As much as I love the laid-back vibe of writing at home, sometimes I just have to get out of our studio apartment. There are too many distractions and too much quiet at home! When I really want to get work done, one of my favorite destinations is the National Gallery of Art. Writing in a museum is such a freeing, creatively charged experience -- and the people watching makes for a great momentary distraction to break up the monotony. Of course, I'm always a little nervous that security will wonder what that weird woman who always shows up and lurks around is up to... fears exacerbated by repeated viewings of "How to Steal a Million."
I've always loved spending time in museums. When I was little, trips to the Art Institute of Chicago were the height of sophistication in my mind. Walking through the galleries always made me feel very grown up and worldly, which is something I craved as a girl growing up in a small town. When I went to college, I would use trips to the Art Institute to get out of my apartment on the c heap. It was a great treat after a long week in the dark days of Chicago winter.
In Paris, the Louvre and the Centre Pompidou are two of my favorite places. Sure, it's touristy, but the sweet benches tucked around the interior wall of the Louvre are perfect for hiding away and writing. Last time I was there, I spent many a rainy hour holed up scribbling. The Centre Pompidou was less writer-friendly, but the views of Paris couldn't be beat!
Now that we live in D.C., where the museums are free, the comfy couches that dot the galleries have become an extension of our apartment. I love nothing more than to pack a picnic and head to the Mall, where I can bop in and out of the museum as I please. Bouncing from room to room, gazing at the artwork, scoping out a new exhibit when I get antsy -- spending the day reading and writing at the NGA is my favorite way to balance work and play.
Do you have any favorite places to run off to when you need to recharge? How do you use public spaces like museums?
Bridey is a freelance writer living in Washington, D.C.
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