Sunday, March 22, 2009

Paddling with a paddlesport dynasty

Saturday I went on a paddling excursion with Simon and Naomi Takashina plus their little son 1,5 years old. The Takashinas are a Japanese/American paddlesport -business dynasty who own a paddlesport company group with several interests in the business. Simon & son -youngest paddler of the Wangpu River

Simons grandfather, Tadayoshi Takashina, started making life jackets in Japan back in the 1930s. Now the brothers Simon and Yoshi shoulder the responsibility of the business. MTI, is the Takashina distribution business in the US, distributing paddlesport products there. Hishi Sports produce paddling apparel and pfd's under their own brand as well as for a leading international paddlesport apparel brand. Simon manages their Shanghai factory. Haishi also produces life rafts, life jackets, survival suits etc. The Takashinas also distribute paddlesport products in Japan.
Here Naoyas Hirano, Simon and Naomi Takashina with their baby and my son Axel.

Also joining us for the day was Japanese Renaissance man Naoyas Hirano. He brought this tripple magnum of Spanish Torres which was most welcome to help wash down our picnic. Perfect baguettes from "Paul", Shanghais best bakery (and yes, a franchise from the french chain) and I had brought some goodies from France.
Naoimi Takshina and her son plus my son Axel

Terrine de fois gras de canard and some paté de campagne. I also found some nice ham and salami at the western supermarket in Shanghai. And surprisingly, an excellent Gruyere Suisse, my favorite cheese!! A couple of delicious tartellets was the perfect ending. But disaster struck, I had forgotten my Handespresso at the office so NO COFFEE....

Strengthened after this sumptuous picnic we headed out on the river for my now favorite little Saturday tour.

Here Naomi Takashina in a Cappuchino.

Naoya Hirano was only the second time in a kayak and his first time was back in high school! He did very well and quickly got the hang of it. The more I see beginners in the Whisky 16 the more convinced I am that this is the perfect boat to learn skills in. Naoya was trying some careful edging after 20 minutes. And did it turn!

Naoya Hirano is a very talented artist and runs a dream production consultancy firm. He also owns Shanghais most exclusive Sushi bar Oyama
as well as a very cool Spanish wine and tapas bar El Willy. All on 20 Donghu Lu in a building he manages.

Naoya Hirano, Japanese Renaissance man

The star of the day was little Takashina. I bet this is the youngest paddler to ever hit Chinese waters. The Takashina paddlesport business dynasty is safe for another generation! This guy has it in his blood. Without hesitation he joined his father Simon in the cockpit of a SeaRover. They paddled happily down the Wangpu. He was fascinated by the sand barges and their cranes. Admittedly he more or less fell a sleep in the cock pit after a while.
As no spray deck could protect them for dripping water from the paddle, littel Takashina became quit wet after a couple of hours and let us know that he was uncomfortable.
Only this lady cleaning her catch could cheer him up.

On dryland again. Naoimi, littel Takashina, me, Naoyas, Axel and local boy fascinated by the alien crafts and their captains.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Pearl Lam

Through a mutual friend I was invited to a dinner party at Pearl Lams home, a 22nd-floor, 900-square-meter (9700 square foot) loft in the French Concession district in Shanghai. Pearl Lam is one of the worlds wealthiest women and is credited for boosting Chinese contemporary art and design to the attention of the art world.
Dinner was served on these porcelain hands holding a jade plate.

Not a paddler per se I am sure she would enjoy it given a chance. Her table seats 70 and was full. An army of servants served dish after dish of the most delicious courses impossible to define.

Pearls dinner table. My wife Camilla somewhere out of focus.

The "loft" was wast and filled to the brim with contemporary asian art. Pearl is a sort of Asian Gertrud Stein on steroids.
My son Axel conversing with art dealer Ivan (who also sells Gulfstream jets and super yachts) and Moxian Sun who works for Pearl.

This involves taking contemporary artists under her wing and hosting terrific dinner parties with interesting people on a weekly basis.

I sneaked a couple of photos with my Iphone but was to shy to take one of our hostess so here is a one from the internet.

I had a grand time and it was quite a contrast commuting out to our kayak factory in the industrial suburbs of Shanghai the next morning...
Another borrowed picture of Pearls kitchen.

the morning after, riding to work...

I wonder what Pearl is doing...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Paddling the Cappuccino in Shanghai

Today I took the Cappuccino out for a spin in Shanghai. And what a joy it was. It was so easy to carry and get in and out of.

I had to drop it down a 1,5 meter high wall and and then climb in. No problems.

It tracks well and speed was not bad at all.
Now turning this little fellow was an experience. A little bit of edge and it spun around in the narrow canal. I am going for another lunch paddle tomorrow and on Saturday I will go for a long one with my son Axel and Simon Takashina of Haish sports with his wife and 1,5 year old kid!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Kri Kri -always part of my day

These cups are an important part of my day. I love coffee and I have become addicted to drinking it from these stunning cups by KriKri. (Yes my desk is a mess).

Always on my desk...

I have my first latte in bed and after lunch, move over to expressos. These I devour in these expresso cups.
My cup and my expresso maker

The ceramics are not only beautiful but they have such a nice and sophisticated feel to the hand and lips. I just don't enjoy my coffee from any other cup any longer.

Here also a larger bowl. And have you ever seen such a cute little doughnut?

I also love being able to wash them in the dishwasher and if I drop one (I am rather clumsy) they often miraculously survive. KriKri is not just any brand of ceramics. KriKri is Kristin Nelson. She is also an unbelievably talented kayaker and paddling instructor. On the water she can help the most scared and panicky paddler back to comfort and teach them skills they never thought they would master.
Artist in waterfall

Diversified talents? You bet. Her no good husband can paddle but thats about it:-)
The husband...

Please check out Kristin's stuff. But I'm warning you, ones you go KriKri your coffee will never taste the same again in any other cup...

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Olle Ljungström and Point 65

In a prime time documentary Swedish pop legend Olle Ljungström is wearing this!
See the whole thing at
Sorry, all in Swedish but the music is cool.