THE NEW L'USINE

L'usine has always been my go-to place when I don't know where to go.
 

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In Saigon I think there are only very very very few places that manage to rise without putting too much effort into content marketing, but instead become popular with sheer and constant quality. L'usine is one of those places. It's been a local favourite for yearsssssss, even though the first one is hidden in an apartment building on Dong Khoi street. The effort they put into the concept of the cafe/restaurant and retail space paid off, and you know, people come and go, and they just remember L'usine. 

the new lusine hcmc

Now they opened their third space, a new three storey house at the intersection of Le Thanh Ton & Thai Van Lung street, but everything still in the old L'usine style as we know it. For me personally, I still like the one on Dong Khoi best, but this is a good option if you don't want to climb stairs and look for a light place. The one on Le Loi is a little bit dark for example. My favourite things to order at L'usine are the soup of the day and a hot Latte ! 


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ADDRESS:

19 LE THANH TON STREET, BEN NGHE WARD,
DISTRICT 1, HCMC
8AM - 11PM

from Dalat with love

photos by Dong Hoai Nam
edited by me

Jacket, Top - Project 1990 / Pants, Hat - Zara / Glasses, Jewelry, Bag, Heels - Floralpunk

This was my very first trip to Dalat and I haven't been this close to nature in a long time.
It was magical. I will do a proper blog entry about my trip real soon, with suggestions on where to stay and what to do (actually we didn't do that much, but still).

LAM GIA KHANG F/W 2016

My most favourite designer in Vietnam. Even though I wouldn't wear the pieces.



Not because I don't love them. I love them to death. I just don't see myself as that kind of woman. Which doesn't mean that I wouldn't want to be. I would love the be that kind of woman that looks beautiful in a Lam Gia Khang dress. The kind of woman, that I'm yet to become. Confident, elegant, sophisticated, independent, gracious and just beautiful. 

I'm still the kind of girl wearing sneakers, ripped skinny jeans with a bottle of beer in my hand, sitting on the pavement, trying to be in charge of my life. Trying to figure out what I want. When I look at this beautiful F/W collection, with the long black leather gloves, utterly ladylike yet undone and raw dresses, I feel like the woman who wears these pieces should know what she wants. And maybe be a little more feminine than me. But gosh, I'd love to be that kind of woman one day. And I'd love to buy pieces from this collection, because most of the pieces are just nothing but brilliant. Especially that look in the third photo with the dress over the top because it somehow makes me think of Audrey Hepburn.

Anyway, congratulations to anh Lam Gia Khang, a beautiful collection. Once again.

The Yen Concept

Let's change the world. 

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I just wrote a very long post and it somehow deleted it by itself, because something is wrong with my Macbook note. Hence I'm kind of pissed. I'll just go on where my thoughts stopped because there is no point in trying to recreate what I wrote before. It never works. So The Yen Concept. I rarely ever go to an opening that makes me feel like I want to say something about it, not to speak of blogging about it, except for congratulations XY. When I first noticed that there is something new in the making by Helly (in my head it's still Helly, not Linh haha), something about vegetables and maybe her vegan food choice, I was curious. But even after the Yen concept was out on social media, I still couldn't grasp what it was actually about. Until the opening and launch, I was absolutely clueless. There were cooking videos, vegetable images including their health benefits and photos of gardening, but somehow it didn't make sense until I talked to her myself. Even though my Vietnamese is crap and I don't even know what the word for healthy is in Vietnamese, I do believe that I understand what the Yen concept is about. 

It's not about a vegan food choice. Yen concept is not selling vegetables or trying to help people with a vegetarian/vegan diet. It's a movement. They want to make a change. Encourage people to live a healthier, more conscious and sustainable life. Not only for the human itself, but in a wider context, the environment. And health and environment are two factors, that have constantly been bothering me ever since I came back to Saigon. I'm naturally a rather health-conscious eater. I love my vegetables and salads, I loved to cook when I was in Berlin, and always tried my best to somehow live a healthy lifestyle (except for the drinking and smoking). I did exercise, I loved walking, going to the park (with 3G), and in general I really appreciated the environment that we have in Germany. You get your urban city life but also enough space to relax and bound with nature. Which I feel like is not that much the case in Saigon.

I have to worry about what I eat. Sometimes I freak about the taste of water because I feel like there might be something wrong about it. That it tastes weird. I believe that there are chemicals inside it which cleaned it but are actually not that good for me. When I wash my vegetables with tab water, I have to finish them off with bottled water because if you think logically, eating salad washed with tab water is not much different to actually drinking it. And Saigonese tab water is not supposed to be drunk. It makes every aspect of my life more tiring. Washing rice three or four times. The same goes for any kind of salad, vegetable or fruit. I often feel weird about eating on the street, not because I'm some spoilt-ass European kid, but because I worry about my health. You are what you eat. And the circumstances under which street food are made, are not necessarily always the cleanest. I have become a lot lot lot more food-conscious after I came to Vietnam. Because it's scary with all these news about fake coffee and old animal fat as oil.

And air. Oh god air. How much I miss clean air. Seriously. No matter where I go here, I always feel like I am about to suffocate. The air feels old and worn out. So much dust. Do you have any idea how much dirt my nose produces these days ? I didn't even know that my nose was capable of producing so much stuff. It's just a reflection of what I breathe in every day. The floor at my apartment starts to collect dust and dirt again, about half an hour after I cleaned it, when I leave the windows open. The air and dust condition is seriously, seriously horrible. Even if I buy an air purifier, I don't think it will be able to keep up with its work load. 

Environment. TRASH. Oh god trash. It's such a bad condition here. When I first came back, I felt so bad for throwing something out on the street, because that's only something Chinese tourists did back in Germany, or really really uneducated people. We just don't throw trash on the street, unless we are drunk. Or I didn't. But now I do. I just throw it somewhere, because everyone does it, and there are way too little trash bins. And oh god, I feel so bad. Ok I swear I will stop. Really. But Vietnamese kids should be taught at school or by someone, that you should look after your environment, and shouldn't just throw trash anywhere. I know it will take a long time to make people wanting to care about the environment or at least have a bit of consciousness about it, but it has to start somewhere. 

And that's where the Yen concept wants to step in. It's not about profit (any organisation needs money though), but about raising that consciousness in Vietnamese people. By helping them to plant vegetables and growing their own garden is the first step. That's a service that the Yen concept is offering right now. In my personal opinion, it will be a really long and tough way. To make people care about something other than themselves. They will have to collaborate with a lot of bigger environmental organisations to get more attention themselves. But it's something that must be done. Otherwise, this beautiful Vietnam will end up like sad Chinese cities. That would be horrible.

My writing flow is gone. I got stomach ache. My health is really bad these days. And I don't know whether it's because of what I eat, stess or the air or just a mix of all three. I have weird abdominal pains, breathing problems, excessive hair loss and just feel not very healthy in general. That's why I support the Yen concept, and it's aim to make Saigon a healthier, cleaner and just more environmentally-conscious and sustainable city. It's a huge dream, but it's worth every effort. Because we cannot continue destroying our own living space and keep damaging our own health (says the depression drinker and smoker, ha!). Anyway, everyone has something that really makes them want to be active, and this topic has been occupying me for a while, so I thought I'd share with you guys. I don't really know how many of my readers are from Vietnam, but come on, how about giving living a more conscious life a try. We all want the best for ourselves, but it doesn't work without a little bit of effort from our side. Every single of us can make an impact on something bigger.