EMILIANO & JAEHEE
emiliano@lacasapark.com  917 406 2854
jaehee@lacasapark.com  917 373 1548
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IMG_2757Chow down with Hun, Yoon, Gael and Emi. Cheap and Cheerful Night eating at Gwang Jang Market!

I am sure you all like Korean BBQ. And Me too! But there is so much more beyond BBQ in Korean food and the most fun part is that you can enjoy all sort of eateries in different price, ambiance and based on seasonal specialties. It’s already mouth watering brain storming where to go for tonight or for tomorrow’s lunch. At the night market? All vegetarian Ssam place? North Korean cold noodle soup, Nang Myun? or Freshest Sashimi at the fish market! The possibilities are truly endless and you will need months and months to taste all these wonderfully cultural food that Korea can offer.

My dear cousin Yoon and her husband Hun are maybe the 2 best eatery guide you can ask for ! We have been eating the most delicious food around Seoul and having the best time catching up!  Soju became our new favorite drink and now that Emi had tasted real deal of Korean food in Seoul, I better Up my Korean cooking skill back in New York…!

Now, are you ready for some Korean food?  Then let’s start!!!

IMG_2752First, we are checking the water out at the market.  There are so many banquets of all market and street food vendors.  Market food usually means Noodles, Korean blood sausage, Jun ( pan fried anything that’s dipped in the egg wash), Ttuck boki ( rice cake cooked in chili paste), Oden soup ( fish cake soup), Sashimi and much more!  This runs good half mile long on a long isle between the shops.

IMG_2793Thanks for the big smile!  These little fingerling Korean maki ( Gim Bap) are so good that it has a nick name ” Drug Maki”. So addictive. Carrots, crunch sweet and sour Pickled Radish root, Spinach and touch of wasabi paste. Delicious!

IMG_2744It’s a crab season in Korea and Crabs are everywhere!  These are Soy Crab. Soaked in a tub of soy sauce. These are cleaned and raw.

IMG_2746Chili paste version. Spicy and sweet.

IMG_2764Down and low in local way. Eating is one thing but most of all, the talking and being together in such atmosphere is the key here. Keeping the company over just good simple food.

IMG_2705Sample station.

IMG_2704So much memories with my Ttuck boki. It’s Korean way of comfort food.

IMG_2700Perfection of Dumplings!

IMG_2748Serious set of All kinds.

IMG_2755Post Soju and lots of food face.  We hit already 2 banquets!

IMG_2761Sashimi Section!

IMG_2767Korean Style Sashimi. Cooked and uncooked are mixed. Cooked Octopus, Shell fish and raw salmon and flounder.

IMG_2787Next we are at the BEST Mung bean pancake house.

IMG_2790Yummmm! Yoon and Hun say this is IT!

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IMG_2783Cheap and Deep!  Crispy around the edges with hearty and satisfying fillings. Delicious! Gael just loves loves loves!

IMG_2784Pickled sweet Onions in Soy and Kimch on the side!

IMG_2983It’s very first time my dad and Gael are meeting in person. We had the best 3 days doing little things as a family visiting local markets, garden and a Korean folk flea market.  It makes me feel so happy to see my dad and Gael walking hand in hand. We are going for dinner!!

IMG_2999One area in the west side of Seoul is called ” Mapo” and here we are with dad hitting the most typical Mapo style BBQ place!  I really liked overall vibe in this particular area. There were many little places in sort of 70′s style in such Korean way.

IMG_3008Coals are in!

IMG_3006First, a waitress comes and spread some slightly cooked kimchi on the rim of grill.  I am curious as it is my first time to see this.

IMG_3014Ah ha! the Egg wash goes over the Kimchi! It makes steamed egg from the heat!  Grill’s busy with chopsticks!

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IMG_3016Eggs are all gone and Dad takes charge in Grilling!  We ordered 2 kinds of meat. Pork with simple sea salt and Sirloin slices marinated in typical Gal bi dressing ( soy based). They melt in your mouth. Tender and Delicious!

IMG_3009Dad pouring Soju for Emi. You receive it with 2 hands especially when you are younger than the person pouring. It’s our way to pay Respect. A beautiful tradition.

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IMG_3013Serious grilling here.

IMG_3017Gael learned how to sharpen Scissors from dad. The first tip from grandpa!

IMG_3020The second tip from Granpa. Now you pour with 2 hands to dad. Another beautiful tradition. I love this moment.

IMG_30033 generations together. Love you dad!

IMG_3141Now we are back with Yoon and Hun in Norayngjin Fish market.  We are going to buy our own ingredients and have one of restaurants on the second floor at the market cook for us! It’s a typical way to have your fish and seafood at the market. Isn’t it a brilliant idea?!!!

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IMG_3108The market.

IMG_3118Calling it all!  Avalon, Conch, Cockle, Clam and …and …and!

IMG_3122King Crabs!

IMG_3125Bass. They are big and totally fresh. I mean they are in the water swimming up to the point you purchase it!

IMG_3130Popular wild caught flounder! Great for Sashimi!

IMG_3139You pick one and pay for it . They Sashimi for you right there on a plate to go.

IMG_3110They look like from Mars.

IMG_3146This is Hun and Yoon’s only spot to go to have their freshest seafood purchased cooked. It’s a small and clean place with lovely owner lady. She’s holding our Korean ” Flower” crabs, mixed Shell fish and a whole Bass! You pay the restaurant to prepare the seafood you bought however you wish. Steam, soup, fry, Sashimi… It’s a still excellent deal as the fish itself is way cheaper here at the market than any shops in the city. And also you are eating them at the best quality. I mean how fresher can it be?

IMG_3148Sashimi Bass.

IMG_3153Steamed Flower Crab. They are plump, juicy and Sweet! The best!!  And of course Soju to accompany.

IMG_3152Mixed steamed Shell Fish.

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IMG_3156The owner will make this sort of fried rice with crab meat and crab juice and sesame oil. Yum!!

IMG_3199After dinner cigarettes. Hun and Emi. After dinner, we are on the 2nd round of fun at Korean karaoke and late night snack at Hong Dae!!

IMG_3191Digesting.

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IMG_4959Happy!

IMG_4427For another fun dinner, here me and Yoon patiently waiting for our table at “ Bong San Jip”  It’s my second time with Yoon and all of us!

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IMG_2637Yay! It’s about to Start!

IMG_2641Thinly sliced beef brisket is maybe one of my favorite thing now! This old school ” Bong San Jip” restaurant only serves 1 menu. Not many sides like other places. Just Beef brisket to grill. But the secret is in this Killer Soy dipping sauce with lots of fresh chopped scallions and sweet green chili peppers. And one pot miso soup again with beef brisket in! You just to have to be here!

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IMG_2648The miso is here!

IMG_2647Cabbage, Tofu, brisket, chili and miso.

Honestly I must say “Fooding till Drop” may the main highlight of this trip. Family get together is absolutely the most precious thing but experiencing all these amazing food in Korea has been One cultural shock even to myself as a Korean.

Like Emi Says, ” Korean Kicks Butt!”

LOvE FoOD, LOvE EaT, LOvE SeOuL!!!

IMG_1393Strolling the night of  Venice with Emi…

Venice was the very first place where Emi and I took a real trip to.  20 years have passed since then. We were just starting to date with Emi’s very little English and my almost none in Italian. We carried my little yellow covered pocket sized dictionary everywhere. So I always remember Venice romantic. It was November then? Venice was sitting firmly under heavy mist and feeling sort of mysterious and so beautiful. We held our hands and walked every little streets getting lost countless times. We stopped for a glass of wine and some good food. Little shops and canals… I remember the first time stepping into Piazza San Marco. Ahhh, a complex beauty, I recall. Thousands of pigeons and little children’s giggles chasing them. Gold trims and the most luxurious contrast of Black against to it then aged grey wash showing long history of the city where the last and the most enduring immigrants came to Venice in year 568. It felt so magical. It felt like I was a heroine standing in a scene of old historical film. I’ll never forget.

After amazing time visiting 55th Venice Art Biennale , We knew what we have left to do. Stroll through little streets and get lost again in Venice…!

IMG_1223The only way to get around in Venice. Water bus/ Water taxi. There are about 118 small islands in Venice and what’s in between islands? Water divides them and foot bridges connect them. There is no such Cars existing in Venice.

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IMG_1230How would it be possible to build a such city above the water? It’s unbelievable.

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IMG_1244Typical isles and streets. Years of history drips down.

IMG_1251Emi stopped for 2 minutes of GPS.  Completely by chance, we stumbled into a very little street we had one of the most amazing Venetian food 4 years ago ( totally going back for dinner!). Next time we come, we have to remember to bring just a small back pack. Quite of walk to get around in the city and you will face constant bridges with steps.

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IMG_1257Here we are at our 2 night home base. It’s in the quiet and residential part of the city, which is something always what we are looking for. This is a historic castle turned into a bed and breakfast. It’s so beautiful.

IMG_1264Court yard.

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IMG_1294Loving the neighborhood! Low key and so authentic at the same time. This old wine shop is just perfect.

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IMG_1323Only in Venice.

IMG_1329You will get into plenty of narrow alleys in Venice. We had passed through even much narrower than this one. We are heading out for bit of walk and dinner!

IMG_1331You MUST Eat Here! Enoiteca Mascareta. A typical Venetian Cusin. We are talking about sardines, fresh cods and so much more.

IMG_1353Love Love Love the leather aprons servers wearing! Apparently locally made and hand made. Can we talk about the quality and the style! And the Classic Chambray shirt is a just perfect match.

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IMG_1332Baccala Mantecato & Alici Marinate. Anchovies marinated in olive oil and vinegar.  And couple scoops of soft Cod spread. And young and bitter rucola leaves. So Delicious! Cicchetti ( Chi-Ket-tii) is must try in Venice. Cicchetti is tapas of Venice. Little dishes.

IMG_1333Sarde in Saor ( cipolla) : Pan fried fresh Sardine with sauteed onions and vinegar. It’s SOOOO GOOOD!!!!

IMG_1352Emi sitting in front of wall full of small drawings. Portraits of owner done by regular customers and local artists.

IMG_1346Tortellacci ripieni al Branzino: Oversized Tortelli filled with Brazino ( Italian Sea bass). It had lots of fresh black pepper which I thought went so well with it!

IMG_1355The night came down. It’s peaceful.

IMG_1365Night Canal…

IMG_1366Piazza San Marco.

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IMG_1377Caffe Florian in San Marco. Italy’s the oldest Caffe. Caffe Florian was open in year 1720.

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LOvE VEniCe,  LOve U, Emi

IMG_2209Typical Summer Dinner on the first night in Korea, Gael and Halmoney (: Grandma)

Actually the flight to Seoul from NY wasn’t too bad. 14 hours on Asiana Economy was much better than what we all expected. Foot rests and private monitors with quite impressive amount and selection of films and hearty meals ( We are talking about Bibimbop served in ceramic bowl and Hot Soup here!).

It’s humid and rainy in Korea right now and Paju where my Mom lives isn’t an exception but sitting out in the garden listening to water running from the mountain and all those birds and insects that cries out their own Summer nights of  Korea brings me right back to where I come from.

I am Home.

IMG_2211Happy with a big dinner table in front. Humble and yummy. Waiting for dad. Pyung Sang is a typical low sitting wooden deck in Korea that is much adorned in Hot Summer time in effort to bring typical floor sitting culture to fresh and breezy outdoor.  You take shoes off and sit on the Pyung Sang for anything you wish. Taking nap to eat meals, drink teas, all those water melons you can chow down, cleaning veggies, neighbor’s visit and late night stories…. Ah Nostalgia!

IMG_2227A morning at Mother’s house is full of excitement! Ducks are chatting up and You will need to do some Breakfast Harvest in Mom’s amazing veggie garden!

IMG_2230For our Salad. Mom and Gael walked to the small river by the house for picking these delicate and sweet edible flowers.

IMG_2233Front garden Back garden. We are in the back of the house now.  Emi picking tomatoes!

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IMG_2247Chemical free All Organic Breakfast from Mom’s.  So beautiful!

IMG_2248Gael and Mom picking cucumbers.

IMG_2250Mom’s Awesome Fiery Chilis!!

IMG_2251Mom bragged about her sweet and juicy water melons. Her 5th growing now.

IMG_2256100 % Mom grown and supplied. It’s impressive and delicious!

IMG_2260After breakfast walking, We meet up neighbor’s 7 pups!  Gael’s dying!

IMG_2272We are starting our first day nice and slowly by visiting ” Bogwangsa” , a 1000 years old beautiful temple in mom’s area.

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IMG_2275Kim-Chi!

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IMG_2288Monk’s Stay.

IMG_2290The Main Temple. I absolutely love perfectly washed out exteriors. So beautiful.

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IMG_2345It’s really lush here.

IMG_2340Water from the mountain.

IMG_2348Jang-Dock. Terracotta pots contain Temple made Soy sauce, Miso paste and all.  Always love the scene.

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Me at Home with Emi and Gael. Meeting Families and Nourishing My Heart and Soul by eating Amazing Food, My culture and again realizing Undeniable my Root in this land.

I am Happy and I am in Love.

Aarons_PoolsideGossip_HiRes“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.

IMG_8496You’ve all have seen this picture before in books or magazines. This is Palm Springs Tram Way Gas station then, now is turned to  Palm Springs Visitor Center designed by Albert Frey in 1965.

IMG_8489Palm Springs Visitor Center. It’s unreal that we are here!

IMG_8518Visitor 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!

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IMG_8510Please 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?

IMG_8508Gael browsing books at the Visitor center.

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IMG_8513Donald 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.

IMG_8533Palm 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.

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IMG_9284Yay! We are arriving at ACE Hotel Palm Springs Swim Club!!  Our Glorious And Fun Stay base in Palm Springs!

IMG_9288LOVING 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.

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IMG_9068So 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”.

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IMG_9297Emi 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!!

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IMG_9308ACE 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.

IMG_9325That’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!

IMG_9331Our Captain, Emi deserves some lay low time by the pool. He had driven quite a bit already.

IMG_9094The Pool and generously sized Jacuzzi is open till 2:00 am.

IMG_9102Gael enjoys night ping pong with dad and other guests at ACE.

IMG_9109By the pool food and drinks goes from early morning to late night. Everyone is respectful and relaxed here.

IMG_9110Each 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.

IMG_9320The indoor full Bar at ACE Kicks Your Butt!  They open for all day and have fun small events at night like concert, karaoke, parties…

IMG_5825Here 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.

kaufmann-house-palm-springs-ca-1947-c2a0architect-richard-neutra-photo-julius-shulmanThis is the interior of Kaufman house. The picture is taken by Julius Shulman.

IMG_5882This is one of Wexler designed Mid century home with classic and key detail, Butterfly roof. Butterfly roof was created to prevent roof leaking.

lDonald Wexler’s big break and main training stared by working for an Architect, Richard Neutra.

DONALD-WEXLER-by-Spa-Hotel-Bath-House-1958How 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_shore_house10Donald 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.

ff95011792cdebc1fe38fa4337b52db3Another Wexler Designed home in Palm Springs back in the 60′s. The photo was taken by Julius Shulman in 2005.

IMG_9352Now 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!

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IMG_9373Here 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.

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IMG_9378A typical entrance situation of Mid Century Modern homes.

IMG_5852We 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.

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IMG_5902Some homes have serious front gardening going. Ahhh we so envy these desert plants..!

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IMG_9119One 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.

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IMG_9185Desert 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.

IMG_9186It’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.

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IMG_5807Cheese! From left, Cholla, Poncho y Pedro. Thank you horses! We love you guys!!

IMG_5908Palm Springs Tram is famous for being the world largest rotating Tramcar and also the Tram station itself is designed by Albert Frey.

IMG_5967It’s 15 minute ride but boy, you get to feel the thrill of going up to 8500ft from the sea level.

IMG_5920The 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.

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IMG_5946After we got off the tram, We had gone for a nice walk. It’s so crazy how cold up here!

IMG_9421The vegetation completely changed. It’s a different kind of beauty.

IMG_5906Here’s the Tram station designed by Albert Frey. Read about it’s history here.

tumblr_lkoer3MFtf1qat99uo1_500Albert Frey’s Russel House.

3422436050_59d896e72f_oAlbert Frey’s residence.

IMG_1361Here 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!

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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.

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Now we are heading out to Salton Sea!

IMG_3057 The Alexander McQueen exhibit: Savage Beauty at Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC

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.

IMG_3048The 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.

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IMG_3051The 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.

IMG_3114The 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.

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IMG_3055The second room, “The Romantic Gothic” filled with aged mirrors.

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IMG_3062This guilded golden glass showcase is absolutely to die for and the amazing McQueen’s work…

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IMG_3065“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.

IMG_3064My heart deeply aching…. The Spine corset with a tail.

IMG_3066Approaching to the Fan dress. Just like those delicately cut out Japanese wooden fan.

IMG_3068Yes, She’s turning.

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IMG_3075There are ton more in this “Closet of Curiosity” room. I kept going back in there. It was hard to end myself and move on.

IMG_3077” The Romantic Nationalism”, McQueen celebrates his root, London.  He was very proud of the city where he came from.

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IMG_3080“The Romantic Primitivism”

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IMG_3115” Romantic Exoticism”

IMG_3085“Romantic Naturalism, the last room”

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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.

IMG_5375From a fur jacket to sandwiches to cheap and cheerful Kate and William’s lovely portrait pins, at Portobello market, it’s impossible for one to walk out the market empty handed!

Sorry readers, I have been bit consumed with work for last few weekends in a row, postings have not been so often enough, but I just can’t miss posting the Portobello Market in London! This was my second time and it did not disappoint me as there are mixed thoughts about the market especially ones in fashion world but actually only thought I had was I should have been there earlier like 7:00 am not 11:00 am and I wished I spent the whole day at the market to brows, taste, try on and bargain!  It does get really packed before the noon already but the crowd quite behaved I think. No pushing or mean talks to ones ahead of you, but I did hear about pick pocketing, so watch out with your bags if you are there.

Portobello market has quite loaded history as the Market started in 19th century as a fresh food market and even today, the food section of the market is quite dominant and packed with quality street food to fresh produce. Then 1940′s Antique dealers have arrived to the market and it has continued to now drawing tons of people to every Saturday’s Antique market. The entire market runs from the north terminus at Golborne Road to very south end at more up-scaled Westbourne Grove occupying about 0.58 mile long street of swanky Notting Hill area. I highly recommend you to continue on to very north end of the market Golborne Road as there are very much eclectic mix of very good vintage shops, antique & mid century dealers as well as good amount of Moroccan community well established on that strip of road with food markets, street food car and bars in a bit more down to earth residential setting.

Now come stroll with me much famous Portobello market!

IMG_5377The market entrance. Shops to the left and tents with vendors are lined up along the Portobello road.

IMG_5376Anything works here in the market. But the Fur is maybe the one you may consider to buy. So many good options!

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IMG_5380There are quite many vintage clothing vendors at south end. Not so hip but good furs again. It”s also pricier than the north end of the market where you get broader selection of vintage for both men and women.

IMG_5381and Ton of vintage bags!

IMG_5384Here’s my tourist moment!

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IMG_5388Now the food market starts!

IMG_5389Yummy pastries!

IMG_5391Sea of Keish!

IMG_5394I have to say people eat about the same wherever you go….

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IMG_5396OK These chicken bits smelled Soooooo goooood! No I didn’t stop for any food at the market this time… But next time, I will!

IMG_5397All right, one more look from a different angle. And sure it smelled still good!

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IMG_5399A little quiet  moment off the Portobello road. So pretty and bit Brooklyn here.

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IMG_5407The food section ends and there will be a short moment of  ” Whatever works” section, a sort of 99 cent store on your block.

IMG_5412OK now, for me the real deal of the market actually starts at the very end of the market. When you pass about half mile long of antique, food and chachkies you will come to a small square under a bridge where there are great small vendors all get together and sell interesting vintages showing off their own individual great styles!  They are all friendly and super hip. Take your time and chat with them. They may tell you maybe the best kept secret to go out and eat in London. Don’t forget to keep walking toward the north end toward the Golborne Road!

IMG_5416See that’s the spirit I like!  One of cool vendors celebrating his birthday with others at the market!

IMG_5418Another gentleman with a cool vintage Pea number!

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IMG_5420After the market ends, you will encounter with many little cute bars, restaurants and vintage shops. And they go on for a while.

IMG_5421Yeap this one is a real good one! Ton of vintage boots, jackets and fur coats.

IMG_5422A great textile shop with their own small line of cashmere, wool, silk blankets.  I love this shop!

IMG_5423So now we are at Golborne road. The frist shop we walked in had this amazing original Venini’s glass lamps from 70′s. The owner had about 6-7 of them. All identical.  Each costs about $2400.

IMG_5427You can find really handsome furnitures here at Golborne road… Or is it maybe just being in London…

IMG_5428One next to another, there are good numbers of great antique furniture and interior shops on Golborne.

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IMG_5440Awesome building and an iconic London vintage shop, Rellik. There are many design vintage pieces from the 80′s.

IMG_5442The lovely shop owner of a progressive clothing shop, Convenience.

Ahhh I so wish I had more time at the market and really dug into it. But a sweet half day of visit surely gave me a good idea of what I need to do better the next time. I really feel people in London are really friendly. More than the New Yorkers I have to say!  I have had many small mini chats with many peeps at shops, streets and the market, and they all seem so lovely.  So many people admired my tan from vacation in Puglia, Italy. You know how notorious London’s gloomy weather but we only had one short shower the last day at London so we were very lucky as I remember it rained quite a bit the last time. I forgot how incredible London is and it totally reminded me of Alexander McQueen Exhibition at Met in NY.  He absolutely loved and was always so proud of where he came from. Great London!

LOvE London!

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55 th Art Biennale Venice

LOVE ART.

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Listen and Buy Daft Punk : Random Access Memories Here.

GeTLoST!

IMG_7766Day 1 at Rose Bowl Flea, Pasadena, LA

Auwheee!  It has been So long that I have been at Rose Bowl Flea!!  Maybe almost good 8 years have passed by since the very first glorious visit to the market. Ahhh it was a hot beautiful day then with blazing sun on my back complaining at myself not thinking of bringing a tube of sun block with me. But this time around, it was quite chilly and cloudy only reaching up to 45 degrees. Only after 5 hours of sleep, Emi, Gael and myself hit the road to Pasadena munching on complimentary continental breakfast in the car to go (Chocolate Croissants and some coffee from Viceroy, Santa Monica). By the way, Viceroy Santa Monica was bit of disappointment after all for that whooping nightly rate they charged on us. ( Pls send me an email if you were planning to stay there and have any questions).  The market opens at 5:00 am with VIP admissions then regular admissions from 7:00 am till 4:30 pm for the last minute bargains. The market is HUGE with 6 colored areas. The white area across 2 small canals is where most of hard core vintage clothing lovers will be at and that is where you get to do most of people watching. And be ready to say ” Kawai and Ohaio”  to those well vintagely dressed Japanese friends popping everywhere!

IMG_7765We arrived right before 7:00 am and our admission costs $15.00  From 8:00 am and on, admission reduces down to $10.00.  12 years old and younger gets in for free.

IMG_7768The Rose Bowl Stadium itself. We pay a quick visit.

IMG_7791Welcome to Rose Bowl where Real Vintage Hippies exist.

IMG_7816Epitome of Men’s Vintage and Cool Gals: ARMY AND NAVY.  You go crazy here. Experiences like this truly sharpens your eyes to spot what is Really good Vintage or not.

IMG_7779Plus Turn of the Century ones. They are too good!

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IMG_7811Motorcycle is Huge here.

IMG_7808Dress comfy and casual to dig at Rose Bowl.

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IMG_7795Two things here. One, you need to have at least 1 breakfast Burrito when you are in Rose Bowl Flea. Two, all those tough denim and leather Rose Bowl girls.

IMG_7796Then real highlight of Rose Bowl this time was these Heavy weight Vintage Insiders and Dealers visiting Rose Bowl only a day after now the 4th annual event:  Japanese Vintage God Father Rin Tanaka’s Kulture Recycling Show, INSPIRATION LA in Long Beach, LA. Lots of Hand shaking, huddled groups deep in conversations, exclusive U haul trucks with highly collectible vintage items being dealt inside…  Then beautiful Japanese buyers completely decked out in Kapital denim pieces with all those Army jackets and Native American accessories.  How about sharp and stylish Italian buyers dealing all those sexy leather jackets… It truly felt like we were in a week of Grammy of Vintage in LA as we kept bumping into those insiders feeling lots of energy in town!

mf8coverweb1Here is the 8th edition I purchased of Rin Tanaka’s MyFReedamn! Book series. A great book that shows Tanaka’s wealth of Knowledge and love for Vintage Clothing, Motorcycles and Accessories. It’s a Great source for everything I do.  It’s inspiring and I really respect how far Tanaka had taken his love for the Vintage and it’s history. Rin Tanaka was born in 1970 in Japan.

IMG_7785Then here’s the owner and a crew of Irons and Duck.: An awesome Wear house full of Vintage and Vintage Inspired Industrial Design furniture and clothing.  They Fuel many of important design showrooms, retail places and residential homes in west coast.  Great guys with all the positive energy.  And I LOVE their about to shred to a string small yet well edited vintage clothing.

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IMG_7772Awesome collection of Vintage Iron Rail road nails. The number indicates what year the nail has been produced and used to repair or build the rail roads. They are beautiful.

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IMG_7803Serious buyers will come prepared with big bags. I had brought luggages on wheels!

IMG_7782We also browsed Home stuff and mid century modern. By the way, we saw very little of Mid century modern furniture at Rose Bowl.

IMG_7780Ever so getting popular NA and European Farm Crop Sacks ( for any end use).  The stripe indicates which farm the crops belong to.

IMG_7787Crop Sacks come to a Life in one way.

IMG_7831Day 2, we are hitting Abbot Kinney in Venice Beach Area. All the business opens at 11:00 am so we came to the Venice beach to stroll a bit and check out also the Canal area. ( it got little warmer! yay!)

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IMG_7853Ahhh We love Canals of Venice beach!  It’s so quiet and It’s Lovely! Sun is finally out and homes are cute. I am totally envious of beautiful palms, cactus and flowers… I want to have a home here!

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IMG_7875A lady on a surf board in canal. It feels so surreal to see such thing as I am from NY. This is Very LA.

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IMG_7906Ahhh I So want this tree!

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IMG_7929Gosh, they are Gorgeous.  I am in LOvE!!

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IMG_7900Keep Walking.

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IMG_7993After day 2 at Abbot Kinney and my favorite store in LA, Opening Ceremony in West Hollywood, here we are on Day 3 at Silver Lake. We are here for some breakfast and a few store visits.

IMG_7969Inside at Inteligentsia Coffee in Sunset Junction. I love cool Blue mosaic tiles against the rustic warm lighting.

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IMG_7979Here we are sitting at Cafe Stella the next door to Itelligentsia for some warm breakfast. LA has been chilly the whole time…!

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IMG_7971It’s a French place in Brooklyn sort of way in Spanish style architecture. It feels like home here.

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IMG_7983Warm pita on Soft eggs and Merguez.  SOOo delicious!

IMG_7988Entering a Cheese Shop the next door. A cutest little places here. Got some locally made Sea Salt Caramel bags for my design team back home here and they are delicious!

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IMG_8000Shop Lake. We had such little time before taking off to Airport and Shops open late in this area. But managed to hit a few good ones.

IMG_8005Lovely Wall paper.

IMG_8007The Last place we visited in LA. High Mart in Los Feliz.  A great airy space that offers Tranquility and quality.  Japanese owned and this place will take you right to Tokyo ( in Zen way).

Here’s my LA list:

Sunset Marquis

Lemonade Venice

Rose Bowl

Opening Ceremony

Katsuya

Abbot Kinney

Cafe Stella

Eams House

Mohawk General Store


And For the BEST COMPLETE GUIDE:

Unlike.net LA


IMG_6870Entrance to Design Miami, South Beach Miami.

This year’s visit to Miami Art Basel was our very first time and I must say I have really enjoyed all the lively Art scenes with back drop of beautiful Caribbean ocean and eye soaring envious palm trees.  It is much more relaxed and Sexier it gets than ones in NYC as quick breaks of peppered in beach hours and refreshing cocktails over the sunset talking about Arts with friends in your fresh outfit is just unbeatable good time and experiences.  The days get by,  you connect with more people in art and design world and all the choices and added extra interesting events throughout the day actually turned the slight sense of overwhelming that I had the first day I arrived to a Real Good Time.

Thanks to all of my Dear Friends who Work So Hard and Successful who added extra perks to meet up at their fabulous events for good meals and fun chats walking through all those art pieces and beautiful designs. I love you all and it was so lovely to spend time together during the Art Basel!

IMG_6589Our day 1 starts with PULSE.  Here Emi are I are to attend the VIP Opening Brunch. Now I think back, maybe this was the best event to start the whole experience with for me. More downtown and More approachable.

IMG_6585Pulse event is being held in Design District. Ton of great graffiti arts in the area are extra Bonus when you get to Design District.

IMG_6591Friendly entrance.

IMG_6692Loving the relaxed Great outdoor space and Low rise industrial building situation here. It is very much like a Brooklyn style actually.

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IMG_6618Not a real information booth. A part of Pulse Art installation.  I like to call it Ikea meets a dorm room.

IMG_6617… and the Artist’s note on the wall.

IMG_6626And I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS PIECE. A poster. Circa 1950′s. I want it.

IMG_6628Amazing drawing.

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IMG_6632Yes he moves. The biggest trend. Digital Art.

IMG_6633NYC 1974. Gorgeous photography by Daido Moriyama.

IMG_6644A lamp of All. And there’s a small motor built in which makes all those glass bottles move and hit each others making small sounds. It’s cute.

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IMG_6651Love this Piece.

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IMG_6654A curator’s Deck.

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IMG_6674Toilette paper rolls turn to art.

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IMG_6678Hallow hand blown glass breasts capturing moving images. Bit like Tim Berton version of Charlie and Willy Wonka. I love this! They are quite beautiful to look at.

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IMG_6716A few favorite moments at NADA

IMG_6715I would not compare Art Basel to a Fashion week really but there are some fun characters. It’s always fun to people watch.

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IMG_6721Standing is more fun.

IMG_6728The artist is known to hire the best of best taxidermists to create this elegantly odd yet amazingly beautiful new creatures. Guess how many birds and animals make this beauty.

IMG_6731Maybe one of the most beautiful thing I saw during the Basel.

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IMG_6755It feels like I am in HK!  Amazing view at Mandarin Oriental Hotel in downtown Miami. Emi and I came to see Beppe for an event he put together for Girard Perregaux.

IMG_6762Having a good time with my bare feet tucked in cool night sand.

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IMG_6771He says She says.

IMG_6777A cigar roller for the guests.

IMG_6873The second day at Design Miami. My favorite exhibit of all. I really loved this event the best.

IMG_6871Gigantic sausage like blown ups definitely catches eyes of all visitors and also offers cool breeze and shades.

IMG_6867Emi and Keith entering.  Keith is also one of event participants. Keith represents Moroso, a high end Italian design company.

IMG_6876Creme de la Creme of Mid Century Modern is All here from around the world in Design Miami. It’s impressive.

IMG_6879Not only what’s in it but also the booth the stage itself is beautiful design in general. Most prominent galleries around the world are presented.

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IMG_6884A Beautiful mirror.

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IMG_6903Joe Colombo Circa 1969. Amazing chair.

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IMG_6921Awesome legs. Always Good crazy, Gaetano Pesce.

IMG_6925All of these are actually being sold for outdoor use.

IMG_6931Audi booth.

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IMG_6944Guest speaker at Design Miami, Farrell.

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IMG_6955A view from the roof top of Dream hotel, Miami : Lords, South Beach. The facade usually in white was specially painted in Black plus all the decoration for the Art Basel week.  Great parties here.

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IMG_0872Now finally at Art Basel, Miami where everything started. Probably the same artist who did “Paradise” in Moca, Miami.

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IMG_0875Always Picasso.

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IMG_0880LOve this Piece.

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IMG_0887A real one is inside.

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Gorgeous Beach, Art, Design. A few days’ hang out in Miami Art Basel will refresh your longest winter days. Surprisingly well priced Tickets during the time and use Air BnB for swanky affordable pads to crash and even a little dip in a pool!

You will be pleasently surprise. And don’t forget hidden gem of Miami, North Beach for stays.

LOvE ArT!

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