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Showing posts with label USA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label USA. Show all posts

Saturday, 20 July 2019

Hello Kitty Grand Cafe

Hello Kitty Cafe Entrance Irvine Centre California.

Location: Irvine, California, USA
Address:  360 Spectrum Center Drive
Date: June 2019
Website: www.sanrio.com

  Hello Kitty was created by company Sanrio in 1974 and since then she has appeared on everything from pencil cases to electric guitars.  Hello Kitty products generate billions of dollars every year.  People just can't get enough of that cute little kitty with no mouth.  That includes us.  When we heard that California had a Hello Kitty Cafe where we could also have tea, we made our reservation right away.

Inside the Hello Kitty Cafe Irvine Center California.

  The Hello Kitty Cafe is located in the Irvine Spectrum Center.  The Irvine Spectrum Center is located about 1 to 3 hours drive (Welcome to LA!) south of Los Angeles.  Once you arrive you can load up on Hello Kitty shaped cookies, cakes, macarons and more.

Picture of Desserts at Hello Kitty Grand Cafe

  The cafe is decorated with drawings of desserts that feature Hello Kitty.  Some of them were available and very similar to what was pictured.  Anyone can purchase items from the cafe but you need a reservation to have tea in the Bow Room.  There are only about six tables in the Bow Room so book ahead.

The Bow Room At Hello Kitty Grand Cafe

  The Bow Room is located through a door at the back of the cafe.  If you have a reservation you are welcomed into this room, while everyone else looks up from their Hello Kitty cookies to try and sneak a peak.  It is called the Bow Room after the little pink bow Hello Kitty always has in her hair.  Sorry Pochacco but this is not the Bow Wow room.  Only Hello Kitty is featured, none of her large group of Sanrio friends.

Hello Kitty Tea Place Setting.

  We were seated at our table for two.  We had place settings of gold cutlery, pink tinted glasses and a Kitty shaped plate.  We each had pink sugar shaped like Hello Kitty herself.  How sweet.

Hello Kitty Bow Room Tea Pots.
 Hello Kitty Tea Cup.

  The tea cups and tea pots all had a gold Hello Kitty on them and of course a bow.  It was too cute.

Hello Kitty Coconut Cream

  We started our meal off with a fruit salad topped with coconut cream.  It had a Hello Kitty face inside a heart on top.

Tea Service At The Hello Kitty Grand Cafe.

  Hello Kitty's backstory claims here real name is Kitty White and she comes from England.  For this reason we hoped she knew a thing or two about high tea service.  She did not disappoint.  We enjoyed everything.  We were served 3 tiers of scones, quiches, sandwiches and desserts.

Hello Kitty Square Cake At Hello Kitty Grand Cafe.

  We devoured everything in between sips of tea.  One of the last desserts we ate was a square cake with a frosted Hello Kitty on top.  Sorry Kitty but looking cute will not stop us from eating you.  Same goes for you Hello Kitty shaped sugar.  Into the tea cup you go.

Hello Kitty Bow Room Irvine California.

  The Bow Room serves cocktails in the evening.  But it also looked like you could have your tea around the Hello Kitty silhouette bar.  We enjoyed the Bow Room and our visit immersed in Hello Kitty.  As we left the cafe we passed a Hello Kiity near the entrance.  Goodbye Kitty.......for now.

Hello Kitty At the Hello Kitty Grand Cafe.

Map of Our World
Hello Kitty Grand Cafe

Post # 257

Sunday, 30 June 2019

Unconditional Surrender

Unconditional Surrender statue San Diego

Location: San Diego, California, USA
Address: 
Date: June 2019
Website: en.wikipedia.org

  As you walk past the USS Midway Museum in San Diego and head into Tuna Harbor Park you come across a couple locked in an embrace.  This is a sculpture by artist Seward Johnson and is based on a photograph taken in Times Square at the end of World War II.  It is called Embracing Peace.

USS Midway MuseumUSS MIdway Museum Plane

  San Diego is a huge naval town and the USS Midway is an aircraft carrier with fighter jets parked on top.

Ready To Serve.

  Behind Embracing Peace out in the harbour are active naval ships that are ready for action as needed.

Kiss A Little Longer

  The 25 foot tall couple doesn't notice as passerby snap photos.  They reminded us of the couples in an old commercial for Big Red chewing gum.

Embracing Peace

  The original artwork was in Sarasota, Florida and then moved to San Diego.  The artist then made several versions of the statue available.   The original was foam filled and stayed in San Diego until 2012.  It was originally called Unconditional Surrender.

Bronze is Made To Last

    About a year later a bronze replacement arrived in San Diego.  This is the strongest version offered by the artist.  As the couple continues to stand in the habour, that is one strong kiss as well.

Embracing Peace.

Map of Our World
Unconditional Surrender

Post # 255

Saturday, 30 March 2019

Big City Nights (Da Funk)

Big City Nights Bus Stop

Location: New York, New York, USA
Address: 139 2nd Ave #1
Date: January 2019
Website:  daftpunk.com

  Daft Punk caught the world's attention with their single Da Funk back in 1996.  It was a purely instrumental song with a driving beat and funky synthesizers.  The music video directed by Spike Jonze brought even more attention.  The video was a short film called Big City Nights. In the video, Da Funk played in the background behind the dialogue.

Orpheum Theatre where Stomp has played since 1994.

  We were watching the music video for Da Funk and after the dog missed his bus (more on the video's plot later) we noticed something.   Down the street we could see a sign for the musical percussion peformance group STOMP.  In New York, STOMP has been performing at the Orpheum Theatre since 1994.  They are still going strong after more than 10,000 performances.

Deutsches Dispensary

  We did some research and found that a large part of the music video was filmed in New York's East Village on 2nd Avenue near the Ottendorfer Library.  The building was built in 1883 and one part is the library and another part is the Deutsches Dispensary (pictured above).  The building does not make an appearance in the video but its bus stop does as do some of the surrounding buildings.

  The video follows Charles the dog as he hobbles through the street on crutches.  All the while his boom box with a broken volume knob is blasting Da Funk.  Charles is not a real dog but an actor in a costume.  Daft Punk also like to hide behind costumes and usually appear in public dressed as robots.  Charles tries to take a survey, buys a two dollar book called Big City Nights and eventually runs into an old neighbour.

East Village Meat Market

  Charles the dog runs into Beatrice inside a variety store and they walk out into the street.  Beatrice invites Charles to "come with" for dinner downtown.  Charles agrees.  They wait for a bus outside of the East Village Meat Market.  The gold door on the left looks about the same but the white door (pictured above) used to also be gold back in the 90s. 

East Village Ukranian Restaurant

  We know this is the right place as across the road is a restaurant.  You can see the words Ukranian Restaurant reflected in the window behind Charles.

A Bus Travels Along 2nd Ave. Just Like In Daft Punk's Da Funk Video.

  A bus pulls up and Beatrice gets on.  Charles wants to follow her but sees a sign stating "No Radios. No Smoking. No Spitting".  Now he must choose between his music and a girl.   The bus closes its doors and drives away.  Charles hobbles down the street alone.

Map of Our World
Post # 246

Sunday, 10 February 2019

Year of The Pig

Chinese Zodiac Pig Sign
  1. Hawaiian Pigs
  2. Babirusa
  3. CNE Pigs
  4. Miss Piggy
  5. Miss Piggy
  6. Red River Hog
  7. Tamworth Pigs
  8. Pig Pot at the ROM
  9. Pigman at the Campbell House
  10. Warthogs
  People born in the Year of the Pig are said to be thoughtful, polite, reliable, courageous and ready to help others.  They can also be naive, and self-indulgent.  2019 is the Year of the Pig according to the Chinese zodiac.  To celebrate here are 10 of our favourite swine encounters. Oink Oink.

1 ) Hawaiian Pigs
Mini Pigs At Dan's Green House in Maui

Dan's Green House is located in the town of Lahaina, on the island of Maui, in Hawaii.  They have exotic plants and rare birds as well as mini pigs.  We got a chance to spend some time with these two little guys.  Aren't they just the cutest?

2)  Babirusa
Babirusa with a keeper at the Toronto Zoo.

Speaking of cute, we are sorry but babirusa are just the opposite.  They have long legs, weird curvy tusks and look like all of their hair just fell out.  They are only found on a few islands in Indonesia and are unforgettable.  We saw this pair at the Toronto Zoo.

3)  CNE Pigs
Pig feeding her litter at Canadian National Exhibition.

When the Canadian National Exhibition comes to Toronto at the end of each summer so does "The Farm".  You can experience the sights and smells of livestock.  There are always lots of pigs and usually one big sow who spends her day constantly feeding her litter of piglets.

4)  Miss Piggy
Miss Piggy in Wedding Gown at Museum of The Moving Image.

In Queens, New York the Museum of the Moving Image has a Jim Henson Exhibition.  Miss Piggy is one of our favourite Muppets and favourite pigs.  Here she is in her wedding gown ready for her big day.

5)  Miss Piggy
Miss Piggy Plane crash site in Churchill Manitoba.

This Miss Piggy is a crashed freight plane.  It can be found in Churchill, Manitoba still sitting where it crashed in 1979.  Miss Piggy the Muppet made her debut in 1974.  We have read that the plane is named after Miss Piggy because it was overloaded or it once carried a cargo of pigs.

Front of Miss Piggy Plane in Churchill Manitoba.

 We think it should be called Miss Piggy because of its flat snout.

Miss Piggy plane engine in Churchill Manitoba.

  By the way Miss Piggy, your engine is way over here.  Also watch out for polar bears hiding amongst the rocks and wreckage.

6)  Red River Hog
Red River Hog At The Toronto Zoo.

The red river hog is a colourful African pig.  We like its whiskers and red coat.  It turns out that we have a fondness for animals with red coloured fur.

7)  Tamworth Pigs
Tamworth Pigs At Riverdale Farm.

Based on our previously professed love of red furred anuimals you can see why we like Tamworth pigs.  They are one of the oldest breeds of pigs.  You can also see the curly little tail in the photo above that makes pigs even more appealing.  These pigs are from Toronto's Riverdale Farm.


8)  Pig Pot at the ROM
Pig Shaped Pot At The Royal Ontario Museum

This pig shaped vessel was at the Royal Ontario Museum.  We imagine it could be filled with some sort of liquid which could then be poured out of the spout in the snout.  We didn't make note of what was listed as its intended purpose and often the museum uncovers artifacts whose purpose is only assumed.

9 ) Pigman at the Campbell House
Campbell House Museum.

We took this photo of the Campbell House Museum in Toronto.  The Campbell House was built in 1822 and was actually moved to where it sits today.  Looking at our photo later we noticed something odd.

Man Dressed Like A Pig At The Campbell House in Toronto

There was a well dressed pig man on the grounds.  We hope he was there for an event or promotion at the museum. 

10 ) Warthogs
Warthogs At A Waterhole In Greater Kruger Park.

We took a trip to Africa and encountered many wild warthogs.  We watched them come and go at a waterhole in Greater Kruger in South Africa.  We also watched them mow the lawn in Zimbabwe beside the mighty Zambezi River.

A Warthog Kneels On The Grass At A'Zambezi Lodge.

Because warthogs have such short necks they usually have to kneel down on their front legs to eat grass.  In the video below, various African animals eat beside a waterhole until the warthogs come and take over.


New Year Celebrations At Scarborough Town Centre.

  That is our list of favourite pigs.  We took part in some celebrations at the Scarborough Town Centre for the Chinese New Year.  You can celebrate and enjoy pigs all year long.


Map of Our World
Post # 241