Playboy's Jamaican Playground
by Savas Abadsidis on 2012-05-01
Here at Preferred Escapes we are a select group of world travelers with a flair for fashion and entertaining. In that vein we offer the third in a series of conversations with some members of our exclusive salon. Enjoy!
When it comes to adventure and travel, there's probably one guy who stands out from the pack: Jimmy Jellinek! The Chicago native made a beeline for NYC after graduating from Colorado College and quickly made a name for himself at every top men's magazine in the world eventually landing the top gig at Playboy where he reigns as editorial director for both the magazine and playboy.com. Prior to joining Playboy in 2008, Mr. Jellinek served as vice president, entertainment and programming, for Heavy.com where he oversaw all original content and programming, built relationships with online portals and the entertainment industry, and managed the siteís programmers, production, and content creators.
Before Heavy.com, Mr. Jellinek served as Maximís editor-in-chief where he ran the editorial operations and acted as the overall brand director. Additionally, Mr. Jellinek was Stuffís editor-in-chief, responsible for leading the editorial staff and securing cover-talent; editor-in-chief of Complex; and held several positions at FHM magazine where he was a member of the U.S. launch team. He began his career in publishing at Details magazine as an editorial assistant.
What's your favorite getaway destination?
I would have to say Jamaica. There are the obvious reasons based certain predilections of mine of an herbal nature and theyíre abundance on the Island. But also the music, the food, the culture. the people. the fact that you can stay ultra-luxe or ultra cheap and avoid the cement concentration style wrist band resorts where fat girls get hair braids and sunburns. Iíve stayed at Goldeneye, where Ian Flemming wrote a good many of his James Bond novels and short stories for Playboyís and also The Rockhouse and a few places I really canít remember
What's your favorite way to entertain when you're away?
I prefer to rent a house locally. While a hotel is easy, I have children and the idea of cramming into one room or spending for a suite isnít attractive. The beauty of a house is you can settle, be on your own and assimilate a bit into the local culture. Its a much better way to ease into an exotic locale. From there weíll hire a local chef to cook for us and just have a low key soiree. I donít go away to party or seek the party scene when I go away. A lot of my job involves intense socializing and near constant partying and believe me it takes its toll. if I could hire a stunt double to do it I would. so when I go away my time is for my family and we try and do things that reinforce those bonds.
What are your favorite activities when you are away?
We try and do as little as possible. Iíll read as many books as I can, lay in a hammock and walk the beach with my children. Other than we love to hike and visit nature and spend as much time as possible outdoors. My holidays are really about restoration. So beyond the quotidian its really about the simple pleasures of sampling a road side food stand or meeting an interesting person or swimming in a waterfall.
What is it about the local culture that you love?
I love the music, the soundclashes, the history of the music as being overtly political and religious. And that there is a hint of aggression. if you donít act chill or act like an idiot they will hand your ass to you and rip you off but if you go with the flow and respect the ways and customs youíll be welcomed with open arms.
When traveling Jimmy has a few essentials he always brings with him:
I tend to read several books simultaneously, right now I'm alternating between Straight Life: The Story of Art Pepper and Tree of Smoke by Denis Johnson.
I know it's cliche, but the iPad is indispensable; especially for the kids when they wake before dawn!
When I'm traveling I like hardcore outdoor gear since I tend to travel to remote jungle destinations, so most things I bring are anti-fashion and functional. I usually bring brands like Columbia, Tarpon Wear and Patagonia ..
With Patagonia you hit the road and head for the hills with original art tees by Geoff McFetridge on a 100% organic cotton like this one..