top of page
  • Writer's pictureTaylor Harrington

The anti-library of NYC

What is everyone doing?!

This is the view from the top of my new apartment in NYC.

From the roof, I can peer into thousands of peoples' lives. I can see dozens of people watching the Yankees game, others eating from bowls on their couches, working out on stationary bikes, dancing, laughing, talking, and cleaning.

In a city that seems so big (I'm just one of 8+ million) there's something really comforting, and intimate about having all these lit up windows so close to me💡

I'm not alone; lives are unraveling in every corner of the buildings. Even if I don't know these people...(and trust me, I literally moved here 6 weeks ago, I don't know anyone in these buildings)...there's an abundance of people. And, to me, that's comforting.

There's the possibility I could meet them that's exciting. And, there's the reality of: it'd be impossible to meet everyone.

It's sort of like an "antilibrary", first coined by scholar Nassim Nicholas Taleb, which is the idea that your library of books at home should include books you've read and an abundance of books you haven't read to serve as a visual reminder of the possibility of knowledge left in the world. Our unread books keep us intellectually "curious and humble.”

Looking at all these windows is a visual reminder of all the people I COULD meet. The flickering lights and bodies moving in the shadows represent the unknown, surprise, and possibility of connection.

I'm not frustrated that I won't cross paths with everyone, but instead, curious about the potential and inspiration of "what if".


bottom of page