Monday, March 31, 2014

1-Minute Portraits

We came across these ink illustrations hanging outside of a coffeeshop in the Bukchon Hanok Village.

And then we saw this:

We found a queue of folks waiting to get their 1-minute portraits done.  After navigating the system (you had to buy a beverage at the coffee shop first and show your receipt in order to have the 1000 won portrait) and pushing and getting pushed through the line of locals waiting to have theirs done, we finally got to sit for ours.

Here is a weirdly reflective shot of Janine getting her portrait done.

Oh, and here are some cute coffee bags that the same artist did:

This was gonna be really great, areyoufeelingme?  Who doesn't love a quickie caricature?  

I'll tell you who doesn't--ME.

And when I say "ME," I refer to the apparently 80-year-old me on the bottom left.  (Thanks for making sure not to miss any facial lines or worry marks, mister.  Note to self:  need a better night cream.)  I chalked it up to having my hair pulled back and, um, to the cruel hand of time.  (Still, the guy's a jerk.)  So I channeled my let-down into excitement to see my colleagues' cute portraits.  But then Karin came out with the weird one at bottom right.  And so we both put our energy into thinking/hoping that Janine's was gonna be GREAT--not only because her hair was down and she's a pretty lady, but also the universe wouldn't throw THREE doggy portraits our way... right?  We're thinking that we paid our 3000 won just like the rest of the Koreans walking out with darling one-of-a-kind artwork so at least one of us was gonna get a nice portrait... until Janine walked out and showed us herself re-imagined as a frightened pauper child.  WH-HUT?  This leaves me with two theories:  (1) This is actually how we looked to a random Korean coffee shop-artist, or (2) That guy's totally racist.  Or maybe maybe maybe it's simply a case of getting what we paid for.



I have already declared my love for Seoul here, but after each visit my love seems to burn even brighter for this place.  News this time:  regular old cellphones seem to work and glutinous rice treats (n.b.:  these are gluten-free, despite sounding so gluten-y in name) abound!  I was like some weird dessert junkie, obsessed with where I was gonna score my next glutinous rice treat the whole time.  Nom nom nom.

Oh, and the Style Nanda flagship store in Hongdae is worth whatever your airline ticket costs to get there.  Holy moles, it was SO GOOD.

Just a random sock machine at the Doota store.

I don't know the name of this place, and even though I took a card, I am now not sure which card it is.  Here is what I know:  It is somewhere in Itaewon.  There was an owl in the logo. It seemed like more of a hipster drinking spot, but the food was fantastic.  The kind waiter googled photos of what the food would look like since he couldn't explain to us in English.  We had a seafood hotpot that was bigger than my head and filled with clams and mussels and the biggest squid that Mr. Kind Waiter scissored into pieces for us.  I absolutely recommend this place to anyone going to Seoul... if only I could figure out what it's called!  

Awww, baby made some gwaffiti...

Just about the cutest to-go coffee situation ever.  SO HOT!

And now for some of the glutinous rice treats!  This is a plastic rendition of a glutinous rice cake, which is (again) totally gluten-free and naturally sweetened.  I took one of the pumpkin variety.

And this is a glutinous rice cake flavored with mugwort, which is much better tasting than it sounds.

Above are some shots from our walk around Bukchon Hanok Village, which is not at all as touristy as something similar would be in the United States.  By the way, how pretty are those bricks behind the fish heads?  

And here's some more cutesy graffiti for you.  Oh, Seoul....

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Random Eats

Stuff I ate/made at home in the past month...

Raw blueberry-banana pie.

Kale and sweet potato tacos with raw cacao mole.

Maple glazed baked bacon, hash, and an egg.

Addicted to the kräftröra from Melander's fisk.  It's basically a creamy crawfish salad, here "healthed up" a bit on cucumber. 

Rice and spinach fritters with a side of avocado and delicious hot sauce I brought back from Indonesia.


A musical interlude.

It was a karaoke night for the ages.

Back to Shanghai

Scenes from Shanghai in March.

Fur cap = so good.  Did not buy, though.

Kitty jacquard at Miu Miu!

After lunch at the fabric show.  Zzzzz....

The 5-year-old me would have FREAKED OUT at this stuffed animal store.  The 38-year-old me sorta did, too.

Airport signage.  I love the emotion this implies.  I'm not throwing away my liquids pre-security.  I'm abandoning them.  Wait, wait!  I'm sorry liquids, I didn't mean for it to end like this!  I'll always remember you!

Proof That Doha Duty Free Thinks It's Still The '70s

Spotted at the Duty Free in Qatar, en route to Shanghai:

Really?!?  Who still buys this stuff?


We arrived in Stockholm from Paris at 11 pm on a Thursday, un- and re-packed and left straight from work the next day for Amsterdam.  Here we are, tired and on another plane.

We stayed at Hotel The Exchange in Amsterdam, and ended up with this all-white-everything room.  All knobs and panels and switches were covered with white boxes.  It was fantastic!  

We caught the William Klein at FOAM.

What a prolific artist!  I think I enjoyed his fashion photography best.

We got to catch up with some of our favorites!  Spent the day with Monica and the night with Celia, Frida and Jamie, Imogen, Amy, Leen, Richard and Kat, and on and on to celebrate Nick and Miz's getting hitched.  FANTASTIC-O!  We really do know the best people on the planet.

On The Train to Premiere Vision

Paris in February

We got in some serious quality time with these two.  The best!

Duck chez Magali.

Fancy lad.

I am not such a big David Lynch fan (OK, I don't like him), but we checked out his photo exhibit.  There were some nice ones and some real crap ones.  Afterwards we had a coffee and a chat about the photos because that's how we do.

How glutards each rilettes--on a piece of cheese!  (HEART ATTACK.)

The first person in the place.  19:30 will always be early for dinner in Paris.

Peep that bowl of mousse!  You betcha we got a scoop of that!

Scenes from a tiki bar.

Random In-Between Bits

Insists on lapping it while I'm on the computer.  (Happening right now, also.)

That day I had the giant bun.  There's no bun bagel or filler in there, people.  What a tease!

Most disgusting packaging ever.  

The Just-Got-Her-Nails-Did pose.

I started online Swedish classes.  I have to wear a headset, like a telemarketer.  It is frustrating enough to be terrible at Swedish in a one-on-one situation but to look this stupid while being so...

Life in Sweden means large-scale supermarket taxidermy.