Kiki & Lala

Archive for September 2010

You may have heard that Fisher Price has announced a recall of millions of its toys. And yes, of course there is at least one such product in our house – the Ocean Wonders Kick and Crawl Aquarium. It’s a cute play set which your baby can use at various stages.

Mikel was gifted with this by one of his godparents and I had wanted to use it on baby-girl-no-name. Actually, according to reports, the only real problem with the recalled toys is the inflatable ball. There have been over 50 incidents in North America of the ball’s valve coming off and 14 reports of the valve being found in a child’s mouth and one incident of a child beginning to choke on the damn valve but no injuries.

Makes me think though… When you finish inflating the ball, you can push the valve in so it doesn’t protrude and in that position it’d be pretty damn hard to rip the valve off since it’s “embedded” in the ball. Oh whatever. The ball’s going in the trash.

I’m sorry that this has to be a bike na naman post but you actually might find this interesting.

So I recently bought me a single speed beater.   Her name is Cheetah and she is hot!

I’ve been using Cheetah for city riding, i.e. to and from the train station, riding around NYC, running errands around Hoboken, etc.  and I’ve been enjoying myself  immensely.   I’ve made it my winter project to beautify this beater a bit and have it ready for spring time riding.  I’ve also been looking for cool and functional clothes and accessories to go with my bike and have found some cute stuff worth sharing.   Check it out below.  Very urban chic, don’t you think?

This is Po Campo‘s Rack Tote in Tropical Sunset.   Will you give me this for Christmas?

Here is their Bungee handbag in solid silver vinyl.  I’d settle for this if you think the rack tote is too pricey.

This next one is just adorable.  It’s called the Spare Pocket and you just fasten it around your ankle, wrist or handlebar so it can be your wait for it, spare pocket.  Love it!

Here is another cute bike bag from Alexandra Cassaniti.  If you are not too sold on the newspaper print, you can get one in preppy blue and white stripes.

We move on to protective equipment like helmets.  Check out YAKKAY cycling helmets below.  I really like this Tokyo Blue Tech.  I can still look cute without sacrificing safety!

They also have the Paris and Cambridge helmets.

Now on to apparel. I like Outlier.  I’ll take this ultra soft tank top

With this yummy guy on the side.  Haha! Love his bike too!

i think it’s wonderful that some people found a way to marry fashion and functionality for city riders.  So cycling isn’t just all about aches, pain, sweat and pushing yourself to the limit in funny looking suits.  It’s also about cruising and taking the moment all in.  And if you can manage looking chic in the process then even better!

I promised you pics from the Universal Studios tram tour – specifically the disaster site from War Of The Worlds. So here’s a Californian hillside transformed into a New Jersey suburb in the aftermath of an alien attack. No sightings of a couch-jumping scientologist though.

They seriously had to buy an old 747 and chopped it up.

You’d think that a dynamic city like NYC would have had countless face changes.  You’d be surprised to see that such a change-centric city remains relatively unchanged.  It’s landscape at least.  I stumbled upon this website called citynoise.org that published photos of New York city streets in the days of yore and I was delighted to see how unchanged these streets are.  I don’t know why but for some reason I find comfort in that.  So check out them pictures below.

Here is the United Nations on the east side still under construction.

Look at it now, rising high in all its architectural splendor.  Can you find our flag?

This is Times Square before…

And Times Square now…still bustling with taller buildings!

This next one used to be called the RCA Building.  Guess what it is now?

Rockefeller Center!  Cool huh?

Photo Credit: Andrew Prokos http://andrewprokos.com/

This was the Lower East Side before…

And look at the Lower East Side now…still the same!

Brooklyn Bridge then…

Brooklyn Bridge now…duh!  Sorry, thought I’d use this as space filler.

McSorley’s Old Ale House was around then

And it’s still around now! Same beer house where Dino and I had waaay too many beers.

Chinatown then…

And an over popoulated Chinatown today.

Cooper Union on Astor Place….

…is still standing today.

Bowery then…

Bowery now.  Still the same old pre-war walk ups.

Photo Credit: Robert Chin http://www.nychinatown.com

I guess that’s what makes great cities like this one great: self-preservation.

I bought several books during my trip. Even if bookstores in Manila have improved over the years, there’s nothing quite like book browsing in the States.

Here’s the book I was reading on the plane and finished the first few days I got home.

It’s about the roundup of French jews in Paris in the summer of 1942. The event is considered especially dark in French history because it was French policemen – not the Nazis – who rounded up their fellow citizens and sent them to camps in the French countryside before sending them to Auschwitz. Most of the victims were children – about four thousand of them. Very few people even knew about the roundup until Jacques Chirac talked about it in a speech a few years ago.

The book tells the stories of two fictional characters. The first is of Sarah – a 10 year old girl whose family is forced from their apartment in the middle of the night. In an effort to protect her beloved four year old brother, she locks him up in their secret hiding place and promises to return for him. The other story takes place 60 years later. American journalist in Paris, Julia Jarmond, is tasked with finding out as much as possible about what was called the Vel D’Hiv roundup. Her research unearths a painful family secret and alters her future forever.

It’s not the best written prose I’ve read but the story unravels in a manner so engaging that the pages almost turn themselves.

With your breast pump post comes my bike post!  Although I think this particular bike post will appeal to your social conscience so you might appreciate it.  Been meaning to tell you all about this but I haven’t had the time until now.

Its called World Bicycle Relief.  While other organizations endeavor to feed the world, this organization has made it its mission to give the poor access to independence and livelihood through the Power of Bicycles.

Trek and SRAM (these are bike and component manufacturers) founded this organization.  So how do bikes empower  the poor?  Unfortunately the poor do not have access to healthcare, education and job opportunities.  In many developing countries, many people live in remote villages very far from their medical centers, their schools and their jobs.  Children walk hours just to go to and from school. This pretty much takes away their time to rest, to study and to do regular things children should be doing like playing Wii – just kidding.  When they are sick, these same people have to walk hours just to get to a doctor.   So many decide to self-medicate instead of getting proper treatment.  This is where bicycles come in. Compared to walking, bicycles boost their productivity and improve their access. How amazing is this!  Such a simple idea whose positive results increase exponentially as more bikes are distributed.

World Bicycle relief doesn’t just provide bikes, they build communities. How?  They acknowledge that each community is unique in culture, in terrain, in need so each community has a bike design that fits their need.  They source their materials and labor locally improving the economic development capacity of each community. They also train locals to be mechanics for bike repairs and tune ups.  Smart and simple!

This just appeals to me because bikes do not discriminate.  Anybody can bike – except for my sister but let’s not get into that.  According to Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times (who I absolutely love), they’ve distributed 70,000 bikes already and 70% went to women and girls.  This year they project to distribute 20,000 more bikes.  If that’s not a Yes We Can, I don’t what is.

It’s also the micro nature of this endeavor that makes it great.  Theses guys didn’t have to look far for a solution.  They took what they did best and shared.  That’s it. Doesn’t take Bill Gates‘ billions to make a difference.  Nor does anyone have to wait til they are retired to do something like this.  Kind of reminds me of our very own teacher in a cariton, Efren Penaflorida.   It’s little ingenious things like this that give me hope yet sort of corners me making me ask myself:  What have you done lately? Ouch!

I recommend you read Kristof’s op-ed about a family in Zimbabwe and how a bike changed their life.

I was compelled to dig up this old video after chatting with you last night when we ended up talking about PAL.  Seriously now where has this carrier’s golden reputation gone?  This used to be Asia‘s premier airline. This was Asia’s FIRST airline! Wuh happened???  Btw, this reminds me of you and me and our back and forth trips to Hong Kong when you lived there.  Aaahhh nostalgia!

In my opinion, this probably was the last great PAL commercial produced.  I can’t remember the others,or if there were others at all.

So check out what else I found as I was sifting through old videos on You Tube.  Here is a TV campaign created by BBDO / Guerrero Ortega for the WOW Philippines campaign. Witty!

What about this next one?  Remember This? Catchy!

You’ll instantly know that this video was produced long ago when you see Sharon Cuneta so slim…heehee!

This next one is pretty recent. While it doesn’t directly promote the Philippines, it highlights everything there is to love about our country: beautiful destinations, soulful streets, talented  artists and unbelievably warm and friendly people.

So tell me, what’s not to love about this country? Perhaps we should first start with loving ourselves as a people and allowing that love and that beauty to shine through.


Tulong Para Sa Rizal

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