Her Posters are everywhere in NYC. Her fabulous bangs and oddly wild dotted outfit that blends into the back ground tells you ” Enough said “. You have to go see her. There is a long line waiting to get into Whitney is impressive. It’s handsome crowd gathering. Everyone seems bit nervous and excite. and Me too! I can’t wait to be in!!!
Doesn’t she look here like Edna in that animated film, ” Incredibles” ?
In the lobby. Awwww, Exciting!
I followed the big balloons and it leads me to the restaurant downstairs. I want this situation at my house!
I am dressed for Ms.Yayoi Kusama. Huge respect.
Going back to Lobby to see Fireflies on the water! I am starting YAYOI KUSAMA!
Only one person at a time is allowed in the room of Fireflies on the water. And you must make an reservation to get a ” Timed ticket” at the ticket desk on the day of visit. Each visitor gets to have 1 full minute per visit.
Thank you Whitney for such a Fab walking guide!
Photos are NOT allowed in the museum so I am about to share many images from the book, “KUSAMA” published by Rizzoli that I purchased at the Museum. Rizzoli edition actually better captures the Exibition at Whitney than Whitney’s own publication.
One of early paintings.
Kusama in her studio, early years. I absolutely loved all the old pics of the artist at the exhibition!!! And her sketch books. To die for….!
She has done series of Pieces working with Fabric, stuffing, shapes, repetition…. This is called ” Cloud”. This covers about good 300 sqft of surface on the floor.
These collection of Stuffed and painted canvas fabric fills up about 800 sqft of room. And it’s up to good 4 foot tall.
There were series of this Typography based posters of Kusama’s Arty parties in 60′s. They make me go crazy. I adore these.
57th street, 5th avenue. Louis Vuitton is an official supporter of this exhibition and also had collaborated ” INFINITELY” collection.
LOvE ArT LOvE FaShiOn LOvE dOtS!
YAYOI KUSMA ends on September 30th. Do not miss it.
Emi’s dear nephew Denny’s visiting us from Italy for about 2 and a half weeks. He has just arrived in time for his 24th birthday! I can’t believe our little Denny I met 18 years ago ( then 6!) is now all grown up handsomely with a great job as well! It’s always nice to have Denny at our home and it’s just really nice to have your family visit from oversea when especially we are the only ones away from home. Before Denny arrived we had a few things in our mind to do together with him and for sure we knew where to take Denny for his big 24th birthday.
Robataya on the 9th street in East village!
I have been eyeing on this place since the last James Blake concert Heidi and I went near the restaurant. We were looking for an easy quick dinner before the show and ended up walking into little Japan area that is happening around the 9th street. I was pleasantly surprised to see quite a few cute Japanese restaurants and tea houses on one single block. It quickly brought me fun memories from my numerous trips to Tokyo! Bit small and tucked in… A hole on the wall… A little place on the second floor somewhere selling delicious food and drinks…
Robataya is bit fancier than any other ones on the block. The concept of Robataya is not something too up-scaled or so unique as Robatayaki ( Japanese grilling) in Japan is sort of common street food or hearty quick bar food, but this particular one in East village sure scores higher note on the beautiful setting of their Grill bar consisting of wood banquets and chairs that mimics the setting of an open market. The setting is grand but also intimate enough to enjoy the company of rest of the customers sitting at the bar. There’s this sense of “Togetherness” sitting around watching and admiring 2 master chefs’ well skilled clean cooking as a center focus. I really like this.
It’s very common to order directly to the chef as normally the grill bar scale is smaller and also customers sit closer to the chef. Think Sushi Bars. But at Robataya, there are a couple waiters will assist you. I think they wanted to make this easier for both the chefs and the customers and it felt definitely more up-scaled. The guy with a head wrap was one of them.
Our cool 2 chefs for the night. The chef on the left cooked all the dishes we had. The wooden panel in front of him displays his proud name.
I must say watching chefs’ moves at this Robataya is quite entertaining. They don’t put up any sort of show but their whole cooking and getting things are just very interesting! As you can see most of ingredients for any grilling is displayed in front of chefs and it’s sure an eye candy.
Chefs serve the finished dishes and beer bottles to customers at the bar on that long wooden stick with flat tray at the end. Can you see it…? One guy grabbing a beer bottle off the wooden stick!
This is THE SLAT Robataya uses for all their cooking. DELICIOUS!!! Anything you eat you can really taste the deep flavor of this real good salt. I think good salt does the half of the job for any cooking! Maldon from England is also my favorite!
So we were seated in front of Mushroom area and we had tasted 2 kinds. The super big one ( no it’s not porcini) and the little ones on the front on the right side. Sorry didn’t get all the names…
Kobe Beef. Yes it was tender!
Also we had ordered fried oysters in a graded radish sauce. It was bit odd I must admit.
Here comes another pass of beer bottle from the chef!
2 and a half of handsome generations! From left Denny the birthday boy, Gael the lucky one and my man, Emiliano!
Happy birthday to you, Denny again! We love you Denny!!
This is what we had for the night: Snow crab dumplings in clear broth, fried oysters in graded radish sauce, 2 kinds of grilled mushrooms and fresh lemon squeeze, repeat the mushroom because it was so good! Grilled yam with butter, grilled Kobe beef, duck and lamb, simmered pork belly in soy and ginger, simmered short rib in clear broth and chunk of radish, roasted rice balls in 2 ways: one with miso and the other one with soy sauce ( soooo goooddd!), lots of beer for guys and Junmai Ginjo for me the whole time.
Check it out! You will love it!
Regardless you are Japanese or not, many NYC peeps were there to support to raise every dime to help Japan’s Tsunami relief. Union Square, NYC.
Last weekend, Emi was busy working with Beppe shooting Alegri’s Spring Campaign. So it meant a day date with Gael for me!
We were at the Union Square movie theater to see Johnny Depp’s Rango ( quite surreal for the 7 year old boy! ) then strolled through Union Square farmer’s market ( spring branches, tulips and all) and not to forget to donate for Japan’s Tsumani relief, then quick yummy Korean lunch at Manna! It was bit windy but beautiful as sun was shinning and quite lovely to have a small walk down to Soho. We also checked out great Prada store on Broadway as I wanted Gael to know ” What a great shop means” pointing out at amazing murals in the store, the fab transparent cylinder shaped elevator, fabulous Spring 11 line of acid Bananas and Monkeys that takes you back to the 70′s swanky sea side Castiglioncello or Porto Fino in Italy ( just imagine Sofia Lauren and Marcelo Mastroianni sipping on chilled campari preferably listening to her own song ” Soldi Soldi Soldi from Boccaccio 70″ despite their kicking Super modern Spring Campaign… And the fab custom jeweleries in bright colored resins of everything you can or cant imagine!! KidRobot is always a must stop as Gael just absolutely loves the place and he gets to pick a small something. Then stop at the corner of Prince street to watch a street band singing Motown songs as munching on pretzels then the last stop at Pearl river! When was the last time I was at the Pear River?!! As much as I love nick nacks and all that chachkis, Pearl river can absolutely satisfy you on a dime! Hopefully Pearl river will never close down as my beloved Canal Jean has long gone from Soho since when…? Ahhh I ssssso miss my Canal Jean filled with the best everything from vintage army pants to $10.00 wool coats! Hip. Cheap. And understated Massive Hit! I just found out that Canal Jean had re opened up on Nostrand Avenue in Brooklyn, so I must check it out and I hope it will not disappoint me… Anyway, it’s always a big fun to walk around and do “me and Gael thing two of us together” in the city. Go shopping, movies on a shared kids’ package, street food, fancy shops, spoil him a little with sepecial purchase then stop and watch oh so amazing break dancers on the street of NYC. And what else… oh and just chatting and catching up hand in hand and it just feels so right to spend some descent time with my little cool son on the weekend… Love you Gael and love you NYC!!!
And… the pics!
Proud Gael after a small donation for Japan.
Beautiful colors of bundles of hanging wool yarns.
Is spring here yet…????
Gael inside the Prada store, Soho.
Prada Spring 11 !
The absolute reason why you love NYC! Prince street.
At the shop, KidRobot, Soho.
And the NYC babes.
A street band, Soho.
MAC meets Wonder Woman, Spring street.
And… Mommy and Gael… Cheeeeese!
From the Top: “Midtown” in Ropponghi, Wig haired dogs at Opening Ceremony in Shibuya, Covered grand piano store fixtures at Martin Margiela at Harajuku, Sho Bun Japanese Restaurant at Grand Hyatt, Ropponghi, Lunch box at Sho Bun below.
Polka dot Tees at Harajuku, Lovely Organic clothing shop “kurai” at Harajuku, Fusion organic Restaurant “House” at Ropponghi with Jane and Cynthia, Multi Bike Seat chair at ” Beams’ Boys”, Shibuya, below.
Train to Shimo Kitajawa and Stroll around the town. Shimo Kitajawa is a kind of Williamsburg of Brooklyn. Maybe just safer. Ton of vintage shops and hipster and hippie stores. North side is bit quieter than the south side with less bars and restaurants but more clothing stores. Low rises and residential.
The last pic is the infamous intersection of Shibuya station.
The store front. Actually more Paris than Tokyo but it got that funky vibe of Tokyo. www.restir.com Restir Midtown 9-7-4 Akasaka, Minato -ku
The ground floor: It feels like a Surreal night club in a very nice way.
After the club scene like entrance/ground floor, the staircase with cool light fixture leads you to the upstairs where there are cutting edge assortment of both Men’s and Women’s wear.
Great men’s wear selection from McQueen to Marc Jacobs along ton of progressive jeweleries and accessories.
Cool shoes, Ha?
A line of Vionette was at the shop. I have not seen Vionette for a longest time. I was pleasantly surprised! A beautiful dress with amaizing bead work. Quite modern too.
Check out Restir if you are in Tokyo. It’s very different from Typical Tokyo shops.
Leaving tired Daniel back in hotel, I’m out for small dinner myself. I really haven’t walked around Shibuya at night so I went for a walk and it’s right near the hotel. The night is a new day for Tokyo! My my, the outfit gets funkier and more kids are out and about in groups and ton of restaurant and bar peeps out to catch some more customers standing in the middle of the streets explaining their menus. I walk and walk and found this tiny Ramen place and I just feel from my bottom of the feet that this place will serve delicious ramen!
A friendly waitress offers to make a pic of me selecting my ramen for the night! Many small restaurants in Japan will have this Vending machine looking cashier by the entrance. You pick a meal and insert the money, get your change then the kitchen will serve your meal. I guess one way to reduce the head account to deal with payment and control the cash been stolen by the workers? Anyway, I pick Miso broth ramen with pork meat! 850 yen which is about $10.00.
Sitting down… like many small places in Tokyo, this Ramen house is also an open kitchen. Simple and cozy. I love it!!
Chef working on my Ramen soup. I hear something sizzling here… Yum!!
Check this out!!! The rich and delicious miso broth with soft Bamboo shoots, soft boiled egg, fresh bean sprouts, chopped scallion and single yet generous portion of sliced pork meat. This has been absolutely most delicious Ramen I had so far from anywhere. The noodle is just perfect with good bites and body. Heaven~!!!!
Now I know where to be when I ‘m alone and late night in Shibuya. That would be this Ramen house Aji Gen behind the Parco department store tucked in among other many little places.
My Friendly waitress writes down the name of this Ramen house. No business card here…
I’ll be back Aji Gen!! Thank you for the Company with delicious Ramen!
After the temple, I decided to have early lunch here in Asakusa rather than in the heart of Tokyo. I figured it would be much more interesting to have lunch here in Asakusa. There are many little streets with low rise house like places in the area. Shave ice places, Soba houses, knife stores, textile houses, kimono shops, tea houses, paper shops and much more! There are many interesting traditional looking places here in Asakusa. I started to stroll a bit to find a perfect spot for my little lunch here!
OK, At the end I decided to go to this lovely place below for “Kamamesh: An individual rice pot with various ingredients that you can choose from their offer. I eyed on this place earlier. My ‘ Travel Instinct’ was smelling it again. ” You know what? This place will be great!”
A jack pot for me!! A beautiful lady and two gentlemen gracefully dressed in lovely hue of Grey Kimono lively greet me. ” Irrat -shiamase!! ( Welcome!) Yes, I’m in a right place and I already know the lunch will be fab!
Here the menu describing what I am having, Kamameshi!! I just started trying Sea Urchin. In Japan and Korea both Sea urchin is very popular and it is considered as delicacy. I never liked how it looked but I tried one day on a bed of fresh cucumber with shiso leaf and I really loved it. The texture was actually nice. Not too mush or slimy as I always imagined. It has the flavor of fresh ocean and natural sweetness. Now I really like it! So I order the Sea Urchin pot!
Everything is made to order, So I wait for good 20 minutes: 20 minutes for rice gets cooked to a perfection in this small individual pot with nice and chunk wooden top. This is truly “Slow Food”. Pre-cooked Pasta? Forget about it!
As I open the wooden top, I smell the aroma of sweet Sea Urchin and comforting rice all mixed happily and that subtle smell of sake! Ahhhhhh, This is going to be ammmaaaazing!
Oh My God! I only had a little bite and it is absolutely delicious! The rice is perfectly seasoned in broth. It’s not too hard or over cooked. I just know the Sea Urchin is the top of the quality. And simple hearty miso soup to go with. Deliciousness wraps around my head and body and I feel wooed by it…!
Hahahaha, look at my busy hands!! hihi.. By the way, in between while you are eating, you want to cover the pot with the wooden top.
Good to the last piece. Yum Yum Yum!!! The meal was about $20.00 including miso soup and japanese pickles. So worth it! There are many amazing restaurants in Asakusa that have more of traditional attitude. You will really love it!
Walking back to main road to catch a taxi to head out to Ebisu to stop by at store Capital, and I keep finding more amazing sights here. Below is a family run traditional rice cracker place. They ‘Hand’ grill each rice patty on the charcoal grills using chop sticks. I see Grandpa, Grandma, Son and everyone here. It almost looked like a movie set. This shop is more than 100 years old.
The name of the shop. Hmmm I can’t really read this one…
Bye Bye Asakusa, Thank you for lovely morning and the lunch! I’ll be back!!!
Wow, the last time I was here in Asakusa was 10 years ago with Emiliano. Then I was 10 pounds lighter with big afro and Emi had big mustache and it was our first time to Tokyo together. I decided to re visit the Temple and fun alley filled and lined up with Japan’s traditional snacks, restaurants and souvenir shops! Daniel is off to Tennis match so I’m off to Asakusa on Early Sunday morning, the perfect thing to do before all the shops are open in Tokyo. The temple’s open to public from 6:00 am and the alley is open from 8:00 am.
20 minutes from Shibuya by car or maybe 10 minutes by Subway, The Asakusa is a perfect place to visit if you need a quick fix of good old Tokyo. Ladies with Kimonos are everywhere and also there’s a beautiful temple called ” Sensouji”, which was built 1300 years ago. Two fishermen caught the Kannon statue in their fishing nest in the Sumida River in Tokyo then and this was the genesis of Sensouji temple. Now the temple attracts thousands of people daily.
The perfect scene greets me! Me getting out of the taxi.. Love the driver’s outfit! Below the drivers are waiting to hitch some riders. See the split toe shoes were NOT invented by Martin Margiela! They wear two different heights. One right below the knee and one up to the ankle. The closure is hook and bar. Cool, ha?
The entrance to the Alley. You will walk through all the shops and snacks then it will lead you to the Temple. The fun begins here!
Bean snack shop and Keda Shop. Keda goes up to many hundreds of dollars! I love the last one I am holding. It reminds me of Vivianne Westwood’s Geisha shoe collection with wooden platform.
Kibi-Dango: millet and sticky rice ball with sweet syrup or the black sesame. These are delicious! Below are Mocci with Sweet red bean inside…
Chopsticks and more chopsticks. They are so pretty…
“Osenbe”, the rice crackers. The good thing to come here to buy them is that they are made in the spot and you can taste warm and fresh of everything!
It was early morning, so some of the shops have not opened up yet and the store front is just pretty as Asakusa. You know the “Sakura”, cherry blossom is the flower of Japan.
There are many fan shops on the alley and also side little streets. They go from $10.00 each to hundresds of dollars depends on what’s involved and who made them and so on. You will see many many folks in Japan still use the fans on the street. I mean you need it. How hot is here now?!!!
This is kind of a Japanese waffle maker except that is a more like a cake form with sweet red beans inside. The shape usually comes as gold fish but this looks more like square..!?
Finally made to the entrance to the temple! It was getting packed with visitors!
So, You know what this is? These are the fortunes of visitors! Here I show you what you need to get your fortune read! The first fortune was not fabulous for me so I tried for the second one and the second one wasn’t all that good either, but when I tied my OK fortunes to this metal bar, I realized that I was overcoming my almost misfortune by letting it go from me. I felt much relived and good about it!
This is the fortune box with thousands of small drawers containing millions of fortunes. Pay 100 yen first.
Then grab and shake well this box where contains wood sticks that just look like chopsticks. Each stick has number written on it and you will go to that drawer that matches the same number on the wood stick.
Here me grabbing one stick out of little hole. What’s my fortune number..!!! It’s…. number SIX!!!
Like I said earlier, Don’t get caught up on your fortune. I felt good leaving my fortune tied to this metal bar here. I felt I overcome whatever that was.
Now it’s time to pray and get blessed. Let’s go get some incense.
Praying for everyone and everything. Yes You! For you too! And the smoke of incense will bless you. I inhaled it too! I feel much blessed…
Getting inside of Temple. You know it’s Sunday morning and there are lots of people here. It would have been much more tranquil during the week day, but hey I’m squeezing Asakusa for a good break from on going shopping in steamy Tokyo. The fresco on the ceiling below…
Hustle bustle coming through…!
More praying and wishing and asking for forgiving…. I go for this one too! Either that is at the church or the temple, I think it’s all on the same human behaviors… Interesting… Isn’t it?
Leaving the temple and walking down on a quite street, many things cross my mind. Mom, dad, brother, Emi, Gael, Suzy, Mom in law, Dad in law, Beppe, Dani, Tania, Tamara, grandma, Yoonhee, aunt, uncle, family at work, work, boss, friends, myself and my and our life together… It was a short visit all worth to do. Next time you are in Tokyo, you must visit the temple in Asakusa and the alley to the temple. You will love it for lively old traditional Tokyo and also little time for yourself and your loved ones…
Ahhhh, It has been Sooo hot in Tokyo! My my my! Steamy too. Tokyo seems handling this hot weather just fine with their crazy fashion. I saw a girl with Arm warmer sort of thing too. There are many couples and friends dress alike here with ton of layers. These pink ladies have even fur minis and wigs on! I guess anything is possible in Tokyo…?! Enjoy some eye candies from the streets of Tokyo!
Some travel moments here…
Early morning Tulum Beach in February this year.
Emiliano and Gael just got tickets to Italy for 6 weeks over July and August, and the end of July, myself will be in Asia visiting Seoul, HK and Tokyo then back to NY for 2 days and off to join the boys and family in Italy for about 2 weeks. It would be super fantastic to see my mother, dad and cousin and bit excited to explore my new favorite city, Seoul again. Asia gets Always hectic since I’m usually there for the work first, but I’ll try to squeeze in some personal time for the weekend with family. I was watching the “Bizarre Food” on the Travel channel the other day. Andrew Zimmern shares all the bizarre food and crazy fun traveling the world. And on boy its was Tokyo this time talking about pig’s guts and heart that new hip generation enjoys eating! I thought it was quite interesting. I like to stroll through also different areas of Tokyo this time. Should I try On Sen? The theme restaurant like ” Alcatraz” looks quite crazy! It would be nice to re visit a temple at Asakusa in Tokyo.
Heyri Art Valley, South Korea.
Check out one of blog about Sam chung dong , Seoul http://www.lacasapark.com/la/2009/12/a-beauty-samchung-dong-1-seoul-korea/
Yearly trip to Italy has always good balance of knowing what’s coming and not knowing what else is coming. The family, feast, the ocean and friends are what I know then there are always other possibilities that we may stumble into spontaneously! A dance party at a Castle or quick visit to other city in Europe? All is good surprise and recharging time for us and a chance to oil our ( Gael and Me) Italian to be more current and be fine tuned.
Last year Art Biennale Venezia, Italy
A local wine shop. Bring your empty bottle, they will fill it up! Italy
Typical early morning scene in Livorno. They read Newspapers and chat with friends for couple hours in early morning feet in the fresh ocean water.
Typical light filled Tuscan scene.
Last year in Paris for our 10 year anniversary.
Visit to Berlin with Kelly early this year.
Anyway,, Some flash back photos here but the point is it;s that time again!! There is this work I like to explore that only down side is that no time travel ALL the time. Brazil, Spain, Iceland, Sydney, back to Berlin and eveywhere else…
If I could just travel and take photos, now That would be my ideal life!