Greetings from allergy land, and a trip to New Jersey

The only consolation for the fact that the air is full of pollen right now, making me sneeze and curse every time I go outside to enjoy the gorgeous weather, is that everyone else is suffering too. It’s like a constant Greek chorus of sneezes.

In other news, the History of the Book project continues apace. I went for what turned out to be a terrific research trip to Princeton’s special collections library this past Friday. People had told me that they’re legendarily unwilling to let non-Princetonians look at their collections, but I had no trouble, probably because I’d e-mailed them in advance about what I was doing. I had to have a photo ID made and surrender my notebook in favor of special orange notepaper with a hole in the middle, but once I’d cleared the security hurdles, the reading room proved to be a very calming place: a big light-filled hexagon with really high ceilings. The reference librarian even brought out a big box of Gehenna Press book prospectuses and let me look through it.

Other highlights of the day: meeting up with friends who live in Princeton for lunch at an Italian restaurant called Teresa’s, which serves a stellar pizza with prosciutto and figs; having Paul Muldoon pointed out to me on the street; and walking past the spot where they film some of the hospital exterior shots for House (alas, I think Hugh Laurie lives in Hollywood, not New Jersey). It’s a very pretty campus to walk around, though rather overwhelming in its old-moneyed Ivy-ness.

But really, I was there for the library, and the great thing about using special collections is that there are no distractions. For as long as you’re in there, you’re entirely focused on whatever you’re looking at. If it weren’t for the prospect of excellent Italian food, I’d have lost track of time completely.

3 Responses to “Greetings from allergy land, and a trip to New Jersey”

  1. wolfa says:

    Actually, he lives in London, where they continue to be puzzled how an upper-class twit can be an asshole sex symbol in the US. He’s also, to my surprise, clinically depressed.

  2. Jeannette says:

    It’s so funny how different special collections libraries can be. At Penn it was like, ‘hey, whatever!’ I could take pics to my heart’s content. They were so laid back.
    I agree. I like the focus of being in the special collections, focusing on the one thing that they pulled special for you. 🙂

  3. Amanda says:

    Oh, I thought he’d relocated to the States while they were filming House. Alas. No Hugh Laurie sightings for me unless I get on a plane, either way.
    And, yes, I’ve been in much more laid-back special collections libraries too. There’s probably some kind of inverse relationship between fame of collection, number of people who show up wanting to look at it, and degree of laid-backness going on.