Well, the sweat and smells of summer are here folks. I don’t own a dog, so the dog days of summer don’t apply. I own tons of flats, and walk amongst some of the most amazing artists, entrepreneurs, and tourists of our time. Yes, it’s that
season, where people from all over the world are in New York, so, where is a writer to write? Daily, on my way to work, I fit minutes in, while not squashed on the 4/5 train, to continue a line that I thought of in the shower to hopefully make it into my phone and then onto my computer.
Besides the train, which in any season is out of style, here are the top 5 places to write this summer:
1. JFK Airport: Although I don’t plan on going on any vacations this summer, I still think this is a great place to write. Is it just me, or do you not want to know where everyone is from, where they are going, and who they are traveling with? I am nosey. I am always watching people and creating stories about lovers who run away together, runaway kids, people who are “over dressed” for the airport, and those people who just don’t give a damn. I think about the people who decide to fly to Boston or Philly from New York and if, with check in, baggage, and flight time, are they really saving time? The international flights with free alcohol on flights. And finally, are terminals are ever going to get better food?
2. Anable Baison. I am letting you in on my favorite Queens Secret. Nowhere, and I mean nowhere, (not even from Brooklyn), can you get such an amazing view of Manhattan. This is the PERFECT summer hang out. There is a mysterious boat there, and I’m not sure if anything strange occurs on it, but you will wish that you were either laying on the front of it with a topical drink (in the east river, I know!), or at least at a dance party. Nonetheless, just let your imagination go here and recklessly explore. No, I mean physically go and drink a cold drink (alcoholic or not), and watch the skyline while the sunsets and the electricity bills of New York go higher. You can write a poem to a building you wish were added to the skyline… anyone ever think of a Pyramid at the bottom of Manhattan? Eh… I know you want to image it..
3. Socrates Sculpture Park: This is an amazing installation park in Queens. To some people, Queens is about as far as Ithaca, but it’s closer than Storm King Art Center. Adding to the vibrant scenery these sculptures provide, Socrates Park is host to a farmers market, yoga, and movie screenings. It’s pretty much an all around great place to relax, reflect, and write. Like most galleries, the people who attend are just as much a part of the art as the work sprawled across the grounds. The multilingual conversations, light park activity, as well as the view from across the water, adds layers of creative energy to absorb.
4. East River Ferry: Although a bit more pricy than the subway, the East River Ferry is still a relaxing ride. Make it part of your commute, or simply get their day pass and hop borough to borough! The flexibility of indoor/outdoor seating, the changes of perspective, and the rapid time it takes to cross the water does make you think about swimming, well, at least for a minute. Instead, I would recommend taking out your notebook and write along with the flow of the river.
5. The drive to the beach: There is nothing better than driving, especially when most of us take public transportation everywhere, or bike! (just a side note; I just started biking after 4 years of not biking since Boulder, CO–my fear has been conquered, well, in Queens anyway). Driving to the beach is by far the best windows-down-blasting-music-just-got-your-license-at-17-feeling. How does one write in a car you may ask? There is a moment, back seat or front, where you get off the Southern State, with the sea salt in your nose, I mean the smell alone will have your pen touching the paper, or fingers to phone– Maybe not everyone has had this moment, but with how long the LIRR takes to Long Beach, the fare for the train/subway, and the reliance of a crowded train–a car does sound better.
This post has a lot of transportation. As writers, as notebook holders, as givers to ink and the word, we really can create our art anywhere we go…