Inspiring Places in New York City

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When we work in a creative profession, it’s our job to produce project upon project, breathing fresh life into each new work (on deadlines that don’t correspond with artistic meltdowns, writer’s block, a cold eye, etc…). As frustrating as it is, creative fatigue is part and parcel of the creative process.  If the office is leaving you less than inspired, the solution might simply be a change of scenery.  A quick 5-10-minute walk might be enough to reset your mind, but if you need something a little more than that, here are five inspiring places in New York City to get your creativity flowing!

1. Museum of Modern Art

A great way to renew your creativity is to look at other works of art.  The Museum of Modern Art boasts an incredible collection of paintings, sculpture, and photography spanning from classic contemporary art such as Van Gogh’s Starry Night, to modern fare a la Yoko Ono’s recent retrospective, with everything in between and beyond.  A couple hours of strolling through the MoMA will surely find you feeling inspired and ready to tackle your projects with fresh eyes.  The MoMA is open from 10:30am-5:30pm, seven days a week.  Admission is $25, but if you go on a Friday between 4pm-8pm admission is free.  Here’s a link to their website for more information on current exhibitions and events:

2. Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is another artist’s haven.  Its collections are comprised of art and architecture from ancient Egypt all the way to the modern era, including a recent (and, might I add, fabulous) Alexander Wang retrospective.  The Met is open seven days a week from 10am-5:30pm Sunday-Thursday, with extended Friday and Saturday hours until 9pm.  Admission to the museum is donation-based, meaning you can pay as little as a penny to see priceless works of art that will get your creative juices flowing.  For more information:

3. Central Park

Being in nature is one of the most accessible ways to reinvigorate your creativity.  While NYC might not be the epicenter of the natural world, Central Park is a veritable oasis within the concrete desert of the city.  Whether you are strolling along one of the park’s many trails, rowing around the lake, or sitting on a bench people watching, there are a number of ways to decompress and open yourself up to the creative wonders of nature.  The park is open from 6am-1am, 365 days/year, and can be accessed on 5th Ave between E 59th and E 110th streets, or on Central Park West between Columbus Circle and W 110th streets.

4. New York City Subway

Speaking of 24/7 people watching, another place that can inspire your creative (and compassionate) side is the NYC Subway.  Not the most glamorous location, but there are tons of street musicians and artists working all around you, not to mention the art of life itself – it is, after all, the people of NYC that make it so unique.  And, whether you are writing ad copy for a big agency or creating the next great mixed media performance art piece, there is nothing better to ignite your creativity than accessing your humanity.

5. New York Public Library, Schwarzman Building

While there are several branches of the New York Public Library, the Schwarzman Building is hands down one of the most beautiful and historical locations in the city.  Surrounded by volumes of books and incredible art and architecture, you are sure to find your creative spirits awakening if you spend any amount of time here.  The library is located near Bryant Park and open from 10am – 5:45pm Monday to Saturday, and 1pm – 5pm on Sunday.

If you’re not in NYC, be sure to check out our features on where to find creative inspiration in Los Angeles and San Francisco. And, if you have a place that inspires you that isn’t on our radar, let us know!  We’d be happy to feature it in our next roundup of the top spots to get creative.

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