Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Fireflies on the Water ... Xmas lights on drugs

Fireflies on the Water by Yayoi Kusama
FINALLY! After three weeks of lazy failed attempts to go see Yayoi Kusama's Fireflies on the Water exhibit at the Whitney Museum, we finally made it! Kusama's entire exhibition at the Whitney actually ended three weeks ago but the room for 'Fireflies On the Water' stayed until October 28th due to its immense popularity.

It is a small room filled with 150 mini light bulbs hanging from the ceiling surrounded by mirrors over a sheet of water and the effect is nothing but magical. Doesn't it look like I used visual effects for my picture? They only allow 1 person in the room at a time (or two if you're with child) for no more or less than 1 minute and there are only 50 spots available per hour. People would line up early in the morning before the museum opened to assure a reserved time ticket for Fireflies and I was told that they usually fill up a couple of hours after museum opening. Those who are lucky to be museum members get to skip the lines for the entrance and the exhibit altogether. Members get reserved spots during normal museum hours and members-only hours before and after opening of the museum. We're lucky to know someone with a member's card and bypassed the long line on a Saturday morning and got a ticket straight through for Fireflies. #win

While inside the room, it was quiet and no movement but yourself in the mirrors. I think it would have been cooler if the room rotated around you or did somehing. Maybe a little bit of music?... or not but I think that would have made it more interesting. I spent the first 30 seconds trying to take two pictures. There was no photography allowed inside the room but if it wasn't for the fact that I have seen other people's amazeball pictures in there, I wouldn't have tried it myself! I also took advantage of the new panorama feature on my iphone!  The best part for me after seeing Fireflies was to be able to capture it in photo ...just look!

Fireflies on the Water by Yayoi Kusama

Just for fun, here you can see a picture a taken with an iphone versus an old arse Blackberry. Can you guess which one was taken on a BB? heehee

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

L'Amour Fou pour Yves Saint Laurent ...

YSL top

Hurricane Sandy forced everyone, well almost everyone -thank you health services, cops and firemen- in NY to stay at home to be safe and dry. Being stuck at home with not much else to do other than eat and nap was a perfect oppurtunity to also catch up on some movies.  I watched a few fashion documentary on Netflix including  L’amour Fou.

L’Amour Fou is about the story of Yves Saint Laurent and his business partner and lover of 50 years, Pierre Bergé and their art collection. They became a couple the moment they met while Yves was still working at the house of Dior. They launched the 'Yves Saint Laurent' fashion house together shortly after Yves was fired from his job as creative director at Christiane Dior. They traveled to many places and throughout their lives together, they collected many art pieces which they don’t pick lightly but actually fall in love with. It is such an impressive collection which includes many sculptures, paintings (Picassos!), precious metal art decos, furniture and more! The auction was held in 2009 after the death of Yves in 2008 and was dubbed ‘The Sale of the Century’! The auction featured around 733 pieces with over 483 million US dollars sold which broke several records.

YSL is still an immense fashion icon and still a very well-known fashion house. Did you know Yves pioneered 'Ready To Wear' in the fashion industry everyone could have access to high fashion and he was also the first designer to use black models? I didn't know that! We all know that there will be a name change from Yves Saint Laurent to Saint Laurent Paris hailed by creative director Hedi Slimane. In fact the change is already seen this past Paris fashion week and on YSL’s website. I read that some of the cosmetics and perfumes will keep the logo/label and some popular pieces such as the Tribute heels will stay. Below are the pieces I snagged at the latest YSL sample sale which was rumored to be one of the last YSL sales with the label at least. I was able to snag a few 'Ready To Wear' pieces at $25 (normally retailing at $800-$900) during the last day of the YSL sample sale including two tops and a silky white scarf.

Should I keep these YSL pieces as they will soon become vintage pieces? I actually have a hard time fitting in this top in a Euro size 36 which normally would fit me fine so I may not be keeping one of the pieces...bummers.

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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Stormy Sandy heading our safe and dry everyone!

Okay, so this is the second time a hurricane has threatened the livehoods of New Yorkers over the past three years I have been living here! And unlike last year's Hurricane Irene, this one looks serious. It's been nicknamed Frankenstorm?! Subways, trains, bridges and most businesses have closed which means, no work for me on Monday and possibly Tuesday! I can't get to work even if I wanted to! This is a delight for me because all I want to do is relax. I find that D and I have jam packed weekends lately and instead of taking advantage of some down time after a work week, we plan all these activities to keep us busy. This past Saturday was no exception and I was thankful for being able to sleep in this morning. We have a guest over tonight and so we spent the morning cleaning our apartment a little to make it somewhat presentable. I shed all year round like a dog changing coats and there's always hair all over our apartment.
We also passed by the grocery store to pick up some food just in case we do get stuck at home longer than expected during the hurricane...

The boys are prepared for the storm with some whiskey in da house...

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Snapshots: 3rd floor of Opening Ceremony in NY [Soho]

Finally visited the Opening Ceremony shop in Soho. I read about the store in many many blogs and magazines and apparently I am way behind as it is a fashionista heaven.

Turns out I couldn't take any pictures but I got these before I was warned! There was three floors full of avant garde clothing but what stood out for me were the accessories. The jewelry lines, the bags, belts and shoes!

Display dedicated to Proenza Schouler bags

PS1, PS11, P.S. I want.
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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Hiking in Watchung Reservation [what to do in NY...oops NJ]

I think hiking during the Fall time has become one of our faaaavorite activities! When the air is chilly and crisp, it is the most perfect time to hike. You'll definitely get hot while hiking but you won't be uncomfortable because the cool air balances it out to ultimate comfort level. Not sweating profusely like a piglet (do pigs really sweat?) if you were hiking say, in the Summer. And unlike Spring, it is not wet and yucky and smelly. Enough about the weather, this is probably common knowledge right!? But for someone that's rarely outdoorsy like moi, it is good to know!

This October, we been on two short daytime hiking trips already to get ready for our trip down South as I have mentioned many times already. We're now both happy with the shoes we have bought though D is still having some issues with his big toe hurting and we hope to do one last hike before our voyage to Chile/Argentina in less than 3 weeks! Excitement level elevating day by day...

Our last hike, we headed to New Jersey's Watchung Reservation park. D's cousin invited us over for some delicious waffles, eggs, bacon and sausages for breakfast before our hike. That was so great! Then we met up with D's college roomie who lead us through the trails as he grew up around the area and knows the park like the back of his hands. We climbed trees and went up and down hills which gave me a chance to test out my grippy shoes.

Here's Dave being courageous jumping from one tree trunk to another

Dave's friend was our guide and took us off trail which was a lot of fun!

Most delicious caramel apple! So simple and sweet!

Pics taken from iPhone with PicFx app.
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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

YSL Sample Sale NYC October 2012

I waited and waited like everyone else this morning...about 200-300 people already there!

Taken after the crack of dawn at 7 a.m. 3/4 of 33rd street taken up! 

No pictures of what is inside the sale because camera phones were not allowed which I took seriously this time because I was waiting too long to take a chance of being turned back.

I arrived at 7 a.m. sharp, got in at 12:15 pm and left at around 12:45 p.m. I left empty handed but not by choice. I was hoping to get some accessories but nothing worthy was left. I knew that going in since I asked someone coming out about the wallet selections. "No more wallets" I was told. Bummed but then why not get myself a pair of the legendary Tributes for $350?

When we got in, I went to peek at the shoes first. There were about 20-30 pairs of size 37s NOT including the ones hogged by other girls trying them on and making it work or the misplaced ones. No boots left. I then went to the bags section where there was one full row with two tables stacked with bags going between $200-600. Nothing there tickled my fancy. There was a cobalt blue nylon duffle bag that was decent and the rest of the patent leather, canvas bags were unwanted stuff I'm sure. Then I groggily marched to the jewelry/accessories section to the right of the room. Ugly rings that looked cheap were not worth even worth the $75 price tag I thought. "There was so much more last time (sale)" I overhead. A few worthy jewelry pieces were left but they were priced at $200. Sunglasses were $75 but I was not interested. I then went to skim through the clothes. Not interested. Then I went to the men's section to check out the stock since my new line friend told me there were some great deals for $50 as he showed me some of his findings. I went to the $50 section for women and crappy shorts, skirts and black pants were there. Uninterested once again.  I returned to the shoe section to see what has been placed back and marvel at the nice shoes in sizes 38 and up that were absent from the size 37 shoe racks. I thought about maybe getting them in 38 and wearing super padded soles maybe? Finally, I gave up and left the sale. I overheard some girls showing each other their finds but without any enthusiasm. "Look at these garbage I found".

For me, it was not worth the hype or wait. Maybe go back on the last day for last minute discounts and get some 'YSL' totes which were priced at $200-$300.

I thought this sale was going to be fun and live up to its hype and so I lost a couple of hours of sleep for it buuuut I guess I should have known better! Oh well! Feelings seem mutual with other shoppers. If you can't make it to be one of the first groups to enter a sample sale, just leave!

[Update: I went back on the last day and scored on some Ready To Wear. Click here.]


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Monday, October 22, 2012

Keiko wears: At the Met Opera- Il Travatore [what to do in NYC]

Il Travatore

Il Travatore is a sad one but memorable. The story had revenge, love, hate, regret, a tad bit of happiness but mostly not an uplifting one. The duets between the two lovers was romanticism at its best but it is no Romeo and Juliet. I would recommend this Opera! I went to see Il Travatore without reading the story except at less than 2 minutes before the start of the show when Naoto was surprised I didn't even bother reading. It is highly recommended to read the synopsis to an Opera or else you will probably have trouble following the store.

The cast of Il Travatore on Saturday October 20 2012

Since we got seats in the Orchestra section, I decided to dress up a little while my friend decided jeans and tshirt was his suit which is cool. I saw women in full-on gowns which made me feel like I didn't try so hard.
I did not have time to grab dinner before the show because I napped for 3 hours right before heading out. I needed something in my tummy during intermission or else I would have not been able to enjoy the rest of the Opera. At the Met, they soldl artisanal sandwiches around $12-14 each. Since we got the tickets for $25, I stayed in stingy mode and ran across the street to the Duane Reade for $6 egg sandwiches. I end up treating my friend and paid more than what I would get at the Met but it's better that way as it was dinner for 2 and he was the one that got the Opera tickets.

Top: The Row
Skirt: 100% silk by The Row
Blazer: Wilfred. I wear this whenever I want to be warm but look dressy!
Shoes: Jil Sander
Bag: m0851

I can't help but mention that the total cost of my outfit is not what you would expect! Those Jil Sander shoes are newly purchased for $40 (retails at $790!) and The Row items were purchased at this sample sale! heehee.

I love this Paparazzi shot!

All Photos by Naoto Kitamura.
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How's the view up there? Discovering Columbus at Columbus Circle NYC

Studied this guy a lot in history class
This monument sitting at the center of Columbus Circle was created by an Italian sculptor named Gaetano Russo and was erected more than 120 years ago in 1892 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Colombus' landing in the Americas! It is one of 5 statues of Columbus throughout the city of New York. 

The entire monument stands at more than 70 foot tall. The Colombus statue itself is 13-foot-tall, made entirely of marble and normally cannot be seen up close unless you're a bird or Superman! So for the Columbus history fans out there and patient ones who can grab a free ticketed time slot, you can view it up front and center in a living room-setting created by artist Tatzu Nichi until November 18 2012.  

You get 10 minutes up there but that's ample of time to grab many shots at different angles of the statue. 

A view of the Time Warner building shopping center

View of Broadway

Elvis, Mickey Mouse, Michael Jackson..what else?

Teeny weeny compared to Columbus

Looking up his "dress"

View of Colombus circa 1907. Source.
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Friday, October 19, 2012

October sample sales [Sample sales NYC 2012]

Here are the NYC samples sales I would hit up for October if I could do it all. I'll be checking out the Jil Sander sale tomorrow and YSL next week. Here I thought The Row sample sale would be my last sale for the summer! Well, technically, it was the last one for the Summer but now it's Fall!

I'm not going to be in the habit of listing sample sales or sales because there are other great sites out there for this. From RackedNYSample SallyMizzhattanMadison Avenue Spy and Daily Candy. Amazingly, these website will sometimes report different sales going on in the city not mentioned on other sites and also share some secret sales too.

What: Vivienne Tam
Why: Pieces from fall and vintage stock are up to 75 percent off. Snag velvet shifts ($140, reg. $350), pleated skirts ($140, reg. $350), and printed dresses ($150, reg. $395).
When: Today, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Where: 260 W. 39th St., b/t Seventh & Eighth Aves., 11th flr.

What: Club Monaco
Why: Markdowns on tops, jackets, pants, skirts, and accessories. 
When: Tuesday, October 23 through Thursday, October 25. Daily 11am—8pm. 
61 W.36th St between Seventh and Eighth Aves

What: YSL
Why: Bags, heels, flats, small leather accessories and women’s collection, plus a small batch of clothing for dudes.
When: Oct. 23-25. Tues. & Wed., 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m.; Thurs., 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Where: Soiffer Haskin, 317 W. 33rd St., b/t Eighth & Ninth Aves.

What: Zadig & Voltaire
Why: Score up to 80 percent off the latest spring/summer and fall/winter sweaters, shirts, separates, and accessories for women, men, and kids.
When: Oct. 25-28. Thurs., 9 a.m.-8 p.m.; Fri. & Sat., 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Where: 260 Fifth Ave., b/t 28th & 29th Sts.

What: Mont Blanc
Why: Markdowns on watches, briefcases, fountain pens, and other accessories. Women's merchandise, like handbags, jewelry, and sunglasses, were included at the last sale
When: Monday, October 22 through Tuesday, October 23. Mon 9am—5:30pm, Tues 9am—5pm. 
260 Fifth Ave between 28th and 29th Sts (no phone)

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Watcha doing this weekend? [what to do in NY]

On Saturday morning, I will be checking out the leftovers at the Jil Sander sample sale in Soho. A colleague was suppose to go with me since she's a fan of the German designer but decided not to go because she didn't want to spend any money! I admire her self control which is definitely something I do not have! I'm hoping to score on some knits for the Winter.

In the evening, I'm going to see Il Trovatore at the Metropolitain Opera. This will be my second time seeing an Opera at the Met and instead of $35 bad-for-the-neck side balcony seats, my friend got us $25 tickets for Orchestra seats!! which I'm obviously excited about! I'll make an effort to dress up a little too for the occasion.

On Sunday, hopefully D and I will wake up early enough to see 'Fireflies on Water' at the Whitney Museum before going to Jersey for some more weekend hiking adventures. Hopefully the Fall foliage colors will be at their peak! Also, D bought a new pair of hiking shoes since his last pair were deceptive and he's going to give them a test run.

Image via Whitney

I'll also be shopping online for more gears for our trip. I think I'm half way done with gear shopping. So far, I've purchased almost $500 in apparel including boots, jacket, fleece, socks and I'm not done yet! Everything to keep my bum warm down there.
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Thursday, October 18, 2012

You like?

I like architectural, modern, artsy, sculpted, molded pieces..especially when you can wear it.

How do you like this piece from Alexis Bittar called  MODERNIST GUNMETAL CLEAR MOLTEN BRACELET. Fancy name!
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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Engaged! What's next??

I'm engaged!

A Claire Pettibone dresssource

And now, all I hear are the words like 'wedding' and 'kids' being thrown around. I am usually good at managing stress but I can't tell you how stressful it is not to be thinking of planning a wedding after you get the bling. My answer is mostly "I haven't thought about it yet" and it is all I got. 

Though it may seem that I am not ready to wed, it's not true. I'd like to be married but maybe without a big wedding or any at all? Of course I'd like to have a beautiful wedding and invite all my friends from all around the world but I don't think I can have the wedding of my dreams right now. Not yet. Not until I can save more money. Sure, I can be creative and DIY it all but I'd like it to be elegant and classical. Small and sweet. I'd like it to be as creative as possible but not look tacky and cheap. For this, I need to plan, plan for years and well, I am way behind as I have zero plans right now.

The most important place is a venue and then rest rest will flow...

I daydream of a castle in the South of France where my guests can get crunked on cheap quality wine?

So now I'm thinking. The right venue and the right dress is all I need and everything else will flow...

Then I read about about a Loehmann's bridal dress sale where dresses are under $1000 and I am thinking of checking it out but then I am not ready to face all that bridal action yet. I don't even know if I want a traditional white dress unless it's a Marchesa of course.. 

So I will be still and just enjoy this time with my boyfriance....It's okay I still call him my boyfriend? I like boyfriance actually. 

Maybe I will be inspired one day and the bride in me will naturally emerge?

Actually, no time to think of a wedding. This South America trip we're taking next month is all that is on our mind right now.

My thought process is all over the place as you can see. I apologize.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Shopbop promo code 20% off until Wednesday Oct 17

Last time I took advantage of Shopbop's secret sale. I got my Rag and Bone Newbury boots along with a maxi dress (which I have returned) and Michael Kors heels. My excuse was a wedding and I've always wanted those booties but this time around, I have absolutely NOTHING I WANT to buy! Of course that will change if I had the time to take a look at the site but it's best not. The Argentina trip is taking a big chunk out of our bank accounts so I should skip this one.

So take advantage of the sale for me and use WEAREFAMILY at checkout for 20% off your entire order!

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Monday, October 15, 2012

Hiking in Breakneck Ridge ..rocky rocky- good view- wobbly legs!

At Breakneck Ridge. Beautiful!

Our hiking trip began with an impromptu pit stop at a fantastic green market in Cold Spring with fresh greens, bread, pastries and more. D filled up with TWO corn beef sandwiches, Laurie (she blogs here) had TWO croissants and a fried veggie wrap of some sort which were so fantastic. She bought greens and fruits and basically did her groceries. We ate a bunch and were so ready for our hike up Breakneck Ridge.

Breakneck Ridge is about an hour train or car ride from Manhattan which makes it a very popular destination for city dwellers who crave a little bit of nature in their lives. We did the strenuous 2.8 mile loop which was probably strenuous for the first hour as it was chock full of rocks to  climb the moment we started.  I was not prepared for that but it was do-able. It became easier after we reached the top, if you ever get there. One of the main reasons for the hiking trip was to try and break into my new hiking boots and they did so well. They were so grippy which made climbing the rocks much easier. D's new boots didn't fair so well. They were a little too big which made his descent hell as his toes hit the front of his shoes a lot. Good thing he kept the tags on ;)

After ending our 3 hour hike with wobbly legs, we drove and parked in a nearby parking lot and ate some crackers with hummus and tabouleh and a delicious fresh salad prepared by Laurie. We're so glad she came and came prepared with food! After snacking, we headed straight to Woodbury Commons which was on our way back home. Our main goal was to stop by Colombia Sportswear to get more gears for our trip. We scored and got two waterproof outer shells, one fleece, one long sleeve and one pair of gloves for less than $230. I got a free coupon booklet which helped us get an extra 10% off.  Laurie scored on a running jacket at North Face and a lacey BCBG dress so it wasn't a waste of a trip for her :) I also checked out Yves St Laurent outlet store to survey the prices and found a couple of pieces I've seen in pictures taken at previous YSL sample sales. At the outlet, a wallet I asked about was $290 when it was $50 at the sample sale. They retail at just under $500. Anyway...

We left the outlet just before closing time and had dinner at our usual resto Gam Mee Ok which we stop by to eat whenever we return from our trips passing through Fort Lee New Jersey.

In all, I was glad to meet my bed that night and slept right through the morning...

Laurie scoping the veggies at the farmer's market in Cold Spring
I wish there were more yellow, orange and red but green will do! D matches!
Poke if you like!
Rocks here there everywhere!

The best part was the rocks!

View of the Hudson river

We could have turned back but we went up there after

Bannerman's castle on Pollepel island

Break time. D's new boots were too big so he returned them the next day.
Ox bone soups at Gam Mee Ok
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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sample sale: David Yurman sample sale 2012

I had a chillaxing Sunday after a semi intense Saturday (hiking & shopping at Woodbury, not too shabby).

After an afternoon nap, a visit to the laundromat, I decided to hop on the L and take a peak at the David Yurman sample sale 30 minutes before closing time hoping to find some last minute deals but mostly to check out the offerings. I've never had any interests in David Yurman pieces but I know a few bloggers and friends that do. RackedNy wrote a review about the sale here. Unfortunately, there weren't any crazy additional discounts. I was told they moved a couple of pieces to the 60% off section and you get an additional 15% off at checkout.

At 30-40-50 and 60% off retail price, the David Yurman sample sale isn't worth it unless the pieces you've desired are at the sale. I thought the pieces in the special priced merchandise had the most interesting prices. Some rings were $500 but there were Figaro chain bracelets and necklaces running between $150-$250 (+15% off) for small and large chains respectively.

Special priced merchandise
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