Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Central Park

Playing: Maps for the Getaway-Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness
Reading: Aeneid by Virgil
Autumn in the city is short and sweet. It feels like it goes by way too quickly before the icy winds come by and make going outside a downright torturous experience. Luckily for me, I managed to make it to Central Park with a group of friends before it got too cold. Central Park is actually really pretty and I loved the post-sunset blue glow that the city gets before it becomes pitch black. Walking around Central Park and digging into a waffle from Waffle and Dinges (located on the SE corner of the park) is a really scenic and pleasant way to spend an afternoon. Definitely recommend it to all of you!

I'm wearing: Coat-Topshop, Sweater-BDG, Jeans-H&M, Shoes-Converse, and Scarf-Random Stall in Istanbul.

Monday, November 24, 2014

a symphony of sound

Playing: All You Had to Do Was Stay-Taylor Swift
Reading:The Red Pony by John Steinbeck
My life is really busy, being in college and all. I've been studying a lot, visiting the theatre often, stocking up on winter clothing, and complaining about the low temperatures. Consequently, I don't have many "blog-worthy" photos, so I thought it was time for a vibes post about all the music that's been on repeat for me.

  • Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness - Andrew McMahon is at it again with a new album and a new moniker. Although his new album is more dance focused than usual, I still really enjoy his album. Check out "See Her On the Weekend" and "Maps for the Getaway" for a quick taste of the album.
  • 1989 - Although I'm ashamed to admit that I like anything mainstream, I got to give it to Taylor Swift that her new album has a few addictive gems on it. "Blank Space" has been on repeat for the past week in my dorm room. The music video is gorgeous and I'm obsessed with all the beauitful outfits in it. Also, Jack Antonoff helped out on a few of the songs, so that doesn't hurt either.
  • Hesitant Alien - I saw Gerard Way perform last month and he is amazing with his new set, full of songs from his first solo album. Hesitant Alien is different from anything My Chemical Romance produced yet its distinctly Gerard Way, ya know? Highly recommend "No Shows," "How It's Going to Be," "Drugstore Perfume," "Brother," and pretty much the whole album. It's that good.
  • Strange Desire - Literally everyone of these songs is perfect. This album covers everything that you could ever want from your youthful exploits - love, adventure, and that strange melancholy feeling you get whenever you realize you still care about someone even when you know it's not gonna last forever. If I had to choose a favorite, I would go with "Rollercoaster" or "Wake Me."
  • Before the Waves - After seeing Magic Man on the Harlem USA tour with New Politics and Sleeper Agent, Magic Man quickly rocketed to my top five favorite bands. The band itself is a cute group of best friends, who seem to enjoy each others' presences tremendously, and their music is perfect on so many levels from their reminiscences of Paris to their quirky electronic sound. Download "Paris" and "Every Day."
  • Chairlift - Admittedly the only song I listen to is "Bruises," but "Bruises" is one heck of a song. If you aren't addicted to it after your first listen, you just got to try again. It has a light hearted sound, but it says a lot about how far you will go in a relationship and how you'll change for someone. If nothing else, at least it gives you a useful tip: Frozen strawberries can be used to make your bruises feel less awful.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

h a l l o w e e n

Playing: Il Volo Mix
Reading: Bacchae by Euripides
Happy Halloween everyone! I hope your Halloween was filled with fun adventures and horrific costumes. I know mine was. This Halloween marked my first Halloween in New York and for many of my friends, marked their first Halloween ever. Being the clever college students we are, my friends and I thought it would be hilarious if we went as the Wizards of Waverly Place, since NYU has buildings located on Waverly Place. We spent the afternoon doing an elaborate photo shoot, which you can see on my Instagram, before heading to class. As soon as the sun set, we hit up SoHo and the East Village before ending the night at St. Marks with late night boba. SoHo and the East Village really know how to put on a show with the Village Parade and all of the elaborate costumes out there. Cheers to the confident guys walking around in boxes dressed up as either God's gift to women or kissing booths! Those costumes totally work on women.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Top 7 Moments of SS15

Playing: No Shows-Gerard Way
Reading: The Ramayana by R.K. Narayan
With the oncoming of midterms and numerous essays, it was hard for me to digest everything that went down during the whirlwind that we like to call fashion month. If you're having trouble getting through all of SS15, don't worry; I came up with the top seven moments of SS15 for you.
1. Although I still prefer Marc Jacobs leading Louis Vuitton, I have to admit that Nicholas Ghesquiere isn't doing a bad job at all. However, this season what caught my eye (and admittedly, stole my attention away from the clothes) was the dramatic eye makeup, half doll-like in its cartoon-ish proportions and half grunge '90s girl.
2. For those of you that prefer a more romantic approach to makeup and accessories, Valentino killed it with their delicate gold hair pieces, reminiscent of the laurels Greek goddesses wore. Whether you pair it with a floor-length gown or dress it down with a cozy sweater, be prepared to receive massive amounts of hair envy.
3. Dries Van Noten has a history of creative runways (Example? SS05's chandelier extravaganza!) and this season was no exception. Models casually relaxed and posed dreamily along a mossy runway, while displaying an offering of flowy clothes and mixed prints.
4. As much as I love the newer faces on the catwalk like Lindsey Wixson and Yumi Lambert, I have to admit that my favorite models are mostly the queens from the mid-2000s. Consequently, Gemma Ward opening for Prada plus Freja Beha Erichsen (Louis Vuitton), Jessica Stam (Jean Paul Gaultier), and Vlada Roslyakova (Ralph Lauren) all returning to the runway had to make the list for the best moments. While Freja still reins as queen of everything cool, Vlada, Jessica, and Gemma prove that the doll era is back. (Sasha Pivovarova even took a walk down the runway, but where was Lily Donaldson?)
5. Jean Paul Gaultier announced that SS15 would be his last pret-a-porter collection and that he will be focusing mostly on haute couture and costumes from now on. While I hate to see him go, I think his exit from the world of ready to wear begs a few important questions: Where is the balance between creativity and marketability? Is it too demanding to ask designers to come up with hundreds of looks a year? Will other designers follow suit?
6. Although this wasn't announced until after fashion month, it's still deserving of making the list of top 7 moments you should know. John Galliano, after leaving Dior and his namesake brand, will be taking over at Maison Martin Margiela. Will he be bringing his love for historical fashion to the brand or will he follow Margiela's sleek modernism? We'll just have to wait and see.
7. Hedi Slimane killed it once again with his collection for Saint Laurent. Somehow he manages to bring all of my favorite things together - sparkly shoes, military-inspired jackets, miniskirts, impossibly cool girls, etc.- and nail it every time. It didn't hurt that YSL also had the coolest models from Hanne Gaby Odiele to Grace Hartzel, stomping down the runway among rainbow prisms.

Photos 1, 2, 3, and 7 from Vogue.  Photo 5 from New York Times. Photo 4 from Style.com but collaged by me. Photo 6 from Telegraph.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Jeff Koons: A Retrospective

Playing: Granada-Il Volo
Reading: Conversations on the Plurality of Worlds by Bernard le Bovier de Fontenelle
Left to Right: Matthew, me, Yish, Aristo, and Filip
It feels like I've done a lot within my first month at NYU yet I haven't taken that many photos. Fortunately, I went camera happy at the Whitney Museum of American Art, so I was able to write this post. I loved how the Whitney Museum managed to showcase a wide variety of Koons' work from the past three decades and how they dedicated five floors to this retrospective. Seeing Koons' balloon dog sculptures in real life alongside the infamous "The New" (a collection of vacuum cleaners in clear boxes) was  pretty exciting for me. I've seen them in books and online for years yet never saw them aside from a small collection at LACMA. Apart from looking at the art and enjoying free tickets courtesy of NYU, my friends and I pondered the deeper meanings of each piece of art jokingly or at least that's what we thought. As we walked away from one painting, we heard a security guard laugh and say to himself, "Holy shit. College students these days." 

PS I'm changing my URL soon to satellite-buzz.blogspot.com soon, so don't be alarmed when the name of my blog changes on your news feed. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Japan Trip: Osaka

Playing: The World is Ugly-My  Chemical Romance
Reading: Metamorphoses by Ovid
After our day trip in Kobe, Tina and I head off to Osaka for a three day visit. We of course did the touristy stuff like visiting Osaka Castle, which is probably Osaka's most famous attraction. The garden around it is pretty and is a nice area to walk around. If you're planning on going inside the castle, know that it's more of a museum than a castle. I expected it to still be a castle like the ones I've visited in Europe, where you can see each and every room, but that's not the case.
After Osaka Castle, we took a quick trip to Kyoto so that we could experience Gion Matsuri, one of Japan's most famous festivals. Tina and I even brought yukatas all the way from America to wear to it. Highly recommend Gion Matsuri, if you're ever in Kyoto during July. It's just a lot of fun to get a taste of Japanese festival foods (Bacon wrapped onigiri, scallion/mayo pancakes, and kara-age? Yes, please!), play all of the games, and watch everyone walk by in their beautiful yukatas. Disclaimer, Tina and I don't know the three girls in the middle of the photo. We just wanted to look like we were actual, Japanese teenagers.
The next day, Tina and I met up with a friend of ours, who moved back to Japan three years ago, named Marika. We met up with Marika at America-mura to go shopping and do a round of purikura. If you ever get the chance to do purikura, you must do it. Purikura is basically a Japanese photo booth that alters your appearance by smoothing out your skin, enlarging your eyes, lengthening your legs, etc. and it's so funny to see your photos afterwards.
Although Marika visits America-mura often, she told us it's kind of a sketchy area. Consequently, we gave up our dreams of finding cheap clothes there and walked over to Namba Parks, which is an architectural masterpiece of a shopping center. You must take a walk around the winding buildings, resembling Antelope Canyon. After you're done walking through Namba Parks, sneak into the tallest office building or hotel, go to the top floor and admire Namba Parks' twisting roads and patterns from above. You won't be disappointed.
Tina's and my favorite part about Osaka was Dotonbori at night time. Everything lights up and it looks like a stereotypical snapshot of Japanese life - crowded streets, bright lights and the whole deal. Not only that, but there are tons of great places to eat at and plenty of arcades to keep you busy all night long. If none of that interests you, at least get a photo with the famous Glico Man sign!

P.S. I'm officially living in New York now and I promise a post soon about what I've been up to. New York (and NYU) has spoiled me so far and I love all of the opportunities here.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

winter appropriate

Playing: Beware the Dog-The Griswolds
Reading: The Human Comedy by William Saroyan
Preparing for my move out to New York was kind of hard mostly because I have no idea what to expect from New York winter. California winters are all pretty mild as in I can wear a tank top with a denim jacket and feel just fine. During my hunt for warmer clothing, I had to pick up a few jackets and sweaters. The quilted jacket I thought would help dress up my jean outfits and the holographic overlay on the geode sweater is what got me. Both are from Zara.
I also picked up a baggy BP sweater, an ASTR scuba skirt, and a Topshop cropped sweater all from Nordstrom. I've been relying on the cropped top and skirt combo lately, so I'm hoping that with a pair of warm tights and a good pair of boots, I can pull the look into colder weather.
While in Japan, I didn't pick up a whole lot for myself. The only other things I bought that aren't pictured is some food and stationary. I'm super psyched about the CC Cream and the perfume-shaped phone case, which is the only one I could find without the Chanel name on it. (Chanel doesn't make these, so all of the ones you see are fakes. I liked this one because it wasn't trying to be something it's not.) The Wego cropped sweater is a nice shade of Slytherin green like the BP sweater and the Topshop crop top is really easy to pair with everything. In terms of shoes, I got an odd pair of sneaker platforms and a pair of ugly yet great Bershka boots.
Back to the winter appropriate clothing. I walked into Nordstrom with the intention of getting a pair of Hunter boots, but walked out with a pair of Valentino boots. The Valentino pair had a deeper tread than the Hunter pair and let's face it, the Valentino ones are prettier too. Even though they aren't lined, I'm hoping that I can wear these when it snows too. Maybe a thick pair of socks will help with that?

Monday, August 18, 2014

Japan Trip: Kobe

Playing: The Weekend-Priory
Reading: After Dark by Haruki Murakami
Between Hiroshima and Osaka, Tina and I spent a day in Kobe with our friend, Alex. Kobe is obviously most famous for Kobe beef, but most of the places serving Kobe beef ranged around 3,000 - 4,000 yen. Since that was out of my spending range, I still visited the famous Steakland but opted for the Large Toast Steak Lunch. I know that meat is more expensive in Japan than it is in the states, but I still felt like it was pretty expensive for a few cubes of steak and to get filled up on rice/veggies.
Within walking distance of Steakland is Ikuta Shrine and Tokyu Hands, which are both great places to walk around whether you want to visit another shrine or go shopping. Ikuta Shrine itself was fairly small but it was worth walking around because of its proximity to Kobe's main tourist attractions and because of the small forest behind it, which houses a fortune teller and another shrine.
The main reason we went to Kobe was to take a look around Chinatown, which is also within walking distance of Ikuta Shrine and Steakland. Although Kobe's Chinatown was smaller than the other ones I've been to, I did like how clean it was. Unlike other Chinatowns, all of the food looked safe to eat and it did not reek of trash, which other Chinatowns often do. Tina and I were shocked at how large the portions were and how most meals were under 500 yen.
These pork buns from Roushouki in Chinatown were by far the best thing I ate during my trip. We waited in line for 30 minutes, figuring a long line meant good food. The long line theory worked. These buns were served right out of the steamer and were incredibly juicy. As soon as we finished off our first round of buns, we immediately got back in line and bought more.
Before boarding the train for Osaka, we visited Harborland, which you can walk to but I highly recommend taking the subway. Harborland is home to the Anpanman Museum and multiple shopping centers. It's a great place to walk around even though it's not exactly unique to Japan. If you can, try to go when it's dark out to see the ferris wheel and Kobe tower lit up. If you were to visit Kobe, I would recommend spending an afternoon there instead of a full day. Eat in Chinatown and explore the area before taking a look at Ikuta Shrine. Then head over to Harborland to look at the Anpanman Museum, shop a bit, watch the sunset, and eat dinner.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Japan Trip: Hiroshima and Miyajima

Playing: Cecilia and the Satellite-Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness
Reading: The Comfort of Strangers by Ian McEwan (Very odd.)
After our time in Fukuoka, we took a Shikansen to Hiroshima, where we spent three days. On our first day there, Tina and I visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and Hiroshima Peace Park, which is what Hiroshima is probably best known for. The museum itself is historically important, I understand, but a lot of the content is rather disturbing because it deals with the effects of the atomic bomb and shows rather graphic photos (and artifacts) of the effects. If you're into history, go take a look, but I wouldn't advise it for children.
We ended up meeting up with our friend, Alex, at our hotel before heading off to Okonomi-mura. Okonomi-mura is a building dedicated to the popular fried cabbage pancake called okonomiyaki with stall after stall of okanomayaki restaurants. At all of the stalls, you sit at a counter, while your food is cooked in front of you. If you're there, you have to order the okanomayaki with noodles in it because Hiroshima is known for its noodle addition.We chose the specific booth we ate at because it was the only one offering okonomyaki made with udon.
The main reason why we stopped off at Hiroshima was so that we could take a day trip to Miyajima, an island popular with Japanese tourists for its shrines and wild deer. Although Miyajima is most famous for Itsukushima Shrine, I personally preferred Daisho-in Temple. The temple sprawled throughout Miyajima, up hillsides and over small streams. Pretty much everywhere I looked was picture perfect.
During high tide, the three of us took a rowboat out to look at the torii, the red arch, that made Itsukushima Shrine famous. The rowboat tour cost 800 yen and the tour is only offered in Japanese. Luckily, I had Tina and Alex there to translate for me. If you can't speak Japanese (or don't have a handy dandy translator), but still want to go out on the ocean to get near the arch, you can try renting a paddle board or wait until the tide is low enough for you to walk to it.
Other than the beautiful shrines and temples, Miyajima had excellent hiking trails and streams to run through. The three of us spent most of our day running up the mountain side and gallivanting through streams to the point where the three of us suffered sore muscles for the next day or so. We only stopped exploring when the sun started to go down out of fear of missing the last ferry back to the mainland. Miyajima also had deer roaming around the whole island, meaning you can go feed deer during your time there too.

PS Don't miss my Japan trip giveaway! Tons of cute beauty products and accessories could be yours. Only 3 days left!

Edit-The giveaway is now closed and Mindy Fan of Broken Eggshells won. I will be contacting you by email shortly.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Japan Trip: Fukuoka and Dazaifu

Playing: Take My Advice-Wild Party
Reading: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
We took a flight from Okinawa to Fukuoka in the middle of Typhoon Neoguri, which was mildly terrifying for me. Luckily, we got to Fukuoka safely and we were the only Okinawan flight to not be canceled that day. Tina and I heard that the typhoon was supposed to follow us to Fukuoka, so we crammed in some sightseeing on our first day in Fukuoka, thinking we wouldn't have the next day. Our first stop was Fukuoka Tower because we heard that it had a spectacular view and I have to agree. Fukuoka Tower offers views of the ocean, of multiple rivers and of Fukuoka itself for a price much lower than that of other towers like Tokyo Skytree.
Once again out of fear of the typhoon, Tina and I felt the need to do all of Fukuoka's most famous activities the first day we were there. Apparently, Fukuoka is well known for ramen, so we tried Shin Shin due to its high ranking on Trip Advisor. While Shin Shin was inexpensive at 500 yen a bowl and the food came out quickly, I wasn't overly impressed with it. Everything about the ramen was pretty standard.
Fortunately, the typhoon didn't come on our second (and last) day in Fukuoka, so we took a day trip to Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine, which is rather beautiful. Other than the flocks of snap-happy tourists, Tina and I both enjoyed the temple plus the area around it.
By way of an elderly local, we discovered Komyozenji Temple, which is extremely easy to get to from Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine. You literally turn down one street and walk straight. (Ask any of the locals and they should know.) While we were at this temple, we found a map detailing other touristy places to look at like a pagoda, so go try that out. You'll get to see some things that are still touristy, but not touristy enough to attract all those snap-happy tourists I aforementioned.
Before heading back into Fukuoka, Tina and I got lunch along the main street leading from Dazaifu Station to Dazaifu Tenmangu Temple at a quaint restaurant called Oshinagaki. The beautiful garden located in the back was the main feature that attracted us to this specific eatery. We both ordered the mixed soba plates, which featured regular soba along with pickled plum and green tea soba. Although it was a bit pricier than I would've liked, I enjoyed my dish and would go back.
Before I leave for New York, I wanted to host a worldwide giveaway for all the things I bought for you guys during my time in Japan. If you win the giveaway, you will receive:

  • 1 Rilakkuma Tote Bag
  • 3 Bath Bombs in Yuzu, Lavender, and Pine Tree
  • 1 Face Mask in White Rose
  • 1 Lip Mask in Peach
  • 1 Pack of Point Pads in Strawberry
  • 1 Rilakkumagazine
  • 2 Matcha Green Tea KitKat Bars
  • 2 Pompom Hair Scrunchies
  • 3 tokidoki Pins

To enter, here are the rules:
  1. You must be a public follower of this blog and comment below with your name and email.
  2. For an extra entry, you may blog about this giveaway and comment with the link to your post that mentioned my giveaway.
  3. For an additional entry, follow me on Instagram @this_is_audrey and comment below with your Instagram username.
This means that there are three entries available. Step 1 is the only mandatory one, but to do steps 2 and 3 you must do step 1. The winner will be announced on August 15 and will be chosen by a random number generator after I add up all of the entries. The winner must respond to my email within four days (August 19) otherwise I won't be able to mail the prize because I will be too busy moving across the country.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Japan Trip: Okinawa

Playing: Ten Days Gone-Jack's Mannequin
Reading: Wherever Issue 1
Hello everyone! I just got back from Japan last night. During my month-long trip, I spent five days on the southernmost island of Japan, Okinawa. Admittedly, Tina and I didn't do a lot of research on Okinawa other than a castle or two plus the aquarium. We just assumed the beach would be easy to get to because that's what Okinawa is most famous for. However, it took us close to an hour to get to Bibi Beach from our hostel, which was two streets over from Kokusaidori
While we were there, we did try taco rice and Okinawan ramen multiple times, since Okinawa is famous for both. The taco rice was decent at most of the places, but you can easily make it yourself at home. Just make tacos and replace the shell with rice. The ramen there was pretty mild in terms of flavor other than the thick slabs of pork belly in it.
We had originally planned to do mostly beach activities, but as I mentioned before, it was too far away, so we ended up visiting a lot of other places like the Tsuboya pottery district. The pottery district is pretty much one long street that leaves you at the mouth of  Heiwa Dori. Although it was nice, it wasn't anything exceptional. I recommend wandering off the main street in an attempt to find the studios of those who actually make the ceramic gifts being sold along Tsuboya's main street. Tina and I were able to find one and the guys working there offered us seats so that we could stay and watch.
Shuri Castle was another super touristy attraction that we visited. It had an incredible view and at 700 yen, I can't complain about the price. Like most of Okinawa though, it didn't leave me speechless. For the most part, Okinawa felt like an extra hot Hawaii with Japanese influences at times.
Churaumi Aquarium was my favorite thing that I saw during our trip there. It had a large variety of sea life and a museum section dedicated to all sorts of preserved fish like megamouth sharks and oarfish. The aquarium is most famous for its whale shark tank, which is incredible and you should definitely go watch during feeding time, but I also really liked the park surrounding the aquarium, which had even more tanks along with dolphin shows. It took us around two hours to get there and cost 6,000 yen round trip on the bus system. It really bothered me that it took forever to get anywhere in Okinawa, since everything was spread out, and that it cost a minor fortune to get places.