Summer is coming to an end soon, which makes me sad, because that means I have to ship out back East where it’s cold, the people are unfriendly and not as down as CaliKids chyeaa … However, it’s not over yet, and I plan to make the most of it. And you should too.
In these platform wedge sandals by Plattoes. The tanned wedge curves smoothly up so that you won’t nearly fall on your face when you slip these on. Your feet will be greeted by a soft, almost velvet brown sole and will be safely but elegantly secure by a black-and-white-striped candy ribbon that’ll tie around your ankles.
That’s not all. What if I told you you could be saving money with this TGIFREE giveaway? Get this: Founder and CEO Rishi Bhati intended these shoes to last while being versatile. You have one sandal base, but you can interchange the ribbons that loop through the double rings, which help keep the ribbons in place. That combined with the many different tying methods, and bam! The possibilities are endless. Customizing your style down to your feet!
We have one Plattoes platform wedge sandal to give away to a lucky reader. The wedge is 3.5 inches high and a size 7.
Comment below, “Like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter no later than August 18, 11:59 pm. As always, you can retweet for an additional entry. (And you must have a U.S. mailing address to win!) Good luck!
Award-winning actress and playwright Anna Khaja will be premiering “Shaheed: The Dream and Death of Benazir Bhutto” at the New York City International Fringe Theater Festival, starting tonight.
With “Shaheed” (which means “martyr” in Arabic), Khaja creates a powerful portrayal of the life and tragic death of Benazir Bhutto, the controversial former prime minister of Pakistan who was assassinated only two months after her return from an eight-year exile. Khaja depicts eight different characters — from an American college student to Condoleezza Rice to a Pakistani street merchant and, finally, to Bhutto herself — who paint the complex picture of an enigmatic international leader.
Khaja, who was raised by her Pakistani father, said that “the lens through which I view Pakistan has, for the most part, been inevitably very American. Benazir’s assassination filled me with questions about the world, about Pakistan, about myself. ‘Shaheed’ was born out of my personal journey to answer these questions.”
Khaja’s insight into the inspiration for the play is fascinating:
“My father Waseem was one of millions who traveled across the war torn Indian border to find cultural and spiritual freedom in the new nation of Pakistan. Despite sixty years of despotic rule, this nascent country has continued the fight for democracy. At the forefront of the people’s struggle has been the enigma Benazir Bhutto.
“On the morning of her assassination, Bhutto was finishing her book dedicated to the compelling argument that Islam and democracy are inextricably linked. Hours later, before a crowd of thousands, she was dead, killed from a blast by a suicide bomber. Much of Pakistan was thrown into turmoil, its fragile dream in tatters.
“A tremendous paradox, Benazir was a practicing Muslim, a Harvard and Oxford elite, a ‘political mother’ to millions, the heir to a political dynasty, a corrupt megalomaniac, a warrior against terrorism, a dutiful wife to a back room thug, and in the end, perhaps, a true martyr. I find Bhutto to be a woman who is strong beyond our wildest imaginings and yet weak, egotistical and easily manipulated.
“As a Pakistani American, and as a woman, I struggle to reconcile my own notions of what these titles mean and how they could be embodied in single a person.”
Khaja’s “Shaheed” opened in Los Angeles earlier this spring and left audiences in awe. Critics praised this one-woman show, calling it “brilliant,” “riveting” and “insightful.” Backstage Magazine said: “In Khaja’s performance and in her insightful script, she masters the challenging solo-performance format to paint a riveting portrait of a leader who was both inspiring and flawed.”
“Shaheed” is produced in association with Off-Chance Productions and is directed by Heather De Michele and produced by Luis Reyes and Anna Khaja.
Friday, August 13 at 11 pm
Saturday, August 21 at 6:45 pm
Thursday, August 26 at 5:30 pm
Saturday, August 28 at 9 pm
Sunday, August 29 at 2 pm
Where: Venue #1, Dixon Place, 161A Chrystie Street, New York City, NY 10002
Photos by Maia Rosenfeld.
After making its way around the film festival circuit, Quentin Lee’s The People I’ve Slept With is finally coming to a theater near you. The film releases in New York tomorrow, Friday, August 13, at Clearview Chelsea Cinemas, and then in Los Angeles on August 27 at Laemmle Sunset Five Theaters, and finally in San Francisco at the VIZ CINEMAS on September 3.
The People I’ve Slept With is a sexy, romantic story about Angela (Karin Anna Cheung of Better Luck Tomorrow), a young woman with a very active and passionate sex life. After every sexual conquest she makes keepsake “baseball cards” of each of her male partners. One day, Angela finds out she is pregnant and together with her gay best friend and co-worker Gabriel (Wilson Cruz of He’s Just Not That Into You, My So-Called Life) goes on a comical and raunchy hunt through her past hook-ups and dates to find her “baby daddy.” As Angela examines her frisky past, the answers she has been looking for reveal themselves in surprising ways.
Also co-starring with Cheung and Cruz are Archie Kao (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation), Lynn Chen (Lakeview Terrace, Saving Face) and screen legend James Shigeta (Flower Drum Song, The Crimson Kimono).
The film has found strong support with sold out festival screenings including the Hawaii International Film Festival, San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival, and Outfest Fusion. It was also selected as the official Closing Night Presentation of the 2010 New York Asian American Film Festival this past July 21.
For more info, check out the website.
Haven’t seen a Bollywood film yet? Where have you been? A Bollywood film is this year’s Korean drama — it’s a must-see for anyone in the know.
Well, you’re in luck. My Name is Khan is out on DVD now. (Add it to your Netflix queue!)
And excellent timing, too — the film’s star, Shah Rukh Khan (otherwise known as the king of Bollywood) — is set to reveal the ultimate homage to mainstream pop culture fame: a wax figure at Madame Tussauds. (The premiere is today at Times Square in New York!)
So what are you waiting for? I mean, My Name is Khan only set a new all-time record for the biggest opening weekend for a Bollywood film in North America. Two of Bollywood’s biggest stars, Kahn and the stunningly gorgeous Kajol, star in it. And the film is not your typical Bollywood fare: Khan plays the endearing Rizwan, a uniquely gifted man who suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome, who moves to San Francisco after his devoted mother passes away to make a happy life for himself. He meets a vivacious single mother, Mandira (Kajol), and they form a unique bond and fall in love against all odds. But when fate threatens to separate them, Rizwan decides to embark on a journey across America to win back the love of his life.
The Los Angeles Times called the film “a potent, energetic heart-tugger,” while The New York Times described it as “an affecting fairy tale about the perils of goodness.” And the DVD has tons of special features too, like the changing face of Bollywood, behind-the-scenes featurettes, and, of course, loads of music.
Get the DVD here.
Jazz musician and composer Dana Leong will be bringing his unique “hip-hop meets avant-jazz sound” to the Golden State in a three-month long performance tour, starting tonight (August 11) through October 2. The Bay Area native kicks off his California tour with his headlining debut at Yoshi’s in Oakland.
Leong, a jazz cellist and trombonist, has played around the country with the likes of legendary avant-jazz saxophonist Henry Threadgill, Cuban jazz clarinetist and saxophonist Paquito D’Rivera, and drummer Dafnis Prieto. He has also worked with top artists such as Wynton Marsalis, Yoko Ono and Kanye West, to name a few. Critics agree that Leong has created a very unique, boundless signature sound by “revolutionizing” the cello with his cutting edge amplification, lyrical melodies and collage of jazz textures and improvisations.
Tonight, expect to see the Japanese-Chinese American leading his quartet Milk & Jade by Dana Leong (Hager ben Ari on bass, Yoni Halevy on drums, and iLLspoKinN on vocals) in full hip-hop regalia. They’ll continue with performances at the San Jose Jazz Festival (August 13), and then in Los Angeles at the Levitt Pavilion MacArthur Park (August 14) and the Asian American Music Festival (October 15).
In addition, Leong continues to score for visual/theater projects with the world premiere of Project Bandaloop’s “Id Ego,” his first commissioned work for a contemporary vertical dance company. A multi-movement, site-reactive piece for San Francisco-based Project Bandaloop, Leong literally takes his musical style to new heights — both the dancers and Leong will propel off and across the exterior walls of the venue. You’ve got to see it to believe it. Catch it at Segerstrom Hall at the Orange County Performing Arts Center, from September 30 to October 2.
For more information and tickets, click here.
July 17 wasn’t just any old day at Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, Calif. It was the largest Filipino gathering on the West Coast, otherwise known as Kababayan Fest.
Roughly translating to “countryman” or “fellow townsman,” “Kababayan” is more loosely used to demonstrate respect for a unity defined by a shared heritage, culture and ethnic background. And unify they did — an estimated 20,000 Filipino Americans gathered to celebrate that day.
In addition to the rides and good eats, there was plenty of Filipino culture and talented headliners. Dance crews We Are Heroes and Poreotix, America’s Best Dance Crew Season 4 and 5 winners respectively, were guest performers, as well as local talent Passion, AJ Rafael, and Kultura Philippine Folk Art. The event was hosted by Joey Guila and Giselle Tongi.
If you missed out on that Filipino gathering, then don’t miss out on another. Make the most of these last few days of summer by checking out Kayamanan Ng Lahi’s dance and music event, presented by Big!World!Fun!, this Saturday, August 14 at the Ford Amphitheatre in Hollywood, Calif.
Dance and music is alive in the deeply-rooted musical culture of the Philippine islands, and for the Philippine company, Kayamanan Ng Lahi, dance is all about family. Folk dances are passed down to the next generation like stories or heirlooms, and some of Kayamanan’s youngest members will be making their stage debuts at the family performance. The audience will be participating as well, as company members demonstrate Philippine martial art movements you can do in your seat. (Come early with the kids and make figure puppets and ribbon streamers for the show!)
Kayamanan, under the leadership of Joel Jacinto, Barbara Ele and Ave Jacinto, celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. Based on anthropological research, the company’s dance and music aims to stay true to its traditional Filipino roots, with an extensive dance repertoire, costumes and music ensembles.
When: August 14, 10 am
Where: Ford Amphitheatre, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood, CA 90068
Admission: Free for children, $5 for adults
Parking is $1 per vehicle
For tickets: 323-461-3673, www.FordTheatres.org
– with reporting by Han Cho
There’s something in the water. Maggie Q starring as the title character in the new fall series Nikita. Grace Park, who went from Boomer Valerii in Battlestar Galactica to Kono in the new Hawaii Five-O series. (Both Boomer and Kono were guys in the original series). And now Ellen Wong as the kick-ass ex-girlfriend in Universal Pictures’ newest film starring geek god Michael Cera, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.
Hollywood’s noticing this rise of girl power, too. Wong was recently on Entertainment Weekly‘s Women Who Can Kick Ass Panel at Comic-Con in San Diego, Calif. last month. The panel included Jena Malone (Sucker Punch), Anna Torv (Fringe), Elizabeth Mitchell (V), and Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgrim), and the hour-long discussion was moderated by Nicole Sperling. All the women agreed upon the importance of doing their own stunts even though Malone gives credit to stunt doubles. “You can’t fit seven years of mastery into three months of training,” she said. Wong echoed this sentiment and discovered that doing her own stunts “gives you so much power when you get to do a superhero movie, like running up a wall and flipping.” In fact, right before the convention, she went skydiving and “screamed and let it all out,” said Wong.
Based on Bryan Lee O’Malley’s graphic novel series Scott Pilgrim, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is about Scott Pilgrim (played by Michael Cera), a bass guitarist for the band Sex Bob-omb, who couldn’t be happier with his life until he meets the girl of his dreams, Ramona Flowers (played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead). In order to be with her, Pilgrim discovers that he must first defeat all of her seven evil exes, who are all trying to kill him.Staying true to the graphic novel series, the movie features text bubbles and other cartoon-style elements. Actions are punctuated with “POW” and “WHIP,” while some of the battle scenes are marked by Mario Life 1-Ups and coins that spill from the defeated enemy as it would in a video game.
There’s plenty of AA representation in the film, too. There’s Canadian actor, poet and playwright Jean Yoon, best know for her role as Betty Ong in The Path to 9/11, plays Knives Chau’s mother. And recent Yale grad Satya Bhabha plays Matthew Patel, one of Ramona’s evil exes Scott must defeat. Bhabha seems to be a superhero in real life, too, a recipient of the Louis Sudler Prize for Excellence in the Arts whose parents, an Indian/Parsi father and German Jewish mother, are “noted Harvard scholars.”
And of course, there’s Wong, who plays Knives Chau, Scott’s obsessed ex-girlfriend. And if the trailer for Scott Pilgrim is any indication, boy, can she pack a punch. Pow Pow.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World opens this Friday the 13th.
Photos courtesy of Universal Pictures.
Call me giddy or girly, but I freakin’ love underwear. It makes me so happy when I walk into Victoria’s Secret or a department store, and I can browse through layers and layers of pink cottons or gauzy teal lace and search for something that will make my butt look cute. Please don’t downplay the importance of cute underwear. It’s a woman’s fundamental necessity and absolutely essential to making her feel fabulous, if not sexy.
Unfortunately, there are those who cannot afford even this simple necessity, much less cute versions of it, due to difficult circumstances. However, thanks to Undershare, Inc., women and children escaping domestic abuse and the homeless can access clean undergarments and toiletries. For more than 15 years, Undershare has worked hard and succeeded in raising funds so that it can continue its work donating to affiliated shelters located in and around Los Angeles County, such as Violence Intervention Program and Downtown Women’s Center.
The mastermind behind this volunteer-based organization is Asian American Helen Huang. She began with one goal in mind: to provide new undergarments and toiletries to those in need. Since then, Undershare has grown into a reputable organization with a large network of volunteers.
This Saturday, August 14 , Undershare will be teaming up with the SuicideGirls to continue its efforts to get clean underwear and toiletries to those in need. The SuicideGirls are a community of punk-rock pinup models with an unorthodox approach to sexuality and beauty. (They’ve showcased their talents for PETA and SG Pinups for Soldiers.) At Undershare’s Ink n’ Undies benefit, the SG girls will be strutting their stuff in a fashion show with select pieces from several lingerie brands, including the Asian-helmed Seven ’til Midnight (STM), to help raise money.
The designers for STM are Chinese American sisters May and Vinh Luong. (They also design sleepwear line Spreegirl — we did a TGIF giveaway for one of their designs!) Based in Los Angeles, STM strives to offer women contemporary costumes and lingerie with colorful, on-trend designs and careful attention to detail and quality. It’s no surprise that the sisters know their stuff — STM is just one of three of their intimate apparel lines.
So what are you waiting for? Scantily clad models, a good cause, and gift bags? (VIP guests get an extra special VIP gift bag.) Not to mention a silent auction with really cool stuff, and of course a celebrity DJ will be spinning live music all night long. It’s a no brainer.
Ink n’ Undies is happening on Saturday, August 14, 2010 at Ecco Ultra Lounge located on 1640 North Cahuenga Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90028. For tickets click here, or for more info, go to Undershare’s official site.
For any of you who have gone through a life changing experience — something that rocked your world to the core, that turned everything you thought you knew about yourself completely upside down — Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love probably speaks to you. There’s a reason why it was on The New York Times best sellers list for 178 weeks and counting.
Now Sony Pictures is releasing their film adaptation of the book, starring Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem, this Friday, August 13.
In case you don’t know the storyline, Gilbert found herself lost after a contentious divorce and a bout with depression. So she embarked on a journey through Italy, India and Bali, eating, praying and eventually finding love — and healing — along the way.
Now Asian American designer Sue Wong has come out with a collection inspired by the movie, called Sue Wong for Eat Pray Love.
It’s a natural fit. Wong has always designed gowns and dresses with a multicultural, eclectic feel. “I feel that I have always had a foot in the door of both cultures and that the experience of growing up in two cultures has always given me a broader and more global perspective,” says Wong, whose myriad influences range from African wood cut prints to traditional Chinese floral motifs to vintage Hollywood glamour.
For the Eat Pray Love collection, Wong called upon her love of Indian style. “The textiles with gorgeous beadwork and embroidery are based on vintage Indian saris, and many hours were spent in the research and execution of these textiles,” she says. She also created Indian and Indonesian-inspired “dressy versions of the sarong looks that I already wear,” she says. Paired with dramatic ethnic jewelry, Wong says it’s become her signature look.
But it wasn’t just the similarity in aesthetics. Wong says that she personally identified with the book and the author’s experiences. “I am living my version of the Eat Pray Love saga,” she says. “I too have just emerged from a very difficult divorce and have my holistic retreat and spiritual sanctuary in the beautiful, remote jungles of East Maui. I am also embarking on a month-long odyssey to Europe and Morocco in order to hear my psyche, heart and spirit.”
Recently, Wong was honored by Asia Society Southern California at its 25th Anniversary Gala Dinner in Los Angeles. Among the honorees was Eric Nakamura, publisher of Giant Robot Magazine. California State Controller John Chiang moderated the discussion among the honorees.
To see more of Sue Wong for Eat Pray Love, click here. Available at Neiman Marcus.
I have always wondered how my life would be like had my parents never left their hometown of Libagon, Southern Leyte for the United States. Having spent the last two weeks here in this town (where it’d only take you 15-20 minutes to walk from one end to the other),I’ve gotten a taste of what that life would be.
The best word to describe the lifestyle of Libagon residents is simple. Students attend school from 8 am until 4 pm. During their lunch breaks they’ll either get snacks from the street vendors, play computer games at the Internet Café, or sing a couple songs on the karaoke machine at the seaside restaurant (designed to look like a nipa hut).
Libagon can be compared to the city of Las Vegas because it is a town that never sleeps. From sunrise until sunset the town is alive with people who always have something to do. If they aren’t working, parents will pass the time by visiting friends and relatives to make kwnetuhan (share stories and gossip). Fishermen will get on their boats to catch fish or squid to sell. Young boys climb up palm trees to gather coconuts for a refreshing snack.
Even though I am not completely worry-free and have my Audrey assignments (like these series of posts) to do, I cannot help but feel calm and relaxed in this town. Everyone is so friendly and quick to help others out. Everyone knows each other and if they don’t they do not hesitate to introduce themselves.
I may not have been born here or know every family and their history like my parents, but Libagon is a very special place to me and I do feel at home.
However, I know I won’t ever be able to relate to the impoverished life that most people in this town live. Both my father and mother’s families are fairly well off, but they have always managed to stay humble and know that the best way to really give thanks to God for their blessings is to help those who are less fortunate than them.
My brother has celebrated his 5th, 13th and (most recently) his 18th birthday in Libagon. I can recall on the day of my brother’s 5th birthday, my mom and aunts were running around decorating the area along the beachfront where we would be holding the celebration. My brother started to cry because he noticed there were no gifts for him to be found. He sobbed to my mother, “Mommy, where are my presents? It’s my birthday!”
My parents took my brother aside and explained to him that here in the Philippines many children are not as lucky as him. They don’t have closets full of clothes or bedrooms full of toys. Some children aren’t even able to go to school because their parents do not have enough money to pay for their education.
As with all of his birthdays that have been celebrated in Libagon, my family invited many children to the party so that they could enjoy the many delicious food we had prepared: lechon (roasted pig), pancit (noodles), fried chicken, and fish among other dishes. It may just be one day out of the whole year that they can enjoy this kind of feast, but you can see in their eyes how happy and appreciative they are.
Once all the children are fed my parents distribute “presents” we brought for them from the United States. This year they brought a box full of various types of shoes for boys and girls and another box filled with notebooks, pens, pencils, calculators and other school supplies.
Living in the U.S. it can be easy for me to get caught up in my daily routine of working and worrying over petty things like a friend not returning a call right away, but when I see the big smile on a little boy or girl’s face over something as simple as a pack of pencils, reality hits me. My so-called problems are nothing in comparison to what many people deal with day in and day out in the Philippines. At the age of 5, my brother may have cried because he wasn’t receiving a table full of presents, but we both now know (thanks to the example set by our parents) the importance of sharing one’s blessings.