Sunday, May 31, 2009

Weekend of the Triumphant Underdog

First Susan Boyle loses Britain's got talent.
And now Nadal has lost for the first time in five years on his turf that is French clay!

Just goes to show that there is hope yet for anyone who regards themselves as anybody but number one.
Here's looking at you, anyone apart from Kanye West.

I wasn't Made in China but this is

Wallpaper* Magazine is celebrating China in their current issue, of the 'creative energy carrying China to new heights'.

I was a little thrown off at first when I flicked onto their homepage to find a smattering of simplified Chinese. Lift Off! Made in China! On further investigation this does not seem like an unwelcome concept at all. The might and resources Japan has accumulated over the years have reaped plenty of creative rewards for the country, now not only exporting whitegoods and technology, but everything desirable thing in between from Muji pencil sharpeners to Bape sneakers. I would think with China's aggressive growth rate in their push for both financial and political clout design as a result will not lag behind.

China is a culture born and bred on comparison, ego and saving face, after all!

I imagine my Grandmas would feel a little uncomfortable playing mahjong in this sleek getup (they play together in a little, dingy and badly lit mahjong club in Surry Hills- too cute). Perhaps that is the way of the future for this game though- as opposed to raucous screaming and scheming and erratic clashing of tiles it will become sedated, composed, sophisiticated, to relate how truly intellectual this pastime is (or so my Grandmas tell me). Speaking of which, would there be the possiblity that one day mahjong will be the new poker? the new bridge? Here could be why.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

My not so secret Secret Garden

You know how when you stumble across an object or a place or a youtube video so completely awesome some way or another that you almost get dizzy from the rush of adrenalin, become nauseously happy and giggle inside?

When that happens with me I proceed to try and store it in the particular file in my mind and then try to not share it with anyone because it is so awesome that I attempt to greedily horde it for as long as I can.

Of course that is not what eventuates usually, as I'm always bursting to tell anyone who would listen anything.

The disappointment comes here. In my gush of excitement at having told the captured victim of my extraordinary discovery, I usually expect equal awe with the person I'm sharing it with, proceeded with gratitude for my generosity to share. That doesn't happen either, because the response I usually get would be do you live under a rock?, and I, once again, would find that I'm not so alternative nor special in taste afterall, but that simply the society has made me feel like I am.

The following items are some which fall into that category for me:
  • How I Met Your Mother
  • Chicken and Rice
  • Music by Metric
  • The West Wing
  • Popeye's Chicken
  • Melissa's Mini Cupcakes (or are they muffins?)
Upon evaluation this list does not even come across as alternative. I concede that I have shot down many of these excited introductions myself; gleefully at that.

What I am trying to get to is that there is one particular thing that I feel will end up in that list above but certainly hope won't. That is, the random garden on Bowery 265.

A few weeks ago I took one of my aimless ambles around Soho, because to me that area is chocfull of surprises and disappointments alike, and I love that about them. For example, what happened to What Goes around comes around? And who is The Rhodes, who were playing under the trees in Washington Square Park? I was due to meet Marie for a mini end-of-the-semester pubcrawl on One-on/&-one so I took a turn down Bleecker and lo and behold, discovered and adequately flavourful green curry, so I continued to walk down to find a nice little park to sit down and eat. Before I even got there though, I stumbled across this:

That is probably one of this most unpretentious welcome signs I have seen around the area. It is gorgeous! I sat down at exactly the same time where there was not a soul in the garden bar perhaps the critters and the birds- just me and a piece of manhattan that resembled nothing like it- a little chunk of an oasis.

I have been brought up to know how to share though, so here it is. I had Elvis Costello's She in my head as I was sitting there, because it felt like exactly the place Julia and Hugh would have sat in the very, very end of Notting Hill.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Mannequins, Models, Muses and the Met II

I finally got the chance to hit the Met today for the Model as Muse exhibition, and was not overtly disappointed. Although there were hardly surprises, it hit many model as muse landmarks in fashion history. In passing they did mention Monsieur Dior and his stable of in-house models- the cabine, but did not delve into it too much, which I thought would have been fitting (literally and figuratively- hah!) Also, it did not look into particular designer-model relationships, which was one aspect I had been looking forward to exploring at the exhibition. Alaia+Naomi naturally comes to mind, but of course after multiple bouts of controversy and boycotting his designs are of course, sadly, nowhere to be seen.

One big minus is the hair on the mannequins, which are styled, throughout all the time frames, as tackily caked together into whichever glossy form and shape. It may have seemed like a good idea on paper but in practice it looked hurried, messy and unprofessional.

I wonder if the VM folks in Bergdorfs had any say/consulted in the styling of the exhibit? They were certainly impeccable. Perhaps looking up through a glass window makes everything fancier. Though we are talking about the Met!

The West

A week well spent in San Francisco and Napa.


'1. No Thought Exists Without A Sustaining Support', -(I think and hope it is) Mel Bochner.

The Mondrian cake is too cute. I assume it would take a mountainload of effort.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

when mellow/happy/sad, phoenix is always a go to to listen to for me. Their new album is pretty awesome; my favourite song being 'Countdown (sick or the big sun)' their video above lisztomania is pretty adorable, complete with balloon in the shape of a bungling missile. Cannot wait to watch them at terminal 5 come june.

"Don't mistake Aloha for being weak." - Dr. David Keanu Sai, Monocle edition 21

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Broadway Crew

Before colour theory class yesterday (which, thanks to Joy, I discovered and Sebastien Tellier) popped down broadway to check out two new spawn-of-chainstores- Topshop and J.Crew, with the Mens-only store being an infantile day-old.

With J.Crew Men's, I was unsurprisedly pleased; the store was predicatably (albeit pleasantly) decorated, but nothing that shouted J.Crew, but substitutedly, straight up Preppy Americana. The difference with J.Crew is the much friendlier price point; English silk ties made in U.S. started from around $59. The suit room in the back felt like a mini J.Press, but they might have to think about watching out unaware gentlemen tripping over the rugs.

I have always admired Mackintosh as a company and the Macs (green and blue check, khaki with a pop of an orange lining) that J.Crew has commissioned is definitely a great rainy day contender. They have Free&Easy as well! I see this publication is gathering quite a cult gathering- understandably, the Japanese are dapper down to the bone, to every minute detail.

Then I ventured over to Topshop right next door (J.Crew seemed so indiscreet in demeanor by contrast). I'd avoided the grand opening because I just knew I would not be worth the lining up and the jostleing. And I was right- Topshop NYC was Meh. I'd suffered Topshop attack when I was in London- every morning on my way to work walking past Regent/Oxford I'd never understood why people would line up to enter one of the most overrated brands in the U.K. in the freezing cold (here's looking at you, Abercrombie). Their London flagship is a clusterfcuk of nail salon, denim bar, shoe store, candy store and every taste under the sun clothing coterie- where products, which used to be great in quality (I still love a suiting material-dress that i'd bought in Topshop Tokyo 3 years ago) have now have slipped into the calibre of H&M; yet retained its unjustifyable pricepoint! Their repoirtoire has been pretty much replicated here.
Perhaps Kate Moss is the very personification of Topshop- massively popular, relatively expensive in its market, omnipresent, but you don't exactly know why. The New York store brought no surprises. I guess perhaps that's exactly what New York wanted/needed- I suppose any girl/boy who has never been into a Topshop would be thoroughly impressed by how the store is able to offer a product that they had not known they'd wanted, until they saw it. I do love their accessories (rings, in particular), but gosh is it just me or is it so much more expensive here?


After my exam today I had so much free time on my hands I took a little stroll around the hood, spent good 2 hours in Strand Books- only came out because I was starting to get dizzy from hunger and thirst (that could possibly be my only qualm about the store- the lack of oxygen)! here are the two books I bought:

I also came across a rather adorable table setting in Anthropologie, above.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Out with the New, In with the Old

The eclectic Olde good gallery truck is parked next to anthropologie on certain mondays, and the cartoon lion is always sitting there, comically roaring at 5th Ave. It makes me laugh. Who pays attention? How many inwards smiles does this thing get? I'm betting quite a few.
All things worn, chic and pre-loved have never quite been out of favour, but have never been mainstream, either. It seems though that now this trend of recycling and sharing has become something more accepted and experimented with. I still have the Monk mentality that i can't really quite own something that was once owned and used by someone else (that philosophy probably applies to boys too); I'm taking baby steps with 2nd hand books. Right now I'm reading the most gorgeous book printed in 1902 by Thornstein Veblen, Theory of the Leisure Class, which I'd found in the $3 pile in Argosy books right around the corner of work, on 116 e59 st.
I still miss you Daunt Books dearly!

Happy Birthday Darlene's Dad!

Word of the day is?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Fathers be good to your Daughters

A new life goal slowly dawned on me over the last year.

I don't know if it was from watching too much Grey's Anatomy, Baby Momma or just the adorable kiddies I find myself hanging with, but I really want a baby. The goal is by the time I am 25.

Certainly will be a good weapon in my arsenal when on a date I want to get out of, aye? I don't know by what method or channel I will make this happen, but it will be interesting to check back in 4 years to see how I have fared with this goal. I realise with this goal in place a lot of other goals are set in motion too.

In the meantime, for the mothers who are mothers, Happy Mothers Day Mum!

It hasn't been until I've moved out that I appreciate completely the holistic greatness of Mothers! Cheers to you all.

photo courtesy of The Sartorialist

sometimes natasha bedingfeld's 'i wanna have your babies' is exactly my sentiment!


Humility is a tough lesson to learn.

Just ask Lewis Hamilton, my favourite driver in Formula One. After a stellar rookie year finishing up second to Kimi Raikkonen he became world champion last year with an awesome car, a dedicated team and real steadfast dedication. i love him because of his fearless style, lack of reserve and his fire and optimism- two things that seem to have been extinguished with Raikkonen.

This year it mclaren isn't doing so well and neither is ferrari for that matter. Although it is my favourite sport of all time I am no seasoned fan. Yet watching my favourite team and favourite driver discintergrate within the matter of a quarter of a season into a mediocre second tier team is quite the painful. Worse yet there was even a moment to define it- where this morning at circuit de catalunya with a few laps to go button's brawn lapped hamilton. Lapped him. I feel ashamed and incompetent when I get lapped by Boris on mariokart. To say this sentiment is magnified somewhat is only an understatement.

However, if I was there when he won the races last year, there when he won the championship, screaming and cheering and jeering at Ferrari in an Irish pub in barcelona (for the fear of being egged elsewhere for going for anyone other than Alonso), I need to be here now when they are not doing so well, struggling to define the problem plaguing the Mclaren car. I have noticed many fans have now reverted to Brawn, which in all fairness, what's not to like? Everything is spick and span new- the chassis is like a beautiful blank piece of paper- there's the oomph factor with Richard Branson, the suits are spiffy and everytime they pit in their black and white I have Daft Punk's aerodynamic riff playing in my head. Brad Spurgeon pointed out the world's sudden infatuation with Brawn on IHT. Take the British Press for one, who up till March this year had Hamilton as their darling, hanging on to his every move and word. When Hamilton was on Top Gear Jeremy Clarkson made jokes at Button's expense (and that was before he won the championship). They hardly mention him now, reverting attention onto their other forgotten Briton, Button, who now has a lead over his teammate by bloody fourteen points. Media is fickle and inevitably the Brits are even worse.

The moral of the story is that if you are a fan of something- whatever you are sticking up for, you're only a real fan if you're there for them when they are the underdog, when they're struggling for air, when the pit babes have forgotten them, when they get lapped when they were the ones lapping the year before.

Here are some underdogs apart from Lewis & Co. I hope will get a move on and return to its former glory (some, after being humbled so they can come back with more humility):

- Oliver Theyskens
- Grey's Anatomy
- Various Economies
- Iceland
- The Mets (this one's for you Marie)

Mannequins, Models, Muses and the Met

For a week now the Bergdorf windows have been lavishingly decorated to pimp the Model as Muse exhibition at the Tisch Galleries at the Met. Just scrumptious! Cannot wait until my semester is over so I can check it out myself. A shame that Alaia won't be featured, because I think he's a designer whose aesthetics are very much intertwined with models which serve as muses!

image courtesy of nytimes

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Too Awesome

I have just discovered the official flickr feed for the White House (just in time for procrastinating for my studies)- cannot help but trawl through with the West Wing theme song playing on loop in my head.

Just how can you not adore this president?

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Allergy Dent

So on exactly 8pm last night i hunkered down with a pot of my earl grey to beginning my studying for an online exam. Which was exactly when my phone sounded and my friend marie called. She had cut off her finger.

off to my first American ER adventure we went!

boy was it deja vu! when i was in london i was at a jazz festival event at the cafe in foyles on charing cross road with blair when i'd suddenly felt oddly faint- so i excused myself for the bathroom. before i was even at the counter to ask i was blacked out on the floor! so they'd taken me to ER- the closest one being UCL- when i'd adamantly said no because I knew the only thing they'd tell me was that i was anaemic and i needed to drink water- which was exactly what happend- but after 3 hours of waiting at putting up with drunk attention seeking bums!

no offense bums. just drunk attention seeking bums who like to hang out in the ER.

but marie's finger was quite something!
in perspective of course it was absolutely nothing, i'm glad she's okay, her finger was like a dali painting. i don't know if it was just me. but it reminded me of something like this:

really, it was just the angle it was obscured at that looked completely like marie's almost-amputated finger. was fascinating!

I tried to encourage to name the dent in which she will inherit from this accident after me but we found a better title: at the waiting room the was a young, street-dressed drunk bum who was making ooooooh awwwww owwwww sounds in pain, sneezes and agony and when the wardens would come he would make a wail about how his poor allergy caused him a blocked nose. he was a hoot. a menacing one at that, but still a hoot. so we have decided to commemorate him by naming marie's scar after the allergy.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Celebrating Eva

Today at work, folks decided to celebrate Eva Peron's bday with a vanilla ice cream and cookie dough cake! She would have been 90 today.

What better way to spend 3:30pm-3:50pm. Although I did get very literally showered on on my way to hallmark to get the cake. Happy Birthday Eva! Thanks Eva!

may i add you scrub up much nicer than madonna:

Speaking of Eva's birthday, Eva: I won't forget your birthday this year. That was pretty much one of my new years resolutions!

In the past I have celebrated Monday, the fact that I navigated my car home, the fact that I got lost, the fact I got pickpocketed (with a 1 euro beer bought by 10 a kind gentleman gave me at the police station) the fact that Lewis Hamilton became WORLD CHAMPION.
What are some kooky things you've celebrated?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

To be Raucous

My ramen craving was sated today when I discovered Kenka, an izakaya that (to my knowledge) literally means screaming, shouting and being raucous.

image courtesy of nymag

The food was raucously divine!

I had ramen straight out and the 'world's cheapest draught beer'; lo and behold, my favourite, kirin! Why I had never stepped foot into this place before beats me, because it is right down my alley. The little straw chairs were quaint too, I want one. But I cannot see how a larger man can possibly be comfortable huddled over one; I suppose that is part of the charm.

Eating at an izakaya almost always reminds me of the scene in Miyazaki's 'Spirited Away' where Chihiro's parents eat at a bar, become addicted and promptly transform into pigs.It is a grotesque caricature of our modern day consumerist habits but an accurate one. All things in moderation are generally better eh? Easy to say, but oh so difficult to do.

Case in point: after an okay anmitsu I did end up with a triple chocolate cupcake at Chikalicious... this wednesday has ended in excess!

To Market To Market

walking through the Union square wednesday farmers' market always reminds me of the saturday marylebone farmer's market in london! it was especially so today where the weather was dreary and there was a slight drizzle.

the lilacs were out in full bloom; just irresistable. it's time to get all popeye too and i've stocked up on my spinach. and apples, apples, apples!

so then i came across this curious thing called fiddleheads. what are they you ask? i can gladly tell you since i picked up a factsheet from the info stand! 'Fiddlehead ferns are new-growth fronds (Fronds?) usually of the ostrich ferm. The name 'fiddlehead' refers to any unfurled fern, not to a specific variety, because of their resemblance to the scroll of a violin.'

it tastes like asparagus with artichoke, should be cooked before eaten and may be bitter or stir some gastric trouble if you don't!

Nice Banner!

from nyt

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Awesome Arlo

The son of Mad Men creator Matt Weiner Arlo has been recruited by GQ to share with its readers some of his style tips. For those who don't know though, rather than a 28 year year the man sharing the advice is infact 8!

he looks absolutely fabulous but somehow I am still at two minds about saville row bambini: should not a child have time to spare to dress silly, dress crazy and generally dress bad so they have something to regret when they are older? Like thus:

i was planning this for halloween.


Today I posted flyers around school to try and find a clever web-savvy person to help me, because I am completely technophobic. I had the pull out tabs and pulled out some to look like there is already interest. hah!

Mewonders what I can do myself on the internet? i'm not a prehistoric dinosaur, i'm 21 but i find the internet simply daunting. facebook freaks me out! people addicted to facebook freak me out!


a doubt/devil reunion i see. love cooking love meryl streep love stanley tucci love decadent fatty food


cannot wait, is all!

and while i'm at it as one does go astray on their youtube meanderings i had a peek at the real julia child to compare with streep's uncanny likeliness, in her uppity accented splendor:

then again really, is there anything meryl streep can't be? for all i know tomorrow she can convince me as margaret thatcher. come to think of it, that's not a long stretch at all!