If You Lived Here, You'd Be Creative


August 26, 2011, Washington, DC: I biked past this artist's studio last weekend on the Jersey Shore. Isn't it great? It made me think about creative spaces and about the beauty of living places that inspire us to think outside the box.

Some places I've lived have just felt more creative than others. I once looked at an apartment for rent on San Francisco's Russian Hill and the landlord asked if I was an artist, explaining lots of creative types had lived there before. We took it. In no time at all, that kitchen on Green St. was filled with bright paintings and big ideas.

Certain places are good for painting. Certain others are great for spreading out the photos and maps and going to town on projects and travels plans. Some places strike me as good spots to write a book. I recently carved out this little nook in my apartment as a teeny tiny writing haven near a great big window.

Some cities, too, have more creative energy than others. I've felt it in hometowns like San Francisco, and in traveling to places like New Orleans or Krakow. In an interesting spring article in the New York Times, one woman explained why she’s stayed put in one apartment since 1973 in the nomadic city of New York: “It feels as if you could write a really good sentence here, or make a really nice meal,” Esther Cohen told the New York Times. If you lived here, you'd be home now. You'd also be a chef, or a novelist, or an artist.

Have you lived in some places that made you feel more creative than others?