Saturday, April 30, 2016

Korean food just really hits the spot for me.

Sometimes, a simple meal of rice with banchan can be the most satisfying thing ever. And there are many days when I will gladly eat that over anything else.

While New York's Koreatown is filled with lots of great options to eat, my favorite go-to restaurant for authentic Korean food is The Kunjip. No matter what I order, their food is always well made and just tastes really good. I also appreciate that their menu is sensibly priced, especially considering the quality of food that you get. I've always thought their lunch specials are a superb deal too, with the majority of options hovering around $10. Since my office is not too far from 32nd Street, I love being able to pick up stuff from there to-go on a regular basis.

The Kunjip is open 24 hours and has always been popular for its food amongst both hungry families and drunken partiers during late-night hours. For me personally though, it wasn't until they moved this year to a new and larger space across the street onto the other side of 32nd when I became a true regular. This bigger location is two floors and is usually always busy like it was at the original one. But the experience is a lot less claustrophobic, which makes a huge difference to me. 

However, some things still haven't changed though. In general, The Kunjip has never been the type of restaurant where you go and have a leisurely dinner with friends for hours. If you are looking to catch up with long lost buddies over Korean food, this is not the place for you. Instead, it's a place where you're given menus while waiting to be seated so you already know what you're ordering before you sit down. It's a place where you might have some beer and soju to enhance the food but not where you're going to get shitfaced. It's a place where you get your food quickly, and can have your check dropped at your table before you've even asked.  It's a place where you gather your coats and belongings to leave after you've finished eating instead of lingering about. Basically, the main point of The Kunjip is their good food. 

With all that being said, the dining room's speedy pace does not at all equate to bad service. I actually think it's the complete opposite because whatever your need or request is, the staff will always provide it an efficient yet professional manner. And all the workers are friendly with good energy. I mean sure, they will try and get you out the door if you're done, but will never rush you while you're actually eating. That's just the way the restaurant runs.

One thing I've always thought The Kunjip would be particularly nice for is a date or dinner obligation you really want to be over as quickly as possible. So the next time you have to go eat with someone you'd prefer to spend minimum time with, look no further.

Below are a couple of pictures from my dinner there earlier tonight at the peak of dinner service on a Saturday.


"You take my love for granted.
I just don't understand it."

From the song Too Good by Drake featuring Rihanna.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Why is there always a police officer posted at the entrance of the Union Square Barnes & Noble? In all my life, I have never not seen the NYPD standing guard there. I guess book theft is an ongoing serious problem?
"And yet---as with so much else---he couldn't help himself."

From the book A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. Page 100.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Lose yourself.
Lose interest.
Loser.
The first four sentences of one of my non-existent short stories:

Ben's weekly phone call to his mom eventually became a source of comfort during his first semester of college. Since he was yet to make any friends, he cured his homesickness by spending most of his time on his phone in the largest cafeteria on campus. "'Sheila From the Cafeteria' is the name I've given her, mom," he explained after week three. Ben didn't understand why he was so drawn to this unassuming woman who cleaned up after thankless students, but ached to know everything about her.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The first four sentences of one of my non-existent short stories:

He couldn't help but caress the bump on the back of his lover's head. A fresh haircut made it impossible to resist. Some cultures considered this physical feature as a sign of beauty and masculinity in men, like a Roman Nose. But for him, its strength came from its soft touch.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Pier 46 is one of my favorite spots to lay out at. Even its fake grass/astroturf is a feeling I enjoy against my bare feet.

And when the sun is brightly shining, whatever book I'm reading not only provides a good escape, but also the perfect way to shield my face from a sunburn.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The much anticipated redesign of the $5, $10 and $20 paper notes is so exciting. It's about time we honored and recognized more Americans who have contributed to this country's history.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Don't dread. Feel excited.

All of the anxiety that comes in the unknown should instead be anticipated as wonder.
"Tally: And you've lived all this truth.
Hannah: It didn't feel like very much while it was happening.
Tally: But it is much. And you have so much to say."

From the show Girls. Season 5, Episode 9.
"And what have I done? You know? What have I done with with my life besides get not one but two strains of HPV and gain and lose a total of 33 pounds?"

Said by the character Hannah Horvath in the show Girls. Season 5, Episode 9.

Monday, April 18, 2016

"Add them up, all the pet dogs on the planet, and you get about 250 million.

But there are about a billion dogs on Earth, according to some estimates. The other 750 million don't have flea collars. And they certainly don't have humans who take them for walks and pick up their feces. They are called village dogs, street dogs and free-breeding dogs, among other things, and they haunt the garbage dumps and neighborhoods of most of the world."

From the April 18, 2016, New York Times story: The World Is Full of Dogs Without Collars. Written by James Gorman.

When I first moved to Thailand five years ago, all of the stray dogs that roamed the streets of Bangkok had an instant impact on me. There were just so many of them on almost every street I walked.

While it was heartbreaking to see, thankfully, because Thailand is predominantly a Buddhist culture, these street dogs of Bangkok were not only left alone, but for the most part treated with kindness and compassion.

If you'd like to see some of the street dogs of Bangkok I captured in my years of living there, please check out the following: STREET DOGS OF BANGKOK.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Saturday, April 16, 2016

"Thank you for the privilege of your time."

Said by Jose Diaz in the April 16, 2016, NBC Nightly News.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Thursday, April 14, 2016

"Tomorrow's just an excuse away."

From the song Thirty-Three by The Smashing Pumpkins.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Uh-mazing.
"The reason is obvious: We no longer go out. And why would we, when the allure of staying in has reached irresistible proportions?"

From the April 12, 2016, New York Times article: Is Staying In the New Going Out? Written by Molly Young.

Long live staying home in stretchy pants!
"In one of the lively arteries off the Charminar, Laad Bazaar is famed for its glittery glass bangles in every conceivable color and pattern; don't leave the city without at least an armful, either for yourself or as an inexpensive gift."

From the April 7, 2016, New York Times travel story: 36 Hours in Hyderabad, India. Written by Sarah Khan.
Convenient,
but boring.
Mundane,
not absorbing.
Everyday inanity,
is conforming.
To a life,
never agreed on.
For an existence,
mass-producing peons.
That requires,
nothing to cheer on.
Because it's simply known,
you don't have to be on.
Just go about your day,
listening to others.
The world says go,
which leads to popping uppers.
Then late at night,
you utter.
What happened to my dreams?
I thought I had a plan?
Does society see me,
for the man that I am?
Or does it define me now,
as the person I can't stand?
Who struggles with battles,
that take so much to tackle.
But I know I will overcome this sorrow.
Not today though,
perhaps maybe tomorrow.
Or the day after,
when I open my eyes to again start a new chapter.
Because everyday,
when the new page is turned.
The blank slate is waiting,
for the lessons to be learned.
All of the mistakes though,
why do they seem on repeat?
Where consequences disappear,
by pressing down on delete.
It can't be expected,
that a fresh start will always come with the sunrise.
When the commitment to say no,
flunked with the second order of fries.
Help me be strong,
to makes the better choices.
That will uplift my heart,
making the voices.
Not be so mean,
existing only to tear down.
The things that I think make me happy,
this false playground.
Always giving me the instinct,
to bolt and leave town.
And start brand new,
to finally find you.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Saturday, April 09, 2016

"I rock rough and stuff with my Afro Puffs."

From the song Afro Puffs by The Lady of Rage.

Thursday, April 07, 2016

If it's on sale at the supermarket at two for $5, I just can't resist.
Dear Focaccia Section of Eataly,

Why you so good to me?
The older I get, single life is starting to resemble the nineties Mad TV skit "Lowered Expectations" more and more.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

"He does have an excellent contender in the city's roast-chicken sweepstakes, a bird that once pecked and strutted in Pennsylvania. To show off its barnyard bona fides, it is initially presented in its entirety, head tucked in and feet stretched out on top of a smoldering nest of a hay. The first time one of these platters went by, one of my guests looked up and said, 'Do you smell pot?'"

From the April 5, 2016, New York Times Restaurant Review: At Le Turtle, a French New Wave You Can Eat.
Space out.

Monday, April 04, 2016

Fuck up.
"Amy, you are not nothing! You are not nothing! You are not overweight!"

Said by Amy Schumer in her sketch comedy show Inside Amy Schumer. Season 4, Betsy Ross sketch.

Sunday, April 03, 2016

"For Koreans, the best jajangmyeon is often the one they grew up eating, whether prepared at a favorite neighborhood restaurant or, less frequently, by their moms."

From the March 31, 2016, New York Times T Magazine story: A Korean Noodle Dish for Lonely Hearts. Written by Sam Sifton.
"One hundred years ago, mountain water from the Catskills began flowing into the cupped hands of New York City.

Since those days, New Yorkers have come to take their water for granted, boasting that what comes out of the tap is 'the champagne of drinking water.'"

From the April 1, 2016, New York Times article, Why New York City's Waterworks Works. Written by Emily S. Reub.

Saturday, April 02, 2016

Different people bring out different things in you, and that's totally okay.
"Take my hand... live while you can."

From the song Ordinary Day by Vanessa Carlton.
"I've got to use my imagination,
to change the situation."

From the song Hold Down the Block by Nas.
Loving the cover of this week's Food & Travel Issue of The New Yorker.

(I thoroughly enjoyed this week's cover and it took it upon myself to produce these images to post on my blog with my digital subscription to The New Yorker. All rights are reserved by The New Yorker and will be removed upon request)
Making everything seem fine from the outside fixes half the problem.