the best place to be on a wednesday afternoon is the fourth floor of the paley media center library, where a quadragenarian with long brown hair greets you within the striated lighting of closed blinds. the greeting is soft and open. you are offered two choices of archives specific to the current season, but you choose neither* and are led instead to the classic archives, a section past two others, near where you can see vintage models of what-seems-to-be monitors lining a back wall.
a comfortable chair with armrests is pulled out for you. you sit. say thanks. the archive is a computer system, and the librarian tells you of its various components. curator’s choice, made in nyc, interviews with cast members. mrs. maisel is referenced and you smile – there is a lot to see and watch. headphones – the type available in public school computer labs and libraries, small and bendy – are pointed out to you.
the exhibit below says upstairs in the fourth-floor library, paley has interactive exhibits. i guess public computers are interactive exhibits. the time allotment of 1:30 hours is given to you and you’re told accommodation for more time afterwards is possible. you find a mrs. maisel paley panel video that’s about that length. but it’s been five minutes – time to go back. you hit the lower left hand corner back button a few times just in case, going back in the session’s branching click history made in nyc > tracy jordan on conan > log out. before you leave you hear a different librarian explain the computer system to a new guest. are you familiar with it? -here’s how much time you have-
smile at the person who helped you on the way out.
*the choice is non and feels open and friendly, opening immediately to another thing – and I process it by looking away from my love of this ease.