On a hot, muggy Monday afternoon in late July, my husband and I found ourselves sitting in a rented Hyundai Sonata, alongside the newly rebuilt Long Island City, Queens, waterfront overlooking Manhattan’s East River. Our 2-year-old son’s gentle snores from the backseat punctuated the blasting AC. We had parked illegally, partly for the view, but mostly so we could extend the nap our boy desperately needed before our last stop on a whirlwind three-day New York City catch-up-with-friends-while-stuffing-our-faces-with-delicious-food tour. This side trip was part of a larger two-week trip to Eastern Pennsylvania to introduce our son to family, friends, and green landscapes. It was also a covert litmus test for my husband and me to see if we wanted to move back (the answer: no!). So we were already in an emotional place when I looked up and noticed a bookmobile taking in our same view. Immediately my body flushed with warmth, and not because of the pressing heat and heavy humidity outside.
“Look!” I exclaimed, grinning, waves of nostalgia washing over me. “A bookmobile! I remember the bookmobile!”