Saturday, July 15, 2017

Seoul Olympic Park and Sculpture Garden

Dialogue, 1989, by Mohand Amara

Self-portrait by Frank Dornself

World Peace Gate

Friday, July 14, 2017

Hannam-Dong Seoul

Hannam-Dong is quickly becoming one of my favourite neighborhoods in Seoul with a huge concentration of independently run coffee shops and designer boutiques.

Visited Maison Marais showroom to pick up some goodies and pictures we shot together in Miami back in April. 

With the designer behind the scenes of new summer look book shoot

And later coffee at the newest place in the neighborhood - Low Coffee Hannam
한남동 683-5, Seoul, South Korea

Sunday, July 9, 2017

statement circles

Visited local designers' market in Gangnam last weekend and came across very special jewelry brands Goiu and A.NeujacAfter having a little chat with the designer, I found out that she had actually studied jewelry design in Tallinn, Estonia for some time. What a small world! 

The choice was really tough but I opted for a simple circle (single) earring from Goiu. Well, considering the size, it's actually far from simple and minimal... Despite the look, it's actually very lightweight (14K gold-plated brass) and easy to wear. 

Honestly, it is tempting to buy cheap and trendy costume jewelry in Seoul, because the selection is really good, but I am happy to rather invest in small local brands and handmade jewelry. 

Thursday, July 6, 2017

SEOUL: Whanki Museum

A museum devoted to Kim Whanki, a pioneering abstract artist of Korea in 20th century.

SEOUL: Mountain Corner

Sanmotoongi (literally "mountain corner") is a coffee shop nestled somewhere between Bugaksan and Inwangsan mountains offering excellent views to the both. Getting there was part of the fun. I took a bus to Buam-Dong neighborhood and continued walking through quiet hilly residential area (at some point I ended up in someone's backyard and cornfield ?) Was dripping sweat and hardly breathing when I finally arrived in the cafe. 

Sanmotoongi (산모퉁이)
 153, Baekseokdong-gil Jongno-gu Seoul 110-816 

 The cafe became extremely popular after appearing in Korean drama The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince, so be ready to pay 6-8€ for a coffee, but it is definitely worth the view (and the excruciating walk uphills)

Seoul Fortress Wall in the background and remainder of the war

As I decided to explore the area more, my afternoon stroll literally became a hike including trekking through the forest of Baeksasil Valley. Later it took me hours the find the way out back to the civilization (and any kind of public transportation). 

On of the small roads I found this temple where quiet music was playing and lanterns were blowing in the wind with mountainous landscape in the background. There was no people in sight and it all felt very surreal and magical. One of those pinch-yourself kind of moments...

Saturday, July 1, 2017

SEOUL FOOD: Sobok ice cream

Sobok ice cream cafe in Hongdae, Seoul is something I wanted to try out already last spring, but there were always crazy long lines outside the cafe. Now, this one rainy and windy afternoon I was the only crazy one who wanted ice cream so they had a plenty of free seating. 

Sobok signature ice cream is made of brown rice, topped with injeolmi balls (a kind of Korean rice cake made), pumpkin seeds, and jocheong (a traditional sweet rice syrup). It has a very special taste which is hard to describe..something between sweet and savory, ..a bit nutty.

Sobok Cafe
서울 마포구 어울마당로 58
58, Eoulmadang-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul (Sangsu Station)

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Namsangol Hanok Village


And I'm back in Seoul... for summer modeling camp or something. 
Last spring here I thought I have had enough of this place, but guess there was still something that brought me back. It would be naive to say that I've already seen everything in this 50 million people city, although at times it seems so... Excited to explore more and find new places, while surviving only thanks to sun hats and ice coffee.

Hanok Bukchon Village

Matcha cake at Cafe D'55 
55 Palpan-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea

Sunday, June 4, 2017

High Line

/wearing: Maison Marais shirt, Acne jeans, and always a cup of coffee/

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Pastel colored Miami Beach

Spent two quick days in Miami shooting a look book for Korean brand Maison Marais.  That was more than enough to get sunburnt and see all the pastel colored art deco buildings.

wearing: shirt - Maison Marais, jeans - Signature8

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Palm Springs and Desert

When my roommate asked me to go to Palm Springs last weekend, I had to look it up on the map first. Ok, it's a small desert resort city, 2 hours drive from L.A. What's there to do? - golf and spa, so not for me. Sounded like an adventure anyway and I went nevertheless. 

Going to Palm Springs for 3 nights seems like an utter nonsense - the flight from New York takes 6-7 hours. However, I will never forget the moment I was swimming in the hotel pool at night surrounded by desert, all alone, in complete silence looking up to starry night sky. So I guess it was worth it. Living in New York, you easily forget that complete silence and darkness even exist.  

Alex wearing Prada

wearing Alexander Wang 
ph. Alexandra Elizabeth Ljadov

Lumi Nordic skincare

 For my recent quick getaway to Palm Springs, California, I only packed two facial care items due to carry-on baggage restrictions. One of them was Avene's 50 SPF sunscreen (for obvious reasons) and the other AHA-BHA moisturizing cream from Estonian brand LUMI
A few months ago when I went back to Estonia for winter break, I discovered that LUMI had released a new product line Tundra, developed especially for acne-prone skin. For some reason, my skin always gets worse in New York...maybe there's something in the air or food in America, who knows, but either way I'm always struggling with breakouts here. After using Lumi products for a little while, my skin is probably the best it has been in the last 6 months. Definitely not perfect yet, but getting there. 

One mights say that absolutely everything is available in New York, but there are still some products which I prefer having made in Estonia, skincare being one them (the other one is bread, of course). Can't wait to go back home and restock.

When not traveling, I use the whole Tundra series including cleansing milk with willow bark extract and hemp oil, and yarrow mist with salicylic acid. The earthy smell might be uninviting at first, but it really grew on my after some time.. reminds me of home while living in a metropolis. 

Saturday, February 11, 2017

La Guarida, Havana

Allegedly the best "paladar" (privately-owned restaurant, as opposed to state-run) in Havana - La Guarida. Located on an ordinary run-down street in Central Havana, La Guarida goes almost unnoticed, but once you step in and go up the massive staircase, the majestic old colonial building will impress everyone. 
As the building itself and its high ceilings, rooftop, and balconies are just picturesque, it is not surprising that one of the Cuba's internationally acclaimed movie Fresa y chocolate (Strawberry and Chocolate, 1994) was shot in there, in addition to many fashion editorials. 

Friday, February 3, 2017

Havana Day One

The first night was all about getting used to the craziness and hectic pace of Havana, and tasting local mojitos and cigars. 

Hotel Sevilla Havana

The hotel was located very close to elegant Prado promenade that was perfect for people-(and car)watching. Although, all those exquisite 50's American cars are nice to look at, the pollution they create is incredible. At some streets it was actually hard to breathe and I had to cover my eyes from all the exhaust and dust. 

Exploring residential buildings in Central Havana, most of them didn't have windows or doors 

salsa night at Hotel Inglaterra

“My mojito in La Bodeguita, my daiquiri in La Floridita,” wrote Ernest Hemingway of his infamous drinking exploits in Havana.
 We stumbled upon La Bodeguita in Old Havana by chance so trying mojitos there was a must. Of course, as one may guess, it was very touristic and they were a bit stingy with rum, but the atmosphere and live music was great nevertheless. 

The street in front of La Bodeguita del Medio was excellent for meeting with locals and other tourists. Most locals take money from you for taking photos or for asking help, but this guy was just happy to chat and show his National Geographic cover shot he was very proud of.