Category Archives: Travel

Jiro Dreams of Sushi.

Of course, you always want what you don’t have, but I think I would have loved to have inherited a line of work from my parents and so I’m fascinated by family businesses. And I love sushi and have missed it an awful lot during the last nine months, so I really enjoyed Jiro Dreams of SushiYouTube Preview Image It’s the story of Jiro Ono, the 85-year-old proprietor of Sukiyibashi, a 3 Michelin star restaurant in a Tokyo subway station. I loved learning more about all the intricacies that go into making fine sushi, like did you know that octopus needs to be “washed” for hours in wooden barrels to make it tender?

Jiro has two sons who feature prominently in the documentary. The youngest now has his own sushi restaurant, while the plan is for Jiro’s eldest son, who is now in his mid-sixties, to one day succeed his father, obviously very late in his life. It doesn’t seem like life outside of sushi was ever a real possibility for either son, nor does it seem like it’s easy to follow in their father’s footsteps, seeing as he’s considered by many to be the finest living sushi maker in the world. Sadly, we don’t see or hear about any grandsons likely to continue the operation once he’s gone.

The film also explores the Japanese concept of Shokunin. The Japanese word shokunin is defined by both Japanese and Japanese-English dictionaries as ‘craftsman’ or ‘artisan,’ but such a literal description does not fully express the deeper meaning.  The Japanese apprentice is taught that shokunin means not only having technical skills, but also implies an attitude and social consciousness. … The shokunin has a social obligation to work his/her best for the general welfare of the people.  This obligation is both spiritual and material, in that no matter what it is, the shokunin’s responsibility is to fulfill the requirement.” – Tasio Odate

To Jiro, making a perfect piece of sushi is an honorable act that comes from a lifetime comitment. At one point he says, “Once you commit to a career, you must commit yourself fully–and work toward improving your skills for the rest of your life.” Would we all be so lucky to find such meaning in our daily work.

You can rent the film here.

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Carrying your camera in style.

I really love our DSLR camera, but I really hate carrying it around.

Our black nylon case just really doesn’t do it for me, so I end up throwing it into whatever bag I’m carrying, which really isn’t great for the camera.

The Claremont camera bag from Lo & Sons seems pretty nifty. It has room for your camera and a lens or flash, which would be perfect.

I also recently discovered a cool Hong Kong-based etsy shop !mo, which sells pretty straps to add a little personal style to your camera.

I think a nice leather strap would also be quite cool.

This one is from Motto and is personalized… a great gift.

This washi tape design is actually a cover for your existing strap, but I think it’s super smart that it has a pocket for your lens cover–very handy! From Loop De Loop.

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Flowers at work: FarmGirl flowers.

While I was working out of the SF Minted offices earlier this month, the Mr. nicely sent over these pretty flowers.

Male readers, please take note: There aren’t too many moves more brilliant than sending the lady flowers at work… although of course sending flowers is always genius.

Especially when they are really pretty flowers!! I wanted to share these with you because they’re from a new-to-me San Francisco florist: Farmgirl Flowers. And I was so impressed with how pretty and fresh they were, but also that there was no cellophane or giant box involved–I always feel so guilty carting all that trash away. Farmgirl smartly offers one daily arrangement to reduce waste and really, why not the florist pick the best flowers of the day and save you the awkward, um could you make it really pretty and use lots of purple discussion? The prices are very simple and reasonable, too. Small: $25, Med: $35, Large: $55. Add $10 for a vase.

They use all local flowers, which are delivered in recycled vases or used coffee sacks donated by Ritual Coffee Roasters (another of my SF faves). I love my burlap sack and even brought it back to HK with me… I know I’ll come up with something to do with it. Oh and they deliver by bike. Pretty cute. If you’re looking for an HK florist, I highly recommend Ellermann. They now even take deliveries online.

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Mother’s Day and London 2012 Games.

YouTube Preview Image

Maybe the preggers hormones are getting to me, but isn’t this an amazing piece of viral marketing? Very impressed with P&G. Also a good reminder to think of what to do for your Mom for Mother’s Day–it’s three weeks away. A big thank you to two of my favorite NYW’s (New York Wives) for sending it over!

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Yao Noi floating movie theatre.

Remember when I went to Thailand and went mountain climbing? Well right around the corner from Railei Beach, where I was staying, they just set up a floating movie theatre!

How cool is that? Tilda Swinton was one of the producers. Check out Film on the Rocks to learn more. Discovered on Black*Eiffel.

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