Looking for a little creative inspiration? You’ve turned to the right city. New York City has some of the best places to people watch, take in spectacular views, and spark that next great idea. Here are five of our favorite spots. By Carly Petrone.

Shoppers inside Strand Bookstore, Dec. 26, 2013 (credit: Marla Diamond/WCBS 880)

Shoppers inside Strand Bookstore, Dec. 26, 2013 (credit: Marla Diamond/WCBS 880)

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Step into this literary institution and you’ll feel the inspiration to read, write, and create instantly. Strand Bookstore has been around for over 80 years and it offers more than 2.5 million books for you to peruse. Check out the collectible 1935 edition of James Joyce’s Ulysses, illustrated by Henri Matisse or one of the other many rare printed books that are available. Curl up with a good book or start your own.

File photo of Central Park (credit: Getty Images)

File photo of Central Park (credit: Getty Images)

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Let the trails and sculptures of Central Park inspire your next story. Whether you’re lounging at The Boat House, discovering Alice’s Wonderland, or stopping by to say hi to the animals in the Central Park Zoo, there are plenty of ways to get some new ideas into your head. Stroll through Belvedere Castle and take in the magnificent view or walk around the Reservoir. Let the beauty of the park help create your next masterpiece!

(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

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Whether you snag cheap seats for a Broadway show or discover the ballet at Lincoln Center, going to a live performance can only help uncover your own artistic abilities. New York City is the perfect place to check out everything from improv shows and storytelling series (there’s even a series dedicated entirely to puns) to TV tapings and live jazz. Who knows, you may just want to try an open mic somewhere on a whim.

Brooklyn Bridge (credit: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images)

Brooklyn Bridge (credit: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images)

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Grab your camera or a bike and head to the Brooklyn Bridge. With spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline as your backdrop, take a minute to stand back and enjoy your surroundings. Will the love locks strung along the bridge remind you of a great love or admirer? Imagine what life was like back in 1883 when the bridge first opened. Take a stroll during the day and check out Brooklyn Bridge Park or see the city light up at night. Either way, you’ll be glad you took the time to walk across boroughs.

(credit: Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

(credit: Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

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Have your own adventure inside Grand Central Station. Sit underneath Paul Cesar Helleu’s zodiac mural and take in the hustle and bustle around you or enjoy a classic cocktail inside the 1920’s-inspired bar, The Campbell Apartment. This historic landmark remains the busiest train station in the country – which means people watching at its finest. Grab a friend and visit The Whispering Gallery underneath the diagonal arches. It’ll blow your mind. Terminal is open from 5:30 a.m. – 2 a.m.

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Carly Petrone is a freelance writer living in New York City.