Thursday, July 28, 2011

Oahu's Chinatown

Playing: Miss You-The Feeling
Reading: Time Vol. 178, No. 5 2011 (August 8, 2011)
I go to all the Chinatowns that I can find because I like to compare and contrast. I've been to the San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City, London, and now the Oahu Chinatown. This one was actually really nice compared to the New York City and Los Angeles ones, which are kind of gross...San Francisco's Chinatown has nicer buildings and feels more like China than all of them and the one in London, I can barely remember anything because I was so little.
This is probably the most popular building in this Chinatown because it's one of the few with Chinese architecture. According to my dad, this is where all the tour buses drop people off.Overall, this Chinatown was very clean and neat. It was fairly big and expanded over a large area of land.
My family grabbed some Chinese BBQ pork from Fong's Meat Market. The meat was very juicy and tender compared to most Chinese BBQ pork that I've had. However, it was chopped into cubes, while most of the pork I've had has been cut in slices. I don't think that really makes a difference, though.
Poke is a raw fish salad served as an appetizer in Hawaii. At Ishimoto, you can get it in many variations, such as Spicy Tuna or Kimchi. While you're in Hawaii, I highly recommend trying poke because it tastes great and Hawaii is the only place that sells it. Think of it as a sashimi salad.
My dad would always get me a lei, when we came to Hawaii from  Cindy's Lei and Flower Shoppe. You can actually watch the girls make it in front of you and all of the flowers are fresh, so it smells great. There's a wide variety of leis for both men and women. If you want one that'll last forever, they have ones made out of Kukui Nuts.
At Ohana Market, you can buy fresh lichi  and dragon eye along with other fresh fruits. They sell drinks and smoothies there too, including boba. My family got pineapple coconut water instead and some lichi. Both were absolutely delicious and refreshing in the humid weather.
I Love Country Cafe/Bakery serves up interesting flavored mochis, such as banana and guava. I bought the guava and it was delicious, although a tad too sweet after awhile. They aren't that big, but for $1, what do you expect? Since it's so sweet, I doubt you'll want more than one mochi roll. Even though, I only showcased the food in Chinatown, there is much more such as the typical red paper lanterns and the good luck charms that every Chinatown has. There are tons of touristy things too like paper parasols and Buddha statues. If you're looking for nice jade jewelry, then there are stores for that too. Hope this made a decent guide for you, should you decide to go to Hawaii!
Which Chinatowns have you been to? How'd you like them?
By the way, I probably won't be posting because I'm going to be out of the country soon. The hotel I'm staying at says they have free Wi-Fi, but I'm not sure how well it'll work, so I doubt I'll be able to post for a week or so. I'll try to write a few posts before I go and post them throughout the week. Even if I do post, I probably will not have time to reply back to comments.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Valley of the Temples

Playing: Your Song-Elton John
Reading: Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
Whenever I'm in Hawaii, I always visit Valley of the Temples to see the wonderful Buddhist temple they have there. Even if you're not Buddhist, you should go because everything is so well thought out. Even the gift shop is nice. In no way does it feel touristy there because well, not many tourists think to visit a cemetery for a Buddhist temple. When you drive up to Valley of the Temples, it is a cemetery, but keep on driving towards the back, where the temple is.
It costs $1-$3 to get in and you walk down a beautiful, red bridge and while on the bridge, you get to see all of Hawaii's natural, tropical plants. The thin trees that look like anorexic palm trees are actually papaya trees. My dad grew up on Hawaii and he told me that, so I'm assuming that's true.
Behind the temple, you can see Hawaii's famous mountains that you may have seen on Lost. The temple itself is quite impressive and is very peaceful. Perfectly tranquil, very fitting for a temple.
The temple houses a large Buddha in the middle and like most Buddhist temples, you must take off your shoes before entering. This is the main thing people come to see, but there's much more.
If you go into the gift shop, you can buy a bag of koi food for $1 and feed the koi. There aren't just koi there. I believe there are some sort of tilapia in there too. My little cousin, Kenji, enjoyed feeding the kois, but he enjoyed feeding the birds even more. If you hold your hand out to the blue-grey birds and stay still, they'll eat the koi food right out of your hand.
There are several wild black swans that live there. They're beautiful creatures and I haven't seen these in awhile, so I had to grab a photo. So many people were trying to get photos with the swan, but I don't suggest that because it'll run away. Once you've looked around the temple and fed the koi, you can still walk on the trails and look at the huge bell there. I hope you liked this post. I'm trying to make my blog a tad more informational and helpful. Maybe interest you in some travel, eh?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Note to All Shopper: Visit Waikiki and Alo Moana

Playing: Nature Boy-David Bowie
Reading: The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories by Tim Burton
From the night of July 6th to the early morning of July 10th, I was in Hawaii on Oahu. I have so many relatives on Oahu, probably hundreds of them! It's been around 5-6 years, since I've visited Hawaii. Whenever I visit Hawaii, it's for family reunions and family problems. The only time I go is when there's a huge party or a disaster. Contrast, much? Luckily, this visit was for a happy occasion, my Grandparent's 50th Wedding Anniversary. I might do a post on that later on. I'm not sure yet. However, I took pictures at the DFS Galleria and at the Alo Moana mall for all my readers because I think you'll all value the cuteness of it all.
Oh my goodness, look at that! I love Marc Jacobs and he is one of my three favorite designers in the whole wide world. He's a genius. What can I say? I was so ecstatic to find both a Marc Jacobs store and a Marc by Marc Jacobs store because there's none close to me or within driving distance.  I can't believe they have one in Waikiki's DFS Galleria.
However, I didn't buy anything from the store because everything I wanted was winter clothing and my mum was not willing to buy winter clothing for me, when it's over 80 degrees outside. The one thing I was thinking about getting was this necklace that says MARC, but then my mum pointed out to me that everyone will think I'm dating a guy named Marc. Silly kids at school think every guy's name on your clothing is your boyfriend. I had to explain one time that, "No, Andrew McMahon is a singer, not my boyfriend. Just because I wrote his name on my arm doesn't mean he's my boyfriend."
I had to go to the Sanrio store at the Alo Moana store. In fact, that was one of my main goals to get done, while in Hawaii. This cute mosaic welcomes you into the store.
The inside is just as cute with the Sanrio logo and a tanned Hello Kitty. Is there anything more cute than Hello Kitty?
Here's a note to travelers, Sanrio sells adorable postcards. In fact, I had to buy a few for my friends. I hope they got them and they didn't get lost in the mail...
I bought some stuff for myself and a small gift for Rebecca.  The deco stuff was such a good price, so I couldn't pass on that and I love omusubi, so I couldn't pass on the little Hello Kitty charm. Yes, it does look like sushi, but the pink stuff on top is really Spam. Then the stationary pads were adorable, so I bought one for Rebecca and one for me. Both Waikiki and Alo Moana have tons of designer stores, so if you're a heavy duty shopper, visit these two places. In fact, I'll join you, when you go.
Who's your favorite Sanrio character?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Last Post for AX 2011

Playing: Everything is Ending-Chameleon Circuit
Reading: Harper's Bazaar June/July 2011
Ok, this is my last post on Anime Expo 2011! I know, you're all probably tired of seeing my photos, but I shall continue anyways because AX is just so much fun! All of these photos were taken, while Alicia and I were on our way home. (Like when we were walking out of the building and waiting for our ride to come...)
There were actually two soldiers, but only one made it into this photo because of where I was standing. I love how people were going up to pose with them and it wasn't the normal SMILE FOR THE CAMERA poses.
This was one of the best things I've seen in awhile! It's a green R2D2! I'm a huge Star Wars fan, so I had to take photos of it. Apparently, this was at Comic Con last year? The owner took a photo of Alicia and me with it, so I was wondering, does he have a website? Because I want that photo really badly.
I turned around and this guy was just standing there, so I kind of freaked out. His makeup is so believable and grotesque...It seriously impressed me. Several of hist friends were also bloody with him.
This girl is really pretty. I liked her whole costume, especially the boots and socks. I wonder how she did her eye makeup with the zipper and blood. How do people do that? My friend, Amina, told me they use gelatin or something...
This girl looked so cute and she was so polite. When I asked for a photo, she was sitting down, but then she asked me, if I'd prefer her to stand up or do any special pose. I felt really odd asking her for a photo because I was the only girl to ask for a photo. Don't blame me. I can't help valuing cuteness so much!
When I asked for a photo, he explained he's not dressed up, so I'm assuming he dresses like this all the time, which is really quite epic. It was embarrassing for me to explain that I knew he wasn't dressed up, but I cared about fashion a lot and how punk is SO FASHIONABLE this season. (When I do all capital letters, I do it to show how I know I sound so silly...) He probably thinks I'm a creeper now.
This group of punky, visual-kei people amazed me. All of their outfits were so detailed and they even had shockingly colored contact lenses to top off the whole look. The brown haired girl is really pretty with her elfin features. I love how they all got dressed up with each other. One year, I want all my friends to dress up with a similar theme like school girls, sailors, or something else that's cute. Hear that Amina, Rebecca, Alicia, and any other person that may be joining me? We're getting dressed up next year.
This girl looked so peaceful sitting up in the tree with everyone taking photos of her.  After we were all done photo bombing her, she started to eat her dinner/snack and I felt bad for interrupting her meal...I love how her skirt looks in this photo, don't you? That's it for almost all of my AX photos. I only have two more, which are going to be for a special post. I hope you all enjoyed my AX posts and I hope I get to go next year!
Did you attend AX?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

So AX Was Pretty Fun...

Playing: If I Die-Something Corporate
Reading: Cannery Road by John Steinbeck
AX started off with a rough start for me. Alicia and I were a tad late and we spent two hours waiting to get our passes in the registration line. Then my friends, Mindy and Emily, texted me to warn me that they were being evacuated from the building because of a suspicious box that just might hold a bomb. Why would anyone bomb AX? That's so lame. Imagine going to jail and talking to the other inmates about the hardcore thing you did to wind up in jail and all you have to say is, "Oh, I bombed Anime Convention." How lame...But then again, everyone looks kind of sketchy at AX according to Mindy!
To help pass time in the registration line, Alicia and I looked at how everyone was dressed. I liked this girl's headband a lot and she's extremely gorgeous. For some reason I kept on running into her once we got into Exhibition Hall. Some people even took pictures of Alicia and I, while we were in line and throughout the day! I understand why people want pictures of Alicia because she's so pretty, but I looked like a mess that day. The heat was killing me.
This was the first cross-dresser I saw that day, so I had to take a photo. And answer me this, what's better than a guy dressed as a maid, who can actually pull the look off? Yeah, nothing's better than that at AX.
My friend, Daniela, saw this picture on my Facebook and she loved it. These two guys were so funny. I love how both of them are dressed as girls, but kept their stubble! They're dressed as the nurses from Pokemon, right? Sorry, I don't watch as much anime as others...
I'm not sure what character this guy is dressed as, but I thought his costume was intense. How does he drive home? How does he go to the bathroom? How does he eat lunch? So many unanswered questions!
"Things so ridiculously cute, it'll blow your mind for reals." I liked this sign and everyone else did too. Practically everyone stopped to read the sign and had a good chuckle, while looking at this stall. I didn't buy anything, but I still liked this stall.
Hehe, this guy made me laugh. I love how you can see his friend laughing at him in the back. The two of them were working in Artist's Alley and when I asked him for a photo, he had to put his gloves and bonnet on. His friend looked at him and said, "I told you dressing up would make our booth more popular!"
My friend, Rebecca, loves Kuroshitsuji, so I grabbed a photo of these people. Click here to see her AX post. She even has a picture of the shirtless Pokemon cosplayers that I saw. The Pokemon guys were dancing and fistpumping outside, when I saw them.
To finish off today's post, I decided to end with something incredibly cute and sweet. It's Cardcaptor Sakura! She was simply adorable, so everyone just had to crowd around her and take pictures! I'm going to do one more round of AX photos and then I think I'm done.
If you could dress up as anything or anyone for AX, who would you go as?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Lolitas at Anime Expo

Playing: When God Made You, He Was Showing Off-Stephen Barnes
Reading: The Tsarina's Daughter by Carolly Erickson
This year I went to Anime Expo more for the cute stuff and all the Japanese street fashions. I especially paid attention to Lolita this year because Anime Expo always has the most adorable girls there! Lucky for me, I remembered to ask for photos!
I didn't ask her for her name, but she was working the Dearie-Lou table in Artist's Alley. Last year, I bought something from her, but this year I couldn't. I had less than $10 by the time I made it to Artist's Alley and everything I wanted was over $10. Next year, I really want to get the Rilakkuma clips she was selling.
She was working the MintyMix table and I bought a little waffle pin from her. Haha, it was so cute and only cost $6. She was talking to her friend, who was taking a photo of her, so that's why she's not looking straight at the camera...She's so cute. Does she have a website?
I met Claudia from Kawaii Goods and I was so surprised. I had no idea she was going to be there. She's absolutely adorable. I wish I had saved some money to buy a cookie pin I saw at her booth. As you can probably see, I was the lamest Lolita at Anime Expo. I should probably dress up more for Anime Expo in a style I'm more comfortable with. I don't really have any Lolita pieces other than the dress, so it's hard...
I saw Oli from LemonTree and I love how she dresses! She's just so adorable! She was talking to a friend, so I felt bad for interrupting her conversation. I didn't know she was going to do the peace sign, so I took a photo while she was moving her hand. Then I felt too shy and embarrassed to take another photo...Her bows are so pretty and I love all the colors they came in.
I saw this girl, while leaving Anime Expo and I just had to ask for a photo. She just looked so beautiful and I like how she looks slightly Gothic with the black lace. I felt bad asking for a photo because she was sitting and texting someone. I felt like I was interrupting something important...I'm planning on breaking down my Anime Expo posts into many posts because I took so many photos. I'll probably do a posts with cosplayers, cross dressers, and all the cool people I met. If any of these are you and you want me to take down the photo or link you, please let me know. 
Have you ever gone to a big convention? If you have, what did you go for?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Draping the Dress

Playing: Swim-Jack's Mannequin
Reading: When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka
First of all, I want to wish all of you a happy 4th of July! I hope you have a great day filled with family and friends and of course, great food. Tell me your plans for today in the comments, ok?
I attended FIDM's Three Days of Fashion awhile ago and one of my favorite classes, Draping the Dress, was one of the few classes, where I took tons of photos. I partnered with my fashionable friend, Jessy, to create all of the dresses you will see today. This one was inspired by this Dior dress and it took awhile for us to pin it all down, since it was so heavy.
We picked up the floral trend from Dolce&Gabbana S/S 2011, but we didn't do too well because this dress looks very middle-age to us. It might be the fabric we used or the bottom half. Either way, we scrapped this design and started on another.
Inspired by Emilio Pucci S/S 2011, this dress was our absolute hardest. The fabric kept on bunching without our permission and the pins would fall off of the mannequin on this one.  I thought in the end, this was one of our better designs. Jessy did a great job on the back, while I did the front. This is the only one of the dresses, where we actually thought through both the front and back.
We were running out of time, so Jessy chose the most awful fabric we could find, but it turned out fairly nice in my opinion. The top is a bit saggy, but we could've fixed that, if only we had more time. It reminds me of this Oscar de la Renta dress. We weren't allowed to cut the fabric and there weren't any ribbons, so that's why the waist tie is so huge and fluffy.
What did you do on the 4th of July? This post was supposed to be up yesterday, but my computer was acting up, so it couldn't happen...