New York Fashion Week: Tommy x Gigi



Most kids remember getting up early to watch Saturday Morning Cartoons while they noshed on their breakfast cereal of choice, but I remember eagerly anticipating Sunday mornings at 10 am, which is when Fashion File would come on in Malaysia.  I’d plop myself in front of the TV and watch as models strutted the runway in Versace, Lacroix and Gaultier.  To say the industry has evolved since then is quite the understatement!  Fashion has become more accessible than ever, and now addicts like myself can easily live stream runway shows, refresh social media feeds, or check blogs that are being updated every few minutes during major events like New York Fashion Week. Continue reading New York Fashion Week: Tommy x Gigi

Indonesian Street Festival



When we would return from school holidays while I was growing up in Malaysia, some of my friends would render tales of surfboarding in California or chasing pigeons in Trafalgar Square.  I don’t know if we couldn’t afford it, or if my father simply didn’t find the travel and/or destinations appealing, but we never visited the western hemisphere.  Our family vacations took us to closer locales like Thailand and Indonesia.  There’s a lot of overlap between Indonesian and Malaysian culture — we share similarities in language, food and beliefs — but Indonesia is much larger and more diverse.  The archipelago of over 18,000 islands has hundreds of ethnic groups and distinct dialects, so it manages to feel familiar and exotic at the same time.  Visiting the Indonesian Street Festival this past weekend was a fun return to that very same intoxicating combination. Continue reading Indonesian Street Festival

Mmuseumm: the smallest, quirkiest museum in New York City



If you ask someone what they think about New York City, they’ll undoubtedly have an opinion.  For those seduced by the city’s many charms, the response will probably be that of hackneyed superlatives.  Naysayers, on the other hand, will issue a laundry list of grievances.  You’ll hear any number of things, but I’d be willing to bet “boring” won’t be one of them.  This city’s single greatest virtue is that, no matter how long you live here, you’ll never see it all.   Continue reading Mmuseumm: the smallest, quirkiest museum in New York City

Peak Summer in New York City: Enjoying an Outdoor Movie with Rooftop Cinema Club



I love movies. From the classics to the contemporaries, the small indies to the big blockbusters.  We’ve written some posts about how movie buffs like ourselves geek out here in New York City, from attending the legendary Tribeca Film Festival to enjoying an opening week screening in a small, neighborhood theater. But let’s face it: most of us just streamed movies from our bed all winter. So now that the weather has warmed up, it’s time to put down the remote and partake in one of the most enjoyable summer activities available: watching a movie outdoors, under the New York City sky.   Continue reading Peak Summer in New York City: Enjoying an Outdoor Movie with Rooftop Cinema Club

Alfred Hitchcock in New York City



New York City is experiencing a seemingly unending heat wave which is taxing both our spirits and our wallets.  Many of us duck indoors, finding solace in brick-and-mortar purveyors where we trade goods and services we don’t really need for the air conditioning we desperately do.  But the brief reprieve often does little to slow the faucet of sweat rolling down our scalps and backs.  Raphael Pope-Sussman wrote a wonderful piece for Gothamist about the ghosts of heat waves past where he revealed that many New Yorkers once slept on their fire escapes to avoid the stifling heat inside their apartments.  I couldn’t help but immediately think of Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window.  The movie — one of my favorites — starts with the view from L.B. Jeffries’s Greenwich Village apartment in the midst of high summer.  It scans a courtyard and introduces us to his neighbors, the rising mercury level enabling our voyeurism,  since “nobody seems to pull their blinds during a hot spell like this.” Continue reading Alfred Hitchcock in New York City

The Merchant of Venice at the Lincoln Center Festival



As I mentioned once before here, I studied English Lit at university. And I’m sure it will come as no surprise that I read a fair bit of Shakespeare during that time, and by “fair”, I mean a lot. And throughout my studies, I analyzed, discussed, and wrote a lot of papers about the famed playwright and his innumerable works. The Merchant of Venice was one of those works — a challenging one. It was required reading in a few of my later classes, so I’m quite familiar with it. It’s sort of notorious for being an emotionally complicated and intellectually treacherous play to study, and it’s much less read for enjoyment due to its subject matter. And for this reason, it’s anathema for many students. Of all of Shakespeare’s plays, I cannot think of another fostering a more strained and contentious relationship between readers, academics, historians and the material itself. Continue reading The Merchant of Venice at the Lincoln Center Festival

Summer Streets: A (Temporarily) Car-Free New York City



My love affair with New York City started out as a long-distance relationship filled with whirlwind visits, teary goodbyes and months of longing in between.  As my feelings for it grew deeper, the distance became unbearable and the decision to close the geographical gap became inevitable.  Once we were no longer apart, I endeavored to explore it more deeply, anxious to unearth all its secrets.  I was enthralled by its charms and blind to its flaws.  But alas, time is no friend to commitment.  Adorable quirks began to turn into grating annoyances.  Fortunately, New York City is a savvy lover: it realizes when it’s been too trying, too needy, too demanding.  So it does something special to remind you how great it is.  This past Saturday it pulled a little velvet box out of its pocket and gave me Summer Streets. Continue reading Summer Streets: A (Temporarily) Car-Free New York City

Diane Arbus at the Met Breuer



There are artists that inspire other artists, and Diane Arbus is one of them.  Even if you’re not familiar with her name, you’re likely to be familiar with her work.  You might recall seeing her famous photographs, Child with a Toy Hand Grenade in Central Park or Identical Twins, Roselle, NJ (which happens to bear a striking resemblance to the twins from Kubrick’s The Shining).  You might also recall a movie starring Nicole Kidman based loosely on her life.  When her photographs were shown at MoMa in 1967, the Director of the Department of Photography at the time included Diane Arbus in a new generation of photographers which he believed varied from the photographers of the past in that they “had a belief that the world is worth looking at, and the courage to look at it without theorizing.” Continue reading Diane Arbus at the Met Breuer

Don’t Think Twice



Let’s imagine, for a second, that you watched Casino Royale and fell in love with the Aston Martin. You dreamt of owning it. You started an Aston Martin Fund.  You collected pictures of it. You learned everything you could about it. Then one day your best friend shows up at your house in an Aston Martin.  “Isn’t it cool?”, he says. “My dad bought it for me.” Continue reading Don’t Think Twice

Unfinished at the Met Breuer



When the Met Breuer, named after its famous architect Marcel Breuer, opened in March, it promised to be the Met’s hip younger sibling — a response to the growing hunger for contemporary art.  However, its maiden exhibition, Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible, was greeted with a lukewarm response.  Comparisons were drawn to the space’s former resident, the Whitney, and other contemporary art museums like MoMa and LACMA.  I’m probably less discerning than an art critic, but I found Unfinished to be a fun reshuffling of the deck.   Continue reading Unfinished at the Met Breuer