East San Jose Carnegie Branch Library

I have to say I’m a bit of a dreamer (ha you probably already knew that from my last post)

But yes, I do suffer from the chronic daydream. Which is probably why I count airplanes in the sky pretending they’re shooting stars. Wishing for a wish that won’t come true.
airplane
The East San Jose Carnegie Branch Library is, despite the man it’s named after, ain’t so big. Seriously. Standing on this side of the library, I can see the other end and it’s not much.
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It’s on the corner of 24th and Santa Clara, a rather small part of town where the majority of people are, sadly, not big on biz.
Calabazas

Yet, it’s not too shabby. The flowers and flying creatures theme is still prevalent. Although they have an affinity to birds here.

I love the teens room. If you sit in the farthest corner possible for a long time, the lights will turn off and leave you in a deep cave until the next passerby decides to awaken them from slumber.
Birds Take Flight

I stayed for as long as my hunger could hold and then dashed off for mama’s cooking.

But of course. I was in downtown San Jose. I couldn’t.

My favorite place in downtown SJ is probably the area around Plaza de Cesar Chavez. In the evenings, the place is so lively with people and their pets strolling around. Bikers near the stage doing their tricks. Kids running through fountains.

I bike through the fountains myself. It’s refreshing after shutting oneself in a library all day long.
Park
No matter how many times I circle this place, I never get bored of it.

I always come back and find a new thing I didn’t see before. The Paseo de San Antonio Walk isn’t bad either. They have theaters, lightrail station, eateries, flower shops, and a ROSS. What more can I ask for? XD

I have to say, downtown SJ is very biker-friendly. I approve.

Just being able to be at this place, being given so much freedom to roam and scour the city as I please is a blessing to me.
Veterans flag

Come to think of it, I only started this library-expedition business because I felt that I wasn’t blessed with the money to go to summer school but now that I think about it, I would have rather taken this trip than a summer course on BlahBlahBlah 101.

Because of my adventures, I’ve learned more about myself, the people around me, and most importantly, the place around me.
Me
I still don’t know what college I want to go to or what I want to major in or what I want to write in my personal statement or how I’m going to pass calculus next year or what I’m going to eat tomorrow!

But despite all that, I’ve had so much fun going to all these libraries.

It’s been TIRING, HOT, GRUESOME, and sometimes downright a drag to bike all the way to some of these libraries but boy am I glad I did.

Woah there Linh. WE’RE NOT DONE YET. WHY ARE YOU MAKING IT SOUND LIKE A FAREWELL ADDRESS?

Anyways, I just wanted to say that sometimes, there are other things more important than studying. Like friends. Like… dreams. Like yourself. For me, what I need to do right now is keep..biking to the city of my dreams.

In any case, the next post will feature the lovely Calabazas Branch Library! A rotten 6 miles from the Campbell station! 😀

Cambrian Branch Library

Today wasn’t necessarily BAD. I just had bad timing.

First, I was so engrossed in the book I was reading on the lightrail that I missed my station and barely arrived in time for my shift at CDM.

Then while I was in the garden helping kids make sundials, I lost track of time and was 15 minutes late for my break with Jayle! (I know, the irony)

But after that, my 4 mile ride to the Cambrian branch was pretty fun. I didn’t take pictures of the directions today because I trusted in my memory (shouldn’t have) and sense of direction (hello, couldn’t even figure out which way was south when I was making sundials).

Yet I arrived at my appointed destination. And boy was it magnificent!

The Cambrian Branch Library has TWO STORIES. Glorious cheesecakes.
Cambrian
I love tall nouns. People, buildings, ideas, windows too.

I was entranced by this little swirl in the ceiling. These library architects really love circles.
light
The interior was just as brilliant as the exterior. This mini tunnel reminded me of Alice in Wonderland and I admit to spending quite a while just standing there and playing with all the equipment like a little kid.
Alice
Then I spent the next 2 hours reading my fantastic book. I was so into the story that I almost didn’t notice the friend who came to visit me at the library today! It was too good to put down.

In any case, the Cambrian library is a great place to do some reading. With their giant windows and not-too-freezing-AC, the second story is perfect for reading.
Cherry
I think today I was just really…absentminded. On the way home, I was too busy enjoying the scenery to care where I was going and ended up short 2 miles from the Los Gatos Mountains!

No worries. Linh knew her way back.

I think it’s because I’m a Pisces. We fish dream of becoming dragons and sometimes we forget that we’re still fish.

Until I become a dragon, I’ll continue my journey. My next stop is to the long overdue trip to the East San Jose Carnegie Branch!

Edenvale Branch Library

Maybe it’s because I go here so often or because I was too preoccupied with the friend who went with me that Wednesday, or maybe both that I didn’t take any pictures of our trip to the Edenvale Branch.

Recounting my long bike ride to her house, I admit that I am a girl. However, when I am with this friend of mine, I always feel like a knight who has to protect my precious princess from every harm.
Sarahandme
So, yea I kinda like her cuz she makes me feel “manly.”

But that’s not all. Sarah is daring, outgoing, and chic. She’s got the hots for vampires and love novels. She’s probably everything opposite of me but I love her even more for that.

ANYWAYS. I digress.

The Edenvale Branch Library. It feels like home to me. I’ve walked through every aisle and browsed every shelf (yes, even the languages and biographies) and spent many of my days here just browsing, doing homework, having meetings, dating, you name it!

This stop was a date with my longtime friend, Sarah. You know that friend you haven’t met for a long time but when you see each other, it’s like they never left?

Yea, that’s not Sarah. xD

Time passed so long between us but it’s great to get together and find each other again.

Speaking about finding each other, we watched “17 Again” that day. Sometimes it takes a guy going through puberty twice to find out what he wants to do with his life.

And other times, it takes a girl travelling to all 23 libraries in San Jose to decide what to do with her summer.

And her next stop is the Cambrian Branch Library on Monday afternoon!

Educational Park Branch Library

Not to brag or anything but I think I’m pretty cool.

If I travel a road once, I’ll be able to find my way back even with a few detours.
Trees
Well, I’ve been to downtown SJ only 100 times so I easily figured out the way.

OMG THE EDUCATIONAL PARK BRANCH. It opened just this May but even I’m surprised.

I walked through the doors and FELL IN LOVE.
Educational Park
How can you NOT?

The colors, the space, the AC, everything was just so BEAUTIFUL. LOOK AT THE THAT EXPENSIVE HP.
HP
I wish I could study here everyday…sadly this is just a short stop along my travels. But I swear I’ll come back here just for the hp. Someday. Even if I have to bike 5 miles for it. ❤

For my lunch break(I survived the day on Chocopies), I visited the Overfelt Garden Park right across the parking lot.
Plum
Looking around, I felt as if I were roaming a secluded forest in the middle of some Chinese wildland.

But of course, that’s not true. Looking around, I also saw buildings looming in the distance.

Jaylee told me about this one college that has a giant jungle of trees in its center. I found that weird yet oddly appealing. One mustn’t forget nature!
UI
On the way home, I timed myself.

I left library heaven at 7:00PM. I arrived home at 8:15PM. But, no worries, it’s only because I took a lot of stops along the way to take pictures and enjoy the breeze.
Bridge
I bike pretty slowly guys. What takes googlemaps 20 minutes will take me 40.

I go at my own pace where I can enjoy the world as it turns. Slowly.

I see the flowers breathing and people walking. Children running through water fountains and the world feels like it’ll never end.

Downtown San Jose is definitely much more lively at night.

At the end of the day, all these moments rush past and fade in time but I feel at peace.
Lightrail
The lightrail has many stops.

So until we all reach our destinations, let us enjoy the little stops we encounter along the way.

Speaking of my next stop, off to Edenvale Branch Library it is!

Evergreen Branch Library

My plans to travel to East Carnegie Branch were foiled by my father who insisted I stay at home on Saturday else he’d revoke the family’s pho eating privileges. (We eat out every weekend)

Therefore, that post has been delayed, however, I did go to the Evergreen Branch Library on Monday afternoon!

The way there was quite exhausting. Although it was closer than the Hillview Branch, I felt like the road would NEVER END.
kids
I perilously passed the crowded streets of South King Rd and dangerous Asian drivers. It was quite a delirious ride.

Half the time I was asking myself, “WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO YOURSELF.”

“WHY IS IT SO FAR. WHERE IS THIS LIBRARY.”

Until I finally reached it. This is my reaction.
Exhausted
The Evergreen Branch Library. Contradictory to the image that “Evergreen” brings to me, Rich houses in the hills, the library is quite the opposite.
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As soon as I entered, I was invited by a hundred different voices and a large number of yelling as parents chased after their children.

It’s definitely a lively place.
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On my way here, I spotted a dog running in the streets.

It fearlessly ran past the giant truck that threatened to squash it and blankly aimed straight toward the freeway bridge.

I was afraid for it. So I followed. But it just kept going faster thinking I was chasing it! So in the end it disappeared from my sight.

I wonder if the dog ever found its way home?

Where does the road stop?

I finished Requiem by Lauren Oliver yesterday. That ending was, I’m sorry for my language, TOTAL BULL. It didn’t even end.

What happened to the resistance? Did they win? Lose? Did she get back with Alex? Did Raven really die?

Oliver leaves much to be desired and I didn’t feel complete at the end.

The same thing happened with a movie I watched on Sunday. The boy didn’t even get over his stuttering in the end, which leaves me wondering, WHAT WAS THE WHOLE POINT?

So many open-ended endings. But, they MUST have done it on purpose. Why do these people write such endings?

Thinking rationally, maybe they didn’t want to tie up the loose ends. I should write up the ending myself. Is there ever such a thing as the right ending?

The road never really ends.

Road goes to road, rivers flow to seas to deltas to oceans and come back again.

Heck, we all end up in the same place anyways.

ANYWAYS. Speaking about roads, the next road I take is to the Educational Park Branch Library!

Hillview Branch Library

I tried to go early today but an exhausting 2 hours later, I am just reaching my destination.

On my way, I absentmindedly kept going straight. straight. straight. (It’s 4 miles of straight road) I am SO LOST. It can’t be THIS FAR!

This is a new place. I pass Happy Hollow, Spartan Stadium, Viettown… I pass the most ancient parts of San Jose; the bricks feel like they’re about to fall apart and wildflowers outgrow their boundaries.
Wildflower
Yet, after the stretch of archaic factories are also blocks of newly constructed plazas and fine eateries.

Finally, I reached the end of Story road and the beginning of the hills and figured, “This can’t be the right way.”

So I U-turn and backtrack my way to the turn I forgot to make.

There it is! My golden chalice. The shining beacon of libraries!
Hillview Library
The Hillview Branch Library kind of reminds me of West Valley. Inside, it is very spacious. Indeed, everything here is like one size bigger than Pearl xD.

I think they have a circle theme going on here. The library itself is like a circle and everything, although spaced off, seems to point to the entrance atrium, like a half circle almost.
Hillview atrium
In actuality, it’s shaped like an edged-off right angle but the interior has no angles really.
Wood
It’s very warm(not literally, all libraries have AC thankgod) and loud. Many families take their young children here and they run around having fun. You can hear them from across the library! But I had no trouble finding a place to settle down.
Butterflies
Now I’m SURE that they have this butterfly theme going in all the libraries.

I spent my time wisely here reading The Handmaid’s Tale.

Right now, Ofred is conflicted. She aimlessly goes through the days without a single thought. Her body lives in the now, but her mind and her heart live in her lost past. She lives in her memories of her husband and daughter.

Everyday I feel like her.

Dumbledore once said, “It’s not wise to linger in the past and forget to live.”

But, that’s not always true. Sometimes you need to take a step back in order to move forward.

That was me today. So hey, when you’re lost, whether on a roadtrip to the library or to LIFE, it wouldn’t hurt to go back and see what you missed.

Speaking of moving forward, Saturday morning I’ll be travelling to the East San Jose Carnegie Branch Library!

PS: (Congratulate me please. This is the farthest I’ve biked yet! A total of 15 miles is no small endeavor for a non-athletic girl like me!)

Pearl Avenue Branch Library

Getting here was no biggie. I took my sweet time and left the house at precisely 2: 35PM. Maybe I should have just biked all the way there from home. Pearl was not even a mile from the lightrail station.

Last month, my friend Jayle told me that if I count a hundred airplanes, I can make a wish. Today, I was on 95 airplanes.

95 airplanes in the sky. Coming home.

The Pearl Branch is pretty small compared to the others. Bookshelves are everywhere and tables are tucked between aisles and alongside the warm-toned walls.
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I love how all the libraries have this nature, plants, flowers, animals thing going on. And then they all have some form of weird art.
Pearl has an upside-down pyramid and I’m not sure all those scrawlings actually mean anything.
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Everywhere I walked, the library was packed. I finally decided to set up camp on a small corner of the teensroom.
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I was briskly typing up my wonderful report of Joyce Ellington when suddenly my laptop goes BLACK. All efforts to restore it were futile so I brought back up:

The Handmaid’s Tale.

I was just finishing the part where the Commander sticks it in when my eyes linger to a pair of tan legs walking in front of me, then to my right.

I look at his profile from behind. Sturdy legs strengthened from biking. Strong arms trained through extensive hours of gaming. He wears an old hat. Black, scrungy (yes it’s not a word) hair. I’d know that shadow from a mile off but I continue my reading. It’s too good to be true.

Until it becomes true.

Today, he walks toward me. It’s like a dream when I look up to see him.

If you were here long enough, you’d know that I had lost a friend a while back. But as we’re talking, it seems like the fight never transpired. As if it was just a minor rift in our space and time.

And then he’s gone.

I can’t let this great opportunity escape. I pack my bags frantically and race around the library trying to find him. He’s not here. No. Not there. When I run outside to the street, I don’t see him. Just as I walk to the library to search again, he walks out. I take my chance, “Are you hungry? I’m hungry. Let’s go eat.”

— The first picture I took on my camera was my octopus, Phillip. The second picture on my camera is my best friend, Phillip. We’re eating at Panda Express. Then. And now. 96 airplanes in the sky. —
Phillysteak
I walk him home. To tell you the truth, I stalked his house yesterday after my lonerphase at Joyce. I stopped across the street looking into the window where I knew he’d be.

97 airplanes in the sky.

Who knew the next day I’d actually see him in person? And talk to him? And laugh and smile? We arrive at his house 3 hours after our encounter at the library. “Do you remember our old handshake?” He asks. And just like that, a simple gesture worth so much more. An unspoken pact of friendship.

98 airplanes in the sky.

But this isn’t the end. I still haven’t apologized yet. Next time I see him, I’ll make amends.

99 airplanes in the sky.

The last time I counted airplanes, nothing happened. But maybe this time, Jayle was right. As I turn to my block, the last plane flies home.
My first miracle has come true. I wonder what else lies ahead in my travels…

Speaking of which! I’m off to the Hillview Branch on early Friday morning! And it looks like this time I won’t be able to get off with anything LESS than 5 miles of biking… T_T