The Big Apple

For our summer trip, my family went to New York for 3 weeks! Well, my mom was working there so it wasn’t all vacation all of time. So in a way, we got a little taste of what it would be like to live there. I made a list of things to do and it had some of typical NYC stuff: museums, soho, times square, places to eat, and musicals. And of course, I had to go to the garment district! My brother had a different objective: to eat his way through New York. (His favorite spot was Ichiran for ramen.)

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washington square park, there are fireflies there!

The Met

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if you look closely you can see the shadow forms drawn in the back
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i’ll always love modern art
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one of my favorite paintings

If you couldn’t tell, I love art and art museums (ever since I was little). The Met is so big that you could spend an entire afternoon on just one floor, which is what happened when we went there. We basically stayed on the second floor and I’m not sure we even finished it by the time we had to go. We went to the Comme de Garçons exhibit (see my post: Rei Kawakubo – Comme de Garçons“), modern art, Age of the Empires, and paintings. Next time I go back, maybe I’ll get to see another floor of The Met!

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Musicals– I watched Wicked, and I was beyond amazed. This was my first experience watching a musical–and it was a good one to start off with. The costuming was playful and the performance was charming and funny. I knew “Defying Gravity” from Glee so I was able to sing along (in my head, not aloud) to that. We squeezed in another musical before we left: Chicago. It did not have the level of stage production as Wicked but the performance and storytelling was equally moving. We were excited because the lead was Asian, but that evening her understudy subbed in for her :/

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love the yellow seats // rare moments of an empty subway

Subways–When I was in New York last year for just a few days I didn’t experience much drama on the subway. But this summer, there was plenty to see. I saw couples breaking up. A girl was sobbing; she yelled at the dude to “stop laughing at me.” I saw couples making up, or at least trying to. A guy kept trying to hug and kiss his girl and she kept pulling away (he must’ve messed up!).

I saw subway dancers, no surprise there. Dancers that were not good and messing up and dropping their hats. Dancers that were really talented. I heard musicians and singing. One guy was singing so loud and out of tune on a quiet train… I could barely contain my laughter. I honestly thought it was a baby crying. When I turned to my brother to ask, “Where’s the baby?” we noticed that it was some guy singing. He sounded worse than me and my friend Andrea’s attempts at singing opera! I still laugh when I think about that guy.

Guggenheim

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iconic spiral
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downwards view

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Being in the Guggenheim, I felt like I was in Annie or Mr. Popper’s Penguins. Before coming here, those were my own two references for the museum! It was my first time here. The design of the building made it very easy to go through. I loved that you really can’t miss anything because it’s all on the spiral path. They had a lot of modern abstract art and in at least one room that veered off the spiral path, there was artwork with more realism.

Brooklyn Flea

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hawaiian shirts reminded me about school spirit days
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plenty of army green and camo
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omnia had too many cute vintage pieces!

I love vintage clothing and Brooklyn Flea (which was not in Brooklyn but in SoHo) was the place to go! But sadly everything was over priced, at least for my budget. 😦 But I was able to get a orange vintage FILA shirt for $10 (I think she gave me a discount because we were both Filipino!) and a vintage yellow Nike dad hat for $20.

Coney Island

07-2017-Travel-New-York-Coney-Island-beach 07-2017-Travel-New-York-Coney-Island-Rides-Games 07-2017-Travel-New-York-Coney-Island-Rides-Games While I loved going on the rides at Coney Island…the place was just was not for me. It was crowded and grungier than I thought it would be. But my brother loved it. There was a boardwalk that was very pretty with the sun setting.

Times Square

07-2017-Travel-New-York-Times-Square   Speaking of crowded places, we ended up here after watching Chicago. Only because we had to go through it on our way to the train station. This was my second time in Times Square, but I never really enjoy it because of all the noise and people.

love,
laur

 

 

 

 

 

The Garment District

My favorite part of New York? The Garment District! I’m going to miss it so much. It is amazingly overwhelming. The fabric and trims and applique and accessory stores have so many options! I could spend hours in them. My mind was flowing with ideas after seeing the different bag straps and chains, suede ties, and belt materials. I wish I could bring a little bit of everything back home with me.

Fashion Institute of Technology

I was very much looking forward to going here! Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) had 2 exhibitions in their museum. The fashion exhibit had textiles and designs that were inspired by nature. Photography was not allowed inside so I can’t show you any images. But my favorite looks included a dress from the 1920s that had fabric layered to look like fish scales and a floral mens suit. There was a speedo bodysuit in there too (lol). There were mannequins outside the exhibit entrance wearing designs created by their students in the fashion program.

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i noticed the interesting cuts of the satin skirt, i liked the billowy organza sleeves
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i love how this student combined knit fabric with pieces she hand-knitted
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the cinching and details around the jacket caught my eye
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a masculine look. i liked how this student incorporated longs belts at the bottom of the sleeves
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i liked the color and the oversized cape with the asymmetrical hood

FIT’s other exhibit was “Thirteen Stories” where 13 students displayed their visual theses. Here are some of my favorites.

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these black and white pieces stood out compared to all the colorful visuals that everyone had.
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she also had some of her visuals on a screen to display more of her art
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i really liked this artist’s style of drawing, her fashion illustrations, and how she included parts of new york.
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close up of her illustrations. it reminded me of this book series i had when i was younger “The English Roses” by Madonna, but Illustrated by Jeffrey Fulvimari

Mood Fabrics

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I definitely had Project Runway vibes walking in. We went upstairs right away for ripstop nylon for a new windbreaker I want to make. (I can’t wait to get back and work on it.) They had a lot of options for a fairly decent price. I also looked for corduroy but they only had 3 color options– none that I wanted. Disappointing. The lady who showed us the corduroy was very officious (a vocab word I learned last year!) as she cut swatches from the fabrics for us. She didn’t have to do it, but she was very nice! In fact, all the workers were very nice and willing to help.

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buttons on buttons on buttons
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iconic
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heart eyes for all the fabric options

Botani Trimmings

07-2017-Travel-new-York-Garment-District-Botani-Trimming-ZippersWith ZIPPERS written big on an awning, we assumed there would be a selection… but when you walk in, there are a rows, upon rows, filled with rolls of zippers! And at the other end of the space, there were different types of ribbing, then a room of full of chains, buckles, buttons, snaps, grommets, and other metal things in tiny drawers stacked to the ceiling, and finally another room full of anything you could possibly need for belts, as well as patches, lace trims, and suede ties.

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all these options for ties–suede, silk, nylon!!
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rolls of zippers for custom zippers
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cotton and nylon bag straps

I actually went into this store to get a jacket zipper for my next project, a windbreaker as Mood Fabrics didn’t have many zippers to choose from. I wanted to get a 22″ yellow zipper made of plastic, but I couldn’t find it. Then person working at the register told me that they make custom zippers on the spot! What?! They matched my fabric, customized the length, and made me choose the plastic zipper style. It was crazy, fast, and not expensive.

While we waited for the zipper, we ended up getting a few other things including some belt material and suede ties, that I don’t know what to do with yet, but can’t wait to experiment with.

I’ll miss this store so much! I wish the Bay Area had a store like this.

Feathers and Trimmings

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We walked past this store on our way to Mood Fabrics, but we couldn’t resist not going in so we circled back to it. It’s an explosion of color inside. All the rhinestones you could possibly want, a million different feathers, and bins and bins of embroidered patches.

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all the feathers look like mini fireworks
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THE GUCCI SNAKE
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i loved all these patches, but i got brown branch with yellow blossoms (top right corner) one for another project that i also can’t wait to work on

I will definitely miss the garment district in New York. I really wish the bay area had one 😦 I hope to see the garment district in LA when I go in the fall, but it may not be the same.

love,
laur

 

Rei Kawakubo – Comme des Garçons

On the top of my list of things to do while we’re in New York is The Met. The special exhibit I wanted to see was “Rei Kawakubo – Comme des Garçons – Art of the In Between.” We didn’t waste any time when we got there. My mom, brother, cousin, auntie, and I went straight up stairs to the exhibit. It was beyond crowded and noisy in there. People talking and crowding around the different collections. I really loved how each collection was named, like “Child/Adult” or “Birth/Marriage/Death” and how some were more hidden. The whole room was white, so everything really stood out.

My favorite collections:

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i really like how abstract the top is. i was wondering what it was made out of. this was one of the few that had unfinished seams showing.
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i love the look on the left; how it’s a business suit but with extra billowy sleeves.
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this look was less out going compared to the other ones. the hair also reminded me of jimmy neutron.
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i really wanted to touch this to see how lush and soft it was.
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these neutral colored looks at the top were one of the first things that caught my attention.
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these were my absolute favorite. i loved all the different colors, patterns, and fabrics; but it all works together as one. they looked like asian warriors.
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this was very interesting (i mean all the looks were interesting) but this was something that defied description.
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a lot of the comme des garçons forms were broad/wide but these two bridal forms were slim. i like how the flowers were tied in. there was also texture printed onto the fabrics.
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this look was constantly surrounded by people. it was hard to actually see it

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The Comme des Garçons gift shop had their iconic converse collab, shirts, bags, and books. I really wanted a yellow shirt but both were over $100!

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love,
laur

 

 

SweetSexySavage

“YOU’RE THE ONLY ONE THAT I GET LIKE…YOU’RE THE ONLY ONE THAT I GET LIKE, GET LIKE THIS FOR.” This is how I lost my voice the next day. Singing at the top of my lungs at Kehlani’s Sweet Sexy Savage tour concert at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley.

The concert was a night to remember. An open air venue on a warm night. Singing and dancing with my best friends, Maya and Kailani, and also other strangers around us. Kehlani was amazing and so were her openers. It was a perfect way to start summer.

But before the show began, there was plenty going on. While we were in line we saw Noodles drive past the line slapping SOB’s Anti. A couple of girls were drinking as much alcohol as they could cause they couldn’t bring it in. A group of girls were playing SOB, HBK GANG, P-Lo, and other Bay Area artists. It was obnoxious but even more obnoxious were the girls talking straight mess about the music. “SOB is trash.” “My friends knew them before they were famous.”

Once we got in, Maya and I copped a SSS shirt and lani got a Noodles hat. We weren’t in the pit but we had a really great spot. It’s cool cause if we were in the pit we wouldn’t have been able to see.

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Marteen, 16 yr old from the bay, performed a few of his songs and an acoustic cover of  “That’s What I Like” by Bruno Mars.
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Jahkoy, a Soundcloud artist from Canada

While Jahkoy was performing, two girls just a little bit older than us came over. They asked us who he was and I said, “A Soundcloud artist” and they were like, “Wooowww Soundcloud artist huh,” all sarcastic (it reminded me of how my friend Andrea and I joke around). The girls took a selfie with us and then made their way into the pit, trying to bring us along. I wish we got their snapchat lol.

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Ella Mai, artist from London

My friend Maya and I were like, “She has to sing ‘She Don’t’ as her closing song,” which is our favorite song by her. And she did. We sang every word and this girl next to us was hyping us up.

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Noodles, the DJ; one of Kehlani’s best friends and a bay area native

Noodles was slapping that music, playing hella bay songs such as “Blow The Whistle”, “Feelin Myself”, “Cupcake no Fillin”, “Big Tymin”, “How Does It Feel”, and “Anti”. She also played good songs that get you hyped up like “Push Me To The Edge”, “HUMBLE.”, and “Why You Always Hatin”.

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Of course now… KEHLANI

Kehlani was on stage in a bralette and wide-legged pants that button up on the outer side seams. She is an amazing performer and is so sweet and down to earth, too. She said that she walked that stage during her high school graduation and this was one of her most important performances yet. She sang most of her songs off of SweetSexySavage and a few throwbacks, too. In between songs, she gave short talks that were inspirational, about spreading good energy, love, and positivity.

2017-06-Events-Concerts-Kehlani-SSS-Kehlani-KidsWhen Kehlani sang “Advice” this little girl was crying, so Kehlani brought her on stage. IT WAS THE CUTEST THING EVER. So while singing along, I started to cry lmao. After she brought that little girl on stage she told all the kids 10 and under to come on stage on her closing song “CRZY”. Everyone around us was joking, “Can I be under 10?!?”

2017-06-Events-Concerts-Kehlani-SSS-Kehlani-Kids-CrzyDuring CRZY all the little kids got to dance with her on stage. (When it came to a bad word in the song Kehlani would skip it aha.) During CRZY I was dancing and singing and this drunk girl gave me and all my friends a hugs saying, “OMG I love you guys!”

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Afterwards our voices hurt but it was definitely worth it. I will forever remember this night.

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afterwards we met up with some of my other friends that went.

love,
laur

West Coast Craft Summer ’17

I skipped last week’s post because it was finals week, but I’m happy to say freshman year of high school is over (but bittersweet)! AND IT’S FINALLY SUMMER BREAK! Normally I would have slept in the first weekend of break, but I got up extra early to go to West Coast Craft. I thought it was the best year yet for the show. The last time I went everything looked the same: denim, indigo colored/dyed, and lots and lots of BRASS. Well, there was still a lot of brass this year but still…it was better.

West Coast Craft is a weekend event and creatives showcase their goods in booths. It was good for style watching. I saw a lot of people (both sellers and buyers) wearing some fire outfits–cropped wide-legged pants, overalls, ankle-length jackets, and layering. I should’ve taken some pictures of the outfits, but it was so crowded.

In front of the the building there were food trucks and a farmers’ market.  At J Shack you can create your own crepe or they have different types of sweet or savory crepes to choose from.

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My friend Maya and I went to J Shack to split a crepe that had nutella, strawberries, bananas, and green tea ice cream. IT WAS HELLA GOOD, but probably too early in the morning to be eating it though hah.

Once we got in, we scoped the place out and walked around to all the booths to take notes on what we liked. Then we walked around a second time to pick up a few things we did like and were in our price range… a lot things were pretty expensive!

Cute booths:

MOON COLLECTIVE — A lifestyle brand based in SF/Honolulu.

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REALLY LIKED THAT TIGER SHIRT
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love their booth & peep the painted air force 1 high tops
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pick ups for father’s day…want that shirt for myself lmao

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LEISURE RULES — A clothing brand also based in SF

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i really liked this simple embroidered champion crewneck
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some hoodies

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STUDIO LOS ANGELES: (they currently don’t have a website but their instagram is @shopstudiola )

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I WOULD TOTALLY WEAR THIS WATCHING SET
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(I was inspired by these pants. I want to make something like them)

J’AIME LABEL — curated vintage items, absolutely love

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I copped these vintage sunglasses, and I’m in love with them!

Going to West Coast Craft made me so inspired to make things and sell them. Maybe I’ll apply one day!

love,
laur

The Lone Star State

Why Texas for spring break? 1) We’ve never been to Austin, and 2) we wanted to meet up with my cousin stationed at Fort Hood.

For six days, we stayed at a 2-story Airbnb in Austin that reminded me of Muji. It was simple with wooden accent walls, concrete floors, wooden sliding bathroom doors, and bamboo curtain rods. Our first stop after landing was Terry Black’s BBQ. (The leftovers, warmed on a skillet, made for a great breakfast the following morning.) Afterwards, my mom and I checked out a thrift store called Lo-fi with lots of vintage jackets, windbreakers, and sweatshirts, while the sneakerheads (dad, brother, cousin) headed to Nice Kicks.

We heard that bats that fly out of a bridge in Austin at dusk, so naturally we went over to see what that was about. When we got to the area there were a ton of people waiting. When we’d hear noises or see a bird fly by, we’d pull out our phones all excited. When the bats finally came out thirty minutes later, I had already drained my battery from all the false alarms. :/ I thought they were going to be huge bats with giant wings, but they turned out to be smaller, which I guess is a good thing.

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My moody BBQ-leftover breakfast.

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An ice cream truck with no actual ice cream for Nice Kicks.
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Shopping at Lo-fi.

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We spent our 2nd morning on the Colorado River, which ran under the bat bridge. It was a good thing my mom and I shared a kayak because it was a team effort to actually get moving–we are not pros, but we survived. The rest of my family did waterbikes, a much better idea. For dinner we ate at El Chile near our Airbnb. It was lively. We were seated near a big party having a blast, laughing, and toasting to “familia!”

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Ceviche, tacos, enchiladas at El Chile.

The following day, my brother had finished his graphic novel so he needed another one for the flight back, so we ended up at Bookpeople. To stay dry and out of the rain, we watched a movie at Alamo Drafthouse. Afterwards we continued thrifting (even though it bored my dad and brother). I didn’t get anything at I Luv Vintage cause most of it was pricey, but my mom got some needlepoint artwork at Antique Marketplace.

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The marquee at Bookpeople.
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This is I Luv Vintage.

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During our trip, we also spent an afternoon in Fort Hood which is about an hour away from Austin. We went to an open air museum with tanks, helicopters, and other vehicles, saw the barracks where my cousin stays, and dropped by the PX.

The rest of our time in Austin, we’d sleep in and start our day at lunch. One of those meals was at Elizabeth Street Cafe which had Vietnamese and Singaporean dishes. Later that day, we went to see the Contemporary Austin museum. We happened to go on a Tuesday which was apparently free admission (yay!). The art on display was by Garth Weiser. His paintings are abstract and layered, and kinda gives off this optical illusion feeling.

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Escargot with bread!
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The wallpaper and art in the ladies’ room.
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Fried Egg Crispy Pork Belly Banh Mi, Pho Bo, House Speciality Banh Mi, and Singapore Noodles (really good).
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A large painting by Garth Weiser.

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Another lunch was at Hillside Farmacy, which used to be a pharmacy in the 20s. It took almost an hour to get our food (so loooong!). After that, my brother kept asking to go mini-golfing, so we killed an hour playing 18 holes at Peter Pan Mini-Golf. It happened to be a sunny day so we were also prepared to go swimming. The original plan was to swim at Barton Springs (absolutely gorgeous), but it was closed since it had stormed and flooded the day before. We ended up at Deep Eddy Pool, a huge pool but so cold.

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French toast, kale caesar, “numba six” sandwich, and eastside club at Hillside Farmacy.
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THIS CANNOT BE TINKERBELL!

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Barton Springs, closed. womp womp 

For our last dinner in town, my cousin picked a Peruvian place called Lima Criolla. It was my second time ever eating Peruvian food. The restaurant was run by all women which I loved (I could see all the women in the kitchen). Before my cousin joined the army, he used to take me and my brother out for dessert, usually boba, on special days when he’d pick us up from school. So like old times, we went dessert hopping, hitting up Mang8 for boba and shaved ice. The adults had Prohibition Creamery which serves ice cream with some alcohol.

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All in all, we had a great time in Austin. We’re coming back for Barton Springs the next time we’re out there.

love,
laur

 

A Day In LA

My family and I were in Southern California for a three day weekend, but we only had one day in LA. So we tried to squeeze as much as we could, except pretty much everyone else had the same plan. We wanted to go to the Broad Museum, but the wait was over 2 hours to get in. We skipped it and ended up at Melrose.

Melrose wasn’t exactly the best shopping (for me), but it was good for inspiration. There were yeezy-dressed up people in oversized clothing and sneakers. Girls layered up in paper bag dresses with cute berets. (Not sure I could pull off that look.) People were taking outfit pictures against street art or the florals at Joyrich or inside the Palihotel (including me).

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For lunch we had Taiwanese food at Pine & Crane in Silverlake (very cute with hipster Asians working there). We tried the beef roll, zha jiang noodles, pea sprouts, beef noodle soup, and twice cooked pork. It’s not the type of place where you can have lunch for 2 hours, it is eat and go…which is fine because we had more things to do!

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Since we couldn’t get into the Broad, we checked out the Hauser Wirth & Schimmel gallery (my mom’s idea). Jason Rhoades’ art was on exhibit–and it was so cool. Lots of neon lights tied to other objects, but also rooms that looked like they were filled with a bunch of random things found around the house (but hey, that’s art). It’s really about interpretation/story/philosophy behind it and what the artist is trying to convey to the audience.

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Ah donuts on stick remind me of bagels on a stick in iCarly!
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Not my parents
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Not my brother

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From the gallery, we walked over to Urth Cafe. It was pretty crowded but we found a table in a room that was filled with police officers having lattes, sandwiches, and cake. I couldn’t stop staring at one of them that had a bruised eye. Wonder how he got it.

 

love,
laur