Saturday, October 8, 2011

Buildings and Books

During last week’s stopover in Salt Lake City, I made it my mission to visit a few downtown points of particular interest within walking distance of The Avenues hostel, my home for three nights. Dancing across occasional splinters of old, broken sidewalk, I carried on my own personal walking tour. 

IMG_9369 CathedralOfThe Madeleine
Cathedral of the Madeleine
The Cathedral of the Madeleine  is on the National Register of Historic Places. I imagine that hearing the  choirs sing High Mass there could almost make a true believer of the most jaded agnostic. I chose not go inside this time because I did not want to be responsible for the walls to come crashing down upon me. 

IMG_9382 CathedralOfThe Madeleine
IMG_9370 CathedralOfThe Madeleine

IMG_9373 CathedralOfThe Madeleine
IMG_9371 CathedralOfThe Madeleine
Cathedral of the Madeleine

After a Thai pizza–slice lunch with my nephew I walked another few blocks to the downtown Salt Lake City library. I just wanted to check out the architecture but ended up staying for almost two hours, sipping a soft drink at the Hemingway Cafe and watching the parade of people pass back and forth. The next evening we came back to listen enthralled as 2010 US poet laureate W.S. Merwin read selections of his poems to a packed auditorium.

IMG_9377 DowntownSaltLakeCityLibrary
SLC downtown library
The motto of Ken Sanders Rare Books“creating chaos out of anarchy for a better tomorrow”– certainly does describe this wondrous book store. Walls jammed with maps and posters and aisles crammed with piles of books piled onto piles of books welcome anyone fearless enough to wander about. I’m astounded I didn’t knock down an entire length of shelf during my circuit. 

So many books and buildings… so little time… 

IMG_9379Map RoomKenSanders RareBooks
Maps, posters, and postcards - and books
IMG_9380MilesOf Aisles

IMG_9381PilesOf Books
A couch and chairs invite lingering amid the books

1 comment:

  1. The Cathedral's structure is magnificent yet I too would have trembled to cross the threshold.

    Thai pizza sounds delightful after a dry burger at Houston's in Kanab yesterday. Not many choices there and my favorite, Escobars, was closed.

    Most exciting is this library! I could snuggle in with a pile of books and spend days. Although they wouldn't let me sleep there. ;) It's been WAY too long since I visited a library, especially one of this proportion.

    Hope you are settling in back home. Only 5 more work days left but I probably won't leave the plateau until about the 20th and make Kanab my first stop. Hope to catch up with you somewhere in S UT.