EMILIANO & JAEHEE
emiliano@lacasapark.com  917 406 2854
jaehee@lacasapark.com  917 373 1548
Take the C train to Clinton Washington | Map

Am I too old fashioned? Am I not cool enough? I always prefer to be on the rather local’s side. You know what? At the end, that’s a real smart deal. That’s how I see it. No need to completely stick to 100% local, but you want to see how people live and what they eat. They are who they are either it’s good or not to you.

Here, come and stroll with us the village of Tulum.
1966336

1951123

1951616My favorite cart of all in the entire village. The Chiapas’s ladies’ cart! They sell all hand done dolls, shirts, textiles and leather bags and more. Of course you see same or similar goods in more of store spaces, but the flair that this cart brings is so much more charming. I love it. They are beautiful and affordable.

By the way, the restaurant behind is a Argentinean steak house. They have impressive selection of meat. ( I did hear though all the meat are coming from Canada not from Argentina. But I do think they have quite good food including salad and pastas)

1969111

1971220

Their “chinturo”, the “belt” reminds of the “Obi” of Kimono. See, they all come together. By the way, lovely mom and 2 daughters.

1971968Hahaha, You know I had to try this one on me this time. This is a skirt from Chiapas of Mexico. Anything more “cultural” or “traditional” things you see in Tulum would be generally from Chiapas or Ohaka.  Some of the skirts are in wool and seriously hairy. The belt is also hand woven just as the skirt. So many people asked me if the necklace was from Tulum and no, it is not. I did buy it in NY Chelsea flea market 7 years ago. It became my staple thing to wear for the beaches.
1962496

By now, I have one of each of all these stuffed animals they make. They are absolutely AMAZING. The shapes, colors, expression of each. They are brilliant.

1950528

Under $10, 3 of us can have a big lunch here. Our favorite grilled chicken place in the village. Juicy and well seasoned! It comes with delicious fresh tomato & chili salsa, rice, simply chopped cabbage and warm tortilla. Try it. Good idea to take out and eat them on the beach!

1944000

1942720

I don’t know what happened to the bigger photo of this place. Anyway, fruit shop right near the municipal office. They have ugly yet delicious fruits. No preservatives here.

1939840Typical Mexican souvenir shop. There are many of these kind along the main street. Colorful hammocks, sheets, carpets, floral dresses, plates and more.
1946624

1958720

1972672

IMG_0455Yal-Ku Lagoon, Akumal, Mexico

It’s a hidden gem.  We realized not that many people know about this spot. The spot maybe the one of the most beautiful one on the Riviera Maya. We’ve traveled around quite a bit of Tahiti, Hawaii and Virgin Islands but Yal-Ku feels quite special from anywhere else. The perfect intimate size that does not feel too small to feel it crowded. The shallow water is silky and warm from the sun.  There are ton of beautiful fish that you would not expect to see in such a shallow water. It is absolutely crystal clear with softest white sand and pockets of chunks of limestone to attract all the fish you want to see. There is even a small piece of beach. Yal-ku is where clear salty water of Caribbean Ocean and the sweet fresh water of Yucatan peninsula meets.  It’s perfect.  I’ll call it a little paradise!

IMG_0488It feels like you are invited to a small private snorkeling party here. It’s a perfect spot to go with your kids, nieces and nephews or hang with your best friends. You can explore the water or park yourself somewhere and just read and sunbath.  It’s quiet and lovely. Everyone behaves here. Maybe because the Lagoon guides you to do so…

IMG_0454

IMG_0458

IMG_0470Gael really had well learnt swimming and snorkeling. I couldn’t  swim until the 4th grade. What a wimp I was! I missed out so much fun thinking back. I mean look at him he does so much!!!  We have met a wonderful family Bork this trip. The owner of Posada Yum Kin where we like to stay often in Tulum village. Owner Dan and BV’s 2 amazing kids, Sam and Andrew were down in Tulum , so Gael had the blast with them!  The 3 little gangs below snorkeling together. 3 of them can rock the world!

IMG_0483Sam, Gael and Andrew looking for a Barracuda! ha-ha!!

IMG_0559This pic is only taken by me standing outside of the water. The Yal-ku lagoon is sort of a natural aquarium.

IMG_0511The mangrove island.

IMG_0504

IMG_0541

IMG_0515

IMG_0552

IMG_0551

IMG_0518

IMG_0530

IMG_0568Peaceful Yal-Ku end of the day. So gorgeous , isn’t it…?  Perfect natural pool with ton of beautiful fish in nice shallow water….  Wooo. I want it!!

IMG_0594

IMG_0588

IMG_0585

IMG_0581

IMG_0494Yalk -Ku is raw and well kept it that way.  No sunblock is allowed and a tee shirt is encouraged!  It opens everyday 8:00-5:30. Adult $9.00. Kid $6.00. 25Km from Tulum.  Go have fun, relax, sun bath and don’t forget to respect what the nature offers us!

IMG_7063

IMG_7558

IMG_7541

IMG_7112

IMG_7354

IMG_7127

IMG_7263

IMG_7487

IMG_7490

IMG_7481

IMG_7458

IMG_7576

IMG_7577

IMG_7282

IMG_7273

IMG_7301

IMG_7305

IMG_7280

IMG_7324

IMG_7311

IMG_7322

IMG_7271

IMG_7101

IMG_7097

IMG_7106

IMG_7135

IMG_7048

IMG_7050

IMG_7062

IMG_7553

IMG_7082

IMG_7111

IMG_7110

IMG_7605

IMG_7622

IMG_7552

IMG_7608

IMG_7387

IMG_7382

IMG_7384

IMG_7213

IMG_7215

IMG_7150

IMG_7153

IMG_7544

IMG_7067

IMG_7073

IMG_7074

IMG_7511

IMG_7570

IMG_7247

IMG_7603

IMG_7596

IMG_7422

IMG_7201

IMG_7204

IMG_7619

IMG_7064

IMG_7512

IMG_7533

IMG_7519

IMG_7591

IMG_7818Quick drawing and Water coloring.  Zazilkin beach.

IMG_7944

IMG_7821Take out Ceviche on the beach from El Camello ( the best in town)

IMG_7824Twinkle moment with Gael and Sun.

IMG_0009

IMG_7891

IMG_8178

IMG_7941

IMG_7876

IMG_7872

IMG_7884

IMG_7883

IMG_7863

IMG_7865

IMG_7950The Kitchen at Mateo’s.

IMG_7779Pollo con Cille y Paprica verde in Horno at La Onda.

IMG_7885New Year’s Eve, Tulum Style.

IMG_7790Topes!

IMG_8011

IMG_7977

IMG_8160

IMG_0960

IMG_0966

IMG_6874

Feliz Ano Nuevo!

Viva Tulum!

IMG_0061

We thought of so many other places for our last minute decision to leave the town for Christmas and New year’s. Nicaragua..? Brazil, Chiapas, Guatemala, somewhere warm and a place we haven’t visited.  Honestly the last minute tickets were impressively expensive and we decided to turn to Tulum again where it feels like home and now we even have  local friends we keep in touch.  But we will be adding a nice twist to this trip!  Such adventurers as we are even including Gael, the normal Tulum visit is never the same for us by exploring different parts of Tulum and the surrounding towns and nature, but this time we would like to do something also very much cultural by visiting Merida ( 300km from Tulum toward the west) , the capital of Yucatan peninsula where Tulum is resting.  Also I am patiently anticipating to experience some sort of event as religious or traditional performance specially designed for Christmas time in Merida and we are also super excite to stay in one of colonial homes of  the town and also to do ” Hacienda Hopping” in and out of area of  Merida.  ( There are countless numbers of traditional Haciendas in this area and we are about go visit a few prominent ones that will take our breath away!  I would be sure a Christmas gift for us!)

On Tuesday, arrived at Min’s ( A friend and a owner of Villas H2O Living and Pro diving in Village of Tulum) and it’s lovely to see her and the business partner and the pro diver Marco again. We chatted over a bottle of chilled prosecco as soon as we arrived at their nice and modern bed and breakfast. The next evening, we go for a easy dinner in town and Edgar ( at Coldwell bankers) pops out from a Boulangerie in village spotting us in the car to say hi. I see him hurt his hands and it concerns me and also it’s so nice to see him again.  It is so lovely to see people here in Tulum again. The nice guy at El Tabano ( our favorite restaurant) says ” Hi ” to us. He literally recognise us by reading our blogs. Ha!  It’s a great feeling and it feels home being in Tulum again.

The small bodegas, the cloud, the quiet ocean and clear breeze, beautiful palms, hippies on the beach, bicycle riders, cabanas, the sugared doughnuts at the Tulum supermarket, the supermarket helpers, the sun and Casarosas back here again…. It’s all great familiar faces and it all feels like home again!

IMG_0065

IMG_0067

IMG_0088

IMG_0091

IMG_0126

IMG_0121

IMG_0131

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.

IMG_4769Heyri 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.

962944Last year Art Biennale Venezia, Italy

1059904A local wine shop. Bring your empty bottle, they will fill it up! Italy

71296Typical early morning scene in Livorno. They read Newspapers and chat with friends for couple hours in early morning feet in the fresh ocean water.

IMG_0725Typical light filled Tuscan scene.

139328Last year in Paris for our 10 year anniversary.

IMG_0660Champs Elysees

IMG_0320

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!

All hand made and embossed, these leather bags from Chiapas are amazing. You can find them easily in Tulum now, but imagine in Chiapas? Hmmm ,I think it is the time to plan our next trip to Chiapas as much as we anticipate to be there and heard so many good things about the place. I may have to bring a container to fill up with all these beautiful textile and objects.

I especially dig the easy slip through hand carved wooden pin closure. They come in million shapes and sizes with all different embossed motifs. These are perfect little rustic flair that you should mix in with something more modern. Throw a curve ball to your Spring outfits!

IMG_8458

IMG_8460

IMG_8463

IMG_8488

IMG_8491

IMG_8462

IMG_8496

IMG_8465

IMG_8487
IMG_8464

IMG_8461

Edgar is our main contact for our interest in real estate in Tulum. The more we travel the more interesting people we meet. We meet we talk we share. From Mexico city to Tulum changing his life yet growing bigger dream to build a top notch artist, sound and photo studio in the middle of jungle of  Tulum.  Meet our new friend, Edgar and his Sound Design for Hasta Los Huesos!

Edgar says, “Well, Hasta los Huesos is a 9 minute short film that took 2 years and a half to finish it, you know, everything was sponsored, materials, film, and everybody’s work. About 80% of the sound design was made specifically for this short and the other 20% was from sound libraries. It took me almost 4 months to do the 9 minutes, and mix it in THX.
I remember playing 64 tracks at the same time, it was awesome! The music was done by the best Mexican rock band called Cafe Tacuba. The animation is in stop motion which is frame by frame, and the director is Rene Castillo from Guadalajara.”

Long chatting and long night over the bottles of wine with Edgar and Jorje at Edgar’s home. Great place and great time!

IMG_8798

IMG_8783

IMG_8786

IMG_8804

IMG_8803

IMG_8762Edgar, Thank you for having us. Gracias por la tua Hospitalidad!! Keep building your sound and dream!

On a way to Valladolid, we stopped by at a couple of Mayan souvenir shops on the road. You know how usual Souvenir shops are… but one really stood out from others and quite inviting. Airy, looking more interesting somehow.

Yeah!  Pretty much I felt like I hit the Jack Pot! Beautiful rustic traditional terracotta potteries, home made Pinata in work hanging from the ceiling, beautiful rich garden and the most graceful Mayan owners of the place. ( by the way this place does not have a name…)

IMG_8832Hand made,12 hour baked then decorated Mexican traditional terracotta potteries. We got one of this mega size ones for the holidays and dinners with friends: you  can do so called ” Cazuela” , the one big pot dish baked or simmered with broth in the oven. They come in all different sizes and shapes. They also come in as small plates and bowls. You can cook food in these terracotta pots on the stove top or inside oven. The secret to use it for the first time is to rub the bottom where the flame will hit with Garlic, which suppose to help not to penetrate the odor or the flavor of the flame through the pottery.

IMG_8835

IMG_8837Then, while  I was taking pics of these poterries, I couldn’t ignore interesting looking outdoor kitchen behind through the camera lense: a man cooking something on the wood chip fire pit. He was cleaning chilli peppers and checking on something time to time…

IMG_8840

IMG_8842

I walked up to him and said with my broken Spanish that I really loved his Kitchen. Then That was it! I met Don Diego. The owner of the shop and a proud man of the family with beautiful wife and life he built where he is now with his gorgeous crib and a lush jungle like garden!

IMG_8861

IMG_8854Wow , Check this out. His Paella! and black beans getting socked for his home made tortillas. This man knows how to cook! He told me he was waiting for his companies to arrive to have lunch together. In my head… “Don Diego , Can you please invite us to join you? I’m dying to taste them!”

IMG_8855

IMG_8856Serrano chilli. Don Diego’s hand holding it.

IMG_8866

Then he wanted to give all of us a tour of his beautiful lush garden and the house he built. And they are gorgeous!

IMG_8877

IMG_8870

IMG_8869

IMG_8882

IMG_8829

IMG_8830

Below are the Pinatas in progress: drying up hanging from the ceiling.. I must say I much prefer this newspapered simple sphere ones. They are somewhat Modern and cool. They look almost like an Art installation.

IMG_8843

IMG_8844

IMG_8887Don Diego greeting his just arrived guests. (mmm Yum!!)

Don Diego, Thank you for the wonderful tour and your graceful authority and pride you shared with us. For your land, for your family and as a man yourself.  You just made our trip that much more special!

I had written up a small blog about Coqui Coqui, Tulum from our last trip in December ( You can “search” our blog page on the left top corner). I do think most of you already know about this place.  At least many New Yorkers would since many of us come down to Tulum.  Emi has been telling me we should check out Coqui Coqui in Valladolid this time, so we did. Boy! What a place they have!!  An exquisite perfumery carrying through their passion and love for the life with style and 1 drop dead gorgeous room with a balcony up for your swanky stay.

Here, feed your eyes with beauty of Coqui Coqui at Valladolid.

From the top: the entrance, reception area with Perfumery ( by the way this place well reminded me of Merci in Paris and Darr and Butter in Brooklyn), connecting entrance from the perfumery to the clothing and jewelery shop, the shop carries well edited local textile, hats and others, the view to the perfumery from the garden, the 1 and only room for rent; ahhhh I love it!, the terrace, the view to the street from the terrace, a little cafe and the lush garden with a pool.

IMG_9121

IMG_9105

IMG_9108

IMG_9110

IMG_9104

IMG_9103

IMG_9113

IMG_9102

IMG_9100

IMG_9090

IMG_9091

IMG_9092

IMG_9094

IMG_9096

IMG_9098

IMG_9097

keep looking »