Magic Windows #9

by Angeliska on January 26, 2010

Magic Windows are portals into the strange and beautiful
world I inhabit, and the marvelous people, places and things
come across in my day to day – all captured with the aid
of my handy magic celephone (it’s an iPhone).
The Magic Windows series originated as an attempt
to capture the ephemeral objects and fleeting moments
I experience, and share them here on a weekly basis.
Stay posted for the next one, won’t you?

This past weekend, in honor of my dear darling Francesca’s birthday
(and that of two other beloved Aquarian ladies, Cole + Lali!)
we ventured to the wild northern tundra of Dallas to partake of
the waters at the fabled Korean King Spa – a wonderland of truly
epic propotions, as evidenced by the gigantor silver stallion
that greets you when you walk in. Unfortunately, you can’t quite
make out his cubist testicles in this photo. This fella’s about 30 feet
tall, and his word bubble (apparently) reads “I am the KING!”

King Spa is a truly magical place, decorated with bulbous gourd sculptures
that jut out at intervals from the wall. Lots of pumpkins are arranged on shelves.
This naturalistic approach to decorating is somewhat at odds with the etched
glass partitions in the women’s spa area that depict key scenes from favorites
Simpsons episodes. The ceiling is a light sculpture of Botticelli’s Birth of Venus.
It made sense to someone! Then again, when you’re being cooked in 113 degree
mugwort infused water, you cease to be picky about the decor. I actually kind of
adore it, for all its randomness. I am a big lover of saunas and bath-houses,
but I had only ever been to Russian versions before. I love to sweat in insanely
hot little rooms with total strangers, and I love being transformed into a
big buttery noodle by older Koran women in their underwear. They scrubs
me with abrasive mitts until grey eraser peelies of skin rolled off me, and then
pummeled and pounded my muscles into submission. My friend Peggy said
afterwards, “Laying there with my face smeared with raw cucumbers,
a bag tied over my head, and a big woman straddling me, I couldn’t help
but think: this should probably be a lot more expensive!
” Hah!
Perhaps it is, at some of the mysterious neon-lit bordello-looking dives
in the neighborhood, with provocative names like “Hula Hand” and “Blue Star”.
King Spa is not that kind of place at all, though! No happy-endings here, folks!
It’s about $85 for the scrub and massage, but only $18 for a 24 hour pass
to the facility, which included many strange and wonderful rooms in which
to get your sweat on. It’s so very worth every penny. After about 14 hours,
I felt like I was floating, and had no desire to ever leave. I want to live there.


Apparently, it cost $50 million to build and outfit the place. There are giant
slabs of amethyst geodes embedded into the walls every which way, and
golden pyramids guarded by staunch bronze lions.


This is the aforementioned golden pyramid, and my personal favorite,
the salt igloo! I need to build one in the backyard, pronto. Total bliss!


There are these huge pink rococo Miss Piggy nightmare chairs everywhere.
Perfect for impromptu tea parties with delicious juices and traditional dishes
like sudatorium-baked eggs, bibimbab and fish eggs over rice (al-bab, mmm!)


This brave knight guards the living “elvan” stones and the many amethysts.
The horse eats only mugwort and wormwood, which there is plenty of.
I am a total Jjim-Jil-Bang convert. It’s just wrong that we don’t have a King Spa
in Austin! I would go there every day. It’s a very healing and magical place!

Tonight I read Lady Lavona’s writing on Dark Energy + Dark Matter,
and was very moved by it. Winter is a dark time for me, marked by
remembrances of dear ones passed and untenable weather.
Today is the fifth anniversary of the death of a good friend of mine:
Pandora Pumpkin (née Katherine Hastings) who was very beautiful
and amazing. I miss her so. If you would like to know more about who
she was, here are some writings about her, with many lovely pictures:

In Memoriam – 2007

In Memoriam – 2006

Dear Pandora

Dies Cinerum – Day of Ashes


July 22nd, 1975 – January 25th, 2005

4 comments

Your spa sounds like a combination of the weirdest nightmare I have eve had, and quite a delicious treat!

also,

I am sure that those have passed on can hear us think about them,and you have said some very beautiful things.

by ghoul on January 26, 2010 at 5:23 am. #

The spa sounds bizarre and very lovely; maybe some time I will go with my sister.

I believe the shades of those we love hover in the air near us, whispering to us in our sleep and that they know how very much they are missed and loved. Wishing you peace and comfort.

by Lin on January 26, 2010 at 8:44 am. #

sending love & light! xo! Lavona

by Lady Lavona on January 26, 2010 at 11:57 am. #

Looked it up & there’s a KingSPA in NJ. And they also have the heated mugwort room. I didn’t see any photos of knights or cubist horses on the website, but maybe they’re waiting in the shadows. Something to look forward to!

I’m so sorry about your dear friend’s passing.
I actually discovered your blog a while back through the flickr memorial to her. I was searching flickr with the word “Pandora” for some reason I’ve now forgotten & came across all those photos of your beautiful friend. Her energy was so compelling in the pictures that I wanted to know more about her, & ended up learning more about the people who loved her instead. Many prayers for her & all of you who miss her so much.

by OdetteO on January 26, 2010 at 10:10 pm. #

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