Photo taken at a Chinese Medicine Shop near Ghim Moh Market, Singapore.
Archive for the ‘Shopping’ Category
Posted in Chinese Medicine, Ghim Moh, Market, Photography, Shopping, Singapore, spices, travel photography, tagged Chinese Medicine, Ghim Moh Market, Photo of the Day, Photography, Shop, shopping, Singapore, Store on April 28, 2013 | Leave a Comment »
Posted in Badvertising, Consumerism, Feminist, Gender Issues, Shopping, Singapore, tagged bad advertising, Badvertising, consumerism, Courts, diamonds, household items, sexism, shopping, Singapore, washing machine on February 14, 2013 | 6 Comments »
I prefer not to shop at Court’s as I’ve had my share of frustrations with their customer service, but I do like to check their pricing on big ticket items. That’s why I ended up looking at this ad on their website for a Samsung washing machine and found this beautiful piece of marketing.
Like a diamond, the Diamond Drum Washing Machine is long lasting, caring, beautiful, and is an expression of most woman’s want.
That’s right, ladies. Court’s knows what you want. It’s diamonds and washing machines. List it right above equal pay, joyful expression of the soul, and a house in the Dolomites- or on Sentosa Island if you prefer.
Maybe if you are lucky you will meet a man who can give you both a washing machine AND a diamond.
With that, I am headed out to buy a washing machine. Because sadly, even conflict-free diamonds can’t get my clothes clean.
Editor’s note: My local electronics store sold this washing machine for $455. That’s $44 lower than Courts. That includes delivery, installation and disposal of the old one.
Posted in 24 hour, Food Stalls, Little India, Restaurants, Shopping, Singapore, the Mustafa Center, Weird Asia, tagged 24 hours, cheap eats, discount shopping, eye massager, Little India, sensory overload, shopping, Singapore, the Mustafa Center, tomato soap on November 13, 2012 | 1 Comment »
Oh no! They’ve closed the Singapore Carrefour! Both of them!
Panic. Where am I going to get things?
“Imagine not having a Walmart or a Target to go to,” I tell Leslie back in Texas.
“Yeah, I could see how that would be annoying,” she says.
It’s not that either of us like or philosophically support Walmart, it’s just that sometimes it becomes a necessary evil.
“Can’t you order things online?” Leslie asks.
“No,” I sigh. “Some things you can, but its not like they have an Amazon here.”
“Can you Yelp it?” she suggests.
“Nope no Yelp either,” I answer.
Hopefully someone more business-minded and less lazy than myself will see this as an opportunity.
But alas, this may be an overreaction. Afterall, there’s always the Mustafa Center.
In the heart of little India and open 24 hours, it’s 75,000sq ft of random and not so random items, a hotel, café and supermarket. It is the place to go to buy tomato soap, an engagement ring, an ipad and an eye massager all at 2 am on a Tuesday, emerging three days later after a sensory overload induced psychosis has finally run its course.
That’s right, I said tomato soap, not soup. And yes, an eye massager as well.
Did you think I was kidding?
In the spirit of Diwali, maybe I’ll head down to little India. Since I’m there anyway, perhaps I’ll pick up a curry, some aspirin and a new laser printer.
If I’m not back by Friday, send a search party out.
Editor’s note: Yelp has answered my plea! Or maybe I was mistaken in the past. Seems like some Singapore places are rated on the site. It’s a start.
Posted in Architecture, Art, Chelsea, design, Exhibition, Interior Design, Museums, Shad Thames, Shopping, Southbank, Terence Conran, Transportation, Will and Kate, tagged 2012 Designs of the Year, Architecture, Art, Commonwealth Institute, Design, Design Museum, digital design, electric car, Fashion, Habitat, Heal's, Ikea, Kate Middleton, Kate Middleton's dress, london, Mary Quant, Museum, product design, Shad Thames, Southbank, Terence Conran, The Bluebird Cafe, transport design, Vivienne Westwood, West London on February 21, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
If you’ve been around London and paying any vague amount of attention, you’ve probably heard something about the Designs of the Year exhibit at the London Design Museum. What? You’ve never heard of the London Design Museum? Well I guess neither had Justine when I suggested we go one afternoon, so scratch that first sentence.
It’s in a slightly undesign-y looking building near Tower Bridge on the Thames. In fact, it is housed in a former 1940′s banana warehouse, but this all to change with a slated 2014 move to the former Commonwealth Institute building in west London. The museum covers product, industrial, graphic, fashion and architectural design and was a brainchild of Terence Conran, who coincidentally has an exhibit dedicated to him on the entire first floor. The museum costs £10 for adults to enter, which feels a bit expensive in a city full of free museums, but is totally worth it if you are a design geek. Being slightly artsy with a background in product design, I felt like I fell well into this category. As for Justine, she had an upcoming date with a design and art book publisher, so naturally this would aid in the development of dinner conversation material.
The current museum consists of only two floors, but to be honest this was perfect for my museum attention span. When I find myself at places like the Victoria and Albert or the British Museum, I try to see to too much and end up heady and overwhelmed. The Design Museum with a cup of coffee in the cafe and a peruse in the gift shop can easily be done in 2 hours.
As I mentioned before, the entire first floor was dedicated to Terence Conran. At the time, I had no idea who this bloke was, but turns out that’s because his contributions are so woven in to the London experience that I had been influenced by him without even knowing it. The designer, restaurateur and retailer promoted a whole new style of interior design simplicity that reverberates today across the globe. Looking at his designs, I started wondering what things had looked like prior to this ubiquitous genre. “Like an old Granny’s house,” Justine had to remind me. In my head I tried to contrast clunky wooden furniture with heavily upholstered thick florals next to sleek clean lines and curves. Obviously I’ve spent too much time in London and not enough time at my Granny’s.
In 1964 Conran opened the first Habitat and later went on to develop Heal’s. He was revolutionary in his displays as they were set up like actual living rooms, which not only taught people how designs could be arranged, but also allowed them to wander in and out of possibilities imagining them as part of their everyday life. I’m reminded of this scene from the movie 500 days of Summer.
And while we are here, shouldn’t we mention Ikea? Being founded in 1943, I can’t say that they’ve necessarily taken from Conran’s concepts, but clearly they must have influenced each other. Ikea, however, being more disposable and therefore a further step away from Granny’s living room.
Justine and I compared back and forth which Terence Conran restaurants we had been too. Most were a bit too expensive and highly appealing to the West London set. Nice area, but not quite what I consider innovative. But then again, there was a day when the King’s Road was full of Mary Quant innovation and Vivienne Westwood appeal. Funny how things evolve.
We next headed upstairs to view the 2012 Designs of the Year where my definition of design continued to expand and expand until I wasn’t quite sure what a designer is or does anymore. There was everything from a bicycle helmet that activates and extends only upon impact to a computer software program that mutates an image of your face into a creepy facsimile. Also included were an electric car, DIY design jelly shoes and elements from Kate Middleton’s wedding dress. In April, judges will chose seven winners from Architecture, Digital, Fashion, Furniture, Graphics, Product and Transport categories and one overall category winner. I couldn’t even begin to guess who the winner would be. I left with my head spinning from so many ideas.
The Design Museum is located at 28 Shad Thames, London SE1 2YD and is open daily from 10am – 5.45pm. Last admission is at 5.15pm.
Posted in Austin, culture clash, Fashion, Shoes, Shopping, Spring, Summer, Weather, tagged Austin, Fashion, london, oversized bag, spring, Summer, sundresses, Texas, Weather on May 11, 2011 | 2 Comments »
Since my move to London, my wardrobe has had to go through a harsh adjustment. The winter months were tough as I was always cold and absolutely clueless on winter fashion. The summer months are difficult for another reason. The ladies are out in their spring dresses and flowery clips while I am still in full trousers and a jacket. Yet again, I am always cold.
In Texas, I developed a summer uniform. 60 consecutive days of 40° C will drain the effort out of you about the same way that too many days of dreary 5°C weather will. All you want is a short hike and a lovely cold spring to jump into. Hence, you travel light. Black tank, bikini, Reef flip flops. Before you leave the house, you check your pocket for your wallet, phone and keys. Sunglasses rest on your head. You are out the door headed to Barton Springs.
Let’s compare that to London spring/summer fashion. All of a sudden I’m not travelling very light anymore.
Rachel, a fellow former Austinite, was visiting a few months ago and commented on London street fashion. “It looks great, but there’s no way I could even think of putting together some of those outfits. It’s like they just keep adding things and somehow it works.”
And indeed, I believe that’s how it’s done. That dress is beautiful, but it’s way too cold to be wearing it. Let’s add some tights and a jacket. Also- those shoes? Impractical for commuting. Let’s put a spare pair of flats in your humongous bag. What else is in the bag? Well, first of all the sunglasses you aren’t wearing. An umbrella, because you never know when it is going to rain. Then your oyster card, a book for your commute, plasters (bandaids) for when your shoes give you blisters, your gym clothes because there’s no way you are making it home and then back out again after your day, a snack, and of course, phone wallet and keys. This is a minimum.
It’s taken a while for me to get this down and to accept the fact that the window for summer wear is so short. I think I’m finally getting there. Now if I could only figure out how to lug this bag around without having to see an osteopath later.
Posted in Art, Dance, Fashion, Sadler's Wells, Shoes, Shopping, tagged Art, Dance, Electric Hotel, Fashion, london, Peacock Theatre, Sadler's Wells, shoes, West End on March 9, 2011 | Leave a Comment »
Judging from the reviews out there, people really hate this show. I hoped that Shoes might be more than a nod to Sex and the City, but I was well prepared for a fun mindless girly few hours if it was not.
The show was made of different sketches. Some were funny, some weren’t meant to be. Some promoted consumerism, but not all were label and shopping focused. The impracticality of high end blister inducing shoes and enormous wads of cash spent chasing them was given more than a fair nod. A great scene focusing on trainers highlighted the sporty practical side of shoes. Jesus, Imelda Marcos and your mother all make an appearance in the show, as does Kate Miller Heidke and her operatic voice. The choreography was mostly fantastic with a few skits that I wasn’t into.
Did I enjoy this performance as much as I enjoyed Electric Hotel? Maybe not. Electric Hotel was more intellectual. Did I have any regrets? Yes, sitting too close to the stage. I had to sit up extra tall to see the stars of the show – the shoes. Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed it and left with a very large grin on my face.
As they say in the opening number ‘If you don’t like shoes, it’s going to be a very long evening.” Heed that advice or enjoy.
Shoes runs until April 3rd and plays at the Peacock Theatre in London.
I was at Harrod’s pricing inherited bone china purchased there decades ago that our movers (EuroUSA and IMS Relocation / Mayflower) lost during our transatlantic relocation. I won’t go into details on that right now other than to say that they really botched the job. I was unable to get the information regarding the pieces as they are no longer in production. This wasn’t a huge surprise. I figured that while I was at Harrod’s, I might as well have a stroll around.
Since I am currently unemployed and therefore broke, strolling through the luxuries was not really appealing to me. I had heard about the food halls, and well, a girl’s gotta eat. I strolled through the massive rolling areas complete with built in restaurants and took a peek at a few menus. Yikes! £15 for a sandwich? No thank you. Luckily the take out areas had more reasonably priced fare.
The food halls stretch on and on with delis, bakeries, candy shops, a fromagerie. It went from one room to the next. I was starting to understand the legacy.
My stomach was growling so I became serious about my search for a snack. That’s when I spotted this disaster.
“What do you mean by disaster?” you might ask. Well, look closely. The Moroccan roll here is 31% pork. Morocco is a country with a population that is over 95% Muslim (source Pew Forum.) I’m no religions of the world expert, but I am certain that the Muslim faith forbids the consumption of pork. I’ve been to Morocco. I do not remember seeing one person eat pork or sell pork the entire time I was there. My dear friend Ghita from Casablanca even refused to eat turkey bacon, just in case. I felt embarrassed for Harrod’s and their ignorant snafu.
But enough about that. I settled on a Beancurd Vegetable Parcel. For £1.65, it was a steal.
Having purchased my lunch, I was on a mission to find somewhere to eat it. The clerk was of absolutely no help. When I asked her where I might go, her response was a firm “You can’t eat it in here.” Set on a mission to find a place to snack, I exited Harrod’s and went walking about.
In hindsight, I should’ve gone to Hyde Park. Instead, I wondered around the neighborhood running into small private parks that I was not allowed entry into. London’s full of these member only parks. I suppose it’s a brilliant thing if you are a member. It’s a nice way to compensate for the urban density of London, but I just feel like I’ve been expelled from something potentially great. Standing on my tiptoes peeking between bushes, I try to imagine what it’s like inside. One weekend a year about 200 of these gardens are open to the public. I missed this year’s open garden weekend, which takes place in June. I guess I’ll have to wait around 9 months to find out what I’m missing.
I ended up chowing down sitting on a ledge across from one of these parks in a very posh neighborhood. I tried to imagine what it was like to be one of these “Sloane Squarer” types as I munched on my cold and slightly disappointing vegetable beancurd parcel. It wasn’t a mind blowing treat, but not all was lost as it was filling and affordable. Tell me Interwebs, what must-have food item did I miss from Harrod’s Food Halls?