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Hello Kitty Turns 35—Cougar Jokes Abound

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Never has a pop icon been so happy to turn 35. Last week on  November 1, 2009, the beloved cat turned the big 3-5  (that’s 137 in human years).

To celebrate the Japanese import, Royal/T in L.A.'s Culver City is hosting a free Hello Kitty event entitled Three Apples—a nod to H.K.’s weight, as listed on her official bio—bringing together over 30 artists inspired by the flirtatious feline. A portion of the art’s proceeds will help fund community service projects in Los Angeles.


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Celebrities like Paris Hilton and Kimora Lee Simmons (with more age-appropriate fans, her two daughters) came out to support the exhibit opening.

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In addition to art installations, a retrospective of Hello Kitty memorabilia will be on display in an apartment-like space through Nov. 15. Full disclosure: I own a Hello Kitty coffee pot but have yet to venture into the kind of Harajuku home decor that includes Hello Kitty sewing machines, robots, and toasters (you thought holy visions in your toast were miracles? Nope, just Hello Kitty!).

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But you can dine on more than just kitty-embossed toast; Royal/T designs also has a Hello Kitty menu that includes Hello Kitty-shaped pancakes and kitty-stamped tramezzini.

Or, peruse design pairings between Hello Kitty and Betsey Johnson, Heatherette, Paul Frank, MAC, and tokidoki. In this company, Hello Kitty seems more C.E.O. than C-A-T.

For more information on Hello Kitty’s big birthday events visit Sanrio.com/threeapples.

Charlotte Savino is the online listings editor at Travel + Leisure.

Photos courtesy of Royal/T

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