Beijing Bicycle

In Beijing, one of the most insane cities I've ever experienced in my life...Half way around the world, 13 hrs across the Pacific Ocean, and at least, 5,000 miles from any familiar romance language, I’ve landed in the most dynamic, fascinating and surreal country of our age.

I would like to tell you how much I love the bike culture here! Imagine thousands of people on old antique bicycles everywhere--dodging crazy drivers, rickshaws and classy women carrying umbrellas to shield the sun (as if it were the 1940's)--very retro. There are more cars today than before, but imagine what it was like 10 years ago when entire streets were filled with only bikes. In Beijing, Ive been riding all over this city with my new Chinese friend, Bria, and have never had so much fun getting to know a city. Personally, it's such a high and a great duality of being totally exhilarated and scared out of your wits! Actually one of my favorite film's ::"Beijing Bicycle":: captures the very drama involved in riding one's bicycle around Beijing. If you've never seen it, go rent it, it's a really beautiful film/love-story. Watch the trailer here.

I can't say it enough: Beijing is a fantastic city and I could probably see myself moving here in the next year or so for work related purposes. But, in the meantime...

Next Stop: Shanghai

In the country, outside Beijing

Staying at this inspiring rural eco-ranch outside Beijing and was taken on a mind-blowing journey up an untouched portion of the Great Wall by a young Tibetan man. Indeed, the misty and quiet mountains around me was a silent reminder that I'm indeed far away from home these days. The climb was so steep and treacherous at times (only wearing Converse), that I kept on thinking about all the Chinese who worked and often died to build this over 6,000 mile epic barrier across the length of China...gripping the old wall stones with my bare hands, where people haven't touched for centuries, is a once in a lifetime experience. What a journey this has been!

I'm just so fascinated by this country.


Off to the Middle Kingdom

Leaving today for China, seemingly the most talked about country of our age...apart from Iraq, Israel/Palestine, North Korea..how the list seems to grow daily!

Food for Thought: Is it just me or is China just booming these days? Lately, we're hearing all about the country's "Great Leap Forward" into the competitive global marketplace...aka, capitalism. As China begins to open up more and more to the West as it prepares for the 2008 Olympics, the controversial 3 Gorges Dam and a massive migration of rural farmers to the urban (imagine the implications of this!), there is an aspect of China that is still so elusive and mysterious to me. Amongst all the scaffolding, cranes and bustling urban development projects, I've noticed how China seems to always be in dialogue with something so much greater and deeper than its heavily discussed GNP...or latest economic trends. Unlike most cultures, what the Chinese have, is the oldest continuous civilization of all time!

That just amazes me. I mean, damn, China has wrestled (argue ably better than anyone) with the best and worst of dynasties, emperors, wars and more recently, communism...and the country still survives, possibly even stronger. The Republic of China is now amidst a sort of Industrial Revolution, fueling for another great social structure, another great era. I was not able to experience America's industrial revolution, so I'm pretty stoked to witness this incredible dynamism, first hand, in Beijing and Shanghai.

Let's see what kind of design comes out of it too...!




Click on photos for greater detail and/or check out how Vogue Editor, Tabitha Simmons, takes on...menswear trends for women.
Watch Video

  1. Marc by Marc Jacobs
  2. Peter Som
  3. Yigal Azrouël
  4. Yigal Azrouël
  5. Katherine Hepburn

Chris Jordan

Running the Numbers
An American Self-Portrait

Von Lintel Gallery, New York City (June 14 to July 30)

"This new series looks at contemporary American culture through the austere lens of statistics. Each image portrays a specific quantity of something: fifteen million sheets of office paper (five minutes of paper use); 106,000 aluminum cans (thirty seconds of can consumption) and so on. My hope is that images representing these quantities might have a different effect than the raw numbers alone, such as we find daily in articles and books. Statistics can feel abstract and anesthetizing, making it difficult to connect with and make meaning of 3.6 million SUV sales in one year..."---Chris Jordan, Seattle, 2007


Uniform Studio

Uniform Studio is simple, well crafted and beautifully austere clothing for children + adults. It's an artful ensemble of fashion, interiors, atmosphere & process (Check out the designer's journal here). The minimalism of a neutral color palette along with thoughtful, handmade and relaxed proportions is exceptionally chic & lovely...especially when much of today's fashion can be so gaudy and overtly 'accessorized' for children and women that it makes you want to puke...ah! How refreshing to see clothing paired down, raw, essential and oh so handsome.

uni - consisting of one.
form - to make; the essence of something

semina culture

In high school I spent a great deal of time reading in the upstairs attic room of City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco (much like my days at Shakespeare & Co in Paris). I was a book nerd and the beats got me. Kerouac, Ginsberg, Burroughs and all the crazy adventures of the Merry Pranksters filled my life with surreal ramblings, dreams and of course, visual collages. Although, beyond Tzara, Picabia, Apollinaire and Breton, I had never heard of the oh so secret Wallace Berman and the Semina group until I saw an exposition at New York University's Grey Art Gallery this spring. Very much like the Dadaists in Europe, the Semina folks in California had a great love for collage, wood, scraps, graffiti and witty ridiculous humor.I could say so much more, but I think it would be best to check it out.


Maurizio Pellegrin

My former art teacher at NYU, Maurizio Pellegrin, is one of my favorite artists these days. Living between Venice and New York City, Pellegrin collects old objects, photographs and drawings and groups them together to create the most fascinating + surreal compositions since the 'dadaists'. What stories he tells and mysteries he propels!...it inspires me to rhyme
  1. Alcuni Russi
  2. Beyond the Window
  3. About Senses and Rain
  4. Delle Vibrazioni Sentimentali

FOUND by Michael Seidel in Chicago, Illinois. "Found a few days after the snow melted" as he said on February 09, 2006. I love this image, it looks as if it could have fallen out of one of Peter Beard's infamous scrap books on Africa. For such a simple image, it's exceptionally graphic and violent for the eye...my kind of photograph.


I really have a hard time finding postcards and stationary that I like and would want to send to people, so when I stumbled upon Estrela's work on the Etsy website, I immediately gravitated towards these highly saturated photographs/note cards. It's very lovely work and incorporates all my favorite colors.

my 2 favorite book covers


{{ kyledraws }}

musician, Little Wings, is a friend of my sisters.
His real name is Kyle...and he's a pretty funny guy
music style: post-modern beach boys / califorina_regional
Wikipedia, naturally, describes him best:

"...Kyle's fluid surfing style displays both the swooping and soaring of a gull...his transient, hippyish lyrical tones smack of west coast Buddhist-flavored beat poetry in the early spirit of Richard Brautigan...During a disastrous tour of Hawaii in the Spring of 2006, Kyle slept under a bridge because no one, including the organizers of the tour, knew he was in town..."

It's an experience to hear Kyle Fields talk and sing, but to see his drawings, one is fully blown away by his talent and imagination. I love his subtle/muted color palette of pinks, beige, light blues and greys to portrait the surreal california beach style of foggy mornings and sunny laid-back afternoons (a lot like Richard Diebenkorn's landscapes)...check out more of 'Uncle' Kyle's illustrations on his website: {{ kyledraws }} Maybe one day you will see this Dharma Bum, bumming and jamming around your neighborhood...in the meantime, listen to music samples of Little Wings (through the itunes music store...yes, they've got him too!)


Saturday in Brooklyn

Waterfront_Williamsburg: around River St & Metropolitan Ave
(+ tyler's room in *Mollusk* Surf Shop)


Our Grandpa's Cardies

DKNY_fall 07: Aubergine, my favorite color...DKNY filtered sweet Parisian chic with a New York edge and a daring affinity to neon. I love how the first look takes an oversize sweater and promotes the sliver of a sequin skirt, underneath, to peek through. The 2nd & 3rd looks are an ode to my favorite accessory, the big, graphic and colorful scarf-->Periodically, I will be posting highlights of this year's fashion collections because in comparison to last fall's mod & 80's punk revival, this coming season is remarkably chic and forward. Finally, designer's are thinking beyond...and, more global. This year's woman is confident in her own eclectic and cleanly pieced, indigenous style.


Great Expectations

To make a long story short, the NYtimes last Sunday had a great article on one particular apartment in the otherwise banal Peter Cooper Village in NYC. The images were pure visual eye candy for me. The interiors of this apartment remind me of the surreal and very green set design of the 1998 film, Great Expectations. I love all the ivy creeping inside, the Gaudi/art nouveau floral motifs and the choreography of old antiques with his own random creations. It's all just so fantastic! Here's an excerpt, enjoy...

The Steamfitter’s Escape

"THERE are 11,232 parquet-floored apartments in Peter Cooper Village and its sister complex, Stuyvesant Town, east of First Avenue, all built in the 1940s as affordable housing for middle-income tenants, and all remarkably similar in style and layout. Or almost all, anyway: one stands out for its stained-glass windows, its wall of vines and its spiral staircase to nowhere. Step inside, and you’ll never think of mirrors on the ceiling the same way again. His Way Lenny Weiner outfitted his living room with a fake fireplace, a mirrored wall painted with the New York skyline and a staircase that has fooled neighbors into thinking he has a duplex.
Lenny Weiner, the retired union steamfitter and former Golden Gloves welterweight champion who lives there, isn’t afraid of a little glitter, or even a lot of it. He has pressed red plastic gems into the tufts of his forest-green leather couch and covered the wall behind it with rhinestones. Decorative moldings coated with iridescent white paint frame ceilings and doorways. A chandelier in the shape of a giant star, which Mr. Weiner pieced together with strands of crystals from lighting shops on the Bowery, dangles from the ceiling near deep-green faux-tin tiles. A few feet away, a circular mirror on the ceiling above the spiral staircase creates the illusion of a second story.(Todd Heisler, NYTimes)"


Secret places in Manhattan

Sometimes amongst all the mundane cement of Manhattan, one will eventually stumble upon a green scene--a kind of "secret garden" space. It's moments like these that keep me so drawn to this city. If you walk all over New York and barely use transport (like myself), you will stumble upon the craziest and most beautiful architecture + places. Sometimes, it requires walking under yellow tape and opening doors you probably shouldn't, but in doing so, you will be privy to the most amazing interior scenes. I have found that NYC is simply a facade of old tenements, scaffolding and metal doors. But much like Europe and Latin America, the city secretly hides some really unique interior courtyards as well as creative little gardens. For the 2 last photos above, I had to peer through a crack in a gate to see these modern/rugged courtyards. The afternoon light made it extremely magical. I love how the iron fire escapes + old red brick of the tenements frame the jungle of green vines beyond.