Finding Inspiration in New York

finding inspiration in new yorkNew 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.  

Cold Weather This Weekend

cold cold cold

New York’s weather this winter seems to have been all over the place; Christmas felt nearly tropical, the rain was torrential in the early part of January, but then a couple weeks ago a record-breaking snowstorm hit.  And now, the Polar Vortex is set to sweep into New York City this weekend, getting ready to ruin your Valentine’s Day.  It will be sending down frigid air southward, from beyond the borders of Canada.  Some of this air will be sliding directly southward from eastern Canada, avoiding any warming effects on the mild waters of the Great Lakes.

A polar vortex is a storm typically centered near the North Pole, and tends to keep the coldest air trapped in the north of Canada.  This storm will occasionally weaken or shift enough to allow for frigid air to plummet southward into the US.  After a month with temperatures averaging 5-10 degrees Fahrenheit above normal, temperatures for this weekend will be falling to 10-20 degrees below normal, possibly going down 30 degrees.  After climbing to 38 degrees later today, the temperature is set to plummet dramatically; temperatures for Friday and Saturday morning will be around the teens, and Sunday morning could see temperatures down to five below.

Cold air will be tough for any New Yorkers spending time outdoors and not properly dressed.  Some things to worry about include frostbite, hypothermia, the bursting of unprotected pipes, water mains and battery failures in vehicles.  While New England will be get hit harder than New York, that’s not to say that Gotham won’t be cold.  Yet much like Jonas, this weather will leave just as soon as it came.  Temperatures might get as low as all of last winter, but the cold air isn’t likely to linger.