New York City Inspires

photo 6Writers are drawn to New York City.

Many visit, as I did last week to research locations for my third book. Others choose to live there, or having been born there, never leave.

Take just one small neighbourhood, tony Brooklyn Heights (pictured) across the East River from south Manhattan. There I communed with the ghosts of Carson McCullers, Truman Capote, Norman Mailer and Paul Bowles. And that’s a short list of the greats who have lived there (see here).

Some kind of inspiration is at work.

It must be NYC’s famous, abounding energy. The incessant flow of people and vehicles;  the services available any place, any time; the look in so many people’s eyes that shouts, “I got to get this done”. Whenever I’d walked close to the point of exhaustion, I tapped into that energy for an instant dose of revitalization.

Or maybe it’s NYC’s tenacity. Strolling across the Brooklyn Bridge, I tried to imagine the effort that went into the bridge’s construction before completion in 1883. Or the will in 1898 to consolidate separate counties into one city with five boroughs – Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens and Staten Island – with the City of Brooklyn choosing to join by only a few votes. Or the determination to build world-class art collections like the one at the Museum of Modern Art. Example after example of tenacity, wherever I looked.

Probably above all else, it’s how NYC embraces creativity. Creativity that’s beyond the standard and accepted, that’s experimental and jolting, sometimes commingling with the mundane and decrepit. It’s the creativity that’s seen at the High Line, a renewing park in the Meatpacking District with a walkway along an abandoned, elevated train track now enveloped in regional trees and plants.

New York City. Loud, in-your-face, exhausting. Sure. But also energetic, tenacious and creative.

Qualities to inspire writers.

Copyright © 2014 Peter Fritze

Buy The Case for Killing here (Canada) or here (U.S.).

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