Today in her third diary entry Lily shares a bit more on finding inspiration in the streets (and parks!) of NYC.follow the girl lily qian

New York is known as the concrete jungle. How and why do you make time to visit the city’s actual gardens, parks and waterfronts?

I had a good friend who used to make me get up on weekends to watch the sunrise, sunset, and take long walks together in East River Park, Dumbo Brooklyn Bridge Park, Prospect Park, Central Park, and even all day walks exploring Brooklyn. It was beautiful. The city can feel quite ugly and depressing sometimes, visiting small pockets of nature reminds me how beautifully diverse and amazing this city is. One day I walked the entire length of Central Park from top to bottom, and then continued on to Washington Square Park. I wanted to make it all the way down to Battery Park, but I unintentionally looped Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, and had to make a pit stop at Shake shack in Madison Square Park. Three of my friends have walked the entire west side of Manhattan! Once the weather gets warmer again I am doing this!

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During the winter seasons, how do you recommend making time to spend time outside?

In the winter season I bundle up and still try to make time for walks to the waterfront, parks, and go jogging in McCarren Park. One year I joined a beginner intermediate co-ed soccer league in Prospect Park over the winter. We played every Saturday morning, and at end of the season we all went to the Russian Bath House! It was such a great experience.

Lily’s Diary

follow the girl lily qian
Monday, February 15, 2016 3:00pm

How does the juxtaposition between an urban setting and the small pockets of nature influence your work as an artist? 

Concrete can be quite ugly and cold. Having small pockets of nature in the city is a treasure. I’ve realized I enjoy illustrating and telling stories in everyday life scenes that are positive and uplifting. I need time to slow down and access to nature to feel good in order to create something beautiful.

follow the girl lily qianCheck back tomorrow as Lily shares one of her neighborhood go-to’s for artistic inspiration…

Photos by Bridget Badore for OVERT NYC