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Downtown was given an amazing floating library for the month of September, but as always, all good things must come to an end.

On October 3rd, the Floating Library closed its doors for the season. The Floating Library was designed by Beatrice Glow, a graduate from New York University. The library featured books written by typically overlooked authors, as well as art books, poetry, and manifestos. While onboard the Lilac Museum Steamship, moored at Pier 25 on the west side of Manhattan, visitors enjoyed one month of free programs including performances, discussions, and political and creative workshops.

DOWNTOWN spoke to Beatrice Glow on the final day of the Floating Library to discuss the importance and effect of reading on the water. “I think coming onto the water allows you to leave certain behavioral patterns behind, it’s about re-finding your balance,” she said. “This is a space undergoing renovation and it mirrors where we are culturally at the moment.”

“Downtown has a legacy and I think it’s important to continue to build on top of it and not just allow it to become overly and privately commercialized because then you lose the authenticity of the culture…I think this project is very honest in the sense of asking a big question of the community like, ‘Where are we going and what do we want this community to come to?'”

At DOWNTOWN, we love the idea of escaping the hustle and bustle of the city temporarily to give our mind a break. Fingers crossed that the Floating Library will return to us in Lower Manhattan sometime next year.

-Lauren Price

-Photography courtesy of Tara Salvemini

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