Elena Bowes

New York-London design & culture writer of a certain vintage looking for meaning and wholeness in life

I’m Elena — New York & London-based writer inspired by people, places, pugs and kisses.

About Me

Like most freelance writers, I can write about pretty much anything, but I like to focus on what interests me most. It used to be advertising then travel, art and design. But now I like writing about relationships.. navigating marriage second time around, grandchildren first time, my children who are no longer children, aging parents, aging me, the importance of old friends, living in Manhattan after thirty years in London- 3am sirens replacing 3am car alarms. My list of meandering thoughts, worries, the catastrophizing that my patient therapist wades through week after week… and often ends up on the page.

I interview authors monthly for UK writer’s site 26, as well as New York’s esteemed Cosmopolitan Club of which I am a member. I have written for the AARP’s The Ethel, British House & Garden, Architectural Digest, Town & Country, Galerie Magazine, Indagare and a host of others. I have an MA in Journalism from Columbia University and an MA with Distinction in Creative Writing from Kingston University in England. I am on the board of Columbia Journalism School.

Meet Elena

I was born curious. Harriet the Spy was my idol, and Nosey Bowes my nickname. One of my favorite birthday presents when I was young was a pair of binoculars. I loved spying on our neighbors, the Gillettes, whose house faced the back of ours. Unfortunately, my nine-year-old technique wasn’t very subtle, and one night Mrs. Gillette called my mother and asked if I could please stop watching them while they were having dinner, it was unsettling.

Not only am I not sneaky enough to be a spy, but I am scared of most things—even ladybugs could have a dark side— My fear of boating, for example,  started young…

so I turned to journalism as the next best thing. Permission to ask questions. Bliss.

I grew up in San Francisco, but perennial wanderlust (connected to that curiosity gene) led me to New York in the eighties, and London after that. During my thirty years in London, I got married, had three children- who are more Blighty than Yankee –

got divorced, relied heavily on my close circle of girlfriends, and learned all about mid-life dating. I went back to school to study creative writing and had plenty of material for my thesis—Table for Two: Finding Mr. Wrong.

Eventually, I found Mr. Right, a New Yorker I call Stretch in my blog in the Ponderings section where I delve into the personal. Stretch blossomed from this…

to this… (what a good haircut can do)

to this…



When I met Stretch in 2015, all three of my kids were either living in the States or had plans to move there. Plus, my mother, who lives in San Francisco, wasn’t getting any younger. So, Stretch’s Manhattan address only added to his appeal. He was GD, geographically desirable. Fast forward six years, and all my children have jumped ship, moved back to London, while I have moved to New York to be with my now husband, Stretch. Plus that adorable granddaughter has entered the London picture. And happily this fall,  my son has moved back to Manhattan to go to business school. A moveable feast. Suffice to say, Covid or no Covid, I travel a lot to see the people I love.

Ten Things You Might Want to Know About Me

  1. I’m a tad obsessed with ageing- the good, the bad and the honest.
  2. I love Julia Louis-Dreyfus, especially her podcast Wiser than Me, where the wise women she interviews recommend moving a lot to stay young.
  3. I move a lot.
  4. So now, I listen to books while I walk as much as read them while I sit.
  5. I wish I had Melissa Biggs’ hoodzpah and smarts to form Indagare, a world class luxury travel business. But since I don’t I’m content to just travel to nice places. By nice, Stretch, I don’t mean the Camino.
  6. I love linen sheets. And no, they don’t have those on the Camino.
  7. A bête-noire of mine,  over-used words like pivot, folks, amazing, low hanging fruit. And don’t get me started on he passed. David Sedaris says it best in this New Yorker article.
  8. London is my favourite city in the world.
  9. I have my best thoughts on airplanes.
  10. I always feel better after a visit to the hairdresser.
  11. I love repurposed old buildings. The living room in our Manhattan apartment used to be a squash court.
  12. Falling in love in my fifties feels a lot different than my twenties—wiser about myself and my needs—I wore dusty rose to my second wedding.
  13. Seeing beautiful art and design always cheers me up.
  14. Call me old-fashioned, but I still prefer the touch and feel of an actual newspaper, magazine or book.


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