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