Sunday, March 14, 2010

Three hours on Sunday afternoon

I met my friend M. at the Morgan Library & Museum this afternoon.  No, I hadn't heard of it either.  It's quite grand-- it's an expanded version of the private library of financier Piedmont Morgan. They had a small but exquisite exhibit of the letters of Jane Austen (the library owns 51 of them, more than any other institution in the world) as well as illustrated Flemish manuscripts from the 1500s. 

Both exhibits were interesting, but it was the actual Morgan library that really inspired awe.  Unfortunately cameras were not allowed, but if you follow this link (and, if you're ambitious, check out the rest of the website) you'll see why my eyes were wide and my mouth open:

Can you imagine having something like that in your home?  Rich in every aspect of the word.

After we had our fill, we headed to a little tea shop.  M. pulled out a little treasure that she had been wanting to share with me:

How did she happen to be in possession of a very small Chinese bill?  She had purchased an umbrella, a bright red one, from a local pharmacy.  She caught sight of a piece of paper in the folds of the fabric.  And there it was.  It was so reminiscent of my own little treasure (see my very first blog entry, Cold nose, warm heart) we could only laugh.  If I remember correctly, gift money is often enclosed in red envelopes in the Chinese culture.  Did someone far away tuck this in the umbrella, with hopes that a stranger would find it and smile?  A modern version of a message in a bottle, kindness across the miles.


  1. They have the JD Salinger letters planned for an exhibit soon...I can't wait!

  2. I had no idea-- thanks for mentioning it!