Tuesday, February 27, 2007

where the eastern seas so blue

D, I was thinking of you last Sunday. I thought of you there, in a tropical paradise, perfecting that tan, practicing your sailing moves in the open water, maybe windsurfing. And here I was/am, stuck in the winter wonderland that was/is New York City (it was snowing on Sunday night). And "wonderland" being a euphamism for grey, slushy, and daydreaming of El Nido. I guess I'll have to wait until my trip home in the fall. You're going back with me, right?

But the fall is so far away! So I had my own little vacation in New York today - although I couldn't conjure the tropics, I did a little Japan-in-New York trip.
I went to the gym during lunch. I keep trying to be a gym bunny, as you know. Having kept up with a Broadway-worthy routine in step class, I deserved a tony, but was willing to settle for some pastry. And it's a lovely thing when Minamoto Kitchoan is close by for some wagashi. I always get two pieces of the Hakuun-no-Hotori, a pastry made from milk-flavored bean paste encased in a thin delicate cake.

I still had a few more minutes, so I swung by Kinokuniya and grabbed a few magazines.

Photo from a 2005 Japan-in-New York trip. Craft book and Nippon Vogue from Kinokuniya and green tea wagashi from Kitchoan.

After work, I walked all over the village in search of a gift for my goddaughter. Tired from the search and wanting to avoid the Prince St. mall, I turned south on Thompson - and that's when I discovered Makie Clothier. Created by Japanese designer Yuji Ogata for Makie Yahagi's lovely tiny shop, the clothes show an abundance of beauty, style, and whimsy. And can I tell you how meticulously sewn and well-made these pieces are?

Photos from and collection available at: Mooi Shop.

And then it was time to grocery shop. Where else was I going to get tiny plastic containers of syrup, a tin of macha, Hello Kitty candy, and a box of red bean ice cream? That would be Sunshine Mart. I go to the one above St. Mark's Books.

And so I got home, tired from work and the all the running around town. But I still couldn't shake this image from my mind:

Thursday, February 22, 2007

I'm going to learn to knit...

When the knitting craze hit about ten years ago, I wasn't moved. With the exception of some pieces from a few Japanese designers, I never liked big chunky knits, which was and still is the only kind I can somewhat do. And Yohji and Rei's asymmetrical hems and displaced sleeves/muffler were too meta-advanced to use as inspiration for the fumbling novice that I was/am. But then a few pieces from the recent fall shows have completely made me rethink my appreciation for the chunky, its wearability, and my ability to utilize it in making something for myself. Do you think my knitting circle at work will think I'm nuts when I show them the pictures from Proenza Schouler (jazz-age-inspired coat) and Diane von Furstenberg (oversized cardigan) as inspiration for project one?

Photos by Marcio Madeira from style.com.