New York is filled with inspiration no matter where you go. Even if you aren’t the creative type, it’s not hard to feel inspired in the five boroughs, even as older residents complain about gentrification. I recently read an article that interviewed six designers that are making inroads in the New York fashion scene, asking them to share what they consider New York’s best spots for inspiration. Some of these didn’t really resonate with me, but there were a few spots they mentioned that I do truly love:
St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery: This church on 10th and 2nd Avenue was once on the farm of Pieter Stuyvesant, New Amsterdam’s notoriously cranky one-legged governor. According to legend, his ghost haunts the church, angry that his property has been turned into an Episcopalian church (he was a devout Calvinist). All ghosts aside, there’s a graveyard in the back that offers plenty of peace and quiet if you ever need to be alone.
The Lower East Side: As one of New York’s oldest neighborhoods and one of its first slums, there’s always something exciting happening here, even if the dynamic of the neighborhood has changed dramatically. It’s filled with great coffee shops, bars, restaurants, clubs and small boutiques.
Strand Bookstore: Even if it’s considered kind of a touristy place, it’s one of the few touristy places that New Yorkers actually love visiting. They have books here on just about every topic you can think of, offering endless sources of inspiration.
Brooklyn Flea: Any creative person could find some great ideas in all of the things going on at Brooklyn Flea, whether it’s the music, art or furniture. Even though people in Brooklyn like to pretend they don’t care, they prep for the Brooklyn Flea.
Chelsea: Whether it’s the High Line, the art galleries or the fabled Chelsea Market, there’s plenty to do out here, and the entire neighborhood has a great vibe. There’s an app called “See Saw” that lets you search art galleries by neighborhood, which is of course great fun in a place like Chelsea.