City of Dreams

Last night I was getting ready for my class at Gotham Writers HQ, which is at 38th & 8th, one of the few parts of New York City that is not being snapped up by billionaires. I was on the 14th floor, heard some commotion on the street, went over to the window to look outside and saw this scene.

I am transfixed by this picture, partly because it looks like something Edward Hopper might have painted had he worked for Gotham. But mainly because it so perfectly captures how I feel about the city. There’s something murky, dreamy and lonely about the picture. Everyone who spends time in NYC must be conscious of the fact that although the city hums with millions of people, you are alone as you walk through it. You also cannot walk two feet without overhearing someone talking about their dreams, whether it’s for a financial venture or a screenplay or something more lurid.

I’m imagining the woman in this picture woman walking along, plotting out her novel, and perhaps coming to an unexpected understanding of where it’s all going. Then she’ll slip into that hotel, get a drink and go to work.

Do you have a picture that inspires you?

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