In the late summer and fall of 2018 a tsunami of publicity for the movie Crazy Rich Asians hit America. In August there was a write-up in the New York Post, New Yorker and the Weekend Financial Times (a big, bold headline on the front page – very unusual).
The cover of the book (published in 2013) that I purchased at Barnes & Noble – it’s such a hot seller they have them stacked up at the Information Desk. As of Jan. 3, 2019 the worldwide gross for the movie was $239,024,812, against a production budget of $30 million – WOW!
In September an eight-page piece in Vanity Fair appeared, then a second eight-pager with an article by Kevin Kwan, the author of the book Crazy Rich Asians was in Bazaar. I’ve just scratched the surface.
On Wednesday, September 5th we headed over to the Kips Bay theatre for a 6:00 pm showing.
THE WEST-MEETS-EAST STORY IN A NUTSHELL
This is a romantic comedy set amid Singapore’s moneyed aristocracy that tells the story of a young lady, Rachel Chu, who is a professor at NYU. She falls in love with Nick Young (played by Henry Golding). He invites her to visit Singapore, his homeland, where he is to be best man at the wedding of an old school friend. He fails to mention that he is the scion of one of Asia’s wealthiest families. That’s the whole story: a young female from a modest background battles to find her place amid the snobbery of the upper strata.
IS IT A FIRST CLASS CABIN IN A PLANE?
Much to Chu’s surprise, they fly first class to Singapore. The scene is elegant and awesome. But is it real? “No airline has first class the way it’s shown in Crazy Rich Asians,” says production designer, Nelson Coates, who worked with a team of art directors, floral designers and decorative painters from 12 different countries to bring the book, Crazy Rich Asians to life. After being turned down by a major Asian airline, Coates and his team decided to take matters into their own hands.
And, since we’re on the subject, let’s take a look at airports. “I can’t believe Singapore’s Changi airport has a cinema and a butterfly garden,” says Rachel Chu (played by Constance Wu) early in the film. Then she adds, “JFK is just salmonella and despair.” (I’ve often thought that about LaGuardia.)
THE BACHELOR PARTIES: ABSURD BLING
The bridal group heads off by private jet to a tropical island while the groomsmen go on helicopters to a container ship that has been transformed into a nightclub at sea. As the evening’s antics escalate, one guest fires a bazooka into the night sky. The front of a Rolls Royce was cut off to become a DJ booth. “Remember, these people aren’t just rich, they’re crazy rich,” says one character.
Actor Henry Golding (Nick Young) and actress Gemma Chan as fashionista Astrid Leong who buys $1.2 million earrings on a whim in the movie
Photo: Courtesy of Vanity Fair, September 2018
THE ALL-ASIAN CAST IS OUTSTANDING
One of the stars, Henry Golding, who is the son of a Malaysian mother and a British father, looks as if he was born to be a movie star. Another standout is Rachel’s friend Peik Lin Goh (played by Nora Lum, stage name: Awkwafina). She is bursting with comedic talent. Even the minor characters have style. One matriarch says, “I heard this wedding cost $40 million.” “That’s too much,” her companion replies. “$20 million is our limit.”
THE AUTHOR REALLY KNOWS THIS WORLD
Our reaction, when we watched this movie, was that the writer of the book was very familiar with this world. We were right. Kevin Kwan was born and raised in Singapore. He moved to the U.S. when he was 11 years old. His family tree goes back to the year 946. He says, “I grew up with a posh English accent – all my aunts sounded as if they came out of a Merchant Ivory movie.” Kwan also notes, “I knew women who took the Concorde from Singapore to Paris via London twice a year for their couture fittings.”
Kevin Kwan, author of Crazy Rich Asians Photo: Courtesy of Bazaar, September 2018
THE BOOK CRAZY RICH ASIANS NAILS IT
This 537-page book is more detailed than the movie but still has lots of crazy fun. Kwan is a talented writer who excels in describing over-the-top characters and moving the plot at a furious pace. It’s Dynasty on steroids.
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Over the years, the airline industry has experienced many twists and turns – and one of the most remarkable has been the evolution of the stewardess or airline hostess. That said I was stopped in my tracks by an article in Travel & Leisure, April 2020 titled “Taking Wing.” It featured a photo of a flight attendant’s dress from 1965 and was skillfully written by Ann Hood who has delivered a detailed on-the-scene report.
In a city like New York, that has a population of close to nine million, it’s great to know that there’s something for everyone. This gave me the idea to write about fun and/or favorite spots in all five boroughs, namely: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island. So, in this blog we’ll cover places I’ve personally enjoyed over the years and spots mentioned in an article that ran in Condé Nast Traveler magazine in April 2020. Here are five slices of the Big Apple:
Roughly eight years ago, I was chatting with a young lady in her twenties when she started raving about something called “Birchbox.” I stopped her at once and said, “What on earth is Birchbox?” Well, she looked at me as if I had two heads and said with dismay, “You don’t know about Birchbox!”
We use Italian lingerie sizing for our bodywear and items tend to run small.
Because of the body-hugging nature of the fabric and our body conscious fit most women prefer to wear our layering tops as under-layers. If you are inclined to wear them on their own we suggest you size up. Please email us or give us a call if you have questions about your sizing. We're happy to help you get it right.
Relaxed fit. Wear alone or over any of our layering tees or camisoles.
Please email us or give us a call if you have questions about your sizing. We're happy to help you get it right.
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