Tango Pop-up Art Exhibition at Chelsea Market

One of the fundamental differences separating humans from most of the animal kingdom is our innate ability to recognize basic patterns. We are endowed with the cognitive aptitude to learn through association, to differentiate and categorize, to see the world through a frame of reference unlike any other living creature, and this acumen informs what we think and say and do. And what differentiates “creatives” from the rest of our species is their exceptional ability to see the achingly simple or astoundingly complex patterns the rest of us are unable to distinguish. The Chinese artist, Gao Youjun (also known as Tango), who is famed for his clever illustrations on the social network, Weibo, is a perfect example of this subspecies. Continue reading Tango Pop-up Art Exhibition at Chelsea Market

Silence of the Music by OSGEMEOS at Lehmann Maupin

When you arrive at 2nd Avenue and 1st Street in the East Village of New York City, you’re met with a massive yellow figure climbing out of the wall, dressed in a turned-around cap and a track jacket,wielding a boombox.  It’s a tribute to the hip hop culture that heavily influenced the artists, Brazilian twins known artistically as OSGEMEOS.  The mural features one of their signature yellow characters which is meant to be racially neutral (in contrast with having to identify with one of the six preset emoji skin tones offered by WhatsApp), and it’s just one of the thoughtful concepts you’ll find at the duo’s exhibition, Silence of the Music, at the Lehmann Maupin Gallery in Chelsea. Continue reading Silence of the Music by OSGEMEOS at Lehmann Maupin

New York Fashion Week: Hot to Adopt with Fresh Step

Four years and twenty-six days ago, I lost my cat Felix.  Everyone thinks their cat is special, but calling Felix “special” would be doing him a huge disservice.  He was uncannily shrewd.  He figured out how to open doors and drawers.  He manipulated timed feeders into futility.  And he orchestrated cover-ups: he’d once gained access to a large bag of food in the pantry, but continued to pretend he was hungry at feeding times so we wouldn’t get suspicious.  Felix gave me fourteen years of laughter, frustration, pride, annoyance, and lots and lots of love. Continue reading New York Fashion Week: Hot to Adopt with Fresh Step

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