Thursday, January 31, 2008

Design With Eyes

Hey Everyone! Check out this blog called's by my friend Eddie and he's one of the most considerate designers I know. He has a unique take on things and his blog is chock full of interesting insights.


So, there is this great thing in Singapore...drinks in a bag! In this case, and my usual drink of choice, coffee-in-a-bag. It's versatile, uses less materials than the traditional cup and look(!) you can hang it from a bike or scooter handle. I've also seen taxi drivers hang it from their turn signal lever. It's clever and convenient (except if you want to put it down on a flat surface, of course).

Monday, January 28, 2008

What do you want to drink?

"Whatever...Anything..." is the answer that prompted the start of these two canned drinks. Whatever is a non-carbonated line of teas and Anything is fizzy and comes in 6 different flavors. The best part is that you just never know what you're going to get! Singapore teens are loving the whimsical nature of these drinks and the ads are hilarious and fabulous-tastic! I have to credit Arjun with this first spot and it sure is a good one.

I love the one on the right..."I will try Anything to impress the girls." hahaha.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Nature's Patterns and Textures

For the past couple of weekends we've been going to local nature preserves. Last weekend we went to the wetlands preserve and yesterday we hiked up to the tree top walk in Bukit Timah Nature Preserve. Here are just a few of the beautiful patterns and textures that can be found in the natural world around us. (Ok, I threw in some that aren't really patterns or textures but are just sue me!)

A vast variety of palm trees are all over Singapore and the leaves on this one were about 6 feet across at the widest part and when tapped sounded like a thin plastic - very rigid and structural.
These leaves look like reptile skin with deep cracks and veins like a crocodile having been in the sun for years.
One of my favorite things to photograph anywhere in nature is the pattern of algae/fungus growth on the bark of trees or on the sides of rocks. The colors are beautifully subtle and the patterns almost lace-like in their delicacy.
This is just a nice picture of the rain clouds retreating and the sun peaking through the trees in Bukit Timah.
The grooves of this fern leaf are temporarily being used to catch raindrops like a child sticking out their tongue in the rain.
Whoever ate zig zags all over this leaf would never pass a roadside drunk driving test. Too beautiful not to post.In order from left to right: Moi, Ruth, Jonathan, & Dice. (True to form, Arjun has yet to catch up to us.)

Friday, January 25, 2008

Noodle Time = Yummy-Kapow!

So, we've started a ritual in Singapore. Every Friday one of us picks a new restaurant and we all meet there and have a huge dinner together. The first Friday, I took everyone out for Chili Crab and Black Pepper Crab, last Friday we went to Soba So Good courtesy of Jonathan and this Friday Ruth took us to Lan Zhou La Mien in Chinatown. They still make every noodle the old fashioned pulling and twisting a block of noodle into individual noodle strands. And this delicious dinner led to the coining of a new phrase -- "Yummy-kapow!"

I've had this style of noodle before but it's becoming increasingly harder to find as the craft is being passed up by younger generations. So, when you find a place that still makes their noodles this way you should pull up a chair and order up a bowl -- you won't regret it.
The noodles start off as one clump...
then the noodle master slaps them against the floured cutting board and pulls the clump into a long strip...
he continues to fold the strip over so that doubles, then again so that it quadruples and so on and so on until he has over 25 strands of individual noodles. Then he drops them directly into a pot of boiling water making for some of the freshest noodles you'll find!
"Get in my belly, noodles!"
Mmm. Zha-Jiang Mien! approximately 45 seconds later.

Bring On the Year of the Rat!

Stepping off the MRT at the Chinatown stop and heading into it's crowded streets is pretty amazing a couple of weeks before the Lunar New Year. People are busy buying decorations, sweets, treats, toys, and new clothes all in preparation for the big day and it feels good to get lost in the chaos.
Distractions abound in the alleys of Chinatown with people shouting price breaks over mini-microphones attached to their waists and wafts of fragrant smells blowing by you from a nearby snack vendor. It definitely beats the elevator music of your everyday big box store.
Pomelo or Shaddock are the largest of the citrus fruits. These were larger than my melon and I have a HUGE melon!
People eating their Friday night family dinners crowded the streets.
Decorations run the gamut from glittery fireworks to Mickey Mouse banners.
Oh kitschy goodness!
I don't know why, but I'm pretty sure every household needs one of these.
The Buddhist temple in Chinatown was decked out with red lanterns surrounding it in a beautiful warm glow.
My favorite part...the loot! Lots and lots of candy from Chinatown somehow ended up in my purse! Go figure.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

When Beer Meets Childhood Memories...

Sitting down for a beer last night, we were all pleasantly surprised by the ingenious Hoegaarden coasters that do a great job of mixing childhood memories & toys with beer...and what could be better than that?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

So Singapore!

Here are some images from our outing today in Singapore. Life abroad is fascinating because everyday you uncover such interesting tid-bits which I like think of as the colored-sprinkles of life ;)

Talk about good ad placement...Sony Ericsson utilizes the overlooked real estate of this handle bar on the Singapore MRT to advertise their latest product line-up.
Who says you can't have it all? Coffee and a massage?! This little coffee shop in the Cathay Mall mixes relaxation with caffeination. Perhaps a sub-culture really is brewing.

Browhaus is a chain that is all over Singapore. They handle everything from eyebrow extensions to eyelash dying but I just love their identity...everything from their name to their graphics is great (and hilarious).This is the ultimate. Spotted by Jason, this is a small injection molded took-kit! It's about the size of a 3x5 index card and includes tweezers, a screw driver with multiple heads and a wrench. I think it's genius in it's manufacturing and am reluctant to break it out of it's pristine state and put it to use. Though, I am curious how the plastic tools will hold up against metal parts.

A detailed view of the different driver heads

Kaya Toast-la!

Today's food exploration? Kaya Toast! A traditional Singaporean breakfast that I've read about on some other blogs, Kaya Toast is a simple slice of bread spread with kaya jam and butter. Kaya jam is made from coconut milk, egg (chicken or duck), flavored with pandan leaf and sweetened with sugar. You usually eat the toast with a nice cup of coffee and soft boiled egg. (I was a little too anxious and wolfed down my toast before my eggs even hit the table...oops.)

They also have different variations (french toast & french roll) which utilize different breads and/or are dipped in egg but I went for the classic version and it was yummy. I'll definitely be back for more. (Nathan, want me to send you some Kaya jam for your pancakes?)

PS: There are two main chains in Singapore that serve this tasty treat: 1) Killiney Kopitiam (where I went) and 2) Ya Kun.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Beautiful Tahiti

Ok, it's been a while since my last post and lots has happened since then...for one thing, I graduated from Art Center...I'm currently in Singapore teaching design to MBA's and in between I spent 12 days in Tahiti.

I won't bore you with the details of sitting on a beach and snorkling in crystal clear waters but I will say that the highlights were definitely swimming with the rays in Moorea and staying in Huahine. As Craig said..."Bora Bora? Snora Snora." I couldn't agree more. Not only was the island filled with large resort after large resort but the other tourists in Bora Bora seemed to feel so entitled.

Other interesting things about Tahiti include the phenomenon or Ray Ray's and the steak frite baguettes (steak and fries inside of a french baguette...Atkins dieters beware).

All in all, it was a great trip and if I did it again, I'd skip Bora Bora and hit some of the smaller, less traveled islands.