Blue Ribbon Sushi

Last night I went to Blue Ribbon Sushi, the SoHo establishment that seems like it has been around since forever. The last time I was there was circa ’97, and I am thrilled to have tried it again. We had a 500ml bottle of the special, seasonal sake drinking from wooden box cups. How elegant! The sushi was Japanese style, smaller pieces, which I prefer, as opposed to the huge slabs of fish common here.

119 Sullivan Street (between Prince & Spring)

The Cult of the Luxury Brand

The Cult of the Luxury Brand, a fabulous book on Asian’s obsession with luxury goods, will showcase this photo of mine.


Well almost, unfortunately my photo lost out to an image from sushicam. Still, the writers were nice enough to send me a copy of the book anyway. Thank you! I hope it will help answer just how the Japanese can account for over one third of Louie Vuitton sales. Amazingly, I never succumbed to the LV “measles,” describes in the book as “everyone has to get it eventually.” Bravo on some brilliant insights!


10 Places to See Before You Die

The new year is a time for lists. Forget the 1,000 Places to See Before You Die, here is my list of 10 places you must go to.

1. Luang Prabang, Laos, a World Heritage site, is simply the loveliest place on earth. Trust me. Stay at the Villa Santi Hotel (not the resort), rent bikes for $1 outside the hotel, and get up early one morning to stroll amongst a sea of saffron robed monks.

2. Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia. Stay at the Grand Hotel d’Angkor. Get a guide and driver, you’ll need an air conditioned car to escape to from the heat and the hawkers. Buy something from one of the kids, but don’t haggle if you don’t plan to buy it. Furthermore, ask your conscience do you really want to haggle for 25 cents?

3. Hoi An, Vietnam, another World Heritage site. Make sure you eat some pho and beware of young girls approaching you with, “my auntie has a dress shop, wanna come see?

4. The Forbidden City and the Great Wall, Beijing, China. Nuff said.

5. The terra-cotta warriors, Xi-an, China. If possible don’t overnight in Xi’an.

6. Harajuku girls, Tokyo, Japan. Even long past Gwen Stephani making them famous, they are still sight to see. I never tire of them. They come out on Sunday’s at Harajuku station at about 11am.

7. Omotesando Dori, Tokyo, Japan. Start at Harajuku station and walk the length of Omotesando to the Nezu museum. Along the way on the right is Louis Vuitton where the Japanese stand in line to buy bags. Past Omotesando crossing/Aoyama Dori, stop at Prada, a must see for the Herzog and de Meuron architecture. Bape Exclusive is behind Prada to the right. Also take a look at the Nezu gardens, but not the museum itself. I lived across from the Nezu when I lived in Japan.

8. The Blue Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey. Huge and illuminated in blue light, simply the most impressive space I have ever seen. My only non-Asian pick.

9. The Four Seasons Chiang Mai, Thailand, the best hotel experience I’ve ever had. Visit the hill tribes while your at it. I purchased a headdress from an Akha hill tribeswoman, something no one should be without.

10. OPTIONAL: The long necked Karen near Mae Hong Son, Thailand. The women of the Karen hill tribe wear brass rings to elongate their necks. Some say exploitive, others a tourist trap. I found them beautiful and gentle. Use you own moral compass.

Nadine does Little Tokyo

Check out this 2 minute video of my walking tour in Little Tokyo at


Filmed by the talented Daniel Baer, the itinerary included:

  • air market – Japanocentric shop dedicated to all things cute – 97 3rd Ave (12th/13th)
  • Jas Mart – Supermarket just like in Japan – 35 Saint Mark’s Place
  • Otofuku – Tiny restaurant serving takoyaki, grilled octopus balls (no octopuses don’t have balls you sick mind) – 236 East 9th St (2nd/3rd)
  • Panya – Japanese bakery known for their green tea tiramisu – 10 Stuyvesant St (3rd Ave/9th St)
  • Giant Robot – Books, toys, pop culture fabulousness – 437 East 9th St (1st/A)

Love. Product. Sales. Baby.

Gwen Stefani’s new flash site might have “A Fatal Attraction to Cuteness”, but I have a fatal attraction to its usability. The graphics are amazing, but the site navigation leaves something to be desired.launch

Check out the section “Harajuku Girls” to see videos and pictures of Gwen’s infamous back-up dancers Love, Angel, Music, and Baby.

The stylish and accessible line of fashion and accessories is located under The Goods where you can find the Cuteness Tank. Totally Kawaii!

Bapexclusive in Aoyama

Wallpaper*, the hipper than thou design mag, seems to have made Japan their pet destination with a large portion of each issue dedicated to all that is cool in Tokyo. The December/January 2006 issue covers the Wonderwall revamped Bapexclusive store in Aoyama.
A Bathing Ape trainers revolve on a conveyer belt like all you can each sushi.
The store can be found behind Prada at 5-5-8, Minamiaoyama, Minato-ku Tokyo (map).
Also, check out the official Bape site which has a flash app with Bape related information.

Life advice from Hello Kitty

Leave it to the folks of Sanrio to bring you the Hello Kitty Psychological Test. I took the one I seem to feel anxious lately… My analysis found that I “easily feel stressful” and recommended “exercise and Karaoke.”
Other tests include:

Rest sound knowing that Hello Kitty can help you with all of your life’s problems.



Halloween Harajuku

Halloween is just around the corner so I thought I’ offer some tips for dressing up as a Harajuku girl.

There are two main archetypes: the Gothic and the Lolita.

For the Lolita-look dress in white and pink. Wear a wide knee length skirt preferably with ruffles and lace and a blouse with ruffles, lace, and/or bows. Add some while socks and platform shoes. Use white face make-up, pink lips, eyes lined in black, and a lace dollie in the hair or a large bow. Wear your hair in ringlets or a wig with ringlets or a pink wig.

For the Gothic thing think patent leather, buckets, black lace, and net. A wide knee length skirt in black with ruffles and a blouse with ruffles, lace, and/or bows, Knee-socks in black and white stripes, platform shoes, and wear a cross. Black straight-haired wig, mini top hat. Paint your face white, black eye liner, black lips, and a tear painted in black down one cheek.

With either look it is best to carry a cute stuffed animal dressed just like you. Totally kawaii!

You can buy the looks here for gajillion dollars, but with some creativity I know you can create the look on your own. What I have seen recently in Zara and H&M was very Harajuku: ruffles and lace. I am sure other stores will have some of the right things.

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