Friday, May 28, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
I attended a good friend's going away party at Madame Geneva a couple of weeks ago. It was another instance where I thought: "How did I not know about this place?!?" It is a gorgeous bar. It's adjacent to and is by the people behind Double Crown next door. I believe both are designed and owned by AvroKo, the company behind Public. It's small, dark, cavernous and sexy. The kind of place you could imagine trysts would be happening at all hours of the night and any day of the week. The crowd did not look too young (a plus for me). I also love a bar with a good bar menu. This one is colonial Asian inspired and well done. I particularly liked the duck steamed buns (they are more like rolls). They were so delicious. As I sipped cocktails, devoured steamed buns and chatted with friends that night, I realized that I just found a new favourite spot.
Click on photos to see source
Monday, May 24, 2010
I took a blog break last week to spend time with my dad. He was visiting New York, New Jersey and Toronto from Manila. I asked my sister Caroline to take some portraits of him. It had been a while since either one of us took proper portraits of him. I was excited about what she would come up with given all the recent family photo restorations that I've been working on as well as conversations about family history.
During his visit to Toronto, my sisters took my dad to Mankind – a spa and barbershop just for men. I must mention that my dad is no stranger to spa treatments. He's what we might refer to nowadays as "metrosexual." Only I remember him getting facials back in the late 70s and 80s – long before the term was coined and before I really understood what facials were all about. All I knew is it was a form of grooming for the face.
I really love this portrait Caroline took. It was shot exclusively with natural light (which is totally amazing to me). My dad looks like he's part of the mob here (yet again!). The photo looks very cinematic. He looks quite intimidating and sombre here. Ironically, he's usually more of a jokester but you'd never know it looking at this photo.
Monday, May 17, 2010
I'm taking a blog break this week to hang out with my dad who is visiting from Manila. The weather is so lovely in New York. We're heading out shortly to take it in. I hope you have a great week!
Friday, May 14, 2010
I have below, the final waterfall necklaces this spring/summer season. I can't guarantee that I'll be getting more of these in the future. The colors I have available are the only ones shown here (quantities also indicated below). I wasn't able to get other requested colors following my previous post, unfortunately.
8-layer necklace: $50
2 - red
1 - black
3-layer necklace: $35
1 - red
1 - orange
1 - gold
tribal necklace with bells: $35
(I have a few of these)
I accept cash or Paypal only and can ship anywhere. First come, first served.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
The first time I came across these photographs, I was walking somewhere in Manhattan a couple of weeks or so ago. I remembered having to literally stop and stare. They are stunning (and large) images by artist Drew Tal. Last week at the AAF, I came across them again in the Emmanuel Fremin Gallery booth. I have little information about the artist and the intent behind these photos. But to me they speak of history in terms of it's fragile and precious nature and a desire to hold on to it. I see them, of course, as someone of two cultures and viewing both in high regard – and an earnest desire to not lose one for the sake of another.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Opening day at the reincarnated Limelight Marketplace seemed quite successful. I must point out that this piece of architecture, formerly a church, has gone through many lifetimes and identities. It's been several nightclubs/performance spaces – which has had, at times, a very dark history. Overall, I like what they've done with the space. Some of the retailers beautiful and interesting, some not so much. It's a tight space which is also maze-like in some corners. There are three levels and no elevators. We helped one of our clients set up the store and design print and press material (that's for another blog for a different day). It'll be interesting to see how it fares. The opening of Grimaldi's Pizza will be a welcome addition to the neighbourhood (and to Manhattan).
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
I was so taken by the work of French photographer, Mikael Lafontan at the Affordable Art Fair last week. His photos, primarily landscapes were large scale and possessed very high detail (using a large format camera). The mural like scale allows the viewer to appreciate all the tiny, sharp little details in the photographs. Breathtaking.
Check out his website to see more. Click on the photos to see enlarged versions.
Monday, May 10, 2010
My sister Caroline sent me this photograph last night of my sister Christine walking in Toronto with my dad. it had to be posted. My dad is currently visiting both our cities and family visits typically involve lot of photography. This one is just timeless. I love how womanly my youngest sister looks (she's nine years younger than me). My dad looks mafioso-like here. Where are they going? Is my sister packing a gun in that clutch? Is she being held against her will with a gun pointed at her back? This photo could have been taken in the 60s — if it weren't for the parka my dad is wearing (as well as the parked car).
These beautiful, monochromatic paintings are the work of artist Dan Gualdoni. I came across his work at this weekend's Affordable Art Fair (which as it turns out, isn't necessarily very affordable). Apparently, these paintings are done using printer's inks. I love these minimalist, sombre landscapes. I love the light quality and translucency in them. I'm drawn to the beautiful – almost urban – colour palettes. The paintings are all entitled "Fata Morgana" (and then numbered) which means 'mirage' in Italian. I appreciate seeing the loose, broad strokes. There's enough abstraction in each one which allows the viewer to create a personal interpretation. Nothing about these paintings feel overworked. I'm truly mesmerized.
Saturday, May 8, 2010
I recently took on the task of meticulously restoring old family photos, most of which have been damaged over the years. This portrait of my mother in the early 70s was no exception. It was drawn by my aunt Amelia (Mel) in pencil/charcoal. She definitely captured the likeness and essence of my mom here. I thought it would be a perfect homage to my mom for Mother's Day. I mean, how chic is her haircut? I must mention, too, that my mom ran a clothing company for women and children when I was young. She loved dressing us. My sister Caroline and I (before my youngest sister was born) were often her models (and fit models).
So for the woman who dressed me early in life, kicking off a lifelong love of clothes and fashion, Happy Mother's Day!
I don't see my mom too often since she lives in Manila. I love and miss her.
Happy Mother's Day to all moms out there :)
Friday, May 7, 2010
Last Saturday, I joined my friend Dave Pinter for opening day of the Red Hook Food Truck extravaganza. I had been hearing about the trucks for a few years but had yet to try. It was worth the wait (and the walk). So food trucks lined the street corner around Red Hook Park serving all manner of latin food. It cost $5 for this huge (and very tasty) beef huarache and $3 for fresh watermelon juice. There are picnic tables that line the edge of the park too, so you can enjoy the food like civilized human beings.
The day turned into an epic walk through Red Hook, Ikea and the waterfront. Lovely and quiet with a great view of, well, everything: Manhattan, Staten Island and New Jersey.
Go check it out. Tomorrow.
the (badass) juice truck
Dave's pork huarache and tamarind juice (so GOOD)
the incredible shrimp ceviche – I can still taste it, yum
Thursday, May 6, 2010
My aunt sent me home from New Jersey this weekend with calamansi fruits. I was thrilled just to get a whiff of it. I was so excited to bring some home with me. Calamansi is a small citrus fruit native to the Philppines and other south east Asian countries. It's the Philippine lemon, a citrus fruit. I'm more acquainted with the variety with the green skin but these smell and taste just like the green ones. If I were to describe the flavour and smell, it's as though honey was already mixed into the fruit. It is less acidic, milder than lemon. I love this stuff. I hope I can find more in Chinatown somewhere.
I was inspired to create a summery cocktail drink using calamansi – my first ever cocktail recipe. It's called Temptation Island. The name was suggested by my sister Caroline. She sent me a YouTube link for a 1980 cult Filipino film with the same name. Think LOST meets a telanovella – complete with catty girl fights on the beach, pretty boys and flamboyant gay men in tight pants . All spoken in taglish (tagalog and english hybrid) and shot on location on a "deserted" island. Hilarious. It was perfect. I kept the recipe simple to really allow the calamansi flavour to be the star. It's seriously delicious and refreshing. The perfect summer cocktail.
1 oz. (or more) cold sake: try Otokoyama
fresh squeezed calamansi, about 3 fruits per cocktail glass, plus one more to garnish
1 teaspoon organic coconut sugar* (cane sugar as an alternative)
Shaken or stirred
*organic coconut sugar (photo below) is made from coconut toddy. My mom sent it to me. I'm finding out if it's available in the U.S/Canada
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
It was great to spend time with my dad this weekend. He's visiting from Manila where he and my mom live. I came to stay at my uncle's house in New Jersey where my dad is staying. The charmless shopping mall and car culture of suburbia aside (not really my style), the "garden state" of New Jersey did have so much lush beauty to offer. Behind the cul-de-sac of monster homes was a small farm. I was enamored with the scenery and had to take photos. It was also heaven for Lexie to walk around without her leash and with her new best friend, sweet little Bella (my aunt and uncle's jack russell). The late afternoon sun broke through just after a whole day of rain and all the color came alive.