Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008: A Year in Influences

As we are a mere six hours from 2009, please allow me to reflect for a moment on a year that proved very influential for me. As in, I owe much of my development this year to constant exposure to new environments, media, and ridiculous goals. 

And so, without further ado, my strongest influences from 2008 in pictures:

- Korea - My two weeks there (and in Shanghai) earlier in'08 did more than just fulfill a heart-wrenching desire to hit up Asia, but intensified it. My mission to chillax and soak in the local life was partially successful, as almost daily I find myself drifting into warm memories of friends and raw squid at pojangmachas at 3am. It cannot be denied, however, that actually living there is in my future, although I don't yet know if it'll be soon or far in the future.

PSFK - Technically I am in love with trend, design and advertising blogs in general, but the fact that Piers Fawkes occasionally links to my Racked posts gives them precedence in my RSS feed. I can always trust in them to post at least one amazingly kickass item daily, a difficult task in a blogosphere clogged with copycats. Plus, I am totally feeling this post on people like myself versus the traditional job market.

- Japanese Design - 2008 was the year I was able to latch onto various Japanese labels which, before, I had to ogle from afar. MUJI's NYC proliferation, Uniqlo's domination over my wardrobe and touches of CdG and Yohji allowed me to indulge my avant-garde leanings and penchant for great design at economical price levels.

- Art without walls - Pop Art is what really oils my gears, but I came close to melting with pleasure throughout this year of outdoor exhibitions. Jeff Koons on the Met's rooftop, Chanel's Mobile Art, Banksy's Soho love, and the various interactive fun in city parks really reminded me why I'm in NY.

-  Transportation - To make things simple, I would say that my greatest love is for travel. Digging a little deeper, I have to confess to being hot for transportation. 2008 threw the QEII into my lap, Jetblue's Terminal 5, several long-haul flights on Cathay Pacific, countless hours of bus and Amtrak trekking and even some actual driving in a car across state lines. Most of all, I am thankful that this year brought me images of Dakis Joannou's Jeff Koons-designed yacht, Guilty. When he resells her years and years from now, hopefully I will be on the buying end; it's my new long-term goal. When I switch from being influenced to influencing, she will be mine.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Best Story This Week: Philippe Starck Goes Shopping at Big Lots

The minute this story hit my feed, I wanted to immediately comment on it. Well, it's been a day and I've simmered down from the original tizzy in which this story had put me. Nonetheless, it is a must-read and omg the pictures! I almost lolcat-macroed all of them, but restrained myself. Some notes:

  • The LA Times took Philippe Starck to a Hollywood Big Lots for some recession-friendly shopping and *gasp* he put together a place setting for $5.50! I'm pretty sure that I've got him beat though, since my nightly place setting is usually a 40-cent clearance plate in the shape of a Hibiscus flower that I bought at a Walgreens last year.
  • Starck is no stranger to discount big-box retail; his Target collection of many years ago was a hit, even though it featured much in neon yellow/green. I have the letter opener and can vouch for its functionality (makes a great fingernail cleaner, ah hem). 
  • In the underwear aisle, he picks up a pack of boxer shorts for himself saying: "so when a man takes off his clothes, the girl will not laugh." But let's be serious here for a sec, bro: with those pants you wore to Big Lots, you don't have to worry about the girl laughing after you take them off. 
  • He buys a bra! He digs the sidewalk chalk! He springs for a folding table! Oh man, I both have and can always afford those things. Am I part of the design elite yet?
  • The best advice for a recession-impacted 2009 comes out of this shopping spree at Big Lots: "Look for the bowl that looks most like a bowl." When people start buying etched-crystal gravy boats again, we will know that the recession has passed. For now, just use a plain damn bowl.
Words to live by, people. Whatever, you know you would kill for a Starck gun lamp. And so, one final comment: in PSFK's post about this story, they repeatedly misspell Starck as "Stark." WTF...just wtf?! I digress, as usual.

Friday, December 12, 2008

How I Spent My Semi-Unemployment

5 am outside of NBC studios: my friend sits on a mat made of cardboard pieces as we wait for SNL tickets

I bought something beautiful today. It was definitely on sale and yet it reigns as the most spectacular thing I own. Of course it is an Issey Miyake full-length Pleats Please jacket, with an ornate map print design. This post is, however, not about shopping in a sad economy, but rather about surviving several months as an unemployed person in New York through the power of escapism (and reserves which were meant for my (postponed) trip to Dubai)

As a newish part-time member of the wifi workforce, I enjoy the ability to wander wherever I want, whenever I want and still barely make rent. Because of the new freedom, I briefly allowed myself to entertain the thought that perhaps now was the time to become a travel writer or move abroad again (Malta, Shanghai and Seoul are my current loves), but today's purchase was the final straw. 

I've subconsciously re-anchored myself to here, and so I must put my future on hold and hope that someone hires me. Oh lovely unemployment, we had some good times: 
  • Sleeping on the street in 30-degree weather for SNL tickets
  • Traveling 30 hours on Amtrak at the drop of a hat
  • Working the historical election in a controversial precinct
  • Riding back and forth on the SI Ferry on blustery days
  • Giving the QEII a proper farewell and Mobile Art a hearty welcome
  • Spotting Mario Batali and Andre Balazs within 10 minutes of each other
So now I've got this fabulous jacket, both a reminder of and end of the past several months of thinking that I had many paths from which to choose. Too bad I'm optimistic to a fault, so we'll see.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

RIDILUX: Billionaire Couture's $50K Umbrella

Yes, I know that it has been a while since I've broken out the "Ridilux," or ridiculous luxury, posts on here. Believe me, I haven't slacked on them due to a dearth of things to feature, rather the opposite. 

Today, however, I ran across this Crocodile Umbrella from the brand Billionaire Couture, which more than qualifies for Ridilux. The Croc Umbrella symbolizes everything that makes me slightly ill when it comes to bad products: excessive use of exotic skins, zero practicality or function, ugly-ass design and a pricetag to get you kidnapped regardless of country. $50,000 will get you a single useless umbrella; heaven forbid it gets wet! Only Farnsworth Bentley could sport this (on loan) and get away with it. I rest my case.

[Via Born Rich]

Friday, November 21, 2008

Swingin Pad: A Shower to Shout About

Occasionally I find myself wandering over to check out the various design-y loveliness at, only to have my soul curl up in coveting. Today's feature of the "Why Only White (WOW)" Collection of shower backdrops brought out the rare domestic side of me, the one that maybe in forty year wants to have a house to (tastefully) fill with cool crap. 

Should you come to my first housewarming party in the year 2048, you may gawk at my awesome shower, which will have the math pattern shown above. Of course by then showers may be 360-degree and instant, but in that case I will have a math-patterned 360-degree instant shower (or Bisazza, since they will probably always be around). 

Sunday, November 16, 2008

On the Lickability of Covers

Checking out this very colorful, scrumdidillyumptious AM NY cover from last week, I am reminded of an old Jezebel post on the licking habits of the editor of Cosmopolitan.

It went a little something like this: "My sense of a good cover that will sell is if I want to lick it... and the Beyonce [December 2007] cover I licked several times... before the sun came up."

Now reconsider this AM NY front page. It has gourmet donuts with an added bonus of chocolates, a hot couple nuzzling on a picturesque beach, Daniel Craig looking dashing, something about Madonna and something for the sports buffs. If there is one thing I have learned about print and online media, people will read anything about multicolor baked goods, be they overpriced cupcakes or rare macarons. Now add some great graphic design to the mix and you have a very lickable issue. 

What's more is that everyone can identify with Cosmo's linguo love; I, for one, want to lick almost every page of every issue of Monocle. This is especially true for when they break out the illustrations in the retro style of Miroslav Sasek, or when they put a Frankfurter on the cover. I remain a reluctant fan of Tyler Brule, however, as his articles are so heavy-handed and pretentious. Like we get it, you love Toto toilets and Valextra. Anyways, I digress. Go lick some print journalism while its still around.

[Image via Urbanite]

Friday, October 31, 2008

After All the Hubbub: Chanel's Mobile Art

I dutifully attended my 1:15pm ticket reservation for Chanel Mobile Art in Central Park on Monday, October 27. The day was beautiful; one caught between other days of rain and drear. Having scored one of the very few time slots available online, my friend and I queued up and cast pitying glances back at the long, long line of standbys. Reading blogs kept me out of the wannabe line and I found myself swiftly ushered into the lovechild of Zaha and Karl. 

A few notes: When we interacted with any of the Mobile Art staff, they were so extremely gracious that we'd say the service mirrored that of sales associates in the Chanel stores. Although we did (hilariously) catch one of the dudes grumbling about how all the tourists go crazy for their uniforms (black windbreakers with white Chanel buttons), he personally thought they weren't all that nice. 

While we actually relished the Soundwalk guide, WAY too much time was spent gazing down into the hole with insect projections; we would have preferred to peek longer inside the shipping container with S&M bear or watch more of the video inside of the powder compact, where girls were full-out gunning down Chanel bags on a shooting range.

Yoko Ono's "wish tree" installation was interactive, sure, but damn there were a lot of very shallow wishes on those things. But then what should we expect in going to a luxury-branded museum? 

Aside from the aforementioned Chanel shooting range video, my favorite piece was most definitely Lee Bul's "Light Years" room, whose walls directly mirrored the famous Chanel stairway inside of their Rue Cambon address. Sitting in the middle of the room was a pile of light topped with leather scraps from bag manufacturing, all the while tempting you to touch it. 

So my tour lasted exactly 45 minutes and concluded unceremoniously...actually I wasn't even sure it was over until there was no where else left to go. Oh yes, and the New York issue of the program is SO not as well done as the first Hong Kong one. Whatever Karl, I see how it is.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Abomination On The Street

There are no words. I believe the many ironies present here speak for themselves. Let me know if you'd like a diatribe.

Shot a few nights ago on West 9th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

In Today's News: I Made a Sandwich

Isn't it beautiful, sitting there in all its plastic-plated glory? Note the addition of prosciutto!

This is the result of my watching two hours of Food Network shows today, half of which was Bobby Flay throwing down lots of fried chicken. I was inspired; maybe if my countertop space was larger than a TV tray I'd have made something truly incredible. For now, I am loving the sandwich. 

In related news, there is an apple in my fridge that has been there for OVER A YEAR. It's a granny smith, and granny just turned 14 months old. It is not rotten or squishy or discolored; it is simply bionic. We are at a stalemate currently, as I'm beyond the point of eating it but too curious to throw it away.  

(Note on my fridge contents: Lu biscuits from a Fashion Week gift bag, mini vodka hiding behind the lime juice is also from FW gift bag, and check out the IKEA lingonberry jam propping up the notorious apple)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

How Do You Say "Waste of Money" in French?

I know how to say it in pictures: the Colette x Gap pop-up shop AND Swarovski's fall collection. In addition to being huge wastes of money, they are also both eyesores up on Fifth Ave and Madison Ave, respectively. 

On Colette: In the interest of full disclosure, I have never been one to have heart palpitations over new Colette collabs, and am heavily skeptical of their image as a tastemaking store. Still, I was willing to give their GAP shop a chance because of my fascination with pop-ups. 

Immediately after entering the store (around 7.30pm on a weekday), I was struck with how un-special the space looked. It didn't make you want to shop; the place was way too bright and none of the displays looked inviting. While I am fully aware of the Colette Paris shopping experience, and how it is not meant to be typical in any way, I was still terribly turned off. 

I picked up the shoelaces - egh. I sniffed at the Comme des Garcons - nothing I haven't already gotten from Barneys. I almost took a closer look at the keychains and pin until I overheard a sales associate quote the pin price to another customer: $110. If I won't pay $320 for a truly spectacular skirt at J. Crew because then I'd be paying $320 for a skirt at J. Crew, then I sure as hell am not going to find a $100+ GAP keychain to be a necessary accessory. 

Then I passed the erasers and pencils. This is the crap most people will be purchasing, just to have participated in the collab. A small, yellow foam duplo-looking block with the Colette logo was puzzling; it had no function except to cost $16. 

My overriding impression of the store came as a whispered exclamation as I glared down at the post-it notes: "It's like they ordered stuff from a promotional items catalog and just had their logo applied." Then I left.

On Swarovski: Go to any mall's Claire's store and ask to see the "prom jewelry" in the locked plexi cases. Then add two zeros onto the price of each item and voila - it's Swarovski. 

I was just wandering around Madison Ave as usual when I walked by their horrendous fall collection, whose muse could be none other than Ashley Alexandra Dupre. I mean, didn't Victoria's Secret have that weird crystal tie thing in their catalog five years ago? Anyway, I've put the images below for you to form your own opinion.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Bit of Barneys Buzz

So as a little gift to myself for my birthday, I've hopped a jet to Chicago for the week. Since you'll easily be able to find my exploits elsewhere, I'll only update a few trivial happenings.

Since my last post, I have ...
  • Fled to Boston for a weekend only to eat a lot of Korean food and continue north to Maine for the outlets. I am a person raised on road trips; every June we would drive 10 hours to hang out in a hotel pool and maybe go "gold mining" in Gatlinburg. Those were the days...I was 10 and memorizing rations of travel pamphlets from the local Carlson Wagonlit.
  • Done up New York Restaurant Week and peer-pressured others to join me, as usual. Rarely am I to be found in Midtown unless cheap gourmet dining is involved, or I feel like sneaking up to my personal piece of the sky: a condo rooftop where I've learned the secret of access.
  • Waxed loquacious about many things, among them being the craze-tastic Barneys Warehouse Sale. Due to an impending trip tightening my purse strings, I successfully resisted the lure of ultra-discounted designer duds until yesterday morning. A Saturday update got me at my weakest: relaxed and surfing on the beginnings of a flight high, as I was due to depart straight from the sale to the 312. And so....
I scored this dramatic F/W '08 Rodnik "Horror Show" trench ...
... even though I had been drinking in the sight of these YSL Getty wedges since the first day. I even had them in hand to purchase, but decided that the money would be better used on future airfare. Plus, I've already got some red patent Prada cork & bamboo wedges, but shhhh. (Photos via Rodnik and Neimans)

Monday, July 21, 2008

LV Holds In Your Junk

Things I've turned up in my random strolls around teh internetz...
It holds your junk...
(not LV, but VO? and it makes me happy on many levels)
via Kanye West Blog

...and it holds your junk.
(Remy Ma probably had a seamstress cut up an old Speedy or something. Kind of like Scarlet O'Hara.) via 7Days7Nights

Friday, July 11, 2008

What Would Betsy Ross Think?

(Click to enlarge)
Since I got over being political after doing a Presidential Classroom program my junior year of high school, I will only be so again for a second:

This dress above (displayed because of the recent Fourth of July holiday) in a Garment District shop on West 38th Street would have been awesome on Hillary (even though I'm down with the 'bama). Well ok not really, as she doesn't have the stature and svelte little waist that the stripes seek to highlight (and having met her in her senatorial digs once, I sure felt about a foot taller).

In any case, I totally remember seeing a picture of her waltzing with Bill at his first inaugural ball in 1992 while wearing a purple crystal-encrusted gown. I remember not so much because it was gorgeous (which it was not) but because it was just a lot of purple and sparkle and I was young. The older me is now attracted to primary, bold colors and thus I am strangely drawn to this ode to America.
Just one question: what is up with the tiara? Loyalists!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Les Touristes de Nouveau Yorque

(Click to enlarge)
As you walk down West 34th, wondering what the hell brought you up there in the first place, you are surrounded by the tourists with their various plastic bags of souvenirs: hot pink leggings from H&M, cork wedges from Nine West and a silk bejeweled tunic from Zara. None of this is New York, but they will delight in telling their friends back home that it's from "oh, some little hidden boutique in the east village." Note that this recently happened for a friend of mine, whose acquaintance purchased a leather journal and fountain pen at Barnes & Noble as a souvenir of New York (wtf?)

Well, these are the names of those heretofore unnamed tourist passers-by, according to the cheap mini license plate stock: Pierre, Mitch, Kelsey, Kari, Katheryn, Pablo, Marc, Lori, Pepe, Neil... it's all a smattering of outre Europeans and American suburbanites. It looks like the least popular names (meaning most plates leftover) are Peggy and Judy - because ladies with those names are probably sensible enough to be in Disney World on vacation, getting engraved crystal Epcot Centers.

Let's end things on a high note:

Anyone who purchases one of the shirts below knows what they've gotten themselves into. Especially that green one - I mean, NYC, Starbucks AND it's American Apparel? I want to hang out with the person who takes that back to Liege, Belgium and shows it off at his local pommes frites vendor. Yes, sir.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Comics to Redefine Comics

Among the things that get me through every day are, surprisingly, comics. Aside from a brief 7-issue collection of the physical comic book Catwoman: When in Rome (see picture top right) my daily departures have been of the web variety. On the top left there we have my highest recommendation: Eliza Frye's "The Lady's Murder," a mystery of beguiling images which are drawn and painted and instantly scanned to reveal the story one page per day.

And then there are the hilarious quips also doled out daily by Married to the Sea (bottom left) and Wondermark (bottom right). Is the turn to web comics a piece of the dilapidation of print media? Sure, why not. But then everyone wants to turn a hard profit, thus Wondermark found its way into The Onion and Eliza Frye is searching for a printer. When/if these series end, what will I read over dinner? Oh, books - yea those.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Laughing Quietly to Myself on the Subway

Just as I'm sure that if you're reading this you know about JetBlue's new jetting campaign, I trust that you'll join me in being extremely entertained by their ads. The other day, while rambling along underground on the F train, I squinted up at the JetBlue "timeline," throughout which pleasant little quips are made about the olden days of air travel. I read the whole thing, which took about 30 seconds out of my precious staring-into-space time, and found myself quietly tee-heeing by Broadway/Lafayette. Here I share with you my favorite two, but admittedly the one below really left me with a private smirk. Oh my god, I am such a dork.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Whatcha Got There?

(Click to expand)
Ah yes, the photo of a person's bag and all the junk normally contained within. How very original, how very telling, how very whatever. So I've submitted to a curiousity I've had for a while, of what my usual everyday crap would look like given the same treatment as the crap of famous designers and people. You know the spreads: Japanese bag company Porter does them for their seasonal "Perfect Book," Monocle copied off of Porter and now features them in every issue, and there's Sophia Calle's contracted-out Chanel project of buying people's bags straight off of their arms and then displaying the contents.
Above is my contribution to the trend, and it is very true (aside from the cat).
1- A laminated map of NYC, covered in stickers to disguse that it is a map of NYC
2- Oscar de la Renta sunglasses in a case (got them cheap)
3- $16 Marc Jacobs business card holder (with business cards!)
4- Generic coverup purchased at a Walgreens in LA
5- The latest issue of Monocle which will take me all month to finish
6- Flight 001 camera case with a 6 yr old digital camera
7- Keys and various discount cards
8- An issue of L Magazine from a few weeks back
9- MUJI antibacterial wipes and Lipsmacker strawberry balm
10- Comme des Garcons wallet
11- Freitag bag in the Cooper style
12- Cell phone with Seoul metro card attachment (I'm part of the proletariat - no iphone)
13- Netflix DVD waiting to be mailed back, and a cat toy (the cat put the toy there, I swear)
14- Cat (not mine) sitting on a Japanese ferry journal (mine), and a Venetian murder mystery
15- Viagra pen I've had since high school and my Path train smartcard

From this, I can deduce two things about the owner (myself): She is lazy (didnt bother to get the recent L Magazine, takes forever to read Monocle, hasn't yet returned netflix, won't play with playful cat, doesn't put on more makeup than chapstick) AND she is miserly (won't spring for a new camera or iphone even if it will improve her quality of life tremendously, luxury items pictured all purchased on deep sale discount, doesn't have an "it" bag). Yet, I couldn't be happier with it all.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

In Gotham: A Dash of Sartoriality...Reality

Image via The Sartorialist
Just a quick observation. There are days when nothing happens. And there are days when I spot Chris March and the Sartorialist, and I buy awesome fresh guacamole from West Side Market.

For instance, the Sartorialist's photo above is proof. A few days ago I hopped over by The Maritime to do this story, and passed by as this photo happened. I watched the mysterious cyclist enter the hotel after leaving this position. And I only noticed because of the way he was dressed. The commenters over at the Sartorialist's blog have it right:
Nice bike. Overall, the look is a bit affected. And no socks with that type of shoe is not very attractive.
This dude reminds me of that period months ago when everyone was having Owen Wilson spottings around town, as he zipped about on a blue bike and generally tried to assume carefree airs. All this is also happening during the week of the Sartorialist's being cut from the GAP campaign AND of the PostSecret card - with which I completely identify:On to today! Taking the train this morning, I noticed something amiss with the sartorial-ness of the guy across from me. There was a HUGE TAG hanging off of his sleeve. I noticed it first, and through the 10-minute ride, I caught the mildly amused glances of others. Who buys a leather jacket just when the weather hits 78 and sunny? A smart man does, because on the flip side of that tag is probably "Clearance $49.99." Check out my hazy cameraphone pics below.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

In-Flight Addictions Have No Cure

Remember a few weeks back when I found myself in-flight for over 24 hours because I stupidly (actually, awesomely) scheduled two stopovers in HK and Taipei between here and Seoul? Oh no - you don't recall? Well I sure do, and what's more is how I'm still feeling the effects of those flights.

We aren't talking a simple case of jetlag, no. Instead, I found myself completely and utterly obsessed with the Cathay Pacific "Studio CX" entertainment system; it was so enthralling that I abandoned sleep in favor of hours and hours of teaching myself Mah Jongg and playing a British version of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" I now know that the Queen Mother grew up at St. Pauls Waldenbury, thank you very much.

So now, because I love it, is a countdown of...

5. Airshow/ LiveMap
You know you love it; you tingle at the knowledge of being 33,000' over Tulsa, Oklahoma where the ground temperature is a balmy 85 degrees. The thing is, Cathay Pacific takes it a step further with a live camera underneath the nose of the plane, which becomes an entire channel. Zone out to your hearts content at sunrises (below) and the black horizon at Earth's curvature. Livemap is especially effective on long-haul routes, as focusing on it for an extended period of time almost doubles for sleep - or at least you'll have produced the same amount of drool.

4. Episodes of Flight of the Conchords
Because a red eye is no time for Def Comedy Jam. Airlines know they have to go heavy on the comedy shows. Ever watched CSI or the Sopranos in-flight, and thought to yourself: "jeez, I hope no one looks over at my screen during this part." Flight of the Conchords gives the perfect dose of dry humor, off-color jokes and new york location to make it a hit in the skies. And I'm pretty sure I caught my seatmate, a little Asian grandmother, glancing over during "Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenocerous."

3. Battleship
It's simply quite an awesome, classic game. It requires little to no focus (perfect if you've hit the airport bar), you inherently know the rules, and sinking someone else's shi
p feels great. An added bonus: the Cathay Pacific Battleship game has a satisfying metallic "ddrrumpp" sounds when you place your boats.

2. Duty-Free for you and me
Shopping the friendly skies isn't just about flipping through SkyMall or ignoring the flight attendants when they pass through the cabin with boxes of Dunhill; in some parts of the world it is an anticipated event. Ok, this is mainly in Asia. Browsing through the Lotte Duty-Free Mall (yes, a mall, and there's more than one) in Seoul practically gives you a tan, what with the hot lights from banks of cosmetic counters and the m
ega-watt smiles of eager perfumers. It's not for me, but the ensuing craziness is fun to watch. Indispensable tip: If you purchase from the Lotte Duty-Free Mall, be sure to arrive extra EXTRA early for your flight at Incheon because the claim area for Lotte Duty-Free usually has a nightmare queue.

1. Episodes of My Super Sweet Sixteen
You know, I had never seen this show before I moved to NY. It was only during the moving process, with multiple roundtrips on JetBlue, where I became inconsolably addicted to the drama behind screechy teens and their leathery-tan parents. I'm sure I watched an entire season while 24,000' above Pennsylvania. This is the show to have on if you want to start a snarky dialogue with your seatmate.

...Now go book a flight to somewhere interesting. You might just catch a rousing episode of "Throwdown with Bobby Flay."

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Live Octopus: Not Just for America's Next Top Models

OK so I didn't update while away. I'm back now - from what was a most awesome trip to Seoul and Shanghai with brief stopovers in Taipei and Hong Kong.

The week before I left, a video hit the web like crazy - making it all over the blogs and whatnot, and created a small buzz about South Korean food. Apparently America's Next Top Model Season 1 contestant Elyse Sewell ate live octopus and recorded it here. This is something I already planned on for my trip - and I completely did it up - Elyse Sewell be damned.

We got the octopus straight out of the tank at Garak Fish Market, had it chopped, and ate it upstairs in the Fish Market's cafeteria. And we went through two of the containers shown above! AND our octopus tentacles were kicking and spiraling rather than just twitching. So good - my favorite food of the trip, and I had quite a number of things with no English translation (at least none I've discovered).

It is worth noting that I also had another most amazing night out with friends at a pojangmacha (mobile street tent restaurant) eating live squid (moving about just like the octopus) and downing some kind of spiky red sea lump with copious soju.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Why the Delay and then Off and Away

Sorry chickies! If you've been checking back here every so often hoping for updates and finding only the Marc Jacobs skunk yet again, please bear with me as I've got good reason. Two reasons actually:

I'm a Contributor for - which has always been one of many blog addictions.

TWO -My tax refunds arrived and I'm running with them before my college loans gulp them down whole. For the next two weeks starting today, I'm traveling very jetset with only a carry-on to various points in Asia. I promise, if everything syncs correctly, to blog updates from the orient. As it stands now, I've jotted pages of recommendations from friends and favorite blogs on how to do as the locals (including where is the best chargrilled squid leg-on-a-stick). Looky here let's get this straight-- I'm no tourist. I got museum-heavy jaunts and backpacking out of my system in Europe years ago. I've grown into leisurely absorption of culture through immersion and complete giving over of myself. Is it possible to go native in 2 weeks? I am sure as hell going to try.

Monday, March 17, 2008

IN GOTHAM: Marc Jacobs skunk looking lonely

In an effort to welcome spring (or more specifically, the money you're spending on spring clothing) and herald the return of the tourists, the Marc for Marc Jacobs store is offering free photos with their resident skunk-in-the-window. No stranger to the furry game, MJ's windows are now almost solidly covered with charmingly awkward images of you, your perfectly-coiffed family, and all your too cool friends pinching their noses or smelling the roses.

But when night falls on Bleecker St, Mr. Skunk sits alone and abandoned in his herbaceous aquarium. This is the perfect time to show the skunk some love...around 7.30pm to be more exact, which is just after the skunk's busy hour of posing with local dogs on their evening walks. I stopped in Friday night to show some support for the poor hipster forced to wear the costume.

ALSO!!! This is my 50th post!!! So it's a long one - deal.
Skunkless at 8.30:

My Top 5 Picks from the MJ windows:

1. Best ever.
2. Her eyes literally caught my attention from 5' away
3. It's as simple as they hold the record for the most people squashed into one photo: 8 + skunk
4. Cutest of all the dog pictures; he is obviously distracted by something outside the window
5. Forget the skunk playing with the baby, the kid in the red jacket has a future in modeling.
...and this one is a bonus, from my private collection ;) I'll take it!