11.Apr.2012 BMW ActiveE

You can find our adventures with the all electric BMW ActiveE here instead:  https://djejelectronaut.jux.com/

16.Mar.2011 Mission Statement

Foreign Cinema is a restaurant in the heart of the Mission district of San Francisco – known for its hipster-chic outdoor courtyard where independent films are projected in the evenings. As it turns out, it’s also a pretty cool place to grab brunch on the weekend with friends, especially on a nice day. I mean, a place that serves homemade pineapple Pop Tarts has got to be good, right?

Nearby, the Curiosity Shoppe is always a fun stop, full of quirky well-curated design objects, nostalgic trinkets, and rotating art by local artists. On this visit, I picked up a few Japanese wooden tops to add to Edgar’s top collection, some Dress for Dinner napkins that just made me smile, and saw Chloe Fleury’s “San Francisco: Made of Paper” exhibit.

As we headed towards the 16th Street BART station, we stumbled upon Clarion Alley, known for its collection of murals that is characteristic to the Mission District.  The colorful murals sure inspired some fun poses!

I love San Francisco in general, and the Mission in particular, for its never ending supply of eye candy for the design geek in me.

{some photos courtesy of Suett}

13.Mar.2011 Picture Perfect: London

When I had a few days of downtime between exploring Paris with Edgar and attending a tradeshow in Germany last fall, visiting London easily made it to the the top of my to-do list. I’ve been there a few times in recent past and arrived with little on my agenda except to wander, and I was happy with the surprises and discoveries made during this trip as I made my way through the streets of this diverse city. Inspired by a recent Anthology magazine article on London, and this photographer’s travel journal, I revisited my photos and compiled a collection of favorites. There is so much more to love about London than words can describe, so I’ll let these photos, which include some fun shots taken by my Lensbaby lens, speak for themselves.

London, until we meet again…

16.Feb.2011 I “heart” HK

A few Valentine inspirations from store windows in Hong Kong:

01.Feb.2011 Underground Art: Hong Kong Edition

Growing up, I remembered rushing in and out of Hong Kong’s MTR (subway) stations as I head from one destination to the next, and had thought of them as rather nondescript (despite the fact that each station is color coded).

A while back, I had blogged about some art installations that had appeared in New York City subway stations. I was excited to also see that Hong Kong has its fair share of public art in its MTR stations in recent years. In particular, I was very taken by this piece by artist Lucia Cheung in the Central MTR station called “Home with a View”  -  created out of glass mosaics, the piece was reminiscent of  a Chinese watercolor painting, with scenes of historic and modern Hong Kong superimposed on top of each other. Installed in 2003, I was amazed that I had not “seen” this piece until now – maybe for once I was not rushing to somewhere?

The historical Legislative Council building, with modern buildings such as Norman Foster’s Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank Headquarters “penciled” in behind it:

A traditional sampan in Victoria Harbor, with the Hong Kong convention center in the background :

There was also this colorful piece in the Chai Wan station, “House III” by Leong Kam Seng:

For a complete list of art in the MTR stations of Hong Kong, click here.

27.Jan.2011 Inflatable Steel

I had a few days in between our vacation in Paris and Orbit Baby‘s tradeshow in Germany this fall, and I decided to spend a few days in London, yet another one of my favorite cities in the world. It was the first time in a long time that I had traveled alone (business trips not counting), and there were simply too many things I had wanted to do, see, and eat. To help me make some decisions and to make the most out of my trip, I gave myself 3 rules to follow:

  1. Visit one museum a day
  2. Take buses over the tube whenever I can (more to see above ground!)
  3. Eat in Clerkenwell (where I was staying) at least once a day

I made it a point to visit museums I had never been to before, and the Saatchi Gallery, London’s contemporary museum,  was at the top of my list. Maybe it’s wrong for me to judge art by how badly I wanted to bring them home, but I really wanted these Plopp Stools by Oskar Zieta in my house. Reminiscent of inflatable furniture from my dorm room days, I think these “grown up” versions (made of formed steel) have just the right amount of magic in them.

19.Jan.2011 Design Competition in 2011: Checked!

Edgar, Pei, and I recently entered a design competition to design a small New York City home for treehugger founder, Graham Hill, in a crowd-sourced competition called “Life Edited.” Having grown up in Hong Kong, and having lived in tiny little studio apartments all my adult life until I moved into our Eichler a few years ago, I have always been enamored by small living spaces.

Between our combined design background and techie know-how, we figured we can at least stir up some intellectual conversations amongst good friends as we tackled this competition. While this was just a pet project for us, and we only got to work on it in our sparest of spare time, I was excited to have learned many things along the way. I mean, how else would I have know that a lift oven even existed, where the oven is hung above the counter and the food is magically lowered using a lift mechanism to counter height? (Thanks Edgar!) Or that you can drag the Magic Chair One 3D model directly into your Google Sketchup model to make your space that much cooler? (Thanks Pei!) For me, the goal was to use this as an excuse to stimulate a discourse regarding our living habits, and I was really proud that we made it to the finish line and actually had an entry to submit, even if we were not able to take it as far as some of the others in the competition. Check out our entry here.

I’ve entered a few design competitions in the past, but crowd-sourcing brings it to a whole new ballgame.  It’s scarily a mix between Yelp, where anyone can rate your work (perhaps of dubious credibility) and a design studio at school, where you are given solicited (and sometimes unsolicited) feedback. Unfortunately, old habits are hard to break, and having submitted our entry at the witching hour, we didn’t really take advantage of the community’s feedback. However, it was encouraging to see that many earlier comments in the competition came from the jurors and Graham himself. I thought those who were able to devote more time to this project and submitted early really benefited from the feedback – and were able to present a much more resolved entry ultimately.

Here are some of my current favorites:


In sight, in mind

I’m enjoying checking out all the entries now, and having been a part of this, I can evaluate each idea with a more critical eye. I am looking forward to the outcome of this competition!

04.Nov.2010 Goodbye, 1970′s pink.

Home ownership is a funny thing.  We fell in love with our Eichler for its mid-century charm during our extensive house hunt, but the truth is, we really fell in love with the house for what it could be.  However, over the years, we learned that change does not come quickly, easily, or cheaply – and takes compromises, diligence, and creativity.  Our master suite renovation, now four years in the planning, finally broke ground yesterday, and it seems appropriate that we start blogging again to capture the experiences that is to come.

Even if we could live, and learn to love, some of the quirkiness of our house built in the 1950′s, we knew that one thing had to change: our master bathroom that was added onto our house in the 1970′s.  There was nothing charming about our wood-paneled, pink-tiled, linoleum-floored, and brass-detailed bath, and we won’t be sad to see it go:

It’s not all so bad.  In 4+ years, we’ve done our share of home improvement projects, and with a few coats of paints and some modern furnishings, the master bedroom was starting to look pretty good.  This is one of my favorite corners of our house, but it too will go with the remodel:

Stay tuned for more Hoi+Edgar adventures as our remodel progresses!  If the result is anything close to what we had imagined, it will be a dream come true.

09.Jan.2010 2009 Year End Review: Food

We’ve had some amazing meals in 2009.  Here’s some that we have photos for.  Photo journal tour of food 2009.  (Mouse over for location)

01.Dec.2009 The Quick Holiday Gift Guide

Christmas is approaching and I can see the Tylenol sales going up already as everyone is thinking too hard about the perfect gift.  Well here’s a little gift guide to get you started.

numbercupsNumber cups
We purchased a set of these over a year ago while in Tokyo.  Now you can get them here for $14 each.
What would make someone feel younger than sucking on a lollipop?  We don’t need that artificial grape anymore though, so go with the Maple Bacon or White Russian for a grown up taste to a kid favorite. Get them here for $10 a pack
Shuriken02Ninja Shuriken Magnets
Everyone’s wanted to be a ninja at some point. Now you can stealthy post your notes with this magnet. Also comes in green and pink for the girls.
wclp-gamezoneLaboraty 424 wall clips
Perfect gift for the messy gamer. These hooks conveniently hold your controller until you need them again.
museumMuseum Membership
This may sound like a boring gift, but our belief is that people do not like museums because they spend the entire day there. With a membership though you can see the museum in small manageable doses. We’ve been enjoying our SFMOMA membership.
DunnySeries2009_large_image6_1174Kidrobot Dunny
These are some of my favorite of the year. Each box is a surprise design and the hunt for rare designs is addictive. See my previous post for a look at my collection. Get someone started on the latest series now for just $8 each.
aurora_4500 Colored Pencils
Subscriptions are one of the best gifts, well not necessarily magazines, but receiving a surprise each month keeps the gift alive. This is 25 colored pencils for 20 months for $33.00 per month. They make a beautiful collection and all sorts of display methods are available as well.





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