New York Urban Jungle

Picture by htmvalerio

MoMA is closed for the summer?
Re-open it online

For many New Yorkers and tourists alike, the city’s museums are a welcomed retreat to escape the city heat on hot summer days. One of the most famous museums, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), is closed until October 20, in case you’re planning a visit. Still, the museum has more to offer than a tour of its exhibits.

Online options

On the MoMA website you can find free online classes for art lovers on different subjects like photography, fashion, design, abstract painting or teaching strategies. Scroll down to the very buttom of the MoMA homepage to ‚Research and Learning‚ and click on it. Once you’re on ‚Research and Learning‘, you can click on ‚Online Courses‚ and you’re right there.

Learn about fashion

Since I love fashion and art, I decided to check out ‚ Fashion as Design‚. Let me mention here that once you click ‚Register for this course‘ you’re redirected to coursera. Registration is for free, but you can also get a certificate, which is 43 USD.
(BTW: I decided to go for the certificate.)

Want to know more about my online experience with ‚Fashion and Design‘? Stay tuned…

Let’s Talk About Style: What is It?

Blonde poster boys of the right: The Donald, Boris and Wilders, photo by Simon Elgood

Vanessa Friedman, fashion director and chief fashion critic for The New York Times, asked in opinion-piece: „Are we in for an era of rumpled men?“ What she adressed was a seemingly new trend ,“in a world where casual Fridays, the pre-eminence of the tech uniform and the rise of street wear has freed everyone to de-stuff their suits“. In politics, President Donald Trump, and British prime minister Boris Johnson may be just the beginning of ’sloppy style looking awfully good‘. If that is the case, is there a universal truth about style? And what is style anyway?


Tini,
you are a savvy fashion designer,
what is style in your opinion?

„I think style goes beyond clothes. Style is so much more than fashion, because it’s an overall impression. Style is my very unique individual choice of how I want to present myself and how I eventually want to be understood by others.“

Style goes beyond clothes –
color your portrait in your personal style

Personal style

„Talking about personal style, you should first be aware of the fact that you already have one. Personal style does not only imply clothes but also the way you move, talk, and everything that reflects your own taste –  and you’ve surely developed taste over time. But yes, fashion can help transport your personality to the outside. You can use it as a personal paintbox to color your portrait.“

Less is more

When we think about ‚buy less‘ – a philosophy, which Vivienne Westwood wonderfully proclaims and interprets, in my view – I often wish that I could better resist the temptation of bargain hunting, buying clothes just for distraction or from an impulse and turn to quality materials and classic styles instead. Have you ever felt bed after buying too much? I can tell you that I have…

But buying one new piece might also be the key to reinterpret your wardrobe, like this pair of sunny yellow trousers I bought the other day. I love combining it with navy blue – looks gorgeous on me, I think.

On the other hand: How can I escape my – admittedly bad – urge for shopping binge? And will we have to deal with more ’sloppy style‘ in politics in the future?

Let me ask Tini…

To be continued …

Prague re-visited

A wonderful encounter after more than 40 years

Prague in 1979, photo by Petershagen
Old book of prayer, picture by Gerda Friedel, 2019.

The first time I visited Prague must have been in 1979 – I was a teenager – and not so enthusiastic about visiting the ‚eastern block‘. I remember my uncle Jiri showing us around. In my memory the city was gloomy, shabby, and quiet except for some main streets on which you would find the majority of cars. The signs of communism were everywhere: I still see myself crossing Charles Bridge along with only a handful of other tourists. Prices were incredibly low, also because of favorable exchange rates: I bought an old book at an old-town antique shop for a few cents – my dad took us to a fancy restaurant, we had the waiter all for ourselves, and paid literally nothing for a five-course lunch. Souvenir shops were full of stuff noone wanted nor needed…

And then I returned to the Golden City this summer to find out things had totally changed

I stayed at the Four Seasons Prague – a perfect starting point for a walk through the old town’s maze of winding cobblestone streets. Charles Bridge, the castle and the old town are only a stone’s throw away. I enjoyed breakfast on the hotel terasse with a panoramic view of the castle and its surroundings.

Prague streets, photo by Gerda Friedel (2019)
Backyard cafe in Prague’s old town, photo by Gerda Friedel (2019)
Backyard art gallery, photo by Gerda Friedel (2019)
Abysnth Cafe, photo by Gerda Friedel (2019)
Prague mural, photo by Gerda Friedel (2019)

The dusty communist atmosphere vanished long ago; today the city is full of shops, cafes, restaurants, bars, museums and night life. After a long day of walking, shopping and visiting art exhibitions, I was glad to return to my wonderful Prague retreat.

Four Seasons Prague Lobby, photo by Gerda Friedel (2019)

Mission: Erstes Dschungel-Date „in style“

Wie erobere ich mir den Dschungel als Fashionista

Kurzes Etuikleid von „Naughty Girl“, Hut mit leo bandeau von „Hallhuber“

Das Abenteuer ruft nach mir! Überlege ernsthaft mich ab heute „Indiana Jane“ zu nennen

Die Halbinsel Yucatan in Mexiko ist ein echter „Sehnsuchtsort“ für mich. Sie steht für romantische Nächte in wild tropischer Umgebung (bitte nicht zu wild!) und aufregende Tage mit fantastischen Dschungelentdeckungen. Der Flughafen in Cancun allerdings hat nichts davon. Ich überlege mir angesichts der komplett synthetischen, us-amerikanischen Atmosphäre spontan in bittere Tränen auszubrechen. Wo Bitteschön bleibt hier mein erwarteter wildromantischer Glamour? Ich entschließe mich gegen die demütigende Zurschaustellung meiner bodenlosen Enttäuschung, gehe mit, wie ich hoffe, möglichst vernichtendem Blick an Burger King vorbei direkt zum Avis Schalter. Mein Ziel ist der Highway 180D West Richtung Merida, der mich hoffentlich ins gelobte Dschungel-Land führen wird. Widerwillig muss ich zugeben, dass es mir nicht komplett unangenehm ist auf einer fast menschenleeren 4-spurigen Autobahn dahin zu düsen – die Eroberin von heute muss schliesslich mit der Zeit gehen. Dass die Autobahn nur deshalb so wenig genutzt wird, weil es eine Gebühr gibt, versuche ich gepflegt auszublenden. Ich konzentriere mich auf mein erstes Ziel: Die Maya Ruinen von Uxmal. Und die sind? Yes! Mitten im Dschungel!

Uxmal/ Yucatan. Schuhe „Pretty Ballerina“

Warum Indiana Jane (manchmal) ein Ballerina-Fan ist

Als (zugegebenermaßen selbsternannte) Fashionista liebe ich natürlich meine High Heels abgöttisch. Aber angesichts der sehr steilen, dafür aber extrem schmalen Stufen der mexikanischen Pyramiden habe ich mich schweren Herzens zum Verzicht entschlossen. Weil ich mich aber nicht wirklich dazu durchringen kann Sneaker außerhalb des Gyms zu tragen, müssen es eben Ballerinas sein. Und ja, ich weiss, dass Sneaker absolut trendy sind, aber mein störrisches inneres Fashion-Tier übt sich nach wie vor in klassischer Verweigerung. Ich bleibe dran! Also Ballerinas, denn, Ladies, es ist absolut notwendig die Pyramiden komplett zu erklimmen. Nur von ganz oben kann man das wunderbar geheimnisvolle Grün ganz überblicken und sich hoffnungslos in den Dschungel verlieben. Den Romantikern sei hier logischerweise noch der Sonnenuntergang ans Herz gelegt. Aber irgendwann fordert auch der profane Hunger sein Recht und es wird Zeit sich zu unserem Dinner in der Hacienda Uayamon aufzumachen (km 20 Carretera Uayamon-China_Edzna).

Privater Luxus Dschungel: Hacienda Uayamon

Schwelgen im Luxus-Dschungel auf einer alten Sisal Hacienda

Die historische Hacienda hatte das Glück als exquisites 5-Sterne Resort wieder geboren zu werden. Mit einem geradezu unverschämt einzigartigem Flair und unschlagbarer melancolischen Atmosphäre ausgestattet. Um diesem Dschungeltraum gerecht zu werden, gilt es alle Styling-Register zu ziehen. Nachdem ich mir eine erfrischende Dusche in meinem großzügigem halboffenen Badezimmer gegönnt habe, entscheide ich mich für ein langes Kleid. Wir wollen es den blutdürstigen Moskitos schließlich nicht zu leicht damit machen, unsere Beine zu verunstalten! Und ja, endlich kann ich mich auch wieder auf vertraute Absatzhöhen schwingen, wobei mich der nahezu naturbelassene Dschungelpfad zum Haupthaus doch den Kompromiss zu Wedges eingehen lässt.

Wie wär´s mit Rooftop-Dining vom Allerfeinsten? Kleid mit Wasserfall-Ausschnitt „Nicowa“ /Wedges im Phytonlook „Paul Green“

Träume süß, Jane!

Erfüllt von meiner neuen Liebe zum Dschungel und, nicht zu vergessen, vom recht üppigem mexikanischen Nachtmahl falle ich erschöpft in meine weissen, kühlen Laken. Herzlichen Dank an dieser Stelle dem überdimensionierten Deckenventilator, der sofort mein Herz gewonnen hat. Beim Einschlafen bekomme ich nur noch ansatzweise mit, dass der Dschungel draußen keinen Zapfenstreich kennt. Die Afterwork-Party der Affen, Frösche und Vögel startet erst jetzt richtig durch. Was soll’s! Die Spinnen und Skorpione, die auf ein Gutenacht-Lied von Indiana Jane gehofft haben, sollen sich eben morgen wieder anstellen.

Der riesige Caiba Baum vor dem Haupthaus. Der Weg rechts führt zu einem legendären Pool.

Guten Morgen, lieber Dschungel!

Ich wäre keine echter Entdeckerin, wenn mich am nächsten Morgen nicht die bloße Neugierde kreuz und quer durch die alte Sisal-Fabrik mit all ihren Gebäuden treiben würde. Bewaffnet mit Sonnenmilch, einem romantischen Roman und meiner Kamera und natürlich versehen mit stylischer Sonnenbrille, mache ich mich auf den Weg durch Gelände. Mein unfehlbarer Instinkt leitet mich schon nach kurzer Zeit zu einer Ruine, welche ein zweites Leben als Poolhouse geschenkt bekommen hat. Ein traumhafter Platz, wenn man noch eine Weile im Schatten zu arbeiten hat. Ein weiterer, nicht zu unterschätzenderTrostspender könnte ein perfekt gemixter Gin-Tonic sein, den uns die dienstbaren Hacienda Geister jederzeit gerne zur Seite stellen.

Einmaliges Outdoor Office inklusive Wlan.

Aber was soll ich sagen? Mich lockt der unwiderstehliche Pool….

Der Pool flutet einen Teil der alten Stallungen.

Der unverzichtbare Bikini muss her.

Es ist definitiv Zeit den glamourösesten Bikini anzuziehen, den meine Reisegarderobe zu bieten hat. Schließlich spiele ich hier die Hauptrolle in meinem eigenen Dschungel-Epos! Der Pool ist in den Überresten einer beeinduckenden Halle integriert. Diese außergewöhnliche Location verleitet mich dazu die Zeit komplett zu vergessen und mich dem magischen Ort den ganzen Tag über hinzugeben. Zeitverschwendung ist wirklich was Anderes!

Im Inneren des Poolhouses. Bikini mit goldenen Kettenelementen „Juicy Couture“

Folge dem Ruf des Dschungels!

Wenn unser Entdeckerblut uns dann allerdings keine Ruhe mehr lässt und sich nach neuen Abenteuern sehnt, sollte man sich einmal mutig in eine sogenannte „Cenote“ wagen. Diese sind oft kreisrunde, teilweise sehr tiefe Naturpools die Teil des gigantischen unterirdischen Höhlensystems sind, welches die Halbinsel Yucatan durchlöchert wie Schweizer Käse. Man kann sich wunderbar im glasklaren Süßwasser erfrischen und angesichts der imponierenden Tiefe dieses außergewöhnlichen Swimmingpools überkommt mich ein angenehmes, abenteuerliches Prickeln. Ja, exakt so sollte sich Indiana Jane fühlen!

Glasklares Wasser führt in Yucatan Unterwelt.
Am Ende unsere Top Five Liste. Don’t go without!

Lovely Urban Jungle

24. JUNI 2019 VON TINI

Wanna play my favorite game?

Let´s go get lost in an urban jungle!

Lost in an old Palazzo : Abaco (Dress by Sportalm)

A perfect location

I’m in love with real-world adventure games. My favorite one can be played for hours all by myself, never bored nor lonesome. You could play it in many cities, but I prefer the old town of Palma de Mallorca, because it’s got ideal conditions. The so-called „Casco Antiguo“ is enclosed by the „Avenidas“, which are kind of a multilane ring road. Crossing the avenidas at any point is where the game starts.

Our playing field – Old Town Palma de Mallorca

What are the rules?

Once you have bravely crossed the avenidas, there is only one rule to follow: Never walk a familiar road. If you feel like knowing where you are must instantly choose the next unknown „calle“. Our aim is to get lost and loose ourselves in the tangle of small lanes. You can’t get lost forever because you will immediately recognize when you leave the playing field by hitting one of the broad avenidas.

Cross the river and let the fun begin! (Torrent de sa riera)

Switch off your mobile and eyes wide open!

Now let´s enjoy our spirit of discovery and all the hidden secrets on our odyssey. And there a many of them, like small library vintage cafes, old city palazzos, hidden gardens, graffiti art and other treasures. This old town is full of them and it invites you to generously indulge in those hidden gems. Be silent and listen to the whisper of the old walls. Don´t cheat on yourself and squint with one eye on your cell phone. Only use it for pictures – there’s an abundance of motifs….

Individual art here and there on your way, mingling with real life traces

The countless architectural pearls, which one cannot overlook.

impressive Art Nouveau architecture on every corner
Another beautiful example

Giant imaginative streetart along with tiny graffitis, which only open up to you when you take a close look. 

Huge wall painting near the railway station versus…
…small and tiny art items along my way somewhere in a small pedestrian zone

The secret gardens in old town

Palma has always been a prosperous place. A wonderful luxurious remnant are the ancient courtyards of former city mansions, which often can be seen from the outside. Some of them are private, but many of these gems belong to hotels and cafes and you can drop by, take a little break and rest your feet. Frankly, who wants to skip the high heels in the evening?

Lovely banana tree waving hello to me from a private courty yard. (dress Polo Ralph Lauren)
Fantastic garden in the heart of the city.

A hard working explorer needs a break

One of the best things on our urban jungle trail are all those tempting little cafes and tapa bars everywhere. When its getting harder and harder to resist you should pamper yourself with some cava or delicious ice coffee. Decision-making is a hard job at that point, but you are the master of your game. So why not have a second break?

Cava at Bar Cuba (Shirt by Rene Lezard)

Who said shopping is not allowed?

After we have strengthened ourselves we’re back on track. And there is this inner voice calling „shopping!“ But better put this „play extra“ to the end of your game unless you go for home delivery. Handy jungle prey is not the problem of a real conquerer…

Some extraordinary ideas for interior furnishings. And yes, the bathtub is absolutely vintage!

‚Winners only‘ in the getting-lost game

Every single corner we discovered feels like ours. We captured the place with all our senses and, of course, with our grousing feet. But remember? Indiana Jane loves ballerinas. And did I mention she loves taxis as well? It doesn’t cost a fortune in Palma to be generous to yourself, enter a cab at any point of the city and finish the game. Just have the address at hand, where your beautiful hotel rooftop pool is waiting for you. Oops, wait, have you bought a bikini?

Rooftop swimming pool at „Protour Naisa Hotel“

KATEGORIEN

How to conquer the jungle by taking the first step

Illustration by glossygerda (2019)

As  a decent citizen, I need to do all kinds of paperwork like declaring taxes, paying bills, filling in forms and so on. I feel like each time I’ve finished one nerve-wrecking project, the next one miraculously shows up on the horizon. And there is this pile of unopened letters on my desk staring at me each time I pass by.

photo by Gen Hagiwara
photo by glossygerda

These are the times when I may have my personal jungle trauma: My troubling thoughts would turn into branches and lianas closing in on me, pushing me down into shock-like paralysis.  Like a jungle tigress I would sneak around my pile of papers as if it were a toxic spider.

Does that sound familiar to you?

Over the years I’ve learned there is much truth in the saying that ‚every journey starts with the first step.‘ My step number one is opening the first envelope. That’s all it takes. The second step, which is opening the second envelope, is way easier. With each letter opened, my heart gets lighter and lighter.

Easily said, but not so easily done.

I know from experience that although this may sound easy, in fact it isn’t. But before you start any displacement activities like doing the dishes, you might turn to some mindful breathing meditation and you can try visualizing how good it feels to have made the first move. You will feel significantly relieved and find yourself in the middle of the jungle, knowing your way – you might even be able to see some exotic flowers or the sun shining through the leaves.


Enjoy free online breathing meditations at the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center or at the Relaxation Room from Harvard University Health Services


Practicing my first-step strategy works in many fields of my life, whether it be in creative processes like painting or in my academic life as a journalism graduate at Harvard Extension School.

„Dream high and start with one humble step…

you’ll be amazed where it takes you.“

How to prepare in style for our first jungle date?

Travel fashionably to our first jungle romance in Mexico/ Yucatan

Short dress by „Naughty Girl“, hat with silk leo bandeau by „Hallhuber“

Adventure! Thrill! Romance! Feeling like „Indiana Jane“!

If you’re heading to Yucatan, you will find yourself thrown into the synthetic atmosphere of the US-like airport jungle of Cancun. Frankly spoken, Cancun is not the glamour jungle spot we’re looking for. Therefore, hurry up to catch your rental car and go straight on your romantic jungle road trip on highway 180D west towards Merida. No reason to panic about driving a car on this four-lane highway. There is a highway fee, so the road is almost empty, but in good condition. Hard to believe it guides us directly in the middle of a real jungle adventure. Let’s pick the ruins of Uxmal for our first romantic encounter.

Uxmal/ Yucatan. Shoes „Pretty Ballerina“

Indiana Jane loves ballerinas

Honestly, I’m a naturally born high heel lover. But let me ensure you its dabsolutely not a brilliant idea to hike the pyramids with 13 cm plus. Ballerinas are the far better choice, if you are a sneaker objector like me. Also, you need to make your way all to the top, if you want to fall in love with the jungle all around you. The best time to do this is sunset – not hard to imagine. But don’t stay too long, Hacienda dinner is waiting for you at Hacienda Uayamon ( Km 20 Carretera Uayamon-China-Edzna).

Private luxury jungle at Hacienda Uayamon

Private luxury jungle at the old sisal hacienda

The old hacienda was reborn as an exquisite 5-star hotel with unique flair and unbeatable melancholic atmosphere. To cherish this place, you should dress up for dinner right after having a shower in your wonderful half- open garden shower. Pick a long dress for a glamorous look – and to give the mosquitos a hard time in reaching your legs….And yes, now you should wear high heels to complete your elegant outfit. Still, wedges are the best choice as you will have to manage your way from your jungle cottage to the main building.

What about romantic dinner on the rooftop? Dress with waterfall neck by „Nicowa“ /Shoes with snake pattern „Paul Green“

Romantic dreams, Jane!

Now all can happen: Indiana Jane is falling in love with her fairytale-like jungle adventure. Although spiders and scorpions may drop by to ask for a lullaby, you will surely fall asleep instantly accompanied by the exotic company of sounds of monkeys, frogs and birds. The jungle never sleeps.

The huge Caiba tree in front of the main building. The way on the right side leads to an incredible pool.

Welcome to the jungle

The next morning, we take our time to explore and enjoy the old sisal farm. Don’t forget some sunscreen, a nice book, your camera and sunglasses. Some of us might have to work in the shade. In that case, a Gin-Tonic will do you good while being creative in the extraordinary poolhouse.

Amazing outdoor office with Wlan.

But for us an amazing pool is waiting ….

The pool flooded a part of the old stables

Jane needs a bikini

Time to put on your most glamorous bikini and play the female leading role in your own jungle movie. This fabulous poolside is absolutely worth to spend the whole day anyway.

Interior poolhouse. Bikini with golden chains by „Juicy Couture“

The jungle is calling

But if you’re looking for new adventures because you licked blood, try one of the uncountable amazing „Cenotes“. All of them are entrances to a vast subterranean cave system with many large open water pools measuring tens of meters in diameter. Its your duty as Indiana Jane to visit at least one of them!

Clear sweet water leading to Yucatan underground.
And finally our Top Five List. Don’t go without!