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IMG_0822Ruins 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.

IMG_0717The 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.

IMG_0711The 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.

IMG_0706Bring 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.

IMG_0744My 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.

IMG_0746So 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…


IMG_0752Always love the smell of incense… I feel blessed when it covers me over… especially at temples.

IMG_0754More prays.

IMG_0762A-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.


IMG_0764Pressing 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.


IMG_0769I am in love with these circular opening gates sort of. Do you think the circle means eternity…?

IMG_0777HK$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.


IMG_0787I 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…

IMG_0790But 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.


IMG_0793You 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.






IMG_0803Larger than life size incenses!

IMG_0810The main room.  Most colorful and ornately decorated.


IMG_0733Right outside of temple, Portuguese music and dance is going on, The mosaic tiled flooring reminds me of Rio in Brazil.

IMG_0820 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!!!

IMG_0815Egg tart! I am getting one. About US$1.00 Cheap and Cheerful!

egg tartThe 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!

IMG_0823In 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.

IMG_0825Built 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.

IMG_0824Right in front of the site, there were these handsome young men playing Macau’s traditional music.

IMG_0827OK, 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.


IMG_0834OK. 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!

IMG_0831These 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.

IMG_0832There 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.

IMG_0839Before they get on to the steamer. They have this system they can steam, a few trays at a time by stacking them tall.


IMG_0833This guy got them all!  Jerkies and various cookies. Another sample man.

IMG_0836Sesame cookies.


IMG_0844There are 33 churches, 44 temples and 100 banks in Macau ( think gambling). This is a small temple off the market.


IMG_0847I am thinking it’s in lychee family.

IMG_0871I 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.

IMG_0854This Oh-so-smell-good fried pork in a bun is Everywhere!

IMG_0856One more look at Egg Tarts!

IMG_0853This 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.


IMG_0859Getting 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.

IMG_0860The main square where the church ST. Joseph is. Check out the tiling! Just like Rio.



IMG_0863Quite humble interior of Church. Here I was going for the second round of stop and pray.


IMG_0869One of the most popular ways to get around in Macau.

IMG_0868Bean, Tofu and dessert place.


IMG_0875Cute Macau moment.

IMG_0876Main downtown with lots and lots of banks.

IMG_0879Heading 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!

IMG_0435Cutting edge clothing store ALCHEMIST at 11 11 Lincoln Road, Miami, Florida.

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.

IMG_0301A 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.

IMG_0303Yes. It’s a Paradise.

IMG_0327Outside of MOCA.

IMG_0312Current 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.

IMG_0309Atsuko and Gael.



IMG_0320Here 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.



IMG_0498Again, 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.

IMG_0437Atsuko walking around bit.  Actually the building also reminds me of  Shanghai’s 1933.

IMG_0436Approaching the shop,  Alchemist on 5 th floor. The only store in the building off the ground floor.


IMG_0429Beautifully edited collection of Balenciaga, Rick Owen, Proenza Schouler…. And amazing jewelries!




IMG_0443A view from the second floor of 11 11 Lincoln. The multi colored glassed building is a cinema.

IMG_0484Now 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.

IMG_0465Sitting Bar. The beautiful planted jungle wall,what ever you will call is out of the world. Emi treated us with yummy cocktails!


IMG_0479How much I love those chairs!

IMG_0477Indoor dinning area.



IMG_0329Here we are now at Design district.  The Art installation called ” The Living room”. Then it used to be attached to low rise commercial building.

p104750-Miami-Living_Room_BuildingThis is photo taken by Ally at IgoUgo.com back in year 2004. See then it even had a curtain!



IMG_0339There 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.


IMG_0341Lots and lots of galleries and design shops.  Check out Miamidesigndistrict and DesignDistrictMag

IMG_0343Here there are couple cute boutiques and One of the Best Restaurant in Miami, Michael’s Genuine. And around the corner from here, there are shops of absolutely beautiful Martin Margiela and Marni.

IMG_0346Inside 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!


IMG_0347Slowly 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!

IMG_0356Savory 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.

IMG_0403Beautiful Monday Morning, Atsuko and I are hitting Miami by foot leaving boys by the beach. Palms, Sun and Breeze. It’s really nice!


IMG_0402Checking out Hotel Delano for a cool shop we heard about.


IMG_0412Such an elegant bar at Delano. I love it.

IMG_0413A Wall by the shop, Base at Delano.

IMG_0418A must Check out Concept Store, Webster.

IMG_0417And here’s a good old Miami moment with an Art Deco building…

IMG_0388Our 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.

IMG_0391Bar Restaurant, Dutch at W.

IMG_0389I like the shot of soft grey stripe running down the middle of the pillars. Without it, it would have been more of NYC.

IMG_0376Our 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!)

LOvE  Design!

IMG_8347MASS 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!

IMG_8333Getting 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.


IMG_8341So beautiful…!

IMG_8348The 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.

IMG_8349Loving this simple Positive-Negative entrance sign.

IMG_8353The first installation Art, Geometric Death by Federico Diaz greets you right outside of the main entrance. The Snow adds extra effect.

IMG_8354Read about the Site Installation. Click here. And Do not touch this!


IMG_8357Gael and MASS MoCA!

IMG_8431Day 1. Gael was over the moon visiting Kid Space first. There’s ” Under the Water” exhibition and a work shop area.




IMG_8390PVC pipes, Garbage cans and more.



IMG_8365Gael, a Boy and the Ocean.




IMG_8392And now, Get Creative!


IMG_83938 legged underwater creature. 7 more to go!


IMG_8408Woooooo,  A scary Underwater Monster!

IMG_8410Emi’s super awesome Abstract mask and/or a hat. I see 2 eyes, a nose and a mouth. LOVE !

IMG_8409Gael’s spaceship!

IMG_8429Gael having fun! Ahhh so much fun. We All are having fun!!!

IMG_8448Day 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.

IMG_8455A 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.

IMG_8466A 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.

IMG_8468We didn’t catch screening for this. But we are going to watch it. You should too.

IMG_8475Then wonderful Sol Lewitt: A wall drawing Retrospective on the multiple floors. The exhibition runs through year 2033!




IMG_8486These pictures don’t do the justice to capture the vibrancy of these amazing colors!



IMG_8490I love this one so much. High shine black and Matt finished Black. A massive wall and soft glare of surrounding. It’s so cool!






IMG_8538OK, I’ll stop here . The Scale and amount of Wall drawings are huge and heavy weight.

IMG_8540Gael 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.



IMG_8550I do quite like it!

IMG_8554Now we are moving onto ” Mango Tourists” from Nari Ward: Sub Mirage Lignum.


IMG_8559They look like a gigantic rubber band balls from the distance, but these are strips of industrial foams, mango seeds and found objects.


IMG_8565Nu Colossus.


IMG_8572Something So beautiful about this.




IMG_8497Cold but beautiful MASS MoCA

IMG_8485What 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!

LOvE Art!

IMG_7381Gael 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!!!

IMG_7382Chef’s cook books greet you the second you walk into the restaurant.


IMG_7384We 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.

IMG_7387This 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!

IMG_7389You 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.

IMG_7391While 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.




IMG_7403Our 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.

IMG_7405The 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..!

IMG_7407The 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!

IMG_7413Now 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!

IMG_7415The Lobster tail on the front and the Yagyu beef on the back.

IMG_7421The 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!

and….LOvE, NYC!

IMG_7310A 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.

IMG_7316Hot Hostesses greeting us at Boom Boom Room. Tall, beautiful, lanky and friendly..!







IMG_7282If 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.

IMG_7284Here’s my drink. ” Lady Lavender” with St. Germain. Nothing sweet or sour either. Just perfect and just an elegant smile of quiet lavender…

IMG_7285And  a just right amount of nibbles to accompany my Lady Lavender and Emi’s manly Negroni.




IMG_7298There are 2 fire places: 1 on the northeast corner and the other one on the north west corner. So swanky..!









IMG_7320Going down in an awesome elevator. A moving images of Heaven and Hell, I would call.




IMG_7329A mini ice rink outside of Standard Hotel. Genius!

IMG_7331The 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!!





















For more, just be there!



One: Xin Tian Di


Typical alley of Xin Tian Di district, Shanghai

Shikumen, the Stone gate houses on narrow alleys combining Western and Chinese element that occupied up to 60% of Shanghai housing that first appeared in 1860 now has drastically down sized to this small area called “Xin Tian Di” which means ” New heaven and Earth”.  The old residential Shikumen building are now turned into beautifully designed restaurants, cafes and book stores earning a title: the very first ” Life style” center of China.  As a matter fact, it’s rather romantic, quite  and charming vibe rather loud and super touristy despite good amount international tourists enjoying the area eating and shopping!



IMG_6762Peeking into a restaurant, T8


IMG_6766Many of these Shikumen houses future lovely lovely window details. Never ending windows!


IMG_6751Then there’s this lovely open square area that houses many of outdoor and indoor seating restaurants, bars and cafes… It’s very cute and clean!



IMG_6767…and Lovely lush trees… I Love!

It’s bit touristy but also lovely and charming. It’s quite chilled and somehow reminds me of the film, In the mood for Love. If you are ever in Shanghai, stop by for a coffee and little shopping!

In the mood for love…

Two: Dongtai Lu Antique Market

IMG_6798Entrance of Dongtai Lu Antique market, Shanghai

Most of Shanghai’s old markets are gone, or converted to modern wares: clothing, watches, handbags and gadgets. But this long-running street bazaar specializing in reproduction of old antiques, crafts and traditional trinkets still abounds with atmosphere.  And I have to say the real deal of this market is not actually the goods in the market, it’s the street and houses that is hosting the market around. Locals live right behind the market completely unveiling everyday life in Shanghai. Men arguing over games of cards, women gossiping amidst the constant clatter of mahjong tiles, down dusty lanes strewn with cages of singing birds and laundry drying on bamboo poles.  It’s totally down to local and simply dirty but definitely interesting,













Three:  Taikang Lu

IMG_6872Another preservation of Shikumen Architecture in Shanghai, Taikang Lu

Maybe this would be the one single best place to visit if you only had a few hours to explore Shanghai. This old Shikumen district turned to relatively low budget shopping and dinning area is filled with good mix of traditional Chinese knickknacks, local designers’ shops and plenty of small lively restaurants and cafes where you can taste Shanghainese and other international food such as Thai ( plenty of them), Japanese , French and much more. Little alley like streets are neatly packed with hole in the wall like shops to more design conscious boutiques where you can get beautiful teas and handmade scarves and such.  Bright Red paper Chinese lantern definitely tells you where you are at the moment and adds bit of festivity to your good half day stroll to cover the whole district.

IMG_6874A cute Japanese yakiniku ( Table grill place).

IMG_6875Cobble stone and this herringbone stone tile are the 2 major materials covering the area.

IMG_6876There are many little witty touches in Taikang Lu. Maybe this is one place I felt I could read sort of what Today’s Shanghai’s Young generation is like.




IMG_6882Lane 248 was supposed to be bit more progressive than other alley, but honestly I didn’t find any differences here.

IMG_6889Somehow we were at sort of ” Food” area at this point. Cafes, restaurants, restaurants and more restaurants. This building has 2 open decks serving food semi al fresco on upper levels.



Rapidly growing Shanghai definitely shows a huge potential to become a metropolitan city yet I have surely experienced this undeniable gap between fast and fanciful materialistic growth and true culture to digest and own that material growth to a personal level. The culture that lives beneath your skin that is natural and that is real you. Right now, I see this massive bigger shell that is waiting for inner flash to grow and fill in and connect to become one, Shanghai as a true metropolitan city!

Till then, There will be needing of plenty of learning, researching and trying to live what that is ahead of Shanghai.  It was a real eye opening experience for me and also I am excite for Shanghai to face endless possibilities to reborn and to reach as a next big star.

IMG_6669The Waterhouse at South Bund, Shanghai

“The City gets lit up after the Sunset” was the opening line of Continental air’s promotional short film  for Shanghai shortly before the landing today.  Full of business men on board, the Continental Air Jet was also as just as new as those skyline of rising Shanghai. Along the rapidly growing China’s economy, Gap has opened up 3 beautiful brand new stores now in China and here I am with Cynthia to visit Gap stores and learn about what people and life of Shanghai is all about!  The culture, what they like to eat and wear, people adopting the new life of one of the fastest growing cities in the world!  

And here let’s start with one of the best new design Shanghai is proud of : the Waterhouse.

IMG_6675Once a wear house space back in 1930′s has completely have re born as a swanky new modern boutique hotel by doing a quite a good job preserving most part of facade from then. Industrial cool, rustic historic charm and great portion use of wood and glass gives that cutting edge yet delivers cozy Modernism of Today. 

IMG_6671Approaching the entrance.

IMG_6679The lighting art above the reception does not show well in this picture. But it says: ” You should have loved me.”



IMG_6680There are sort of 2 lounging areas. Right where is the reception then this open room connects to the bar area on the ground floor. 

IMG_6681Small pockets of lounge area that is well thought through concerning privacy and openness at the same time consisting high and low of textures of materials, colors and lighting.



IMG_6659Looking down the Lobby from the second floor.




IMG_6649Each room is supposedly unique in size and layouts but in this sort of interior.

IMG_6644Tinted glass wall and concrete bathroom is quite zen and beautiful. Simple.


IMG_6696The court yard.


IMG_6697The roof top garden.


IMG_6670The restaurant on the ground floor.


For more detail, click here.





IMG_68231933 Shanghai, Shanghai

This 4 story Massive Solid concrete maze Slaughterhouse built in early twenteeth century is maybe the one single thing that’s the most inspiring architecture standing in Shanghai and even in the world.  I am totally impressed.

Located in the historic Hongkou District, 1933 Shanghai (上海1933老场坊) was built amidst the vibrant urban landscape of pre-communist Shanghai. Designed originally by British architects, and built in 1933 by Chinese developers, the building was originally intended for use as a slaughterhouse but served a number of purposes over the years from medicine factory, cold storage facility, to its current incarnation as a ‘commercial hub for creative industries’.  And this is the last one left such built out of 3, one in London and one in US, but they are demolished by now.

The building was commissioned by the then Shanghai Municipal Council with the high-quality cement aggregate required to support the load-bearing needs of the building was imported from the Portsmouth area of the UK. After being abandoned and falling into disrepair the building was extensive restoration in 2008. Built around a central atrium, which served as the abattoir’s workshops, each floor is connected to an outer shell by a series of interlocking ramps, bridges, and spiral staircases which were designed to control the flow of both people and cattle being processed through the building.  

Here are the pics.

IMG_6814The facade of 1933 Shanghai, the ultimate formal Slaughterhouse.


IMG_6816Here to the right, the central Atrium to the right and so called ” air bridges” to transport and control cattles.


IMG_6821So beautiful and So haunting. Imagine all those cattles flowing up there in their deadly heavy marching…

IMG_6824After the RMB100 million restoration back in year 2008, the formal slaughter house became this one gigantic commercial space such as cafes, interior shop, high end restaurant and creative office spaces for many design and architect firms. It is still quite deserted ( I mean this space is Massive)  but there are handful of  business that are interesting.



IMG_6826Check out the cattle signs.

IMG_6845The Bull Restaurant, Shanghainese Cuisine.


IMG_6827There are 26 ‘air bridges’ of various widths splayed out at different angles, provoking feelings of both confusion and fascinating at how it could have been conceived. 





IMG_6831A cool public signage.

IMG_6832One of many empty spaces awaiting for a right owner for a right usage.











IMG_6847I am inside of central atrium. 




IMG_6851The top floor.











You can find 1933 Shanghai, otherwise known as “Old Millfun” at No. 10 Shajing Lu

(near Jiulong Lu) †(近九龙路).

Absolute Must Check out when you are in Shanghai.




IMG_6415Entrance at Dekalb Market, Downtown Brooklyn

Salvaged and stacked up colorful shipping containers make walls, shops and a small semi open urban market in downtown Brooklyn.  It’s a great and beautiful concept to promote small entrepreneurs in a small cultural community setting using 20 foot shipping containers with electricity, water, stove tops and even AC installation.

It was our first time visiting and it was late afternoon on Saturday. It felt bit empty but I see a great potential. But then, would this really work? It’s located by Flatbush Avenue near the Dekalb avenue where now all these luxury high-rise condos are getting built. There are good amount of commercial and office spaces around the market, so Lunch time, it may get bit crowded but not sure how much foot traffic this market gets in general. Despite it’s charming vibe, the market is not so substantial enough to go for either food or shopping. I see coffee, donuts, sandwiches, tacos.  All those usual suspects. Then there are these small shops. The containers are great looking. Thy are itsy bitsy super cute but are they too small? Most of food vendors occupy the full spaced containers then there are many other containers divided in half, and that’s when it gets bit too small for me. Once there 2 people in, there’s no more room for any other. It’s a great concept but I see much room to be improved.

The market needs better P.R and more vendors in general for customers to feel it’s worth the trip. There should be a lot more food vendors to bring greater foot traffic daily then need bigger space occupying non food vendors like vintage, books, magazine stands, Arts, maybe even flower shops, graphic tees and so on to sustain as a daily market.  It totally got this cool vibe going but it feels like the whole thing is a bit of temporary set up. Kind of one night stand like. There were concerts, DJ gig and even a night Bazar. They all sound great and heard it was successful but it is missing this Core strength to sustain this market to be not just a cool gig but as a real community’s daily market. Hope for a good boost for Christmas shopping time and wish for better improvement with stronger vendors and entrepreneurs bringing more fresh creative product to the market.





























For more detail, Click here.

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