A perfect storm of events lead me to the central library.
As I was walking through, there were many things that caught my eye. Maybe it was that I was attune to it or things have changed in the past seven years or maybe it was a bit of my inner jerk coming out.
Okay, I’m not going to beat around the bush here. Direct Downtown Buffalo is a hole. The blight, the people, the ghost town it becomes after 6pm…
In winter, the homeless hang out there [the library] because it’s a public place, with heat and water, and as long as you’re not bothering the patrons or peeing on the periodicals, you’re welcome to stay from open to close.
I was looking for a photo of the exterior of the central library, but all the photos I found were favorable… guess people don’t take photos of hobos anymore. Within close proximity to the library are no less than two half-way recovery houses; so you can guess who else spends a fair amount of time browsing the new fiction.
Anyway, the entrance I use is the “nice” one… being it was newly remodeled. There’s the circulation desks and a cafe. The lighting is bright, the floors are shiny, it’s a good deal. The further away you get though (past the non-fiction and seasonal Buffalo History display) it’s dark and echoy.
I decided to take out some books on decorating and re-using items (as it is garage sale season) and it was quite literally night and day between the departments.
The mouse on the electronic database was sticky.
My shoes echoed on the linoleum.
I had to walk past (hold your breath CWG) CARD CATALOGS before passing a younger vagrant to get to the design area.
I can’t really find the right words to describe the shift, not just in demographic, but in ambiance…
Walking back towards the entrance, the patrons changed from surly and “Uh-nuh, no you didn’t!” to business suits and three dollar sodas.
Buffalo is a weird place.