Monday, January 8, 2018

Fancy new library in Tianjin

I first saw this story on CNN and it has also been on all. kinds. of. sites. I live in Tianjin! I should go! This library is in a section of Tianjin called Binhai, which is far to the east of downtown Tianjin, near the coast. They have built a new cultural center, which is where the library is, and there will also be a performing arts center as well as a campus of Julliard in 2019.

I'm often surprised at how huge Tianjin is. It is huge. I am also often surprised at how confident I am getting around considering I can barely communicate in Chinese. Jim's brother, Mike, has been in town (!) and we decided that would be a good time to go visit this new library. Jim, unfortunately, has Influenza A (I mean, the thinking in October was something like the flu shot only covers like 10% of the flu, so let's not get it and now we know. We definitely should have gotten it).

The flu shot could have prevented this
The girls and Mike and I got into a taxi for a 45ish minute ride to the library, but for us it took 70 minutes until we arrived the the wrong library, because I had put in the wrong address into the taxi app, Didi. Whoops. On the map below, our house is represented by the butterfly, the wrong library is where the green monster is and the new library is where the yellow pokemon is. For your own reference, the actual, correct address is: 天津市滨海新区中心商务区旭升路347号

 Either way, it's a long drive.

Finally, we had arrived. The taxi driver was happy his ridiculous foreign goose-chase was over and we were excited to finally get to see this new library.
Inside the cultural center

Entrance to the library from the cultural center

Main room of the library

Giant glowing orb in the center

When I read about it in CNN I just skimmed the article and didn't get to the last sentence: "Most of the shelves in the atrium are plastered with images of book spines instead of actual books. Visitors have to head to the more traditional sections of the library for the real thing". I had heard from a local that the top shelves had fake books on them, which I thought would make sense but there weren't even fake books. It was just wallpaper.

not books

The actual design of the library itself is very cool, I just was surprised they didn't use the space differently. There are books there, but they are in rooms off of the pretty main lobby with the glowing orb. We went to the 4th floor to see the English books.

The 4th floor has one room with English books. We struggled to crack the code of how they were organized as fiction was mixed in with nonfiction, but we know this for sure-whoever did the ordering loves Nora Roberts. There were shelves and shelves of Nora Roberts books.

All by Nora Roberts

Also by Nora Roberts

Studying for the LSAT? Take a break and read a book that was made into a romantic comedy!
 Overall, it was interesting and I'm glad I saw it in person. I don't think I will go again until a few more things have opened up in Binhai, which should be soon. It looks like it's slated to have lots of cultural gems and restaurants opening soon.

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