Tuesday Travels to Bologna

I miss Bologna (Bo-lo-nya). My second home away from home.

I learned a lot living in this quaint little city. I explored every nook there is, though I know I missed some hidden treasures. 

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Piazza Maggiore, Bologna, Italy

Here are the top 3 lessons it taught me:

1. Independence

I became self-sufficient. Though in some respect I had help. My sister’s high school friend and her family helped me navigate the city. She took me under her wing as part of her family. My Italian roommate helped me through the apartment renting process. It was tedious and frustrating, especially if you don’t speak the language. I dealt with the bank on my own (thanks to my Italian lessons, I was able to brokenly speak with the tellers). 

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drinking caffe
2. Patience

Bologna taught me patience. It almost bypassed me because I was a stubborn Americanized person who didn’t know any better. I missed integrating myself into the culture of ‘dolce far niente’ (sweetness of doing nothing).  I took years off my life by stressing out about how I only got internet service 4 months before I left the country. In the end, what I got is a slap in the face “it doesn’t effin matter, you’re in Italy for pete’s sake”. 

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dolce far niente

3. Discovery

For the most part, I uncovered the city on my own. I went to places that only locals went to. Shopped at markets for fresh and local ingredients to cook at home. Frequented makeup and skincare indie shops – I literally became obsessed with beauty when I lived in Italy. 

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bologna, italy

Ah Bologna, mi manchi tanto. 

Netflix Documentaries

I signed up for the free one month Netflix subscription last week and it was one of the best decisions I’ve made. There are so many interesting documentaries out there

I would not have known about if it weren’t for this little venture. It will be interesting to see how I will make the decision to cancel it at the end of my one month.

If you’re a Netflix subscriber, then I highly recommend you watch the following documentaries:

Are you a food lover?

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Food Chains
This is an eye opening documentary about America’s food supply chain. It will make you think about where your basic food needs come from and how they make their way to your local supermarket.

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Sushi: The Global Catch
As a sushi lover, this opened my eyes to what is currently happening in the supply chain of the sushi world. The main point tackles the supply and demand of blue fin tuna, the most popular sushi dish, and how its increasing demand will inevitably rid our oceans of its ecological balance.

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Spinning Plates
A documentary that gives the viewer lessons about passion, determination, community building, and how food can connect everyone at the table.

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Jiro Dreams of Sushi
A story about Jiro Ono, the owner of three star Michelin restaurant, Sukiyabashi Jiro, his love for sushi, his family and his line of work.

Are you obsessed with fashion?

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Bill Cunningham New York
I personally saw Bill Cunningham work his magic last year. This documentary makes me appreciate him even more as a personal and professional character of the fashion industry.

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Scatter my Ashes at Bergdorf’s
A biography about New York City’s Bergdorf Goodman. This shows the history, the people who work behind the scenes, and the cultural impact the store has on New York City and beyond.

Are you interested in the American Dream?

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Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream
This documentary shows the scary truth about the American Dream. To everyone who thinks the United States can help you obtain this, this documentary will make you think twice.

Have any Netflix recommendations for me?

The Many Faces of Caroline de Maigret

Music producer and fashion muse, Caroline de Maigret, chatted last night with Melissa Ceria about her life in New York, Paris, and her book, “How To be a Parisian Wherever Your Are“. I don’t closely follow her – only seen street style pictures taken of her – but based on how she answered the questions last night, I can tell how grounded and passionate she is.

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Here are my take-aways from the talk:

1. She comes from a family who worked in finance and politics. She considers herself as the black sheep as she didn’t want to be part of that life. To get away from the expectations, she moved to NY to become a model.

2. She loves music and I quote: “Elvis is my king, forever..and ever”.

3. Humor is important for her and so is living in the moment. The woman knows how to make fun of herself.

Note: NSFW

4. She is a proponent of equality between genders.

5. Finally, one more quote from her: “Knowledge builds confidence”.

NY Fashion Week at the Museums

While one may not get free access to this week’s New York fashion shows, they can certainly take advantage of these museums’ free admission days to see fashion-centric exhibitions they offer during fashion’s most busiest week.

1. Museum of Modern Art

Admission: Free Fridays (4p – 8p)
Metro: N, Q, F, E, M
Recommended Exhibition: The Paris of Toulouse-Lautrec: Prints and Posters

If you love Paris, then you’ll appreciate this artist’s works depicting his time in the city of lights. (Fact: The artist’s parents are related by first degree.)

2. Fashion Institute of Technology

Admission: Free
Metro: E, C, N, R, 1, 2, 3
Recommended Exhibition: Yves Saint Laurent + Halston: Fashioning the 70s

If you love fashion heritage, then this is a must see for you.

3. Brooklyn Museum

Admission: Pay what you wish ($16: suggested contribution for adults)
Metro: 2, 3
Recommended Exhibition: Killer Heels/The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe

If you love shoes, then run over to Brooklyn to see this exhibit pronto!

[MOMA | FIT]

Jazz Age Lawn Party 2014

This past weekend I had the opportunity to go to a fabulous jazz event aptly called “Jazz Age Lawn Party” at the Governor’s Island.

In essence, the event travels you back in the 1920s when flappers, gangsters, moonshine, and art deco were the word of mouth. Everyone in attendance were dressed to the theme, brought picnic baskets and blankets, and set up shop on the grass or sand to listen to the jazz music that played in the background.

It was one of the best people watching experience I’ve ever had in the city and silly me forgot to bring the memory card for my DSLR, so instead I bring you pictures from my phone:

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I love this picture. You could tell by just observing her facial features that she was a flapper back in the day. I also love the way I juxtapose old and young here.

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I give props to anybody who can make an outfit from one era conform to another. Her name is Sarah (sorry if I spelled it wrong!) and according to her, this outfit used to belong to her aunt. This one is also Bill Cunningham approved because he took her photo from so many angles.

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What’s a jazz party without the dancers with feathers?

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The dapper guy is Michael Arenella, the person who came up with this event 10 years ago.

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This experience was made even more special because I saw Bill Cunningham in person. I wish I asked to take a picture with him, but I was too awestruck to even think as I watch him do his thing.

30 by 30: See a Broadway show (#25)

Today marks the last run of Of Mice and Men Broadway play. I got the chance to watch the show’s matinee run yesterday at the Longacre Theatre and it was pretty awesome. Great performances by both lead actors, Chris O’Dowd and James Franco.

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After the play, James Franco came out to sign the theatre goers’ playbills. I decided to document the pandemonium, instead of being a part of it (ok fine, I admit, I did become a part of it since I wanted to take a picture of James). Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of the theatre since they don’t allow photography inside (it is heavily enforced, especially at the nosebleed area).

It was a great first time experience for me, although technically this is not my first theatre show — but it was my first time to watch one in New York! Some takeaways/observations for me:

  1. I will never pick a seat in the middle of a row again.
  2. People never dress up for theatre anymore. Then again, I did watch a matinee show.
  3. Nice to know that I wasn’t the only one who had the idea of watching solo.

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How Fashion Affects our Lives

Join me as I interpret Katarina Kuruc’s writing from “Fashion as communication: A semiotic analysis of fashion on ‘Sex and the City'”.

Historically, different fashion trends originated with the upper classes of society and were later adopted by the lower classes with the hope that by following the trends of the wealthy, the lower classes would be able to raise their social standing within society.

Based on observation, historical and modern fashion society do not differ from one another. Our modern day fashion society upper class are the editors, celebrities, and designers. The consumers, you and I for example, follow the trends these upper class create, design, or write about in order to raise our own social standing in the fashion world. Fashion bloggers like BryanBoy, raised their own social standing in the system by creating a platform to express how they interpret fashion trends.

Within contemporary society, on the other hand, fashion takes on more connotative values where styles and trends change relatively quickly for a variety of social, psychological, and political reasons.

It is true that designer collections are heavily influenced by what is happening around the world. For example, between 2008  and 2009 designer collections trended more on the minimalistic side, an obvious effect of the economic recession that took place during that period.

During Fall/Winter 2013, Marc Jacobs’ fashion show was heavily influenced by bad weather effects. It was reported that Marc Jacobs’ newly built house in New York’s West Village was damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Subsequently, the blizzard that took place last week during New York’s Fall/Winter 2013 shows, affected  the scheduling of his two shows.

On a different note, fashion also affects the lives of the people who work to create those clothes you see in shops. Those Louboutins’ you own? They were made by Italian artisans in an Italian town called San Mauro Pascoli. That Chanel haute couture gown you saw during couture shows? That is Lagerfeld’s design, but you know who worked long hours to put that look together? The diligent ladies of the Chanel workshop.

If I can’t describe it as lazy…

It’s official. I have fallen off the face of the social media and blogging world. There are way too many things on my plate that I can’t even begin to think of how to tackle each one of them.

Baby steps.. yes.

1. New Job

My new position has been very challenging. I work as a regulatory analyst, aka, researching cosmetic regulations domestic and international and making recommendations on where the brand can launch. It’s a daunting task to do this research because I have to be extra certain of what I relay to my team. I love it though because I get to see a different side of product development.

I thought about creating a whole new content for this blog about cosmetic regulations alone, but if understanding them is quite hard enough, relaying them in a public space in layman’s term will be even tougher to do.

One day when things are in order I can probably create content for it.

2. New Apartment

I’ve finally made my dream come true of renting an apartment WITHOUT a roommate. It has been an expensive ride. It has caused me to worry about finances. BUT, I think this opportunity would not have been given to me if I couldn’t handle it.

3. Finances

To put it lightly, finances are a bit of a wreck at the moment. The days of living “loosely” have crept up on me and of course, I’m paying for it quite dearly. However, I think that strategizing would be the best option for me at this point since tackling everything at once has been proven to be too much to handle.

I will have to schedule a time for blogging and social media. I will have to schedule a time for workouts, as well as meeting up with friends.

What about you? How’s life treating you these days?