Goldfish themed sweet treats

A good friend of mine who lives part-time in Tokyo just texted me a photo where she was eating a goldfish at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

This is a lifelike goldfish lollipop

Okay; it’s not a real goldfish (thank goodness) but a jelly dessert that’s part of a Goldfish Festival on until the end of September.  So I had to research the festival because one of the many things I remember about the time I lived in Tokyo was that they have an abundance of not-your-norm festivals.  

WHY GOLDFISH?

In Japan’s Edo period (1603-1868), in the days before the blissful arrival of air conditioning and electric fans, the residents of Tokyo had their own tried and tested ways of dealing with the hot summer weather. Traditionally, people would don lightweight yukata cotton robes and found that viewing images of goldfish had the mysterious effect of providing psychological relief from the summer heat.

The Eco Edo Nihonbashi is a festival themed on the cooling image of goldfish, which aims to replicate this marvelous placebo effect as it takes over the streets of downtown Tokyo from early July until late September. Festival-goers are invited to try for themselves some of the tactics used to keep cool by Tokyoites of yore as they scoop goldfish, dance among the fish at a night-time aquarium party, and munch on refreshing goldfish-themed summer treats.

Eco Edo will showcase the curious cooling properties of goldfish to the full, with an array of goldfish-themed attractions. All these forms of Edo-period wisdom can be enjoyed in a traditional Japanese festival atmosphere, with the surrounding streets decked out with the festival’s trademark enormous goldfish lanterns.

Goldfish Sweets & Bar Walk

New to this year’s festival, enjoy traditional Edo hospitality on a gourmet stroll through Nihonbashi and Ningyocho districts, where many bars, cafes and restaurants will be plying guests with goldfish-themed sweet treats and bar menus as well as locally-produced Japanese sake. Dishes on offer include colourful jelly in glass dishes designed to resemble goldfish in a goldfish bowl, and chilled oden (fish and vegetable hotpot) garnished with tiny carrot goldfish. Visitors can also claim special gifts in each area they visit and collect stamps to enter a lottery to win luxury prizes.

As part of the food and hospitality event, the Mandarin Oriental is also tempting festival-goers with several special offers:

Goldfish Bowl Desserts

Slurp on exquisite layered jelly desserts made to resemble goldfish swimming in a goldfish bowl – they’re almost too beautiful to eat!
Where? Ground floor, the Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo
When? 7:30-20:00 (weekdays), 9:00-19:00 (weekends and public holidays) to 24th September.
Only in Japan!
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Paper Diaries

Art speaks where words are unable to explain – Unknown

Diary of a Leitmotif

Leitmotif is a term originating from opera, where it referred to a recurring melody or  that played along with a character or allusion to a theme (idea or situation) whenever one or the other appeared on stage. It derives from the German words for “leading” (leit) and “motive” (motif).  But these are only words.

Last Thursday I attended the opening of Berlin based artist Deborah Wargon’s Diary of a Leitmotif at the Back Gallery Project on Vancouver’s East Side.  A most intricate and thought-provoking display of lines, contemplations and vibrations. Made from elaborately cut paper works and presented like archived insects in entomological display drawers from the Natural History Museum, Berlin.

Our fellow friend & filmmaker Ann Marie Fleming curated this intriguing exhibition which runs until October 8th.

With Deborah Wargon against a painstaking paper cut backdrop

More info:

www.backgalleryproject.com

Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time. – Thomas Merton

The way to spray you say?

Perfume

You know how a little dab will do you?  Well a little spritz is even better.  Perfume can be easily overdone to the point of turning people off with an overwhelming smell instead of a delicate but delightful scent.

We’ve all stood next to someone on an elevator who’s overdone it on the perfume front.  The floor you’re waiting to get off on can’t come faster.  For me having allergies, I can’t stop sneezing.  If it’s cheap perfume even worse.  So I suggest:

Take a clue from hairdresser and grooming expert Jonathan Van Ness from Queer Eye, the series on Netflix.

He suggests the best way is to spray away from you, wait a second or two and walk right through it.  This is best done without clothing.  I’ve tried it.  It words beautifully and is not overpowering.  It leaves you with a more gentle fragrance.  Don’t Delay. Try it soon.

Jonathan Van Ness

 

 

 

Inside “Je Suis Couturier”

– ALAIA GALLERIA BORGHESE

Mixing Art with Fashion: There are Dresses and then there are DRESSES

Azzedine Alaïa, the famous Tunisian-born couturier and shoe designer who passed away last November left a lasting legacy to the world of fashion. Je Suis Couturier, an exhibition of 41 dresses by Alaïa, will be a chance for the admiring fashion crowd to pay their respects.  Especially since he never wanted a memorial.

With signature elegance and masterful cutting, Alaïa knew how to highlight the body’s curves like no other. Poignantly, the couturier himself selected the 60 pieces for inclusion.

In response to a couture career spanning 35 years, new and architectural pieces have been commissioned for the show, allowing artists and designers to pay tribute to a designer who was truly enamored with his craft.

“Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier” runs until October 7, 2018, at the Design Museum, London. www.designmuseum.org

Naomi Campbell Photo Credit: Josh Olins for British Vogue
– ALAIA GALLERIA BORGHESE

Azzedine Alaïa Photo Credit: Peter Lindbergh

 

 

 

Feel-good Friday: in support of summer

Moving on 

“It is always important to know when something has reached its end. Closing circles, shutting doors, finishing chapters, it doesn’t matter what we call it; what matters is to leave in the past those moments in life that are over.”
― Paulo Coelho, The Zahir.

Getting ready to embrace some change

“Change is a great and horrible thing, and people love it or hate it at the same time. Without change, however, you just don’t move.” -Marc Jacobs

“I always wonder why birds stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth. Then I ask myself the same question.” -Harun Yahya

Let’s see what September has in store

remember that summer isn’t over just yet

Self care: breaking bad

Our habits, that is.  Out with the bad, in with the beneficial.  

Breaking free from destructive or just plain not good-for-you habit forming ways and embracing better ones are something we all struggle with, at least from time to time.  Habits are; well they’re exactly that…same old, same old and hard to easily break away from.  But of course not all habits are bad.  But how often have we beaten ourselves up because once again we did it again…the hateful habit.  The one we keep trying to change.  We all have them.

Okay I’ll start first: ummm let’s see I’m only trying to break a few habits. Or rather keep on top of good habits.

I’m under the influence. I have friends who are vegan and gluten-free. So what I would normally order in a Japanese restaurant turned 180 degrees a few days ago. I ordered a sushi roll made out of soy bean paper (yes, I did) that contained asparagus, oshinko, red beets, yam, avocado, cucumber, spinach and shitake.  Super healthy and tasted great.  Didn’t think it would.

But when the server came around to ask will that be all? I broke down and asked for a tuna & wild salmon nigiri for dessert.  Not because I needed it, because it didn’t feel normal for me to leave a decent Japanese restaurant and not order a few pieces of raw fish.  I know that’s a weird and fairly tame example but still.  It’s a habit of sorts. The veggie sushi was satisfying enough to have left it alone.  That’s all I’m saying.

Other annoying behavior of non regularity to make better: changing my mindset of what is good and what is not, get me to the gym on time and more often, don’t forget to take my vitamins, start running again and stick with it.  Join a Spanish speaking group.  Read more. Dance more. The biggest one: reinforce the fact that other people’s stuff is not my stuff. I mean; don’t take on other people’s garbage.  That is not only annoying but disparaging to the spirit.  A good habit to break is to not let other people break your spirit.

Which brings me to this workshop put on by a friend which offers a personalized approach to managing your habits:

Come join us this September and learn how to establish new positive habits and tweak or re-write old, less-than-positive habits so you can get to work on what matters to you in your life. Register by August 31 to get early-bird pricing.

For more information, please visit us at https://www.thehabitworkshop.com/

Your welcome!

Food in the Forest: pilgrimme

pilgrimme on Galiano Island is a foodie dining out discovery.  It may be off the beaten path, but even so, it’s not easy to get a reservation.  It has been voted in Canada’s 100 TOP Restaurants for good reason.  I called a couple weeks in advance and was considered lucky to get a table for four during my recent stay on Galiano.  And what a dining experience it turned out to be.

plgrimme, the restaurant.  It’s worth the ferry ride over.

For years, Galiano remained a well-kept secret, its charms known mainly to the farmers and artisans who called it home.  The cozy wood cabin previously existed as a much loved French restaurant for years before present owners Leanne Lalonde and Jesse McLeery put their name above the door.  Leanne had previously worked for Rosewood’s King Pacific Lodge in the great bear rainforest where she first met Jesse.

Jesse made the inspiring journey to Denmark to spend the winter in the kitchen of Copenhagen’s acclaimed Noma, a two-Michelin-star restaurant . Returning west with new ideas and a reinforced vision, Jesse, with Leanne, opened pilgrimme working with the growers and artisans of Galiano Island.  Everything is made fresh from scratch, locally sourced, farm-to-table, creatively plated and extremely tasty.  Even the ceramics are made on the island.  They have a nicely curated wine list too.

Some of the shared plates created especially for us

Here’s the thing that impressed me the most.  The restaurant created an all vegan menu which was absolutely delicious because out of our group of four people, two and a half of us are vegan.  I must admit that I had my reservations about that at first because I thought that vegan food would be less tasty but everything turned out to be surprisingly excellent.  As good or better than anything I’ve had in a restaurant all year.  And it made me change my mind-set.  In a perfect world we would all be vegan and everything would be better off.  Although I’m not quite ready to totally live up to that.  I’m not perfect just yet.

http://pilgrimme.ca/visit-pilgrimme/

 

 

Destination: Galiano

I can now cross Galiano Island off my places to go to list.  It was the only remaining one of all the gulf islands in British Columbia left for me to visit, and luckily the dogs and I were recently and happily invited to spend three nights at a beautiful ocean front home belonging to friends Joanne & Geoff who also happen to be our neighbours. They’ve been going for a number of years and now I understand why.  Their location is unrivaled but Galiano in general has such natural rocky beauty and there’s even a white sandy beach. It is referred to as the untamed Gulf Island and the wildest due to its mountainous geography, rare plant population and generous forest reserves. Plenty of wildlife too. It’s the closest to Vancouver of the southern group of Gulf Islands. Much of it is protected from development thanks to community initiatives from a tight knit group of concerned property owners.

Lunch and Dinner served outdoors with a view you can never tire of.

Galiano is also the driest in the gulf, getting more sunshine than the mainland and most of coastal B.C.  It comes with peaceful beaches, wooded trails, a nine-hole golf course, artists’ studios & galleries, marina and a world class restaurant in the forest. Oh the restaurant by the way deserves a separate mention. It was that good.  But unfortunately I cannot give you the secret recipe for Geoff’s special gin martinis on the rocks…..literally. We were sipping them on the rocks.

I had to take a photo of my bedroom. A little too hazy because of the wildfires to see the water, but the ocean is right outside the window.

And I will soon tell you about an upcoming workshop offered by Joanne, a life coach and our hostess with the mostest who makes a mean everything salad with goddess dressing.  With a background in the arts, Joanne is a founder of The Gulf Islands Film and Television School.  Her upcoming workshop along with co-facilitator Wendy Sidwell is not only very interesting but will prove to be very helpful to most individuals so stay tuned…

 

 

 

 

 

Feel-good Friday: Riverside Adventure

Have you ever been White Water Rafting?

That’s me jumping off a rock into the super clean and clear water. Photos: Lisa King.  Riverside Adventures, Clearwater, British Columbia.
Goofing around with Margeaux and Lisa.  Photos: Lisa King

Hours before attending a wedding reception last Saturday, this is what we did.  We had an absolute blast whitewater rafting in warm, clear & clean water around the pristine wilderness of Wells Gray Provincial Park – in Clearwater, British Columbia.  There was haze in the air though due to the countless wildfires still raging in surrounding areas.  There was a moody grayness up above but down below we enjoyed every minute not knowing exactly what to expect around the corner.  There were a few good splashes along the way and those who wanted to swim could, in certain safe areas.  Two weeks from now the wild salmon will come to spawn.  That will be a sight to see.

Photo: Margeaux Bauman

 

See how clear it is? Photo: Lisa King