Tuesday, December 28, 2010

so i enjoy and i devour flesh and wine and luxury


1. food at an Italian restaurant in Apkujeong. Risotto + pasta.
2. the clear blue waters of Nassau, Bahamas.
3. sitting on the deck chairs of the cruise ship.
4. conch salad!
5. dinner place settings on the ship. Note the tacky plate design.
6. hanging at the aquarium of the Atlantic Resort.

Monday, December 13, 2010

a place that transcends time

I think I have a crush on Edward Norton. Not because I find him insanely good looking, because he's got a rather awkward looking face. I think it's because of this role (let's face it, he was kinda scary in "American History X") as Walter Fane in "The Painted Veil," based on the novel by W. Somerset Maugham (awesome, awesome, awesome name).

Chronicling a relationship between a frivolous London socialite named Kitty and her stoic, studious husband Walter, the scenery changes from Europe to Shanghai to rural China. It's such a beautiful story, and the Naomi + Edward combination is beyond amazing. And I love the 20s costuming. What would Kitty Fane wear? Spectator brogues, sequined dresses, simple floral dresses, and straw hats galore.

"Could you not tell that I'm in love with you?" - Walter Fane

"As if a woman ever loved a man for his virtue." - Kitty Fane

Sunday, December 12, 2010

why i like asian magazines better

While I was in Tokyo, I had a rough time picking out which magazines to bring back to Seoul with me. There was so much awesomeness. I'm talking magazines specifically about nail art. And there was this other one about athlete style with David Beckham as December's cover boy - whoooo, it was like David Beckham porn.

But I ended up picking Vivi to come home with me, if only for the fact that I feel like I'm getting my money's worth. Every single page is packed with clothes, tips, and street style photos, so you feel like you're reading 3 magazines. I think this style of magazine printing works in Asia because we're bombarded with advertisements everywhere we go - subways and buses, pamphlets passed out on the streets, people shouting at you from their stores with microphones...

The flirty dress section.
This must be the "inspired by Rumi" section.

Friday, December 10, 2010

do you know me?


I have a formspring now. 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

you should be prescribed to me

I'm not meant for cold weather. This sudden realization and acceptance has forced me to reorganize the places where I can live, and it's come down to L.A. or Miami. I'm crushed because my personality doesn't mesh with either of these places. Also, the summers in Miami are enough to want to kill. As much as I love "Dexter" (and the supposed great vintage finds you can find in MIA), I don't know if I can handle humidity and heat 9 out of 12 months of the year.

Great story: so two days ago, Seoul was blessed with ice and snow. As I walked out of the subway station, I saw my bus pulling into the station (#5012) so I started sprinting towards it. This sight was a spectacle for two reasons: 1) I can't run to save my life and 2) I was wearing 10 layers of clothing so I was about 10 pounds heavier than normal. I wiped out on the ice I failed to see, and the bus left me sitting on my bruised ass. Tiger balm, anyone?

dress by Rodarte for Target, skirt by Topshop, boots from Coex, sweater by Uniqlo, scarf from street market, sunglasses by Chanel.

I went to the National Museum of Korea, where they played host to the G20 Summit last month. Remnants of it remain, including a special G20 pamphlet that highlights the greatest treasures in the museum and the red carpet for photo-ops. The place is massive, and it's nearly impossible to see it all in one day. I made the mistake of only seeing the prehistoric part of the first floor before moving towards the private collections on the third floor, completely missing the Choseun exhibits. If you only have a few hours, I'd recommend just seeing the first floor in its entirety.


Sunday, December 5, 2010

daylight licked me into shape

I spent last week in Guam, soaking up the the sunny rays I missed out on this summer (for reasons previously stated). Going to beach resorts outside of the U.S. always make me slightly sad. There's always a feeling that there's a rape and pillage occurring on not only the natural beauty of the landscape but also on the people living there. My recent lifestyle of living out of my suitcase has made me all too aware of the glass ceiling that exists between the hotel workers and hotel guests. Most of the people working at the Sheraton Laguna Resort would never be able to afford a week long leisure trip in their own workplace, much less elsewhere.

But enough of the heavy stuff.

The island itself is a mish-mash of all these different cultures living in coexistence (and abandonment). There's the Plaza de Espana and the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral Basilica - remnants of the Spanish takeover. The remains are poorly maintained and in desperate need of renovation. At the same time, there's something sadly beautiful about the dilapidation.

The beach near the hotel is rocky and horrendous for walking around. It feels more like dirt than sand. The good thing was that there were no people there.

P.S. A mini-disaster occurred when I ventured onto the beach with my camera & tripod. My oversized, scary paparazzi camera is now at the camera doctor, getting treatment. It's not looking good. I may be asking Santa for a new DSLR for Christmas. Any recs?

At the Plaza de Espana. Last remnants of Spain's influence on the island.
The Chocolate House.
Roof of the Chocolate House.
I fell in love with this tree.
The last photo before my camera died. :(

View of the hotel from the beach.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

i'm yours now so now i don't ever have to leave

Despite my constant quoting of Carrie's bag lady woes ("I'm homeless! I'll be a bag lady! A Fendi bag lady, but a bag lady!!"), my handbag addiction is completely under control. I'm 95% more likely to plop down money for shoes than for a lump of leather. I suppose it helps that shoes are cheaper than most bags - I'm very close to breaking off on a tangent about the cost of luxury goods, but I'll refrain for another time. This all changed when Phoebe Philo stepped in as creative director for Celine.

The moment those envelope bags and Classiques started appearing on every single editor's arm, the entire world drooled. Then the Luggage totes arrived, and Tommy Ton went insane clicking his camera shutter. When I tagged along with a friend to the duty free store in Seoul, I felt the cold chain attaching my heart to my battered Gucci bag melt as I greedily ran my grubby hands all over the buttery soft leather. My next handbag was going to be a Celine.

Say hello to the Boston.

Double dyed leather - first red, and then black, which explains the red trim, my new baby is super lightweight with soft, moldable leather. I bought her mostly for function, as there are two side pockets (the outer zips) and a roomy center. The removable shoulder strap is perfect for subways (I stand in the corner with a Kindle in one hand and a Dunkin' Donuts cup in the other), and it's got enough room for my gigantic, scary paparazzi camera, snacks, and junk fliers I pick up from persistent ajummas. J'adore.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

what... What? WHAT?!

There is dramarama on the peninsula tonight, so I cheered myself up by watching this video for the 57th time. I would insert another sentence lamenting the wait until the next season of "Mad Men," but I'll save you the repetitiveness. My favorite has to be at around 0:38 when Roger has just said something to Don who replies with, "WHAT?" Also, the last one is pretty classic.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

you've gotten into my bloodstream

To continue with the photos from Tokyo...

There was a special display at Roppongi Hills. These little floral LED lights were planted all around the area and made for such a spectacular display. They were in the video I made.


I've been dreaming of Laduree macaroons since May. They weren't as good in Tokyo, though. But I did enjoy the view from the cafe overlooking a busy street in Ginza.


The view from an overpass at the Cerulean Tower Hotel.


On my last day, I was making my way through Shibuya and stumbled into the L'Occitane Cafe. I'm amazed at how every single brand here seems to have its own cafe. I popped in for a quick lunch before my flight. The lunch set was okay.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

left my heart in tokyo

Last weekend marked my third trip to Tokyo. Aside from Stockholm, it's one of my favorite cities in the world. It's really a place that's got something for everyone. The maximalist in me loves the crazy colors and bling in Harajuku; the luxe adores Omotesando for credit card bashing and eye shopping; the bookworm in me goes crazy at all the wonderful Kinokuniya branches all over the city; the cafe hunter seeks out Daikanyama; and the city rat gawks at all the people in Shibuya. I wish I had taken more video because there's so much bustle to this place, but I've got these measly 55 seconds for you.

Roppongi Hills, cab ride to Ginza, and the Shibuya crossing.

P.S. I don't know why the video quality is crap. I can't fix it. I'm hopeless at this. Next time, it'll be better, I promise.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Neighborhood: Seoul Mish Mash #1

The past week has been major suck (and looks like the suck will last for a while) from the uber cold weather that's moved into the city. I'm not prepared to wrap myself up like a 5'4 snowman, but the days of cute fall/winter wear are coming to a quick end. I feel like I went to sleep and woke up to cold weather. What happened to summer???

I've collected a smattering of photos around Seoul that aren't enough to create a section of their own, so I've figured to just throw them together here.

I spent a lot of time debating over whether or not to create a section about Myeongdong. I decided against it because it's an area that's covered extensively by travel guides as well as other blogs, lost a lot of its unique touch because of the chain stores that have entered the area, filled with Japanese tourists who pretty much dictate the styles that are sold here, and too many generic items are sold here. That said, there are two places I like to visit when I'm in the area.


A-Land is a staple for a trip to Korea. They have one of the largest collection of Korean brands as well as three other floors of other nonsense. B1 is the vintage/used/hipster-iffic clothing; 1F is Korean brands, APC, and Cheap Monday; 2F is more Korean brands plus accessories; 3F is pure vintage/used clothing - be prepared to dig.

SSFW is a recent find, a concept store that sells clothes, handbags, hats, accessories, and some nominal housewares. Their products change regularly, so I always make a point to drop in whenever I'm around. To be honest, I have yet to make a purchase here because the customer service is so spotty. (I'm also astonished at how I've suddenly turned into a needy customer since arriving in Seoul. I hate being approached and catered to outside of Korea.)


The last two are of Gwanghwamun, one of my favorite areas in Seoul. I'll probably create a new section for this later, but I wanted to share these two for now. The mountain in the background is Gook-ak San (국악산) and so lovely when the weather is clear like this.