Monday, January 22, 2018

New York Public Library Revisited

I worked at the New York Public Library Science and Technology Division from 1983-1990.  That division was located in Room 121 in the famous building at 5th Avenue and 42nd Street now known as the Schwartzman Building.  I visited a few times in the early 1990s shortly after I left, but I hadn't been there for at least 25 years.

I wanted to do some research so I looked up the following books in their online catalog:

Thornley, Stew. 2000. Land of the Giants: New York's Polo Grounds. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

McGee, Bob. 2005. The greatest ballpark ever: Ebbets Field and the story of the Brooklyn Dodgers. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press

The Research Library is non-circulating so all books must be read there.  For now, I was more interested in Stew Thornley's book since I have contacted him through SABR and it was not available in a circulating library.  The McGee book is available through the Queens Library.

Sometimes, procedures don't change over the years.  It is still necessary to fill out a call slip and wait for the book to be retrieved from the stacks.  When I submitted the two requests, the clerk said that it would take about 30 minutes to get it.  It actually took 45 minutes.  I can understand that since there are literally miles of book stacks at NYPL and it must take time to retrieve the items and send it to the reading room.  I still remember that I had to cope with irate patrons who were very impatient about getting their materials.

I spent over two hours with Stew's book on the Polo Grounds and was glad that I found the information I was looking for about that stadium.  I glanced at the Ebbets Field book since I can get a circulating copy from the Queens Library.

The reading room was quite busy, but most of the people were using their own laptops and not accessing the library's resources.  One of the roles of a library is to provide a quiet study space, but NYPL provides access to resources not available at other public libraries.

After I finished my research I took a tour of the building to see how it had changed over the past 25 years,  There was a snack bar near the 5th Avenue entrance.  Room 121 housed the Milstein Division (local history and genealogy) since the Science Division moved to Madison Avenue and 34th Street in 1994 and renamed SIBL (Science Industry and Business Library).

I concluded my day by viewing the exhibit Peace Love and Revolution at the Library.  I offered many artifacts from the 1960s including a board with album covers from 1960s artists including Bob Dylan, the Beatles, Rolling Stones, and many others.  Visitors could press a button to hear various 1960s hits.

It was certainly a productive day.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Big Ten Basketball at MSG Today

Since NBA basketball is very expensive we try to go to several college games every season.  This afternoon we went to Madison Square Garden to see Ohio State play Minnesota in a Big Ten Doubleheader.  At night Minnesota played Michigan State in hockey.

Minnesota jumped out to a 20-10 lead but Ohio State dominated the rest of the way and won 67-49.  They are now 8-0 in conference play and are tied with Purdue for the top spot.

Game Recap

Friday, January 19, 2018

Random Thoughts from a Recent Retiree

I woke up this morning dreaming about encountering in person a Facebook friend I have never met.  I should do an inventory of how many of my 529 "friends" I have never met or only met once.

About a year ago I submitted 3 articles to SABR for a book about significant Met games.  The editor finally sent them to me for revisions.  That editor is really tough, but I have to conform to their style.

It was a little warmer today, so I decided to go out and walk around Alley Pond Park.  I was surprised to see that many of the walkways were icy.  I walked for a mile or so down 73rd Avenue in Oakland Gardens instead.

I went to my small local public library to return the biography of Roy Campanella that I just finished.  I changed gear and found Keith Richard's biography.

When I got home I watched Inning 3 of Ken Burns Baseball on Amazon Prime.  It saved me a trip to the Paley Center.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Baseball is Keeping Me Busy This January

Last year people gave me advised me to keep busy during retirement.  I believe in the cliche "idol hands make for devil's workshop."  A few years ago I joined SABR (Society for American Baseball Research) thinking that once I retired I would step-up my activity.  Recently, I became an editor for the Games Project.  I assign manuscripts for fact-checking.  I have also written up a few games for SABR.  I must say the editors are really tough.  I think I must adjust to writing in the SABR style as nobody edits this journal.

I have read the following two baseball books this month:

Bondy, Filip. 2016. Pine tar game: the Kansas city royals, the new york Yankees, and baseball's most absurd and ... entertaining controversy. New York: Scribner.

Lanctot, Neil. 2012. Campy: the two lives of Roy Campanella. New York: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks

I have also made two trips to the Paley Center where I have watched the first two episodes of  Ken Burns Baseball.  However, Phil Belkin informed me that that series is available on Amazon Prime so I can watch it at home.  There are certainly thousands of other TV shows I can watch when I return there.

The best thing a retiree can say is:  " I am so busy, I don't how I found time to go to work."  I am not quite at that point.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Having the Time to Save Money by Buying Tickets at the Box Office

About 7 years ago in this journal, I suggested that one can save money by going to a box office to buy tickets instead of buying them online and paying a stiff fee.  Since I am now retired, I have the time to do that.  I took the subway to Manhattan and bought tickets at the Longacre Theater for A Bronx Tale.  From there I walked downtown to Madison Square Garden and bought tickets for two college basketball games.  I probably saved at least $50 in fees.  The only bad thing was having to walk through Penn Station and pass by the panhandlers.

Monday, January 15, 2018

There Could Be Commuting Disasters in the Future for New Jersey Transit and Amtrak

I am grateful that my commuting days are over.  I generally check the Delayed on New Jersey Transit Support Group on Facebook which has reported serious delays almost every day this January.  There are also schedule changes in effect as Amtrak is doing rehabilitation work.

The long-term prospects for commuters are frightening as reported in this article in Bloomberg News.  There was serious damage in the tunnels under the Hudson River during storm Sandy in 2012.  There would be a catastrophic situation if one of those tunnels had to be taken out of service.  I just heard that Governor-Elect Phil Murphy has asked for the resignations of about 100 New Jersey Transit executives as he takes office.  Will a change of personnel help the situation?

Crowding can be a pain as the number of passengers at Penn Station has tripled over the past 25 years.  You can see that in the photo above.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Beginning to Write for the SABR Games Project

For readers who are not baseball fans, SABR is the Society for American Baseball Research.  I joined a few years ago and became the record keeper for the Games Project.  Members write summaries of games from the inception of baseball in the 19th century until today.  Since I retired, I decided to do more writing for this fine organization.

About a year ago a member wanted to edit a book about significant games in the history of the Mets.  I volunteered to write a few games.  Today the editor sent back my manuscript for the first Subway Series game played on June 16, 1997.  He said he had to be more detailed.  Now I have the time to work on it.

Last week I wrote and submitted a report of the infamous "Pine Tar Game" on July 24, 1983.  I expect the editor to be tough on me.  I guess as I gain experience in this endeavor I will become more proficient.

When I write this blog there is no strict style to follow, but I must adapt to SABR's writing style.

Personal-Journals blog