Saturday, March 26, 2011
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Friday, March 18, 2011
Saturday, March 12, 2011
When I studied abroad in college, I was lucky enough to spend about 3 days in the historied city of Honk Kong. Yeah, yeah, shoulda been way longer - I know. Why it wasn't is a long story involving an unexpected 55 foot wave in the middle of the North Pacific. Another time. But honestly, even that amount of time there gave me my fill for a good ten years. The best way to describe it? Ohmygod Wowzers. Massive Buildings. Double Decker Buses. Taxis. Taxis. People. Flashing Lights. Shopping. Flashing Lights. People. People. People. Massive Buildings. CHINESE NEW YEAR. The Rooster... yeaaaaah... they were so hot in 2005! Just thinking about it causes vertigo to sweep over my body; I need some green tea to calm me down - stat. It was that overwhelming.
Okay, I thought my photo above was cool... but holy schwaz... this does it justice. It looks like the fake city you fly over on the Peter Pan ride at Disneyland:
I heart wikipedia.
And despite the energy overload in Hong Kong, it was the place out of all of my travels that I felt most isolated and homesick. :( Until, one rainy grey day while walking down a street near my hotel, I spotted a glowing green and white logo on one of the buildings that made my heart light up. STARBUCKS. Hallelujah! Of course it was a Starbucks. Knowing that I would soon have that hot, iconic cup of bliss in my hand made me feel a lot closer to home. And when I stepped inside, it was like every other Starbucks I had ever been to: the same quirky baristas (Chinese version), the same 400 calorie scones, the same trendy background music, and the same brightly colored chalkboard with the season's specials written in cutesy handwriting - it was really trippy. But in this case, it was the perfect kind of trippy.
Since then, I have thought of Hong Kong as a place that is incredible to visit (I mean, look at the photo above!), but not somewhere I could ever live. Until yesterday, when I saw an Apartment Therapy slideshow of a warehouse-turned-home that is to-die-for, in Hong Kong. I would totally live there if I could live there. I wonder if there's a Starbucks close by.
Check out the photos below:
Thursday, March 3, 2011
feliz cumpleanos a mi!
I straight-up looooove Mexican culture, and it has nothing to do with spring break or tequila. Growing up, trips to Mexico were the gnarliest adventures I experienced, whether it was bike riding with my dad and younger siblings through the chaos of Ciudad Juarez (it was not normal in any way), to dining on broiled frog legs at a fancy restaurant in Nuevo Laredo with my mother and grandmother, to my 22nd birthday celebration with college friends in the lobster village of Puerto Nuevo. And now that I'm typing about it, I'm realizing I've pretty much only been to Mexican border towns and yet love it to death... maybe somethin is wrong with me?
Puerto Nuevo, Pacific Coast... better lobster deals than Vegas!
Well, my all-time favorite experience in Mexico was during middle school, when my dad took my little brother and sister and I to the gorgeous Big Bend National Park for a spring break camping trip. The "adventurous"/don't-tell-mom-about-this tone of the trip was set early on when we ended up camping on the side of the highway because my dad forgot to make campsite reservations, and it was spring break. The real adventure, however, was when we wandered down to the Rio Grande and my dad paid a man with a small boat to ferry us across the river into Mexico. That's right, we were total badasses; no paperwork, no border patrol, no kind of regulation whatsoever... doesn't it sound too simple to be legit? Well, actually, lots of Americans were doing the same thing - the excursion was probably written up in a Lonely Planet or something - I never asked. But once we got across the river, we were helped onto burros, handed mesquite branch whips and rode for about an hour until we reached the little town of Boquillas. We then tied our burros at a colorful cantina and enjoyed chips and salsa with bottled Coca Colas (my dad never let us have coke... "waters, waters all around!!!" so it was a huge deal) before making the ride back to the river. Seriously, one of my favorite memories to this day.
Here is a photo I found online of the Boquillas Crossing, and while doing a little research,
discovered that this was closed after 9/11 but will be opened again in 2012. Schwing!
Now, I am drawn to adding touches of Mexican culture into my home decor: I have a pair of maracas sitting on my bedside table (perfect for the occasional midnight jam sesh), a folk art collage memorializing the amor between Frida and Diego on my bedroom wall (it weirds people out when it's displayed in a community part of the house), and a tin cervezas tray on my dresser creating a separate space for perfume and girlie things (and if I ever have a fiesta, it'll be used to serve Coronas. Obvi.). And the best part about each of these pieces? The amazing colors. Turquoise, hot pink, red, bright green, purple, and every other color that is bright and fun. It all creates a bit of pleasant, and very colorful, nostalgia for me... bringing to mind the Mexican travel memories I have collected over the years.
Some of my Mexico-inspired purchases
And that is the main reason I love interior design and decorating; it's not just about making the space functional and pleasing to the eye. It's about making it personal and telling a story, and sharing what you're about with those that come into your home. Now, say cheese!