Sunday, March 25, 2012

Finding Inspiration, Part 1: The Walk

[This post is the first of a four-part series.]

Days like Thursday, March 22, 2012, on the surface are sheer fun, but in retrospect become far more. For this reason, I take my notebook with me wherever I go, and I recommend that other creative people do the same, whether they are writers, composers, painters, sculptors, actors, designers, whatever. This is a way to capture ideas that we can tap into later. 

If you want the tip for recognizing and capturing creative moments when they come, you just missed it. Reread and stop here if that's all you wanted. If you want to know where the possibilities for finding inspiration lie for me personally, then read on. I list them, of course, not only to recall at a future time where my own creative ideas arise, but to suggest how you might want to quickly record your own.

Under sunny skies, temperatures in the low seventies (22 Celsius), and a refreshing breeze, it was a perfect day for long uptown walk through New York City after a late morning appointment with a client, so I decided to walk five miles from the Front and John Streets near the South Street Seaport to 42nd Street and Ninth Avenue, with heaps of planned pit stops in between, including Au Bon Pain on Broadway, where I had the chance to take notes about my meeting while eating lunch; J&R Records on Park Row, where I discovered great bargains on compilation albums by my favorite jazz artists; Sarah & Serafina's Shop at 688 Broadway, where I found just the porkpie hat I was looking for and met Serafina, the kindly proprietress from Peru; Shakespeare and Company, a block up on Broadway, New York University Bookstore, a couple doors farther uptown, and Strand Books, a half-mile farther north, where I previewed valuable reading material and enjoyed searching for desired book titles; and then a mile west across town to Smalls Jazz Club in West Greenwich Village, where I caught a bit of the excellent afternoon jam session before running out of time and realizing that my wife would be waiting for me uptown long before I got there if I continued walking. (Wow, a 219-word sentence!) I aborted the five-mile walk, settled for three-and-a-half, and took the final two by the Number 1 train, followed by a quarter-mile stroll to the parking garage where my wife was waiting for me. It's a good thing she came into New York by car because I was carrying a lot more when the walk had ended, so I packed my stuff into the car and we had the evening ahead of us. 

[Next post: The Supper.]