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12 days to Christmas

On the weekend, me and my husband went to Odaiba to see Gallery 21’s current photo exhibition “Style NY – Tokyo. Fashion & Landscape”. It presented works of three photographers Sophie Delaporte, Motohiko Hasui and Jean-Michel Berts whose works I loved the most.

The first two were focusing on the world of fashion, trying to portray the epic fashion statements through the creative photography. Jean-Michel Berts on the other hand, was focusing his works purely on the landscape of a city stripped from people – naked streets, empty park benches, brilliant play of light. Because of his scientific background, Berts did an absolute magic to the many layers of light printed on paper canvases that are usually used for paintings. It created illusions of a perfect blend – a photograph in front layers, painting on the background.

He has published the series of his books “The light of NY”, “The light of Tokyo” etc. I would love to have them all. I collect art books and these would be the perfect addition to my collection. I can just stare at these photos for hours, melting into my imaginary world completely..

The exhibition is free and will be open till 10th of January. By the way, every work was on sale so if you have an extra 230000 yen in your pocket, you can totally buy one of those genius pieces. ^-^

These were the Christmas decorations in the Grand Pacific Le Daiba hotel where the gallery was located.

This Christmas tree was so acid blue, it hurt my eyes. ^-^

From the hotel, we went back to the beach to watch sunset and drink hot Yuzu tea on the rocks by the water. When I just came to Tokyo, Odaiba beach strip was my favorite place to be. I used to come here to read books and watch surfers and just be surrounded by the breathtaking grandeur of Tokyo.

I love this photo my husband took of me because of the colors. My camera is set to AI (artificial intelligence) mode so it chooses its own settings and color modes depending on light and background. So these pale, desaturated colors is what my camera chose for that particular moment during the sunset. My husband calls them the winter colors, you can almost feel the cold behind the picture.

After Odaiba, we took monorail to Shiodome to see the infamous Caretta illumination called “Blue ocean” (  It was so beautiful and so intricate, it almost made me question the sanity behind such effort. All of this for a month with free admission? They don’t even make money out of it. There is no shopping mall, only a couple of restaurants in the area. Why would they build such an epic art piece? To attract people? To do what? I am of course tremendously grateful to be able to enjoy such beauty, don’t take me wrong here..I am just amused with the amount of money that are spent each year to decorate Tokyo before Christmas..

Of course there were a lot of people. To enter the Christmas tree cave in the center, one would have to stay an hour in the line. Instead, I just walked around and enjoyed the holiday spirit of all the people around, laughing and taking pictures.

Burlesque premiere in Tokyo

Two days ago, Gow invited me to the Tokyo premiere of Burlesque – Cristina Aguilera’s first movie. She, together with one of my favorite actresses Kristen Bell came to Roppongi hills to walk the red carpet and give a welcome speech before the movie. We were sitting close to the stage so when I saw Kristen, sporting gorgeous Azzaro dress from spring 2011 collection, all cute and giggly and joking around while others gave their speeches, I couldn’t help but scream “I love you!”. Guess, what? She screamed back at me, in her cute Gossip girl voice “I love you, too!”. I was so excited, I ate half of my popcorn bucket before the movie even started! ^-^

This was my favorite routine in the whole movie. Cristina was sooooo good, I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. Last time I saw her performing for the American idol’s finale, she was quite out of form (or rather too much form) but in the movie, she was slim and sexy and very natural. There were no  “ah, another singer is trying to be an actress!” moments. I am usually quite judgmental on that part but I have nothing bad to say about Cristina’s performance. I loved her!!! And the fashion in the movie was sick! I have never seen such gorgeous burlesque costumes before. The movie director portrayed a woman in all her glory and all I could think of while watching it was “Yeah, we girls rock”.

After the movie, we got reunited with Dante and Taylor in the cinema lobby (they were sitting a few rows away from us). We got fabulous gift bags with OPI products – two super cute nail polishes and a makeup pouch. Then, Gow and the boys went for dinner with people who gave us all tickets and I went to see Dalrae who kept mailing me and asking to join her.

Chie’s little brother was having a party in a small bar near Roppongi crossing that later moved to Ritz Carlton suite where some of his friends from Seoul were staying. That’s the view to Akasaka from the suite’s window – breathtaking.

So basically, my “I’ll stay for one drink” plan turned into three hours non-stop drinking games – 4 bottles of champagne and two bags of beer and I think vodka (that’s right, buzz was being measured by a bag). Koreans are crazy, that’s for sure. They can drink almost as much as Russians.

Here are some of the first half an hour pictures when we all still looked quite OK. ^-^ There were 5 Korean boys, 2 of whom at some point disappeared into the other room to work (IT engineers never sleep and are always available despite the loud party going on in the other room).

Then, there were Dalrae and her sister Caroline, Dalrae’s Japanese friend of Korean descent and somebody’s girlfriend, also Korean. So, to sum up there were 9 Koreans and me – now if that’s not a perfect blend-in, I don’t know what is! ^-^

As for the contents of Korean drinking games, my lips are sealed. Let’s just say, at the end of the evening, I got myself a cute Korean girlfriend. ^-^