Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Factory Girl

These are from a recent shoot with one of my roommates, Jennifer Painter, who needed to do some shooting for her final (she's a photography student at FIT)... it's always fun to experiment and play around in the apartment for shoots. We went for a 70s-inspired feel, a la Edie Sedgwick as portrayed by Sienna Miller in Factory Girl. It made me want to live every day like I'm from the 70s. And I want to travel back in time to meet Andy Warhol.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Revamped and ready for action!

My apologies for the lack of blogging, but since my return from the Land of the Rising Sun life has been a little helter-skelter to say the least. I've been a bit of a gypsy going from Tokyo to NY to Miami to Disney World to NY again, then finally to Philly suburbs for the holidays. I'll be posting some pictures of my jaunts and starting back up with writing... though I'm not sure what direction this blog is going to take in 2010. For now, it's a place where I share my photos, inspiration, writing, and updates in the world of fashion and modeling with my beloved readers that I am glad to have along for the ride. Stay tuned...

Oh, and here's a cover I did in Japan for a car magazine... classy don't you think? haha

Friday, November 27, 2009

The end of an adventure...

My apologies for the lack of entries toward the end of my trip. I was so busy running around squeezing in as much as I could of the Eastern world that I decided to wait until I got back for my final entry. My last days in Japan were wonderful and I enjoyed every minute. I'm happy with the experiences I had and that I made the most of my trip, particularly with the new great friends I made there. I'll have some pictures up in the gallery, but below are a few of the highlights. Having been back a week now, I am slowly processing and digesting it all in my attempt to readjust to life back in the states. I'm taking the next week or so as time to reflect and decide where my blog will go from here. Stay tuned and thanks for following me in my journey!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Odaiba: The Man-Made Island

Last weekend I went to Odaiba with Nao, Ken, and later met up with Tomomi and Nao's friend. It's a place that had been on my list to see since it's a man-made island and has all kind of technology, shopping, and mainly a cool ferris wheel. So we spent the afternoon walking around and checking out what all there is to see. It's also a dog-friendly town so I saw tons of people who bring their dogs (decked out in cute clothes, strollers, etc) and that made me happy. It's a very modern place, built with many easy conveniences and technologically-advanced, since there is the Toyota, Fuji, and other showrooms there. You could spend a whole day there and not have to leave with all the entertainment and things to do! We saw the Statue of Liberty- a smaller version modeled after the French original, the Venus Fort shopping mall- a beautifully designed mall that made me feel I was in Europe, the Toyota showroom where I did a simulator ride for their new safety breaking procedures, the Ferris wheel to get a nighttime view, and just walked around and got dinner. We went to an Okonomiyaki place, which is cooked on a skillet in front of you and is basically made like a "pancake" though it has lots cabbage, your choice of filling like meat/seafood/cheese/etc, and sometimes noodles. Then there's a yummy sauce and mayo poured on top to make it a ooey gooey goodness! We also had some yakisoba and a couple other things- it was all delicious!

lady liberties: born on the 4th of July!

inside the mall

this dog actually had a green mohawk- coolest dog ever.

weird how much it looks like NYC at night- easily could be mistaken...

Around Shibuya...

Lately I've been exploring Shibuya on the nice days out since it's near where I'm staying. I enjoy just wandering around, observing the people, going in and out of shops, checking out all the different places to eat, and just taking it all in. It's a very busy, huge area that has a lot of hustle and bustle. Below are some shots I've snapped along the way. Check out the gallery for more I recently uploaded...

beautiful wall art at the metro station

The famous Shibuya crossing- huge intersection like Times Square

Out and about for some shopping?

Shibuya station at night

Lots of elevated walkways and big overpasses like this around the city

Magazine newsstands and book shops- often find guys standing around reading the "men's magazines"

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


I know last month when October began I wrote a post about how quickly time flies and valuing it. Well here we are already a few days into November... I'm enjoying my last couple weeks in Japan to the fullest and trying to be mindful everyday so I don't let December creep up on me either. Well, November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)- who knew? I was told about it by a fellow actor when I had my brief acting stint for the Japanese tv drama where I was a pregnant Romanian. Anyway- the idea is to encourage people to write, you know where people always say "I want to write a novel..." well this is the impetus to do so! You sign up and have the month of November to write your 175-pg (50,000 word) novel. I signed up since I have had the idea for a novel for some time now and, though in the midst of modeling, school, and seeing the world, I know I can make time to write if I have the encouragement. So here it goes! Anyone can sign up and have the support of the online community to write a novel- the point is to just get it written (not revised or edited)! Here's the website if anyone wants to sign up, we're only 4 days into it:

Wish me luck!!

Sidewalk Cafe

Gazebo cafe

Last week I had a free afternoon and decided to enjoy a nice lunch at a sidewalk cafe since it was so nice outside. The lovely gourmet lunch set included a drink, roll, soup, salad, and a shrimp and avocado croissant sandwich. Perfectly portioned and perfectly delicious (and all for $10). And the people-watching was enjoyable as well... I tried to look as cool as I could while still snapping a few lemonade makes my day

she's rockin it

boots are everywhere! (I've bought 2 pairs)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween to all you ghouls and goblins. While Halloween is celebrated in Tokyo, it's still not the same as back home in the states. The Japanese like decorating and they've had festive decor up for the past month or so now, along with specialty pumpkin sweets and other fall things. But they really don't understand the meaning of it or why it's celebrated. The kids don't trick-or-treat and nobody really dresses up, except the people who go out Halloween night to clubs or bars for nightlife festivities. So not all was lost by being here for the holiday, just some of the other joys that go with it like pumpkin carving, toasting seeds, parades, mischief night, trick and treats, and the overall feel you get from seeing everyone in costume. I'm sure New York was quite a sight, though I got an eyeful myself last night in Shibuya walking to and at the club. I dressed as Princess Sparkle, a My Little Pony, as I had pieces of things I'd purchased while here in Tokyo and thought the cuteness was perfectly fitting to the culture here. And it was- all the Japanese girls kept saying how cute my outfit was and wanting pictures with me. I made lots of friends. The club we went to even had a costume contest so I entered in it- lucky #13- but unfortunately didn't win the grand prize (which was a grand $$). Below are some pics I snapped and there's more at the gallery.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Catching you up on the places I've been...

So I've had a lot going on lately between castings, going out and about, midterm essays, and decision making... to update briefly: last week one day I had off from castings and there was a festival for the shrine in my town Ebisu so I walked around taking pictures, visited the shrine, had some green tea and sweets, as well as tried Takoyaki- a typical yummy Japanese food (dough balls with octopus inside and soy sauce, ginger, and fish flakes!) Then last Thursday I had a job for a car magazine cover in Yokohama. My first mag cover! It'll be out by the end of the year I think... I posed with the new Audi SUV model- Q5. Kinda cheezy but oh well. (Check out the gallery for pictures from all of this!) And then Friday was decision time about whether I was leaving Tokyo this week or gonna roll the dice and stay for another month. It was a tough decision to make all on my own- to hold that power was a bit overwhelming as I felt the enormity of it when it came down to it Friday night and I'm sitting in my apartment debating pro's and con's in my head. My decision to stay, once I reached it, was for the better. I think the idea of leaving so soon was stressing me out more. I am happy with my choice and have accepted it- I felt very empowered after in having the ability to make that decision and make choices for myself in what I want to do with my life. That is a great feeling.
Takoyaki- see the octopus inside? once you get over that it's ooey gooey yumminess!

But anyway I love it here and figured why not stay since it's not really costing me anything more, and see what more I can get out of it from modeling work and if nothing else, richer experience! So much more blogging to come! Anyway- this past Sunday I had an amazing day and let the day take me where it went- which turned out to be quite a few places! I started out taking my time getting up and going, with my only real plan to take a walk over to Tokyo Tower and Zojoji Temple for a traditional tea ceremony since they only perform it on certain days. I got to the temple and went around back to the tiny tea house where I was the only one at that moment for the ceremony. So they take me around to the little garden and into the house with traditional tatami mats and I sit on my knees chatting with the women and observing. They first serve me a small sweet made from beancurd and I later find out it has a half-moon shape on it with hopes for the coming moon to be seen. As the one woman is preparing the green tea, three other people come around the garden- a Japanese man, woman, and white guy. They apologize for interrupting and I tell them it's no problem. The Japanese man spoke English very well and helped translate a lot for me and the guy who came with them. I was able to get more out of the experience for it- like learning that the scroll hanging on the wall dated from the Edo era of more than 3,000 years ago!! We all bowed to it and I asked if I could take a picture (see gallery). They were all so friendly, so we're chatting amongst ourselves- the women serving the tea telling the others that I'm a model (since I explained to them why I'm in Japan).

preparing the traditional powdered green tea

Then after we finish our tea, we leave and thank them. Walking out of the garden, we are still chatting and I'm learning about their relationship with the guy visiting who is from California and in the music business. Basically- they are huge fans of a Japanese music trio called Perfume and the guy from Cali (Jordon) posted a video on YouTube a few months back and the fans in Japan saw it and it became very popular. So popular that this one fan- the Japanese guy, Taro- saw it and invited Jordon to come for their concert in May. They never met before or knew each other but Jordon came and had a blast. Then Taro invited him again this week for their last 2 performances of the world tour this Thursday and Friday. I find this hilarious yet totally believable because 1) music brings all kinds of people together, it's universal and 2) the Japanese are extremely friendly people. So I'm just loving this scenario already and we're getting along so well, they invite me to walk to Tokyo Tower with them since that's next on their plan for the day. I hadn't planned on going myself since it was a bit overcast that day, but since I had people to go with, and wasn't quite ready to stop chatting with them, decided to join. I had no plans so what else was I going to do? It was great to get the views and find out more about these guys. The woman, Maki, had to leave since she didn't feel well, but we had a good time.

view from the lookdown window at Tokyo Tower- eeek! (my feet)

After they were going to Akihabara- the electronics district- where I have yet to go so since they invited me to tag along again, I went for it. We walked around a bit and saw lots of Japanese comic book and anime, along with every electronic imaginable. We even got some Takoyaki- it's quite popular. I was really enjoying myself- I just let the day go and didn't worry about the time or having to tell anyone where I was or what time I'd get home- it was liberating. I ended up spending the rest of the evening/night with them! After we went to dinner in Shibuya where we met up with 4 other Japanese women that Taro and Jordon are friends with, one who Jordon stayed with when he came in May. There are 3 of them that are all friends and Perfume fanatics. They're so goofy and hilarious to be around- they speak a bit of English and they all really liked me and kept saying how cute I was anytime I said anything. The one girl gave me a cd of Japanese electro and a spoon with a jewel-encrusted handle haha. We had a big potluck at dinner- lots of Japanese things to try and I loved it all! Then we headed off to Karaoke! Boy was that hilarious- the trio had outfits one of them made (she teaches fashion design) just like the girls from Perfume and they know all the dances too. They put on quite a performance- I'll try to upload the video I took. It's great. I did my fair share of singing too- one was a duet with one of the Japanese girls, Tomomi, to Material Girl.

The trio as Perfume

That pretty much made my day- I had a blast! After we had "tea time" at this cafe where you can go and play Wii, board games, watch movies, etc! It's pretty awesome. These people are so fun to be around I couldn't believe when it was 11pm on a Sunday night and time to head home. On my walk back I just kept saying in my head "did that really just happen?" I don't take "coincidences" lightly and believe very much that the universe brings circumstances and people into our lives- I mean think about the timing that I happened to be there when they came for the tea ceremony at the same time! We all exchanged emails and I already saw them again yesterday for a home-cooked Japanese dinner at Jordon's apartment. They invited me to the Perfume concert on Friday- I hope I finish castings in time so I can go!! Anyway, that's what's been going on and I'm loving it here. Oh- and tonight in yoga I was able to put my foot around my head all by myself! I'm making progress, it's so rewarding! Though I don't mind the attractive Japanese guy who teaches it helping me out with some of the stretching haha.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

New Pics

I got new pics today from a test shoot the other week- loved the team and concept! I was anxiously awaiting the arrival of these! Here are samples from each look, check out more at the gallery.I was supposed to be "sad, heart-broken, angry...waiting and waiting for him"

wind-powered energy: go Japan! get on it USA!

then I turned into a doll? or something like that... it was kinda lost in translation

Monday, October 19, 2009

Saturday's Wanderings

This past Saturday I set my alarm for 6 am with intentions of taking a day trip out to Nikko to see the fall foliage and some shrines. But when my alarm went off, I awoke to a sheet of grayness covering the city, with a lingering air of dampness. I quickly googled Nikko on a cloudy day to see if it was going to be worth the trip and came to the conclusion that trip would be best spent on a sunny day. So I went back to sleep and had a leisurely day taking my time, with no plans or schedule. I made my way to Yoyogi Park for the afternoon to check out a Vegan/Vegetarian Festival I read about on an online food website for Tokyo. Before I made it to the festival, I wandered through the park (which is huge) and found a beautiful rose garden and took some time to photograph some of the beautiful nature.I found the festival and wandered up and down the long line of booths set up. There was mostly different cuisines featured, but also some organic teas, clothing, and beauty products being sold. They had movie screenings and speakers for the festival which was both Saturday and Sunday. While most everything was in Japanese, it was still very interesting to see the interest in Organic, Vegan, and Vegetarian concepts. I think it's something not too common in Japan, whereas these ideas have already been around in the U.S. for awhile so I was curious as to how they were presented to participants. I did get a few fliers in English from PETA but I don't necessarily agree with their marketing strategies in scaring people out of eating meat through disturbing facts and photos. I went around picking up free samples where possible and eventually had a vegan lunch.After, I walked around the area a bit more and noticed there was some other stuff going on in the park. I came across a flea market as well as some musical performances in the open venue. I went up and down each aisle of vendors and looked at all the goods being sold, it was an interesting window into the Japanese culture. I made out like a bandit with some bargains- I found 2 t-shirts and a pair of jeans in a box of $1 items (or 100 yen haha). A vintage necklace I scored for $4, a soft, comfy plaid scarf for $3, and some other charms and misc items. The trend-spotting was fun too.

adorable little girl- can I keep her?

Since I was so close to Shibuya, I made my way over and walked around browsing and shopping there. I found a great, cheap store called Three Minutes Happiness and it really does bring happiness. Kind of like an Ikea but with clothes as well as household goods. I got the softest, fuzziest vest for 20 bucks its so cute! Nail polish for $1... I could go on! The shopping here is dangerous. And I even make sure they're bargains because it can get pricey. Like the next store I went in- Opening Ceremony. It's a crazy awesome store that takes interior decorating and displays to a whole other level. Each floor has a unique decoration theme, crazy mannequins, and is made to look like a playhouse or cottage sort of. You aren't supposed to take pics but I snapped a few so check out the gallery for more. Designers like Alexander Wang, Betsey Johnson, Chloe Sevigny, Comme des Garcons, Jeremy Scott, and Pendleton are features in the store, among other designers I hadn't heard of before. Amazingly crafted dresses run for about a thousand dollars and it was quite a shopping experience.mannequin was mechanically running- with a horse head. quite odd.

After I treated myself to dinner solo at a Yakitori place that was advertising on the street for 10% off the menu. Yakitori is just basically grilled whatever on a skewer. I ordered a skewer each of beef, asparagus wrapped in bacon, shiitake mushrooms, and chicken meatballs. There were some more adventurous items I stuck away from (chicken liver, gizzards, etc) since I had just been to a Vegan/Vegetarian festival earlier haha. I'm kind of all over the place, but while I'm in Japan I'm going to experience the culture and food to the fullest so I'll decide how I feel about meat when I get back. They were all delicious and I dipped them in sauces- I love anything grilled. Along with them, I ordered a rice ball stuffed with salmon, wrapped in seaweed. Very fresh and warm- yum! I enjoyed a nice glass of Umeshu- a kind of sweet plum wine/brandy- to go with and felt very relaxed dining by myself at the bar type seating for solo diners. I took my time, had no where to be or any obligations, and just relished the moment (and my Umeshu, since I can legally drink here). All in all, it was a lovely day to myself even though I didn't get to do the planned Nikko excursion. But that will be saved for next weekend.

Sunday I had an acting job! It was a small role I had in a Japanese TV Drama- remaking a movie about Romania in the 1950s. Apparently the dictator demanded everyone have 5 kids to try to expand the population... it's the story of this one man's life who made an impact. My role was to be the wife, in extremely painful labor, giving birth to the 4th of 5th kid I think. They filmed this part in a dingy, creepy old hospital that no one uses anymore so they film stuff there. I swear it'll give me nightmares. I had a goofy nightgown on and they stuffed a pillow under it as I layed there and got some good acting practice screaming in pain and breathing intensely in labor. It was pretty funny. Then after I supposedly gave birth, they filmed just my hand falling off the bedside to indicate I didn't make it. So ominous. But pretty easy and I met some interesting people. Sorry no pics of that haha. That's all for now- stay tuned for more this week!