Friday, September 25, 2009

Vancouver knows cupcakes

#1 Most attractive & most delicious: Coco Cake Cupcakes

We headed to the Blim art market our first day in Vancouver to sample Coco Cake Cupcakes by Lyndsay Sung. I first read about Coco Cupcakes online and was intrigued by Lyndsay's colorful, artistic frosting. I assure you that Coco Cupcakes are the real deal. They're lovely to look at and they taste fabulous! My favorite Coco Cake Cupcake is Lemon Love, a luscious lemon cake topped with lemon creamcheese frosting.

If you love cupcakes and are headed to Vancouver, I strongly recommend checking out Coco Cake Cupcakes site to see where Lyndsay will be.

#2 Fanciful design and good taste: Cupcakes

After reading mediocre reviews for Cupcakes, I dismissed the place. But after repeatedly passing by the shop on Robson, I decided to splurge on a Blue Hawaii cupcake (vanilla cake with baby blue frosting, sprinkled with coconut). Not bad! Light frosting and a tasty cake. It contained so much sugar, however, that I could have lifted a mack truck off a baby and written a ten-page term paper in a flash. I should note that there was always a crowd in Cupcakes. Young women would arrive in droves, holding big shopping bags, and shoulder past each other. I shouted out my Blue Hawaii order like I was working on the floor of the NY Stock Exchange. I never once saw a man in Cupcakes.

#3 I'd happily settle for this shop in my hometown

Big City Cupcakes was near closing when I entered, and had only one tray of vanilla cupcakes with sprinkles left. I snatched it up as my husband was heard saying in the background, "I will have to put you through sugar detox when we get home." My verdict is that Big City Cupcakes's frosting is not as delicious as Cupcakes, and not nearly as light and lovely as Coco Cake Cupcakes. However, the cake itself is levels above anything I've found in Los Angeles. Vancouver could teach L.A. a thing or two about how to make and sell cupcakes to the masses. Viva delicious cupcakes and viva Vancouver!

Meet the 2010 Winter Olympic mascots

Sumi the animal spirit protects the land, water and creatures of his Canadian homeland.
Quatchi, a sports-loving sasquatch, rocks ear muffs.
Miga the sea bear rides waves with local surfers and comes ashore to Vancouver for fun.

Mukmuk the marmot is not an official mascot, but a mascot sidekick.

I had to stop myself from going overboard buying Vancouver Olympic mascot toys since they're all pretty cute.

Green means go and bag it

Creative signage on the waterfront in Vancouver

Out and aboot in Vancouver

Vancouver is gorgeous. The skies are expansive, the mountains green and the people fit.

We found that ethnic food in Vancouver rivals that of Los Angeles or San Francisco. There are more restaurants to choose from, and because it's so easy to get around on public transportation or on foot, you see a greater variety of ages dining out.

For basic Korean dishes, I recommend Ma Dang Coul, a small restaurant on the West End near (Denman and Robson). Delicious food, cozy atmosphere, and good Korean pop music.

Vancouver wins Ajumma's prestigious (in my mind) Best Public Restrooms Award. My expectations were extra low considering it's customary to find a lack of warm water, soap, hand towels and/or toilet paper in U.S. restrooms. Ajumma used restrooms all over North, South and Downtown Vancouver and found them well stocked and with warm water in all but one (out of paper towels). Incredible! In this respect, Vancouver is definitely ready for the 2010 Olympics.
My husband was amused by Vancouver's jaunty walker on their traffic signals.

He thinks that the walker on U.S. signals needs a cane.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Hello, British Columbia!

Ajumma's off to Vancouver for a few days of fall vacation. My husband made me promise not to drag him into too many museums while we're there.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The softer side of Jeff Lewis

You know when you meet someone who rubs you the wrong way, but a year later you're best friends?  That's sums up how I feel about the Bravo series Flipping Out.  In season 2, upscale house flipper Jeff Lewis was an over-controlling anger freak who screamed at his assistant for allowing onions to be put on his salad.  This season he's making attempts at showing the softer side of Jeff, like not threatening to call immigration on his Nicaraguan housekeeper.  She's a citizen now, Jeff explains.

Here we see Jeff dishing out the compliments while visiting his business partner (and former boyfriend) Ryan at Ryan's design firm.

Pink & Carey @ 2009 VMA

At least Pink and Carey try, unlike Brad and Angelina who wear black to every event.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

It's as easy as A, I, U

Super cool Japanese alphabet quilt by Emi Shimosato! She sews Korean ones too, but is Hangul really as pretty as hiragana?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Yes, no? Bape chairs

L.A. at Home did some digging and figured out where to buy these Eames-ish Bape chairs.

Mmm, frosted tentacles

My husband enjoys watching documentaries about fabled giant squid the size of a school bus. "It could feed a whole village for a month!" he tells me with stars in his eyes. I think I'll make him a squid cake for his next birthday. It's cuter and less stinky than the real thing.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

BOOKS make LIFE fun

Where the Wild Things Are ranks up there with Star Wars as a favorite part of my childhood. This beloved book is coming to life in a Where the Wild Things Are-inspired exhibit at Nucleus Art Gallery in Alhambra, California, September 19-October 6. The show is curated by the creator of online project Terrible Yellow Eyes. Read more about the upcoming show here.

Speaking of children's books, I am super psyched that my friends are having kids so I can share these reads with them. Not surprising, No, David! is a proven favorite among the three years and under crowd.

"Mother" is headed to the Oscars

Mother, by Memories of Murder director Bong Joon-Ho, is Korea's selection for this year's Academy Awards.