While I was on my routine visit to Astoria Bookshop, I came across a book that grabbed my attention: In Love in New York: A Guide to the Most Romantic Destinations in the Greatest City in the World (Rizzoli) by Caitlin Leffel and Jacob Lehman.

It might be an unmatched resource for romance for couples looking for a little heat in the Big Apple, but for me, it is serving as a launchpad for my own writing. While there is inspiration in everyday interactions and occurrences, sometimes you need to dig a little more to find something that speaks to your soul. Bookshops are great for writing prompts and creative seeds.

From a young age, New York City was something that was undeniably romantic, but always within my grasp. Growing up in the shadow of the Empire State Building, the city and her skyline were ever-present in class trips, road trips, major holidays spent with family, and outings when my parents took a week off every summer to hang out with my little sister and me.

The city is a place of love. My parents found love with each other on the streets of Manhattan more than 45 years ago. The love of aunts, uncles, grandparents, godparents, and friends who might as well be family can still be found there, today. Furthermore, here are my memories of falling in love with the restaurant scene, buildings, dueling pianos, live music, men, friends, street fairs, and book shops.

Starting today, I am going to regularly explore everything “New York City” that conjures up thoughts and feelings of love. You make what you want of life and your surroundings. I want to feel love in every adventure, and I want to know what all of you love about the place that you call home. Queens to Buffalo, London to Dubai– I think it’s a great idea to stop and remember what you love about the place in which you live.heartlock