Vacation Dispatch: Bangkok’s Best Kept Indie Shopping Secret (Air-Con Included!)

Artist ColorS Bangkok Art and Culture CentreWow, it’s been awhile, huh? I figured I should start this puppy up again and not stress myself out about it so much. So going forward, I’m just going to write about interesting things that I think are worthwhile to share. So I’ll start with a serious nugget of shopping information that the hubs and I stumbled upon while we were vacationing in Southeast Asia in May.

This was probably one of the best vacations EVER. Our itinerary: Bangkok — Siem Reap, Cambodia (which I need to write about later because I miss it so much!) — Phnom Penh, Cambodia — Koh Samui, Thailand — Bangkok again — Hong Kong.

On our last stop into Bangkok, we tried to partake in last minute gift (and for-myself) shopping and it was an utter fail for most of the day. We attempted the tourist-heavy, cheap tchotchke-filled MBK, but it was overwhelming and not what we’re interested in, so we pretty much gave up. But we weren’t about to forgo air-conditioning (and we resigned to take in some culture), so we walked along a thankfully-covered skywalk right into the Guggenheim-esque Bangkok Art and Culture Centre. We entered and both exclaimed at the same time, “OH MY GOD, I SEE STORES.”

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Kelly Bensimon: Better Late Than Never

Viewers of Real  Housewives of New York City all know that Kelly Bensimon is often and proudly “tardy for the party” (yeah, so I watch multiple installments of Housewives). So it was no surprise that Kelly excitedly tweeted the above piece of, um, “news” out last night. Um, Kellz, we’ve all known about the Target x Missoni collab since MAY.

Surprise Resemblances: JWOWW and Nina Dobrev

A refreshed JWOWW on left and Nina Dobrev of the Vampire Diaries on the right

Speaking of high brow TV (eh hem), I also took this weekend to catch up on the season premiere of the Jersey Shore and the Teen Choice Awards on Sunday night. I actually took the Jersey Shore off my DVR last season because I was totally over the Ronnie-Sammi dramz, but this whole Florence-setting has sucked me back in.

Anyway. So as people grow fame-wise, they tend to shrink frame-wise and, wow, JWOWW. Seriously, what happened? I hope she enjoyed some pasta carb-loading during her Firenze sojourn because she’s looking rather thin. But with the more chiseled face and mono-toned hair—it hit me the other day. JWOWW kind of looks like a bustier, more intimidating and less, shall we say, refined version of Nina Dobrev from the Vampire Diaries. See what I’m saying?

Shop New York City Like a Reality Television Star

THIS IS NOT IN MANHATTAN

As my DVR will tell you, I love me some reality television and love me some shopping even more (or possibly the other way around?), so I clearly it was time to bring them both together with a reality tv show-based shopping map of New York City for Racked. Oh and remember on Real Housewives of New York City this season when Countess LuAnn brought her daughter Victoria to that really skankorama looking party dress shop to find a sweet sixteen dress? And you were probably like, gawd, where on earth is that awful store? It’s actually in NEW JERSEY.

Click here for the map of fifteen stores in full glory.

Gossip Girl: Real Estate Indicator?

Alison Humphrey must have gotten a jump on that Hudson real estate.

The Metropolitan section of the Sunday New York Times explores this phenomenon called the “Brooklynization of the Hudson Valley” (or as Gothamist more alarmingly/amusingly puts it, “Brooklyn Hipster Virus Spreads to Hudson Valley”). Basically, all the artsy-hipster folks either who can’t afford the city/want more rustic open-space/aim to explore their art, blah blah. are decamping for the quieter back-roads of the historic region of the state. Can’t blame them, really. It’s is beautiful up there, plus there are tons of wineries (go with the whites and ices) and the Dia: Beacon.

But my point here isn’t to make fun of hipsters or the Times. Remember in Season One of Gossip Girl—in 2007 (like FOUR years ago)—when Brooklyn-dwelling Dan and Jenny Humphey’s arty-vintage shopping mom/estranged wife to Rufus was living in Hudson? That Josh Schwartz. Finger—right on the pulse.

Idina Menzel Returning to Glee

While Gleeks are still reeling over news of the impending departure of Lea Michele (Rachel), Cory Monteith (Finn) and Golden Globe winner Chris Colfer (Kurt)—the heart of the show, really—the latest news is that Idina Menzel (Shelby Corcoran) will be returning for a a few episodes in season three. Last we saw of Shelby, she left things unresolved with biological daughter Rachel and took off for show choir retirement after adopting Quinn and Puck’s just-born daughter, Beth.

Since the nefariously hilarious Cheyenne Jackson (Dustin Goolsby) is heading up nemesis team Vocal Adrenaline, we’re wondering just how Shelby will return to Lima after her brief sabbatical. We’re hoping for more killer Broadway duets with Rachel—nothing like a dramatic show tune to work through any mother-daughter issues—and a heated sing-off with Goolsby. We wonder if they aged little Beth soap opera-style to kindergarten status. Speaking of the offspring of McKinley High’s resident bad boy, with the exit of soon-to-be seniors, where does that leave Puck? Not that we mind an extra year of Noah Puckerman and his tight t-shirts and one-liners, but did his stint in juvie result in a year of supersenior-itis?

Getting My Brit-TV Fix Tonight: Zen

With Luther and Downton Abbey in the off-season, I am jonesing for some British tee-vee. So thank goodness Masterpiece Mystery (yeah, yeah, along with Real Housewives and Pretty Little Liars, I love me some snooty Sunday night PBS) is premiering Zen, one of those high-brow BBC-produced detective shows. Granted, the series is about a Venetian detective named Aurelio Zen and is set in Rome—like how Kenneth Branagh’s Wallander is cast with all British actors complete with their British accents, but we’re supposed to accept that they’re Swedes in Sweden. Whatever—disbelief, you are suspended.

The lead actor Rufus Sewell is a respected English actor (for some reason, I get him confused with Charlize Theron’s ex, Stuart Townsend, who is actually Irish, but again, whatever.) and I maybe recognize him from a canceled show Eleventh Hour, or most likely I just know his name because I’m such an Anglophile. Anyway, the New York Times gave it a very literate and positive review and Entertainment Weekly put it on their “Must List“, but I would have watched it regardless. Don’t be calling me at 9pm tonight. I’ll be busy.