“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 of 9 days of 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.
Sam Sung Museum of Art, Leeum Museum, Hannam Dong, Seoul
Our Seoul trip has come to an end and we are doing a few last things on our list. It has been so wonderful to see Mom and Dad, Grandma, Aunts and Uncles and Yoon and Hun and whoever came across including countless friendly Seoul citizens ( Here they like to call them Natizen). This trip, we ate and tasted enough to survive through coming Autumn feeling almost guilty for those who do have not enough to eat… But then knowing not having such access to food that is so deeply cultural in so unique ambiance like in Seoul back in New York, every opportunity felt like it could be the last one that we better maximize all the fun of what really having food means in Korean way. (Sorry but any K-town in NY does not do the justice at all!!)
All the 2nd and third generation Koreans who live out overseas, Please you must visit Korea and should know where you came from and know and get educated how your home is moving forward and evolving, and what past we love and are attached to preserve. It has been such an eye opening experience for me. My first language is Korean, but Don’t be afraid if you are not fluent in your own language. You will still feel all at your heart and our home will still welcome you no matter what.
I have been noticing Seoul’s quite impressive changes over about 3 years through my short timed business trips. Seoul has definitely opened eyes to good designs and especially for the sense of being in good and quality space, which has made a huge Architectural Re birth all over the city from little cafes to amazing residential homes to hall in the wall small business or impressive standing alone shops and restaurants and galleries… The list goes on and I am especially impressed by Seoul’s effort to create Urban Green Areas for communities by small brooks and major rivers creating bicycle and running lanes that are completely separated from the ones for the cars.
I honestly felt like I could not keep up blogging about so many great things we were doing in Seoul with family but this one would be sort my finale to our first Seoul trip with Emi and Gael together, So here we go, I am putting together a few more moments to share!
You are all familiar with Korean Sam Sung’s technology . Phones, TVs… The list goes on. Leeum is Sam Sung founded Art museum that has impressive permanent collection of International fine art and Korean porcelains that are dated from 12-14C. And the museum space is to die for. Cutting edge modern architecture that is well surrounded by natural element such as rocks and trees.
Comme Des Garcons Flag ship, Hannam dong, Seoul
Doo Ta, Dong De Mun
Dapsimni Antique Market. The Best Antique market in Seoul!! Smaller scale but it’s enough and it’s a real deal.
I got a small set. SO excited! Korean traditional bronze wear.
Traditional wooden flat spools for yarns and threads.
Wooden stamps to make motives on rice cakes and traditional cookies. So pretty.
Wedding costumes. For her on the left and him on the right.
With Yoon and Hun, Just about to have Jeuk Suk Ttuck boki at Hongdae. Jeuck Suk means right away. You cook up your ttuk boki on the table! Ahh nostalgia! This came out when I was on Junior years. And So great ! We LOvE dOTs!
Gael already digging into picked Raddish. Oh boy, He Can really EAT. Best imobu, Hun!
All ready to go!
Woooo, can’t wait! excuse my shiny forehead…!
Busy Hongdae street, Saturday Afternoon.
A land Outlet in Hongdae. Cool space.
aA Design Museum , Hong Dae. Impressive collection of International mid century furniture and industrial interior design is here. And of course, an Amazing Coffee Shop.
Night stroll along Chung gye chun, One of the most visible Urban planning through out the city Seoul is doing. You will see these parks that are made along the small rivers everywhere. This Chung gye chun maybe more special one as this river was once turned into build-able land and back again as a aprk. Impressive.
Now Grilled Eel Dinner with Mom, Yoon and Hun, Heyri. Ahhh, it hurts me that you can’t taste it!
This is thickened Soy ( different from teriyaki) version and thinly sliced Jin seng chips on top. OMG.
What a beauty! Sea salt Eel. On the side, simply sliced potatoes, Ginko, fried eel bone chips.
Myung Ga Ram, Paju. The last big meal with whole family.
Suk mo, ( little aunt), Gang hun, my cousin little brother.
11 family members today! Yoon on the camera. Little cousin sis, Yujin and my little uncle, Jerim.
My Grandma, the 84 year old Beauty, God bless her and protect her. I just wish her to be healthy to have longer and happy life.
Another Grand meal and family. . Ahh it’s coming to an end…
Gang hun and Gael. Can you believe Gang Hun is Gael’s uncle?!! They are only 2 1/2 years apart!
About to kim chi all together!
Sanmotungi Cafe, Buam dong. Seoul is such a lush city. So many little mountains and lots of trees everywhere.
Emi, only with You would be this much fun!!!
So Much More to Come for Many Many Years!
VivA FaMily!!! VivA KOreA!!!
Kuk Je Gallery, Sam Chung Dong, Seoul
Every time I come to Seoul for businesses, it sort of feels like I am in this hidden unknown treasure Island. In a taxi, or by walking, I find myself in such cool and brilliant moments. If that is space or a business idea or that is an amazing architectural creation.
It has been quite positively overwhelming now that I am here with Emi and Gael to fully experience Seoul for days and nights. What this city can offer you has No such limit to it.
Here come have little taste of how Seoul is moving forward.
There are many big and small mountains in Seoul and it actually works as a such bonus point to challenge “how to build” and do business around. Hills are charming and add very interesting rhythm to the city line.
Again, do not miss what’s on upstairs!
Samchung dong is known for mix of over 150 years old of Traditional architecture and today’s most current living. This is a Italian restaurant called ” 8 Step” again located in on a hill. Guess how many steps to have to walk over.
Kuk Je Gallery. There are 3 separate buildings. K1, K2 and K3. This is K3. They are all very near each other in different setting and style and K3 is my favorite one.
Gael After spicy Ttuk Boki : Rice cake cooked in chilli paste. Love the fact this is a Rice Shop.
& Myung Dong
Mui Mui Cafe and Restaurant, Sinsa dong. I believe Korean’s Love for Coffee is actually based on their Tea Culture. Take your time. Coffee dose not mean intaking caffeine to wake up at 4:00 pm to survive for the rest of the day at your office. Coffee means sitting down with friends to talk in such ambience and space. If you are an architect or have interest in design, a trip to Seoul to only visit coffee shops will make your eyes wide open. The possibilities are endless.
Cafe’s court yard offeres beautiful greenery to customers indoor.
Great glass wear.
A hall way to the restaurant side wraps around the court yard in the center.
Anne Demuelemeester, Sinsa dong
You know you are in Myung Dong now.
Give some wings to your phone.
A land Flagship, Myung Dong. A land is a clothing shop placing themselves in between Urban outfitters and Opening Ceremony.
A formal factory space turned to a great coffee shop and a bar, Anthracite.
Conveyer belt. Looking absolutely awesome.
Upstairs seating area.
Night out in Hond Dae. So much fun!
City that breaths creativity and culture through it’s every single pore.
Be here, Be Inspired and Be SEOUL!
Ruins of St. Paul’s, in Portuguese: Ruinas de Sao Paulo, Macau
Another trip to Asia working on Spring 13 for Gap right now and for the first time in all these traveling years to HK, I am having real full 2 day weekend without work. Saturday was relaxing spending much time to work out and sweating out all the toxin out of my system in the steam room then had good laughs over lovely dinner in Central HK catching up with Daniel, Kim and Joey. It’s always good to see friends especially when I am away from Emi and Gael.
Then how about Sunday? A long ago, I have watched a documentary on Macau, a formal Portuguese colony back in the 16th century and lies between China and Hong Kong bordering Guangdong province. The Portuguese influence still runs through their food and also architecture that makes the city so exotic from anything I knew about China and it always stayed in my head. I thought I would visit Macau one day, and that One day finally came to me in just right timing!
Here come check out my day in Macau.
The day started with bit of rain. It’s super humid for the moment in HK and Macau is just the same. There are 2 main stations where you can catch a ferry depends on which side of HK you are. I am on Kowloon side, so I took the ferry at China Ferry Terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui, which is also walking distance from Inter Continental and Sheraton Hotel in Kowloon side of HK.
The ferry gets quite full but clean and comfortable with good leg room and cushy chairs! You get your seat assigned. And a good Air Conditioning. Ahhh you so need it with weather like here but you may want to bring a light cardigan as it gets bit chilly. About 1 1/2 hour ride one way fair from Kowloon to Macau is about HKD 160. By the way, Macau’s own currency is SAR but literally Everyone takes HKD as norm in Macau.
Bring your Passport!! And check if your nationality needs a Visa. Koreans are waived from getting a Visa for up to 30 days. HK$166.00 ( about US $24.00) for one way ride.
My first stop at A-MA temple. I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS TEMPLE! This temple was built back in 1488 dedicated to Matsu the Goddess of seafarers and fishermen.
So shrine and peaceful with lots of soft warm colors at the temple. These cone shaped shades are hanging at many little spots at temple holding visitors’ wishes and prays…
Always love the smell of incense… I feel blessed when it covers me over… especially at temples.
A-MA temple is located on the south east tip of Macau peninsula cascading down from a small but good 50 feet high hill right off a main road along the water. Quite curved up and pointed tips of roof are cute and fun. I love the washed down mints against the brick red together.
Pressing down my own urge to kneel and pray… I am still looking for a right spot for me. There are plenty of little pockets where you can unleash and get blessed at the temple.
I am in love with these circular opening gates sort of. Do you think the circle means eternity…?
HK$30 can get me that little connection to my superior God in Macau. It’s about to be my turn. I found the right spot. It’s at the very top of the hill.
I pray and think of all those faces including you. Emi, Gael, mom, brother, dad, Yoon, Hun, aunt, uncles, grannies, all of my in-laws, Suzy, Livia, Luciano, especially their health, family at work all around the world, their little worries, issues, happiness and health, all of friends here and fiends there. Ben and Ben’s Mom. Angela’s and Beppe’s. Tania and Tamara far away in England. And good business after all of our hard work. Love among the family and friends…
But most of all I ask for Strength. Not some powerful magic for things being solved by itself or God. I’ll do that. But I can’t ask enough for solid strength, agility and resilience. Just like my running and just like being a mother.
You can also burn a candle. They come in different sizes but all in Lotus flower shape. By the way there will be Lotus Flower festival in Macau from June 16 for a week.
Larger than life size incenses!
The main room. Most colorful and ornately decorated.
Right outside of temple, Portuguese music and dance is going on, The mosaic tiled flooring reminds me of Rio in Brazil.
A typical Macau Bakery. Macau got some good thing going on when it gets to food. Delicious Portuguese warm egg tarts and Almond cookies!! Yum! and Crispy pork sandwich on the street!!!
Egg tart! I am getting one. About US$1.00 Cheap and Cheerful!
The first bite is warm and flaky. Ssooo good! Then it gets creamy getting into the custard. Not too eggy. It tastes sort of Cream Brulee in a pastry cup as the surface of custard has that slight crunch and caramelized texture to it. Not too sweet but just right. I really had to stop myself for buying the second. I may search to see if I can find this back in NYC!
In and out of sun, it’s getting really really hot in Macau. You can see the humidity in pictures! Walking up to the facade of Ruins of St. Paul right near the main square in Old City.
Built back in from 1582-1602, this facade is what is left from the complex of St.Paul’s college and Cathedral of St. Paul. As many other sites in Macau, Ruins of St.Paul is also a part of UNESCO World Heritage site.
Right in front of the site, there were these handsome young men playing Macau’s traditional music.
OK, Check out their awesome instrument in such geometry. I love it. And i like to pay huge respect that they are wearing these heavy boots and all. I am talking about 90 degrees at 90% humidity! Here I am watching them sipping on chilled PocariSweat which is Asian Gatorade. Or I would have fainted already in this heat. Their song does not have any lyrics. It’s more of this instrumental like low and high sound that they make through the air inside of their head and throat. It’s quite fascinating.
OK. There is only One street that connects from the main square of Old City to Ruins of St. Paul. You know what that means, that little street gets quite crowded but maybe it was the very best kind of touristy spot I had so far! About 50 feet long walk will give you the best taste of what Macau can offer as far as their savory Jerkies, Fried Pork chop sandwiches and delicious Macau cookies. It’s overwhelming and so much fun!
These are all sort of different meat that is dried and seasoned. They are gooey tender sweet savory and sticky! There are plenty of little shops lined up on this street giving away little samplers. They cut and pack to each order while you wait.
There is High Competition selling these delicious crunch Almond Cookies on this alley. They seemed to be steamed on a steam tray, but amazingly crunch it feels like they are baked. The cookies also called ” Chess Cookie” as they are in a shape of Chinese Chess. This guy is a sample/sales man.
Before they get on to the steamer. They have this system they can steam, a few trays at a time by stacking them tall.
This guy got them all! Jerkies and various cookies. Another sample man.
There are 33 churches, 44 temples and 100 banks in Macau ( think gambling). This is a small temple off the market.
I am thinking it’s in lychee family.
I assume this is a kind of plum. It’s me that I don’t speak the language… They told me what it is but I didn’t understand.
This Oh-so-smell-good fried pork in a bun is Everywhere!
One more look at Egg Tarts!
This sign sort of sums up a vibe of Macau to me. It feels like an outskirt of what old HK could have been. It feels old school and quite sweet despite all these crazy Casino business they got going on. There are plenty of little streets and churches and temples and little signs. Lush trees in between old buildings. I like it.
Getting into the heart of Old city. Apparently all these building are 500-700 years old! There are plenty of weekend visitors from HK and China.
The main square where the church ST. Joseph is. Check out the tiling! Just like Rio.
Quite humble interior of Church. Here I was going for the second round of stop and pray.
One of the most popular ways to get around in Macau.
Bean, Tofu and dessert place.
Cute Macau moment.
Main downtown with lots and lots of banks.
Heading back to Ferry station. The white and cream building with wild windows are one of many high rise Casino/Hotel buildings.
Two things that I didn’t do this time visit to Macau were 1. Gambling and 2. Proper meal as I am not interested in gambling at all and I actually hate it and I was quite exhausted from the heat so I kept drinking water rather feeling for any food. So I have one good reason to visit Macau one day again. Food!!
But click Here to see where you can eat in Macau and watch Anthony Bourdain’s 2 day visit to Macau!
It has been like 12 years the last time I went down to Miami. Since then, a few things have definitely changed. If you still like to talk about Ocean Drive in Miami, Please, Talk to the hands. Because that is So over. Ocean drive and the crowd is there. So what? Let People have fun. But that is Not my first interest when I Now talk about Miami. Why? Because I saw and I was there for real interesting things. Not in the past. I was having a ” Design Moment” in Miami.
Miami is moving forward.
A Court Yard at MOCA, 770 NE 125th Street, North Miami
A small scaled Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami is located way out of the way from Miami Beach. When I was researching what I need to see in Miami, I assumed MOCA was in Design district but this is even little more out of the way from Design District. Sort of middle of nowhere but I love how handsome the building is. I was envy of space imagining us 3 living a modern life. A beautiful Court Yard, plenty of space to hang our favorite arts, parties with friends… It’s that cozy yet chick and modern. As soon as Atsuko has arrived from NY, we headed off to MOCA for little Art moment.
Yes. It’s a Paradise.
Outside of MOCA.
Current exhibition : Ragnar Kjartansson’s “Song” May 17-September 2.
A room size of about 400 square foot housing multiple screens showing the artists play different part of One song that is being played in physically different locations. Each screen and location plays each layer of components of the song but they complete each others as a whole in harmony. It’s an interesting concept. And the room is surprisingly relaxing and chilled. We were all sitting there on the floor for a while. It was quite beautiful.
Atsuko and Gael.
Here in a different room. The artist’s 3 nieces sing a gentle folk song that is written by Kajartansson in Carnegie Museum of Art’s Hall of Sculpture. Those pretty faces singing in such angelic voice… I was having a ” Virgin Suicide“ and “Tavi” moment here. Bit spooky and quite beautiful.
Again, 11 11 Lincoln Road on Lincoln, Miami
Here’s the Quote from their site 1111Lincolnroad, “Envisioned by Wennett and Designed by Herzog & de Meuron, 11 11 Lincoln road represents the collaboration of renowned architects, landscape architects, artists and designers to create a unique shopping, dinning, residential and parking experience for Miami’s residents and visitors.” You should really check out the site. It’s a beautiful thing.
Atsuko walking around bit. Actually the building also reminds me of Shanghai’s 1933.
Approaching the shop, Alchemist on 5 th floor. The only store in the building off the ground floor.
A view from the second floor of 11 11 Lincoln. The multi colored glassed building is a cinema.
Now we are at JUVIA restaurant for Cocktails! A pent house restaurant right next to the building of 11 11 Lincoln. The penthouse deck with a grand view to Miami beach. Ahhhh It’s a real ideal Miami experience here. The breeze, people, design, relaxed vibe, even to the right volume of music like Atsuko says. All in A Style. Swanky and Smart. Just Perfect.
Sitting Bar. The beautiful planted jungle wall,what ever you will call is out of the world. Emi treated us with yummy cocktails!
How much I love those chairs!
Indoor dinning area.
Here we are now at Design district. The Art installation called ” The Living room”. Then it used to be attached to low rise commercial building.
This is photo taken by Ally at IgoUgo.com back in year 2004. See then it even had a curtain!
There are many little low rise commercial spaces in Design district. They are all sort of different architectural style from industrial to Art deco to this sort of to super Modern… all mixed in. But Always with lots of plants and flowers.
Inside of Michael’s Genuine. There’s cute little outdoor space and airy and simple indoor space with this boxed red lighting. We are having Sunday evening dinner here!
Slowly caramelized Pork Belly sitting on top of a Kimchi bed! Miami loves kimchi for the moment! All ingredients are Organic and they are all well priced. Super low key vibe with great hearty food. Thanks to Anthony Bourdain for the recommendation!
Savory was savory and good. but WOW! Dessert at Michael’s Genuine is Out of the World! So delicious. Here 2 donuts with buttered Pop corn Ice cream and lemon zest and and and…! It sounded bit strange to hear the buttered pop corn ice cream, but the chef had nailed the flavor in such nice way. They were amazing.
Beautiful Monday Morning, Atsuko and I are hitting Miami by foot leaving boys by the beach. Palms, Sun and Breeze. It’s really nice!
Checking out Hotel Delano for a cool shop we heard about.
Such an elegant bar at Delano. I love it.
A Wall by the shop, Base at Delano.
A must Check out Concept Store, Webster.
And here’s a good old Miami moment with an Art Deco building…
Our last night at W Miami. There are many great arts in W Miami. Damien Hirst, a few of Basquiat… Usually I associate W with “Trendy” and “Lively” but W Miami one felt more chick and relaxed. Grown up.
Bar Restaurant, Dutch at W.
I like the shot of soft grey stripe running down the middle of the pillars. Without it, it would have been more of NYC.
Our swanky deck to the ocean.
It was more of an eye opening trip to me personally to learn about where Miami is heading to and was a really pleasant experience of Start of Modern Design in Miami. Something that just will stay in my skin for a long time. Not just pretty clothes. Not just another store. Me sitting there at pent house of Juvia having one cocktail completely settled in me. The vibe and situation really inspired me heading into Summer research. A life style. But I really hope Miami will carry on and preserve their Art Deco heritage and turn it into the best form they can. I mean where in the world, can you find such a setting? All these deco buildings by the beach!
Hope you enjoyed Miami in My way and hope this gives you a different perspective about Miami.
(By the way $10 meal at Puerto Sagua was Puerto Sagua. It brought all back to me!)
It’s our 4th concert of Bjork. I feel blessed to go see her. Her Freedom and Beauty Completely Shakes Me. Her Fearless and Honest Voice Makes Me Cry. She is Way WAY Ahead of Where We Are at Right Now. I Completely Admire and Am Deeply Impressed. She makes me feel Humble. Her Intellectually Genius Musicality. Her Desire and Curiosity to know Technology. Her Restless Research.
She Rocks My World. Now She Rocks the Universe.
It happens to be Gael’s Favorite Museum. Flushing, Queens.
At the venue. Architectural details remind me of Casa Milla and Sagrada Familia of Gaudi in Barcelona.
Bjork’s one of the most beloved instrument, Harp. The opening lines of ”Pagan Poetry” and her new song , “Moon” all starts with Harp.
Bjork singing to “Hang”. A new generation instrument that makes this sort of softly vibrating and echoing a monk’s Bell like sound. It makes peaceful and unbelievably beautiful sound.
Bjork is my Hope for the Future.
MASS MoCA, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams town, MA
Just passed Martin Luther King Jr’s long weekend was a perfect time for us to finally visit MASS MoCA up in MA ( about 3 1/2 hour car ride from NYC). Emiliano has been talking about to visit up there and we have been looking up their website admiring amazing space of Museum which once has been industrial factory buildings occupying 13 acres of ground in North Adams town. Most of you must have visited DIA Beacon and MASS MoCA plays Art in similar setting but in much much bigger scale in their 26 industrial buildings with soaring sky high ceilings and envious grand scale of countless windows that allow beautiful natural lighting for the most important and prominent Art of our time.
We have planned to spend a night in the town to cover entire museum as traveling takes up quite a time. Early Saturday morning, with a small bag packed with couple things, we are ready to hit the road!
Getting out of NY state, it definitely gets colder and we were happy like little kids to see snow on the road! It has been unusually warm winter for us.
The parking lot is located right in the museum sight. ( when it gets this cold, BRrrrrrrrr, it’s helpful! 15 degrees F!) We are approaching to the main entrance.
Loving this simple Positive-Negative entrance sign.
The first installation Art, Geometric Death by Federico Diaz greets you right outside of the main entrance. The Snow adds extra effect.
Read about the Site Installation. Click here. And Do not touch this!
Gael and MASS MoCA!
Day 1. Gael was over the moon visiting Kid Space first. There’s ” Under the Water” exhibition and a work shop area.
PVC pipes, Garbage cans and more.
Gael, a Boy and the Ocean.
And now, Get Creative!
8 legged underwater creature. 7 more to go!
Woooooo, A scary Underwater Monster!
Emi’s super awesome Abstract mask and/or a hat. I see 2 eyes, a nose and a mouth. LOVE !
Gael having fun! Ahhh so much fun. We All are having fun!!!
Day 2. The Workers exhibition on the ground floor. I definitely liked this exhibition, especially short films and documentaries speaking about social problems, economies in different Geographies in the Blue Collar point of view such as a great interview at street Bazaar in Armenia and Garment workers in LA. Is this world not fair? Do workers get treated fairly? The whole thing got me a chill.
A mini screen of collection of films on Blue Collars. These include my all time favorites, “Dancer in the Dark” starring Bjork ( I remember balling in Angelika movie theater watching Dancer in the Dark carrying Gael in my tummy..) and ” Red Desert” by Antonioni. Each film was numbered and had designated numbered headset for audio. Each film was repeating about 10 minute screening of same clips.
A must see. This film got me feeling all embarrassed that I am in Apparel business for the first time. This is a documentary film following real group of garment workers at Sweat Shops who were hired by the third party contractors who did production for ” Forever 21″. People. You need to ask when things are way too cheap. You know somebody is paying for that price either that is in physical labor form or that is in trashed pride and dignity for selves. Or both.
We didn’t catch screening for this. But we are going to watch it. You should too.
Then wonderful Sol Lewitt: A wall drawing Retrospective on the multiple floors. The exhibition runs through year 2033!
These pictures don’t do the justice to capture the vibrancy of these amazing colors!
I love this one so much. High shine black and Matt finished Black. A massive wall and soft glare of surrounding. It’s so cool!
OK, I’ll stop here . The Scale and amount of Wall drawings are huge and heavy weight.
Gael meditating in front of Penelope Umbrico’s wok. An avid collector of images through which she identifies strange phenomena and trends in online visual culture. Suns From Flickr assembles hundreds of photographs of sunsets found on Flickr. Each sunset, depicting a fleeting moment in time, becomes a timeless and universal pictorial structure. People with Suns from Flickr, her new work in Memery, looks at the online response to Suns From Flickr, presenting pictures that viewers have taken in front of the work as it has been shown in various international settings.
I do quite like it!
Now we are moving onto ” Mango Tourists” from Nari Ward: Sub Mirage Lignum.
They look like a gigantic rubber band balls from the distance, but these are strips of industrial foams, mango seeds and found objects.
Something So beautiful about this.
Cold but beautiful MASS MoCA
What an amazing Space!
A Beautiful and creative place where you can have fun and learn. MASS MoCA offers concerts, dances, dance parties, Art performance, theater, films and many others through out the year. We will go back when weather gets warmer as surrounding areas also offer fun festivals and concerts. With loved ones and kids. You will have fun no matter what!
Gael and Emiliano, just about to step into Morimoto, NYC
It’s Emi’s Birthday and this time we decided to go to Morimoto for some great food to celebrate! It’s our very first time being at Morimoto and we are bit excite and but also nervous because we really would not like an Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto’s restaurant being disappointing. So many of these foodie places we find over rated. Not that great at the end…
Oh Chef, Please, you better be Awesome!!!
Chef’s cook books greet you the second you walk into the restaurant.
We get seated in one of the smaller section of the restaurant. Not so open, but then also quite intimate. We are quite happy so far. And the drink and main menu.
This is the very first dish of 7course tasting menu both Emi and I had chosen. All the On trays sound excellent in good range of fish and meat. There’s also a list of Sushi and Sashimi, but we pretty much knew we would go for the Chef’s choice 7 course tasting menu: Morimoto Omakase, a multi course tasting menu to allow you to experience the essence of Morimoto’s Cuisine. This first dish is ” Toro Tartar” on a bamboo plate over a sheet of banana leaf underneath with 6 small portion of garnish that were unbelievably flavorful. This plate is a size of any guy’s palm, so the portion is small but then perfect as a starter and it was absolutely satisfying with gorgeous flavors. THANK YOU CHEF!
You will scrape off bit of tartar with this stainless steel flat spoon sort of, then also steal bit of any garnish then dip the whole thing in the light Dashi in a small bowl that came together. It’s amazing.
While Emi and I are tasting Omakase, Gael’s having a hot stone bowl Yellow Tail Buri. A sort of Korean Dolsot Bibimbap but with Morimoto’s twist. No chili paste here. Fresh Shiso leafes and delicate and light sweet soy based sauce adds quite powerful flavor to this super fresh Yellow Tail Sashimi over the rice. There are some Japanese mountain veggies and toasted nori and raw egg to be all mixed together. The serving staff who was helping was friendly and casual.
Our turn again for the second course. The Yellow tail Crudo with Pea shoots, Mushroom and sesame infused warm olive oil and drop of soy and yuzu. It’s a perfection. It’s just so delicious. The first and the second courses were our two favorite. I can probably have this everyday.
The third dish. OK. Just OK. This one we didn’t care for much. We actually didn’t need this at all. It’s sort of ” Veggie” dish with dipping sauce idea. The anchovy reduction was just all right and veggie were not substantial enough. I would’ve rather not had this at all or maybe would’ve liked something very simple and refreshing salad like. Chef, Please don’t let us down for the rest..!
The fourth one. A fresh oyster accompanied by Foie Gras and warm drizzle of delicate Teriyaki sauce. This one was quite lovely. Emi liked this much more than I did perhaps. Still the first and the second course is lingering on the tip of my tongue….!
Too busy eating and chatting, forgot to take a snap of Course 5, a plate of assorted 6 piece Sushi. They were bit small at bite size with impeccable freshness. They were excellent!
Now the On tray, course 6. Surf and Turf. A lobster tail over a slightly fried sweet potato sticks and lightly seared Korean style marinated Yagyu beef accompanied by whipped up lemon mousse. DELICIOUS!!! It was quite satisfying as portion wise and the lobster tail was perfectly cooked tenderly with amazing seasoning and the beef just melts in your mouth… This On tray made our quite pricy Omakase experience all worth it!
The Lobster tail on the front and the Yagyu beef on the back.
The last course, Dessert. A cup of Sweet potato flan/custard sort of. With a soy stick, poached pear slices, black berry and dollop of cream fresh and an edible flower on the side.. The Soy stick I didn’t go for. I don’t know why. I love the potato flan! Ahh, It also had passion fruit syrup over the flan!
Thank you Chef Morimoto for a great experience! It was quite amazing!
and Happy Happy Birthday to you Emi! Thank You and Gael for everything we have together!
A Beautiful grand view of Boom Boom Room, Standard Hotel, NYC
It’s a day before Thanksgiving weekend, Emi and I had met up in the city late afternoon to kick off our official Mental Holiday clock in our spirit! Let’s have a drink! So where is the perfect place to do it? Absolutely the Boom Boom Room at Standard Hotel!
It was then the Empire state building to steal the best view of Manhattan, then Brooklyn prominent looking over the East river admiring soaring Twin Towers then the little door open to the balcony outside next to the DJ Booth on the second floor of Tin Cup in Williamsburg for the Drop Dead Gorgeous Brooklyn Bridge in your face with undeniably amazing entire Manhattan’s skyscraper…. Then now, I would not hesitate for a second to call out loud the Boom Boom Room is definitely the Sexiest and Most elegant place to enjoy 360 degree of gorgeous Cityscape of Manhattan…!!
You just have to be there.
Hot Hostesses greeting us at Boom Boom Room. Tall, beautiful, lanky and friendly..!
If I write up a recipe of Boom Boom Room itself it would be something like this: 1 part of James Bond, 1 part of Tom Ford, 1 part of Rainbow room, and a splash of lemon and 1 big solid Square Ice cube. Do not Shake. Just Stir! Very Elegant. Nothing trendy here.
Here’s my drink. ” Lady Lavender” with St. Germain. Nothing sweet or sour either. Just perfect and just an elegant smile of quiet lavender…
And a just right amount of nibbles to accompany my Lady Lavender and Emi’s manly Negroni.
There are 2 fire places: 1 on the northeast corner and the other one on the north west corner. So swanky..!
Going down in an awesome elevator. A moving images of Heaven and Hell, I would call.
A mini ice rink outside of Standard Hotel. Genius!
The Standard Hotel, Meat Packing District, NYC
Now buying Stakes and Salad at Chelsea market in full of warm and bit tipsy Holiday Sprit after a couple delicious cocktails and much chat with my Best friend, Emiliano!
Emi, I love you so much and Happy Begin of our Holidays together!!