June 28, 2012

5 thoughts that are somewhat artistic in nature

Today I:
1. Nearly fainted on the subway to work
2. Grouched my way through hundreds of pictures of fur coats (people, multiple, pay over $24,000 for a coat. I cannot fathom it.)
3. Got the hugest, sweetest shock of my life when my co-workers surprised me with birthday cupcakes

4. Fell in love with poetry again with this poem:

Rules for Arcadia
David Kutz-Marks

Treat people as though
each were a small whorl of leaves.

As if there were a forge inside,
man with bellows and hammer

eking out shields
to quilt the condemned shack of somebody’s body he lives in.

As though by the time they swing from rusted hooks,
they are themselves gilt green

 by the green world’s breathing.

The final lines remind me so much of The Great Gatsby, and that freshness and cleanness of green. Such a gorgeous image!

5. Speaking of images, had my breath taken away by these:

Aren't they phenomenal? They remind me of Tim Walker's photography (my favourite photographer) but more grounded in reality (I think it's the colours), more rooted in the reality of fairytales in the here and now. She created them after her mother passed away, and I think that this:

"This escapism grew into the concept of creating an unexplained storybook without words, dedicated to her [my mother], that would echo the fragments of the fairytales she read to me constantly as a child."

Is the most beautiful purpose and way of commemorating a loved one.

Images by Kirsty Mitchell via Daily Mail

June 25, 2012

Kim and Gen's subway adventures

We pack so much into every weekend that it's always somewhat of a shock when Monday morning rolls around and I realize I have to be up by 7am. Yesterday we had the most ridiculous adventure, which is why I felt it IMPERATIVE to blog about it (almost) IMMEDIATELY.

Sunday's activities:
1. Attended service at the Brooklyn Tabernacle
It was like attending a choral rock concert. They were hugely miked up, but even with the amplification you could hear how amazing each individual voice was. The craziest choral experience I have ever had. Being in the congregation was like being in a 3000-voice strong choir.

2. Final Malaysian Restaurant Week hurrah at Spice Market
There are no words. Pictures and food reviews to come later in my giant food post.

Sneak peek in the meantime:

My appetizer of pork satay. Have you ever seen a lime so deliciously juicy and lime-like?? And pork satay so delicately grilled? With peanut sauce so carefully dripped above it?? No? Spice Market has won my undying loyalty. 

3. Visiting the wonderfully hipster town of Williamsburg, Brooklyn for Crossroads Trading Co. and the Renegade Craft Fair
(notice the wicker basket + bikes in front of the banner!!)

4. Finally, the titular adventure of the day:

Not realizing that the 5 was not going into Brooklyn, and that we had not gotten out of the subway car at its last stop.

Kim's face is a good approximation of our horror when the subway conductor came through the sliding doors and inquired as to our presence on a train that should be empty. Much like the rest of our car was.  Quote above is the wonderfully ironic statement I made right as we pulled away from the last subway station. Clearly the LAST STOP signs was not marked clearly enough for us, the girls cooing over their Renegade purchases. We had a fun/ creepy journey through deserted subway tracks and closed subway stations (South Ferry rings a bell for anyone?) Not going to lie- I was freaking out. The obvious solution to fear was to sing Disney songs loudly.

The faces of girls who did not a. hear countless train announcements b. read blinking neon train announcements c. notice the entire car emptying out:

(from the photo booth at the Renegade fair.) I leave you with a close-up of my personal favourite:

Kim should live in the '60s, I swear. She makes the best John Lennon faces.

June 23, 2012

Update + the Gaultier Exhibition

I have been terrible, I apologize. All I've been doing in New York is: 1. Eating 2. Going to work 3. Going to museums. I have a ridiculous backlog of posts but I'm going to start by blogging about one of the best fashion exhibitions that I've been to- the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition at the de Young.


I love stripes and the way that Gaultier combined different fabrics and materials into reinterpreting stripes. Ok these 2 pictures aren't good representations, but he had feathers arranged in black and white stripes, striped lace panels, etc (I just couldn't take a good picture of them) It was just phenomenal.

The COOLEST (and simultaneously WEIRDEST) part of the Gaultier exhibit were these faces that were projections from the ceiling. Some of them even talked. It was kind of creepy, but extremely awesome at the same time. The mermaid dress on the left was CRAZY. The skirt (which I couldn't take a good picture of) bled into this sandy bed of sand with sand dollars and pearls. I have no idea how he did it, but it looked like a beach. It was the craziest, most awesome mermaid skirt I have ever seen (ha ha Gaultier)

And a lot of the exhibition was on the Madonna years, with the cone shaped bras and these crazy geometrical hips. This was my favourite out of the bunch because the rest seemed too iterated.

The African collection part!!!! My absolute favourite (can you tell). Oh well I guess the pink poofy dress at the top and the black lacy dress at the very bottom left don't quite belong in this set (the pink poofy dress was placed with all the other poofy dresses; this was my favourite because I think wearing it would be like wearing a tutu vertically on your body. The black lace was with all the other BDSM outfits. Which just honestly made me uncomfortable. Gaultier is incredibly subversive - there were dresses on exhibit that had the naked female body imprinted onto it; there was a whole anatomy collection too that was interesting - but I was just really drawn to his "prettier" dresses, and to be honest he made even the most naked, body-baring clothes beautiful. What a talent.

The African/ Tribal part of the exhibit I basically died over. That phenomenal native American headdress with the most RIDICULOUS wedding gown skirt!! The reinterpretations of leopard print with SEQUINS! The most unique materials sewn into the patterns of images that we have been saturated with of "the tribal"! I think the most subversive quality of Gaultier is the way that he reinterprets symbols and images that we take for granted, patterns and images that have become kitschy by way of over-saturation, and then remakes them into the most gorgeous pieces of couture by reinterpreting them in the most surprising of materials. Some other things that I liked but didn't manage to get good pictures of: his reinterpretation of humble denim into the most gorgeously intricate gowns, his London grunge collections with the sequin-studded bomber jackets, the rotating clothes down the "runway" and Gaultier's interpretation of Dior's New Look. 

Us standing proudly with the signs! Dan insisted on a picture too so that he could prove he had been to a fashion exhibition. All in all, it's a PHENOMENAL exhibition. I think the curators did an absolutely fantastic job of telling a coherent story with the many, many Gaultier periods and collections, I loved that we were able to take pictures, and I thought this was truly a great example of the intersection between fashion/ art and the digital. There were videos and of course the mannequin's projected faces telling us about the Gaultier story, it was so thoughtfully put together and everything tied together in a way that reflected the Gaultier spirit and constant reinvention/ modernity.

Honestly the best fashion exhibition I've been to, and I highly highly recommend everyone visiting the Bay to drop by the de Young!! So glad that I stopped by before I left for NY.

The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: from the Sidewalk to the Catwalk
de Young Museum
Ends August 19th
Students $16

June 10, 2012

Things I'm grateful for

Hello there. In need of refocusing, so:
1. Coffee in the morning -- and McDonald's and Starbucks right at my office lobby for easy access to said coffee 
2. The means to purchase this flamingo printed dress just because I like flamingos and I like dresses. And also because I was having a bad day. 
3. Sarabeth's salmon eggs benedict. Dear Sarabeth's: thank you for creating the best eggs bene I have ever eaten in my life. My tummy (though not my wallet) is truly grateful. 
4. The Cloisters at the Met Museum. Dear Met: thank you for transplanting half of medieval Europe into America and perching it in Fort Tyron Park, and then fusing doors and stained glass windows and medieval gardens so it becomes an incredible amalgamation of serenity and happiness. If you weren't over 190 streets away from my apartment (and that's only counting from the Brooklyn Bridge), I would visit you every day. 
5. The Brooklyn Public Library. My #1 criteria for future apartments is that I have to live within a 1 block radius of a public library. There are no words.
Sorry for the small hiatus in blog posts. This week has been incredibly overwhelming for me. I have forgotten to work like this - it's not hard or particularly challenging in all the normal ways I'm used to, which makes it even more challenging. I'm glad I'm here, but I really miss the Bay. I am so grateful to have been given this opportunity, but I feel so woefully inadequate and underprepared. But only I can change my situation. NO to being continually nervous and jittery! NO to fatigue and tiredness! NO to saying No to new experiences! NO to letting this amazing experience slip past me without grasping on to every moment of it! NO to crippling uncertainty! Gen's ego, please emerge and stop cowering under a rock. Thanks.

June 1, 2012

Friday Favourites: June 1st

Today's my first full day out in Brooklyn! It looks fairly dreary though, but I guess being from the Bay Area has its perks- I've become so used to fog and rain from the spring that bad skies no longer deter me. Some lovely summer ideas/ images that have caught my eye this week:

1. Summer boho party from 100 Layer Cake
(via Lovely Morning)

Incredibly beautiful styling!! I love the idea of having a little tent in the backyard (maybe with a fire pit for s'mores as well!) and those soft blush colours go with the evening light so well. If only I had a backyard... and like 200 yards of extra fabric lying around to make a casual tent.

2. Herb Garden in a Box from Randi's guest post on You Are My Fave

I think this is a great idea to get started in the summer. Plus when you live in as small of an apartment as I do, having a garden in an egg tray is really the only way to grow a garden, period.

3. An oldie but still a goodie- looks from Gucci Spring/Summer 2011

The colours. The intricate tying. The little cutout that makes it sexy but not trashy or overly revealing. Yes to all. Now to search for these looks on a sale site somewhere. Or to try my hand at tying my own top?! Plus it reminds me a tad of my birthday dress, which makes me feel smugly trendy.

Have a great weekend!

May 31, 2012

First thoughts on cross-country moving

Well. Here I am, safe and sound in Brooklyn, NY. Some thoughts:
1. Moving across the country for 2 months is hard. I feel as though I've torn away from my life in the Bay and have been plonked on some loose soil in Brooklyn. Walking to the subway station scares me. Leaving the apartment to walk to the small grocery store nearby terrifies me. I am so resistant to personal change.
2. My happiest discovery yesterday was that a branch of the Brooklyn Public Library is right at the end of my block. 
3. I am a minority in the neighborhood I'm living in. It feels incredibly odd. I feel incredibly out of place and nervous all the time, walking past these African-American boys loitering by the side of the street and staring, staring, staring all the time. They don't move or say anything, but something inside me freezes up and my face takes on this rigidness- am I secretly racist to feel this unsafe?? I have never felt so acutely like a minority in my life. 
4. I start work on Monday and I can't breathe, I'm so excited. At the same time though, the thought of waking up at 6am to make the trek to Manhattan exhausts me. Just thinking about leaving my staid, steady routine completely tires me. I have forgotten how to work hard, in just 3 short weeks of (almost) complete relaxation. 
5. It feels odd that- today I spent my day the same way that I would have spent it in Berkeley. I woke up lazily in the late morning, ambled to the kitchen to prepare coffee and oatmeal, then went to my laptop to do some work, with the occasional trips to the kitchen and to my bed. The only difference is that at 6.30pm, Ju Ju won't be buzzing at our front door; we won't be heading out for an evening run, I won't be having dinner with Dan tonight, we won't be cuddling to a movie and/or ESPN, I won't be able to nip down to Safeway for a late night adventure in the snack section. I think it's just a matter of adjusting to my new life here. I'm not unhappy, I think, I'm just- resistant to change. I think my excitement will exponentially increase once I start work and start being brave enough to leave the apartment alone (which must happen before Monday morning, clearly.)
EDIT: Happiness is restored. I just discovered the most AMAZING bakery 5 subway stops away. I just had a strawberry cheesecake and the most divine cream chocolate cake. I am about to explode with sugary goodness.

Images of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Brooklyn Bridge from Pep Ventosa's The Collective Snapshot, via Fast Co Design. More images at my Tumblr; aren't they blurrily stunning?

May 29, 2012


I can't believe that I'm finally leaving for New York. After all the stress of securing an internship this semester, that moment when I received the call (I'd snuck out of Literary Theory because I saw the 212 phone number, and then that blinding happiness when she told me I got it), all the subsequent happy smug moments thinking about moving to my dream city and all the subsequent nervous stressed moments thinking about what moving across the country for 2 months and leaving my apartment and friends behind actually entailed - I cannot believe that I'm leaving Berkeley tonight!! 

I logically know it's not a huge move (I am moving into a household of Singaporeans after all), but:
goodbye Berkeley, goodbye oysters at Tomales Bay, goodbye wonky fridge, goodbye comfiest bed, goodbye string of family photos on my wall, goodbye sitting next to Dan driving down random freeways, goodbye traveling over an hour to get yummy food with friends in the backseat talking about coding languages, goodbye view outside my window, goodbye closet, goodbye room, goodbye sweater that I can't bring because my luggage's a stuffed beast.

But also:
hello New York, hello amazing summer with amazing friends tripping across the sun-hewned city, hello excursions emblazoned with humidity and helpless laughter, hello the great unknown of working in a job I am so proud and excited to have, hello to ADVENTURE and the thrill of BEING YOUNG in one of my favourite cities in the world!!

But first: figuring out how to close my suitcase. See you on the flipside

May 28, 2012

Two Ways: striped shirt

Full disclosure: I am obsessed with stripes. This should come as no surprise to those who have seen me in stripes at every conceivable occasion- I have 4 striped shirts and 2 striped dresses; it's a problem. But I think a classic sailor boat neck top is THE most versatile piece of clothing around and to prove it, a Two Ways post:

Polyvore set here.

Striped Top: Uniqlo ($24)

Firstly, THE TOP. I might actually go out and buy it because it's like $23 from Uniqlo and the perfect thin navy stripe. Would prefer it if it had bracelet length sleeves, but for $23 this really can't be beat.

For Coffee Chats
I mean this in a very specific sense: the kind of informal info sessions you set up with alumni who are now working at firms that you are looking at applying to. I think that the summer is the perfect time to plan such chats and to prepare for the Fall- this sounds terribly shady, but I've really enjoyed and appreciated everyone that I've spoken to. I think speaking to an actual employee (and not a recruiter) gives you a much better picture of the firm and their people/ culture (to me, the most important aspect of the job), and doing this over the summer means that you're ahead of the game come Fall, when everyone else is scrambling to set coffee chats up.

The J Crew Edie bag (how gorgeous is that shade of apple green??) is definitely the investment piece in this ensemble, but I think it elevates a fairly casual outfit into a "I am genuinely interested and taking this conversation/ meeting seriously," while the bright colour keeps it fun. Love the classic shape; can be used in a thousand other outfits. The red flats and the pants are just there for reference- I believe I have sufficiently rhapsodized about these Forever 21 pants (full gushing post here) which are my #1 top pick for black tapered pants; I'm sure you can get cheaper red flats out there (mine are £4 from Primark...), but these look like good basic flats if you're looking for a more long-lasting shoe.
Accessorize with a lightweight floral scarf- I actually REALLY like this scarf; I think it looks perfect with the stripes and the green bag. All in all, a nice business casual (leaning more casual, but definitely not sloppy) for an informal coffee chat.

For a Night out at the Theatre
Am I the only one who thinks that part of the enjoyment of going out to the theatre is the dressing up? There just isn't that same ring to it when you go out to a movie. Striped tops are typically used in more casual outfits, but I think that it can dress down overly formal accessories for those awkward in-between events like going to the theatre/ a more dressy dinner/ etc.

I used a pale jacquard skirt from Warehouse with a slight bell shape- so cute. I love the contrasting textures. Paired with a mustard clutch from Milk and Honey Handbags on Etsy- I love that it's vegan suede (this is the Berkeley student in me), is handmade, that purchasing this will be supporting small artists. Buying this bag is practically a civic duty to indie craftsmen everywhere!! Right? Right??
I love these crazy shoes from Zara, and I've been seriously coveting that pearl necklace from Kate Spade for the longest time. The gold bow clasp just kills me. This outfit would also look good with a dark chambray shirt actually.
I would pair this with some bright nail polish (I just bought Fearless, from Revlon- the perfect summery cherry red) and a bright red lip (I just got Evangeline's Red from L'Oreal on sale yesterday for $2.50 at Walgreen's- it is gorgeous). Clearly I went on a mini makeup shopping spree yesterday.

In other news- I leave for New York tomorrow! Good God, where has the time gone.

May 25, 2012

Friday Favourites: May 25th

This week I barely left my house. No joke. It's so hard to leave the bed when there isn't anything really to drag you up...I think if I didn't have the transcription job I would literally stay in bed all day and watch movies. I only sit up because of transcribing. BUT some things I've been loving this week:

1. Adorable summer styling from Tommy Hilfiger

I think it's the little details that really attract me to this--after interning at a magazine and trooping down to the studio every other week to get masses of still objects photographed, I really have an appreciation for when still images of products are styled more uniquely. Love especially the one in pink- it reminds me of a jaunty flag. So adorable.

2. Literary posters from Litographs

I am absolutely in love with the Emma one and The Secret Garden- they are 2 of my favourite books, and I love how delicately they are rendered in illustrated print.

3.  Invitation cards I made for my grandaunt's 76th birthday party

So many things I like about this:
1. I haven't been able to hang out with my family a lot (being an ocean and many many miles away), and I haven't been able to attend my grandaunt's birthday party for the past 3 years since I left for college. This makes me feel like this is my birthday present to her-- designing the invites, thank you cards, little placeholders, etc.
2. Is she not a gorgeous lady??
3. I am OBSESSED with this font- St Marie Thin. Just completely obsessed. I'm using it on everything (I'm helping to design the header images for a website right now)- it's a little ridiculous
4. I'm not the best designer (and clearly do not have the most sophisticated tools- I used Powerpoint to do these... #powerpointforever) but I think they turned out pretty nice huh? Beams proudly.
5. Actually on second look I totally should have vertically centered the party info for the 2nd version... ):

Have a great weekend! We're headed to LA for a spontaneous beach/ Getty Museum trip (this is becoming an annual tradition...)

May 24, 2012

We decided to drop out of school and become berry farmers

But then we realized how tough that actually was ):

This was how we started out the drive:

We took the winding coastal freeway CA-1 and basically went from plunging into cool, dark temperate forests (picture #1) to veering dangerously next to wide, open beaches (picture #2). It was such an experience driving down the coast; we haven't done it in a while and I always forget how gorgeous it is until we do it again. 

And then we got hungry:

And stopped by Sam's Chowder House at Half Moon Bay for some to-go clam chowder. So yummy! Their lobster rolls also look amazing, and they have these huge windows inside the restaurant with a phenomenal view of the ocean- we decided to be a little more ghetto and have our chowder in the car. But the view we had was equally amazing ;)

And then after all of that, we finally reached the farm!! (It was ~1.5h drive from Berkeley)

It was much less impressive than I thought it would be, to be honest. They had a smallish strawberry patch (they have a much larger olallieberry patch- I have no idea what those are but their vines look cool) and I think the strawberries were a little picked over by the time we got there. But it was really fun because- did you know that strawberries grow like that? No? Me either.

It was $3/ entry and $3/ pound of strawberries, which I think is alright for a fun day out in the fields. We went to Phipps County Farm in Pescadero, CA. Everyone we met there was super nice and they have a little zoo (it looked a little sad though) that you pass through to get to the patch, so I think it's a great place to bring kids.

We stopped by Pescadero Beach on the way home:

That is all. California, why are you so beautiful??