Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Crepes Gone Wild

It's an easy leap:  take a basic concept and go crazy with it.  Why not crepes?  Here's a place at the Pavilion Mall in Kuala Lumpur (Will we ever run out of things from those KL malls for our blog?  We think not.)  Sure, offer some basic choices with fruit, maybe a selection of decadent dessert styles.  And then leap off the cliff, shove any combo known to man on the thing.  Otherwise you'd just be another crepe place.

The innocent sign.  Rows upon rows of offerings.

Hot dog and ham.  What's there to say?

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Picturing Petronas

The Petronas towers are a real tourist attraction.  Between their prime location, the unique skybridge and dominant presence they project, the towers attract a lot of attention.  Hey, they look pretty cool, too.

Looking up at the front side of the towers.  Malaysian flags hang everywhere.  Prime picture taking location.  How people think they're getting a decent image of the towers in the background is beyond me.

Big, powerful buildings require big, powerful sculpture.  Look closely and see James in the pic.  Petronas is oil so sponsoring a Formula 1 car is a snuggly marketing marriage.

The towers, with their refined ornamentation, lend themselves to abstraction.  For those people with long memories of James' early photography work, presenting a corner.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Japanese Country Store

Forget pickles, salami sticks and sno-balls, the Japanese really know how to snack.  A place called Country's Tid-Bits And Candies Cottage in one of Kuala Lumpur's giant malls was overflowing with inviting items.  Too bad we couldn't identify most of them.  A few curious highlights:

If Golden Monkey likes, we like.  Some sort of tootsie rolls?  It's doubtful they're that plain.

It seems like a child's dream:  A toy you can eat or food you can play with.  Hurray marketing!  A little taste similar to our home, Maryland -- crab crackers.

Hurray marketing again!  How does a minor Belgian cafe side dish become a dominant American fast food product and then get turned into a Japanese snack/package good?  Finally, the best item.  Here's some sort of traditional candy, made on the streets, in the alleys of Japan.  Somehow the image of a poor, old, broken down candy peddler brings back warm and fuzzy feelings for the candy.  Perhaps Oscar Mayer should try plastering a beat up New York hot dog cart on its grocery packages?

Sunday, 28 August 2011

A Trip To KL's Islamic Museum

HTemp:  35c
Rain:       0.3cm
`-$:         46.15

We're sorry for the brief lapse in posting, but there was this hurricane and...well, we can't blame Irene here in India.  Our problem was a bit more mundane, experiencing lousy internet access in a hotel in Bangalore, where we just spent the weekend.  Anywho...

Kuala Lumpur has a small jewel of a museum devoted to Islamic arts.  Containing outstanding examples of decorative arts including textiles, pottery, metal work and jewelry, the museum really shines in showing how talented and inspired craftsman across the Islamic world were.

One of the galleries had about 20 fantastic models of various triumphs of Islamic architecture - mainly mosques. That's Mecca's great mosque on the left and Sarah standing next to a model of the Taj Mahal on the right.  But you knew all that.

Who stuck his big mug in the frame and messed up the symmetry of the beautiful dome?  Checking for lens flair?  On the right, where savvy designers from Crate & Barrel crib their ideas?  Wouldn't you?

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Ace of iCakes

HTemp:  34c
Rain:       0.8cm
`-$:         46.04

The cupcake craze has reached Asia, too.  But in Kuala Lumpur, they've added a dose of high tech.  Amidst the sweet treats at a cupcake kiosk in Kuala Lumpur's Suria KLCC Mall that included cakes featuring frosting flowers, fish and seahorses, were advertisements for iPhone and iPad cakes.  Talk time, eat time, it's all the same now...

First we had to try a regular cupcake:

Then we pondered the edible Apple offerings...

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Welcome To Kuala Shopur, Mallasia

HTemp:  34c
Rain:       9.1cm
`-$:         45.92

With high temperatures, humidity and a side order of monsoon, it's only (un)natural for Kuala Lumpur to sprout shopping malls.  But did they need a redwood forest of them?

Check out these main atriums of a couple of mega-malls.  Six action-packed levels of consuming with a dog and pony show thrown in the middle.  Look at the throngs!  It's embarrassing -- we went to the mall on the left three times in one day.  Which is probably less than the average. 

Wait, wait, it's so frankin' exciting!  Sarah's found a store!  Paul F and his monkey merchandise, a whole temple to the stuff.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

(Angry) Birds Flocking

HTemp:  35c
Rain:       2.8cm
`-$:         45.63

Cheap, cheap, Angry Birds ... are everywhere.

Released in 2009, the addictive game has sold millions of copies and spawned a cult of comedic one-liners, fashion, products.  It seemed like every one of them was on display at the outdoor market in Kuala Lumpur's Chinatown.  Copyright infringement be damned.  Check these future trashcan cloggers out.

Get yer collectible key chains, tote bags....

...backpacks and plush baubles for the car rear view mirror.

Nothing says "I Love You" more than an Angry Birds bouquet.  Finally, a slogan we can get behind!

Monday, 22 August 2011

KL's Green Space In The Golden Triangle

HTemp:  34c
Rain:       0.0cm
`-$:         45.67

Kuala Lumpur's Golden Triangle area is a modern neighborhood of shopping and entertainment that surrounds a nicely manicured, feature-packed park.  It seems to be part of KL's master plan, in contrast to India, where growth is more organic.

A downtown luxury hotel eye view of the park.  At sunrise, the humidity is almost low enough for a comfortable stroll.

Sarah in front one of the well-groomed sections of flora and the snazzy convention center.  Does another Asian country have lots of sweepers?  You bet!

There's a nice fountain (in front of a giant mall, of course).  But why are those photographers looking away from the nice scenery?  Oh, yea... those towers again.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Textiles For Dummies

HTemp:  33c
Rain:       4.8cm
`-$:         45.66

Kuala Lumpur has a lovely new textile museum, full of informative exhibits and beautiful fabric.  Malaysia, similar to other tropical countries, takes full advantage of translating the riot of colors that exist in nature to textiles and designs.

One of the accidental joys of the museum was its use of mannequins.  We're used to seeing only the department store versions -- all distant and thin.  Not so here.

It's hard work cranking out batik or sorting bolts of fabric.  C'mon guys, look alive (oops, wrong thing to request).

Then there were several sets of mannequins together, as if walking the carpet at the Waldorf Astoria on the way to one of Truman Capote's theme parties.  They'd be the hit of the bash.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Noodle And A Show

HTemp:  33c
Rain:       8.1cm
`-$:         45.66

You wouldn't think someone making soba noodles would draw a curious crowd of Japanese onlookers.  But you'd be wrong.  Sometimes what we think of as a common skill is a lost art.  To be fair, the little soba show was set up in the storefront window of a restaurant -- in one of Kuala Lumpur's malls -- to keep waiting diners entertained. They were more than entertained, the people watched as if it had been a moon landing.  

Friday, 19 August 2011

Bright Mall, Big City

HTemp:  33c
Rain:       4.3cm
`-$:         45.74

It's to be expected that flash and sizzle rule the mall when trying to lure folks to a store.  Kuala Lumpur seems to have mastered the art of visual assault.  Fun!

Here's a sign for a shake place.  How could you not stop?  Dolls -- each one louder than the next.

Eyeballs -- why not?  It's good to see the US still exporting fine products (at least the ideas).  Be careful, it's the same penalty, just different wording for consumer-play gone bad.