cait +tiff


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C / Malibu on a Wednesday

becca beach

I had never been to Malibu before last Wednesday. My impressions of the place have, up to this point, been footage from Point Break, transitional scenes from The Hills, and that new Miley Cyrus song that I can’t figure out if I like. In my head, it is fancy, expensive, and full of plastic people. Turns out, all of that is true, but there is more.

As a pre-birthday celebration (I really dragged it out this year) my lovely and amazing friend, Becca, offered to take me to Malibu for the day. Due to my current status of semi-employment, a weekday field trip worked out nicely.

Becca picked me up at 7:30am from Echo Park and we got to Malibu around 9am. It turns out LA is really big and there is traffic, surprised nobody ever talks about it.

The Hike

We went to an area called Solstice Canyon, and the hike itself took about 2 hours and about 3.5 miles. There are a few trails in that particular canyon, and we took the one called something like sunset trail, sky view trail, eagle view something, ocean mist, eastern block… I don’t know the name of the trail. There are signs, you’ll be ok. The trail is gorgeous, with amazing views of the mountains, the ocean, and the wildflowers that are currently blowing everyone’s mind. Also fun, we only saw five people and two dogs the whole time we were there.

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The Food

Neptune’s Net! This place goes immediately into my LA hall of fame. I love it here, I love it so much I could marry it. It’s a seafood spot with few other options, and there are two counters to go to, one for the fresh stuff, and one for the perfectly fried baskets of sea creature heaven. Because we are smart, hungry women, we ordered a pound of steamed peel and eat shrimp, 1/2 dozen oysters, a clam chowder, and the combo basket with clam strips, calamari, fried shrimp, and fries. Thirty minutes and 4 buckets of cocktail sauce later, we made our way back to the road.

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*Note: That is an oyster shell full of melted butter, salt, lemon juice, and leftover oyster/sea water. I know it doesn’t photograph well, and I don’t care, its the most delicious thing in the world and I was dipping fries in it by the end of lunch because I am a goddamn adult and I can. 

The Beach

I am under strict orders not to tell you what beach we went to, because it was quiet and peaceful and a little bit secret, and I am not sure how much that happens around those parts. But, if you want to go to Malibu and take me with you, I will totally tell you. We walked past a number of my future homes and a flock of seagulls. Sadly, not the band. (If it were the band, this whole post would be about that.)

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The Drinks

Because we are grown ups and it was a Wednesday, we decided that 2pm was the right time for beers. Becca knows everything, so we went to Paradise Cove, a throwback spot that reminded me of the set from Saved by the Bell, when they ALL went to work at Malibu Sands Beach Club. You know where Zach has a thing with Stacy Carosi? The club owners daughter? Oh Zach, you are so basic, and SO lucky that Leah Remini (who played Stacy Carosi) gave you the time of day. Realizing now, that I know too much about this. Anyway, we had a few Modelos on the beach, watched a come college girls taking selfies get knocked over by waves (very satisfying), sent a few questionable text messages, and earned my first successful California sunburn.

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The Plants

Know what is better than being a little tipsy at 3pm and buying a whole lotta plants for your tiny apartment? I don’t. Cosentino’s is a wholesale nursery right off the highway in Malibu. The place in enormous, and they have a billion gorgeous succulents and plants that are ready for their close up. This slightly over-eager customer MAY HAVE purchased 30 of them, all of which are still sitting on the kitchen table.

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The Ice Cream

Grom, in Malibu Country Market square, is fancy and delicious. I highly recommend the seasonal cherry and dark chocolate combo, and there are chairs outside to watch a 19-year-old in a fur jacket vest, trying to steal from a dry cleaner and get CAUGHT. This is obviously something that happened, and provided quite a bit of entertainment while enjoying out gelato and pretending to talk about other things.

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The entire purpose of this post is to get Tiff to come back to LA. If it worked on anyone else, that’s nice too.

Fin.

caitsig


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T / nitt witt ridge

Photo Credit: Tiffany Tsang

Each time someone asked me what my favourite thing on the Pacific Coast Highway was, I only had one answer. Nitt Witt Ridge.

Now remember.  I’m the kind of person who likes things that are more than a little off the beaten track.  Big weirdo, remember?  I also have a thing for created worlds.  People who live within their own minds, standards and stories, little soldiers carefully arranged gigantess Barbies (another fave is Marwencol).  You might know them as the crazy guy/lady who lives down the block and has ten thousand cats.  I might want you to tell me all about it and then ask you to introduce me to them.   

Which leads me to the subject of this piece.  Also known as the poor man’s Hearst Castle.  Created by a guy nicknamed Der Tinkerpaw who often opted not to bathe.  And canned or jarred everything he would eat.  Oh right, he was also the town of Cambria’s trash man.  So there. Now you have the 411.  But you have to see the place for yourself to understand why the state of California named it a Historical Landmark.

Arthur Harold Beal created Nitt Witt Ridge before ‘reclaimed’ was even a thing.  Every single structure, item, thing in the house was collected. From the trash, from the ocean, from the side of the road, for over fifty years starting from the Depression Era and well into the 1980s before Beal was carted away to assisted living when he was well into his 90s.   Of course, he escaped more than a few times to make it back to his kingdom of trash.  And in 2017, the place is as he left it. 

Naturally, I had to take photos.  The enormous property boasts glimpses into this peculiar mind.  It’s still standing, protected in its landmark status and cared for by eccentric, but less so, Michael and Stacy.  Parts of it ramble, and it remains a private property (see above), so tour guides are necessary.  The place is clearly in its winter, far from the golden era when ol’ Tinkerpaw would allegedly bring ladies in for private tours.  But you can get an idea of its grandeur and the sense that it would never ever be a completed project.

So if you’re chugging up the Pacific Coast Highway, you should stop here at precisely the moment that a tour is about to start.  It’s a piece of history, and a glimpse into an eccentric mind if that’s what you’re after.  And his throne too.


All photos by Tiffany Tsang.  Please request permission for use. Cait+Tiff are not liable for a sudden desire to reclaim everything you find on the side of the road.


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C / art helps

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Look who’s blogging again. I took a break because I really needed it, and now I’m back.

For a while there, I couldn’t think of anything real to say. This is technically a design/fashion/storytelling blog, and the only thing coming from my brain the last few weeks was a string of expletives and blank stares. It’s hard for me to talk about fashion and design thingies when I am worried about the absurd and hateful things happening in my country.

I went to The Broad museum this morning to look at art and get inspired. I also really wanted to take a photo in the Infinity room I had heard so much about. I showed up a few minutes late, got in the wrong line, and my outfit wasn’t cool enough. The cattle herders outside took pity on my confused face and let me in anyway.

When you go into the Broad, it feels like you are going into a giant, square, alien brain that happens to be full of Jeff Koons bubble art and some pretty dark cartoons. The long escalator ride up into the main exhibition hall added all the drama I wanted and I landed at the foot of what looked like giant candy dipped in liquid glitter. (Clearly an art critic here.)

As I walked around more, I saw a gold and white statue of Michael Jackson with a monkey, a few Warhols, some badass sculptures, and a photo of Batman from 1955 which I am pretty sure proves he is real. I also saw revolution in the art. I saw a lot of pain, struggles with oppression, silencing, slavery, racism, and a big ass collage of white dudes in hats that scared the bejesus out of me. Most of the art in the museum is older than I am, but the themes still ring true, and in a way, seeing these pieces made me feel better. Not better in the “everything is ok” way, but like when you would get in trouble but all of your friends did too. I don’t know if that makes sense, but it’s how I feel.

This is a little bit of what I saw, with my own reactions an no proper citations.

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Puppiessssss!

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It’s so true, for all of us, but mostly you. 

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Misleading rainbow vibes on fatalist prose. 

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Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, Jeff Sessions

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Ugh, I know. 

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The caption next to this says something like “the bird is angry because it’s plaster.” Yeah man, I would be angry too if you gave me plaster snacks. 

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In my head, this woman was one of Elvis’s girlfriends back in the day. I also want her hair. The Warhol is cool too. 

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Most original photo in the history of the world that I really love. Wish I wore something cooler. 

Art made me feel alright today, and it made me want to write again, which I haven’t wanted to do for a while. See art if you can, and if you can’t go see it, make it. Then make your friends look at it and pretend they get it.

caitsig

 


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C / California Cozy

It has been a long, long time since I have felt chilly. Not air-conditioning on the couch chilly, but brisk-outside, wearing flannel and drinking tea chilly. Today, in sunny LA, it is overcast, 68F (20C, for Tiff) and this coffee shop is playing throwback Joni Mitchell.  I get that 68F isn’t exactly the end of days, but for someone who has been pining for sweater weather for the last five years, I am enjoying the hell out of it.

Naturally, this moment of coziness has led me to internet dive into sweaters, scarves, and jackets that I will live in for the next few months, even when it’s inappropriate. The thing is, I don’t exactly have a “closet” to put sweaters in, or an “apartment” to live in, so until I have a permanent place to put myself, these are all dream cozy pieces.

Because I care about not destroying the world with my choices (#VOTE), I am looking at eco-friendly, sustainably-made options.

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Nau Clothing, Randy Goat Hoodie

 

 

 

stella

Stella McCartney, Fur Free Fur Cardigan

study-suit

Study NY, Aprés Ski Suit

dress

People Tree, Block Dress

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Patagonia, Fleece

Enjoy the coziness, even if it’s virtual.

caitsig


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C / the endgame

gojoannago

Hello from a very comfortable couch in Brooklyn! I am here for a week, trying to get cool people to hang out with me, and eating everything I can reach. It’s going well so far and I am sure my jeans are just tighter because of the weather.

I love this city, and I know everyone loves New York because it’s the best, but I love it more. Being here takes me back to all the moments in Cambodia when I wished, with my whole body, to be here. Being on the subway and chatting with the deli guys makes me feel like myself. Deciding to walk instead of taking the train because it’s nice outside, makes me feel like myself. Bagels make me feel like myself.

I spent the last 48 hours doing some of my favorite things.

-Was at the bottom of a puppy pile

-Had pizza with a view of the whole city

-Saw my biggest lady crush, Garance Doré and smiled like a madman

-Giggled my way through fancy drinks and seriously delicious BBQ

-Had a few more drinks

-Ate oysters on a damn sailboat

-Was stalked by Heidi Klum walking around The Whitney

-Got to celebrate one of my favorite people, Joanna, for her birthday

-Talked for hours with a friend who has known me since the sixth grade.

I will happily move to LA in a few weeks, and I can’t wait to be there. I am ready to go hiking, eat every taco, and sleep with the windows open. I don’t know how long I will be there, or what will happen in the next few years, but New York is my endgame, it always has been. caitsig


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C / a good plan

“If you want God to laugh, tell him about your plans.” Woody Allen said that, and though Mr. Allen himself makes me feel kind of gross, I like that quote.

My life has been a continuous string of changed plans. I have had the next big great idea, big move, big job, or big plan roughly 148 times. Each plan was an attempt to find the thing I loved doing, the place I wanted to be, the person I wanted to be, or fall in love with my life. I have succeeded, in varying degrees, with each new plan. Sometimes, my great new plan just straight up failed, and the new thing that was supposed to fit was restrictive and uncomfortable. Of course I am better for these things, I have learned from all of my, “adventures” let’s call them, and I have a better idea of what I want to do and be.

Of course, now I am grown up, I’m 33 years old and I have laser-focus on my life and what I want. Mmmhmm.

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I’m out of Cambodia in less that two weeks. It’s been just a few minutes under five years here, and it’s time for something else. Specifically somewhere else, where I sweat less and can dive into my now-professional love of fashion. My new master plan is a life in LA, a job with a very cool handbag company, taco eating, and dog shopping.

Plans change, I know that better than anyone else, but I have a good feeling about this one. This plan I made for me, which is somewhat new to my decision-making process, and I am feeling very pleased with myself.

Come visit, I have to do all the touristy stuff at some point, and I would rather blame it on you. caitsig


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C / last call

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I have been putting this post off for a while because I barely feel ready to say it out loud, let alone put it in writing on the internet, but I guess I have to. I am leaving Phnom Penh, in about a month.

Phnom Penh has been home for almost five years, and the thought of moving is pretty exciting, but in the way you might feel if a monkey tied bungee cords around your feet, slapped you on the ass, and told you to jump.

I will be making my way to the states for a while, New York first, and then the scenic route to Los Angeles. I don’t have all my plans set, I am semi-sure on job things, don’t have a place to live, very nervous, and ready enough. I guess. Maybe.

This isn’t a goodbye, I am here for a bit longer, so don’t get all sad yet. Get all sad when I actually leave, and make a big show of it. The blog will go on, Tiff and I will be fine, and our field trips will only be more exciting. Besides, I already have plans to be back in a few months. But if you are in PP and want anything made, let me know this week, because no new orders after August 12.

Jeez, that’s the coldest way ever to end this post. Push those feelings down, push them all the way down like your viking ancestors. (I’m talking to myself.)

I love you guys. Let’s all hang out a lot.

Photo Creditcaitsig

ps- If you want to know anything about the move, please ask me. I know it can be a little much for Tiff and my partner to field those weird life-trajectory questions, and I am super happy to do so. x


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C / Pants vs. Bruh

IMG_2644.jpgA few weeks ago, I went to the Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. I was with one of my best friends, Megs, and she was giving me the cool-kid LA tour, in effort to convince me to move there. It might be working.

(Writer’s note: it’s 5am and I have been up since 3:30 and I just finished watching the last episode of OINTB, and I am all full of feelings and potentially too much coffee.)

I remember when the Ace opened in Portland, just after I graduated from college. It was cool and dark and moody and they served the coffee that I used to get for my dad for Christmas, the now hipster-staple, Stumptown. The Ace empire now stretches from Seattle to Panama City and across the pond to London, where I might finally be able to afford a drink, thanks to Brexit. #thanksbrexit #jkyouareawful

In any case, I was worried that the LA Ace was going to be full of heavily-curated, overly-hip outfits and side eye, but I was wrong. (Mostly.) The people there were super nice, and at one point in the evening the DJ stepped out from behind the table to dance with his three year old daughter and the collective cold heart of the city melted. It was surprisingly chill and welcoming, the drinks were solid, and the pretentiousness that I expected was no where to be seen. But that’s because it was at the pool.

After I reached my grown-woman, two drink limit, I went to use the ladies. To get there, you have to walk through the pool area. I was glad I was wearing my new jeans, these sweet culotte things, because they weren’t going to drag on the wet pool deck, and they make my butt look fantastic. As I was walking back to the bar area, I heard a voice from about three feet away:

Bruh, sitting next to the pool, watching models that won’t talk to him: “What’s with girls wearing those stupid ass jeans now. I see them everywhere, ugh.”

At first I didn’t think he was talking about me, because 1. he was a 40 year old man wearing a flat-brimmed baseball hat at night, and 2. because I was THREE FEET AWAY, and who says that kind of thing, especially within earshot? My first reaction was to say nothing, but then I didn’t.

Me, whipping around in my magic butt jeans: “I can hear you.”

Bruh, with a dumb look on his face: “What? Oh, yeah, no, um, it’s just they aren’t really my thing.”

Me, double pointing at my pants: “These pants are awesome.” Then I walked away,

It was a little violating, and a little awesome at the same time. Obviously violating in that some non-contributing zero decided that he could talk shit about a random stranger, pretty much to her face, and clearly expected her to take it. Awesome, because I didn’t. I would have, in most of my life, and decided that the confrontation wasn’t worth it. I would have walked away with a bunch of snarky things that I didn’t say, swirling in my head.

So yay for me for yelling at a dummy, getting mad and saying stuff, and eff the patriarchy.

caitsig

I hope all that made sense, I need more coffee.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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C / NYC BRB

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Hi hi hi. I’m in New York and I’m super busy and super hungry today. This week has been amazing, and it feels like LA and NYC are in competition, specifically for my benefit, to be the coolest. I have to go eat thirty bagels now, and will write more later, but for the best article ever written on the differences between New York and LA, read this.

Photo via Eater

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C / Samantha Bee

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Being back in the US always takes a minute to get used to, and with the attack in Orlando a few days ago, the bizarre complexity of this place is even more intense. Like a lot of people, I am sort of done with the “prayers for whoever just got shot” stuff. I feel like I am at the point where I can’t say anything profound or helpful regarding what happened, but Samantha Bee can.

This amazing chick has stepped up since she finally got her own show. Thank you, TBS, for that. Her comedy is smart, feminist, incisive, and funny as hell. I feel like she has somehow crawled into my mess of a brain and picked out all the important stuff and made it into a really funny show. She is able to make anger coherent when most of us (me) get so frustrated by all of this that all we (I) can manage are sputtering sentence fragments and a very red face.

Strong, important language below.

“Love does not win, unless we start loving each other enough to fix our fucking problems.”

caitsig

Photo credit TBS