fluffy towes
Carmen

Carmen Jenner is a travel, food, and lifestyle writer, wanna-be photographer and the founder of Fluffy Towel. She specialises in content creation, editorial coverage, writing, editing, copy writing, blogging, marketing and communications in the travel, food, arts and cultural industries.

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New York City: Peace and the City

filed21 May 2019 from

Catching shut eye on The Highline

The most obvious place to seek serenity in any city is within the leafy confines of a park. New York has no shortage of open green spaces, and plenty of clandestine pockets of calm.

Known as the lungs of the metropolis, Central Park has many secluded spots within its 840 acres of vastness. Lose your thoughts on the elm-tree line Mall and Literary Walk or go into hiding in the secret garden within the Conservatory Garden or retreat into the historical museum at Belvedere Castle.

Tiny pockets of serendipity exist between the city towers, like a segment of the Berlin Wall on east 53rd between Fifth and Madison or the Creative Little Garden in the East Village or Jefferson Market Garden in Greenwich Village. The High Line is too popular to offer solitude however the disused railway, converted into a sky-park, offers an interesting saunter amongst the street performers, art installations and has plenty of places to flop with a birds-eye view into the cacophony below and surrounding buildings.

The Cloisters

Way uptown in Fort Tyron Park The Cloisters houses the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s (The Met) medieval art collection within an exquisite medieval monastery. Overlooking the Hudson it’s not on the tourist trail but worth the trek if only to languish in the medieval gardens and admire the unicorn tapestries which appeared in the Harry Potter movies. Established in 1902 in the Bronx, the New York Botanical Gardens were cleverly planted to be blooming all year round. Green thumbs should allow for a lengthy visit to fully inhale all 50 gardens and regular exhibitions.

Downtown the Skyscraper Museum gives architectural buffs some perspective of the scale of Manhattan compared to other mega-cities of the world without even having to step out onto the pavement. The hefty entrance fee of $20 into the magnificent Frick Museum usually keeps the crowds at bay but is a small price to pay to enjoy the many European masterpieces and tranquil gardens in relative peace. The Museum of the City of New York celebrates the city and its wonderful history without the crowds. Unknown to many, The Met has recently opened its doors on Friday and Saturday nights and you might find yourself alone with Henry the 8th’s armour or the jewels from Cleopatra’s reign. While at the Met, rest your feet in the oriental gardens in Astor Court or pop up to the rooftop garden on the 5th floor; that’s if you can find the entrance many struggle to locate, which means more space to spread out.

Relishing in the city from above provides a sense of calm and located 18 storeys above the chaos the rooftop lounge at the Gramercy Terrace Hotel offers an oasis with those heart-stopping views which beckoned you to the Big Apple in the first place. There’s many rooftop bars to sample, and Salon De Ning, perched above the Peninsula Hotel, is the epitome of oriental drama meets big city glamour. Imagine sipping your cocktail of choice while everyone below scrambles home during peak hour.

Keeping a lower profile, hotel lobbies offer anonymity which in itself is very liberating, especially if you aren’t staying there. The vast lobby at the Ace Hotel is sectioned up into intimate spaces by retro lounges designed for a leisurely slouch with a caffeine fix by your side and laptop perched where it was originally intended. The Paramount Hotel near Times Square has a chic lobby whispering for a quiet drink or secret rendezvous. Or there’s the exquisite Bemelmans Bar at The Carlyle where the amber coloured walls are adorned with artist Ludwig Bemelman’s depictions from the Madeline children’s books. Go on a Monday night and you might catch a glimpse of Woody Allen warming up his clarinet for his regular Monday night gig next door at Café Carlyle; if you’re lucky enough to secure a ticket it definitely won’t be quiet but well worth the acoustic accost.

For more details check out www.nycgo.com

Can you keep the noise down!

Ssshhhh:

  • The least busy time to visit with the best weather is during the Fall (Autumn) and between Memorial Day and Thanksgiving. Winter is ideal for theatre-goers and museum buffs.
  • Restaurant Row (west 46th between 8th and 9th) in the Theatre District caters to theatre-goers but if you go during the shows you’ll dine at leisure.
  • Request a hotel room on the highest floor possible for the least amount of traffic noise but always enquire if there’s an operating elevator.
  • Indulge in a power nap in a sound-proof honeycomb-shaped sleeping pod at in Midtown’s Yelo Spa.
        • For the ultimate view head to the top of the Rockefeller Centre because it will include views of the Empire State Building and be less busy.

 

Sex in a Sarong: the night I met Candace Bushnell, the real Carrie Bradshaw

filed21 Apr 2019 from

 

 

My floor-length is gown is hitched up around my thighs. Not quite the entrance I had envisioned for a soirée with Candace Bushnell, author of Sex and the City. Fireflies flit along the shoreline as I step out into the Indian Ocean where the water is as warm as the sky is midnight blue. The tiny island of Taprobane off Sri Lanka’s southern tip flickers in candle light as we wobble our way along the watery path …

The night I met Anthony Bourdain

filed09 Jun 2018 from

From drug-addled chef to successful author and TV presenter, Anthony Bourdain wasn’t only a storyteller but a story creator. He lived the stories he told not merely as an observer, but as a participant, and in doing so, he connected us to worlds many of us will never experience.

I’ve been a die-hard fan since encountering his first book Kitchen Confidential; I’ve savoured every word many times over. I was thrilled to discover he hosted an entire TV series, …

Have child, will travel

filed27 Jul 2017 from

 

 

As soon as my daughter was born, I knew her arrival would alter the shape of my life for all eternity. Determined to continue travelling amid the routine, tantrums, sickness and fatigue, I figured the sooner I introduced her to the joys of travel the easier it would become. But no amount of planning can prepare you for the inevitable stance a young feisty lady can take. Little Miss Manhattan, indeed!

While there is plenty of information available …

The Artists of the Margaret River Region wins a gold IPPY award

filed27 Apr 2017 from

I’m thrilled to announce The Artists of the Margaret River Region has won a gold IPPY award in the Non-fiction Australia/New Zealand category at the 2017 Independent Publisher Book Awards in New York City. As the author of The Artists of the Margaret River Region, I had the daunting task of interviewing and crafting the profiles of 80 artists from the Margaret River region. Please click on the cover below to enter a kaleidoscope of paint, ink, pencil, pastel, …

Richard Avedon photography collection comes to Perth

filed06 Aug 2014 from

Never has the expression “A picture is worth a thousand words” rung more true than in the instance of photographer Richard Avedon.

Currently displayed at the Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth is very fortunate to only be the second city in the country to host Avedon’s exhibition. It’s the closest most of us will ever get to the famous faces peering out of their frames; especially since many of them are no longer with us. Framed specifically for this …

Permanent Impressions: Independent Publisher Book Awards Winner

filed01 May 2014 from

I’m very proud to report Permanent Impressions: A salute to contemporary heroines won Bronze in the Best Regional Non-fiction category for the 2014 Independent Publisher Book Awards, also known as the IPPYs. It was an absolute honour to work on such an amazing project with the incredibly talented artist Jana Vosedil and dynamic Carina Hoang of Carina Hoang Communications, who incidentally won Silver for her Boat People book in 2012. Permanent Impressions pays homage to 50 of Western Australia’s …

5Pointz(less) act of destruction

filed20 Nov 2013 from

In what is deemed as a spiteful act on the owners part, 20 years of graffiti art has been wiped clean at 5Pointz. The sprawling warehouse in Queens has been a graffiti mecca for artists all over the world. The dilapidated building complex has been earmarked for demolition for the end of 2013 to make way for luxury apartments. Perhaps the whitewashing of the artwork is a humane approach to the art-clad walls being pulled down, but I’m in …

Van Gogh, Dali & Beyond: The World Reimagined

filed02 Sep 2013 from

The Perth Winter Arts festival may officially be over for 2013 but the delights continue with the likes of Picasso, Van Gogh and Dali. Since they’ve travelled in outstanding company all the way from New York’s MOMA (Museum of Modern Art) it would be foolish to not rush to the Art Gallery of Western Australia to bathe in their glory, angst and pain.

Van Gogh, Dali & Beyond: The World Reimagined is visually stunning and inspires many awe-inspiring moments where …