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Travel, Living and Lifestyle Magazine

For Mum, Dad, Annabel, Sophie, Kate, Dominique & Laini




New York . San Francisco . Banff . Tokyo

Words & Images: Philippa Higgins

56 9th Ave, New York

It’s hard to describe the feeling you get when you visit New York. When people ask about your travels, no amount of words can explain the atmosphere and experience of this amazing city, I simply tell them they have to go and see for themselves. I was only in New York for 10 days so I tried to squeeze as much in as I could. So many people think of NYC as oversized, over the top TV billboards in Times Square and a tall green lady that stands in the middle of the river. I quickly learnt that this city had so much more to offer.

My mum told me the one thing I had to see whilst I was there was the High Line. Unsure about taking advice from a woman in her late fifties, I eventually found the ‘High Line’ she was talking about and had to give her some kudos. The High Line is a park and boardwalk built on the old rail line, which is elevated above Manhattan. It’s obvious locals enjoy coming here and relaxing, it was the middle of winter and they still made the effort to sit and take it easy in the park. Although after walking along the boardwalk and being able to see the original rail tracks it’s not hard to see why you wouldn’t want to spend all your time there.

New York Highline

Part of it looks out to the river, giving you amazing views of the other half of New York. The tracks and boardwalk winds through the buildings, which is a great way to admire some of the modern architecture. Surrounding parts of the old rail line are various plants and flowers that grow through and around the tracks, highlighting some of the city’s history.

Even though I was visiting in winter and all the plants were brown and wilted it still didn’t detract from how amazing this place is. I have promised myself to visit during spring so I can see the flowers in full colourful bloom. Never would I have thought that sitting in the freezing cold on a boardwalk over Manhattan would have been one of my favourite parts of my time in New York.

SoHo is another part of the city that doesn’t get enough attention, but maybe that’s a good thing. The main street of SoHo has all of the well known fashion brands such as Zara and TopShop. It was good to walk around the main street but after seeing the exact same stores on almost every single corner of the city, they start to get old.

SoHo appartment buildings and cafe

SoHo warehouses and small office buildings

After walking through some of the back streets I managed to find where all the good shopping had been hiding just off Broadway Avenue. Tiny little nooks in the walls contained boutiques that held clothes that you would never find in most of the chain stores. This is where all the fashion lovers and stylists came to purchase their wardrobe. The only downside was that it would put a large dent in the bank account. It is safe to say I only purchased one item from the many boutiques I went into. Alongside the amazing boutiques were little cafés that made the best coffee, I was so thankful it wasn’t Starbucks. These cafés created such a great atmosphere that you could sit and enjoy the cute and kitch surroundings whilst watching the locals all day.

I only visited SoHo at the end of my trip, so whilst drinking my first decent latte it made me wish I knew someone who lived in New York so they could take me to these incredible areas which are difficult to find as a tourist. Although at least now I know for when I return that I have to block out a good week to explore the streets of SoHo.

Brooklyn has managed to gain a bad reputation from tourists who visit there. People seem to believe that if you visit Brooklyn you will be mugged, which isn’t the case at all. I took the ‘City Sights’ bus to Brooklyn, even though it is what all tourists do, it is the easiest way to see most of the city’s highlights. Walking around the streets of Brooklyn I felt perfectly safe, which did shock some people when I told them. The atmosphere seems so relaxed compared to the busy city over the other side of the river. It was good to walk around and look at the buildings, to get a sense of what it would feel like to live in New York.

Whilst walking around I was able to take my time and enjoy the little details of Brooklyn, like watching a three piece jazz band busking on the side of the road. I was lucky enough to catch the last bus back to the city, by which time it was getting late and the sun was setting. Driving over the Brooklyn Bridge towards the city skyline was one of the most incredible things I have ever seen, something I will always remember from New York. Even though I did enjoy all of the usual tourist attractions, it’s the smaller encounters I had that made me fall in love with New York. 

SoHo buildings and Brooklyn side streets

Words & Images: Sophie Blackshaw

Golden Gate Bridge

San Francisco was cold in the early spring. Not as cold as the New England winter I had just left behind me, but it was enough to warrant the donning of a scarf after 4pm. The chill was to be blamed, predominantly, on the biting wind that blew down from the north, across the bay, over Alcatraz and up the urban slopes that forge the city’s skyline. A Russian cab driver told me it had snowed only once since his arrival; February 5, 1976. At the time, I decided, upon noticing the abundance of gum trees and other drought-friendly flora, that it probably hadn’t snowed, or rained, since. At least, it felt that way: California skies are ceaselessly blue, untainted.

There was, however, to come a change to that perfect sky: a man-made change in the form of a celebration. The 75th Anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge, in fact. Think crowds, music, food, fireworks and, most importantly, prop planes puffing out ‘HAPPY 75TH’, decorating the sky I had begun to think of as frustratingly impervious to variation. It was a beautiful day that graduated into a special night. The bridge is really something worth celebrating, and the following morning I found myself renting a bike by the beach.

Golden Gate Bridge cables and Happy 75th prop plave writing

Exterior Alcatraz prison and warden’s home

Following the wide, bleached cement sidewalk between road and sand, it didn’t take long to reach my destination. Along the way, though, I stopped into an ‘air museum’ to bounce around in an enormous room made up of large trampolines. Just me and ten kids, shoes not permitted. As I continued on my ride, I recalled how hard it was to cycle uphill. Or upcliff, really. Nevertheless, the gargantuan pieces of paint-red steel that contrast so wonderfully against the sky were worth the closer look. Sunburnt, I called it a day.

During my last day in San Francisco, I somehow managed to score the only available ticket to hop on a ferry to Alcatraz Island. An overwhelming experience on the whole, Alcatraz boasts an audio experience which employs the recording of a charismatic then-prison guard. To say I pity the individuals who elected not to take the headphones is an understatement - hearing the tales of one of the prison’s former employees, now passed, was unequalled, as far as I’m concerned. I was to see the prison wall’s scars of grenades dropped during a prison riot; the spaces in which men fell and never got up; the warden’s home, in which he and his family lived.

I was to see the cells, toilets, and yard used by criminals so notorious they were, or at least became, celebrities. Al Capone. Robert Stroud, “The Birdman of Alcatraz”. Mickey Cohen. George “Machine Gun” Kelly. Men, and monsters, whose wrongdoings have inspired and will continue to inspire the American movies we see today, many of which are probably being viewed as I write this.

After visiting Alcatraz my afternoon ended with a long, not to mention tiring, walk to see Lombard Street. Wishing I had caught a cab and having to walk up the hills backwards to ease the pain, it was well worth the effort. From the top of the street you can see most of the city as well as the San Fransisco harbour and bridge. The houses surrounding Lombard Street were very stunning, and the iconic zig zag of the road is something to be admired. And so, at this point, I am forced to ask myself: was it the places in the films I saw on my television as a child, or was it a hard desire to find myself in places with more history than my own, that brought me here? I may never know. But I’m glad I did it. 

Lombard Street

Words & Images: Philippa Higgins

Old train tracks heading to Banff

Banff is a winter Wonderland. Skiing, ice skating, snowman making, its got it all. Before I travelled to Banff, I was a little unsure of what I would be able to see and do there. Although one of my friends insisted that I had to go if I was travelling through Canada. I’m very happy that I took the advice to visit because it is absolutely spectacular. Banff is a tiny town with a population of just over six thousand people. After talking to some of the locals and exploring the towns center it’s easy to see why they love living here. There are quite a few Australians that go to work in the ski fields during the ski season and the retail stores when the weather is warmer.

The town’s center is lined with little gift shops where you can buy Canadian gifts and trinkets. I spent hours looking at the little toy bears dressed up as ice hockey players and all the different types of maple cookies. Banff also has some fantastic restaurants. I managed to experience how full and satisfied you feel after eating Canadian pork ribs. Although Banff is beautiful, I have never been so cold in my life.

Lake Louise

Old train tracks and Lake Louise snowfields

Every day I walked outside the thermometer managed to remind me how cold it was, the temperature always remaining below a freezing negative five degrees.

One of the reasons why I travelled to Banff was to visit Lake Louise. I had seen pictures and was excited to go and see it for myself. I planned a day trip out there with a tour company, which was fantastic as I got to sit, relax and enjoy the amazing scenery. There were countless mountains dusted with snow and frozen lakes that ran around the bottom. It made you feel like you were in the middle of nowhere and had no idea what was on the other side of each mountain. I even saw a moose through some of the trees and became a little bit scared when the tour guide said she saw a bear earlier in the week.

The bus trip there was amazing but the lake was fantastic. Even though it was frozen over, the cloudy blue sky and snow covered mountains created the perfect backdrop. I think I took around one hundred photos of the same lake. It was a great way to finish off my time in Canada.

I’m glad I made the effort to visit the tiny town of Banff and travel to Lake Louise. Now I have experienced it in winter I would to return and experience what summer and spring have to offer. ď Ž

Words & Images: Philippa Higgins

View of Tokyo from the Mori Tower

Asakusa Temple and Harajuka stall souvenirs

The Asakusa Temples, built more than one thousand years ago, are incredible. The architecture and detail of each temple and shrine is something to spend hours admiring. Huge red and black lanterns are hung from the archways of the temples and shrines, it is hard to believe that these are thousands of years old. Outside the temples are various Japanese traditions that visitors can take part in, such as drinking water from a historic fountain and covering your face with smoke that is meant to increase intelligence. It can take hours discovering and learning about each temple and discovering more about Japan’s history.

The best place to go to find Japanese souvenirs and outrageous fashion is Harajuka, in particular Takeshita Street. This street is lined with tiny stalls that have the most amazing trinkets and souvenirs, ranging from key rings to little dancing geisha dolls. Buying ‘stuff ’ you don’t need is extremely easy to do here. You can also use up all your change here, they are very cheap. On a Sunday, Harajuka is filled with Japanese locals showing off their latest crazy fashions. The outfits can often be purchased in the retail stores that line Takeshita Street. If you want to join in with the fashion trends, this is where you can find them.

Japanese Bar in Shibuya and Shinjuku streets

Bars in Japan are very different to most bars around the world. There are usually not many tourists that visit these bars as the can be very hard to find. They are usually hidden down dark stairways that only the locals know are there. Although once you find one, it is unlike any other bar. The atmosphere is quiet and tense, hazy smoke filling the tiny area. Ordering a drink can be difficult but it’s easy to point, smile and nod. The best part about these bars is sitting in the corner and experiencing the awkward silences whilst chuckling to yourself with a drink you don’t even know the ingredients of.

Shinjuku thrives during the night, transforming into a bright, fluorescent wonderland. The streets are packed with light boxes hanging from the sides of buildings, showering the pavement with glowing colours. Hours can be filled walking around tiny little streets and getting lost in the shining lights and amazing atmosphere. Walking through the various electronic stores will leave you blinded, mirrors and LED lights fill the walls and have you reaching for sunglasses. The bright lights from the street are not replicated in the tiny hidden restaurants. They are usually quite dark but make you feel cozy and warm, allowing you to take a break from the luminous outside streets. ď Ž

Sleepydoe’s Kate Tiggelman . Floral arrangements . Summer Smoothies

Interview by: Philippa Higgins

Images: Kate Tiggelman

Kate Tiggelman is the mastermind behind the beautiful soft furnishings company Sleepydoe. She designs and creates huggable cushions that can look amazing in any lounge room. Kate was nice enough to answer a few of our questions and allow us to get to know the girl behind the brand.

Introduce yourself ! Tell us a little bit about you and your background. Hi, I’m Kate Tiggelman. I was born and raised on the Gold Coast. I am a graduate of Griffith University’s Bachelor of Digital Media, Majoring in Graphic Design and am currently undertaking an honours degree focusing on calligraphy. What inspired you to make cushions? I’ve always had an avid interest in interior decoration, gift wrapping and stationary. I was the kid who colour coordinated everything, from my room to my wardrobe. I wanted to create soft furnishings that would tie in with the style of my room. I had an obsession with felt at the time but didn’t like the felt cushions that were in the shops at the time. How would you describe your design style? Scandinavian and vintage style mixed together, that’s what I tried to embody in each cushion design.

Describe your creative process. How do you pick the fabrics and colours you use? Again with my felt obsession, I knew I wanted to use felt! I then decided to mix this with other textured fabrics. I got my designs printed in deep maroon red and navy blue on poplin cotton as this fabric is durable and washable.

“My dream creative project would be to decorate my own personal living/working space�

Where do you get inspiration from? I get my inspiration from many things, these being album artworks, pieces of furniture, wallpaper, old technologies. What is your dream creative project? My dream creative project would be to decorate my own personal living/working space specifically in a loft somewhere with industrial lights and handcrafted furniture. Are you working on any other projects at the moment? I am currently creating a book of hand drawn uncial calligraphy entitle strokes which features type pieces, in particular type quotes, logotpyes and motivational phrases.

Want a huggable cushion for yourself ? Visit Kates Etsy page,

Words & Images: Philippa Higgins

Here are four simple steps to follow to create a unique floral arrangement. What you will need is: - Hollow cardboard letters - Stanley knife - Scissors - Floral foam board - Flowers of your choice For this example, roses were chosen, although any flower can be used. Floral foam board can be purchased from any florist, hardware or gardening store. Hollow cardboard letter can be found at various arts and crafts stores. ‘Hello’ is only the example used, any word or letter can be made.

Before cutting the top of the letter off, allow a 2mm boarder around the edges of the letter to ensure the sides of the cardboard don’t get cut. This will also leave a small brown boarder around the edge of the letter. Using the stanley knife, cut the top of the cardboard letter off to create a box for the flowers to sit in. Trim the edges with scissors to make sure they are smooth and don’t have any stray pieces of cardboard hanging off. Repeat this for every letter you wish to make.

Using scissors or stanley knife, cut the foam board into pieces that will fit and fill each section of the letter. It doesn’t have to be packed in too tightly though. Putting the foam board in the bottom of the letters will give the flowers support and keep them from falling over. Running the foam lightly under water before placing it in the letters will make the flowers last longer. Depending on the flowers, try and trim the stalk so half of the flower is sitting above the edge of the cardboard. This will allow for the flowers to stand out and have a more natural look.

The next step is to start placing the flowers into the letter and making sure the push down into the foam so they stay in place and don’t fall over. Moving the flowers around and making sure there are no large gaps can be time consuming but well worth it. If there is a small gap a flower cannot fit in, use a leaf or a petal to fill it in to add colour. This set up also makes it easy to replace the flowers once they become old and experiment with a new and fresh type of flower. Repeat this with every intended letter and you are left with a beautiful flower arrangement. ď Ž

Recipe and Images: Philippa Higgins

Fresh fruit smoothies and juices are the best way to cool down during the summer heat. All that is needed to make these delicious drinks is a blender. Throw all the ingredients in at the same time and crush for around thirty seconds. Done! Making a refreshing summer smoothie is so simple.

1/2 cup of strawberries 1/2 cup of raspberries 1/2 cup of blueberry 3/4 cup of natural yoghurt 2 tablespoons of honey

1 whole orange 4 large slices of watermelon 4 large slices of pineapple 1 cup of coco water 1/4 cup of ice

1 cup of blueberries 1 whole ripe banana 1/2 cup of natural yoghurt 2 tablespoons of honey 1 tablespoon of grated white chocolate

2 whole kiwi fruits 1 whole pear 1 whole green apple 1 cup of coco water 2 tablespoons of chia seeds

New Farm Park . Brisbane Festeival . Sunshine Coast and Brisbane Restaurant Reviews

Words & Images: Philippa Higgins

New Farm Park is one of Brisbane’s most beautiful locations. On a beautiful sunny day it’s the best place in Brisbane to soak up some sunshine and relax. With the atmosphere it creates, it’s not hard to see why so many people come with family and friends to spend time here.

The park has incredible gardens that are filled with roses, lavender and other amazing colourful, blossoming flowers. Walking through the gardens feels as like you are Alice wandering through the roses in Wonderland. The gardens are also the perfect background a wedding ceremony, with white flowers decorating garden arches. On the weekends the park is filled with family gatherings and cute birthday parties,balloons and flags scattered throughout the trees.

New Farm Park’s rose bushes

New Farm Park’s gardens and flowers

Wooden garden arcehes

Families can even bring their pooches with them as the park is a dog friendly environment. Scattered around the outside are also children’s playgrounds, tennis courts and most importantly a coffee shop. The park also extends down to the river where there are gazebos with barbeques, perfect for a Sunday session before the new week starts. Every weekend there are farmers markets that include fresh fruit and vegetables as well as handmade items.

The Powerhouse is situated next to the park and is a great venue to have a drink and enjoy some live entertainment. There are multiple bars and restaurants inside with an outdoor deck facing the river. Inside there is a stage with live entertainment as well as a small cinema, which features smaller independent films.

Whether you visit with your family, having an afternoon barbeque with friends, or just enjoying the sunshine, New Farm Park provides so many fantastic opportunities to get outside and enjoy Queensland’s sunshine. ď Ž

New Farm Park’s gardens and Powerhouse in the background

Words & Images: Philippa Higgins

Brisbane Festival exceeds all expectations every year, without a doubt the 2013 Brisban Festival was a world class event. September sees Brisbane South Bank transform into the home for an exciting arts event and program, mainly consisting of music, theatre, dance, circus and much more.

LED light display

A perfect evening to enjoy with family of friends where you can enjoy a beverage and a feast of local cuisines whilst watching the many different entertainers ranging from musical acts, comedy show and dance performances that are on show every night. You will find many locals lounging on the comfy bean bags or couches that were located along the river waiting for the spectacular laser light show that was performed twice every night.

The finale of the festival most commonly known as Brisbane Riverfire sees the most incredible firework display throughout the whole city and along the entire river. Riverfire is being compared to the world famous Sydney New Years Eve fireworks display and is a must see. The iconic laser light show was supported by an LED light display that was beautiful to watch whilst changing colours throughout the night, the LED lights was an amazing way to enter into the festival with the lights lining the pathway to where the perfect viewing point was for the laser show. The 2014 festival will definitely be another hit with the locals and tourists who visit Queensland in September. ď Ž

LED light display

Restaurant Review & Image: Annabel Ireland-Jones

Kettle & Tin, located in the heart of Paddington, offers a relaxed, all day dining experience. Apart from having amazing, rustic food, Kettle & Tin makes the best coffee in Brisbane. Customers seem to agree, there is always a constant flow of people ordering take away coffees. The mug sizes are very generous, you never have to worry about receiving a tiny portion you thought would be a large.

Kettle & Tin is located in an old wooden cottage with views of Brisbane city and Suncorp Stadium. Weekends are typically packed from when they open until closing time. The Kettle & Tin’s outdoor bar is the place to be on Saturday and Sunday afternoon. There is no better place to enjoy a refreshing beer, wine or cocktail with family and friends. ď Ž

Kettle & Tin coffee

Restaurant Review & Image: Philippa Higgins

Velo Project is located in the heart of the Sunshine Coast, only minutes away from the iconic Mooloolaba Beach. This quirky European themed café has an amazing menu with their crepes being the biggest hit with the quirky crowd. Velo Project offers a selection of street or garden dining with adequate space for an intimate experience or larger groups of family and friends. Whether you prefer sweet or savoury crepes this café caters for all cravings ranging from strawberry and cream, banana chocolate and turkey and cranberry. This café is definitely worth a visit to experience the perfection of a European crepe in the heart of one of Queensland’s favourite towns. 

Strawberry and cream crepe

Restaurant Review & Image: Annabel Ireland-Jones

French Twist was originally opened in the old army barracks just off Caxton Street. This historic restaurant still features the interiors of the old police offices whilst adding its own touch of modern elegance. French Twist is renown for their refreshing ice teas, smoothies and organic breakfast muesli. These are served in glass jars and decorated with exotic fruits, perfect for a healthy breakfast or brunch. There is also a large range of fine patisserie options to choose from for a lovely morning and afternoon tea. New franchises of French Twist can be found in many new shopping centers throughout the Brisbane region, although the original and most historic one is located in the barracks. ď Ž

Fruit smoothies and bircher muslie

Š 2013 Clasix, Philippa Higgins. All rights reserved. All material in this magazine may not be reproduced in any form without permission.

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