Leanne Wei

The New York Public Library

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards."
Søren Kierkegaard

Nestled on Fifth Avenue between 40th and 42nd Street lies one of the most prominent and magnificent architectural landmarks in New York City.  Take a peek inside the New York Public Library and it will feel like you've stepped into a whole different world as you enter a majestic palace filled with marble interiors, vintage lamps, staircases, phone booths and bright over-sized windows in midtown Manhattan. The details are incredible. No lamp, staircase, carved relief or marble work is overlooked. With its ornate style modeled on French architectural ideas, this is probably considered the greatest Beaux-Arts building and one of the greatest civic ventures in New York. With close to 53 million items, the New York Public Library is the second largest public library in the United States, behind only the Library of Congress. A true People's Palace and a pure architectural delight. 

Libraries have always been my personal sanctuary. It's one place I like to have my quiet time and as strange as it sounds, I like to visit the local libraries in every city I visit. I love being surrounded by some of the greatest works in history and having a gateway to an entire network of information.  As a lover of art and history, I always draw so much inspiration by looking, appreciating and learning from the past.

When you live in a city as crazy as New York, it always seems like you are short on time. One of the things I'm trying very hard to do right now is to stop always being in a rush. The other is to stop looking back. It's honestly so difficult to do and it will definitely take more than a few tries. But as Kierkegaard, the Danish philosopher says, "Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards."  I think that's true in every sense and it's a philosophy we can learn to incorporate in every aspect of our lives. Allow the past to teach you, but do not live in it. The key to that is learning to let go. Be mindful and present. Free yourself of all unnecessary entanglements. Do what makes you happy.