Am I too old fashioned? Am I not cool enough? I always prefer to be on the rather local’s side. You know what? At the end, that’s a real smart deal. That’s how I see it. No need to completely stick to 100% local, but you want to see how people live and what they eat. They are who they are either it’s good or not to you.
Here, come and stroll with us the village of Tulum.
My favorite cart of all in the entire village. The Chiapas’s ladies’ cart! They sell all hand done dolls, shirts, textiles and leather bags and more. Of course you see same or similar goods in more of store spaces, but the flair that this cart brings is so much more charming. I love it. They are beautiful and affordable.
By the way, the restaurant behind is a Argentinean steak house. They have impressive selection of meat. ( I did hear though all the meat are coming from Canada not from Argentina. But I do think they have quite good food including salad and pastas)
Their “chinturo”, the “belt” reminds of the “Obi” of Kimono. See, they all come together. By the way, lovely mom and 2 daughters.
Hahaha, You know I had to try this one on me this time. This is a skirt from Chiapas of Mexico. Anything more “cultural” or “traditional” things you see in Tulum would be generally from Chiapas or Ohaka. Some of the skirts are in wool and seriously hairy. The belt is also hand woven just as the skirt. So many people asked me if the necklace was from Tulum and no, it is not. I did buy it in NY Chelsea flea market 7 years ago. It became my staple thing to wear for the beaches.
By now, I have one of each of all these stuffed animals they make. They are absolutely AMAZING. The shapes, colors, expression of each. They are brilliant.
Under $10, 3 of us can have a big lunch here. Our favorite grilled chicken place in the village. Juicy and well seasoned! It comes with delicious fresh tomato & chili salsa, rice, simply chopped cabbage and warm tortilla. Try it. Good idea to take out and eat them on the beach!
I don’t know what happened to the bigger photo of this place. Anyway, fruit shop right near the municipal office. They have ugly yet delicious fruits. No preservatives here.
Typical Mexican souvenir shop. There are many of these kind along the main street. Colorful hammocks, sheets, carpets, floral dresses, plates and more.
Yal-Ku Lagoon, Akumal, Mexico
It’s a hidden gem. We realized not that many people know about this spot. The spot maybe the one of the most beautiful one on the Riviera Maya. We’ve traveled around quite a bit of Tahiti, Hawaii and Virgin Islands but Yal-Ku feels quite special from anywhere else. The perfect intimate size that does not feel too small to feel it crowded. The shallow water is silky and warm from the sun. There are ton of beautiful fish that you would not expect to see in such a shallow water. It is absolutely crystal clear with softest white sand and pockets of chunks of limestone to attract all the fish you want to see. There is even a small piece of beach. Yal-ku is where clear salty water of Caribbean Ocean and the sweet fresh water of Yucatan peninsula meets. It’s perfect. I’ll call it a little paradise!
It feels like you are invited to a small private snorkeling party here. It’s a perfect spot to go with your kids, nieces and nephews or hang with your best friends. You can explore the water or park yourself somewhere and just read and sunbath. It’s quiet and lovely. Everyone behaves here. Maybe because the Lagoon guides you to do so…
Gael really had well learnt swimming and snorkeling. I couldn’t swim until the 4th grade. What a wimp I was! I missed out so much fun thinking back. I mean look at him he does so much!!! We have met a wonderful family Bork this trip. The owner of Posada Yum Kin where we like to stay often in Tulum village. Owner Dan and BV’s 2 amazing kids, Sam and Andrew were down in Tulum , so Gael had the blast with them! The 3 little gangs below snorkeling together. 3 of them can rock the world!
Sam, Gael and Andrew looking for a Barracuda! ha-ha!!
This pic is only taken by me standing outside of the water. The Yal-ku lagoon is sort of a natural aquarium.
The mangrove island.
Peaceful Yal-Ku end of the day. So gorgeous , isn’t it…? Perfect natural pool with ton of beautiful fish in nice shallow water…. Wooo. I want it!!
Yalk -Ku is raw and well kept it that way. No sunblock is allowed and a tee shirt is encouraged! It opens everyday 8:00-5:30. Adult $9.00. Kid $6.00. 25Km from Tulum. Go have fun, relax, sun bath and don’t forget to respect what the nature offers us!
Sequoia National Park, Gael standing tall under a fallen Sequoia tree root.
Day 7. Here we are at Sequoia National Park. “Sequoia” means ” Big” in Native American language. When I was growing up in Seoul, South Korea, I would hear some people traveled to America came back and bragging about how “Big” everything is in America. The road, people, land, river… And Now, here I am standing in front of one of fallen Sequoias, I myself experience the moment of the truth that the bragging I heard is real!
The park is located in Southern Sierra Nevada, CA. Not only it is vast spanning 404063 acres but also it encompasses a vertical relief of nearly 13000 feet ( 4000m) of height, the park reaches the highest point in the contiguous 48 United states, Mount Whitney, at 14505 feet above the sea level! So the park makes the perfect home for World Largest Trees, Sequoia.
Ahhh it’s a beautiful day! The ride leaving from Palm Springs to Sequoia was ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL! Coming out of such hot and deserted surrounding to have experiencing all different layers and progress of changes of vegetation along the elevation and temperature is a wild experience. Something that you just can’t feel or even imagine reading such information through a text book. Here we are at near the town underneath the park.
Here we are at Gateway, about 6 miles to the Park Entrance. We are going to have a nice dinner before a big day to the Park next day.
Looking over a small brook, we are seated at terrace. It’s lovely here.
Tasting Gateway’s own vino. The town’s main income source is Farming. There are ton of Orange farms to Tree nuts and Wineries.
It’s getting dark and we are having a good time… I see my Brother in Gael’s smile. Love you both!
It’s a beautiful day! we are up early and ready to hit the park.
Next morning. Loving the Visitor’s guide! We are So excited to go in. We are about to have a Life Time experience!
They are enormous but we were told we have not seen anything yet!
We stop to look out and take moments. Clear air and clear mind.
Here we are hiking up on Moro Rock, a gigantic granite dome located just off the Generals highway near Giant Forest. There’s a 1/3 mile staircase from the ground level that ascends more than 300 feet to the summit. The reward is spectacular views of the western half of Sequoia National Park. It’s leg shaking walk up but it’s definitely worth it!
Planet Earth is Magnificent.
Here we are in front of “The World Largest Tree”, General Sherman!
Studying the tree.
The Tree’s diameter is 36.5 feet. Our brownstone home back in Brooklyn is 17 feet wide. So this tree is about twice big as our home. That’s impressive!
You will see a few of these Sequoia tree Tunnels at the park. This one is quite popular as you get to climb up and cars can pass under. It’s so much fun!
We all got to hug lots of trees including the world largest one. We inhaled and exhaled cleanest air and opened our eyes to what’s out there. There are such powerful lessons when you see yourself in this world. This beautiful world.
After 2 days of amazing experience of Sequoia trees, now we are on the road again to hit the south tip of San Francisco to explore much beloved California Highway 1 and Big Sur! We are talking about 8 hours of drive!
Here we are Finally Hitting Highway 1!!!
We stopped countless times to sock up these amazing views. So grand and So beautiful! Here we are at the point of Big Sur!
Here we are for our Easter Lunch at Sierra Mar on Big Sur. I just got on line while we were on the road and made a quick reservation. They are known for the most amazing view of the ocean!
Beautiful estate with sculptor garden and high end guest houses. It’s an amazing place. Sierra Mar restaurant is part of Post Ranch Inn.
Wow, we didn’t know what we were getting into. This place is absolutely beautiful overlooking never ending horizon of pacific ocean and open layout with natural light and subtle and tasteful decor.
A private dinning rom is also very lovely.
The way this restaurant is built overlooking the ocean is breathtaking! You feel like you are up in the air floating sort of.
The Lunch Menu. Lunch is a really nice way to experience Sierra Mar restaurant. You will be sitting in natural light setting, which enables you to gaze out to the ocean and it is quite a good deal to have beautiful full course meal including dessert at $40 per person. We are also doing wine tasting today. It is Easter! Loving the Wood Sheet menu and the name of Chef is represented.
Gael with his pretty appetizer. Mmmmmm Happy!
House cured goose prosciutto with wild huckleberries, acorn bread ( crunch flat), creme fresh and touch of arugula.
Emi and my choice of Appetizer. Dungeness crab meat salad. They are plump and juicy. They are Soooo Goood!!!
YuuummM! This is my main dish! It’s so pretty to look at. Amazing green off dark purple on white back ground. I had to stare at it for a while and eat slowly. Braised Sonoma Lamb. Fried Black wild rice and green peas.
Emi’s choice was Local Sand Dabs in cockle broth with braised fennel. Delicious!
Gael’s dish. Ione Mountain Ranch Wagyu steak with crispy Pork Belly. So tender!
On a little break waiting for dessert. Gael’s out on the deck. Wonder what Gael has on his mind looking out to this big ocean. It’s always a priceless moment to see you provide such experience to your child.
The view of the restaurant from the deck.
Guest Homes around.
The sorbet was so delicious. Light and delicious! Hibiscus flower sorbet and Mayer lemon meringue.
A cheese plate. Loving the plate itself.
Cheese! before we leave this wonderful lunch!
Love you guys!
Mr. Post, the owner and founder of the Post Ranch Inn.
Heading back to LA, we can’t believe what we are seeing here. Thousands of Elephant Seals!!
They are Fabulous!
The trip is almost coming to an end. But we are very present Now to be there for every moment. Living at fullest. That’s who we are even if it means wiping the front shield of a car. There is no Someday. Why not Now? Being in right at this second fills up whatever it is to be Whole.
Do something Now! Live Every Second!
LOvE being in the NOW!
How Little Do I Know of This World.
But I Know How Eerily Beautiful This World Could Be.
We Are Moving Forward to See More of This World that We Know little of.
“Pool Side Gossip ” Photographed by a jet setter and socialite photographer, Slim Arron at the house designed by Richard Neutra for Edgar Kaufman, Palm Springs, 1970
Welcome to Palm Springs! Above opening picture completely captures what Palm Springs Life is all about since the New Architectural and Design movement, Mid Century Modernism was born in America around 1933-1970, which could have been a reflection of International and Bauhaus Movement that was going on in time, but in Our opinion, American Mid Century Modernism has this bright and sort of happy side yet maybe even more minimal than where it all may have started. And Palm Springs is a Living Museum, Showcase and Real life Evidence of American Mid Century Modernism, and I hope all of you Americans are very proud of it!
Palm Springs has a unique geographical set. It only takes about 1 1/2 hour long car ride from LA airport area. The ride is beautiful along the non stop chain of mountain view and as you reach the town, these gorgeously lined up California Fan Palms will greet you. The heart of town is protected by breathtaking San Jacinto mountains and sitting on the vastly open desert field. Closer to the mountain, you will get to more expensive area of the town filled with some of the most prominent Mid Century Homes designed by Donald Wexler, Lautner, Neutra, William Krisel and more.
In My opinion, the dry and hot open desert land filled with lush palm trees surrounded by the most beautiful mountains right int the heart of the town could have been the Critical Natural Setting and Reason for why Mid Century Modernism could have been particularly flourished right here in Palm Springs.
Palm Springs Visitor Center. It’s unreal that we are here!
Visitor Center carries All the information you need plus good range of post cards and AMAZING Mid Century Modern Architects’ Books and Documentary films. We went bit crazy buying All the films and more…! It’s a place you must stop by when you visit Palm Springs!
Please check out my past blog post on Julius Shulman. Julius Shulman resided in Palm Springs for many many years. By the way, from watching Shulman’s documentary, I learned that the 2 men on this book cover is actually Julius himself and his uncle. This is Bop Hope’s house designed by John Lautner and photographed by Shulman. Isn’t it just amazing?
Gael browsing books at the Visitor center.
Donald Wexler not only designed Mid century residential homes but also was the first person who designed Steel houses. Only 7 of them were built and they were all built by Wexler. Wexler also has worked on many prominent public buildings such as Palm Springs Airport, Water system office, Public Schools and more in Pam Springs and areas near. This book cover shows Wexler’s signature roof detail.
Palm Springs and close areas are known to get windy. America is blessed with big land everywhere. Right outer edge of Palm Springs, you will see these thousands and thousands windmills creating energy. They come in different heights and sizes. I find the quite beautiful.
Yay! We are arriving at ACE Hotel Palm Springs Swim Club!! Our Glorious And Fun Stay base in Palm Springs!
LOVING ACE HOTEL! We highly recommend you to stay at ACE Swim Club in Palm Springs. Hotel itself is not only a Mid Century Architecture but also it got all the right attitude with casual easiness. The staffs are easy going like next door guys and the hotel draws great bunch of crowds. You will see good mix of hip and cool adults to beautiful young family with fully tattooed rock and roll mom and dad , most amazingly dressed hipster grannies in white shades and floral swim suits… This is the Place to BE! Here we are waiting to check in at the front desk area. It feels bit like we are at Opening Ceremony shop.
So Here’s a Quick history on ACE Hotel Palm Springs. ACE Hotel was built on the foundation of a 1965 Howard Johnson Hotel and the Restaurant space today was then Denny’s chain from the later years. ACE had done an excellent job keeping it all simple and also highly functional ( Good design is also high in function: this is my personal motto and strong belief). Rooms are excellent with right decor and function again. Here we are to grab a quick bite for lunch. Restaurant at ACE is called ” King’s Highway”.
Emi and I were wondering if these cute Sun Shades were already here from Howard Johnson time. You can buy one from Modernica website today. The shade you can adjust in any angle you want. I think they look quite fun and modern. By the way, Pool Area!!
ACE hotel is located in quiet area, Twin Palms where is one of main areas you can see numerous Mid Century Modern Homes built right near to San Jacinto Mountain. It’s lovely to have that mountain view from the pool.
That’s Gael, il Lupo di Mare ( wolf of the ocean), jumping in. You get full bar and food service right by the pool. Again friendly staffs, beautiful sunny dry weather, the pool. Life is good here!
Our Captain, Emi deserves some lay low time by the pool. He had driven quite a bit already.
The Pool and generously sized Jacuzzi is open till 2:00 am.
Gael enjoys night ping pong with dad and other guests at ACE.
By the pool food and drinks goes from early morning to late night. Everyone is respectful and relaxed here.
Each building has outdoor communal fire place lounging situations. Ir’s soooo nice. Everything is set up for outdoor. I really envy out here for this.
The indoor full Bar at ACE Kicks Your Butt! They open for all day and have fun small events at night like concert, karaoke, parties…
Here we are outside of Edgar Kaufman’s Home designed by Richard Neutra. This is the house of the very first picture I put on this posting. Can you believe this home was built back in year 1970? Today, We are dedicating our day to go see and visit Mid Century Architecture. Residences and also some public buildings. We are very excite! You can hire a private tour guide or get a self guided map for all the prominent Mid Century Modern architecture. We decided to do self guide one and made an appointment to go see inside of 5 mid century homes in Palm Springs.
This is the interior of Kaufman house. The picture is taken by Julius Shulman.
This is one of Wexler designed Mid century home with classic and key detail, Butterfly roof. Butterfly roof was created to prevent roof leaking.
Donald Wexler’s big break and main training stared by working for an Architect, Richard Neutra.
How Beautiful is this?!! The gloriously famous and much loved Palm Springs Spa. Then it was the hot spot for old Hollywood heavy weights. Designed by Donald Wexler. 1958.
Donald Wexler’s Shore House. San Jacinto mountain must have been the key natural inspiration for these Palm Springs Mid Century Modern Life Style. All the Houses were built with minimal and simple lines to bring indoor to outdoor or vice versa. The Pool is a key point.
Another Wexler Designed home in Palm Springs back in the 60′s. The photo was taken by Julius Shulman in 2005.
Now we are at inside of one of recently sold Donald Wexler’s Mid Century Home. We are here to see the house with one of agents from a much respected Real Estate Agency, Paul Kaplan, Palm Springs. Chris, Thank you for your time and your selection!
Here we are at the second house to see. This place is all about the outdoor space. There’s more outdoor than the actual home. Average Mid Century Home is built on about 1300 square foot indoor space including kitchen, bedrooms and the bathroom. And there will be about double the size of outdoor space or more.
A typical entrance situation of Mid Century Modern homes.
We also ran and biked around the Twin Palm area one morning for couple hours. That’s Gael on the bike! The neighborhood is really quiet and safe.
Some homes have serious front gardening going. Ahhh we so envy these desert plants..!
One of the Most fun we had in Palm Springs was going on a Horse back riding across the desert field and arrive at a small oasis in San Jacinto mountain. I am just excite as Gael! We chose to go for Smoke Tree Stables. Friendly, safe and conveniently located near ACE hotel.
Desert is Dry. But when you get to Oasis, it’s Unbelievably LUSH!!!! Here we go again, The sign of where water is in desert, California Fan Palms. I learnt couple things about desert plants in this trip for sure.
It’s literally a little Oasis. Oasis comes in all different forms by the way. It’s an amazing feeling you have after a hour long of horseback ride gazing such grand and open mountain and desert view. Then finally arrive at the Oasis. It is our very first time to have such an experience. We are usually beach goers, so this entire trip has been definitely bit of shock to us.
Cheese! From left, Cholla, Poncho y Pedro. Thank you horses! We love you guys!!
Palm Springs Tram is famous for being the world largest rotating Tramcar and also the Tram station itself is designed by Albert Frey.
It’s 15 minute ride but boy, you get to feel the thrill of going up to 8500ft from the sea level.
The View is Absolutely amazing. Up here at 8500ft high, the temperature drops down about 30 degrees lower than the town. Bring a warm jacket. The Air’s bit thin, but also so clean.
After we got off the tram, We had gone for a nice walk. It’s so crazy how cold up here!
The vegetation completely changed. It’s a different kind of beauty.
Albert Frey’s Russel House.
Albert Frey’s residence.
Here are some good souvenir we got from Palm Springs. They are all great. Especially William Krisel was our favorite one for his much stylish life, amazing taste, exotic travels and the happiness he had brought to his family as a wonderful father and a man who only got to do what he loved to do. If anyone is interested in watching any of these documentary films, Please see below!
There are So many things to do in Palm Springs and near areas. Especially if you are interested in Mid Century Modern Architecture, this is The Place to visit. The weather is hot and dry year around. From June to August, many businesses are closed as it reaches up to 120 degrees or higher. January to March is a really good time to visit for wonderful weather. Annual Modernism Week is definitely a main event in Palm Springs to check out. Most major important Mid Century Modern Architecture is open to public for visit along auctions and special lectures.
Now we are heading out to Salton Sea!
Our very first 2 night stay out of 9 day road trip across the West Coast at Rosa Muerta , Joshua Tree, CA
Since the last trip to LA back in February for more of business reason, We were brewing this West Coast Fever a bit under our cold toes for a while. Regardless chilly weather then in LA, after the longest winter that is still continuing to very much Today ( 04/04), Spring Break for Gael to visit West Coast was one big thing to look forward to. ( almost desperately!)
All the Love we have for Mid Century Modernism and Modern Architecture in general, “To Follow” a trail of very best work of Mid Century Architects such as Donald Wexler, Albert Frey, William Krisel, Richard Neutra, John Lautner and more in Hot and Dry Palm Spring area was definitely the Biggest Focus in our trip and also hitting major natural parks in high desert such as Joshua tree, and going to see world Largest trees in Sequoia National Park were super adventurous and added fun!
Here come and get on the Ride of our total 1800 mile long road trip and very exciting journey that we are about to share with you! Whatever you will get to on the road, we will get through together with lots of fun!
Here’s our quick scribble map for the road trip planned. I like to pay special thanks to Emi for driving All these miles all by himself!! ( yeah, no, I don’t drive…)
I like to ask all of your full attention to the beauty of this Architecture. Landed in LA then we drove through Palm Spring to get to our real first stop was all about doing 2 things. EXPERIENCE Rosa Muerta and Joshua Tree National Park in Joshua Tree Area. I present you the beauty, Rosa Muerta, a Modern Architecture built in the middle of high desert by an Architect and Designer, Robert Stone.
Rosa Muerta. This was the place where we got inspired, appreciated and recharged for the first 2 days and nights.
If I dare take your concept to my way, for me, it was all about the structure that is boldly edited yet naked open then unbelievably complete sitting in this dry open high desert that takes this natural light in so many different ways in every hour and angle if that is inside of the house or the outside. I saw your black in countless shades. The outdoor was the indoor and the indoor was the outdoor. The ceiling was the sky and the sky was the ceiling.
I could not allow One single object of ours in the sleeping area because it felt like a crime that is so against your strong vision. We happily did our best to keep the entire space as the second we walked in. It was our challenge and respect for the space and such a pleasure. It was a shocking experience for me to be there just to realize what just ” being” is. I felt shaken in a wonderful way. I am completely blown away and much touched by Rosa Muerta and I have highest regard and respect for your vision and concept.
I have been dreading to go to Met to see Savage Beauty as whoever went to the exhibit said, “It’s so popular you need to be in the line for so long like hours then it’s too crowded that it’s hard to see all in detail!” But regardless, I knew it was going to be amazing. ” Exhibit will make you cry!” that’s what I heard a lot too. I was lucky enough to get free private access to the Museum this Monday through a friend at the museum as the Museum is closed on Mondays. But due to the high demand of this show, Museum had introduced ” Met Mondays with McQueen” starting from June 6. And it will cost you hefty $50.00 entrance fee but I highly recommend it otherwise not sure how you can say you really saw the exhibition with all that big crowd. And very nice audio tour ( narrated by Andrew Bolton, Sara Jessica Parker, Philip Treacy and more!) is on the house with this special Monday tour I believe.
Last Year, The 40 years of YSL Retrospective at Paris was amazing, beautiful and unbelievable. But still it stayed in fashion. Beautiful clothing with impeccable workmanship in beautiful setting. But Savage Beauty definitely felt closer to an art exhibit. McQueen’s fashion surpasses countless Artists’ art out there today. And I like to pay a huge credit to Mr. Andrew Bolton, the curator of this exhibit and Costume Institute who handled many years’ yearly gala. I had a privilege to work with him personally on a small project related to the last year’s Gala, American women as Gap was major sponsor to the exhibit.
And Mr. Bolton, you’ve had beautifully executed Savage Beauty to translate Alexander McQueen’s dark, strong, complex and bold approach to his artful inner world. The rooms were perfectly McQueen. The lighting, the materials of the wall, the music and utterly dark and chick showcases and the stage. I absolutely loved it. The Colors in the room, runway clips, the most amazing head and shoulder pieces, the materials of the setting… I could go on and on about this. It felt beautifully expensive and perfectly regal but also completely modern and dare futuristic. Just like who Alexander McQueen was.
The entrance! Red tinted microscopic glass pieces and ostrich feather dress on the left and the infamous Razor clam shell dress on the right. It kills me. I highly recommend you to get the Audio tour. You get to hear stories behind from actual people who worked on or worn the actual pieces.
The first room, “The Romantic Mind”, is dedicated to the tailored and mostly jacket pieces. Lots of these pieces were landed by the actual owners for the exhibit. McQueen’s Savile Row in London’s tailoring experience is showing through these pieces. Only showing a few pieces here.
The washed concrete wall and naive wood flank is familiar contrast we see everyday now but again it works beautifully against McQueen’s impeccable hard tailoring.
The second room, “The Romantic Gothic” filled with aged mirrors.
This guilded golden glass showcase is absolutely to die for and the amazing McQueen’s work…
“The Cabinet of Curiosity”, a room dedicated to many of McQueen’s amazing Accessories and their relationship to related items. This room truly made me fill like I was in a Art exhibition.
My heart deeply aching…. The Spine corset with a tail.
Approaching to the Fan dress. Just like those delicately cut out Japanese wooden fan.
Yes, She’s turning.
There are ton more in this “Closet of Curiosity” room. I kept going back in there. It was hard to end myself and move on.
” The Romantic Nationalism”, McQueen celebrates his root, London. He was very proud of the city where he came from.
“The Romantic Primitivism”
” Romantic Exoticism”
“Romantic Naturalism, the last room”
I only have a few pictures from the Savage Beauty in this post. You need to see All in person. It ends on August 7. So hurry up!
It was truly one of the most amazing exhibitions I have seen. Not just McQueen itself but the whole package, it is a great exhibition. Also excellent website.
And NEVER TO MISS, click on THIS to watch clips of McQueen’s runway shows.