Friday, February 29, 2008


by briton antonio berardi


Thursday, February 28, 2008


i think this was definitely one of the most breathtaking collections of the season... i essentially love every

not exactly street legal...

i must report i just had the most eventful between-class walk to the kimbap shop. upon my approach i heard yelling outside a car park and lingered to see what was going on (yes, im one of those sickos who has to see it play out). there were two korean women and two korean men arguing, and one of the women grabbed one of the men's sleeves and was pulling on it and yelling at him. he was trying to push her off but she was getting pretty shrill and hysterical. then she became more aggressive at which point she grabbed his hair, to which he responded by grabbing her hair, and they had a full-out, dramatic, hair-pulling cat fight (save for the fact that one of them was a man). this tug-of-hair went on for a bit and then things escalated even more and he pinned her down on the hood of a car. as the police rolled up in a hurry and one jumped out of the car and ran to the scene of the fight there were a number of onlookers, who probably understood a lot more than i did as all of the shouting was obviously in korean. the police broke it up and at this moment they are likely sorting out the upset

i wonder what they were fighting about? what great crime of passion would necessitate a street fighting style that allows for hair-pulling?
never in my life have i seen such a spectacle amongst adults...

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

quote of the day

"It appears that the website has become alive. This happens to computers and robots sometimes. Am I scared of a stupid computer? Please. The computer should be scared of me. I have been salesman of the month for 13 of the last 12 months. You heard me right. I did so well last February that Corporate gave me two plaques in lieu of a pay raise."

Dwight K. Schrute, Schrute Farms

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

and the weirdness peaks

NEVER thought i'd see this...or, rather, hear this
korean tv randomness has officially peaked
i was flipping through the channels, as the rumor of on style's relocation has turned out to be empty, and i came across a dramatic montage of doctors taking blood from a woman's healing wound as she cringes in pain
after a second i realized the music setting this dramatic tone was none other than the late elliott smith, a brilliant (albeit tortured) singer/songwriter who allegedly stabbed himself in the heart
it's funny, because im surprised by how few people in north america know elliot smith, let alone the obscure placement of his song on korean television

on style, off reality

today i lost 'on style', my one english television channel (and the soundtrack or background noise of my days in korea, being that i dont get cnn)
so i put on my music, which was a refreshing change...the blood arm, i really enjoy them right now, kind of like the killers (that being a serious 'kind of')
then i came to school and found out 'on style' had simply been moved to a different channel...which at first excited me (more top design, project runway and america's next top model) but now depresses me...oh to be enslaved

hitchin a ride with a shady character on the superhighway

this age of the information superhighway, or cyberspace, as it's come to be known, is spectacular. to have so much knowledge available at our fingertips is truly remarkable. there is always the risk of misinformation, what with the freedom of anyone with a blog or a domain to digitally publish whatever information they want (whether it be true or not). but when you are well-versed in cyber exploration this is less of an issue.

i spend a lot of time getting lost on the world wide 'interweb' (to quote tracy jordan, 30 rock, obvi). i guess for me it's like being in a new country, wandering aimlessly and finding yourself in the least likely of places. i can end up with a series of 20 tabs open, the first having to do with london streetstyle and the last excitedly detailling the re-release of 30-year-old French erotic films. and how did i get from a to z? i have NO idea...and that's what makes it so fun.

but there is also a dark side, at least for me. because my desire to absorb all of this information is a source of great pressure. yes, it's supposed to make my life so much easier. but sometimes it does just the opposite. i have about 50 bookmarks on my firefox, most of which i would love to check daily. but the prospect of checking 40 blogs and sites a day is incredibly daunting! i fail before i've even begun. so i wait a few days, but the longer i wait the more is written and my task becomes all the more daunting. don't get me wrong, i wouldnt trade the access we all have for anything. i just need to cope with the fact that i want to read/know it all...

in this age of unprecidented access to information, are we making our lives more difficult in making them easier? or am i just ridiculously lazy?

Monday, February 25, 2008


is there actually a preview for 27 dresses that has justice' D.A.N.C.E in the background or is it completely understandable because it's purely a korea thang?


i know the pics are blurry but i had to attempt to share my cluster of a phone
yesterday the screen went blank for about an hour and i could make and receive calls but i couldnt see a thing
i was thrilled to see that my screen had returned only to find that it was completely inverted...that's right, my hebrew education is finally paying off as i am forced to read right to left...

passing under

saw these on the wall in an underpass in hong-dae
sometimes there are also bands playing in the underpass
and sometimes they rock out hard


ssamzie co. ltd. is a leading korean fashion and accessories company
there are two stores that i know of and they are wicked cool
i just got a neon green plastic watch for 10 bucks
the style is really korean (very girly, very cutesy) but with a hipper edge
and there are some really cool pieces amongst the more cutesy items
in a wonderfully nostalgic twist (think 1995) they also have the seatbelt-buckle rubber belts lined with bottle caps (had one in jr. high...thought i was the coolest)
even cooler is ssamzie space, which was sponsored by the company to promote progressive, avant-garde art in korea, nestled in my favorite young, artsy area around hongik university
the neon orange storefront in hong-dae rocks, as does the complex in insadong which i posted earlier (the circular ramps lined with cool little shops and a ssamzie store)
they did a warhol collab in 2006
check out some styles here (remember, not everything is my taste):

update: went to hehwan today to check out a philippino market that promised banana spring rolls, which were nowhere to be found, but we did find another ssamzie. and i hate to say it, but it wasn't nearly as good as the ones in hong-dae and insadong. there was some overlap in the stock but the hehwan ssamzie is a lot cheesier. so i guess some ssamzies are better than others. ssam(zie), ssam(zie), but different. so as to keep my readers (aka my mother, father, my boyfriend and two or so friends) well informed, i felt it my duty to note this... but im staying true to the other ssamzies. word.

oh what a night it was (or so i would imagine...from my asian bubble)

no country for old men swept the oscars
i'm thrilled...what a fantastic movie
on top of that there will be blood picked up a few
i couldn't even watch the show in korea but man am i happy

Monday, February 18, 2008

love today (the second coming)

ashamed to admit i'm not reading a book at the moment. well, i tried to get into unlikely destinations: the lonely planet story but its been a slow ride. thinking i'll retire back to an old faithful (vonnegut, bukowski) just to get the wheels turning again. but i will stress how amazing into the wild is. i just watched the movie and, although the book was an incomparable experience, it rekindled my love for the book. i recommend it to anyone who will listen. i think what i like most about it is that it is a non-fictional investigation by a journalist into topic matter that he is truly intrigued by and can truly relate to. his connection to the "protagonist" is deeply evident throughout the book. furthermore, i love a book with history and this book is brimming with interesting facts and anecdotes related to the wanderings and demise of chris mccandless. just an amazing book. check it.
sidenote: why did eddie vedder's soundtrack suck so much? what a disappointment...

the kills, the kills, THE KILLS. how topical of me. they're everywhere at the moment. i started listening to the kills when no wow came out. i was into it but never took my interest to the next level. when i noticed they were to be on the cover of nylon i figured i might as well check out their previous album before i inevitably listen to their much-anticipated, new album. keep on your mean side rocks my world. i love it. i can pretty much listen to it straight through. take a seriously sexy chick with this wonderfully gritty voice, add a british dude who can rock it on guitar and you get the kills. can't wait for the new album. love them.

tv show:
30 ROCK!!! i know i'm behind on this one but it has actually garnered a place amongst the ranks of my favorite comedies ever (those being arrested development and the office). alec baldwin is so perfect in his role and so consistently funny in the most dry, blink-and-you'll-miss-it way. tina fey is perpetually wonderful as the awkward but talented loner she plays so well. and tracy morgan. TRACY MORGAN! he is the coup de resistance. his character is too amazing for me to even attempt to explain. just watch it. my boyfriend and i watched every episode to date (2 seasons) in four days.
"why are you wearing a tuxedo" "it's after 6. what am i, a farmer?"

there will be an amazing new movie. there will be consistently good reviews. there will be a superb soundtrack. there will be a haunting feeling pervading every moment. there will be an excellent cast. there will be blood.
what can i say about this movie? i haven't even finished watching it (i'm a big pleasure delayer when i really like something) but i am confident in prematurely placing it on my list of current obsessions. from the moment the movie began i was simultaneously deeply unsettled and irresistibly intrigued. i enjoyed this melange of feelings so much that, even though i was just testing the torrent to make sure it worked, before i knew it i was an hour into the movie. the soundtrack so brilliantly produced by johnny greenwood compounded by daniel day lewis' acting (which has deservingly garnered so many accolades) are perfection. i can't wait to finish it, and though i highly doubt the possibility i will withdraw my glowing review if the second half does not live up to the first.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

birthdays, korean style

baskin robbins in korea bares its similarities to that in north america...jamoca almond fudge, cookies and cream, mint chocolate chip, and the requisite flavors go on and on. however there are also some pretty wicked differences:

a) FONDUE - fondue! what is up with that? you get a bowl of melted chocolate sauce, pieces of fruit and mini scoops of ice cream and you dip it all in the chocolate! yes, it exists. no, i have not tried it. yes, i am dying to. will it be weird? yes. will it be the bomb diggity? most likely.

b) BLACK SESAME FLAVOR - sesame flavored ice cream. do correct me if i'm wrong and this delicacy does in fact exist in NA. i call it a delicacy reluctantly as i have not yet taken the plunge.

c) TAKE-OUT SCOOPS - yes, that's right. you can pick six flavors and large scoops of each will be placed a la carte in an egg carton-like plastic container. no bowl, no cone, just the goods. again, i am yet to go there. i fear meltage on the walk home.

d) CUBE CAKES - i must say i do miss the ice cream cakes we get at baskin robbins in toronto. that fudge is like crack, only you can't die from it. i remember in high school there was a baskin robbins at the york mills plaza and you could get them to put the cake fudge (blatantly distinct from the normal, sundae fudge) on your bowl of ice cream. you knew it was different because they scraped it out of a tub with a spatula, no pussy, pour-it-with-a-ladle bullshit. but none of that here. here, they put cubes of ice cream in a lady-finger crust. cubes. piled high. in a lady finger crust. furthermore, they put it in a luggage-size styrofoam box wrapped meticulously in ribbon with candles and baskin robbins matches which are proudly displayed beside the cake in the picture. what do we get in the t. dot? a cardboard box. no candles. no spoons. no matches. touche baskin robbins. touche.

thus concludes my investigation of what makes BR in korea different from your run-of-the-mill north american baskin robbins. and as i was writing this the preview for my blueberry nights (is that what that jude law/natalie portman/norah jones movie is called?) came on and the cat powers song 'the greatest' is in the background and i really love it. why did cat powers' show in toronto suck so much? and why is the all-american rejects song 'dirty little secret' soundtracking the new gossip girl ads? i'm sorry, is it 2005? but we'll leave that for another day....

bruised from head to toe

when i was 13 my friend bear and i decided snowboarding would be cool, so we signed up for snowhawks and learned to ride. getting up early on sunday mornings during bar mitzvah year was no easy feat but we cut our macarenas and electric slides short for love of this hip new sport. cut to 2008...i have boarded once or twice since my jr. high epiphone 11 years ago and find myself in korea with a renewed desire to ride. this weekend i was able to live it out at jisan forest resort, a mere hour from my area on a free shuttle bus. a profound place to ski by no means, but someone as out of shape and out of practice as myself needs nothing more than a few slopes covered in artificial snow. the on-site lotteria didn't hurt...a shrimp burger and mozzarella sticks PLUS dok boggi for lunch? AMAZING...



Sunday, February 10, 2008

an ode to sam

don't tell your friends
don't check it out
take my word for it
SAM is the best bar in hongdae
the house wine is delightful
as is the complimentary cheese
(both in candy and stick form)
there are two very fluffy himalayan cats
plus sometimes they lick each other
and its comical
the ambiance is eclectic and
there are piles of pillows to lounge on the floor
and vinyls all around
and an apothecary table
i love it so much that i want to share it
but i dont want getting a table
to become any harder than it already is
so love and enjoy this bar vicariously
through me

p.s. lucky for me the sign is in korean
p.p.s. don't learn to read korean

Saturday, February 02, 2008

saturday night, i feel the air is getting hot

well, it was a big saturday night in Seoul...we made soju popsicles and sat on my couch. pretty radical! kind of like high school where you still need creative ways to drink your booze (before sadly segueing to vodka on the rocks in true alcoholic style). but in high school, for one, and, furthermore, north america, you can't follow that with a trip to the bath house, the highlight of my every weekend here. the bath house is where korean people go to take baths, as most people live in apartments and only have showers. they bathe, sit in the sauna, scrub each other down, get treatments and/or shower. and it's a naked FREE FOR ALL. i've always fancied myself a nudist at heart so i definitely feel very at-home in the bath house. nothing's better than a steam at midnight.

i leave you with two stickers i found....the english is just too wonderful not to share. is "kor" the hip new short form for korean? well, i'm into rock music...

the fine print: i am crazy about rock music. "well, i'm into rock music".