swimming bunnies

When I first spotted these massive pieces, I assumed they were paintings. A conversation with the gallerist
revealed that they are actually photographs. Chinese artist Zhou Hongbin built swimming tanks for her rabbits
after she discovered that they love to swim. I was assured that the bunnies were not harmed in the process.
Of course Photoshop was then used to place multiple images of the swimming bunnies into the composition.
I just found these images mesmerizing. There's a fairy tale quality to them that I love. And who knew bunnies
liked to swim? 



in a garden state


It was great to spend time with my dad this weekend. He's visiting from Manila where he and my mom live. I came to stay at my uncle's house in New Jersey where my dad is staying. The charmless shopping mall and car culture of suburbia aside (not really my style), the "garden state" of New Jersey did have so much lush beauty to offer. Behind the cul-de-sac of monster homes was a small farm. I was enamored with the scenery and had to take photos. It was also heaven for Lexie to walk around without her leash and with her new best friend, sweet little Bella (my aunt and uncle's jack russell). The late afternoon sun broke through just after a whole day of rain and all the color came alive.


a fresh perspective


During my juice and smoothie cleanse, I've been trying to focus on fruits and vegetables. It's been about getting back to fresh, simple and pure. While shopping at Whole Foods to supply my fridge this week, I was inspired to take these photos. Perhaps I took the photos to be inspired. Either way, I particularly love the lettuce looks. I got close enough to abstract the forms and allow it to take on a whole new kind of beauty.
I realize that by doing the cleanse, that it's really something I need to do regularly. It truly does make a difference and it's a great reminder that I don't need as much as I think I do. It's also not so extreme when you allow yourself to still have a healthy dinner.


inspired space for art and food : loading dock


My friend Dave Pinter clued me into the existence of the coolest new Brooklyn spot: Loading Dock. The restaurant features Baja-style Mexican food formerly of Brooklyn Flea fame. It's very casual and inexpensive. I love the fact that the restaurant is built into a former garment factory and that the space is also an art gallery. Everything in the space is retains a warehouse feel, rough-hewn and spare. As my friend Dave referred to it: "60-grit" feel (as in sandpaper). The charm is it's unpolished restraint. They also didn't fill the dining area/gallery with too many pieces of furniture. They've mixed mid-century chairs with work tables. I adore the fake fireplace flanked by old Adirondak chairs and fur pelts. Staying true to it's taco truck roots is the kitchen – an actual taco truck built right onto the front of the building. We got in there JUST before people started streaming in and managed to get a couple of quick photos literally seconds before everyone sat down. I can't fail to mention that the food did not disappoint, we loved our dishes! The second this place gets a liquor license, it will quickly become the newest, hottest new bar in Brooklyn. It would make a great event space too. It's another Brooklyn favourite. I will definitely be back – and soon!



at home in ditmas park : purple yam restaurant


I had the rare treat of dining out on Filipino food this weekend. Unlike Korean or Malaysian food, for instance, Filipino food hasn't become mainstream (though it's only a matter of time). So when I have it, it's usually at home or with family.
I've been dying to try Purple Yam, a reincarnation of the now closed Cendrillion restaurant in SoHo. They opened in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn — out of the way, but I knew it would be worth it. I read about their tocino sliders a couple of weeks ago and could not get it out of my head. So our menu for the evening was as follows:
1) Tocino sliders (sugar-achuete cured pork) in purple yam pan de sal bread, served with pickled persimmon
2) The special dumplings – with shrimp and water chestnuts
3) Pomelo, green mango and jicama salad
4) Chicken adobo (braised in vinegar, garlic, soy sauce and coconut milk)
5) Pancit bihon (Philippine rice noodles with chicken, pork and veggies)
1) Halo halo (Philippine iced dessert with sweet beans, palm seed, cocogel, coconut sport [macapuno], jackfruit, topped with flan and purple yam ice cream)
2) Champorrado with coffee ice cream (sweet rice in chocolate and cream)
My friends and I LOVED it – even more than the original. It was such a treat for me and the best meal I've had in a while. It's as tasty as home cooked meals but with an occasional innovative twist utilizing all the authentic ingredients. The staff was sweet, as was the owner and gracious host, Amy Besa. My favourites had to be the sliders (we had three orders of it), the adobo and the desserts. Their house made ice cream is to die for, especially the coffee one. Purple Yam is so worth the trip out. Think of it as a mini-field trip, it's only a few stops past Park Slope on the Q train. Their back patio area surrounded by bamboo looks really lovely too. I'll definitely be back.
Loved the lighting sculpture at the front of the restaurant


food & still life photographer: beth galton


I don't know of many food photographers, but Beth Galton's work really blew me away. I believe it takes a solid eye for design and an ability to play into the naturally unexpected to do this well. I love the incredible detail, texture and color in her work. The website really showcases her work, the images are very large, gorgeous and scrumptious. You must take a look (but wait until you've eaten). You've been warned! 
The photographs truly showcases food and its preparation as sexy, which I believe, it truly is.