good bookstore and find yourself in Paris, Shakespeare and Company is place you need to visit.


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USA, Texas, Austin – Texas Military Forces Museum

The Texas Military Forces Museum is located in Building 6 on Camp Mabry in Austin, Texas. The street address of Camp Mabry is 2200 West 35th Street. A photo I.D. for all adults is required for entry onto Camp Mabry. In addition, Camp Mabry regulations require motorcycle riders to wear long pants, a long sleeve shirt, and a motorcycle helmet. The museum is always free and is open 10AM to 4PM Tuesday thru Sunday.

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I like history museums and particularly those that cover the period 1939-1945, the years of World War II. I had seen the sign at Camp Mabry while driving down MoPac many times for the Texas Military Forces Museum. Finally on September 17 of this year I was motivated by Austin Museum Day to visit the museum.

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While this isn’t a huge museum (at only 45,000-square feet it is a fraction in size of the National World War II Museum in New Orleans), I was impressed with it’s size and the extent of it’s collection. As the name implies, the museum covers all periods of Texas military history from the war of independence with Mexico, the US Civil War, World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam and todays War against Terrorism. The largest portion of the collection is focused on the action by Texas units during World War II. The museum has been open since November 14, 1992.

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The museum holds several vehicles from the World War II era. Mostly US, but also a few German vehicles. Some of these they take out of the museum and use during reenactments conducted a couple of times each year on the grounds of Camp Mabry.

 

They also have some well done dioramas from several periods, though I think my favorite is the one depicting a down in France shortly after D-Day. Amazingly this detailed display was built by Gilbert High School students of Gilbert, Arizona.

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Leaving the building itself, there is a static display of armor and artillery around the building. Mostly from World War II, but a few more modern as well. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit. I wish I had made the time to explore the museum earlier.

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I am hoping that I can return on Armistice Day (November 11, 2017) weekend when they host one of the re-enactments “Close Assault 1944“. The re-enactment is presented by “Company G”, this is a “hard core” LIVING HISTORY group. Their principle aim is to find out what it was like to be on the front lines and in camps during America’s greatest conflicts – the War Between the States, World War I, World War II and Vietnam – while educating and commemoration along the way. The event is free and there is plenty of free parking.

If you like history, particularly military history, you will want to visit this museum.


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USA, New York, New York City – New York Public Library (Schwarzman Building)

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If you have seen other posts of mine you will know that I like book stores and libraries. While in New York we took time to visit the New York Public Library. Specifically we visited Stephen A. Schwarzman Building (476 Fifth Avenue (42nd St and Fifth Ave)
New York, NY) shown above. Included in that shot is one of the two famous marble lions at the front of the building.

The Stephen A. Schwarzman Building is renowned for the extraordinary comprehensiveness of its historical collections as well as its commitment to providing free and equal access to its resources and facilities. It houses some 15 million items, among them priceless medieval manuscripts, ancient Japanese scrolls, contemporary novels and poetry, as well as baseball cards, dime novels, and comic books.

The ways in which the resources of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building have been used are as diverse as the collections themselves:

– During World War II, Allied military intelligence used the Map Division for research on the coastlines of countries in the theater of combat.

– Television and print journalists first consulted the Slavic and Baltic Division when covering the changing political structure of the former Soviet Union.

– Authors of countless literary and nonfiction books cite the Library as a major resource in their work.

– Countless individuals have reconstructed family histories and located long-lost relatives through records in the Milstein Division of U.S. History, Local History, and Genealogy.

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This is the largest and grandest library that my wife and I have visited so far. We were able to take a short time to sit in the reading room shown above an just read. We could easily have spent hours there.

If you like books and are in New York, I recommend that you take some time and visit the Schwarzman Library building.

References

  1. About the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

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USA, New York, New York – Kirsh Bakery & Kitchen

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The Kirsh Bakery & Kitchen (located at 551 Amsterdam Ave., New York City 10024) is one of many bakeries you can find on the streets of New York City. During my week in New York, we ate at Kirsh twice and enjoyed it both times. It is modestly priced and enjoys a 7.9 rating on Foursquare and a 4 on Yelp.

I had lunch one day and breakfast the other, my wife having breakfast both times. The servings were large and very good. They do deliveries in their immediate area of New York and are open 7 AM to 11 PM 7 days a week.

The restaurant is actually divided into two locations – the Bakery on the left and the Kitchen on the right. The Bakery side is more for fast meals and take out, the Kitchen for traditional seating and longer stays.

This is a place I can recommend for breakfast or lunch.


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USA, New York, New York – Union Square Barnes & Nobles

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I wouldn’t post about Barnes & Noble normally, but I thought that this was a unique location. This is their Union Square store (https://stores.barnesandnoble.com/store/2675), located at 33 East 17th Street, New York, New York.

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We thought that this was a very interesting Barnes & Noble. It spreads over multiple floors and has one of the largest cafes I have seen in a Barnes & Noble. Located in the historic Century Building at 33 East 17th Street, this building was originally the headquarters of the Century Publishing Company in 1881. After many years of vacancy, the building was designated as a New York City landmark in 1993 and its facade was restored in 1995 to be a Barnes & Noble bookstore, it was later added to the National Register of Historic places in 1997. While this Union Square locale only measures in at 62,000 square feet (more than half the size of the 5th Avenue location), this noted store consists of four floors. [1]

While it may not have the same appeal as the independent book store, This is an interesting place to visit and browse the shelves or take a few minutes to enjoy their cafe.

References:

1 – The Five Most Interesting Barnes & Noble Stores in America


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USA, New York, New York – Rizzoli Bookstore

My wife and I visited the Rizzoli Bookstore (https://www.rizzolibookstore.com) recently. It is located at 1133 Broadway in New York, New York. As they claim in their website, this is an elegant book store. Per their website:

For over fifty years—twenty-nine in its previous 57th Street location—Rizzoli Bookstore has been widely considered one of the foremost independent booksellers in America specializing in illustrated books on architecture, interior design, fashion, photography, cookery, and the fine and applied arts, as well as literature, and foreign language books. Rizzoli Bookstore has been, and will continue to be a literary landmark in New York City, and a celebrated destination for important authors and book lovers from all over the world.

Established in New York in 1964 Rizzoli moved in 1985 to its 57th Street location—a six story townhouse exhibiting on its façade a sober classicism that belies the elegant interior within, where cast iron chandeliers, ornately decorated vaulting, and a luminous Diocletian window create a serene setting for book lovers amidst the rush of Midtown Manhattan.

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While this is a very nice book store, it does not have many titles that are part of our interest set. However if your interests lie in the list of topics above, this is certainly a bookstore you should visit while in New York.


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USA, New York, New York – McNally Jackson Books

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My wife and I like to visit independent bookstores when we are traveling. Recently we browsed through the McNally Jackson bookstore (http://www.mcnallyjackson.com) located at 52 Prince Street, New York, New York.

It had a wide selection of books, though I found the Science Fiction collection a little lacking. We were both intrigued with the on-site printing press that allows you to choose and have custom printed a wide variety of books. Their printing machine can also be sed to ‘self-publish’. They also have an on-site cafe that would allow you to spend some time reading in the store.

This is a nice bookstore with a wide assortment of books. If you are interested in books, you will like McNally’s.


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USA, New York, New York – Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum

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We like visiting museums. We also like visiting and exploring older military vessels. We like NASA and the Space program. The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum (https://www.intrepidmuseum.org) combines these.

The Intrepid Museum Complex is located at located in New York City on the West side of Manhattan on Pier 86, 12th Ave. & 46th Street. As they say on their website:

The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is a non-profit, educational institution featuring the legendary aircraft carrier Intrepid, the space shuttle Enterprise, the world’s fastest jets and a guided missile submarine. Through exhibitions, educational programming and the foremost collection of technologically groundbreaking aircraft and vessels, visitors of all ages and abilities are taken on an interactive journey through history to learn about American innovation and bravery.

The Intrepid Museum was founded in 1982 with the acquisition of the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid, now a National Historic Landmark, which served tours of duty in World War II and the Vietnam War, and was a recovery vessel for the Gemini and Mercury space missions.

The three primary parts of the museum are the USS Intrepid, The USS Growler and the Space Shuttle Enterprise.

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The Intrepid was launched in 1943. The aircraft carrier USS Intrepid fought in World War II, surviving five kamikaze attacks and one torpedo strike. The ship later served in the Cold War and the Vietnam War. Intrepid also served as a NASA recovery vessel in the 1960s. It was decommissioned in 1974. You are able to walk through the bridge shown above as well as part of the crew quarters and mess.

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On the flight deck of the Intrepid is a display of several aircraft, mostly from the US, but a few from other countries including two MIGs. The ship is in good shape and to certainly have a good view of the massive hanger deck. We found the areas available to tour less satisfying that the USS Lexington in Corpus Christi, TX.

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The submarine USS Growler is also on display for tours. This is the only American guided missile submarine open to the public. You are able to enter in the bow through stairs installed in place of one of the missile storage bays, walk through the ship, then up stairs in the aft of the vessel.

This 318 foot long and 26 foot wide vessel would spend around 70 days at a time patrolling the Russian coast as part of the US nuclear deterrent force during the cold war. So for more than two months her and her crew of 80-100 would be submerged in the North Pacific.

As we walked through the ship it was hard to conceive of that many men be crammed in so little space for such a long period of time.

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The third major part of the museum is a display of the Space Shuttle Enterprise. The Space Shuttle Pavilion showcases the space shuttle Enterprise, the prototype NASA orbiter that paved the way for America’s successful space shuttle program.

If you like military displays, aircraft or space, you will enjoy visiting the Intrepid Museum Complex.


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USA, New York, New York – Strand Bookstore

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The Strand bookstore (http://www.strandbooks.com/) main location is at 828 Broadway,
Manhattan, NY. It is a place to both buy and sell books. This means that you can find both new and used books on their extensive shelves. Not only do they have the popular books in print, they also have a section for rare and collectable books.

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Just how many books to they have? Their marketing tag line is “18 Miles of Books” and having been there, I can agree that they have a lot of books. As you can see from the photo above, their shelves reach about 9 feet high. This is great in that they can hold a very large inventory of books. However it does make it difficult to just browse the aisles as you cannot really read the spines of the books on the top 2-3 shelves.

Their collection of books is extensive but they best way to approach them is to search for the books you want on-line. I did a quick look at they Science Fiction holdings and the results show 9855 books of that category. Since they have the collection in their database, it makes it easy to find books through the on-line search.

My wife and I spent a little time there a couple of days ago and were overwhelmed. It is certainly a place to visit if you like books. If you are a reader, this is a place you will want to visit if in New York.


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