Just ’cause it’s summer doesn’t mean there’s nothing to watch on TV. We told you about the shows with AA stars that premiered a few weeks ago, including the new Pretty Little Liars and the return of Drop Dead Diva, as well as all the reality show competitions like The Next Food Network Star, Top Chef and Work of Art: The Next Great Artist.
Well, tonight, a highly anticipated new series premieres, one that delves into the whole vampire craze we’re still mired in. The Gates follows the oh-so perfect lives of the residents of the exclusive suburban community The Gates. Now, if you’ve watched the trailers, you know that some of those perfect residents are actually vampires. And yes, I’m a Twilight fan, but that’s not the main reason I’ll be watching the show. There are two good reasons for anyone to watch this blood-fest: two Asian American actresses represent on The Gates tonight, premiering on ABC at 9 pm.
Rhona Mitra, who is of Indian-English-Irish descent, plays Claire Radcliff, the perfect Gates housewife and mother. She has a beautiful home, a handsome husband, and a daughter she loves dearly. But beneath the flawless exterior, Claire is struggling with a unique addiction — one that has the power to destroy her family and everything she holds dear if she fails to keep her urges in check. (Guess we know who one of the vampires are!)
Another AA actress in the series is Janina Gavankar, who plays Deputy Leigh Turner. Always ready with a witty retort and a sharp observation, Leigh is an intimidating addition to The Gates police force. But there’s more to Leigh than the tough exterior, and when it comes to love, she’s got a bad streak going.
Gavankar, who is of Indian and Dutch descent, is best known for her role as the promiscuous Papi in The L Word. Other television credits include Stargate Atlantis, Grey’s Anatomy, The Cleaner, Dollhouse, NCIS and Three Rivers. She’s a native of Joliet, Ill., and is an accomplished pianist, vocalist and orchestral percussionist. Once a member of the girl group Endera, she has had several of her songs licensed for various films and television series.
I’ll be watching The Gates, just because of Gavankar and Mitra. Well, that and morbid curiosity. Will you?
Photos courtesy of ABC.
It’s summertime and that means some serious summer reading. I’ve been obsessed with Jean Kwok’s Girl in Translation, Toni Morrison’s A Mercy, and Chang-Rae Lee’s The Surrendered. (Read our book review and interview with Lee in our Summer issue.) But I also want to check out some guilty pleasure reading like The Carrie Diaries and the new Twilight graphic novel illustrated by Korean artist Young Kim. Oh, what to do.
Thankfully, some really ingenious people have picked up on the success of Netflix to bring you all the books you could want to your doorstep. It’s like having a Border’s at your fingertips.
I remember the days when I used to run to my local Blockbuster to get my video return in on time. Never again. Honestly, I don’t know how we as a society survived thus far without the Internet, computers and Netflix.
Well, now there’s BookSwim, the Netflix for books. Which is completely genius because while I cherish the written word and love my old-fashioned books, I simply don’t have room in my apartment to house every single book I’ve ever read. I’m a bit of a snob that way. I only want the really good, quality books displayed on my bookcase.
And yet, I do like an easy, lighthearted read. That’s why BookSwim is perfect for people like me (and apparently Pakistani American co-founder Shamoon Siddiqui as well). I can fly through The Carrie Diaries or skim Eat, Pray, Love before it hits theaters. Ideal if you’re a James Patterson or Nora Roberts junkie (one could go broke buying up every single one of these prolific author’s new books). And when you’re done, pop it into the envelope they give you and wait for your next shipment. It ships directly to your mailbox and you can keep the books for as long as you want. No shipping fees, no late fees.
Now granted, they’re not as fast as Netflix (a hard cover book is a lot more unwieldy than a DVD), especially because you are generally encouraged to return two books at a time, but if you like to take time with your books, the three-at-a-time plan works perfectly. Read a couple, return, and wait for your next shipment as you read your third.
Wanna try it out? Enter code READINGINSTYLE at checkout and receive one month free on a three month subscription (plans start from $23.95). Good through August 31, 2010.
Now, as much as I enjoy reading, I think there are certain books that require you to esconce yourself in a cozy chair and really lose yourself. Then there are books that are light and fun and don’t require so much brain time. That’s when audio books come in handy.
Simply Audio Books borrows the Netflix concept, but with books on disc narrated by actors and others. There’s something to be said about listening to the latest Lauren Weisberger chick lit narrated by the scratchy voiced actress Eliza Dushku.
Simply Audio Books has 22,000 books on disc in 33 categories with no due dates, shipping costs or late fees to worry about. The plans start at about $15 a month and I find the turnaround time to be fairly quick, which is a huge plus. Whether you have a long commute, a cross-country road trip, or just need to find time to squeeze in some books, for a multi-tasker like me, it’s a pretty genius concept.
I don’t have kids, but I have toddler nieces. And I know that no matter how perfectly you want to raise your children with esteem-building words, psychologically sound discipline and positive artistic stimulation, sometimes you just have to distract them with the TV or a DVD. Sorry, that’s just reality.
I’ve done more than my share of television babysitting with my nieces, I’ll admit. And when little Chloe gets antsy at the restaurant, I’m the first one to say, “Hey, where’s your iPhone?”
Thank goodness StoryChimes has actual books you can download onto your iPhone. With classic stories from Hans Christian Anderson (The Frog Prince) and the Brothers Grimm (Rumpelstiltskin), as well as newer stories involving Jasper the dog, the stories are interactive and lively, with chimes to let kids know to “turn the page.” (Ever notice how a 2-year-olds’ fingers are so much better equipped for the iPhone than our grownup ones?) Just download as many stories as you want for 99 cents from the website. And they’ve even got bilingual stories, too! (You can’t argue with a Spanish lesson on the way to grandma’s.)
I love food delivery. I think everything should be delivered. And on those days when I’m working late at the office, glued to my computer screen, I keep reminding myself that someone out there — somewhere — you need to start a cocktail delivery service!
And if not cocktails, why not beauty at your doorstep?
You’ve all heard of Minx™ nails by now, haven’t you? It’s the super chic molten metal look for your fingernails, sported by all the trendiest stars. Essentially what it is is a solid film with an adhesive back that is heat activated. The result is a stand-out, “wow” manicure.
And now Manicures R Mobile™ brings it to your home or office. No more waiting, no more lines. Manicures R Mobile™ brings the luxury, professionalism and pampering of a spa straight to you.
And they don’t do just nails (though it’s worth mentioning that they use polishes that are non-toxic and free from DBP, formaldehyde and tuolene). Indulge in a massage, a makeover, waxing, spray tanning, even wig styling! The treatments are performed by a team of renowned celebrity nail, makeup, hair and body artists who work on and off the red carpet for socialites, stay-at-home moms and working professionals. Manicures R Mobile™ does party packages, too (it is bachelorette party season …).
So for one very, very lucky Audrey reader, we are going to hook you up with a Minx™ manicure and pedicure from Manicures R Mobile™. The only catch? You have to be in the Los Angeles area to win. (Sorry East Coasters!) Manicures R Mobile™ are solely L.A.-based for now, but I have a feeling it’s a trend that catching on (think taco trucks).
So get commenting below! You have until Wednesday, June 23, 11:59 pm to enter!
It’s no secret I love traveling. But I have to admit, sometimes rather than traveling, you just want a vacation — you know, the kind involving lots of lounging around, colorful sunset-hued drinks, a tropical melody wafting in the background interrupted only by the rhythmic lapping of waves on creamy golden sand …
Now, I know what you may be thinking. Oahu? We’ve done Oahu! Besides, Waikiki is too touristy.
Ah, but you’ve never done Oahu Ko Olina-style. That’s because Ko Olina is located on the leeward, or west, side of the island, the complete opposite side of Waikiki. And not only is Ko Olina about an hour away from Waikiki, it feels like a world away when you’re there.
Now if you’re worried that you’ll be far away from the food, drink and fun at Waikiki — don’t. Ko Olina is 642 acres of varied attractions and amenities (the same size as Waikiki, but with one-third the density). On one end you have the JW Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa. Rooms are extra big here and my room had two lanais. Saltwater pools span the property, complete with a resident stingray and a few baby hammerhead sharks. (They release the sharks into the ocean once they’re full grown.)
The Ihilani is also known for their award-winning Ihilani Spa. Try the Deluxe Thalasso Therapy, which incorporates light, color, water jets and Hawaiian seawater for a particularly luxurious experience, or the traditional Hawaiian Lomi Lomi massage.
At the other end, Hawaii’s only luxury marina. (They’re shooting the newest installment of the Pirates of the Carribbean movies nearby and you can see the Black Pearl pirate ship they built for the film.) Housing 344 wet slips with watercraft ranging from 30-footers to 240-foot luxury yachts, the Ko Olina Marina accommodates an international clientele from British to Japanese to mainland American. Sign up for all manner of water sports at the Marina Shop — everything from helicopter tours to deep sea fishing to swimming with dolphins.
And esconced in between is the luxurious Ko Olina Beach Villas Resort, complete with Roy Yamaguchi-designed gourmet kitchens and special touches like the floating lily pad lounge chaises in the pool. With two to three bedrooms going for half a mill and up, you can expect a lot of amenities like pocketed sliding glass doors that open fully to the lanai and lei-making classes with a former Miss Hawaii. (You can also rent out villas; rack rates start at $695/night.)
If your taste runs a little more family-friendly, there’s always the tropical water park-like Marriott’s Ko Olina Beach Club timeshares, with a relatively hopping bar area, a pitch black water tube slide, and plenty of kids running around. And coming in 2011 is Aulani, Disney’s first resort outside of its theme parks.
Of course, there are plenty of restaurants, from the island’s only other Roy’s at the 18-hole championship Ko Olina Golf Club to the Ihilani’s culinary adventure that is Azul to the more casual live-music venue Kolohe’s at the Marriott Beach Club. There’s even the Ko Olina Station with Mexican fast food, ice cream and other retail outlets And don’t worry about getting around. All the lagoons and different properties are connected via a very pleasant oceanfront path, so getting from hotel to lagoon to restaurant is not a problem. If you have to get to places more inland, like the Golf Club or the Station, just hop on the old-fashioned red trolley that circles the resort. It comes around every half hour.
But by far my favorite part of Ko Olina is the natural lagoon nestled against Lanikuhonua, the private estate of the Campbell Estate Family Trust (James Campbell settled in Hawaii in the 1800s). The lagoon served as the original inspiration for the four other man-made lagoons of Ko Olina. Indeed, it’s what people think Old Hawaii would look like, says Mike Nelson, executive vice president of the resort.
And it is heavenly. Go early in the day, when the tide is low and the waves less boisterous. Hop from boulder to boulder, scouring the glass-like tide pools along the way for curious black jumping crabs or yellow and black striped fish. Take in the stunning view of the Waianae mountain range. Relax in the shade on one of the flatter boulders, the soothing melody of traditional Hawaiian songs drifting from Lanikuhonua (Auntie Nettie teaches folk music there to locals on occasion), the thunder of crashing waves safely set back 100 feet or so by the intimidating boulder wall. Most likely, you’ll be the only human being on the rocks.
If you’re lucky, you may be able to get a glimpse of the private grounds of Lanikuhonua. Auntie Nettie is the official caretaker of the land and is a “kahu,” or spiritual advisor, a title she inherited from her mother, the original kahu. (She goes to every groundbreaking at Ko Olina, including the most recent one for the Aulani, the first Disney resort outside of its theme parks.) Lost shot many a scene on the sacred property, which is dedicated to preserving, displaying and promoting the cultural traditions of Hawaii. Legends and history abound on the grounds, as evidenced by the smattering of sacred boulders and rocks carried in from other parts of the island.
One thing you have to do before you leave is take advantage of Ko Olina’s location on the leeward side of the island. Unlike Waikiki, this side of the island gets one helluva sunset every evening.
You can enjoy it from your hotel lanai, but the best way to enjoy it is via catamaran (sign up at the Marina Shop.) Enjoy appetizers and an all-you-can-drink bar (their specialty is the Cata-tonic), and then kick back on deck as you sail to what seems like the end of the earth, chasing the sun as it lazes lower and lower, leaving an ever-changing kaleidoscope of light and color in the clear backdrop of sky.
Photos by Anna M. Park.
Celebs love her. She calls her design aesthetic “Twisted Vintage.” And one thing you can count on, Joy Han knows how to please her customer.
Take her “Versailles” blouson dress — a flowing drape of 100 percent silk, brightened with a vintage-inspired oo-la-la print. The slits in the sleeve add a hint of sexiness, the peony pink and gold show off your tan, and the blouson silhouette with skinny, stretchy skirt flatter any body type.
There was a time when hanging a camera around your neck — especially if you were of Asian descent — screamed “Japanese tourist.” Thankfully, those days are gone. Like nerdy glasses, high waists and computer smarts, what was once considered the domain of the nerd is now considered trés chic.
So join the nerd resurgence. Hang a camera around your neck, but let it be KidViskous’s SLR mirror camera necklace made of silver mirror Lucite.
The LA Film Fest is this weekend, and we’ve got five pairs of movie ticket vouchers, which includes lounge day passes for you and your guest, to give away to Audrey readers!
Yes, I know, they’re screening The Twilight Saga: Eclipse at the festival. But there’s plenty of Asian love at this film festival, too, so if you’re around, check it out. Some highlights include:
On May 12, 2008 at 14:28, the Great Sichuan Earthquake rocked China, claiming the lives of more than 68,000 people. Ten days later, filmmaker Du Haibin was there, camera in hand. The result is a film that won the Best Documentary Award at the 2009 Venice International Film Festival. Du not only covers the immediate aftermath, but also the government response and the fate of the survivors seven months later. Going beyond the whitewashed official visits portrayed in mainstream media, 1428 gives the audience a raw look at the reality of today’s Beichuan, the town most severely hit, where Lunar New Year’s is celebrated with a never-ending parade of tourists buying DVDs of the most horrific scenes, souvenir albums of corpses being pulled out of the ruins, and photo taking.
What’s interesting about this story of unrequited love is that it’s the directorial debut of Korean film critic-turned-auteur Jung Sung-il. The storyline is simple enough: A heartsick music teacher, recently dumped by his married lover, finds himself drawn to a young woman living in her own romantic purgatory. What makes Jung’s subversively funny Café Noir a fascinating, ambitious piece of art are all the references to Goethe, Dostoyevsky, leftist politics, Bollywood, Christianity and, of course, the last decade of Korean cinema.
Isao Yukisada’s stylish and subversive drama follows four twenty-somethings in a small Tokyo apartment. The motley crew don’t really know much about each other, but they tolerate each other as they go through the daily pressures or work, love and play. But strange things are going on, including a serial killer on the loose, as the film’s sitcom feel turns sinister. Yukisada is expected to attend the screening.
Woman on Fire Looks for Water
Korean director Woo Ming Jin captures the meditative rhythms of life in a small Malaysian fishing village, as he follows father and son and their respective heartache. Ah Fei is in love with Lily, but he can’t capture her heart selling frogs from the river. Meanwhile, Ah Fei’s equally heartsick father, worried that death is near, sets off to a neighboring village to pursue a long lost love.
Called a cross between “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure and The Fugitive,” Yoshihiro Nakamura’s serio-comic thriller follows easygoing Aoyagi as he tries to clear his name when he is framed for the Prime Minister’s assassination. The film’s already a major hit in its native Japan.
Based on a real life case, Liu Jie’s film puts a spotlight on China’s past. A by-the-book judge invokes an almost-obsolete law and sentences a car thief to death. The thief attempts to make amends, offering to donate his kidney to a powerful businessman if it will mitigate his sentence.
The Wolf Knife (World Premiere)
Japanese American Laurel Nakadate’s stunning, low-budget feature follows two teenage girls on a road trip, but instead of the journey, it’s the girls’ conflicted relationship that is the focus of this stylish film.
Where Are You Taking Me? (North American Premiere)
Japanese filmmaker Kimi Takesue reveals the many faces and facets of Uganda, from a high society wedding to a center for former child soldiers. Takesue is expected to attend the screening.
The Wheeler Boys
Filipino American auteur Philip G. Flores’ directorial debut, The Wheeler Boys, captures small town life as a young boy struggles to accept some disturbing revelations about the older brother he idolizes.
So just comment below by tomorrow, June 15 at 11 am, and we’ll pick five lucky winners! Good luck!
I find that there’s an inverse relationship between the temperature outside and how long it takes to get ready in the morning. The warmer the weather gets, the quicker I’m out the door in the morning. I let my hair’s natural wave come out, eschewing time-consuming blow outs. My outfits are much less complicated, with a bright print substituting for the layered intricacies of a cold weather look. And if ever there was a time to feel less self-conscious about freckles showing, now is it.
That’s when a tinted moisturizer is perfect. One easy step to even out skin tone and moisturize. Lavere Natural Anti-Aging Hydro Bronzer has a nice yellow-based tint, and is not a “bronzer” in the traditional sense. I found the color to be light enough to blend with my pale skin, while giving it the sheerest boost and a nice “blurring” of discoloration and unevenness. All the while, organic fruit acids eat away dulling dead skin cells, and hyaluronic acid, organic aloe vera and jojoba oil moisturize and work to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles. Skin is soft and plumped without being greasy.
In our Summer issue, out now, we highlighted the cut-out, slasher trend hot in fashion right now. The peek-a-boo look was all over the spring runways, and even continued for fall.
Here, some extras on-trend pieces available now.
Thai designer Disaya Sorakraikitikul’s cult line Disaya offers plenty of slits and slices in its spring/summer collection. I love the pleated panel skirt on this dress, its repetitious geometry echoed in the sheer panel by the neckline.
May Kosaka models her pieces for her line Mothe after the sensuous lines of flora and nocturnal creatures. This one criss-crosses the shoulders and neckline, like fingers gently resting on shoulders. I love the splash of neon yellow in the belt.
The Tart slashed strap top gives you a similar effect but with a sharper, more graphic take, like the shard-like panels on Shu Pei at Herve Leger’s fall/winter show.
For a more distressed, deconstructed look, try something that looks like Edward Scissorhands had his way with you, whether in Cynthia Rowley’s snipped up dress or a shredded sleeve sweater designed by Smitten‘s Jerry Chen.
Even if you’re not feeling the slash and burn look, you can get the look with optic stripes like on this knit tunic by Qi.
If there’s one thing Death by Drone is not, it’s boring.
A white cotton sateen dress. A tiny print. A classic silhouette.
But look closer. A pilgrim stuck headlong in a pile of strawberries. A baby in her christening gown looks on. What does it all mean?
Take your best guess. Stir up conversation. Ponder. Ruminate.
Or just give ‘em your best cryptic smile, slowly turn and saunter away. With its surprise dipped back, they’ll never know you have no idea either. Sometimes it’s just better to leave things unsaid.