Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Hide and Seek the Copper Mule

The story of the copper mule... (I love this)

Mr. Smirnoff vodka from russia was sitting at a bar in the us in the 1940's... Back then there was no vodka just caramel coloured whiskey and bourbon... The Americans had no clue how to drink this clear spirit called vodka... to drink it straight was just a bit weird... Then there was Mr. Ginger Beer, I'd like to think from Jamaica but he was probably Irish or something, which his drink, and no one knew what that spicy conconction was either or how to drink it. So the sister of the bar owner, who made copper mugs said "pour your white funny alco into my copper mug and u, your weird spicy beer into it too." So they mixed it up and sprinkled some lime - it was probably in the summer.... The little copper mug had a mule engraved on it....  Hence, the Mule . . .and the rest is history.

Their 1940's taste probably found the drink rather delicious.. As did their children and their children because we still drink the Mule to this day... Hyde and seek has Smirnoff copper mule mugs (which they guard dearly)... I'm engraving my name on one of those mugs and defo hiding it somewhere to seek on a bright sunny day.

Bye Bye Raindogs

Saying good bye to an institution is always hard . . .especially when the circumstances are rather tragic, in this case the death of its owner and bidding adieu seems premature . . . that is the case with Raindogs, that little derelict haunt with the best music in town underneath the expressway.  I think of TV on the Radio's Lovedogs when I think Raindogs for some reason.

Anyway, Raindogs stands alone, Raindogs showed art docs about Bacon and Koons, Raindogs hosted Zud Rangma's Paradise Bangkok . . . a treat since I went to my first one some time back with Piyatat and we have been to every single one thereafter, with the little souvenirs to show for it.

Thank you Raindogs for showing me that funk, raggae, luk tung, molam, hip hop can fuse into a harmonious whole . .  . for Paradise Bankok, the journey to the express way and also beer drinking on the terrace with the sound of toads providing the melody when we don't want to go inside and showing that there is more to Bangkok than what there seems to be.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Hyde and Seek . . . .

Hide and seek is a game about a search and the winner is the one who seeks and hopefully finds a gem. . . this is the case of this very bijoux little gastro pub, called Hyde and SEek in Bkk.  Hyde for the fact that is behind Bkk's version of Hyde Park and Seek for all the nooks and crannies, a the playful twist of dining, and it is a pub after all.

Without doubt the best drinks in town are brought by Flow and pub grub by Ian Chalermkittichai of Kittichai NY. The cozy interior fits around 40 and is conceptualised by BUG and the large terrace decked out by Bill Bensley.  It is particularly jovial around the bar where the bartenders wear bibs inspired by mechanics' overalls in old movie, the waitresses wear belted oversized shirt dresses and the boys, tapered trousers and hidden houndstooth trimmed shirts, all designed by yours truly (a little past time that I engage in since a few years back when I did Ian's restaurant in NY, Kittichai, Nobu Berkeley in London and a few others).

It is dark with a childlike charm to it - it reminds me of Laduree mixed Pastis with a touch of The Cow . . Dad said defo a posh pub and not the type he used to visit in his uni days in England.  

Other than for my own vanity - watching the staff is like watching my own mini fashion show... (though I am still tweaking bits) I would not frequent a spot so much that the waitress says "I have not seen you in ages" after 3 days if it was not rather nice. It's a clandestine little haunt me and my friends . There is a special drink there, created by Chanond, it's called the double black.... It fuels the night and in the last month I have enjoyed some of the best most entertaining moments... 

And the food? First time I went was for a tasting more than a month ago....  and now with the temporary menu done to perfection and the full monty being launched shortly... suffice to say, I have a few favourites.  These are the wagyu beef burger, the poached salmon, the english salad and to die for and must try pannacotta.

Pow and Wagyu burger

Paulie said we kept it in the fam (smirnoff black complete with faberge egg at the bar)... I suppose we did in a way...  The closest thing to a mom and pops in downtown bkk .... A thai english dandy, suave swedes, a celebrity thai chef from ny, BUG and me... A raggidy mix probably rather suitable for a little pub. 

Hyde and Seek is located at the Plaza Atheneee Residence on closer to the Ruamrudee side. . .see you there. :)

Monday, 22 February 2010

A High Society Closure

February 14th is the day of love . . .or so they say . . .it says a lot about our own personal love lives that a group of people should find themselves on a movie set on Valentine's day (and Chinese New Year) where instead of Tigers and fireworks or candlelit dinner, we went to a Christmas party, for the last day of filming for Aditya Assarat's High Society.  

P'Juke and Ananda

The director, Aditya Assarat (P'Juke) said to me that he wanted me to see the inner-workings of a film set, well, thank you to p'Juke and Ananda, I spent an afternoon and a night, thoroughly entertained and fascinated.  It is the inverse of fashion and all that I know, as on film, the life (life in the movie) comes to life . . . a paradox in terms no? 

My involvement here, as was Jolanda's, Louis', James', Potsy's etc etc were that we played Ananda's friends so in actual fact, played ourselves, and he played a movie star (himself) - he was hanging with his friends, all international kids back home in Bkk for the holidays.  Well, there is a very fine line of where art imitates life and life imitates art . . . it was blurred that night and I imagine in the film, where I imagine that line went backwards and forwards like a pendulum. . . 
Hardly, reality but if it looks on celluiloid like we were having fun, chances were that we actually were having fun.

Jolanda and I

High Society is a movie by Aditya starring Ananda about a "dek nok" a specific type of Thai who is Thai yet not due to his years abroad exists as an outsider yet an  insider, this is explored through his instant stardom as an actor upon his return from abroad and his relationships with his foreign girlfriend who comes to visit him and later his very Thai girlfriend . . .well, how much of that is actually reality? He has the freedom to leave it all - that I can relate to rather well.  Again, it begs the question of where does real-life start.  I was on a fate forest (feng-shui reasons) clearing mission that took me to Khao Yai - I was supposed to spend the weekend away but justified an early return as a film set is not reality . .yet the Christmas party did after midnight turn into a real party and the water shots turned to vodka . . .so I did drive home in the early morning of the 15th from a parallel universe after all. 

cigarettes, beer and vodka - product placement dream

Potsy and his doppelganger doll

MCOT (I have for the last 6 months ended my days of listless joy to consult the President of the organisation on intellectual property and special projects) will be supporting this movie, in a way in which the Thai film industry has yet to see and hopefully it will finally give a small industry with a lot of soul that has always sustained itself, the appreciation and support that it deserves.  

It is something to be proud of that our independent films go to Cannes and other festivals(our commercial ones save for a few do not), our artists are at the Guggenheim, and we are funded by foreign funds but it is a perhaps a tad bit shameful (or to be quite frank, completely and utterly embarrassing) that we do not have institutional support for this little diaspora of creatives.  This of course is a vast generalisation and I am fully aware that there are a few individuals, great individuals, who give support and patron, yet, these men are far and few between. . .just a thought.

Hey, we had fun though . . . can't wait to see the film.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

I heart Andre

Love love love the Andre/Drawings Exhibition @ Colette (one gets a good idea from the website) . . .bummed bummed bummed not to be in Paris . . .
(pic stolen from OLT's fb wall)

So cute yet chic, cheeky and whimsical in a way - a lovely little insight. . . also lovin the No 5 surfboard. 

Missing Andre, Cleo, Paris and Yao noi . . .

Friday, 12 February 2010

R.I.P. Alexander Mcqueen

A true legend, icon and pure genius. . . but-for Lee my love for fashion would not have been so great nor would I have been so inspired by it, he showed through his work, a world that was not just fashion anymore but something more.  From my first pair of Mcqueen bumster jeans to dresses and jackets over the years, and imagery and moods . . yet clothes that look and felt so good.

I will always remain a fan - thank you for the inspiration and your vision.  May you rest in peace Mr. Mcqueen.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Pork sticks

The best pork sticks in the entire universe, P'Ouan (or P'Chubby) has been on this corner since I can remember.  Juicy bbq pork sticks with or without chilli dip and sticky rice.

"pork sticks - 10 baht a stick"

We suspect he has a few Mercedes' at home as there is always a queue and it has been many years that he has been on this corner at Soi Convent across from Silom Soi 4 (apparently it is his second stop of the evening) there is now a HUGE 7-11 on that corner - HUGE. . .  P'Chubby's cars and house is speculation but it's basically to say his pork sticks are so delicious and he is so hard working that he must have made some $$$ from it some how - seeing as things are equated with monetary value these days.  Pork stick dreams and bkk.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Just Done It

Note (of Dudesweet) threw a party to help Haiti . . . at the party you buy a t-shirt in order to donate money . . . the entrance fee and beer money went to the Red Cross too.  They raised 50,000 not bad for a wednesday night out. . .Well done Note!

It was a really fun and I was with some of my favourite people, namingly my first mentor/guru Opas who I see once a year. . .  he taught me a lot of what I know and continues to do so. And Gene of course . . . what a happy night and for a cause.

Opas and I I-D moment
Oh, the music was also totally fantastic, if they put that kind of stuff on more often, I would go out more and actually dance.  We heart Tul for putting on the The Rapture, MJ, The Gossip etc. 

A few nights later Diplo dj'ed at 808 too . . .that was fun, my new t-shirt came along again, but unlike the DJ Premier set a few months back, I can't sit through an hour and a half of hard electro even if hip hop is waiting at the end.  

Nat and Wesley (aka Diplo)

Diplo or Wesley was a sweetheart and his manager, was his name Greg? Not sure but he looked a bit like Jesus . . .


Him and I (our pet :) )

So the place was rocking . . .I wonder when he will come back to Bkk again and next time for more than 10 hours. Thank you my darling Paulie for a pass. Tatler is letting me write an article about DJ's . . . so stayed tuned for that. :)

Monday, 1 February 2010

Northern Exposure

I finally made the long overdue trip to Chiangmai - our northern kingdom famous for art, culture and yummy food . . . it was a short little trip but well worth it and definitely varied.  A friend recently bought a house up there and had to deal with some domestic issues so I went along - stayed at the cutest little boutique hotel called At Niman - and indulged in a weekend of Chiangmai-ness, it felt like my first time, it has been a decade after all . . . 

It felt a bit like Florence especially being by the river with all those students and all that art.  Chiangmai the Florence of Thailand, that makes sense though, it's north after all.  

on the river, big fig tree

Awesome little jazz spot, hole in the wall . . .
The Northgate - a jazz co-op
the co-op's little pets
Ananda, P'Tuy and a Harley

I do wonder if there is a touch of fate in the fact that I bumped into my manucurist from years back who had moved there and well, she took care of my nails and then took me around on her scooter all day, shopping, tea at the Chedi then to join my friend Ananda (the owner of the house I refer to above) and his cousin at a wonderful antiques place called Crossroads.  
fairies shop
This is Art gallery
The Chedi and I
my favourite mask at Crossroads
our lovely host opens a bottle of pauillac from '99 - not so shabby

Maybe it is a sign, there is no coincidence after all, then again, there were plenty of Bangkokians up north this weekend, what with P'Tuy's Seed concert and Fat Festival and fine weather - a sign that beckons me to the north or perhaps it is just a mass exodus. 
Such a charming place - people are NICE and it was way too short thus a major incentive to go back. . .