coming home for christmas

It has been 8 years since I’ve left NY. I’ve never gone home for Christmas and instead during that time, I’ve celebrated Christmas in different countries including Korea, Thailand, and Singapore. Some of the memories I’ve made were  volunteering and giving out gifts at an orphanage in Korea, relaxing on the beach in Thailand, or watching Christmas movies in sweatshirts with the AC blaring while pretending that it’s cold outside. However, it’s not home. It’s not with family. It’s not Christmas in NY.

I just splurged and bought my ticket home for Christmas this year. So what am I looking forward to besides the 24+ hours of travel time, jet lag, and freezing weather? Hopefully a snow filled Christmas morning, ridiculous Christmas lights on homes (think full sized lighted reindeers on roof tops), and the tree at Rockefeller Center. Oh, there will definitely be some hanging out by the fireplace, opening presents with family on Christmas morning, and walking along Fifth avenue to take in the Christmas lights.

There’s something quite magical about Christmas time in New York. It’s hard to really explain it in words, it’s just something you have to experience. The countdown begins to Christmas!

Some photos I took in New York this past summer at the observatory of the Freedom Tower and the Brooklyn Bridge.dsc_0294dsc_0297dsc_0319dsc_0325dsc_0326dsc_0327dsc_0332dsc_0323dsc_0345

adventures in the empire state

This summer in New York, I was able to do a few firsts, like riding the Staten Island Ferry and going to the Top of the Rock. I didn’t want to wait in line for the actual ferry to Liberty Island and do the whole touristy thing, so we decided to take the Staten Island Ferry, which happens to be free. It was definitely full of tourists doing the same exact thing as us, so try to get in front of the line to board and get a good spot on the upper levels outside! The ferry runs frequently and you can get there from the South Ferry station. The views of the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline were pretty good!  Now I can say that I’ve actually been to Staten Island.

I was playing tour guide for my cousin’s daughter that was visiting NYC for the first time. So instead of going to the top of the Empire State building, I decided to take her to the Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center. The views from the top were stunning. I think it might be my favorite view of NYC. I love that you can see the Empire State Building along with Central Park. I would highly recommend it! The food pics below are from Maison Kayser near the flatiron district, another yummy place for food and drinks. It’s always so hard leaving NYC…

 

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mokbar @ nyc

This summer, I had the chance to check out this new and delicious place called Mokbar located in Chelsea market. My friend recommended this place,and I’m glad she did. This is a new Korean-Japanese fusion ramen place, opened by a Korean-American, Esther Choi. They don’t have too many tables, so be prepared to wait if you have a bigger group.

We tried a whole bunch of different dishes. Their ho-cakes were interesting, as they put pork in them, making them taste more like a pa-jeon/pancakes then the usually sweet ho-dduk. I enjoyed their disco fries, because kimchi, cheese, and fries are some of my favorite foods, especially when they are combined! Their tteokboki had bacon and poached egg which was a unique twist on this classic korean dish. I ordered the kimchi ramen as my main dish, and enjoyed it! I would definitely recommend this place. Next time, I want to try out los tacos, which the taco place located next door!

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exploring soho

I love checking out new restaurants and bakeries with good friends. I randomly stumbled upon a blog post about this newer restaurant called The Cleveland in NYC. This restaurant located technically in “nolita” and only a few steps from line 6’s spring street stop. There’s a fun outdoor area in the back of the restaurant giving you the option of eating outside. We sat in the outdoor area and enjoyed the steak sandwich, pulled- roasted chicken sandwich, branzino, and hand-cut french fries! The fries were definitely a must.

The next stop was dessert. We walked over to Dominique Ansel bakery, home of the cronut. Yes, that’s right, a cronut – half doughnut, half croissant.  There is a high demand for these because you have to be willing to queue at 6am (2 hours before they open at 8am) in order to buy one for a measly $5. The rules are that you can only buy 2 per person and they sell a limited amount, getting sold out very quickly.  Unsurprisingly, there are scalpers and people selling them on the black market for $50 or more. I’ll have to wake up early and try to get one next time.

Besides their cronuts, there are plenty of other delicious dessert choices to keep your stomach satisfied. All their desserts are artfully made, perfect for Instagram, and full of butter to keep you coming back. I highly recommend the Paris-New York pastry, not only does it have the name of two of my most favorite cities, but it had peanut butter and chocolate, enough said.

Besides eating incredibly delicious food, I got to catch up with two pretty amazing ladies! If you are ever in the need of some a princess cut 4 prong diamond engagement ring or any other jewels, this is the woman you need to talk to! My friend Sunjoo who has been working in the diamond district for many years in NYC is able to consult and provide anxious boyfriends with the most beautiful and high quality diamond engagement rings at a really good price. Forget Tiffany’s where all you are getting is a brand name and paying way too much for the baby blue box, she’s the one you need to go to! And, she works with people internationally as well.

Now, if you are interested in fashion in anyway, you need to pay attention to my friend Patricia. She started her own fashion line and it’s so inspiring to see all of her talented and beautiful designs. She creates clothing as well as jewelry. From her robot necklaces to her exquistly embroidered dresses  there’s no denying her talent. She sells her designs on her website and also at a boutique in Singapore called Lula Rock, which is in the Palais Renaissance mall on Orchard. This is definitely just the start of great things for her. It’s always so inspiring to see your friends with incredible talent and passions pursuing their dreams.

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A sneak peak on my next post on our road trip to Rhode Island!

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a nyc adventure {fashion, food & friends}

I don’t know what it is about NYC, but every time I come back I can’t help but love it more. I mean in what other city do you have the subway conductors yelling at the people over the intercom for not getting inside the doors that are closing, or do you end up sitting next a homeless women in a thick fleece jacket with multiple bags that keeps falling asleep on your shoulder? Yes it’s quite the unique city, but you just have to appreciate the diversity and beauty found on each corner. Here are some photos from shopping around in Soho and then meeting up with my good friend Nuree in Eataly! DSC_0561 DSC_0564DSC_0569DSC_0567DSC_0575 DSC_0579 DSC_0582 DSC_0592 DSC_0595DSC_0600 DSC_0603 DSC_0605 DSC_0606 DSC_0607

Brunch @ Hundred Acres

When I’m in NYC, I think Saturday brunch is probably my favorite meal of the week. It’s the weekend, it’s good food, and it’s NY. I recently got a chance to check out Hundred Acres in Soho, on 38 Macdougal street between Houston and Prince. I loved the two dishes we got which were the quiche and blueberry pancakes. These are probably the best blueberry pancakes I ever had! They were so light, flavorful and left you wanting more. If you are looking for a good brunch place in the city, this is it!

I’m always looking for good recommendations. What is your favorite brunch place in the city?

Paparazzi Shots in NYC

Before a lovely dinner with the girls at Lani Kai I did a mini-photo shoot with my friend Miriam, paparazzi style! She couldn’t help laughing at me because I was taking random shots of her while walking down the streets of Manhattan, while she was on her iphone of course! Anyways, I think they came out pretty well since I had a good model!