Bascom Branch Library

It’s true. The Bascom Branch Library is really great. And big. And on the outside, it screams NEW! INNOVATIVE! LIBRARY!

Seriously, every library is basically designed in pretty much the same structure on the outside so you can see from down the block the shiny beacon of Beauty that is THE LIBRARY.

Inside though, the Bascom Library isn’t as imaginative and fun as the others are. (Which explains the lack of photos)

It’s straight to business. Colors are fine. But no stuffed dragon or tree sculpture here! No sir!

Pretty computers YES.
Bascom Branch Library
Needless to say I didn’t fall in love with this place. But I do find the quiet room interesting.

There’s no difficult door to maneuver or find. It’s like one big glass window slapped the other one out and made a parallel gap between the two so you can just WALK THROUGH LIKE A BOSS (without having to make a fool of yourself wondering if it goes in or out -EDENVALE!!-)
Anyways, yea. Did my homework here. Not really, just fell asleep on the couch before I even read one page of SIDDHARTHA.

Don’t worry. I saw 2 old people sleeping while I was touring the library. I’m not alone.

After leaving the library, I was in a pretty conflicted mood and therefore spent the next hour roaming downtown San Jose. Again.
Not even sure if you can see my expression but it stands for “bleh.”

But, that was then. You can’t stay too long in the red zone.

This is going to sound so cheesy, but bear with me.

Only YOU are in charge of where to steer your bike. U-turn it, drive it madly down the road, turn left or right. There’s many ways to bike.
As for me, this summer I’ve been driving my bike all sorts of wonky ways and will probably continue in that manner. Life is fun that way.

And eventually, when it’s time to park your bike, lock it up safely and walk away in style!

The time comes soon! I’m off to Alviso Branch Library in less than 12 hours!


Almaden Branch Library

Oh my god I love this place. Wait. Hold up, let’s rewind.

The Almaden Branch is on the edge of Almaden County Park, like where all the green tree-ey mountains are in the south. So, naturally, their library loves trees.
Besides the awesome tree design, this place is HUUUGEE! It’s more than just a library. It’s a community center complete with a cafe, a game room with pool tables, a park to it’s left, and just a lot of cool stuff.
It’s a very quiet and nice library. Reminds me of Vineland. The people that is, and the kids.

Because I could not find a nice place to set my laptop on, I sat in the kids’ table and all day long, parents and their kids would plop themselves across from me and read.
This is just a random thing I’ve noticed since I explored Educational Park, but every library since then has owned at least one copy of this decades old Dragonlance series. I never got the chance to read it (just look at the size of em) but it always intruiged me because of the blurb in the back of the book.

The plot really reminded me of some other story about dragons in Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore.

Do you ever get that feeling? That nostalgic feeling that wells up in you when you notice similarities between things?
Thomas C. Foster, author of “How to Read Literature Like a Professor” said that there is only ONE STORY. That is, all stories derive from each other. They borrow this, twist that, so that each book is like a leaf sprouting from different branches that all stem from one tree trunk.

I suppose almost everything can be explained in this way. Ancestors, science, cause and effect. It’s pretty cool.

With that being said, I’ve just two branches left. Bascom library it is!

Berryessa Branch Library

So I totally messed up my opposite-alphabetical order already so.. why not go to Berryessa right after Alum Rock? xD

Ahh a day without my bike. It wasn’t too bad. Although going back to the Alum Rock area gives me bad vibes… I shrug it off. Not like they can steal anything else…other than my laptop which I brought with me today to do INTENSEHOMEWORK.

In any case, I arrived at the library safely and was struck in awe at how beautiful it was (not like the others weren’t beautiful too but..)

The Berryessa Branch Library.
Berryessa Branch Library
If the Cambrian Branch was crazy with circles, Berryessa is obsessed with triangles. The end of some shelves are designed like a sleek shark fin and even the ceiling shouts TRIANGLES ARE SO COOL.
But I don’t mind. It is cool.

I really like the mood of this library. It’s very lively during the day and a lot of Asian people are here. Although you can see many Latino references in the paintings around the library.

Once again, the children’s area really is the awesomest place yet. (Seriously, why do the children get all the awesome architecture? We teens can appreciate beauty too) The theme: Moonlight Dreams.
Man I could just sleep there. But I didn’t sleep a wink here! Did my homework in the quiet study room like a good girl. 😀

Outside, there is a nice park with a beautiful man-made fountain/lake. It’d be a great place to bike around.. …

Only two more branches to hit up and I will have accomplished my quest. Looking back, there is no other way I would have wanted to spend my summer. I’ve seen so much of my city and there’s still so much more to see.

Some people believe in God, others in Fate, I believe in Cause & Effect.

Upon arriving home, I receive the best news ever. Thanks to the great advice from Nido, I made up with my friend Phillip again as you guys know from Pearl Branch. So that was the cause. The effect was that, when I lost my bike, he messaged me offering his extra bike, giving me a list of reasons why I need it.

It’s like we’re out of Mirkwood already and rolling down the Forest River in barrels of rum. His bike is a bit high but it’s better than walking there. Could not have asked for a better way to ride down the finish line.

Thank you to everyone for your concerns. My sister keeps telling me to bike with a friend so I’m not lonely, but I’ve always known. I’m never alone.

The next trip is to Almaden Branch Library! (Yes I’m messing up the order again) Trololo!!

Alum Rock Branch Library

Basically, I just didn’t like the ambiance of Latino america today so I left it for the next place on the list: Alum Rock Branch. So what if I have to bike 5 miles? Library closes at 8 anyways. I have time.

So I head off to the land past downtown and I-680. There I find a more densely Latino and black population. Don’t mistake me for being prejudiced, but after being checked out by a middle aged black man earlier that day I’m kinda wary.

The Alum Rock neighborhood is weird. This block looks like I passed the border to Mexico, the other is like I never left Westgate.

Moving on, the Alum Rock Branch Library. It definitely stands out from its surroundings.
Like every library, it’s pretty awesome. The Children’s area is populated by cute little plastic palm trees and blue clouds.
But I never linger there for long. I plop myself down on a comfortable couch in the quiet study room and start THE TRAVELER by Daren and Daniel Simkin.
[[SPOILERS: The story is about a boy who wants to find out what he wants to spend all his time on. So he packs up his suitcase with hours and minutes and months and travels across the world until one day he comes home an old man and realizes he wants to spend his remaining time with the pretty girl he left at home. But when he opens the suitcase where he kept his time, only a measly month falls to the ground and several seconds trickle to his feet. And only now does it hit him. You cannot pack up time and save it. And so he lived the rest of his month with his friends and family. It wasn’t what he planned for, but he was happy. END SPOILERS:]]

The short story really resonated in me because, heck I’m pretty sure it’s what I’m doing right now!

Because the reason I’m going to all these libraries is because I don’t know what else to do. I’m searching for a reason right now.

Later, I tried to do homework but every sentence of SIDDHARTHA was a melodic harp that lulled me further to sleep.
I have no dreams of late. It’s all black. A dark abyss. I’m searching for a star to look upon.

Finally, I decide I can do nothing more here and head out the door. It’s sunny outside. Good weather. The breeze is warm.

All that’s missing is… my bike.

My bike with the tattered basket and pink lock. Linh’s bike with the tired brakes and rusty chain. Where did it go? Who did it go to? A deep pool of anger surged within me but I tried to stay as calm as possible. My eyes radiated anger. I resorted to fast-walking to the nearest Alum Rock lightrail station approximately 0.8 miles from the library.


My mood today :<
My mood today :<

I screamed in my head that it was not so but Alum Rock is far from Cottle. The hour-long ride home leaves me exhausted and drained of anger. Now I'm just freakin' depressed. At the end of the day, I just don't care anymore. My legs ache. My feet hurt. I take off my flip flops and walk home barefoot the rest of the mile. Through grass, cement, pine leaves. It's the true hobbit experience you know.

It's like we're at the verge of Mirkwood Forest. The horses cannot go any further, nor can my bike help me. The band of dwarves and hobbit traveled great leagues on foot. Why can't I go a few miles?

Even without my bike, I'll still continue my journey. It's a duty to you readers and a duty to myself.

With that being said, tomorrow I am headed for Berryessa Branch Library! Fighting!

Biblioteca Latino Americana Branch Library

Yes. There is actually a library pretty much made specifically for the latino american population in San Jose.

Anyways, today started out in a frenzy. I had to hurry to school to get my schedule and ID and then rush to the book room to get my books and then spend the next 45 minutes delivering bookbricks to students.

I was so engaged in helping the busy crowd that I forgot that in an hour I had to take my senior portrait!

So I rushed home, grabbed my books, wallet and raced to the lightrail.

Suffice it to say I managed to reach my destination and took my picture.

Speaking about pictures, I couldn’t find my camera today (scatterbrained) so we’ll make do with small, low-quality phone camera. Good? Ok! 😀

Onto the Biblioteca Latino Americana Branch Library! (phew that’s long)
From the outside, it looks huge! Tall enough to have two stories. Big enough for a basketball court.

From inside, it totally reminds me of those awkward one room houses. No. Just.. No. I want my privacy please.
Still, it’s a reaaaallllyy pretty library from the inside. Upon entering the front doors, a gush of air conditioning welcomes me to a cozy looking arena of books.
On either side of the library are hand-painted canvases depicting important Mexican figures and culture. There’s also really cool quotes on the wall too.
So the library system has been down since August 5th therefore most of their services have been… wacky.

So it’s just my luck that my card just so happens to expire this week thus disabling my computer and checking out privileges.

But nice lady let me make a temporary new ID and check out this cute book called THE TRAVELER. I’ll read it later.

Speaking about later, this day isn’t over! The second half of Tuesday, August 6th will be up shortly.

In an epic quest involving bikes and books and people, a girl will show her wrath at Alum Rock Branch Library!! RAWR!!! :<

Calabazas Branch Library

This is the 16th library. I went here last Monday but only got the chance to write about my trip now.

The Calabazas Branch Library is probably the farthest I’ve traveled by myself. I biked 5 miles to the edge of Cupertino and encountered many similar paths along the way.

I reminisced the Westgate shopping center from when my aunt took me to Yogurtland near West Valley Branch. The stretch of food shops along Old Campbell looked like the one I traveled in Willow Glen.
downtown campbell
I recognized so many street names I crossed on my other trips. I’m not afraid to take detours because, I’ll know my way back.

The Calabazas Branch Library is not the biggest library, nor the smallest. But it’s more like a combination of Educational Park and … for some reason, Joyce Ellington.
It’s colorful and optimistic. Bold and friendly.
But I have to admit, it wasn’t the most comfy place to do homework. Since I arrived so late (after volunteering) and had to leave early, I didn’t do much other than browse the shelves for good reads and packed up for an hour ride back home.

The biggest impression this library left me with was the predominant Asian population. No wonder I didn’t feel left out. haha! I kid.
In any case, the bike ride here was extremely fun. So many sights to see, places to be… I seriously biked around the Campbell Community Center twice and circled Rainbow Park three times before I got to my destination.
downtown campbell lightrail station
Overall, I’d love to come back here just to enjoy the views along the way~

Now, onto miscellaneous stuff, the reason why I skimped out on this post for so long, I won’t make excuses. My mom left for Vietnam the Saturday before so I had to stay home, be a good daughter and do chores.

No I won’t make excuses. I just stayed home and watched dramas last week. I did.

But to make up for it, I’m hitting up all the libraries this week before school starts next Tuesday! Think I can do 6 libraries in 5 days? (Shoot I should have gone today…)

Well, we’re off to the Biblioteca Latinoamericana Branch Library tomorrow morning so keep your socks on!