Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The best place to blog

Do you have a favorite place to be creative? Some place that really inspires or energizes you?

There's an awesome tumblr thread called where bloggers blog that shows all kinds of brainstorming headquarters. My current picture would not be very impressive- it'd be a picture of the floor ; ) Right next to this lazy guy-

In 2013, though, we hit the jackpot when it came to creative space. The year we moved to this place I wrote a whopping one hundred and seventy seven posts for this blog while working, taking a Spanish class, volunteering, and surviving a 2-week visit of the in-laws.

The reason?

This balcony. 

The apartment was smack in the middle of the city- cosmopolitan Pushkin street and all its fancy shops just out the front door- but what completely sold us was the view. Nothing could compete with that view.

Not a single day passed when I wasn't on the balcony for at least a few minutes. Even the very evening we officially moved into the apartment- after a long day of hauling boxes on the metro- we grabbed some fast food and collapsed onto two stools the landlady had left out there, mesmerized by the view. From then on we took as many meals on the balcony as possible.

The balcony was almost empty, home to only a clothes-drying rack, an ironing board, and Kit's litter box (tucked away in the closet), but the windowsill was just wide enough for a stack of books or a laptop.

It was inspiring to lean out the windows and see how far Kharkiv stretched into the distance. Such a big city! We'd pick distant towers to later scout in person, trying to figure out which buildings we already recognized. When Metallist played, the stadium would blaze up with a thousand lights late into the night. Being on that balcony was an instant pick-me-up at any time of day. Even Kit got into the act, spying on the streets below for hours.

In the early mornings, the streets would be empty save for the occasional sidewalk sweeper or runner, the city absolutely still. Not that we saw this time of day frequently (only twice by my count).

Nights would often present an eerily-perfect moonscape-

But what energized me most of all was the bad weather. Hail, thunder, rain, snow, those were the best (but not the warmest) times to hang out on the balcony.

Every time that lightning flashed on the horizon, I'd grab my terrible camera phone and start tapping away like mad. D laughed and laughed until one time I FINALLY GOT IT! The actual moment it happened he was two windows down, trying to convince me to give up :p

Everyone gravitated to the balcony. Even if the Thanksgiving or New Year's festivities would start in the living room, they'd always end with a crowd by the windows. We had a final party out there on what was supposed to be a final night of cleaning before handing the keys over. By the time we finished our friend's "un-housewarming" gifts, there wasn't much time left to clean.

Just from being there, that balcony helped me write so many posts that year. Some winter days, when the air was too cold to stay out there for long, a few minutes was enough to get the brain going or rekindle excitement for the day ahead.

Where do you go when you need inspiration? What kind of spaces help you create? Is anyone else currently using the floor as a launching pad for ideas? ; )

*We're off on an adventure, so this post has been pre-scheduled.*


  1. What a great view! I love how much variation there is in the clouds over the city.

    I also love being able to watch extreme weather like Saigon's rainy season. It's truly fascinating. Maybe I should consider the importance of a view when I move next month, as I could certainly do with the blogging inspiration.