Wednesday, September 28, 2016

"Start Out Disappointed If at All Possible
If my career had turned out like the fantasy I had of what it was going to be, it would never have made me happy. But I couldn't have know that until it didn't happen. I found success that is so much bigger and deeper and better, and it's because it happened later. If any of what I'm having happen now---the successes---would have happened to me when I was younger, I would have been ruined. Because when you're young, and things come super easily to you, and you have success right out of the gate, you're liable to think that's how it actually works. You start to think you don't need to be fully prepared or committed to have these things meet you."

From the story, Do Not Be Quick to Succeed, in the October 2016 issue of GQ. By Sarah Paulson.
Let the garden grow.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

This monotony is killing me.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

"One day this boy will be fine.
Better watch out now,
that day might be today."

From the song Winston Churchill's Boy by Benjamin Clementine.
As Sunday evening begins, it's nice to finish the weekend off by just hanging in bed.  

I've been on vacation for the past week, so I need decompress and mentally prepare for Monday morning. My time off was great though, and much needed. It began with the wedding of a good childhood friend, and then a trip out to California to visit other friends who recently had babies.

Natalia and I have been friends since high school, and she moved to San Francisco a few years ago to be with her boyfriend, Mark. The two of them eventually became engaged, and the happy couple got married in New York last Sunday. Natalia and Mark both looked beautiful together at their wedding. Throughout the ceremony, I couldn't take my eyes off the bride's face. I was just so happy for her. Sitting there and witnessing this huge milestone of hers, I couldn't help but reminisce about all of the other big moments in life we had gone through together. I'm so proud of her and wish nothing but the best for her and Mark. 

I saw a lot of old friends I hadn't seen in a while as well, so the wedding's intimate guest list made the reception feel like one the best reunions ever. Fifteen years ago, my friends and I were all just kids from Queens about to start our freshman years of college. And now a decade-and-a-half later, here we all we were, celebrating the wedding of one of our very own with the growing skyline of Manhattan's west side all around. A lot has happened for each of us since our college days when we spent much of our time together. But none of that mattered. Being there with everyone as we laughed, danced, and shared stories, it brought out these emotions that made me feel like we were all back at that age again. It's that feeling of exuberance one has before the reality of adulthood seems to beat it out of you. I had completely forgotten about how it invigorates every cell of the body, drowning out everything that does nothing to contribute to its merriment---where limitless hope in the promise of tomorrow seemed to be the foundation to our days. Later in the night when one of my friends remarked that I had the same giggle from high school, it left me a little stunned. All I could wonder was wow, you still remember my giggle from high school? There's actually someone out there who remembers that about me from so long ago? 

Natalia and Mark's wedding was humbling on so many levels. On top of seeing a good friend get married to their soulmate, it left me feeling a bit stronger about who I am and where I'm from. I needed that reminder. 

The day after the wedding, I flew to Los Angeles to visit my friends Jenn and Daniel. I can't believe it's already been three years since I lived with them and moved back to New York. There's been a lot of change for them since then, mainly in the fact that they have two lovely children now. Their youngest, Isabella, is just over a month old, and their eldest, Bradley, will be three in February. Seeing Jenn and Daniel again and finally meeting their precious kids was such a joy. Staying with them for a week gave me a glimpse into the lives of their growing family, and all the hard work and love they put forth into their daily lives. They're such great parents and I'm so proud of them as well.

This past week was great with lots of glimpses of the past, and it's left me more than ready to forge on in my future.

Below are some gifs from the wedding. 




Wednesday, September 21, 2016

"I would have Sunday dinner out, always confining my order to pasta and wine. It represented a calm, focused moment before the start of a hectic week. More than that, the meal was an opportunity to distill dining to its essence; something to stick to my ribs, and something to go to my head."

From Food & Wine's October 2016 issue: Scenes from an Italian Restaurant. Written by Frank Bruni.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

"A powerful explosion caused by what the authorities believe was a homemade bomb injured at least 29 people on a crowded sidewalk in the bustling Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan on Saturday night, according to authorities, who later found what they described as a second explosive device four blocks away."

From the September 17, 2016, New York Times article: Powerful Blast Injures at Least 29 in Manhattan; Second Device Found. Written by Christopher Mele, Al Baker, and Michael Barbaro.

The reality of our times just feels too real.

Where the bomb went off isn't far from my office. I'm pretty familiar with 23rd Street between 6th and 7th Avenue, especially the north side of it. There's a subway station for the 1 Train near the corner, and used to be where I got off for work before I moved here to Queens. My barbershop, which I just got a haircut from last week, is also on the block.

It was reported that the explosion came out of a dumpster, which wouldn't have happened on too many other streets of Manhattan. Stationary dumpsters sitting in front of buildings aren't a common thing, except for when there's some sort of construction being done there. The dumpster where the blast happened has been there for as far as I can remember. The sidewalk right next to it is covered in scaffolding and men do work there during the daytime. What's worst is that the building is housing for the Associated Blind. I would always see blind residents and their handlers waiting in front of the building to get picked up or being dropped off at it. I hope everyone is okay.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Sunday, September 11, 2016

"In the picture, he departs from this earth like an arrow. Although he has not chosen his fate, he appears to have, in his last instants of life, embraced it. If he were not falling, he might very well be flying. He appears relaxed, hurtling through the air. He appears comfortable in the grip of unimaginable motion. He does not appear intimidated by gravity's divine suction or by what awaits him. His arms are by his side, only slightly outriggered. His left leg is bent at the knee, almost casually. His white shirt, or jacket, or frock, is billowing free of his black pants. His black high-tops are still on his feet. In all the other pictures, the people who did what he did---who jumped---appear to be struggling against horrific discrepancies of scale. They are made puny by the backdrop of the towers, which loom like colossi, and then by the event itself. Some of them are shirtless; their shoes fly off as they flail and fall; they look confused, as though trying to swim down the side of a mountain. The man in the picture, by contract, is perfectly vertical, and so is in accord with the lines of the buildings behind him. He splits them, bisects them: Everything to the left of him in the picture is the North Tower; everything to the right, the South. Though oblivious to the geometric balance he has achieved, he is the essential element in the creation of a new flag, a banner composed entirely of steel bars shining in the sun. Some people who look at the picture see stoicism, willpower, a portrait of resignation; others see something else---something discordant and therefore terrible: freedom. There is something almost rebellious in the man's posture, as though once faced with the inevitability of death, he decided to get on with it; as though he were a missile, a spear, bent on attaining his own end. He is, fifteen seconds past 9:41 a.m. EST, the moment the picture is taken, in the clutches of pure physics, accelerating at a rate of thirty-two feet per second squared. He will soon be traveling at upwards of 150 miles per hour, and he is upside down. In the picture, he is frozen; in his life outside the frame, he drops and keeps dropping until he disappears."

From the September 9, 2016, story on Esquire.com: The Falling Man. Written by Tom Junod.

Fifteen years... and yet it still feels like yesterday.

Rest in peace to all of those who perished on that tragic day.

Thursday, September 08, 2016

"During a two-hour product showcase held on Wednesday in one of rock music's most storied venues, Apple executives signaled that the company was heading toward a wireless future, where devices would connect without cables.

A big step in that direction is the removal of a headphone jack from the latest version of the iPhone, called the iPhone 7."

From the September 7, 2016, New York Times article: Apple Moves Toward a Wireless Future, One Tweak at a Time. Written by Katie Benner.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

"But don't run, even if it gets tough."

Said by the character Dongtak in the KBS series, The Unusual Family. Episode 88. 

Monday, September 05, 2016

After a really hot summer, it's nice to not have the air conditioning on today.

The breeze spilling in from the windows feels good against the skin, and is much needed.

Friday, September 02, 2016

I love how even during Friday morning rush hour on the 1/2/3 subway platform in Times Square, it's possible to run into an old friend from junior high school.

What an auspicious start to the holiday weekend! Have a great Friday, everyone.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

You won't be fat, broke, and single forever.

Monday, August 29, 2016

"The faster we learn to drop our emotional dead weight, the more room we create for something better. I'm talking about everything from stewing about the guy who cut you off in traffic this morning to still refusing to forgive an old friend for an event 20 years ago.

We only have so much bandwidth. We only have so much time. We only have so much energy."

From the August 22, 2016, New York Times article: The Cost of Holding On. By Carl Richards.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

"But breaking into the New York literary world was tougher than he had expected. His short story collection was turned down by 38 literary agents. 'I was writing to impress people, and it turns out that when you do that, you write very unimpressive prose,' he said."

From the August 26, 2016, New York Times story: Nathan Hill Is Compared to John Irving. Irving Compares Him to Dickens. Written by Alexandra Alter.
Running for a cab.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Daily To Do List
-Pizza
-Pasta
-Donuts
-Tomatoes with salt & pepper
-Tres Leches

Monday, August 22, 2016

"In this time of relentlessness and ubiquity, there is no art more potent, or shocking, than the art of disappearance."

From the August 21, 2016, New York Times article: Frank Ocean Ends His Long Silence With a Variety of Works. By Jon Caramanica.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

"We'll never be those kids again."

From the song Ivy by Frank Ocean.
재미없어.

Friday, August 19, 2016

"Getting lifted,
never come down."

From the song Lifted by CL.
Good morning and happy Friday!

I woke up really early today for some reason. Since moving to my new place a few months ago, I haven't yet gotten shades or blinds for the window in my room. I sort of like being able to fall asleep to the moon at night and waking up to the brightness of the morning sun. And my body seems to have adapted to the natural rhythm as well.

Anyway, it's a gorgeous sunny day here in New York City. I hope everyone has a good one.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

"Sitting and writing and talking to no one is how I wish I could spend the better part of every day."

From the book The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer. Page 31 (E-book edition).

I must make this my future.
"Being an introvert doesn't mean you're shy. It means you enjoy being alone. Not just enjoy it---you need it. If you're a true introvert, other people are basically energy vampires."

From the book The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo, by Amy Schumer. Page 29 (E-book edition).

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Stay busy. That's the solution to so many problems.

But the question is, stay busy how, exactly?
Go team USA!

Friday, August 12, 2016

형.
Sticky.
Sweat.
Soak.
Smirk.

It's mid-August and very hot here in New York City. The exposure of any part of flesh provides some relief to the body's rising temperature, or of course there's nothing better than good old-fashioned air conditioning. But perspiring until droplets of sweat are dripping down your chin can bring respite to the summer. It provokes, arouses. Leaves you ready to drop it all for the slightest opportunity of passion. Sometimes, you want to be drenched. To feel open and nimble. Because when winter comes, you'll be too busy shivering.
I want a love that will change my life.

Monday, August 08, 2016

Half the dialog in Korean dramas are characters talking to themselves out loud.

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Romanticize.

This word. This word that does so much to mess with our heads. This word that conjures grand stories of epic levels that exist nowhere but in our self-hatred to feel less than. This word that is rooted in good intentions, but can never live up to expectations. This word that makes things seem serendipitous like a romantic comedy, but in reality is on the same level of fiction as The Muppet Babies. This word that is so often used to fill the gaps of something it has no business being a part of.

This word is dangerous. Be wary of it. It destroys. It disrupts. It can steal your joy.
Talking about it doesn't work for me. I've got to write about it instead.
"Patagonia exists somewhere on the spectrum between real and make-believe. It's a place where you can start the day with a glass of fresh-squeezed raspberry juice, just like the cartoon Moomins do in Mooninland, then head out to observe penguins waddling around extraterrestrially in their rookeries, and wind up experiencing a blistering mountaintop sunset that dazes you with the limitlessness of what this world is capable of."

From the story, Patagonia, Land of Giants, in the summer 2016 issue of Saveur. Written by Adam Leith Gollner.

When you're crammed into a packed subway, shoulder-to-shoulder with lungs contributing to the recycling of stale air enveloping all, there's nothing better than a great travel story to transport you far, far away.

Saturday, August 06, 2016

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Thinking about you today, Anne.
Say thank you, and move on.
I'm really lucky to work just around the corner from the Flatiron location of Eataly. I go there pretty often to grab focaccia for lunch, and had an amusing interaction with the cashier ringing me up today.

"Nice cashier in the focaccia section: Do you work here? You look really familiar?
Me: Funny you say that, but no, I don't. My office is actually a block away, and I can't get enough of your focaccia so I'm here pretty often."

It's the little things that make my day.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

"If he's not reading your essays, he's not reading you."

Said by the character Jessa in the HBO series Girls. Season 2, Episode 2.

Monday, July 25, 2016

"Bravery can oftentimes be measured by the act of taking a first step."

From the Letter From the Editor in the August issue of American Vogue. Written by Anna Wintour.

Friday, July 22, 2016

The news has never had the responsibility to make people happy, but it's now reached a serious point of no turning back.

In these current times we live in, there's so much going. Its aftereffects of shock and disbelief come easily for everyone who have never experienced it, or even let alone knew occurences like that existed. Everyday events in America and around the world are now available to document and experience in video and real time, forcing us all to accept its truth and work on finding a solution.

This is probably true for being on the planet at any time in history, but it's an honor being alive right now. I live with the hope of somehow contributing to the world---or even one person's world---to leave an impact while here.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

I will not take what I can get.
"Have you been to Ssäm bar yet?"

From the book Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler. Page 45.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Patterns and patterns and patterns.

Monday, July 11, 2016

A doughnut a day keeps the sadness away.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

"By Friday afternoon, the full scope of the city's losses was clear: At least two of the slain officers had served overseas in the military, only to die back home in Texas. A third had made his way to Dallas after working at a jail outside Detroit. A fourth was a large man---about 6-foot-5---who had the semblance of a grizzle bear, according to a friend. The fifth was a standout on Dallas's large, modern force: The local police association had named him the "Cops' Cop" for February 2009.

As condolences for the men poured in all day on Friday--from the governor to the secretary general of the United Nations---details of the officers' lives started to emerge. 'We're hurting, our profession is hurting,' said David O. Brown, the Dallas Police Chief."

From the July 9, 2016, New York Times article: 5 Slain Dallas Officers Served Overseas and at Home. Written by Alan Blinder and Alan Feuer.

Lorne Ahrens. Michael Krol. Michael J. Smith. Brent Thompson. Patrick Zamarripa. These are the five officers who were killed in the line of duty in Dallas. Their lives were taken by a man who only saw hatred and violence as a solution. It's just so wrong and infuriating. More death and violence is not what will build empathy and strength in all of us understanding one another.

Rest in peace to these five men. And much respect to all of the law enforcement out there whose daily hard work of serving and protecting all Americans---no matter race, religion, or class--go unrecognized.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

"An emotional President Obama declared on Thursday that 'all Americans should be troubled' by fatal police shootings this week of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota, saying that they were 'symptomatic of a broader set of racial disparities that exist in our criminal justice system.'"

From the July 7, 2016, New York Times article: Shootings of Blacks Symptomatic of Racial Disparities in U.S., Obama Says. Written by Matt Furber and Richard Pérez-Peña.

You can't help but get chills watching the footage of these videos. Everything else around gets silent, and the disbelief in the reality of what's unfolding leaves nothing but shock.

These men did not deserve to die... we need to fix this problem, America.

My heart breaks for their families. My blood boils at the racial injustice. Black Lives Matter.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

When life gives you tomatoes, go buy pizza.
The past few weeks or so.

















"There's a lot of heavy eye contact going on at this restaurant."

From the July 5, 2016, New York Times Restaurant Review: At Nix, Vegetables Get a Dash of Sex. Written by Pete Wells. 
Queens Boulevard never stops. The street does grow slightly quieter at night, but there's still always a constant stream of cars and people (no matter how intermittent they are). Trucks rattling, emergency sirens blaring, or the occasional drunks howling are just some of the noises that carry over into my new 8th floor place whenever I'm home. And since staring out windows has always been a personal passion of mine, I very much appreciate my bird's eye view of everything. All of it is comforting in a way. I haven't lived near such a lively street since I was by Petchaburi in Bangkok.

I moved out of the Financial District at the end of May, and have been living in Woodside, Queens, since. It was a blast living downtown with my best friend Junho and we have a lifetime of memories to cherish from it. But after two years, we were both also ready for some change. He decided to go uptown to be closer to his hospital, and I chose to come back to my hometown borough of Queens.

I like being in Woodside. I haven't lived in Queens for a good eight years or so, but the adjustment is exactly what I was in need of. I'm happy to report the transition has been smooth with no problems so far. My commute to work is painless, I know my way around the area, and there are tons of good ethnic food spots all within walking distance underneath the 7 Train. Everything just feels natural and like I'm back home in a way. I mean, I'm pretty sure I won't ever live in Flushing again, so Woodside is the closest to home that will do.

Aside from my move, I haven't had much else going on. The summer has been pretty hot so far but I've been enjoying walking around and spending lazy Sundays at Prospect Park with friends. I've been trying to churn out a food story here and there whenever I can, so that's kept me somewhat occupied as well. I also had this idea to write about being chronically single my whole life, and how it feels to still be this way at 33. But then a coworker friend of mine mentioned that it's somewhat cliche to write about being single in New York City. And I realized how right she was.

Well, I hope everyone is enjoying their summer so far. Be sure to stay hydrated and do absolutely nothing if possible.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Monday, June 27, 2016

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

"Abby: Tell me you know what you're doing.
Carol: I don't. I never did."

From the movie Carol.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

I really need to get away for a bit.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Happy Birthday, Anne.

On a day like today, your love and words are needed the most.
"After calling 911 to declare his allegiance to the Islamic State terrorist group, a gunman here killed 49 people and wounded 53 in a crowded gay nightclub early Sunday, the worst mass shooting slaughter in American history, law enforcement officials said."

From the June 12, 2016, New York Times story: Shooting at Orlando Nightclub Kills 49, Police Say. Written by Lizette Alvarez, Richard Perez-Pena, and Steve Kenny.

Waking up this Sunday morning was routine as ever, and I opened my eyes to check the news on my phone while still in bed. That's when I read about the shooting in Florida, and my pillow was wet with tears before I even lifted my head off of it.

I'm not sure what can be said about a tragedy like this, so many more things are felt instead. Sadness. Anger. Despair. Unity. My heart aches for all of those who perished and were injured, and all of their family and loved ones. 49 lives lost. 49 Americans gone. 49 fellow LGBT brothers, sisters, and friends no longer here. Countless lives forever changed. It's all so hard to take in. 

Thank you to all of the police, medical emergency workers and armed forces who helped bring the gunman down. It's because of you that our country remains as great as it is.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

"I've always believed in the power of broke: the less you have, the more creative you get. And (usually) as a result of this, you end up creating way cooler things than if you had millions of dollars and amazing connections to create your masterpiece."

From the May 30, 2016, MUNCHIES story: How I Threw a Party and Made It Into a Career. By Jeremy Fall.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

"That's why I always wind up coming back to my diary---I start there and end there because Kitty's always patient."

From the book The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank. Page 157 iBooks version.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

"'I need it,' he kept saying. 'I need it. It makes things right.'"

From the book A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. Page 411.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Sunday, May 15, 2016

24/7 life.
24/7, appetite.

24/7 strife.
24/7, unsatisfied.