Wednesday, May 1, 2013
A cursory glance at my Instagram in recent days will betray my current obsession for snobby espresso (so purist they don't even offer any sweeteners) at Handsome Coffee Roasters and greasy eggy goodness from the always-nearby Egglsut truck. My life lately has been drifting somewhere between striking some fine balance between food (of course), (an attempt) at fitness, and caffeine indulgence with a touch of work here and there. Despite these hardships (read: sarcasm), I somehow managed to contract the nastiest cough of my life in the past two weeks -- the sort which, when one of these hacking fits strikes, causes strangers in my vicinity to grimace and inch away slowly. Can't have it all, I suppose.
Sunday, April 7, 2013
J. Crew 'Minnie' pants, Zara tee + sandals, Forever 21 cropped denim jacket, Marc Jacobs cross-body (similar), Michael Kors watch.
The L.A. skyline always tugs at my heartstrings, no matter how many times I've driven by and through it - even in excruciating SoCal traffic. The prospect of having to leave again is more than a little frightening. The irony is that I'm more nervous about this decision to switch coasts than I ever was when weighing the pros and cons for shipping myself across the ocean last February. Really though, who can blame me? There's nothing like home: dropping by Urth Cafe with a girlfriend in hot pink pants and snapping a few blog photos just blocks away from the heart of downtown. All love.
Thursday, March 28, 2013
Zara coat/shoes/skirt, Michael Kors Jet Set medium tote, rings + bracelets from Korea, Etude House lipstick.
Photos by the shopaholic 247
Photos by the shopaholic 247
These snaps were from a glorious return to NorCal for a (mostly) smooth-sailing girls' getaway weekend in San Francisco -- part of my welcome-back-to-Amurrica tour, as you could say. Gallivanting around in skinny stilettos is much easier even on (sometimes) unevenly paved streets in America as opposed to the cobbled pathways of Seoul. It's hard to believe I've been back for almost a full month. I suppose it's human nature to always miss what no longer exists in front of you or all around you. While the bitter Korean winter is behind me in favor of sunny 70-degree spring days, I'd be lying if I said I didn't feel a twinge of traveler's nostalgia anytime a memento of Seoul pops up in my head. In any case -- here's to what lies ahead. Happy almost-Friday!
Monday, March 11, 2013
Club Monaco blazer, LNA striped tee shirt dress, ASOS wedges, YSL Belle du Jour clutch
So here I am again - back in California, ostensibly for good (at least until the fall, but maybe even after then depending on my final pick.) This city I've missed so ardently while abroad, the sunshine that was everything I remembered: maybe it isn't a fix-all, but it's a start. I'll be honest - I was a bit fearful that my return would be anticlimactic, that for all my homesickness I wouldn't find anything as exciting as discovering and learning to live in a new and completely foreign city. I've been pleasantly surprised with how things have settled themselves since I've been back, however. The past week and a half has been like rediscovered a familiar thing I've loved but forgotten. Serendipity: the things that were meant to happen will happen, and maybe everything about L.A. and I were meant to be. Right? ;)
Friday, February 22, 2013
artist: jung lee
I actually discovered Jung Lee's art on a Saturday afternoon walking past a contemporary art gallery in Gwanghamun on my way to visit Gyeongbokgung, a palace above the river. The neon text installations and their messages - stark, simple, resonating. A little background: Jung Lee is an emerging artist/photographer living in Seoul (perhaps a bit of serendipity that I happened to see her work on that particular weekend in that particular moment of my life). The photographs are so striking, powerful - and perhaps a bit more so in the context of the fact that the photographer resides in the same city as myself at this very moment. I suppose, for all my posturing, I'll never quite get past that right-brained part of me so drawn to art and expression.
Thursday, February 21, 2013
La Seine Buffet @ Lotte Hotel World, Jamsil
In my experience (and perhaps to my preference), exploring any new place is to explore its food. Food is culture, and food as an event is a natural social lubricant. La Seine was a buffet much raved about by friends and acquaintances who had visited or lived in Seoul - so of course, my trusty foodie friends and I had to try it. True to form, La Seine was upscale, high-priced, and generally worth it. As one of many send-off meals I've been having during my remaining days in this city, it was worth it anyway. I've taken on a new, rather strange (but perhaps necessary?) perspective on everything I've done in the last few days. I look at it all like I may never see it again - which may or may not be true. I may come back to visit again sometime, someday. Of course, it will never be the same. You can never recreate the same scene twice (and some may point out, why would you want to?) I will never again be a 20something working abroad and living on my own for the first time. Next time, Seoul will be different. I will be different. That is the ebb and flow of things. But, for now - here's to good meals and good friends.
Monday, February 18, 2013
Bloom & Goute Cafe // Garosugil, Sinsa
Let's get one thing straight here: from the moment I set foot onto the streets of Seoul, one thing was for certain - South Korea really knows their pastries/desserts/coffee/all of the above. Whereas a sweet bakery or cozy coffee shop with kitschy mugs and artisan macchiatos are a gem to find in the States, they line every street corner, alleyway, and everywhere in between here. And the lack of guilt! Waffles with ice cream with brownies with fudge with creamy, foamy coffee...it's a sugar rush with a death wish. Can't say I'm complaining, though. Happy Monday!
Sunday, February 17, 2013
Giordano oversize button-up (similar), Zara pants, Michael Kors rose gold watch (similar) + leather bucket bag (similar),
accessories from Korean boutiques + Stella & Dot
accessories from Korean boutiques + Stella & Dot
Time, when shelled out in limited quantities, suddenly becomes fleeting and invaluable. A year felt like such a long, endless stretch of possibility and the unknown when I first got dropped off here last February. Now I'm making my last rounds around alleyways and streets I'd come to call home for the last 12 months. Not particularly sorry to leave the frigid weather still gripping the city at the moment, but it'd be a lie to say there's no parting sentiments at play. Still, I've had my time here. I'm an ardent believer of the old adage that everything happens for a reason - everything. I met everyone and did everything in Seoul at a right time, a right place. And, well...now it's time to move on.
Monday, February 11, 2013
Afternoon tea @ The Lounge, Park Hyatt Samseong
There's something to be said about moving abroad and recreating certain aspects of your life back home in your new surroundings. Finding gems of places to eat and drink in neighborhoods throughout Seoul has been a trademark of my time here, even as the city constantly changes and moves from week to week. A ramen restaurant or cheese bar that was here last month may not be there again the next - that is the spirit of Korea, I suppose. Home - California, Los Angeles - that's permanent. A permanent place with permanent people and a skyline I'll always feel warm about, even in inching traffic at rush hour. The food, the people, the atmosphere: those are things I'll always have. So, I suppose it is in my best interest to savor as much of this temporary home as I can.
Thursday, February 7, 2013
Some latent February snowfall kicked in just before we snapped these shots outside of the Galleria in another one of my favorite overtly chic-and-bourgeois neighborhoods (Apgujeong Rodeo.) It'd be an overstatement to say I fell in love with Seoul during my time here - perhaps it'd be closer to the truth to say I've developed an intense infatuation, fleeting but meaningful in its moment. California owns my heart, but as with most people who move abroad for a time, there's now always going to be a part of me that exists solely in Korea and will recede with time back in L.A. Fortunately for the materialist in me, I'll always have physical artifacts of Korea on me - my current favorite on rotation being these booties from 8 Seconds, a quirkier/Seoulite's version of H&M.