The Bronx Zoo is one of my favorite places in New York City. And my nephew, Odin, is my favorite little dude. So…it only seemed natural I combine the two! Aspiring to be the Super Emo (aunt in Korean)…I gathered up a few of Odin’s friends (and their parents) for a very magical day at the zoo. From this stealth frogmouth that looked so much like a tree bark…to the majestic gorilla…to the most stunning snow leopard…we got to witness wildlife from afar as well as pet them up close!
Hmm…having 3 year-olds pet an alligator (it was just a baby, though!), kangaroo, emu, wallaby, etc…may sound crazy. But! With the amazing Bronx Zoo staff watching over us…there was zero danger…just a mesmerizing excursion that will hopefully imbue in these little ones to love, respect, and preserve our wildlife. Check out the picture gallery below…better yet…head to the Bronx Zoo for a spellbinding experience that’s tried and true! (Also visit the Central Park Zoo for these adorable penguin chicks…watch the video…it will make your day)
This Thanksgiving feels extra special because my mom is here for an entire month! Her name is Ok Ja…but to make it easier for everyone, she goes by OJ. My sister Grace and I nicknamed her “Slow-J” because she often has a hard time ditching the Michigan pace of walking when she’s in New York. But my Golly! She’s been fooling us the whole time…she may actually be the fastest 5′ tall woman. Watch her run away like a fugitive when I try to show her on-air (watch the 1st clip on left then the 2nd clip on the right for it to make chronological sense). Hilarious! Oh yeah…another “high light” in the clip….me scolding at a little kid for waving obnoxiously at the camera:) I got a lot of funny tweets regarding that (see below), plus, one viewer went as far as posting it on youtube. In all seriousness, though, it was great sharing all the South Street Seaport Tree Lighting festivities with mom. She may be pint-size, but she has the biggest heart…raising 3 daughters with lots of love.
Oh! If you get a chance…stop by the South Street Seaport this holiday season. It’s sooooo cute, charming, and neighborhood-like down there. I know there are a lot of tree lightings and such…but all the other ones feel so “touristy” compared to the historic area of South Street Seaport. The low-rise buildings, cobblestone streets, christmas market, German sausage and pretzel stands, etc….it’s all very quaint. Every weekend throughout December…they will have festive musical groups performing live! More info here.
Truly Julie with the “it” designer of the year Prabal Gurung.Prabal Gurung and Michelle Smith briefly ditched fashion design to play photography curators this month. Michelle is the designer behind the vibrant brand Milly. The two along with three other fashion greats — Diane von Furstenberg, Vera Wang and Zac Posen — sifted through the New York Times photography archives from the past 100 years and picked their favorite 50. Reprints of the photos are available for sale in three different sizes, framed or unframed, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Council of Fashion Designers of America, which fosters and cultivates emerging designers. Prabal is the CFDA winner this year! The Fifty Photographs exhibit is on display at Bloomingdale’s 59th Street until November 26…just head up to the Designer Collections on the 4th floor. My personal favorites include the NYC cabs and Flatiron Building (both from DVF’s picks) as well as the dancers (Vera Wang’s picks). If you’re stumped on holiday gifts…these photos would be easy as a…pun intended…snap! Check out the entire story including my interview with Prabal by clicking here. And on a sidebar…I wore this Prabal dress to an event…and it was a big hit!
After 28.5 seasons on the morning show “Live with Regis & Kelly/Kathie Lee” and more than 5 decades on TV…one of my role models Regis Philbin signed off for the last time this week. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…in my eyes…Regis can walk on water. The legendary host is the consummate entertainer, gentleman, and professional. He has more natural talent in his pinky nail than most people in their whole being. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Regis throughout the 3 years I’ve been presenting at The New York Post Liberty Medal Awards. Despite his busy schedule and enormous demand to host/attend everything under the God’s sun…this 80 years young Bronx native has hosted the Liberty Medal awards for its 10 years of existence. The ceremony was born soon after 9/11…to acknowledge every day heros in NYC. Regis holds the Guinness World Record for the “most amount of hours on camera” (16,000+ hours)…but to a selfish fan (me!)…those hours weren’t enough. For the countless laughs…abrupt raising of the voice (“I can’t control myself!”)….warm compassion…and Superman-like abilities to break through that TV screen…and really reach the viewer…I want to present this virtual hero award to Regis. Click here or the photo below to watch my clip on this year’s Liberty Medal Awards. Witness Regis’ grace when I try to upstage him during our photo.
As to what lies ahead for “Live”…I’m not worried. Kelly Ripa will rock on!
And please….read more about the everyday heros that make New York the greatest city! Click here for the 2011 New York Post Liberty Medal Award recipients, including Eugene Lang (Actor Stephen Lang’s dad!). He’s helped thousands of local students attend college. And click here to see the winners from the 2010 New York Post Liberty Medal Awards, including Barton Brooks. He founded the not-for-profit Global Colors...which has a hardcore, effective grassroots style of helping people in impoverished countries. From Regis to these everyday heros…the Liberty Medal Awards has given me the…LIBERTY…to be inspired….to not just be the exception but to strive to be exceptional. For that…I will always be so grateful.
When the mercury takes a dip, it’s time to dream about a destination! Opa! I had the absolute pleasure of visiting Greece this summer…a place I’ve wanted to go my whole life. I spent most of my time in Oia, which is the northwesternmost part of Santorini. From my grade school library to my dentist’s lobby…I’ve seen countless posters/pictures of those flawless blue domes and stark white buildings…and I always thought: “photoshop”. I’m happy to report that Oia really is that stunning. Every corner is a postcard. Whomever decided to coordinate all the buildings in architecture and color was an artistic genius. And really…the engineers who figured out how to build on a 90-degree incline on the side of a cliff deserve applause as well. I was blessed enough to stay at the very posh Katikies Hotel for a few nights…and stayed one night at the Santorini Princess. Both accommodations allowed me to savor the spectacular sunsets that Oia is so famous for. Seriously people…like a person who ate the last piece of chocolate cake…I feel guilty for seeing such splendor. I spent a day in Athens checking out the historic sites and the brand new Acropolis Museum (one of the coolest museum infrastructures and layouts…there’s an active excavation below the ground level which is visible through the glass floors of the museum. Amazing! See photo gallery below.). The controversial austerity measures and demonstrations were in full swing while I was visiting…but thankfully…no riot gear was needed…just my bikini:) Though…I did feel slight tension in the air…especially when so many businesses (including a cafe inside the Athens MAIN airport!) refused to accept credit cards. Everyday in Oia I spent an hour looking for an ATM that still had cash. Yikes. Politics aside…Greece is a gem…perhaps a sapphire. I’ve never seen the ocean look that royal blue…not to mention the sun sparkling off it’s gentle waves. On this chilly November day…I hope my picture gallery will vicariously whisk you off to this magical country where the Greek Gods really did everything in their power to give it so much character. And to complete the Grease song reference in the title: Greece is the time, is the place, is the motion….Greece is the way we are feeling!
Every time I talk to James Cameron…I somehow forget that he’s one of the most influential directors of our time. Simply because he talks about his projects and his innovations with enough excitement to rival a 7 year old…and with such precise detail to make him a bonafide “tech geek” (his words!) . The Oscar winning director was honored at this year’s Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Awards for his virtual reality cameras. This event is pretty mind-boggling…just AMAZING inventions and innovations that will truly shape our world. Click on the picture below to see what I’m talking about. Plus, my…err…um…”3D” interview with the Avatar director!
In my eyes…Hugh Jackman is the perfect man. Loving hubby of 16 years…super involved father…talent up the wazoo…ridiculously handsome…impossibly charming…and! He is a hands-on philanthropist (check out Laughing Man Coffee & Tea & Laughing Man Cafe in Tribeca where all profits go to charity). Every time I interview Hugh…I’m left with a bit of his beaming light. He really is a STAR. It was my utmost pleasure catching Hugh on the opening night of Hugh Jackman Back on Broadway. The 2 hour musical is a marvel…click on the below picture for your preview. Oh..and wait for it…wait for it…a monsterous hug from the charismatic Aussie! Forget all that Wolverine biz…he’s really a huge teddy bear.
Click on the below picture for your insider’s tour of Book of Mormon. Interviews with Rory O’Malley and Josh Gad! Fashion Front: Helmut Lang suit, Marni ShoesDing dong! I’m here to see the best freakin’ musical…ever! I’ve been extremely blessed to have caught at least a 100 musicals in my life. I’ve always loved the theater…in fact, when I was 14 years old…I wrote my own musical with a storyline that slightly resembled Miss Saigon. My poor family…I sang the songs around the house so much that they still till this day know the lyrics! (My sister Grace Sun of MamaisHaute.com can vouch) Any who…I can
honestly say that the Book of Mormon on Broadway is in a league of its own. It’s the kind of entertainment that hardcore musical fans will like…as well as the skeptics who think breaking into song and dance during a conversation is weird. Rory O’Malley, who plays Elder McKinley, was kind enough to give me a backstage tour of the Eugene O’Neill Theatre. Rory/Elder McKinley…is by far one of the best characters on the Great White Way. He’s so good that the creators of BOM (yes, the South Park guys) Trey Parker and Matt Stone added and customized the part for him.
Rory O’Malley casting Truly Julie as a mormon mom. Watch the clip!