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As a writer, I’m always looking for inspiration. Something outside of myself that gets the writing muse speaking. Every year, I fly to New York, book a hotel with easy access to the subway, and explore. I don’t have to go far to find several spots that offer inspiration.
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No matter the season, Central Park is inspiration overload. If you’re into nature, the park is the greenest spot in all of Manhattan. I get lost in the quiet winding trails, only a few feet away from the noise of the city. In the fall, the leaves change from a brilliant green to a pumpkin orange, a picturesque scene accented by the bright blue sky. Rent a boat and take a row around the Reservoir. Animal lovers can rent a horse at the stables or, if you prefer your horses stationary, take a ride on the merry-go-round. Walk your dog or join a pickup game of soccer on the Great Lawn. I usually find a bench or a rock, with my journal and a good book, and take it all in.
The Other Park
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I call Bryant Park the other park because while it’s not the second biggest, it’s the most inspiring. This 9-acre patch of land in Midtown Manhattan transforms itself depending on the time of year. In the winter, check out the craft vendors peddling their kiosks to the tourists looking to take a little part of Manhattan home with them. In February and September, designers, models, and fashion lovers take over the park for New York Fashion Week. Showing in Bryant Park means you have arrived in the fashion world, and what could be more inspiring than that. I love the springtime the best. I grab some food at one of the food kiosks, find a table, and settle in for an afternoon of people watching.
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The Brooklyn Bridge has been the setting of pivotal moments in not one, but two of my novels. It’s been used in movies and television shows as a metaphorical background to separate people and bring people together. Why is this bridge so inspiring? It connects two boroughs with vastly different vibes. While Manhattan is button up suits and intensity, Brooklyn is hipster skinny jeans and laid back comfort. Both offer their own inspiration, but standing in the middle of the bridge, taking in the tall, menacing buildings on one side and the shorter, historic structures on the other — the Brooklyn Bridge inspires.
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I’m not sure why the FlatIron Building speaks to me, but I’m not alone. Maybe it’s the location: Fifth Avenue, 22nd Street, and Broadway. It’s a convergence of creativity and money. Or maybe its triangular shape and the French and Italian Renaissance influences in the 22-story structure. What ever it is, it sparks my creative juices like no other building on the planet. If the outside isn’t inspiration enough, its tenants are creative types such as book publishers, literary agents, and some of the most famous fashion designers in the world.
Nothing like a change of scenery to jump-start inspiration. A quick trip to New York, immersing yourself into the city’s landscape, will give you inspiration in abundance for when you return home.