Father's Day is June 16

After months of hard negotiating, Johnny is moving to the East Bay! Yup, we are moving in together, into a quaint one-bedroom apartment with views of Lake Merritt on super cheap rent. It wasn't easy to convince Johnny to move over to the sunnier side of the bay -- he has lived in the Outer Richmond in San Francisco for three years, and he loves the fog. He'll surely come kicking and screaming, but hopefully he'll eventually like it over here.

Convincing Johnny to move to the East Bay was the first hurdle. The second, and much more trying, was looking for an apartment. The rumors are true: rents in SF are skyrocketing to a point where there is a mass exodus of city folk coming into Oakland/Berkeley/Emeryville. We went to several open houses, and there would always be a crowd of people waiting to get in. It was a total drag. And the influx of interest in Oakland has inflated rents enormously. We're talking $1000 for a studio in West Oakland. It all felt so contrived.

But we lucked out, and found an apartment through a friend. Like all things in life, it is all about good timing, and "someone you know."

Anyhow, the post isn't about our new apartment, it's about all this new STUFF I got while house-hunting. A friend of mine knew I was looking for a place and reached out to me saying that his neighbors next door had to move out suddenly overnight. They were an elderly couple who moved to a retirement community with little warning. My friend called and asked if I wanted to check out the apartment, as well as to take any of their kitchenware that I would want, otherwise it would be all be thrown out.

Oh no! Vintage table and glassware being thrown out? That would just be wrong.

Here's what I snuck out with:

Five of these really awesome coupe glasses:

What I really like about these is that they are HUGE. They probably hold about 4-5 ounces of liquid. The stem is multi-faceted, as is the foot. Pretty swank!

Noritake plates, soup bowls and cups.

I thought the design was cheerful so I took home every cup, plate and bowl I could find with the design on it. Of course I checked out the bottom of the cup.

I didn't know Noritake, but I do like all things made in Japan!

Turns out Noritake has quite a big following, from their frou-frou porcelain pieces to the funkier, more playful "Progression" line. This pattern is called "Mardi Gras" and a lot of pieces are sold a la carte on Ebay. This line is from 1969.

This plate is totally not my style, but I love the little holes as handles:

I threw this one in the box too. They're made in Germany!

I couldn't let it be thrown away! I figured it would be a nice cake plate (even though I don't eat cake).

While boraging through the cupboards, I found this cute little dutch oven:

Made in Ireland!

I've never owned anything made in Ireland. Nevermind that this is made by Waterford, as in the crystal company. I will take cast iron over crystal any day.

Here's a total random, impulse grab:

I wholeheartedly admit that I will probably never use this teapot. But it is so cute, I love the yellow and gold combination.

Made in USA!

As you now know, I am not only a Packaging Whore, but I also really prize the origin of things. I am a total sucker for old-school, hand-crafted, sturdy, well-made items. Remember jeans made in the USA? Shoes made in Italy? Silverware from Japan? I still believe in those days!

Wish me luck in the next month while I pack and move out! It is all very daunting, especially now that I need to pack up all my newfound wares!
Column: Kayo's Kitchen


  • Wow what finds! Omg, I will be convinced I’m in another dimension if I find you serving a bundt cake with an apron on one of those frou frou platters.

    Yoko on

  • omg, those noritake plates are sooo cute! What a find! Congrats on the move-in-together!

    seri on

  • There are so many things in this post. 1. “elder couple moved out to retirement house overnight”…. Leaving their stuff? Sounds a lot shadier than “going to retirement house”….. 2. You made public announcement that you and Johnny are moving in together. As a Japanese mother, the only thing Hideko is thinking right now is "when the hell is he coming over and ask Kuni for marriage, then Kuni will totally make Johnny eat fish guts and cry.

    Moto on

  • I have def heard of Noritake. My mom still has her set of Noritake. And we still have Noritake silverware at her house. It’s very prized.

    Yoko on

  • The frou frou apron sounds like a great Halloween costume though :{P

    Congratulations on apartment, new swag and everything! Those Noritake plates are especially lovely. Be super to eat an English breakfast off them…

    furochan on

  • @Yoko, you have permission to shoot me if this every happens.

    @Moto, I’m more afraid of introducing Johnny to you than to Kuni.

    @Seri, you have heard of Noritake? Is it popular in Japan?

    Kayoko on

  • You let me know when I can take that teapot off your hands; I’m here for you.

    MellyG on

  • @Kayoko: yup, it’s popular w/ the Japanese ladies (I learned about it through my mom and her shadowbox class attendees – almost all Japanese housewives). Adam and I got a more modern set of Noritake plates when we got married, but they’re super heavy and doesn’t work w/ saran wrap. I like the older styles more.

    seri on

  • Wow I would love to check out your mama’s prized silverware. I bet it’s super snazzy! And yes, I went through all the cupboards for any good silverware but came out emptyhanded.

    Kayoko on

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