Saturday, December 04, 2004

"Buying" with the Heart...

After much encouragement from Just James to write about my experience at Woodburry, I decided to go ahead and blog about it and stop caring how others will perceive me...and so I will... Posted by Hello

Rem Koolhaas' and Harvard GSD's guide to "shopping" argues that shopping is everywhere stating "Shopping is the medium by which the market has solidified its grip on our spaces, buildings, cities, activities, and lives."...yes shopping has definitely infiltrated our urban spaces, public spaces and has become a dominant form of leisure activity along with the invention of the first Paris arcade in 1786 and the advent of fixed pricing in 1824...shopping has therefore become a passive activity that takes place in a highly controlled artificial environment, like the shoppings malls of Victor Gruen...So being fully aware of my surroundings and the current conditions of urban life, I think that critiquing it is one thing, but being one who lives amidst this cultural phenomenon, is quite different...and maybe the experience of buying is not so passive afterall...maybe it's time to just accept things as they are, and perhaps the act of shopping does not have to be associated with guilty pleasures...
Thursday morning, my brother and I left New York city behind us for a day of "walking around" at the Woodburry Common Outlet...we drove there with his rented Mazda through the desolate landscape of forests surrounding the freeway...the scenic view was refreshing for me, I guess it is still possible to get sick of New York city from time to time...
After an hour and a half we arrive and stop by "Thyme to Eat" for some brunch, they make there grilled burgers the same way as the Hamilton Deli near school...looking out the window of the restaurant, the outlet looked rather absurd...it was a compound made up of individual buildings that look like suburban houses...who could guess that within this "surburbia-like" shopping outlet would dwell such celebrities of the fashion world as Celine, Prada, Fendi, Versace, Bottega Venetta, Tod's, Escada, YSL, Frette, Etro,Gucci, Chanel,and Girorgio Armani... yes quite shoking considering how the list of celebrities is quite comprehensive...
This Outlet basically implies "shop till you drop" and that's what we did, we shopped till our arms started hurting from the shopping bags we were lugging with us as we ventured from one store into another...I didn't know how well my brother and I shop together, we both shopped at the same stores at the same time, there was no need to disperse and go our seperate ways...and from time to time he actually asked for my opinion, I never knew that my shopping opinions could be of any use to anybody, until that day...I was very proud to have introduced my brother to "Frette", makers of one the most expensive bedsheets on the market, commonly found in the most luxurious hotels and residences...but the Frette outlet store is more affordable...much to my brother's dismay, they only make their "dunno how many thread counts" of egyptian cotton sheets for queen and king size beds...but alas I was happy that he found Frette bath towels to be useful, so he bought two sets of towels...I was quite touched when he offered to buy me a set. If I was in LA I would have accepted the generous offer, but realizing that I am living in a "pigsty" of an apartment at Trump Place, I was in no mood to fully enjoy a set of uber expensive bath towel, it just wouldn't do Frette any justice...I also casually mentioned to him that Pratesi sheets are also really good, but too bad there was no Pratesi in sight at the outlet...
We had shopped quite a bit and he had already found quite a bit of stuff while I made little progress, until we reached Bottega Veneta...there, on the shelf was a beautifully crafted hand selected deerskin slouchy handbag, just sitting there and looking lonely...I picked up the exotic bag, stood in front of the mirror and began having an imaginary conversation with the designer of the bag, I know I can be pretty psycho sometimes...I said to the designer, in my imaginary coversation "Yes, I totally understand your design, the detailing, the selection of the material, the thought that went into the framing and the stiching of the bag...and by the way don't be discouraged if your design is now sitting on the shelf of an outlet store, it could be due to a number of reasons...perhaps those who can appreciate it cannot afford it, and perhaps those who can afford it want a "louder" handbag and just can't see the subtle beauty of your design...but I totally understand what your going for..so keep it up and don't give up!"...and so at the spur of the moment I walked out the store with a Bottega Veneta shopping bag, with the deerskin bag inside...looking at the receipt with a huge "final sale" stamp, my head almost exploded as I saw mom's face screaming at me "I told you to STOP BUYING"...there is no going back and I would have to face the consequences of my impulsive act...I began wondering if it was worth the trouble over a handbag that some people might mistake for a garbage bag...but I decided not to regret about it...for those who don't know, the average price of a Bottega Veneta is higher than your average Prada or Fendi...they don't make "cheaper versions" of the same design, as the other brands do...they are known for their exquisite craftsmanship and selection of exotic leather, which makes them even more unaffordable at regular price...
As the number of shopping bags were increasing faster and faster, we decided to make a trip to the car and drop everything into the trunk before we head to Saks outlet store...my brother found more stuff...and then he saw a Versace crystal bottle stopper by Rothensal...he bought one and offered to get me one too...this time I accepted but told him that I don't drink wine...he said "who cares, just stuff it in any bottle" and so I said "alright"...so yes, now we both have identical bottle stoppers with the head of the medusa crafted in sanded crystal...
The last item I splurged on was a TSE black cashmere sweater...once again, it was one of those moments were I just unconsciously picked it up and walked to the cash register without thinking...
Feeling really, exhausted we drove back to the city...we looked pretty scarry when we double parked in front of Trump Place as we unloaded all the shopping bags fron the trunk, even I was in a state of shock...and then proceeded quickly to return the rental car to Hertz on 77th st...the evening ended with a very nice dinner at Penang...malaysian food never tasted soo good...
When we got back, the concierge told me that a garment bag was delivered for me this afternoon, yes it was December 2nd and the "on sale" Helmut Lang black sweater jacket that I reserved had been messengered to me...and I remebered thinking to myself that I won't be shopping for a long while...
That night as I sat in bed going over the contents of my shopping bags I realized that I have been buying alot of black sweaters lately, remembering my wardrobe in LA was more colorful...and now strangely I have gone back to black...and maybe it's time to come to terms with the fact that black is "me" and maybe that's why I can never completely hate New York...the city just makes me want to wear black and I truely love it...so yes I will never be a girly girl...and "black" is my official uniform...therefore, I was happy with my purchase...
Examining the the BV bag that I bought as a result of an imaginary conversation with a designer, I realized there was no way in the world that I could possibly regret bringing it home with me, it was worth it as I unzipped the bag and found that the inside was not lined in nylon, canvas or cotton, but genuine beige suede, and it must have been quite difficult to stretch the deerskin over the metal frames of the side pockets...and so I was truely content with the splurge of the day...I felt that this time I truely bought with my "heart"...I bought what was "me" and I wasn't influenced by trend or other extenal factors that would have made me choose otherwise...for once I bought honestly with my heart and stopped caring whether others will appreciate my taste...
So with that in mind, I hope that my brother bought with his heart too...the Woodburry experience was very nice...for the first time he bought without any reserve in front of me...he would never buy, when we shopped before, perhaps he thought that since I had such a bad reputation surrounding my spending habits, he would not do the same to set an example...but I didn't change as a result of that, and I am glad that he spent the day without reserve and was absolutely comfortable being himself in my presence...I think we both shopped till our "heart's" content...and maybe it's not such a passive experience afterall, as I found myself having imaginary conversations with imaginary designers...

Leaving the city behind.... Posted by Hello

On our way to Woodburry... Posted by Hello

Thursday, December 02, 2004

A "McLaren" for Fry...


As finals are coming up really soon and the winter holidays not far away, I cannot help but escape into that other world of LA from my current stressful existence in New York city...that other world filled with "bling bling" experiences with friends...just like a weekly episode of the O.C...in fact, Frank was the one who started calling everything made of chrome, bling bling...I used to have an obsession of running my fingers over "chromy" materials, espescially the chrome around the side doors of Frank's Mercedes CLK, with Joyce getting annoyed and telling me to "stop touching"...yes that brings to mind of the friday night driving in Joyce's ultra-hip BMW z-4 convertible, with the top down, streaming down Wilshire blvd. with me catching a cold the very next day...and driving in the middle of the night in a very desolate downtown LA is a thing we often do when pulling all-nighters for a deadline with Joyce and Emily...Joyce and I would sream in Emily's BMW 320, watching helplessly as she "accidentally" runs the red light or better yet makes a left turn on the right-most lane of the one way Flower st...thank heavens nothing happens to us...this reminds me that I was never as lucky as Emily, with two consecutive car accidents on the LA freeway, within half a year, with my old Audi A4... which would leave me with no choice but to drive mom's Toyota RAV 4 for a month...then the old spoiled me would bitch about that car for a month because the steering was too light and the acceleration too slow...then at our weekly gatherings at Joyce's place, there would be two matching cars parked side by side, mom's RAV 4 and Fry's RAV4, or my silver Audi and Mao's black Audi...which also remind's me of Kin's fully looaded Audi S4...so I do still miss my Audi from time to time although I have traded in long ago for my Porsche...yea and that reminds me of the embarassing incident with Joyce during finals while we were loading our models into my Jaguar courtesy car when my Cayenne was in for overnight service...and Molly walks by us giving me a weird glance wondering why I am driving an "old people car" as Em would call it...speaking of "old people car", we always find it strange how our professors are so attached to their vintage european cars...it's ironic how at USC, students drive better cars than their professors...oh and I always enjoy a ride from Jeff in his burgundy Camery, when we go for dinner and cheap HK DVD buying spree...I definitely miss the mercedes benz party that I attended with Fry and Joyce, because the food and drinks offered was just really good, and the test drive was not so bad either...that brings back memories of the old days of car dealer hopping in Newport Beach when Frank and Joyce where looking to buy a car...and that eventfull day with Fry at the Audi dealer checking out the new A8 and A4 (taking a break from GRE)...and those are the indulgent days that we will never be able to relive again as we mature and begin to deal with "real life responsibilities"...sorry dear Fry for the empty promise I made about going with you to test drive the new Range Rover, as I was busy moving to NY this past summer...so knowing how much you and Juno were obseesing about the release of the new Mercedes SLR, this article that I came by today, is dedicated to you, Fry, and all those who have a genuine interest in fine automobiles:

Wide open: Mercedes SLR McLaren
Is the Mercedes supercar really worth $450,000? We went to a race track to find out.
November 29, 2004: 10:37 AM EST
By Lawrence Ulrich, MONEY Magazine

Alton, Va. (CNN/Money) - I was there at Virginia International Raceway, about to drive the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren for no good reason, really.
I mean, the sticker price for the SLR McLaren is $452,500. Can you afford one? Neither can I.
Money aside, they're harder to find than weapons of mass destruction, and just about as volatile. The car boasts 617 horsepower from a hand-built, supercharged 5.5-liter V-8. Its top speed is a little over 200 miles per hour.
For now, maybe 200 Americans will write the big check, swing open the SLR's gullwing doors and assume a yoga posture to gain entry. Those folks aren't the type to take advice from the likes of me. But just in case one of you is reading, I'll give you some:
Before you decide to lay down half-a-million dollars, ask yourself if you're likely to get your money's worth out of a car like this. Only a handful of owners will have what it takes -- the guts, the talent, the backyard racetrack -- to get near SLR's capabilities.
If you do have what it takes, congratulations. The SLR is just stupid fun to drive, reaching 60 mph in the time it takes you to scream for Mommy. (For me, about 3.7 seconds). Valets will pay you to park it, and the club owner will throw in a bucket of Cristal.
Big puff or real deal?
I had immediately dismissed the SLR when I first saw it twirling onstage at the Detroit Auto Show. I saw right through its smug, look-but-don't-touch supercar shtick. Sure, it looked properly exotic: The surfboard-sized hood bulge, the opulent cabin, the pointy snout and snooty-Brit pedigree from McLaren, Benz' Formula One bedmate.
But the SLR also seemed suspiciously similar to a "lowly" Mercedes SL, adding but a single letter and $370,000 to the price. Besides, how much hotter could it be than an SL65 AMG, with an uncomfortably proximate 604 horsepower for a mere $180,000?
Turns out I was wrong. Really wrong.
The SLR will roll down posh boulevards like any Prada-seeking SL, but the resemblance ends when you nail the throttle. This car is a dragon, a fistful of nitro, ready to snap its tail or blow up in your face if you make just one ham-handed move.
That revelation came that day at Virginia International, a 3.3-mile scribble of blind turns, fast straightaways and technical challenges. ("One lap here is like 100 at Watkins Glen," Carroll Shelby is reported to have said.)
The sound
The first clue to the SLR's legitimacy is the sound: A seismic wallop like a cannonball in a Civil War epic. Played through a quartet of side pipes, it's more NASCAR than the high-strung shriek I'd expected.
Trying to lay down 575 pound-feet of torque on the morning's rain-dampened pavement, I quickly learned to roll gently onto the throttle or feel the back end go batty.
That intoxicating power is managed through the AMG Speedshift F1-style gearbox. Drive it in full automatic, or shift via the center lever or buttons on the steering wheel.
The system took some getting used to. Selectable settings progressively raise the five-speed's shift points and effect crisper gear changes, with the final "race" setting snapping off commands with brutal efficiency. Steering is very quick but it was initially heavier than I expected.
Go with a pro
Lapping the track with Chris Goodwin, a talented racer and McLaren's chief test driver, I was soon spurring the SLR to its 7,000-rpm redline and finding 160 mph over the blind crest on the long straight.
I'm eager to shoot for more, but Goodwin -- whose unmatched intimacy includes 100,000 miles in the SLR -- politely entreats me to lift off the gas while there's a smooth margin for braking. (His own heroically swift laps top out at 170 mph).
Stomp hard on the brakes at anything over 59 miles per hour and an "air brake" -- a large rear wing -- pops up to create stability-enhancing downforce and further slow the car.
Of course, all this power, technology and hand-crafted performance comes at a real-estate-sized price. But if the price is fantasy, the SLR -- minus its joint-twisting entry and exit -- proves a more realistic daily driver than most supercars.
That's best exemplified by a surprisingly large trunk that easily swallows two sets of golf clubs.
Of course, after an exhilarating exposure to the SLR, most owners will be chucking their Callaways. After all, they've discovered a more fast-paced hobby.

This Christmas Remember to...

yes...give good gifts... Posted by Hello


Yes, so Barneys' Christmas catalog is reminding its "patrons" to give good gifts, so please remember, if you are going to give a gift, then you better give a good gift...browsing through the array of gifts offered in the Barneys catalog, I found many a beautiful gift ideas, but nothing as GOOD as the one's featured on the infamous Neiman Marcus Christmas Book 2004 for this coming holiday, I must say, even the Bergdorf's gift catalog doesn't even come close to this...so here are a list of outrageously, irresistable, glamorous gifts from Neiman's to dream about when giving a "good" gift:

"CUSTOM SUIT OF ARMOR:Exquisitely crafted and historically accurate down to the last detail, a custom suit of armor is just the thing to get your lord a leaping. For a perfect fit, an artisan will gather measurements and a lower leg casting of the lucky recipient, then handcraft and fit a brand new suit of armor straight from the 15th century...call 1 877 9NM GIFT...price $20,000.00"

"ZEPPELLIN:A famous ingenuity when it was launched in 1900, the iconic transportation genius of Count Ferdinand Graf von Zeppellin has achieved another milestone. We are excited to offer you the opportunity to be the first on your block(or in the world for that matter) to privately own a modern Zeppellin NT...call 1877 9NM GIFT...price $10,000,000.00"

"HIS & HERS: From sleepovers to family reunions to a romantic evenings for two, our 2004 His and Hers gift is all about sharing good times. There certainly is plenty to share in your 5000 square foot, four lane bowling entertainment center. You choose the architectural style and we do the rest...call 1 877 9NM GIFT...price $1,450,000.00"

"LIMITED EDITION 2005 MASERATI QUATTROPORTE: We are proud to introduce the NM limited edition 2005 maserati quattroporte. This majestic opus from Gruppo Ferarri Maserati sets new standards for performance, style and eclusivity in a luxury sports sedan...call 1 877 9NM GIFT...price $125,000.00"

"GRAND OLE OPRY EXPERIENCE; ...Now for the first time, you can join country music royalty on stage during a live Opry broadcast. Along with sitting in on the show, our exclusive package includes a music lesson with an opry band member, a pre-show gourmet dinner for two in your dressing room...call 1 877 9NM GIFT...price $25,000.00"

"UNDERWATER AVIATOR:...Blowing conventional submarine technology out of the water, the Deep Flight Aviator sets a new standard for underwater exploration. Strap yourself into one of the two cockpits with the racing seat harness, and you can use the joystick controls to bank,roll, dive, and maneuver it the same way you would fly a plane. It can dive to 1500 feet, achieve speeds of up to eight knots, and has life support for up to 24 hours...call 1 877 9 NM GIFT...price $1,700,000.00"

"PINK SAPPHIRE AND DIAMOND JEWELRY: 124.11 carats of pure pink sapphire heaven and 85.47 carats of diamonds for good measure. All settings are platinum and 18kt. yellow gold, of course...call 1 877 9NM GIFT...price $2,500,000.00"

"VACATION HOMES AROUND THE WORLD: With an exclusive resort membership, you can enjoy premier vacation destinations, all the while being pampered at a private luxury residence. Hand-picked homes of 2.5 million dollars on average are completely turnkey with an on-site concierge, daily housekeeping service...call 1 877 9NM GIFT...price $375,000.00"

"LIFETIME AAIRPASS MEMBERSHIP:...Quite literally. With a worldwide lifetime AAirpass membership you can globe-trot whenever and wherever you like. The rules are wonderfully simple: each AAirpass membership allows you to book seating in any available cabin, with VIP privileges on any open seat for American Airlines' 4200 daily flights to 250 cities in more than 40 countries around the globe...call 1 800 433 6355...price for One lifetime $3,000,000.00, for two lifetime $5,000,000.00"

"HAUTE COUTURE VALENTINO GOWN:...Now you can give her the gown of her dreams with a one-of-a-kind creation from the legendary Italian master. Valentino Garavani's breathtaking couture adorns supermodels, actresses, and royalty around the world...Valentino and his team spent 350 hours exquisitely handcrafting a heavenly gown...call 1 877 9NM GIFT...price $325,000.00"

So those were the more interesting gift ideas I found in the book, I just love it how they are never too ashamed to list the price, instead of just politely stating "price upon request"...well, the Christmas Book is one of the perks that comes with my old "bling bling" life of frequently "taking a drive" to Neiman's in Beverly Hills...
With all these "good" gifts in mind, I am inspired to shop...so tomorrow my brother and I are heading to "Woodburry Common Outlet" with his rented Mazda, for a day of "good gift" hunting...



Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Connectionism...

Alice's favorite expressions on msn... Posted by Hello


Today as my Professor Manuel Delanda was lecturing on the theory of connectionism as in neural nets, in the philosophy of exploring the components of "knowing how", through Artifical Intelligence, I was daydreaming more along the lines of connectionism in cyberspace...
I personally don't really enjoy chatting online with strangers, because I feel that it is simply too stressful for me, but chatting with friends is quite a different story...the conversation can be really mundane and I won't be completely distracted from my work...so it all works out perfectly...
I chat regularly with Alice when I spot her status online...and the contents of our conversation are never too stressful, in fact it is just nice, neither here nor there...just about a bunch of nothing...one frequent subject matter being about "poop" and "constipation"...and sometimes it is not even necessary to initiate the conversation with "how are you doing", because our msn titles would be the best indicator of how we are, either feeling really shitty, or feeling really good...there is always just enough hint in Alice's msn title to make me want to ask her about her choice of "the title of the day"...ever since yesterday we have been sharing rather common titles...Alice's being ":+*-^#~@*"?*+:. last day of break, I'm gonna shit in my pants! w/ butt glued to chair and nothing is done! says:" and mine being "gonna shit in my pants says:"...
Yes, the day after a long Thanksgiving break, we both realized that finals is fast approaching and there is still quite a bit of work ahead of us...so we both decided that we were gonna shit in our pants pretty soon...and over the course of the day she would check up on me asking "so did u shit in ur pants yet?" and I would type back "nope, still developping"...then I would ask her the same thing and she would type back "not yet, almost...ya needs development"
One thing in which I like about the conversation is that Alice has a bunch of customized faces that she uses on msn to describe those indescribable emotions...
When she is complaining about how her crazy roommate is watching the same movie over and over again for a gazillian times, she would use the facial expression with the blood coming out of the nose...
When she is describing how much she is enjoying the jar of peanuts my mom gave her...she would use the drooling face with the saliva coming out of the mouth...or that face with the big smiley eyes...
When she was describing how my most recent blog almost made her cry...she used the expression of two hands covering the face along with a face with sweat running down the forehead...which can signify many different things...
And when she is expressing a smile...she uses the expression of a smily face with humongus teeth showing and so on...
When I see those faces...I just want to laugh...although those expressions are designed to be comical, there is a certain quality in it that makes it feel so genuine and easy to relate to...which actually makes this type of "connectionism" feel real as if one is actually chatting with that person at a nearby cafe...
It is those "faces" that really spice up a rather everyday conversation about "schoolwork", "crazy roomates", "poop","retarded songs","the mystery surrounding the missing knife","spraypainting our dogs" and "our parents"...
This also brings to mind my professor's mention of Erwing Goffman, the first person who devised the measurement of "degree of embarassment" and "knowing the rules of conversation" stating that there is a a certain threshold in a converartion where one's reputation is accidentally damaged to the point where everybody becomes sooo embarrased that the "equilibrium" of the conversation is dissolved...he also noted that the success in communication for adults is knowing "the rules of conversation" as in knowing how to maintain that "equilibrium" through the course of a conversation...
I think Alice and I have done a pretty good job at maintaining that equilibrium so far...we don't embarass each other...but we just embarass ourselves with descriptions of weird things that happen to us in our everyday in NYC...


chatting the night away... Posted by Hello

Monday, November 29, 2004

Trying Hard to Remember: something old and something new

Who knew that on this saturday of my thanksgiving weekend that I would be expreiencing some old and something new all together in one single day...once again, it was all totally unexpected...
On a saturday afternoon Alice and I decided to go to the newly built MoMA by Yoshio Taniguchi on 54th and 5th ave...we stood in line for almost an hour in line to realize that both students from Columbia and Parsons can get free admission...it felt great to save the 20 dollars of admission fee...
We stayed fifteen minutes until closing time and ventured out to look for a decent restaurant as we were both starving...I suggested to Alice that we go to one of the restaurants in Time Warner Center...well actually I already had a restaurant in mind...it was "BarMasa" next to "Masa" the most expensive restaurant in NY at a hefty seven hundred dollar per person...unfortunately the affordable BarMasa was closed on a day when I was craving for their Kobe beef fried soba...very upset and tired we made our way down the escalotors and then decided that since we made it all this way from the east side, we might as well try one of the other restaurants there...so we headed back to the escalators and made our way up to the restaurants...we decided to checkout "SteakVHouse"...after standing in front of the menu outside the vey intimidating restaurant with fourty dollar steaks...we decided that we would give it a try after some very long considerarion...so we walked in only to be told by the maitre D that it was reservations only espescially on weekends...he gave me a card and told me that we could try around nine o'clock to see if there would be any tables available...we decided that there was no way we were going to wait till nine..so we simply headed to Ollies on 66th...the evening ended with me feeling absolutely wonderful about experiencing the new MoMA and finding a great new restaurant for juicy steaks...it was a day filled with brand new experiences of New York city...but I was confronted by an old memory as Alice asked me if I ever had a cat for a pet...at first I said "no" then something flashed in my mind and I said "yes"...yes I remembered a long time ago before we emigrated, my brother came home after school with a one-eyed cat which he found on the street...we hid it in the bathtub, but mom wouldn't allow us to keep it...and so the cat was gone the next day...and that was that...
When I got home...I pulled out my cell phone only to realize that I had a number of missed calls while I was enjoying my day at the MoMA...it was dad, probably calling to see if I got home safely, I assumed...so I picked up the phone and called Vancouver...naturally a few minutes later dad picked up the phone and excitedly told me to wait a few minutes...then suddenly I could hear an unfamiliar voice coming through the phone...it was the voice of a little girl...speaking in mandarin about what she had done that day and that she was going over to her aunt's...and so on...then as the voice of the little girl subsided...the voice of a young boy came on talking...as the boy was talking I kept on interrupting and screaming "who are they?" or "who is that girl?" or better yet "who are those kids, that I hear over the phone?"...then the tape recorder was stopped and my dad came back on the phone and said "well guess!"...maybe at the back of my mind I knew who they were...but I just couldn't admit it to myself...so I said "I don't know, I really have no idea at all whatsoever"...then mom screamed over the phone joking "it's your step-sister and step-brother"...then I finally had admit it to myself and asked dad "that was me and Daniel?" he said "of course, who else could it be?"...and dad went on to say "you were just sooo adorable when you were a little girl"...
Then I suddenly remembered this summer when I moved to NY and got my very first reading from Richard...he had asked me whether or not I felt a sense of anbandonment in my childhood...I said "no, of course not, my parents were always there for me."...however he insisted that even though it's not a sense of abandonment as I look back, something must have made me feel that way, because it's the only way he could explain my introverted self and my difficulty at opening up to others...
If it weren't for those voices of childhood recorded on tape, I probably would have forgotten that period of time, just after we emigrated...I had almost forgotten that the moment we arrived in Montreal, my brother and I shared a bedroom, in my grandparents apartment in Dorval, and mom left us there for half a year to go back to Taiwain to finalize the immigration papers...perhaps for a 5 year old struggling with French at school and going through chicken pox without her mom by her side, felt somewhat like abandonment...during that time, instead of writing letters to our parents, my brother and I would record our thoughts on a red tape recorder and send them back to our parents, so that they could hear our voices...I think mom always had a habit of recording our voices on this huge greyish vintage tape recorder when we were still in Taiwan...my brother and I carried on this habit and I realized only now how precious those tapes were...it was our childhood voices describing the mundane of our everyday in Canada...my brother telling my parents not to send anymore of those delicious Japanese cookies, he said because I wouldn't eat dinner...
Digging up those lost memories hardly gave me a feeling of abandonment in my childhood, but rather made me realize that we were a close knit family that communicated regularly, even more than those traditional families with everybody living together...
It's rather strange, I didn't know that being in New York would give me plenty of new experiences and also bring back lost memories...perhaps in LA I was just too preoccupied with my bling bling life that it would've been impossible for me to remember those "insignificant" details...
So there we go...a day in New York filled with the old and the new...I must be
getting old...
Once again, it's really good to be in NY...

the dirty white textured wall... Posted by Hello

waiting in line... Posted by Hello

view of the city from MoMA... Posted by Hello

looking out the courtyard... Posted by Hello

the MoMA atrium... Posted by Hello

at the MoMA before closing time... Posted by Hello

Sunday, November 28, 2004

The Day After

Before Thanksgiving dinner, I had already been making plans to go for a walk, as in shop, the next day, by myself of course...knowing that there was going to be a huge sale everywhere...not that I had something in mind that I wanted to buy...but I just wanted to browse...just in case...there was something...yes that something...
Well, who would've known that I wasn't going to be shopping alone...I mean life can be really unpredictable sometimes...
Over Thanksgiving dinner I casually asked Miranda if she was going to "walk round" tomorrow, and much to my surprise she said "well, actually we're planning to go to Barneys, do you want to come?"...naturally I said a big "yes" since I was planning on going to Barneys anyways...
Before we headed for Barneys, I had brunch at The Blue Ribbon Bakery in the west village...I must say it was a difficult place to find...but the food was quite good...sitting there, the only thing that was common in all four of us...was that we are all Canadians...with the exception that they are from HK and I am originally from Taiwan, they all grew up in Toronto and I grew up in Montreal...they have known each other for so long...and I barely knew them...except fot the fact that we go to the same school and chat once in a while...
After Brunch, we made our way through SoHo...then four of us shared a cab heading to Barneys on 62nd and Madison...then later on as the shopping was almost coming to an end, the Taiwanese clan joined us...as we dispersed after shopping I had dinner with my Taiwanese friends back at Ollies on 66th...yes life can be strange sometimes...on a day where I plan to do something alone...doesn't quite turn out the way I had pictured it in my mind as I went to bed on Thanksgiving night...and overall I really enjoyed my day of "walking around" with friends and seeing so many people crowded on the street shopping for Christmas, made me really thankful that I was in NY...
So back to Mr. Fry's question...I was about to leave Barneys with nothing...when I browsed trough the Helmut Lang section and found one sweater jacket that I had been eyeing for a long time...it was the last one on the rack...so I reserved it and asked them to put it away for me, since the private sale was still going on, and all the price tags were still showing the original prices...so on dec 2nd, this piece of clothing will be shipped to me, and I will be getting a hefty 40% off the original price tag...it sounded like a good deal...and suddenly Helmut Lang just became more affordable...
The previous night I had decided to unclutter my Apt... and I started with my closet...at one point I became disgusted at how much stuff I have in my closet and surprised at how much stuff I have managed to accumulate in the short time that I have been living in NY...so I learned to let go...and started throwing out some stuff that are just too old to wear and putting other things away, since I couldn't decide whether I wanted to keep it or not...
The one thing in which I came to realize about myself is me, finally coming to terms with the fact that I'll never be that girl with only one perfect pair of shoes, one perfect bag and one perfect coat, no matter how hard I try, there will always be something that seems even more perfect to me the next season...and I just have to learn to deal with it...no matter how much it agonizes me sometimes...

looking out of Tower Records...while waiting for a seat at Ollies... Posted by Hello

Outside Saks Fifth Avenue... Posted by Hello