Regina Spektor – Lady
Pharrell – Show You How To Hustle (Featuring Lauren)
Big Boi – Unhappy
Outkast – Morris Brown
Snow Patrol – Chasing Cars
Lupe Fiasco – I Gotcha
Damien Rice – Cannonball
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Cheated Hearts (Live)
Raphael Saadiq – Get Involved (Featuring Q Tip)
Janet Jackson – Got Till It’s Gone
The Roots – Silent Treatment (Live)
Sigur Ros – Olsen Olsen
The Strokes – Heart In A Cage
Talib Kweli – The Blast
Lou Reed – Perfect Day
Colin Hay – I Just Don’t Think I’ll Ever Get Over You
Common – Go

Advertisements

My Rayban Wayfarers

August 26, 2006

jonwayfarers.jpg

The nerd gets nerdier.

Whatever, I think they’re kinda cool and I love how vintage and old fashion they are? Was it not James Dean who put the Wayfarers by Rayban on the map? I mean if he can look cool in them, why can’t I?

……k, dont answer that.

Oh, by the way, please don’t laugh when you see me sporting them.

Shirtflag

August 24, 2006

shirtflagfront.jpg

Walking aimlessly on the streets of Shanghai, I must have spotted at least 3 or 4 Shirtflag stores. Shirtflag provides graphics and designs which take a retrospective look at Chinese propaganda art and mixes it with modern cultural icons and pop culture references (basically satirizes the Maoist era of China). Reminds me a lot of the store, Fill in the _____s store in Central, Hong Kong. Kind of suprised to see a store like this in mainland China but more power to them! Their products include their ever popular t-shirt designs, bags, buttons as well as stationary. The brand Shirtflag is very popular in Shanghai. Currently there are 6 Shirtflag stores in the greater area of Shanghai. Don’t be suprised if you see any of these stores expanding into cities like Beijing or Hong Kong. Apparently, their clothing will soon be available in Europe as retailers in the continent are ready to market their clothing. Click below to see some of the designs.

Read the rest of this entry »

New music video from Gnarls Barkley. Truly unique. Love the video.

Bar Rouge, Shanghai

August 23, 2006

barrouge.jpg

Bar Rouge is one of the hottest spots in Shanghai. Right smack in the historic Bund district in Shanghai. Its chic, its classy, its elegent. The musics banging and so are the women. Ah, the women..if only I wasn’t short..damn genetics..haha. The design of the place and the interiors are second to none. It’s layout is terrific in terms of sitting, lounging and if you’re in the mood, theres plenty of room to dance. The crowds mainly in the range of late 20s to middle aged 50 (felt kinda out of place) but regardless of how old you are, it’s still one of the coolest places to grab a drink in Shanghai. Suprisingly, drinks aren’t quite that expensive as I thought. I believe a beer was only 50 rmb. Be sure to check out if you’re in Shanghai. The view of the Pudong skyline from patio area is priceless.

For more photos (only managed to take 2 good photos), follow the link below:
Read the rest of this entry »

Just updated the list of things I checked out when in Shanghai. I was supposed to finish the post yesterday but got lazy and lost momentum. Ha! Will eventually post profiles of Shanghai streetwear stores such as ‘The Thing’, ‘Shirtflag’ , as well as the very chic club ‘Bar Rouge’. Also, I’ll put together some photos of my trip to Shanghai.

Shanghai : My Kind Of Town

August 22, 2006

skylineshanghai.jpg

Having been there back in 2002 for only 3 days, I didn’t really have a good sense of the vibrant city. It was gritty, the people were rude, things are really badly disorganized. Okay, these things still definitely exist but one can notice the large differences made to the city. I’m not just talking about the infrastructure or the skyscrapers that weren’t dwarfing in the skyline a couple of years ago. I’m talking about the emerging culture that existed in the hearts of the Shanghaiese people but suppressed by the communist government for so many years.

I had the chance to see a lot of things I wouldn’t be able to see if I had visited with my family. Walking the many streets (I’m tired as hell) and several alleyways, you’d be suprised at what you might end up seeing. The city is completly vibrant and the balance between its commerce, its history and its culture/lifestyle are very evident.

Some of the areas I checked out were:

Xintiandi, where a batch of renovated houses offers everything from fine dining to chic nightclubs. The streets of Changde Le road as many youth streetwear boutiques are located, which rivals to Toronto’s Queen street. The newly renovated district of Haifang Road, where many new restaurants and clubs are being built. “Elite Club” from the Elite Modeling Agency is about to be finished. It’s a safe bet it’s going to be one of the hot spots in terms of where to party. The art district of Taikang where many artists and designers showcase their work. You also have the famous Bund which maintains the history of Shanghai pre-communism colonial period. However, many buildings have been respectfully renovated into hip new spots for nightlife and restaurants (particularly the places at Bund 18).

And it’s what I love about Shanghai. Their modernization to the city while maintaining the integrity of their history and culture. It has a great balance between the East and the West, between old and new, between traditional and modern. While many might disagree for those who live in Hong Kong, Shanghai has 2 things that Hong Kong doesn’t have. It’s culture. I’m not saying Hong Kong doesn’t have culture but their identity seems to be more leaning towards a commercial culture that I tend to hate. Everything revolves around buying and consuming particularly the art. Sorry, everyone knows I got love for Hong Kong but the lack of its culture and art scene makes me compare the city as a machine.

Shanghai also has class. Now, don’t get me wrong because its definitely not the most polite city in the world but there’s something about the people that separates the people in Hong Kong. I don’t really know how to explain it but their style and class is uncanning to how it is in Hong Kong. There’s nothing better than listening to jazz/big band music while eating Shanghaiese food. That alone won me over as a city. I love the style and the character Shanghai brings and although I doubt I’ll ever live or move there in the near future, its definitely a city I’d love to visit whenever I get the chance to.

Places you might want to check out when in Shanghai:

Shanghai Restaurant (Name unknown)
House 13 No 537 Haifang Road
Restaurant

Great restaurant, serves traditional Shanghaiese food. Traditional decor, plays jazz/big band music in the background. Historic ambience. Home of a wealthy Shanghaiese man, renovated into a restaurant. Soft opening just recently. Grand opening date unknown.

Elite Club
No 536 Haifang Road
Club

Opening very soon. Will definitely be a hotspot. Owned by the people of Elite Modeling Agency. Places for models to go when travelling to Shanghai.

Shirtflag
6 locations in the Shanghai Area (Check out the one on No. 27 Duo Lun Rd.)
Streetwear store

Click here for my thoughts of Shirtflag.

Club Shanghai
Luwan District
Club

Crowds old, utterly dead on a Friday but it gives a bit of nostalgia to the Old Shanghai in the 30s. The live big band is decent and the glitsy interior gives potential to this exclusive Hong Kong-run club. In my opinion, it’ll be really cool if they attract a younger crowd to the luxury spot.

Captain Hostel / Captain Club

37 Fuzhou Lu
Hostel/Club

Suprisingly not everything in the Bund is expensive. The view alone is worth going up. This hostel is smack in the middle of the Bund. It also provides a spectular view of the Pudong skyline especially when its a hostel. With hostel prices and a rooftop view at the bar, it’s a bargain considering what’s around the area.

Bar Rouge
At Bund 18
Club

Apparently one of the best bars/clubs in Shanghai right now. It’s chic, it’s cool, its on the Bund. Best view in Shanghai, overlooking Pudong skyline. Definitely one of the most popular places to party. The interiors are great. More mature crowd though. Didn’t quite fit in. Ages vary from 27-60. Drinks are moderate priced.

Click here for my thoughts of Bar Rouge.

Guandii
Fuxing Park, 2 Gaolan Lu
Club

It’s simple, it’s straightforward. Nothing pretagious about what it is. It’s a great crowd. Young, a lot of Ex-pats and Overseas Chinese. Reminds me a lot of Lan Kwai Fong in Hong Kong but better. The music was pretty cool (sometimes you just need meaningless ‘let’s get drunk off our ass and dance’ rap music). I heard a couple of repeats but sometimes you just gotta let some shit slide, you know?

The Thing
No 266 Changle Road
Streetwear Store

Click here for my thoughts of The Thing.

Babyface
180 Maoming Lu
Club

Like Guandii, it’s a younger crowd. Club seperated by 2 rooms, 1 playing dance music, the other playing rap and mainstream hip hop. Many ex-pats, overseas Chinese go to this spot but majority of people are made up by local Shanghaiese. There might be the occasional prostitute around so beware. Ahem, I won’t get into that haha! Club suprisingly busy on a Sunday night. Interiors are terrific. Coolest washroom I’ve seen in Shanghai.

Sorry, I wish I had taken photos but it’s a pain in the ass to carry around my 5 pound camera.

HKG > PVG

August 17, 2006

Heading to Shanghai for a couple of days. Hopefully a bit of sightseeing, a bit of researching and definitely a bit of partying might be a great way to end my summer long trip.For those who read my blog, thanks for the support! Be back on Monday but expect mass blog updates on Tuesday. I’m taking a shit load of pics for your liking 🙂

I ran into this via Shanghaiist :

A film about the 1937 Nanjing Massacre, based on the late Iris Chang’s The Rape of Nanking, is going to be made this coming year, with expected release dates in China of late 2007 and 2008 worldwide.

Sorry I’m about to get political..

I’m definitely all for awareness of what actually happened in Nanking during the Japanese WWII invasion BUT I’m extremely worried about how this will turn out. I wouldn’t even dare to make this event into a movie.

If the film does any justice to the book and what ACTUALLY happened during the Massacre, it’ll probably be the most gory, most violent, most disgusting film ever produced. Hands down. I’ve seen really powerful, moving, heart-braking war films but if this event is eventually put to screen, this would probably trump them all. It’s probably because it’s so close to home (me being Chinese).

After reading the book myself (though not having to finish it because it was too distrubing), I thought if I would be able to make a movie about the Massacre. Easily, no matter how much someone would pay me to direct the film, be it like 10 million or whatever, I honestly would say I wouldn’t be able to do it (seriously). To me, its just a way too sensitive and a heart-wrenching subject to be put on screen. For thousands tortured, raped and killed (est 300,000 in 3 months), I don’t think I can do justice to the victims. I think the content and the pure vividness of the book written by Chang (who committed suicide) was too graphic and too much for any reader.

I admire the balls on whoever is directing this film but it better be damn good, it better be sensitive to the victims and it better have a great angle on the story. I honestly wouldn’t even know how they can make a story out of it.

I think its good to promote awareness for the event but as some Chinese, there are still some built up tension towards the Japanese. Making this film will only make things worse. Riots and boycotts over the Japanese occured 2 years ago (?) when it was learned that the Japanese were altering and neglecting parts of WWII. This included the specific events of Nanjing. As well, the current Japanese PM continue to mourn the war criminals, some of whom were part of this event. Imagine if this film gets produced and viewed. The last thing anyone wants is excessive nationalism  in China, a reminder of what happened and resulting hatred toward the Japanese.

I’m not saying let’s forget about the event but I wish there was a better way to aware people of what happened and I don’t know if a film is the best way to do it. Let’s hope to God the studio whoever is producing it isn’t looking solely for financial purposes.

If it were up to me, I’d rather not have the film produced. If and/or when the film comes out, I don’t think I will be able to watch it unless the angle of the film is different from the one of the book. The book and the real photos of what happened were already too graphic/vivid enough for me.

If you want to learn more about the Nanjing Massacre, click here.

Side note:

I do not hold any hate or anger towards the Japanese because the WW2 masscre in Nanjing. I believe it is completely wrong that a lot of Chinese have blamed the Japanese people and believed all the Japanese people during that time should be responsible for the event.

The only ones who should be responsible are the ones who tortured, raped and killed the victims of the Nanjing Massacre- The Japanese army who performed the killings, the government who were aware of what was happening at the time and the supervisors who allowed the army to willingly take the lives of hundreds of thousands of victims.

Lack of Updates

August 16, 2006

For the readers who actually read my blog, I apologize. Been busy with some freelance project and a couple of errands have kept me out of sync with my blog. I promise I will update more often after the weekend when I come back from Shanghai.