Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Muji Apple

I thought I was over Asia...OVER-OVER-OVER IT! (or as Xienshen would say "OVES IT".)

But then I dropped freakin' 85 bucks at UNIQLO, the H&M of Japan now cozily situated on Broadway. Damn you, Japan for your impeccable if slightly clinical sense of design. And double damn you for pollinating our American shores with your stores. (I rhyme!)Now it gets fever pitch people. Cuz you know WHO ELSE is coming?!



As usual, Gothamist tells me everything I need to know, specifically about the GIGANTIC NEW MUJI STORE taking up 5,000 sq ft in the NY Times building between 40th and 41st on 8th Avenue.

For those of you who have no idea why I'm so ga-ga over potentially overpriced stationary items you can get at the MOMA Design store, let me share my experience at the MUJI while I was in Taiwan:

More exotic than a Twinkie, hell more flavorful, and grosses out schoolchildren- $1.60 US.

Meet the family...

In case you couldn't guess, MUJI was also ground zero for all the "hip n' artsy" folks at Taipei, aka "Japan-o-phile Wannabes". Do I exclude myself from this bunch? Given the alternative in I don't. Here they are flocking the stationary section. MUJI sells an amazing notebook with pre-made storyboard blocks for your own geek comic book/film making aspirations.

All the labels for their beauty products were either in Japanese or Chinese gibberish. Considering my Chinese reading skills consist mainly of food and business terms, it was hard to decipher "combination-oily" or "undereye lift mask" I mainly stayed away from buying their beauty products. It'll be a relief to find out what all this stuff is really for when it hits the States.

I don't know why...but these handkerchiefs just give me such a thrill.

As do the abundance of slipper choices! (Gawd, I'm so freakin' Asian...)

It all comes down to apparel.

Why do I love MUJI so? Just look at this display. The logo is microscopic. It's not even on the packaging. But through smart marketing, strong design, and unwavering self-identity they're able to scream out "THIS IS ME" without telling, but just showing you.

Is it any wonder I ran to MUJI while living in
neon-lit-status-conscious-Louis-Vuitton-totin' Taipei? No logo and minimalism was a refreshing oasis.

I think NYC can definately benefit from a MUJI oasis in Herald Square. ;-)

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Not in Asia Anymore

I just sent this photo to a friend so he could see the current climate of pop culture I've landed myself into by coming home. Bald Britney on ATTACK!!!!

Hmmmm...being back for over two weeks now is a bit weird. I feel like a time traveler or Rip Van Winkle. It doesn't feel like I've been gone for over two years, and not much looks different...yet as I walk around the city, talk to my friends, and look at what's around I feel an undefinable difference.

The best way to describe it is..kinda like walking into your room, and getting the feeling like someone's been in there and moved your stuff around while you weren't looking. But you can't pinpoint what.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Helen is Drawing

So I'm not technically Hiding in Asia any more, since my butt is back in New Jersey now.
I'll still update this blog, because I have a backlog of insanity I encountered in Asia yet to be revealed.

In the meantime, I am fighting artistic and mental rot- by drawing, doing art, freelancing on projects etc... if you are curious as to what I'm up to these days, you can go to my new blog, Helen is Drawing.

Oh yeah, and yell at me if I don't update this blog often, cuz it means I'm watching Oprah and waking up past noon and NOT drawing. ;-)