New York City | back on the bounce in 2017

 Brooklyn | Joan Lily

Brooklyn | Joan Lily

We ended our year long trip in 2016 with a week in NYC. It was a bit of a dream to end up there and something we'd always talked about doing should we manage to make it around the world.
The last time we were in New York was a really special visit in 2011 when i was 6 months pregnant. New York was a place i had always wanted to visit and that visit was also to be our last big break as a couple before we were to become parents. 
Of course we loved that trip and we desperately wanted to take our daughter back with us again as she had seen so many pictures of herself there as our bump and had heard us banging on about how cool a City New York is all her life. 
One of her favourite movies is Elf so she really wanted "to go up Buddy’s Dad’s work": The Empire State Building. Needless to say, she too fell in love with New York.

I started researching where to stay in New York when we were in Mexico and the prices i was finding for Hotels were extortionate. We were struggling to pull the trigger on paying so much when i stumbled upon a Hotel called the Carlton Arms, also known as the Artbreak Hotel. Not only was it so much cheaper it was in the ace location of the FlatIron District | Gramercy Park and just sounded like the coolest Hotel i’d ever heard of. I emailed thinking i was probably too late but received an email back sharpish with the offer of a room. Bingo! We were booked and for a fraction of the price of other Hotels.

After all the Countries we had travelled through last year when we arrived at the Hotel, i felt like i had walked into site specific heaven: like a film set. I immediately fell in love with the Building and this whole other secret creative world opened their (Carlton) Arms to us. Not only was the Hotel a really cool place, the people working and staying there were too and i found myself being invited out to watch theatre and to hang out. It was dead easy and it somehow felt familiar; a bit like I was home.
A week in NYC is never enough and having a 5 year old with us; the time just seemed to vanish so much faster than we were expecting. We had made lovely unexpected connections that week though and started daring to dream that maybe just maybe we could make it back to New York sooner than last time and potentially to work. Bonkers!
Long story short we’ve secured a residency as a family to create a room at the Hotel as part of their Artist Residency Programme inspired by our year long travel trip. Talk about really great things happening to you when you least expect them and when you’re not even trying. They’re the right things. My industry is not easy to survive in but I believe sometimes it should be that easy.

Never did we expect when we set off from Scotland on our travels at the end of 2015 that we would make it back to one of our favourite Cities; the epically cool NYC, never mind secure an opportunity to be creative there. Some things are just meant to be and i’m especially excited about this venture as it is something different from what i do as an artist. I feel like I am crossing into territory that is a little unfamiliar to me and it feels great. It's only going to inform my practice in positive ways. Theatre is so temporary that i’m really delighted to be creating something more permanent, something that we get to leave behind in New York and i know for sure New York with come home with us again when it is time for us to leave. 5 weeks in New York City working together as a 3 probably still wont be enough tme though.

Check out this article on the Hotel