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.


Friday, November 12, 2010

Neighborhood: Apgujeong #1

My hospital is located in Apgujeong-dong, which can be labeled as one of two things: Korea's "Manhattan" or plastic surgery area. Every single block features at least one plastic surgery hospital. Walking down the street is surreal because you'll see all these people wearing face masks to cover up their swollen faces. Sometimes, the American in me wants to flip out and run because face masks = SARS. But in between all the hospitals, there are a fair number of excellent restaurants in this area.

I spotted Tea Therapy before I went in for my surgery, but hadn't had a chance to try it until today. It's located near Ho-San Hospital (호산병원) for those who are going to cab it. In addition to the cafe that serves tea, snacks, & lunch, they also have a tea therapist on call who creates a tea specially for you and your medical needs for 30,000 won. They also have something called hydration therapy, where you can soak your feet in tea. I think it's free if you order tea, but I didn't try it this time as I was wearing tights.


When you arrive, they hand you a paper with a flow chart. You're supposed to answer the questions accordingly to determine what tea you should get. The first question asks if you're overweight.


I got the tea that's supposed to help with colds. It was slightly minty, and I think the large chunks are dates.


Their lunch menu is seasonal, so I ordered the taco rice. I was skeptical as to how it would taste, but it was really delicious. I'm considering making this on my own.


How to get there: Get off at Apgujeong Station (Line #3) and take exit #2. Walk behind the exit, so that Olive Young & Pix Dix is on your right. Walk straight for approximately 5-7 minutes until you see Piccolo Eo. Make a right. Ho-san Hospital should be on your right, next to Piccolo Eo. Take the right into the alley next to the hospital. Go straight for approximately 100 meters. Tea Therapy will be on your right.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

korean music + style: 2NE1

One of the biggest pop groups in Korea named 2NE1 (short for 21st Century New Evolution - that's a mouthful) released their latest album while I was here. I've felt lukewarm about their singles thus far (except for maybe "Go Away" which is redeemed by the hilarity of the music video), but "아파" (trans. "It Hurts") is a visual, artistic pleasure.

I also like how their styles have evolved from the graphic, too colorful, pop prints of the last album into a more mature, advanced style that's a testament to the quality of stylists Korea has educated and trained. Their former stylist entered the military to complete his mandatory 2-year conscription, and their replacements aren't too shabby. Check out Seo Han Young's blog here.

P.S. Just a piece of useless knowledge and also a testament to how incestuous the fashion community in Seoul can be: one of 2NE1's former stylists named Xin (who also did a lot of work with Big Bang - is he YG exclusive?) was also a good friend of Daul Kim. There were a lot of photos of them together on her blog as well as on other street style blogs.