Category Archive for New York

The Hippest Hotel in New York! Paper Factory Hotel in Long Island City, Queens.

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While in New York for my recent TV shoot, I stayed at the newly-opened The Paper Factory Hotel. It’s a 100-year-old industrial space that has been transformed into an artsy hotel, with a magnificent view from the rooftop.

Come, and let’s explore a Factory that would delight Andy Warhol…

gal stern leggings, israeli pattern tights

How amazing is the NYC skyline from the hotel’s rooftop? (All images by Ryan Edwardson Photography)

I’m wearing hand-printed pattern tights c/o Gal Stern, a talented textile designer from Israel. My shoes are from Shinjuku Lumine.

new york skyline famous buildings

The purple knit top is Candy Stripper, found at Closet Child. My blue animal print dress is from Siam Discovery Center in Bangkok.

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What a joy to explore this rooftop area, covered in intriguing graffiti like the words “Memento Mori.” This building has so much history: a century ago, it was a paper factory.

paper factory hotel, long island city

Today, it’s a 122-room hotel that is uber-modern and comfy, while preserving the historic manufacturing vibe. Old machine parts have become works of art, placed all around.

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Foosball, anyone?

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The Paper Factory Hotel is located in an unexpected place: Long Island City / Astoria in Queens. (Address: 37-06 36th Street, Long Island City, New York).

Sounds far? Not at all: the location is just across the East River from Manhattan, and meters from two subway stops. Ride the metro for 15 minutes, and you’re in midtown.

red british telephone booth

“Moshi moshi?” I loved playing around with the eclectic objects around the hotel. These included a British telephone booth, Thai rickshaw, Vespa, and vintage kid-sized automobiles.

japanese selfies, iphone selfie taking

These days, the main function of phones is for selfie-taking, rather than making calls…

paper factory hotel, astoria queens

The Paper Factory Hotel cleverly pays tribute to its former incarnation. I noticed elements like a polished concrete floor, inset with clippings from 19th-century Queens newspapers.

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Althought I lived in Manhattan for years while attending school, I never explored Long Island City. Today, it’s become an emerging hip neighborhood, with a relaxed industrial vibe.

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The lobby has a cafe — you can tell I’m pleased with my giant cup of coffee. Within walking distance, there were plenty of affordable local cafes and pubs. (And this area is safe, so don’t worry about walking around at night.)

paper factory hotel review, lobby

The staff was lovely, and I hope I can be back for the summer opening of Mundo, a earthy Mediterranean restaurant. The downstairs area may also be converted into a club or gallery space.

vintage tv, whitewall magazine

The Paper Factory Hotel often hosts art exhibits and workshops. They’re right by the Noguchi museum, MoMA PS1, and the Museum of the Moving Image.

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I’m 100% behind their mission to encourage creativity and collaboration. The website states: “We will help connect you with other like-minded individuals so that you might perhaps motivate each other and restore innovation to all aspects of life.”

arty design hotel room, paper factory

My room was enormous — what a nice change from the usual cramped Manhattan spaces!

fixing hair in front of mirror

It even had a kitchenette and stand-alone mirror. I’m wearing a Moi-meme-moitie cemetery dress (Sleeping Garden print by Mana’s brand), and Gal Stern Flashback tights. You can shop her handmade legwear collection through her website.

white hotel robe, lounging on bed

I hope you’ll keep this hotel in mind, when you’re next visiting NY. Their site has special deals and lets you book online.

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Thanks to the Paper Factory Hotel for hosting me and my TV team. We were blown away by this view of the Empire State and Chrysler buildings!

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I had the best time shooting with photographer Ryan Edwardson, who is based in Toronto. He has a great eye for composition and capturing natural moments.

model photoshoot, new york rooftop

Here is a behind-the-scenes shot from our photoshoot on the rooftop.

girl drinking coffee, happy

Ryan caught my happy reaction to a sip of fresh coffee.

ryan edwardson photography, toronto photographer

He’s a world traveler and storyteller, and this comes across in his photography. If you’re looking for a Toronto photographer — whether for weddings, commercial projects, portraits — keep Ryan Edwardson in mind.

paper factory hotel room, interior decor
sleepy scottish fold cat

I still have more photos from this chic boutique hotel to show you. Until then, you can see previews (and cat, and current travels in South Africa and Asia) on my LaCarmina Instagram.

Have you been to New York, New York? What do you think of the Paper Factory, and the mood of these images?

PS: I’m on the cover of Kirameki Magazine, out July 15! Here’s a preview of my magazine cover – yes, I’m wearing Moi-meme-Moitie.

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Watch Oddities TV show, Season 4: La Carmina guest star! Obscura Antiques, Discovery Science Channel video.

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I know you’ve been waiting for this… La Carmina on Oddities! My TV show appearance premieres June 8, 9pm ET/PT on Science Channel, and then airs on repeat.

My episode is called “The Mummy Returns” (Season 4, Episode 11). Below is a short clip — watch me purchase a large, fuzzy reminder of home!

Do you like what I wore on-camera? Keep reading for outfit details, and a zillion Obscura shop photos.

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Owners Mike Zohn and Evan Michelson are lovely in person. I frequented their store years ago, before the TV show came along.

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They loved my custom, skeleton corset. Quite appropriately, the sign above me reads “Torture.”

Skeleton corset: loaned by Wilde Hunt Corsetry — her designs are spooky-gorgeous!
Victorian dress and lace shrug: gifted by Heavy Red
Bone and devil hair clips: gifted by Kreepsville 666

oddities, goth tv host, Mike Zohn, Evan Michelson, Ryan Matthew, oddities antiques

For those who don’t know, the hit TV show “Oddities” is about Obscura, this little East Village shop of horrors. In each episode, the owners meet kooky customers and help them pick out items. For example, they helped the Speakeasy Dollhouse creator find a gurney for her immersive play.

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The store is not for the faint of heart. Organs, skulls and animal heads abound.

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Ryan, Evan and Mike are often here, manning the counter and signing autographs for fans.

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It’s hard to believe that we filmed this episode last August, in New York City! My hair color by Isolde Semple; the styling is by Brandon Pope of TIGI NYC

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I could have browsed for hours in Obscura Antiques.

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In real life, I bought my friend a jar of chocolate-covered poison from their medicine cabinet. Somehow, I managed to take it through customs.

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For the sake of the show, however, I “purchased” this gargantuan, stuffed elk head to remind me of home (Canada, not Japan as some might assume!)

Evan Michelson, Ryan Matthew, oddities videos

The owners are passionate about their collections, and wonderfully knowledgeable. In the clip, I learn about the elk’s horns and history.

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Also for sale: a box of potions…

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… a bear in a hat, a laughing pig,

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… and real life skulls.

filming oddities, tv show production

Since it was summertime in NYC, I was boiling under my Victorian skirts. The crew interviewed me in the nearby East Village street, about my work in dark coolhunting and travel journalism.

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Here’s the pirate hat I tried on. Arr.

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“Is that a straightjacket?” Nope, but this two-headed creature is also featured in the show’s intro.

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So many creepy and bizarre items in here. I fit right in.

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If you’re in New York, drop by Obscura Antiques and Oddities and say hi for me. The shop address: 207 Avenue A New York, NY 10009. Phone: (212) 505-9251

la carmina on oddities, science channel tv host

I hope you’ll tune in for my appearance on Oddities! “The Mummy Returns” (Season 4 Episode 11) first airs Saturday, June 8th at 9:00 PM ET/PT.

discovery channel tv host, hit show

Don’t worry if you miss it: the show will repeat multiple times on Science Channel / Discovery TV; check the schedule for dates.

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Click to watch my Oddities clip. To view more corsets like the one I’m wearing, visit Wilde Hunt Corsetry.

Are you a fan of this TV show? What would you purchase to remind you of home?

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Wave Gotik Treffen, Prague & Berlin Goth travel guides. Tokyo Japan bagelheads gone viral. Part 2 of 2012.

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As we approach the New Year, let’s reflect on the second half of 2012. One of my favorite moments was doing this professional photoshoot, involving latex feather dresses and sugar skull makeup, with my talented Vancouver team. The images were published in Sugar Heart, and Gothic Beauty Magazine — a total honor. (More images and full credits here.)

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I also did a pro shoot with a blow-up bear, in a potato field…

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… and it ended up making the cover of Vanity Magazine! I blogged more of these Goth modeling photos.

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I got to cross off a “bucket list” travel destination, thanks to Go With Oh. The wonderful apartment rental company sent me to Wave Gotik Treffen, the largest Gothic festival in the world. I also explored Prague with Rock n Roll Bride, and Berlin with Yukiro, DJ SiSEN, G-sus and spooky friends. View our adventures in my Germany Goth travel guide.

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After Europe came Asia. I spoke on the fashion blogger’s panel at Hong Kong Social Media Week. It was great to see family and John Skeleton, and do some hardcore shopping — especially at the Hello Kitty shop. See more of my favorite Hong Kong stores.

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In between, I hopped around the USA. I was Guest of Honor at Animegacon in Las Vegas. Spoke at PRSA Travel & Tourism conference in Ohio. Flew to New York City to be a guest on Discovery TV’s Oddities (my appearance will air early next year). Did some heavy pre-Halloween partying in Los Angeles, and hosted Gothic club night Bar Sinister with Amazing Race’s Kent Kaliber.

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I’ve been writing about Tokyo bagelheads for years, and nobody paid much notice. But then, my Tokyo TV company worked on National Geographic’s “Taboo” episode about saline forehead inflation, and the extreme body mod went viral! I even flew to LA to be on “The Doctors” talk show, where I discussed bagel heads and deflated misunderstandings about body mods.

What a colorful year! What’s coming up in 2013? More TV work and global travels (stay tuned to see where I go next). I’ve just completed a press trip to Phoenix, and will be in Tokyo to appear in a documentary. And I’ll be in a warm destination this January… announcement to come.

Above is a compilation of my television presenting clips; full videos are on my La Carmina bio page. PS: thank you to Hostelbookers for interviewing me about my life of travel blogging and cat-craziness.

Do you have any goals for the New Year? What do you hope to accomplish or improve? Any “bucket list” items you’re determined to cross off? Here’s to a grandiose 2013!

Italy modeling, New York fashion week & Dancing for Japan. La Carmina travel blog: 2012 year in review, part 1.

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Merry Christmas, pirates! It’s hard to believe we’ve reached the end of 2012. Let’s usher in 2013 with my annual “year in review,” beginning with reminisces and outtake photos from the first six months.

I spent January in Italy with Seby. We stayed with his family in northern Italy, and then ventured to Florence for Luisaviaroma’s Firenze4Ever (the event that flies in the world’s top fashion bloggers for photoshoots and fun). One of the many highlights was modelling designer fashion with the Duomo as my backdrop. You see more images from this shoot here.

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I did quite a few TV hosting and fixing gigs this year, with my First Mate Naomi. It’s a pleasure to work with her, and team up with some of my favorite shows including National Geographic Taboo, Discovery TV Oddities, Fashion TV, and more. More TV hosting clips to come in 2013.

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In February, Yukiro and I attended New York Fashion Week, and even sat front row at Lincoln Center shows. We also checked out NYC’s Goth Punk shops and nightlife, such as this romantic Dances of Vice party in a church.

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For the one year anniversary of the Japan Earthquake, I teamed up with Industrial dancers tank9 and Mary Nine. We made a dance video in Seattle, as part of Ridley Scott’s Japan in a Day collaborative film (watch it here.)

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As you know, I host a regular travel video series published in Huffington Post. My film crew and I got the chance to shoot in gorgeous Maui, Hawaii. We explored the local fashion and over-indulged in Japanese food (check out my Hawaiian travel guide).

I’m always looking to stretch my creative wings, and do something new… and one of my favorite projects was the release of DNR’s Rock Princess music video. Do you like my red hair and Vivienne Westwood disco dress?

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Don’t worry: between all the adventures, I put in plenty of Basil-snuggling time! In the next post, we’ll take a look at what happened in the second half of 2012.

Did you travel anywhere this year? Try something new, or achieve a goal? What were your favorite memories? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.