So recently I’ve been trying my best to bring my camera around with me everywhere, even if I don’t have a photo shoot or anything special happening. I wish I could say that I don’t remember when I exactly stopped doing this, but it’s all very clear to me, moreso now than ever.
My iPhone has turned me into a very lazy person. I love and hate that it can do so many things that my frequency of use of other gadgets has been reduced to an infinitesimal amount. Sure I don’t need an actual calculator or alarm clock now (thank goodness), but iPhone camera is so good, it makes bringing an actual camera a little redundant sometimes. What a bad practice, eh?
While other people have achieving abs as their top 2014 goal, mine is going back to photography and treating it again the way I used to (when I first started). Expect more of these posts in the future! I’m really set on making more of these to make my blog more personal again (circa 2009?), as well as to keep it from being utterly predictable.
Iced espresso cream latte from Coffee Bean.
Brushing up on my old Nihongo notes during my free time. Been reviewing with a private tutor so I can level up in terms of conversation and vocabulary. I already took a basic Japanese language class 5 years ago but I totes want to be able to master it one day!
Because you know how some subs can take forever.
Had dinner with the CANMAKE girls (Sachie-san, Eri-san, Arbee and Bea) at Hanaichi Restaurant at 28th and 4th in Fort/Taguig.
Crissey and I shared this giant assorted sashimi platter! NOM.
We’re still dreaming of these rolls until now. たこ焼きぽい!
As usual, Sachie-san gave us some goodies from Japan! She gave each of us a copy of the CANMAKE mook (magazine-book).
I also received the MURUA S/S14 lookbook (because she knows how much I love MURUA) and an amazing Ladurée stationery set. So cute I don’t ever want to use it. The erasers are shaped like macarons!
Crissey, on the other hand, received the limited edition Liz Lisa x Pentel Sliccies collaboration pen and pencil set! Watch out for pictures on her blog!
With the mook were some limited edition CANMAKE products.
Sample of what the mook’s pages look like. I’ll never get tired of these make-up tutorials. Easily my most favorite part in Japanese magazines. I never took any make-up lessons - I only learned how to do my make-up thanks to these helpful Japanese tutorials! Thanks CANMAKE!
They have an ongoing Valentines contest - Upload a photo of yourself with your special someone on CANMAKE’s Facebook wall, and tell them why you deserve a special date with him/her on Valentines Day! Winners will get special CANMAKE gifts plus a dinner for two at Hanaichi Restaurant. Good luck!
Happy …th birthday, Crissey!
I purposefully left your age out because you are the perfect example of age-defying anyway. How many vials of unicorn blood have you consumed so far? Please share with us mere mortals your fountain of youth because we’d totally love to have some of that too, please? 8 years of friendship and I feel like I’m the only one drastically changing, lol why
On a serious note though, everyone around you would know that the not-so-secret secret for looking the way you do lies in your perpetually happy-go-lucky and positive disposition! Thank you for always being the bright ball of sunshine that you are.
I hope your birthday will involve lots of rainbow vomit and cute photos of corgis, among other things… like maybe a chance encounter with your future boyfriend/husband. Yii. The world needs more little (sorry) Crisseys who people like me can always count on!
100 was the original image count for this post, but I didn’t want your browsers to die so I did my best to bring it down to 80. Still a lot, but Chicago is too beautiful not to share. This post includes mostly the touristy places that you can visit in the city, as well as a good look at Chicago’s marvelous architecture.
My mom and I went to the Art Institute of Chicago the morning before meeting up with my brother who came all the way from Wyoming. We did this on purpose as he absolutely hates museums (he likened a sculpture at Musée d’Orsay to a piece of ginger, lol) and would rather spend time immersing himself in the city in other ways like food trips and visits to wherever’s hip and cool.
In my case, hip and cool means going to museums to check out famous works and just appreciating the skills of the artists who made them. I blame the art student in me for all the spazzing that ensued whenever I encountered something that I used to just read about! I thought I already died when I visited Paris (omg, that was 2 years ago already) but museums in the US are also really good! The Frick Collection in New York is my new favorite, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Just wait for my New York travel diaries!
Bernat Martorell’s Saint George Killing the Dragon. One of my favorites in the whole museum.
Major Yoshitaka Amano vibes. I wonder if Amano was inspired by Martorell in any way.
El Greco’s The Assumption of the Virgin on the left!
Grant Wood’s American Gothic.
Marc Chagall’s America Windows.
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s At the Moulin Rouge.
Vincent van Gogh’s self-portrait. Selfie-ing before it was cool.
Georges-Pierre Seurat’s Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.
2 from Giovanni Battista Tiepolo’s Rinaldo and Armida series.
The Art Institute of Chicago includes famous artists such as Picasso, Degas, Monet, Cezanne, Gauguin, Renoir, Manet, etc.
But there’s also a Modern Wing where they feature special exhibitions, photography, film, video and new media exhibits, among others.
Shomei Tomatsu’s Island Life spoke to me strongly that I recommend everyone to see it, or at least research about it on the Internet if you can’t visit Chicago any time soon.
I spent a good half hour looking at his photographs, and could have easily spent another half day just ogling at his work if I only had unlimited time.
Issey Miyake IN-EI collection, a collaboration with Artemide.
Scholten & Baijings Colour Installation. It would be so cute if you had these in your house.
One of Hamanishi Katsunori’s mezzotints. Surprisingly there were so many Japanese artists featured in the museum!
One of the two lion statues by Edward Kemeys.
The Art Institute from across the street.
After meeting up with my brother Calel, we headed straight to Navy Pier…
…which was super surreal because it was closed? Somebody didn’t give us a memo that no one was going to be there that day!
Looked like a ghost town - gloomy weather, lack of people, zombie figures hanging from rooftops (Damn it - Halloween made it so much worse) and everything.
Encountered some street art on the long, creepy walk back to civilization.
Had these delicious desserts at Seasons 52 because Joe’s across the street was full! Made us totally forget about Zombieland, err, Navy Pier.
The next day, we went to The Field Museum where we found…
Sue, one of the largest and best-preserved Tyrannosaurus rex set of skeletons ever found! It is 90% complete, and its real head is so heavy they couldn’t hang it along with the rest of the body. The real head can be found on the second floor, in a glass case.
Sue’s real teeth.
Kids amazed/shocked at Sue’s massive size.
The Field Museum had a lot of these skeletons, but these two were my top picks besides Sue. Straight out of an RPG.
Walked to the Shedd Aquarium shortly after going through all the exhibits at The Field Museum…
…and found ourselves back home for a while.
Mysterious fathoms below.
Don’t even bother watching the aquatic show if you have no plans of working at the Shedd Aquarium, lol. This view is so much better.
Oh hey there, little fella!
After all the walking we did that day, we went back to the Magnificent Mile for early supper!
The Purple Pig is a must-try in Chicago! Loved every single thing that we ordered, dessert included!
THAT ROASTED BONE MARROW.
The following morning, my mom and brother accompanied me to Urban Outfitters which is pretty much one of my necessary shopping stops whenever I go to the US. Got cute boots for myself and some books for the boyfriend.
Found ourselves at Mariano Park after shopping!
And had to have my photo taken in this spot because I matched the flowers and Corner Bakery Cafe’s red with black and white stripes exterior.
My heart jumps when I notice these little details.
After lunch, we went on an architectural boat tour. Don’t miss this if you’re in Chicago! It gives you a certain understanding why and how Chicagoans know their buildings by heart!
That’s the Trump Tower on the left and the Wrigley Building on the right.
Would you park your car here? Marina City by Bertrand Goldberg. Completed in the 1960s, it is supposedly the first building in the US to be constructed with tower cranes.
World of Whirlpool Design Center, formerly Chicago Traffic Court on the left with the clock tower.
Merchandise Mart. When it opened in 1930, it was the largest building in the world. It is also one of the places mentioned in the Insurgent books!
333 West Wacker Drive on the right,
Harry Weese’s Chicago River Cottages
River Bank Lofts.
Erie On The Park on the left.
A. Montgomery Park.
180 North Wacker.
Kinzie Street railroad bridge, also known as the Carroll Avenue bridge, at one point the world’s longest and heaviest bascule bridge.
Civic Opera House, opened in 1929.
The Sears Tower covered by fog, lol. It’s so tall you can’t even see the top anymore. I was shaking at this point because the temperature dropped drastically and the tour was so much better from the deck than inside the boat!
River City, designed by the same architect who designed Marina City.
After the boat tour, my mom’s friend brought us to the Palmer House Hotel before heading to dinner. Can you believe that this hotel has been around since the 1870s? Charles Dickens and Oscar Wilde are only two of the hotel’s most famous guests!
It is also the birthplace of the chocolate brownie! NOM <3
Louis Pierre Rigal’s ceiling paintings mostly on love and Greek romanticism.
Perfect place to do photoshoots!
Last memory of Chicago was a scrumptious dinner at the Grand Lux Cafe! The nice night view of Michigan Avenue was the cherry on top.
Watch out for my New York entry (or entries?) next! I only stayed for 3 days but managed to visit a lot of places that I wasn’t able to go to during my first trip last 2011!
This was the first stop of my almost-a-month-long trip to the US last October, and I couldn’t be happier that I finally got a break after working so hard on my book. Both my parents have been to Chicago a few times already, and their photos of the place totally convinced me that I should check it out one day. Didn’t know I could cross it off my bucket list already. And so soon!
I went with my mom to meet up with my youngest brother Calel, who has been working in a hotel in Jackson Hole, Wyoming since June. He had the whole month off to do whatever he wanted and decided to spend it with us.
Before I left Manila, I told a few people that I was going to Chicago and spending a few days in the city. Their initial reactions were all like, “What’s to see there?” To be honest, before my parents told me stories about Chicago, I’ve only heard about Chicago the movie, Chicago Bulls, Oprah, and deep dish pizza. Little did I know that Chicago is considered to be the architectural capital of the US, and that it has such an interesting history behind it. As a kid, American history never really interested me as much as European history, but this whole trip suddenly made me want to geek out on books and movies set during 18th-19th century America.
Expect more pretty buildings in the second Chicago post! I went on an architectural boat tour and froze my butt off trying take photos on the boat deck while it was 3 degrees C, raining and very, very windy, lol. Oh, the things I am willing to do for good photos.
Headed straight to our red-eye flight to Chicago from the LA airport. I can’t remember how many hours it took for us in total to get to Chicago from Manila but I pretty much slept through most of it so I didn’t feel like it was a long trip (even if it was).
We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express in North Wabash which had rooms that were just the right size for two people. Then my brother arrived and it got super crowded. Eek.
The location is wonderful though! Starbucks and Trader Joe’s were only about a minute away. The Magnificent Mile was also only about 5 minutes away.
As soon as my mom and I arrived in Chicago, we took a shower, had breakfast, and did our best not to fall asleep. So we toured so many places to keep our minds off the jetlag!
Marina City building on your right!
Michigan Avenue Bridge or DuSable Bridge, a Chicago landmark named after Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, Chicago’s first resident.
The four bridgehouses that supported the bridge had these sculptures on them. This one is called Defense by Henry Herring. It shows American Captain William Wells defending civilians from the Native American attack.
The first view (of many) of Chicago that took my breath away.
Wrigley Building details.
Somewhere near the park in front of the Wrigley Building was a large space that displayed these colorful sculptures.
John Milton quote on the wall.
Best place to go shopping in the city, though I didn’t buy a single thing for the whole duration of our Chicago leg. SO PROUD OF MYSELF!
I already did all my shopping in Tokyo before this so I didn’t really find the need to spend any more on clothes, shoes, etc. I did, however, buy something totally geeky when I went to New York. More on that soon!
Window shopping was fun though! This was the Burberry display. Those colors I can’t even
Oh hello, ridiculously convenient building where I can take a gratuitous photo of myself.
Always so dainty.
My favorite place! I would’ve splurged on all the pretty coats and sweaters if only we had winter back in Manila.
Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago.
Directly across the church is the John Hancock Center! My mom and I had lunch at The Cheesecake Factory on the ground level.
This building is currently the 4th tallest building in Chicago and the 7th tallest in the whole US.
On the top floor was an observatory where you can find a 360 degree view of the city.
So crisp and clean.
The other side of the city where there are less buildings. So unbelievably organized, this city plan.
In one of the exhibits in the observatory, they mentioned that besides the World’s First Exposition, Chicago is also known for a lot of famous “firsts” including the skyscraper, zipper, Twinkies, Cracker Jack, Ovaltine, Dove Bars, roller skates, ice cream sundaes, blood banks, successful heart surgery, and lie detector.
After the observatory, we walked to the Museum of Contemporary Art or MCA…
…because I love Alexander Calder’s work and wouldn’t mind if I lived in a room full of these glorious abstract shapes.
Another cool exhibition that I liked was Think First, Shoot Later: Photography from the MCA Collection which only ran until the 10th of November so I was lucky I was able to catch it.
Even the cafeteria looks artsy!
Chicago artists Stan Shellabarger & Dutes Miller went to the museum to knit as part of their performance called “Pink Tube”.
Taken by mom early the next morning. I was wearing a coat that you will see in all of my US photo diaries. I’m so gross.
Halloween was right around the corner so there were giant spider decorations on some buildings around the city.
When the light hits the buildings, there’s magic.
A lucky shot of birds with the Jewelers Building in the background, and Wrigley Building on the right.
Lunch time at Giordano’s before meeting up with my mom’s college friend Tita Malou. She was planning to bring us to Giordano’s for dinner but I’m glad my mom and I already tried it for lunch. There’s no way I would be able to eat this much before sleeping!
It took about 40 minutes before our meal arrived but the wait was worth it! Deep dish pizza will be the death of me. I had two of these monsters considering I just had late breakfast. EAT ALL THE CHEESE!
After lunch, we went back to the hotel to meet up with my mom’s friend and her son who were kind enough to bring us around the city in their car!
First agenda was to take a good photo of the Chicago Skyline. Thank God my balat sa pwet decided to go on a quick vacation as well because the weather was perfect for picture taking. No rain until… well, the architectural boat tour a.k.a. the most important tour, lol.
The tallest building there with the two white rods is the Sears Tower!
The Adler Planetarium is the first planetarium in the Western Hemisphere, opened in 1930.
Then we went to Millennium Park. RED EVERYWHERE! Craziness ensued.
The Heritage, Smurfit Stone Building, One Prudential Plaza, etc.
The Cloud Gate / The Bean by Anish Kapoor! Looks like liquid mercury. Check out that lovely reflection of the city skyline!
Jay Pritzker Pavilion.
Jet lag was starting to take its toll so we walked to a nearby coffee shop for a quick caffeine fix. My mom’s friend’s son recommended a place where a lot of young and hip(ster) people hang out.
I am still dreaming of Intelligentsia Coffee until today. Someone bring me back to Chicago and let’s just hang out here everyday!
Millenium Park Coffee Bar is at 53 and 55 East Randolph, between Michigan and Wabash Avenues. The baristas had funky hairstyles.
Had this nice, simple and epic cup of latte!
We drove around the city some more until my mom’s friend dropped us off at Sears Tower / Willis Tower while they did their own thing. On top of the tower is a skydeck similar to the one in John Hancock Center but before letting you in, they show you a short video presentation about the construction of the building.
In 1973, it was the tallest building in the world, and it held this title for 25 years. Now it is the second tallest building in the US and the eight tallest building in the world.
Thanks Chicago for exceeding my expectations.
And thank you Portillo’s for existing because you made my hungry tummy happy with your Italian beef and hotdogs! NOM
Part 2 soon! Then I’ll probably have 2 posts for New York, 2 posts for Boston, and 1 post for LA. I have 6 of these long travel diaries to go, plus my Taiwan trip with my family and a pending sponsored trip to Lausanne, Switzerland in January (if my visa gets processed in time)! Le excite!
The last time I did a post like this one was August? I’m a horrible blogger! I’m really starting to hate myself for not continuing a lot of stuff this year because I got so busy with my book. Promise to bring back my MOFWs this 2014. I’ll also be updating my blog with the rest of my Instagram posts in the next couple of weeks.
3 months have passed since these pictures and I’ve already forgotten I ever posted some of these on the platform, lol. This has officially transformed into a memory test because I have to remember everything again. At least I can cheat by scrolling down my Instafeed and checking all the captions one by one. This is why social media rocks.
September was one of my most stressful months of the year because I was working double-time on my book, in preparation for the October launch. It was also my hair transformation month and that time when I went to Hong Kong with Crissey!
2) Received this crazy awesome Nordstrom make-up set from Gabrielle Online Shop. I love all the neutrals on the left. I have yet to muster up the courage to use brighter colors on my eyelids haha the colors on the right remain unused for now.
3) Caramel overload with caramel macchiato and caramel belgian waffle from Starbucks!
4) That moment when I started doing Korean-style make-up because I fell in love with Stylenanda’s Park Sora.
5) The cutest, most useful camera bags for my 5D Mk II, 350D and Instax mini 7s. All gifts from Izzo Shop!
6) Thanks to Hot Mess for the top!
7) High Street Central bathroom selfie with Crissey!
8) Sorelle Accessories made me a customized necklace! I’ve always wanted one of these!
9) Ganso Shabuway with the fam bam.
10) My favorite sea salt caramel latte from Umami Hambaagu House. Also, September was also the month when I clearly became obsessed with Ngi Ngi stamps.
11) I didn’t post this on my own Instagram but I took the photo. Crissey posted it on her Instagram! Too funny not to post. Love you forevs, bb
12) The view from The Peak in Hong Kong!
13) Crissey and I went shopping at the MURUA at The One! We always ogle at Momoko Ogihara’s Instagram because we love her style so much! I am also now official LINE, Twitter and Instagram friends with Asami Kotake huhu she’s wonderful
14) OOTD time with Crissey! We didn’t plan our outfits and we ended up being all matchy matchy and couple-like. This is the power of Trissey!
15) Laduree macaron nom nom noms.
16) Limited edition leopard print boxes at Laduree. Fierce stuff.
17) A foretelling of the future! This was one of the earliest moments this year when I started drawing my brows darker and skipped the blonde eyebrow pencil and mascara.
18) Boots I got from H&M in Hong Kong. H&M Philippines, I can’t wait for you to arrive already! 2014, please come sooner!
19) After my major hair transformation. Check out all that hair. Looks monstrous.
20) The hairstylist responsible for my short haircut and red hair! Tweet Chay here!
I wish I could say I didn’t know why I looked so haggard during that time but I knew exactly why, lol. It all seems funny and trivial now but I was literally not getting any sleep as I was constantly working on my book!
21) Short, red hair inspired by Sulli’s Ceci cover! A lot of the Japanese neo-gals I follow also have dark hair now!
22) Just G’s September collection. I wore the military print jacket in an outfit post.
23) Posting because my hair looked pretty good here *smug face* lol
24) My first photo with Bailey since I cut my hair short!
25) Modeling a new SNSD x Baby-G watch from Time Depot!
26) All the CANMAKE goodies I got from the make-up tutorial I did for them and Candy magazine! The foundation and powder are winners. I brought them both with me to my US trip! I can’t be caught dead without the powder nowadays too.
27) At the Summit Media office checking the final proofs of my book! I still can’t believe it happened. Thanks to all those who supported my book! It’s been on the best sellers list for 2 consecutive months now.
28) Always feels so good to come home to this giant baby.