Books! One of the things I liked best about New York were the bookshops. I've obviously got a thing for Anglo-American literature, so I always enjoy myself immensely in foreign countries where the shelves aren't packed with Jelinek and Schnitzler.
1. The Strand is apparently one of the biggest bookstores in NY, I think? We went there on our first day and I fell in love. I actually told one of the sale's assistants that he had the best (student) job in the world. He didn't seem so sure. Honestly though, I've never seen so many students work in a bookshop, they were just hanging round the history section, discussing their favourite method of suicide. I was hanging round the history section completely flabberghasted because they had so many of E. J. Hobsbawm's monographies. I wish I had bought more of them, and more novels as well. "Looking for Murakami? We have it on tables!", made me laugh though. Does every student like Murakami? I do rather hate him.
2. The Public Library saved me on rainy days. They had various editions of Der Neue Pauly (in German!) which made me very happy.
3. Some books I bought. I had to get "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie" because a fabulous sale's assistant told me to. Our conversation went something like this:
"Can I help you, do you need anything?"
"No thanks, I'm fine."
"Oh come on, let me just show you one book. You have to read it. I mean, look at your hat! Look at the ensemble you're wearing! You have to read it!"
So I did just that. My favourite of the ones I bought is "A Seperate Peace" though. ("The Bell" is excellent as well, but I'd known that one before.) I think most Americans read that one at school? To me, it was perfect and I don't even know what to say about it, except that it had the best characterisation I've ever read, I think.