29 May 2013

This Summer in Movies

I don't know about you, but my list of to-see movies has never been this long. Here are my Summer 2013 Silver Screen Picks:

Now You See Me, May 31
A team of illusionists perform bank heists during their performances and gift their audiences with the money they steal. This Ocean's Eleven-like blockbuster is sure to keep its audience on their toes with an abundance of illusions and good ol' magic. Also, Jesse Eisenberg. Click here to watch one of his interviews for the movie. Beware: it's really, really awkward.

Man of Steel, June 14
Superman AKA Clark Kent AKA Kal-El is back on the silver screen with this remake of the Superman series and portrays Superman's beginnings. Henry Cavill takes the lead as the beloved superhero and it would have been a crime not to include Man of Steel in the list. Fun Fact: Henry Cavill was first in the running to play Edward Cullen, being Stephanie Meyer's "perfect Edward." However, by the time production began, he was too old to play the 17-year old. Fun Fact Part 2: Cavill lost the role of Edward Cullen to Robert Pattinson who also stole the role of Cedric Diggory from him.

Bling Ring, June 14
Sofia Coppola's Bling Ring is the theatrical portrayal of The Bling Ring, a group of teenagers who robbed numerous homes in the Hollywood Hills, claiming at least $3 million in cash and belongings. I'm looking forward to this one because it features a group of thrill-seekers who outsmarted a lot of people despite only being in high school. Also: Emma Watson.

Monsters University, June 21
Pixar's prequel to their 2001 Monsters Inc. featuring Mike and Sully's university years before becoming scarers. I'm positive this film will garner as much love as Monsters Inc. did, especially because the children who laughed at Monsters Inc. in 2001 have grown up and can now relate to Mike and Sully's college years.

Already in theatres, we have:

The Great Gatsby
F. Scott Fitzgerald's celebrated American novel takes another spin on the silver screen in Baz Luhrmann's sparkly interpretation. This film is a must-see for all who have read the book (who hasn't?). and I encourage you to form your own opinions of the movie without regard to other's reviews. You can read my review of the movie here.

Iron Man 3
Robert Downey Jr. returns as Iron Man after The Avengers with Shane Black as Director. I haven't seen it yet and I'm not quite certain what it's about, but I can tell you that this is a superhero movie. There's a good guy, a bad guy, probably a chase scene, explosions, and tons of cool gadgets. And who doesn't love superheroes? Go see it!

Star Trek into Darkness
Kirk and Spock meet Khan, a quintessential bad guy despite his portrayal by the beloved Benedict Cumberbatch. Benny is just so great that it's hard to hate Khan, but Cumberbatch could play every enemy character and get away with it. After seeing Star Trek twice, I can say that it's definitely better the second time around. Go see it in IMAX if you can, because that's the only way to do this film any justice. Favorite characters include: Chekov, Sulu, and Scotty

25 May 2013

Tweet Me!

I'll admit I've been fairly inactive recently... That may be because I've picked up Twitter! Tweet me at @juliamlu, I'll be waiting...

(in the meantime)
@tomcoates taught his house how to tweet! @houseofcoates can automatically control temperature and lighting throughout the house and broadcasts these happenings on Twitter. (what fun!)

Twitter's really fun, join me!

18 May 2013

The (Semi-)Ultimate NYC Summer Bucket List

There are 101 days until my first day of class (whoop) and in order for me to take advantage of the time until then, I've decided to do what I really don't want to do... conform. Now you may say, Well if you don't want to conform, then don't! No one's stopping you. Do or don't do whatever you want! (well that's what I would say to myself) I'm conforming via bucket list. "O GOD NO," I would typically reply. But in order for me to have a productive summer, it must be done. Here it is:

Summer 2013 
(18 May - 28 August)
  1. MoMA PS1 Visit; It's been a while since the last time I've been and at this point, I really have no reason not to go. Plus, the rain room is incredibly intriguing.
  2. Brooklyn Museum Visit; I'm still kicking myself for missing Keith Haring.
  3. Restaurant Week; Having started with Industria Argentina, Plein Sud, and Kittichai, Restaurant Week indulgences must continue! I'm thinking A Voce and someplace French.
  4. Smorgasburg; Brooklyn's beloved flea food market is back starting this weekend! Saturdays in Williamsburg and Sundays in DUMBO never looked better.
  5. New Museum Visit; The New Museum's annual Block Party is on July 20 this summer, located just up the street from my place of hellish former employment. If you can't make it on July 20, admission on Thursday evenings from 7pm to 9pm is free of charge.
  6. Weekend Matinees; A movie to start and brunch to cap off your morning. Does it make me juvenile for admitting that I'm most excited for Monster University?
  7. Artichoke; It's been too long since my last slice of gourmet pizza
  8. HKDBF; In all the years that I've been to the Dragon Boat Festival, I've never actually witnessed the races. Instead, I collected all the useless freebies.
  9. Bakery hopping; If you can't make macarons, it's entirely justifiable to spend an entire day eating them. Cake too. 
  10. ESB Observation Deck; I feel like an inauthentic New Yorker for never having been up to the 102nd floor. But I guess that makes me a true New Yorker.
  11. Hudson River Kayaking; Note to self: Wear appropriate attire this time around.
Don't underestimate this short stack of things to do! Unlike typical touristy lists that include walking across the Bklyn Bridge, Central Pk rowboating, Broadway show-seeing, and Statue of Liberty visiting, I'd like to consider this a jaded New Yorker's flexible guide for a good summer. Plus everything is pretty cheap if not FREE. Poor college kids like me can't put down $100 on a show despite every desire to.

Have fun, kids!

17 May 2013

Friday Five

1. I got into college again, squeeee! You can follow my upcoming return to school as a freshman at juliaincollegeomg.blogspot.com

2. My craving for exploration adventures steadily increases with every day further into the summer holiday. Perhaps a post on prospective adventure locations?

3. My thoughts are scattered and stamped with question marks but I yearn for a lifestyle abundant with exclamation marks (!)

4. If you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life. If you're a smart investor, you won't have to work ever again.

5. We're at the cusp of summertime and all I can do is yearn for days on the beach.

13 May 2013


1. I never want to have a desk job vs. I want to have a cubicle
A battle of occupation and possession
      Desk jobs, as unfavorable as they may seem, can be stepping stones toward one's final occupational goal (if there ever was one). However, even the most important jobs take place at a desk and with the burgeoning rise of computer technology in the workplace, sitting at a desk somehow contributes to nearly every employee's occupation.  
      Cubicles on the other hand, are the ultimate symbol of the typical desk job. Employees come in at 9, leave at 5, take a break for lunch in the middle of the day, and return the next morning at 9 to restart the cycle. While this seems incredibly mundane, cubicles also offer a canvas of expression. Your cubicle is representative of yourself and you can call it your own despite being outside your home.

2. Close the blinds, it's too bright I'm blinded! vs. Open the blinds, it's such a wonderful day, let the sun wash the room with light!
A battle of senses
     During the winter I am a huge advocate for closed shades and dark rooms. What goes on in my head: a dimly lit room is comfortable, comfort is equivalent to warmth, warmth and comfort is idyllic during the cold blustery months of winter
     During the summer, I demand that every window be open and that the sun's sometimes-oppressive rays be welcomed inside. Despite it being 1000 degrees, summer days are sunny, warm, cheery, and uplifting. The brighter and sunnier it is, the more compelled I will be to go outside, and the happier I will be. I'm moving to an equatorial location.

To be Continued...

10 May 2013

on Gatsby and Benny

Theatre establishments have this thing of luring you to a movie then making you sit through 15 minutes worth of previews to make you come back to see more movies. If you're the type to stream new releases from the confines of your home, then Congratulations! you have not been subject to shameless advertising and audience baiting. But it's better to see films in theatres.

As I have just returned from a viewing of Gatsby, allow myself to indulge in a little review:
Beneath the layers of glitz and glamour, Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby shines through as a glistening portrayal of F. Scott Fitzgerald's original text. There were many scenes that were illustrated exactly as I had imagined them while reading Gatsby- the flowing white curtains being blown haphazardly through the sunroom upon first meeting Daisy and Jordan, for example. However, despite the stunning base layer of narration, it's overlying layer of Nick Carraway and his account of Gatsby seemed slightly superfluous which includes the useless textual graphics which were probably only added for 3-dimensional effect. I don't need to see 90 seconds of Nick Carraway typing away while he's narrating and I don't need to read the words he's saying. On top of that is the final layer of opulence and grandeur that is so frequently associated with Gatsby. Some find it incredibly over the top, but I've come to understand that extravagance is a part of Gatsby and the Buchanans. Fitzgerald craftily wrote this layer of wealth into the plot to the point that without it, Gatsby would not be great. One reason why so many people are compelled to this story is because they can relate to Gatsby who, underneath his luxe pink suits, is a human being. If, in the end, you seek a number to sum up my experience of Gatsby, I'd give it a 3.8 of 5. 
 This brings me to a long-anticipated fan-girling on Benedict Cumberbatch. Prior to his exploding role as the beloved Sherlock, Benny's been on screen since 2002- we've just been too blind to notice him. Since his enigmatic fall on the season finale of Sherlock's second* season, he's played the Necromancer in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and will be on the silver screen once again next Friday in Star Trek into Darkness. The first I heard of his role in the upcoming Star Trek film was in a preview that I had seen right before watching The Hobbit. His face, cheekbones and all, on an IMAX screen literally made my sister burst into tears of joy. It's needless to say that he will be a familiar face on the silver screen for long into the future. But alas, I need Sherlock to get back on the air because it's been far too long and his last enigma has been badgering me endlessly.

*kudos to EW for catching a bad mistake

The World at Your Feet

Ever since I was a wee young'n, I had always dreamed of living in places all across the globe while still being abundantly rich. Some people say that the best time to travel is during your 20s when you have infinitesimal energy and a boundless hunger for adventure.

Well, my 20s are nigh (almost) and as it stands, I have several options:
1. Forget about going back to school and travel the world for all of eternity
2. Go back to school (5 years ugh), graduate, and then travel however, my diploma will be nearly invalid in the architectural field upon my return because technology advances quickly and will leave me in the dust
3. Go to school, graduate, get a job, become wildly successful and then travel in my later years with the riches I had accumulated

From where I stand, I know that if I ever want to become successful in anything, my best bet is to stay here in the city. Yes, it is the greatest city on the face of the planet (that is no contest), but that would leave me without much room to travel.

The other day my sister asked me what I thought the greatest birthday would be like. I told her that I would want to spend a week in someplace new across the pond—not necessarily in England. From there, I decided that every year I would do everything in my power to go somewhere new for my birthday. For this year's wild celebration, I was considering a trip to Boston to witness the Head of the Charles which also coincidentally coincides with my birthday weekend. It's very possible right now, but I'll probably need to be pushed along the way to make things happen.

03 May 2013

Le Corbusier is a Disconsolate Bull Terrier

Wagner's Ring Cycle is a version of Lord of the Rings... but not, too.

How Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen is Similar to Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings
  • Both have four parts
    • The Ring Cycle: Das Rheingold, Die Walküre, Siegfried, and Götterdämmerung
    • Lord of the Rings: The Hobbit, The Fellowship of the Rings, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King
  • Each part is ridiculously long
    • The Ring Cycle: 2 - 5 hours each
    • The Lord of the Rings: ~4 hours each
  • There's a ring involved
  • There's a dragon, too
How Götterdämmerung is better than LOTR 
  • There's a ton of betrayal
  • There are Rhinemaidens who repeatedly climb onto rocks and repeatedly slide down
  • It's a live performance
How LOTR is better than Götterdämmerung
  • Orlando Bloom
  • Cinematic excellence
  • Ents (trees that walk and talk? I think that's pretty awesome)
  • The greatest battle scenes
  • Legolas

All in all, in comparison, LOTR is pretty damn great but if I had another opportunity to visit the opera, I'd take it and run. The story was a bit slow, but I did enjoy it despite the butt cramps and slight tardiness (I was late, not the show). The show is also sung in German but at the Met opera house, there are screens on the back of the chairs for subtitles. The fantastic thing about these screens is that they're designed so that you can't see what's on your neighbor's screen and vice versa. I thought that was pretty damn cool. Next time, I'm going to fight for box seats because there are too many damn heads to look over in the orchestra.

You can watch a trailer for Götterdämmerung here.

To close, please admire Le Corbusier and his barking lookalike.
Dogs who Look Like Starchitects

01 May 2013

An Anthology

I tried writing something substantial but alas, my brain particles have ceased to function and it's kinda late...

Pet Peeves, Volume 3

1. People who list Twilight as one of their favorite books/ People who only read chick-lits

2. Black articles of clothing that attract dust

3. People who complain about other people's houses

Four-Leaf Clover

Today I was working with a student on his writing and he had written such a beautiful metaphor. Love, he says, is like four-leaf clovers because they're special and admired and despite the rarity in finding them, some people are lucky enough to.

Ex: 24 H in a D = 24 Hours in a Day

  • 3 B M (SHTR)
  • 13 = U F S
  • 12 S of the Z
  • 29 D in F in a L Y


in other news, May is upon us! I may or may not get into college (again) but this time it's all or nothing.