Saturday, February 28, 2009

My favourite shops in London

Here are some eye-catching shops including patisseries and things like that

I know P. Valerie is a chain-shop but their Hazelnut Croissant is to die-for..

Boulevard St-Germain: an eclectic mix

My feet could not wait to walk the streets of Paris after arriving the morning prior. So we decided to explore St-Germain. Actually I wanted to see the Lourve gardens and Champs-Elysees but the chic eclectic boutiques along Blvd St-Germain lured me to walked back from the Lourve. There are so many artistic or artisan shops along the small alleys of St-Germain; antique mirror shop with probaly a thousand mirrors, small high-end couturiers with amazing dresses, countless boulangeries (there are so many and each one of them is enticing!) and of course you also get the over-expensive mediocre shops targeted for tourists...but overall...I love St-Germain. They say that the left bank is for the artists and right bank for the boring bankers and such...oh well I have yet to explore more tomorrow...It's Free Sunday at the Louvre!

My Humble Place in Paris

Aboard the Eurostar at 6.55 am today, which meant I woke up at 4 30! I am in my little studio at 46 Rue Castagnary, 15eme in between the 7th arrondissement and Montparnasse. Small, humble, plain, a little cluttery but I have my own space so I'm quite happy. I took over from a Taiwanese guy who has to go back to HK to visit his mama who has gotten ill. So here it goes my journey in Paris...
The view from the bed...

An imprint on the bed sheet...
The view from the kitchen...

Friday, February 27, 2009

My fellow friends and desserts at Maison Bertaux

Linda took the picture..!

Hi I thought I should introduce you all to my cousin, Melissa and her fiance, Laszlo (flipped through some letterheads to find the correct spelling..oops) he is from Budapest, Hungary. You know the city where most spy movies shot their cool scenes, including Munich, Bourne Identity..oh apparently Mr. Laszlo said that Evita was also shot in Budapest...!!! Because he is very tall, he is the one arranging the thick wool blanket to cover the high window rail so that the noise will not disturb my sleep. The other night, he forgot to put the blanket up and Melissa very nicely woke him and it turned out that it was already 1 am! but he was very pleasant about it. We usually chat at night until the wee hours because Melissa loves to travel and she traveled for almost a year when she was 23 (at the age I am now) and tells me stories. They will get married in May and will have their wedding dinner in Hungary..oh how romantic. They are the most nicest humblest people I've met and also my friend Linda who I stayed with for two nights but didn't get a photo to show you!!! argh. I feel very bless to have met them in London!

French Cakes at Maison Bertaux! I had the rectangular brown Hazelnut slice with cafe au lait. Yum.

Hussein Chalayan the great...

After starting the day late in the afternoon, I decided to check out Hussein Chalayan current exhibition at the Design Museum. I thought to myself the 8.50 Adult fee I paid for the entrance fee better be worth it...ha ha ha...and you know what, it was probably the best fashion exhibition I've seen in London so far. It was so engaging and I was just amazed to see each and every one of his installation showcased since the year '98. Hussein Chalayan's work is different from any other designers in a sense that his clothes always has history and a story attached to it. He showed them in 3D movements, using lights, cables, various technologies, strange fabrics and objects. Because he was originally from Cyprus and migrated to London when he was young, he was always fascinated by the notion of migration, culture indifferences and stories about ethnicities and just the different aspects of society issues.

This one showed a monitor with a short movie of a spaceship and the woman riding it for about 20 minutes. What was so engaging was the fact that the women probably set in the year of 3000 looked so pure with a cream bodysuit and nothing else but a white cap. Although this little capsule spaceship was moving in such high speed the women acts as if time just moves beyond her, she acted so calm..He designed this collection for the future, but instead of creating a bleak and scary picture like what most movies and media show, he did it in such a way that you want to become like the woman in the capsule...traveling through time...

Then I went to this wallpapered room with American Indian patterns and showed a mannequin wearing one from his collection title 'Temporal Meditations' from the year 2004. She was standing on a swing with a cup on her little fingers. Well all interpretations are open and for me it was just amazing to see the room with so many action figures on the walls and the movements of the dress with the flapping collars. His other titles includes 'Manifest Destiny S/S 03', 'Genometrics A/W 05'...well I hope you get the picture and enjoy them with your own personal interpretations...

Outside the Museum there is another installation case.

This is my favourite one.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Beautiful buildings and streets around London

The Arnolfini Portrait

Two days ago in the afternoon after spending many hours in the studio, I decided to go to The National Gallery to see The Arnolfini Portrait by Jan Van Eyck. I've never thought that I would get the chance to see it ever, since it has always been something that I've seen only in books that if feels too surreal to actually see it in real life...but since I'm in reality and it's here for me I decided to go to room 57 Sainsbury Wing. The big crowd circling the painting didn't deter me to just walk away like I usually do when I just can't be bothered...instead I ploughed my way in and took a good big-eyed look at one of the most celebrated piece of art. I could feel my eyes tearing up seeing for the very first time...oh yeah! it was beautiful!!! I've seen it hundreds of times but the feeling does not compare. You might think that it is just a normal husband and wifey kinda portrait but the use of colour and objects have so many hidden symbols and meanings that you should seriously read it. has really good section on the symbols. But just to summarize it as quoted in the article, the green symbolises hope of becoming a mother, white cap equals purity, the little dog is loyalty between husband and wife, the mirror showing two figures as an act of legalising the marriage, the one lit candle chandelier above has two theories, one to suggest the idea of marriage and the second controversial one is that the women has already passed away since the candle is lit on the husband side only and aarhh there so much more...I'm blown away

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

This Oshin

Don't you think she looks like me? Her name is Ozawa Kane or Mrs Charles Wirgman. She was Charles Wirgman partner when he went to work in Japan around the 19th century and he was so fascinated by Japanese culture he published a magazine and took lots of photos to bring back to London. Countless of people have commented I look who knows maybe she was part of my ancestor...ha ha ha