Monday, December 11, 2006

Left Bank Books

From time to time it's nice to go out for a walk in the city, especially during a cold week night, when the streets are almost empty and you are left alone to your thoughts. I enjoy the city at times like these, when I'm not rushing to get to work, to the museum, galleries or trying to meet with friends. Although the temperature was very low a few nights ago, I didn't mind since good company with good conversation like Christopher takes your mind off things like the cold.
I let him lead the way through the charming streets of the Village. I'm not too familiar with this part of town since the streets are from old New York, before the grid and numbered streets. As we walked he told me of a book store I had to see. I thought he mentioned it because we were in the neighborhood, but suddenly I look up and there it was! I looked at the window and saw different art books. The place was still open, so we walked right in.
Left Bank Books was the dream I've been dying to have. This place immediately captured my heart, it was the old hard wood floors covered with vintage red Persian rugs, the old leather bench in the middle of the tiny store, and the shelves of books covering almost every square inch of the place. It was like walking into another long gone time period, one of those old vintage little stores in an early American colonial town. It was awe struck as we were greeted by the warmth of old paper and classical music. A pleasant and calm grey haired man sat behind a desk piled up high with books, reading and contently spending his time among his large collection of knowledge.
Not wasting any time I looked for the art section to see what surprises I may find. This wonderful book paradise specializes in modern and first edition fiction, poetry, theatre, film, art, photography and music books. In a place like this one I was sure to find some good reading material for those subway rides when you need to tune out the crowd and have some "me" time. Not a minute goes by and I found The Collected Writings of Robert Motherwell, an artist I like but a man who's ideas I find to be more appealing. I grabbed the used paperback and set it aside, happy to know that it was at an affordable price.
I didn't want to leave. It was one of those new obsessions you can't get enough of, and I didn't want anything or any one standing between me and the store. Eventually I had to come back to reality and gather my things, pay for my book and make my way out into the brisk night. We walked some more, appreciating the quiet night under beautiful trees and white Christmas lights adorning the fronts of different restaurants. Left Banks Books is located at 304 W. 4th St. (near Bank St.), New York, NY 10014.


Bob said...

Hey Luis, thanks for bringing back some great memories. I love this bookstore as well. I not been there for about 10 years and I glad that it still around.

Luis Colan said...

Hi Bob, I'm happy you liked this post. I've fallen in love with that books store and can't wait to go back.