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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

You Can Have Your Moon Cake and Eat It Too

New York, September 22 – The Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋節) (a.k.a. Moon Festival or Lantern Festival) is one of the most widely celebrated holidays across Asia. It marks the end of summer and honors the immortal moon goddess named Chang'e (嫦娥). The day is usually celebrated with building paper lanterns and eating moon cake. I didn't build too many lanterns as a child, but I did partake in the consumption of some cake. It's perhaps the only time I actually eat the sweet pastry.

While shopping in Chinatown, I couldn't find our traditional brand of moon cake in any of the stores or bakeries. So, I tried a new brand of moon cake imported from Hong Kong. The packaging was very beautiful. Each cake was individually packaged in a small painted tin box within a case. The bottom of the case was lined with a golden silky cloth.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Farewell to Giant Robot New York with Goh Nakamura

Right to Left: Goh Nakamura and Gary Wang

New York, September 12 – Devoted Giant Robot fans braved the harsh rain to attend a farewell event at the Giant Robot New York store. The store is scheduled to close on September 23. The farewell event began with a signing by David Choe and ended with a set by Goh Nakamura.

I rushed over to the East Village to attend the double headliner event. The delayed subway trains and the heavy rain slowed my progress. So, I arrived pretty late. I walked into the small store front and encountered Goh’s acoustic guitar. Neither Dave nor Goh were present. I overheard people saying that they went to some barbecue joint down the block. I probably just missed them and decided to hang out.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Otakon 2010: 5 Pounds Per Second

Press Conference with the creative team behind Welcome to the Space Show. (Right to Left) Masashi Ishihama, Koji Masunari, and Tomonori Ochikoshi

Baltimore, August 1 – The centerpiece for Otakon 2010 was the US premiere of Welcome to the Space Show (宇宙ショーへようこそ). It was an original animated feature film by A-1 Pictures Inc. I attended the movie screening with a bunch of friends including bloggers, podcasters, and press. I will probably write a full review of the movie for the next issue of Giant Robot Magazine.

At the screening, I sat a couple of seat away from Gerald Rathkolb (Anime World Order). He had recently purchased five pounds of fudge. I was befuddled by his culinary decision. I don't know what possesses a man to buy so much fudge. Was he trying break some competitive eating record? He repeatedly insisted that he got a great deal.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Otakon 2010: Completing the Trifecta

Baltimore, August 1 – This summer I went for the trifecta. After attending both the New York Asian Film Festival and the San Diego Comic-con, I crisscrossed the country again to attend Otakon 2010. I must admit I was a little burned out by the continuous travel and media circus. I was content on letting the event just happen and following the crowd like a lemming.

The Barcode Lines

The Line for the AMV Contest.

Speaking of lemmings, the early registration line situation was strange. The convention began using a barcode system in order to streamline the registration process. The con organizers started with two seperate line: one for barcode registration and one for non-barcode registration.

Friday, September 3, 2010

You Can’t Stop the Paperdoll

Right to Left: Steve Paelet, Chip Thomas, and Teresa Lee Chaisiri

New York, July 17 – After recently winning the Grand Prize at Kollaboration New York, the Paperdoll band played at the Crash Mansion.

According to their website, the band was planning an extensive tour of Shanghai (which has just concluded). They were scheduled to play one last performance before going to China. I heard about it at the very last minute and hastily rushed over to the venue. I wanted to see them before they embark on their overseas journey.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Meeks! Meiko at the Living Room

New York, August 29 – On a steamy warm summer night, Meiko took the stage at the Living Room. The Los Angeles based indie rockstar was a rare sight in the Big Apple, but she managed to pack the audience with fans.

Armed only with an acoustic guitar, she entertained the New York crowd with a combination of melodic songs and funny side stories. Between each song, Meiko would talk to the audience and sometimes carry on fully conversations. Filled with sass, she entertained the crowd with personal stories about love, her music career, and money. Meiko spoke as much as she sang. It kind of reminded me of the VH1 Storytellers show.