Tsukiji Fish Market, Tokyo

6 May

Three A.M. and the hustling hub of Tokyo’s fish market is packed with live and frozen aquatic creatures. ImageA stroll through any of the aisles is a compact lesson in marine biology with seemingly endless varieties of fish, shellfish and mollusks. ImageImageSeasoned workers methodically trim and cut while professional buyers make a invisible beelines around shops to select fine cuts for restaurants all over town. Serious sushi restaurants stick to trusted suppliers and will pay top price for a good fish.ImageImageThe tuna auction takes place at 5 am where the prize is a tuna the size of a grown person. I would not be able to tell you why one tuna fetched more than another but the record price was ¥155.4 million in 2013 for a 222 kg fish. High auction prices are typical on January 1st where the purchase of the best catch is seen as a celebration. ImageWhile you’re here, it would be a shame not to eat some sushi. There are some famed sushi restaurants around with equally famous line-ups of up to two hours. I’ve tried two less busy restaurants and the sushi was the best I have ever had. I am confident you will not be disappointed with any restaurant you choose.

ImageImageThe market is busiest until approximately 8 am when restaurant buyers have finished their procurement. If you’re not an early bird or don’t want to see the auction, I recommend arriving at Tsukiji around 8 am for sushi breakfast at a restaurant of your choice. It might feel strange eating sushi at such an early hour but one bite in and you’ll forget you ever had such a silly thought. Afterwards, head over to the wholesale area (open to tourists from 9 am on) and soak in the experience. ImageIf you want the chance to catch the action, you’ll have to arrive around 4 am. The auction is free but limited to 120 people, first-come-first-serve. The first tour for 60 people is from 5:25 to 5:45 am. The second tour is between 5:50 to 6:10 am. Due to the early hour, spend the night in the area around Tsukiji because the trains won’t run that early and a taxi ride across town will be very expensive. Tokyo Cheapo has great recommendations on places to stay the night before.

Kung Hei Fat Choi

7 Feb

Only a few more days to Chinese New Year and everything seems to be decked out with red lanterns, gold chocolate coins and colourful lion masks. The energy in Hong Kong is brimming with excitement as the city counts down to the year of the snake. Here are some of the beautiful sights to see during this auspicious time.

chinesenewyear Temples are bustling with people who come to pray for good fortune in the new year. Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple is home to Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism. The grand temple is adorned with intricate carvings, large archways and bright red, gold and blue hues as far as the eye can see.  chinesenewyear2The wishing trees at Lam Tsuen are a favourite spot. People write wishes on paper and tie it to a clementine. The wishes are then tossed onto the branches of the tree, in hopes that the higher the tree branch, the more likely the wish will come true. The wishing trees have become so popular that imitation trees have been set up nearby so that the real trees do not become overburdened. chinesenewyear3Lion dances can be seen all over Hong Kong during this time of year. Led by clashing cymbals and beating drums, the mix of martial arts with bold colours and fringe are really a sight to see. Business entrances will hang green vegetables, usually lettuce, high above the doorway for the lions to eat. Skilled dancers are known to perform acrobatics to reach the greens and are rewarded with red envelopes of money. It’s one of my favourite parts of Chinese New Year and is always a stunning performance. The dance is thought to bring good luck to companies. 

chinesenewyear4There is also the much anticipated firework show on the 1st of the lunar year. Celebrations will be erupting worldwide on Sunday and I hope you get the chance to enjoy it!

photos via Discover Hong Kong

Alain Delorme

1 Feb

I am into full packing mode now with just a week to go until I leave for Japan. Sure, I’ve made lists of things I’ll need but then I look at everything piled up around my room and and wonder, how is all of that going to fit in my suitcase?

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It was a humorous sigh of relief seeing Delorme’s Totem collection. These manipulated photos elevate the working people in Shanghai to superhero status with their incredible balance, strength and perseverance. In a city strongly focusing on its economic growth and urbanization, the images show the material, burdensome and precarious nature of city expansion. The towering pile of goods are the totems they carry and are set up against the city’s ever rising totems of condos and office buildings. Take a look…

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Alain Delorme

Frozen Winters

24 Jan

Toronto is currently going through a deep freeze this week with temperatures outside feeling like -30 degrees Celsius. I felt this installation by Chris Lawson really captures just how frigid and unforgiving winter can be.

deep north6Deep North depicts an abandoned house where the inhabitants left so suddenly they left all their personal effects untouched. A table is set, a book is left open and dishes wait to be put away. Left to the elements and plummeting centigrade, a thick sheet of ice covers the interior of the house and leaves a life suspended in time. The photos depict an absolute quiet, freezing temperatures and an eerie stupor in each room. Just thinking about how the installation was created makes me shiver. If you haven’t had a frosty winter yet, Deep North will surely send you some icy chills! Stay warm my friends!

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via Gessato with files from Magnus Muller Temporary

Laurent Chehere

20 Jan

My home is the center of my universe. In an ever changing world, my house is a place of comfort and familiarity. I am free to escape harsh weather, angry traffic and bustling streets. I can create a world of make-believe with a fortress of pillows or pour a glass of wine and slip into a tub of bubbles.

Laurent Chehere has traveled the world and photographed many living quarters, both temporary and permanent. In his collection Flying Houses, the buildings are given a voice and tell us about those they care for. What would our homes say about us?

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via  The Jealous Curator

MVMNT Café

12 Jan

Opened in time for last year’s summer Olympics in London, Morag Myerscough and the Greenwich Cooperative Development Agency livened up the space around the busy Greenwich DLR station with a brilliantly designed pop-up café.

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MVMNT Café offered local organic food and coffee as well as performance space for musicians and commuter bike storage. Talk about inserting an instantaneous dose of feel good inspiration to the thousands of visitors passing by the Royal Borough of Greenwich! The graphic and vibrant design reflected the excitement of a city and its people. Take a look at how it all came together.

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MVMNT Cafe

Perfect Black Tux

6 Jan

Yves Saint-Laurent came out with Le Smoking in the 60’s, a women’s clothing line inspired by formal menswear. It went on to become a huge success and fashion phenomenon reinventing the definition of women’s style and sophistication.lesmoking

The androgynous look reflected feelings of empowerment and liberation for women. To this day, when I put on a well-tailored suit, I can’t help but walk with my head held high and feel like there isn’t anything I can’t do. Thanks YSL!

Here are some recent interpretations by Dolce & Gabbana, Alexander McQueen, Jason Wu and Ralph Lauren.

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