“Pool Side Gossip ” Photographed by a jet setter and socialite photographer, Slim Arron at the house designed by Richard Neutra for Edgar Kaufman, Palm Springs, 1970
Welcome to Palm Springs! Above opening picture completely captures what Palm Springs Life is all about since the New Architectural and Design movement, Mid Century Modernism was born in America around 1933-1970, which could have been a reflection of International and Bauhaus Movement that was going on in time, but in Our opinion, American Mid Century Modernism has this bright and sort of happy side yet maybe even more minimal than where it all may have started. And Palm Springs is a Living Museum, Showcase and Real life Evidence of American Mid Century Modernism, and I hope all of you Americans are very proud of it!
Palm Springs has a unique geographical set. It only takes about 1 1/2 hour long car ride from LA airport area. The ride is beautiful along the non stop chain of mountain view and as you reach the town, these gorgeously lined up California Fan Palms will greet you. The heart of town is protected by breathtaking San Jacinto mountains and sitting on the vastly open desert field. Closer to the mountain, you will get to more expensive area of the town filled with some of the most prominent Mid Century Homes designed by Donald Wexler, Lautner, Neutra, William Krisel and more.
In My opinion, the dry and hot open desert land filled with lush palm trees surrounded by the most beautiful mountains right int the heart of the town could have been the Critical Natural Setting and Reason for why Mid Century Modernism could have been particularly flourished right here in Palm Springs.
Palm Springs Visitor Center. It’s unreal that we are here!
Visitor Center carries All the information you need plus good range of post cards and AMAZING Mid Century Modern Architects’ Books and Documentary films. We went bit crazy buying All the films and more…! It’s a place you must stop by when you visit Palm Springs!
Please check out my past blog post on Julius Shulman. Julius Shulman resided in Palm Springs for many many years. By the way, from watching Shulman’s documentary, I learned that the 2 men on this book cover is actually Julius himself and his uncle. This is Bop Hope’s house designed by John Lautner and photographed by Shulman. Isn’t it just amazing?
Gael browsing books at the Visitor center.
Donald Wexler not only designed Mid century residential homes but also was the first person who designed Steel houses. Only 7 of them were built and they were all built by Wexler. Wexler also has worked on many prominent public buildings such as Palm Springs Airport, Water system office, Public Schools and more in Pam Springs and areas near. This book cover shows Wexler’s signature roof detail.
Palm Springs and close areas are known to get windy. America is blessed with big land everywhere. Right outer edge of Palm Springs, you will see these thousands and thousands windmills creating energy. They come in different heights and sizes. I find the quite beautiful.
Yay! We are arriving at ACE Hotel Palm Springs Swim Club!! Our Glorious And Fun Stay base in Palm Springs!
LOVING ACE HOTEL! We highly recommend you to stay at ACE Swim Club in Palm Springs. Hotel itself is not only a Mid Century Architecture but also it got all the right attitude with casual easiness. The staffs are easy going like next door guys and the hotel draws great bunch of crowds. You will see good mix of hip and cool adults to beautiful young family with fully tattooed rock and roll mom and dad , most amazingly dressed hipster grannies in white shades and floral swim suits… This is the Place to BE! Here we are waiting to check in at the front desk area. It feels bit like we are at Opening Ceremony shop.
So Here’s a Quick history on ACE Hotel Palm Springs. ACE Hotel was built on the foundation of a 1965 Howard Johnson Hotel and the Restaurant space today was then Denny’s chain from the later years. ACE had done an excellent job keeping it all simple and also highly functional ( Good design is also high in function: this is my personal motto and strong belief). Rooms are excellent with right decor and function again. Here we are to grab a quick bite for lunch. Restaurant at ACE is called ” King’s Highway”.
Emi and I were wondering if these cute Sun Shades were already here from Howard Johnson time. You can buy one from Modernica website today. The shade you can adjust in any angle you want. I think they look quite fun and modern. By the way, Pool Area!!
ACE hotel is located in quiet area, Twin Palms where is one of main areas you can see numerous Mid Century Modern Homes built right near to San Jacinto Mountain. It’s lovely to have that mountain view from the pool.
That’s Gael, il Lupo di Mare ( wolf of the ocean), jumping in. You get full bar and food service right by the pool. Again friendly staffs, beautiful sunny dry weather, the pool. Life is good here!
Our Captain, Emi deserves some lay low time by the pool. He had driven quite a bit already.
The Pool and generously sized Jacuzzi is open till 2:00 am.
Gael enjoys night ping pong with dad and other guests at ACE.
By the pool food and drinks goes from early morning to late night. Everyone is respectful and relaxed here.
Each building has outdoor communal fire place lounging situations. Ir’s soooo nice. Everything is set up for outdoor. I really envy out here for this.
The indoor full Bar at ACE Kicks Your Butt! They open for all day and have fun small events at night like concert, karaoke, parties…
Here we are outside of Edgar Kaufman’s Home designed by Richard Neutra. This is the house of the very first picture I put on this posting. Can you believe this home was built back in year 1970? Today, We are dedicating our day to go see and visit Mid Century Architecture. Residences and also some public buildings. We are very excite! You can hire a private tour guide or get a self guided map for all the prominent Mid Century Modern architecture. We decided to do self guide one and made an appointment to go see inside of 5 mid century homes in Palm Springs.
This is the interior of Kaufman house. The picture is taken by Julius Shulman.
This is one of Wexler designed Mid century home with classic and key detail, Butterfly roof. Butterfly roof was created to prevent roof leaking.
Donald Wexler’s big break and main training stared by working for an Architect, Richard Neutra.
How Beautiful is this?!! The gloriously famous and much loved Palm Springs Spa. Then it was the hot spot for old Hollywood heavy weights. Designed by Donald Wexler. 1958.
Donald Wexler’s Shore House. San Jacinto mountain must have been the key natural inspiration for these Palm Springs Mid Century Modern Life Style. All the Houses were built with minimal and simple lines to bring indoor to outdoor or vice versa. The Pool is a key point.
Another Wexler Designed home in Palm Springs back in the 60’s. The photo was taken by Julius Shulman in 2005.
Now we are at inside of one of recently sold Donald Wexler’s Mid Century Home. We are here to see the house with one of agents from a much respected Real Estate Agency, Paul Kaplan, Palm Springs. Chris, Thank you for your time and your selection!
Here we are at the second house to see. This place is all about the outdoor space. There’s more outdoor than the actual home. Average Mid Century Home is built on about 1300 square foot indoor space including kitchen, bedrooms and the bathroom. And there will be about double the size of outdoor space or more.
A typical entrance situation of Mid Century Modern homes.
We also ran and biked around the Twin Palm area one morning for couple hours. That’s Gael on the bike! The neighborhood is really quiet and safe.
Some homes have serious front gardening going. Ahhh we so envy these desert plants..!
One of the Most fun we had in Palm Springs was going on a Horse back riding across the desert field and arrive at a small oasis in San Jacinto mountain. I am just excite as Gael! We chose to go for Smoke Tree Stables. Friendly, safe and conveniently located near ACE hotel.
Desert is Dry. But when you get to Oasis, it’s Unbelievably LUSH!!!! Here we go again, The sign of where water is in desert, California Fan Palms. I learnt couple things about desert plants in this trip for sure.
It’s literally a little Oasis. Oasis comes in all different forms by the way. It’s an amazing feeling you have after a hour long of horseback ride gazing such grand and open mountain and desert view. Then finally arrive at the Oasis. It is our very first time to have such an experience. We are usually beach goers, so this entire trip has been definitely bit of shock to us.
Cheese! From left, Cholla, Poncho y Pedro. Thank you horses! We love you guys!!
Palm Springs Tram is famous for being the world largest rotating Tramcar and also the Tram station itself is designed by Albert Frey.
It’s 15 minute ride but boy, you get to feel the thrill of going up to 8500ft from the sea level.
The View is Absolutely amazing. Up here at 8500ft high, the temperature drops down about 30 degrees lower than the town. Bring a warm jacket. The Air’s bit thin, but also so clean.
After we got off the tram, We had gone for a nice walk. It’s so crazy how cold up here!
The vegetation completely changed. It’s a different kind of beauty.
Albert Frey’s Russel House.
Albert Frey’s residence.
Here are some good souvenir we got from Palm Springs. They are all great. Especially William Krisel was our favorite one for his much stylish life, amazing taste, exotic travels and the happiness he had brought to his family as a wonderful father and a man who only got to do what he loved to do. If anyone is interested in watching any of these documentary films, Please see below!
There are So many things to do in Palm Springs and near areas. Especially if you are interested in Mid Century Modern Architecture, this is The Place to visit. The weather is hot and dry year around. From June to August, many businesses are closed as it reaches up to 120 degrees or higher. January to March is a really good time to visit for wonderful weather. Annual Modernism Week is definitely a main event in Palm Springs to check out. Most major important Mid Century Modern Architecture is open to public for visit along auctions and special lectures.
Now we are heading out to Salton Sea!
Day 1 at Rose Bowl Flea, Pasadena, LA
Auwheee! It has been So long that I have been at Rose Bowl Flea!! Maybe almost good 8 years have passed by since the very first glorious visit to the market. Ahhh it was a hot beautiful day then with blazing sun on my back complaining at myself not thinking of bringing a tube of sun block with me. But this time around, it was quite chilly and cloudy only reaching up to 45 degrees. Only after 5 hours of sleep, Emi, Gael and myself hit the road to Pasadena munching on complimentary continental breakfast in the car to go (Chocolate Croissants and some coffee from Viceroy, Santa Monica). By the way, Viceroy Santa Monica was bit of disappointment after all for that whooping nightly rate they charged on us. ( Pls send me an email if you were planning to stay there and have any questions). The market opens at 5:00 am with VIP admissions then regular admissions from 7:00 am till 4:30 pm for the last minute bargains. The market is HUGE with 6 colored areas. The white area across 2 small canals is where most of hard core vintage clothing lovers will be at and that is where you get to do most of people watching. And be ready to say ” Kawai and Ohaio” to those well vintagely dressed Japanese friends popping everywhere!
We arrived right before 7:00 am and our admission costs $15.00 From 8:00 am and on, admission reduces down to $10.00. 12 years old and younger gets in for free.
The Rose Bowl Stadium itself. We pay a quick visit.
Welcome to Rose Bowl where Real Vintage Hippies exist.
Epitome of Men’s Vintage and Cool Gals: ARMY AND NAVY. You go crazy here. Experiences like this truly sharpens your eyes to spot what is Really good Vintage or not.
Plus Turn of the Century ones. They are too good!
Motorcycle is Huge here.
Dress comfy and casual to dig at Rose Bowl.
Two things here. One, you need to have at least 1 breakfast Burrito when you are in Rose Bowl Flea. Two, all those tough denim and leather Rose Bowl girls.
Then real highlight of Rose Bowl this time was these Heavy weight Vintage Insiders and Dealers visiting Rose Bowl only a day after now the 4th annual event: Japanese Vintage God Father Rin Tanaka’s Kulture Recycling Show, INSPIRATION LA in Long Beach, LA. Lots of Hand shaking, huddled groups deep in conversations, exclusive U haul trucks with highly collectible vintage items being dealt inside… Then beautiful Japanese buyers completely decked out in Kapital denim pieces with all those Army jackets and Native American accessories. How about sharp and stylish Italian buyers dealing all those sexy leather jackets… It truly felt like we were in a week of Grammy of Vintage in LA as we kept bumping into those insiders feeling lots of energy in town!
Here is the 8th edition I purchased of Rin Tanaka’s MyFReedamn! Book series. A great book that shows Tanaka’s wealth of Knowledge and love for Vintage Clothing, Motorcycles and Accessories. It’s a Great source for everything I do. It’s inspiring and I really respect how far Tanaka had taken his love for the Vintage and it’s history. Rin Tanaka was born in 1970 in Japan.
Then here’s the owner and a crew of Irons and Duck.: An awesome Wear house full of Vintage and Vintage Inspired Industrial Design furniture and clothing. They Fuel many of important design showrooms, retail places and residential homes in west coast. Great guys with all the positive energy. And I LOVE their about to shred to a string small yet well edited vintage clothing.
Awesome collection of Vintage Iron Rail road nails. The number indicates what year the nail has been produced and used to repair or build the rail roads. They are beautiful.
Serious buyers will come prepared with big bags. I had brought luggages on wheels!
We also browsed Home stuff and mid century modern. By the way, we saw very little of Mid century modern furniture at Rose Bowl.
Ever so getting popular NA and European Farm Crop Sacks ( for any end use). The stripe indicates which farm the crops belong to.
Crop Sacks come to a Life in one way.
Day 2, we are hitting Abbot Kinney in Venice Beach Area. All the business opens at 11:00 am so we came to the Venice beach to stroll a bit and check out also the Canal area. ( it got little warmer! yay!)
Ahhh We love Canals of Venice beach! It’s so quiet and It’s Lovely! Sun is finally out and homes are cute. I am totally envious of beautiful palms, cactus and flowers… I want to have a home here!
A lady on a surf board in canal. It feels so surreal to see such thing as I am from NY. This is Very LA.
Ahhh I So want this tree!
Gosh, they are Gorgeous. I am in LOvE!!
After day 2 at Abbot Kinney and my favorite store in LA, Opening Ceremony in West Hollywood, here we are on Day 3 at Silver Lake. We are here for some breakfast and a few store visits.
Inside at Inteligentsia Coffee in Sunset Junction. I love cool Blue mosaic tiles against the rustic warm lighting.
It’s a French place in Brooklyn sort of way in Spanish style architecture. It feels like home here.
Warm pita on Soft eggs and Merguez. SOOo delicious!
Entering a Cheese Shop the next door. A cutest little places here. Got some locally made Sea Salt Caramel bags for my design team back home here and they are delicious!
Shop Lake. We had such little time before taking off to Airport and Shops open late in this area. But managed to hit a few good ones.
Lovely Wall paper.
The Last place we visited in LA. High Mart in Los Feliz. A great airy space that offers Tranquility and quality. Japanese owned and this place will take you right to Tokyo ( in Zen way).
Here’s my LA list:
And For the BEST COMPLETE GUIDE:
Entrance to Design Miami, South Beach Miami.
This year’s visit to Miami Art Basel was our very first time and I must say I have really enjoyed all the lively Art scenes with back drop of beautiful Caribbean ocean and eye soaring envious palm trees. It is much more relaxed and Sexier it gets than ones in NYC as quick breaks of peppered in beach hours and refreshing cocktails over the sunset talking about Arts with friends in your fresh outfit is just unbeatable good time and experiences. The days get by, you connect with more people in art and design world and all the choices and added extra interesting events throughout the day actually turned the slight sense of overwhelming that I had the first day I arrived to a Real Good Time.
Thanks to all of my Dear Friends who Work So Hard and Successful who added extra perks to meet up at their fabulous events for good meals and fun chats walking through all those art pieces and beautiful designs. I love you all and it was so lovely to spend time together during the Art Basel!
Our day 1 starts with PULSE. Here Emi are I are to attend the VIP Opening Brunch. Now I think back, maybe this was the best event to start the whole experience with for me. More downtown and More approachable.
Pulse event is being held in Design District. Ton of great graffiti arts in the area are extra Bonus when you get to Design District.
Loving the relaxed Great outdoor space and Low rise industrial building situation here. It is very much like a Brooklyn style actually.
Not a real information booth. A part of Pulse Art installation. I like to call it Ikea meets a dorm room.
… and the Artist’s note on the wall.
And I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS PIECE. A poster. Circa 1950’s. I want it.
Yes he moves. The biggest trend. Digital Art.
NYC 1974. Gorgeous photography by Daido Moriyama.
A lamp of All. And there’s a small motor built in which makes all those glass bottles move and hit each others making small sounds. It’s cute.
Love this Piece.
A curator’s Deck.
Toilette paper rolls turn to art.
Hallow hand blown glass breasts capturing moving images. Bit like Tim Berton version of Charlie and Willy Wonka. I love this! They are quite beautiful to look at.
A few favorite moments at NADA
I would not compare Art Basel to a Fashion week really but there are some fun characters. It’s always fun to people watch.
Standing is more fun.
The artist is known to hire the best of best taxidermists to create this elegantly odd yet amazingly beautiful new creatures. Guess how many birds and animals make this beauty.
Maybe one of the most beautiful thing I saw during the Basel.
It feels like I am in HK! Amazing view at Mandarin Oriental Hotel in downtown Miami. Emi and I came to see Beppe for an event he put together for Girard Perregaux.
Having a good time with my bare feet tucked in cool night sand.
He says She says.
A cigar roller for the guests.
The second day at Design Miami. My favorite exhibit of all. I really loved this event the best.
Gigantic sausage like blown ups definitely catches eyes of all visitors and also offers cool breeze and shades.
Emi and Keith entering. Keith is also one of event participants. Keith represents Moroso, a high end Italian design company.
Creme de la Creme of Mid Century Modern is All here from around the world in Design Miami. It’s impressive.
Not only what’s in it but also the booth the stage itself is beautiful design in general. Most prominent galleries around the world are presented.
A Beautiful mirror.
Joe Colombo Circa 1969. Amazing chair.
Awesome legs. Always Good crazy, Gaetano Pesce.
All of these are actually being sold for outdoor use.
Guest speaker at Design Miami, Farrell.
A view from the roof top of Dream hotel, Miami : Lords, South Beach. The facade usually in white was specially painted in Black plus all the decoration for the Art Basel week. Great parties here.
LOve this Piece.
A real one is inside.
Gorgeous Beach, Art, Design. A few days’ hang out in Miami Art Basel will refresh your longest winter days. Surprisingly well priced Tickets during the time and use Air BnB for swanky affordable pads to crash and even a little dip in a pool!
You will be pleasently surprise. And don’t forget hidden gem of Miami, North Beach for stays.
With Emi and Gael at The XX Concert, Paradise Theater, NYC
It has been a while Gael had graduated from Big Time Rush and Beaver. Jovanotti is maybe the very favorite musician Gael has been after for a longest time in his fairly cute and young life. But as Gael get’s bigger and more exposed to what We are up for, Now there is this strong presence of other bands and artists in his second chapter of life. Rolling Stones, Beatles, various House music, even Brazilians like Viva Brazil… Then so much more from having an access to mom’s I pod nano… Was it like around 3 years old then? Gael would burst out in tears listening to a CD in his room then would say ” Mom I miss my friends…!” It was not really the friends that made him cry. It was the emotion and something in the music that touched his heart. Since then, Gael had many more broke downs with various music. Films, Classical music… Gael would say ” Dad, I really miss my fish..!!” his face covered in tears… Gael was already showing signs of his rich emotions and was able to express somehow.
It is a beautiful thing to watch my little child or maybe it’s more correct to say a little human being shaping his own palette and depth of sensibility and sentiment. And we can help him as parents by providing him opportunities to have exposed to all sort of everything. It’s an amazing journey to be there together and share the moments. I see Twinkles in his eyes. It’s just so beautiful to see that.
Here’s our very second concert with Gael after Jovanotti at Terminal 5. The XX, the absolute favorite band of this moment in Gael’s 9 year old life. Every song, every lyric. It touches Gael’s heart in such a strong way. Here now we are together to love them only in a better way. It’s a live concert!
Paradise Theater, It’s our first time here. it’s a beautiful theater!
The British Indie pop band, XX formed in August 2009 and they have 3 albums out so far. Maybe one of the most talented and well established indie bands out there today in such a short period.
It’s still early. Emi got us great Orchestra seats!
An opening band. Not a bad sound, but like any other opening bands, they were just all right. I liked the back drop images though.
Patiently waiting for XX to come out. Emi and Gael playing” Chop Sticks” ( a real fun game using fingers. It needs a good Addition skill!)
Bit of John Currin -ish moment here.
Romy Madley Croft shows up first. The audience jumps out of their seats. Swirl of applause and screams in the air. It’s exciting!
Such a great and edited sound in many layers. It’s very powerful.
Jamie XX has such a beautiful voice. Deep, clean and intellectual sort of.
Gael absolutely loved lighting effects. He thought it was one of the coolest thing he has ever seen.
A beautiful theater. Very Romanesque.
Ahhh It was Such a Great Concert…!!!
I am thankful that Gael is big enough to do this together with us. Emi and I are both around 40’s and We have so much more ahead of us. And I like to thank to those Great Artists out there offering their performance for All age groups.
Heading back home, we are putting who’s music on? Yes XX.
Here are Gael’s 2 favorite songs of XX. Enjoy it!
Sam Sung Museum of Art, Leeum Museum, Hannam Dong, Seoul
Our Seoul trip has come to an end and we are doing a few last things on our list. It has been so wonderful to see Mom and Dad, Grandma, Aunts and Uncles and Yoon and Hun and whoever came across including countless friendly Seoul citizens ( Here they like to call them Natizen). This trip, we ate and tasted enough to survive through coming Autumn feeling almost guilty for those who do have not enough to eat… But then knowing not having such access to food that is so deeply cultural in so unique ambiance like in Seoul back in New York, every opportunity felt like it could be the last one that we better maximize all the fun of what really having food means in Korean way. (Sorry but any K-town in NY does not do the justice at all!!)
All the 2nd and third generation Koreans who live out overseas, Please you must visit Korea and should know where you came from and know and get educated how your home is moving forward and evolving, and what past we love and are attached to preserve. It has been such an eye opening experience for me. My first language is Korean, but Don’t be afraid if you are not fluent in your own language. You will still feel all at your heart and our home will still welcome you no matter what.
I have been noticing Seoul’s quite impressive changes over about 3 years through my short timed business trips. Seoul has definitely opened eyes to good designs and especially for the sense of being in good and quality space, which has made a huge Architectural Re birth all over the city from little cafes to amazing residential homes to hall in the wall small business or impressive standing alone shops and restaurants and galleries… The list goes on and I am especially impressed by Seoul’s effort to create Urban Green Areas for communities by small brooks and major rivers creating bicycle and running lanes that are completely separated from the ones for the cars.
I honestly felt like I could not keep up blogging about so many great things we were doing in Seoul with family but this one would be sort my finale to our first Seoul trip with Emi and Gael together, So here we go, I am putting together a few more moments to share!
You are all familiar with Korean Sam Sung’s technology . Phones, TVs… The list goes on. Leeum is Sam Sung founded Art museum that has impressive permanent collection of International fine art and Korean porcelains that are dated from 12-14C. And the museum space is to die for. Cutting edge modern architecture that is well surrounded by natural element such as rocks and trees.
Comme Des Garcons Flag ship, Hannam dong, Seoul
Doo Ta, Dong De Mun
Dapsimni Antique Market. The Best Antique market in Seoul!! Smaller scale but it’s enough and it’s a real deal.
I got a small set. SO excited! Korean traditional bronze wear.
Traditional wooden flat spools for yarns and threads.
Wooden stamps to make motives on rice cakes and traditional cookies. So pretty.
Wedding costumes. For her on the left and him on the right.
With Yoon and Hun, Just about to have Jeuk Suk Ttuck boki at Hongdae. Jeuck Suk means right away. You cook up your ttuk boki on the table! Ahh nostalgia! This came out when I was on Junior years. And So great ! We LOvE dOTs!
Gael already digging into picked Raddish. Oh boy, He Can really EAT. Best imobu, Hun!
All ready to go!
Woooo, can’t wait! excuse my shiny forehead…!
Busy Hongdae street, Saturday Afternoon.
A land Outlet in Hongdae. Cool space.
aA Design Museum , Hong Dae. Impressive collection of International mid century furniture and industrial interior design is here. And of course, an Amazing Coffee Shop.
Night stroll along Chung gye chun, One of the most visible Urban planning through out the city Seoul is doing. You will see these parks that are made along the small rivers everywhere. This Chung gye chun maybe more special one as this river was once turned into build-able land and back again as a aprk. Impressive.
Now Grilled Eel Dinner with Mom, Yoon and Hun, Heyri. Ahhh, it hurts me that you can’t taste it!
This is thickened Soy ( different from teriyaki) version and thinly sliced Jin seng chips on top. OMG.
What a beauty! Sea salt Eel. On the side, simply sliced potatoes, Ginko, fried eel bone chips.
Myung Ga Ram, Paju. The last big meal with whole family.
Suk mo, ( little aunt), Gang hun, my cousin little brother.
11 family members today! Yoon on the camera. Little cousin sis, Yujin and my little uncle, Jerim.
My Grandma, the 84 year old Beauty, God bless her and protect her. I just wish her to be healthy to have longer and happy life.
Another Grand meal and family. . Ahh it’s coming to an end…
Gang hun and Gael. Can you believe Gang Hun is Gael’s uncle?!! They are only 2 1/2 years apart!
About to kim chi all together!
Sanmotungi Cafe, Buam dong. Seoul is such a lush city. So many little mountains and lots of trees everywhere.
Emi, only with You would be this much fun!!!
So Much More to Come for Many Many Years!
VivA FaMily!!! VivA KOreA!!!
Chow down with Hun, Yoon, Gael and Emi. Cheap and Cheerful Night eating at Gwang Jang Market!
I am sure you all like Korean BBQ. And Me too! But there is so much more beyond BBQ in Korean food and the most fun part is that you can enjoy all sort of eateries in different price, ambiance and based on seasonal specialties. It’s already mouth watering brain storming where to go for tonight or for tomorrow’s lunch. At the night market? All vegetarian Ssam place? North Korean cold noodle soup, Nang Myun? or Freshest Sashimi at the fish market! The possibilities are truly endless and you will need months and months to taste all these wonderfully cultural food that Korea can offer.
My dear cousin Yoon and her husband Hun are maybe the 2 best eatery guide you can ask for ! We have been eating the most delicious food around Seoul and having the best time catching up! Soju became our new favorite drink and now that Emi had tasted real deal of Korean food in Seoul, I better Up my Korean cooking skill back in New York…!
Now, are you ready for some Korean food? Then let’s start!!!
First, we are checking the water out at the market. There are so many banquets of all market and street food vendors. Market food usually means Noodles, Korean blood sausage, Jun ( pan fried anything that’s dipped in the egg wash), Ttuck boki ( rice cake cooked in chili paste), Oden soup ( fish cake soup), Sashimi and much more! This runs good half mile long on a long isle between the shops.
Thanks for the big smile! These little fingerling Korean maki ( Gim Bap) are so good that it has a nick name ” Drug Maki”. So addictive. Carrots, crunch sweet and sour Pickled Radish root, Spinach and touch of wasabi paste. Delicious!
It’s a crab season in Korea and Crabs are everywhere! These are Soy Crab. Soaked in a tub of soy sauce. These are cleaned and raw.
Chili paste version. Spicy and sweet.
Down and low in local way. Eating is one thing but most of all, the talking and being together in such atmosphere is the key here. Keeping the company over just good simple food.
So much memories with my Ttuck boki. It’s Korean way of comfort food.
Perfection of Dumplings!
Serious set of All kinds.
Post Soju and lots of food face. We hit already 2 banquets!
Korean Style Sashimi. Cooked and uncooked are mixed. Cooked Octopus, Shell fish and raw salmon and flounder.
Next we are at the BEST Mung bean pancake house.
Yummmm! Yoon and Hun say this is IT!
Cheap and Deep! Crispy around the edges with hearty and satisfying fillings. Delicious! Gael just loves loves loves!
Pickled sweet Onions in Soy and Kimch on the side!
It’s very first time my dad and Gael are meeting in person. We had the best 3 days doing little things as a family visiting local markets, garden and a Korean folk flea market. It makes me feel so happy to see my dad and Gael walking hand in hand. We are going for dinner!!
One area in the west side of Seoul is called ” Mapo” and here we are with dad hitting the most typical Mapo style BBQ place! I really liked overall vibe in this particular area. There were many little places in sort of 70’s style in such Korean way.
Coals are in!
First, a waitress comes and spread some slightly cooked kimchi on the rim of grill. I am curious as it is my first time to see this.
Ah ha! the Egg wash goes over the Kimchi! It makes steamed egg from the heat! Grill’s busy with chopsticks!
Eggs are all gone and Dad takes charge in Grilling! We ordered 2 kinds of meat. Pork with simple sea salt and Sirloin slices marinated in typical Gal bi dressing ( soy based). They melt in your mouth. Tender and Delicious!
Dad pouring Soju for Emi. You receive it with 2 hands especially when you are younger than the person pouring. It’s our way to pay Respect. A beautiful tradition.
Serious grilling here.
Gael learned how to sharpen Scissors from dad. The first tip from grandpa!
The second tip from Granpa. Now you pour with 2 hands to dad. Another beautiful tradition. I love this moment.
3 generations together. Love you dad!
Now we are back with Yoon and Hun in Norayngjin Fish market. We are going to buy our own ingredients and have one of restaurants on the second floor at the market cook for us! It’s a typical way to have your fish and seafood at the market. Isn’t it a brilliant idea?!!!
Calling it all! Avalon, Conch, Cockle, Clam and …and …and!
Bass. They are big and totally fresh. I mean they are in the water swimming up to the point you purchase it!
Popular wild caught flounder! Great for Sashimi!
You pick one and pay for it . They Sashimi for you right there on a plate to go.
They look like from Mars.
This is Hun and Yoon’s only spot to go to have their freshest seafood purchased cooked. It’s a small and clean place with lovely owner lady. She’s holding our Korean ” Flower” crabs, mixed Shell fish and a whole Bass! You pay the restaurant to prepare the seafood you bought however you wish. Steam, soup, fry, Sashimi… It’s a still excellent deal as the fish itself is way cheaper here at the market than any shops in the city. And also you are eating them at the best quality. I mean how fresher can it be?
Steamed Flower Crab. They are plump, juicy and Sweet! The best!! And of course Soju to accompany.
Mixed steamed Shell Fish.
The owner will make this sort of fried rice with crab meat and crab juice and sesame oil. Yum!!
After dinner cigarettes. Hun and Emi. After dinner, we are on the 2nd round of fun at Korean karaoke and late night snack at Hong Dae!!
For another fun dinner, here me and Yoon patiently waiting for our table at “ Bong San Jip” It’s my second time with Yoon and all of us!
Yay! It’s about to Start!
Thinly sliced beef brisket is maybe one of my favorite thing now! This old school ” Bong San Jip” restaurant only serves 1 menu. Not many sides like other places. Just Beef brisket to grill. But the secret is in this Killer Soy dipping sauce with lots of fresh chopped scallions and sweet green chili peppers. And one pot miso soup again with beef brisket in! You just to have to be here!
The miso is here!
Cabbage, Tofu, brisket, chili and miso.
Honestly I must say “Fooding till Drop” may the main highlight of this trip. Family get together is absolutely the most precious thing but experiencing all these amazing food in Korea has been One cultural shock even to myself as a Korean.
Like Emi Says, ” Korean Kicks Butt!”
LOvE FoOD, LOvE EaT, LOvE SeOuL!!!
Happy Aunt and Gael at Heyri, Aunt’s Studio. It’s almost surreal for me to see Aunt and Gael together!
After another hearty breakfast at Mom’s, We are headed to Aunt’s and Uncle’s in Heyri for the first time for Emi and Gael! Aunt and Uncle have not met Gael yet, So we are very excite!
The door opens up, Uncle and Aunt come out in bare feet much welcoming. I see aunt’s eyes get teary with happiness and emotion to see Emi and Gael. Ahhh it’s so good to be here. I get all teary too. Uncle’s the same way. I have never seen him so happy and having a good time. Emi and Uncle hit it off right away on mutual interests. Love for Wine and good food.
It’s always good to see Tang and Brandy.
Emi and Uncle. The first time meet. Deep in conversation on Italian Wine and Mushrooms. Ha-Ha! Uncle had studied to be a Sommelier as a hobby recently.
All of us enjoying Aunt’s Fermented Ume, Apricot and fresh Peppermint drink. Sweet and refreshing with nice squeeze of Lemon. So Delicious!!! Ume is much used in our family daily in cooking meals in place of honey and vinegar as after it goes through fermentation, it gets sweet and sour. Think sort of maple syrup like consistency. It’s delicious and it does body good for you. Talking about rich in vitamin C and good for digestion.
Beautiful and modern Heyri. Click Here for More Pics. Now we are about to explore!
The Best Coffee in Heyri Aunt says: Coffee Coffee. Heyri’s biggest charm is living a Modern and Artistic life in organic and sort of nostalgic way. There are lots of old school details that are re born in most current setting.
In front of the coffee shop, there’s a true nostalgic ‘ TTong PPang’ machine baking Sweet Red bean cake. The real common name is ” gold fish cake” as the old time cake mold was in gold fish shape but here today’s new version is in ” poop” shape. Now you know what ” TTong” means. PPang means ‘ Bread’. You eat it while it’s hot. Delis!!!
Gael having fun!
Inside of the Coffee shop. The Coffee Bar. Loving the stools made out of part of barrel I believe? Just following coffee shops in Seoul can be one good way to see Seoul today especially for innovative interior designs.
Now we are exploring Artists’ space in the building where the Cafe is. Light fixtures.
Creative Open Space.
Now here we are where Aunt regularly works on her Ceramics. Gael’s abut to experience Ceramic making!
Gael getting ready!
After 20 minutes, Gael had made his Noodle bowl and a Tea cup!
Gael putting his Artist’s signature on. Clay is just too wet for Gael to put his name on. So we are making a tag that can be attached to the bottom and to be baked in a right timing.
Thank you So much Master Choi and Thank you Aunt! We will be back again!!
Now moving on to a Traditional market next door. It says “From the farmers”.
Mini legume samples and sacks contain them for sale.
Back home at Aunt’s Studio for power rest. Then we are off for dinner! Some of Aunt’s small work.
Emi on a nap… Zzzzzzz
OK now it’s time for Dinner! This is one of my favorite place to dine! The place is called “Old Country Table”. They serves up typical Korean table that comes with many little side tasting dishes. You get to choose the main dish such as grilled Beef, pork or Pollack. Today we are going for spicy grilled Pollack.
A few different kinds of kim chi, Mountain veggies that are picked, dried, socked and steamed with great seasonings, simple ssam with lettuce and crunch green chili, soy sauce soaked blue crabs, individually prepared amazing miso soups…. It goes on!
Made to order rice is just prepared and served right at the table on rice cart.
YUUUummmmmm! Ginko, chestnuts, red beans and rice. Delicious! So nutty!
Spicy and Sweet Chilli paste Grilled Pollack! Yum Yum Yum
Uncle, Thank You!!! for the great time and all the generous treats! ( two little legs behind Uncle are Gael’s. He fell on a sleep…)
Aunt and Me. We look alike.
Aunt in Korean is “Imo”. Which really means “A different Mother” in Korean. My aunt is a younger sister of my Mom and She is my another mother. Uncle in this case is called ” Imobu”, which means ” A different father”. I also had lived with Aunt, Uncle and my cousin which actually really is a sister, Yoon hee when I was studying in NY for like a year. So it is very special feeling and love that I have for all of them.
Imo and Imobu, Thank you so much for all your warm hearts and love. We had a wonderful wonderful time! I can’t speak enough how happy I am that we all got to finally meet and had time together.
For many more years, Cheers to us!
Typical Summer Dinner on the first night in Korea, Gael and Halmoney (: Grandma)
Actually the flight to Seoul from NY wasn’t too bad. 14 hours on Asiana Economy was much better than what we all expected. Foot rests and private monitors with quite impressive amount and selection of films and hearty meals ( We are talking about Bibimbop served in ceramic bowl and Hot Soup here!).
It’s humid and rainy in Korea right now and Paju where my Mom lives isn’t an exception but sitting out in the garden listening to water running from the mountain and all those birds and insects that cries out their own Summer nights of Korea brings me right back to where I come from.
I am Home.
Happy with a big dinner table in front. Humble and yummy. Waiting for dad. Pyung Sang is a typical low sitting wooden deck in Korea that is much adorned in Hot Summer time in effort to bring typical floor sitting culture to fresh and breezy outdoor. You take shoes off and sit on the Pyung Sang for anything you wish. Taking nap to eat meals, drink teas, all those water melons you can chow down, cleaning veggies, neighbor’s visit and late night stories…. Ah Nostalgia!
A morning at Mother’s house is full of excitement! Ducks are chatting up and You will need to do some Breakfast Harvest in Mom’s amazing veggie garden!
For our Salad. Mom and Gael walked to the small river by the house for picking these delicate and sweet edible flowers.
Front garden Back garden. We are in the back of the house now. Emi picking tomatoes!
Chemical free All Organic Breakfast from Mom’s. So beautiful!
Gael and Mom picking cucumbers.
Mom’s Awesome Fiery Chilis!!
Mom bragged about her sweet and juicy water melons. Her 5th growing now.
100 % Mom grown and supplied. It’s impressive and delicious!
After breakfast walking, We meet up neighbor’s 7 pups! Gael’s dying!
We are starting our first day nice and slowly by visiting ” Bogwangsa” , a 1000 years old beautiful temple in mom’s area.
The Main Temple. I absolutely love perfectly washed out exteriors. So beautiful.
It’s really lush here.
Water from the mountain.
Jang-Dock. Terracotta pots contain Temple made Soy sauce, Miso paste and all. Always love the scene.
Me at Home with Emi and Gael. Meeting Families and Nourishing My Heart and Soul by eating Amazing Food, My culture and again realizing Undeniable my Root in this land.
I am Happy and I am in Love.
Gowanus Grove Bridge, 400 Carroll Street, Brooklyn. Always peaceful.
It opens at 3:00. Still quiet. It’s 5:00 pm now. People enjoy couple drinks and still gathering up.
Mister Saturday, Mister Sunday tees.
The charm of Gowanus Grove is these vastly located cool industrial buildings. All types. Love them!
Not a bad idea to dance under the trees by the water.
Arrive! Jay, Kaja and me.
Mister Dee Jay.
Sangria for me.
Jackson proves that you have paid and now you can dance.
Maybe good 5 degrees cooler here.
Not only you dance here you Hula Hoop too. Whatever works.
Jaehee and Jay.
High as A Kite.
The Beat goes on. The Night goes on.
For more Info. Click Here.
Ruins of St. Paul’s, in Portuguese: Ruinas de Sao Paulo, Macau
Another trip to Asia working on Spring 13 for Gap right now and for the first time in all these traveling years to HK, I am having real full 2 day weekend without work. Saturday was relaxing spending much time to work out and sweating out all the toxin out of my system in the steam room then had good laughs over lovely dinner in Central HK catching up with Daniel, Kim and Joey. It’s always good to see friends especially when I am away from Emi and Gael.
Then how about Sunday? A long ago, I have watched a documentary on Macau, a formal Portuguese colony back in the 16th century and lies between China and Hong Kong bordering Guangdong province. The Portuguese influence still runs through their food and also architecture that makes the city so exotic from anything I knew about China and it always stayed in my head. I thought I would visit Macau one day, and that One day finally came to me in just right timing!
Here come check out my day in Macau.
The day started with bit of rain. It’s super humid for the moment in HK and Macau is just the same. There are 2 main stations where you can catch a ferry depends on which side of HK you are. I am on Kowloon side, so I took the ferry at China Ferry Terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui, which is also walking distance from Inter Continental and Sheraton Hotel in Kowloon side of HK.
The ferry gets quite full but clean and comfortable with good leg room and cushy chairs! You get your seat assigned. And a good Air Conditioning. Ahhh you so need it with weather like here but you may want to bring a light cardigan as it gets bit chilly. About 1 1/2 hour ride one way fair from Kowloon to Macau is about HKD 160. By the way, Macau’s own currency is SAR but literally Everyone takes HKD as norm in Macau.
Bring your Passport!! And check if your nationality needs a Visa. Koreans are waived from getting a Visa for up to 30 days. HK$166.00 ( about US $24.00) for one way ride.
My first stop at A-MA temple. I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS TEMPLE! This temple was built back in 1488 dedicated to Matsu the Goddess of seafarers and fishermen.
So shrine and peaceful with lots of soft warm colors at the temple. These cone shaped shades are hanging at many little spots at temple holding visitors’ wishes and prays…
Always love the smell of incense… I feel blessed when it covers me over… especially at temples.
A-MA temple is located on the south east tip of Macau peninsula cascading down from a small but good 50 feet high hill right off a main road along the water. Quite curved up and pointed tips of roof are cute and fun. I love the washed down mints against the brick red together.
Pressing down my own urge to kneel and pray… I am still looking for a right spot for me. There are plenty of little pockets where you can unleash and get blessed at the temple.
I am in love with these circular opening gates sort of. Do you think the circle means eternity…?
HK$30 can get me that little connection to my superior God in Macau. It’s about to be my turn. I found the right spot. It’s at the very top of the hill.
I pray and think of all those faces including you. Emi, Gael, mom, brother, dad, Yoon, Hun, aunt, uncles, grannies, all of my in-laws, Suzy, Livia, Luciano, especially their health, family at work all around the world, their little worries, issues, happiness and health, all of friends here and fiends there. Ben and Ben’s Mom. Angela’s and Beppe’s. Tania and Tamara far away in England. And good business after all of our hard work. Love among the family and friends…
But most of all I ask for Strength. Not some powerful magic for things being solved by itself or God. I’ll do that. But I can’t ask enough for solid strength, agility and resilience. Just like my running and just like being a mother.
You can also burn a candle. They come in different sizes but all in Lotus flower shape. By the way there will be Lotus Flower festival in Macau from June 16 for a week.
Larger than life size incenses!
The main room. Most colorful and ornately decorated.
Right outside of temple, Portuguese music and dance is going on, The mosaic tiled flooring reminds me of Rio in Brazil.
A typical Macau Bakery. Macau got some good thing going on when it gets to food. Delicious Portuguese warm egg tarts and Almond cookies!! Yum! and Crispy pork sandwich on the street!!!
Egg tart! I am getting one. About US$1.00 Cheap and Cheerful!
The first bite is warm and flaky. Ssooo good! Then it gets creamy getting into the custard. Not too eggy. It tastes sort of Cream Brulee in a pastry cup as the surface of custard has that slight crunch and caramelized texture to it. Not too sweet but just right. I really had to stop myself for buying the second. I may search to see if I can find this back in NYC!
In and out of sun, it’s getting really really hot in Macau. You can see the humidity in pictures! Walking up to the facade of Ruins of St. Paul right near the main square in Old City.
Built back in from 1582-1602, this facade is what is left from the complex of St.Paul’s college and Cathedral of St. Paul. As many other sites in Macau, Ruins of St.Paul is also a part of UNESCO World Heritage site.
Right in front of the site, there were these handsome young men playing Macau’s traditional music.
OK, Check out their awesome instrument in such geometry. I love it. And i like to pay huge respect that they are wearing these heavy boots and all. I am talking about 90 degrees at 90% humidity! Here I am watching them sipping on chilled PocariSweat which is Asian Gatorade. Or I would have fainted already in this heat. Their song does not have any lyrics. It’s more of this instrumental like low and high sound that they make through the air inside of their head and throat. It’s quite fascinating.
OK. There is only One street that connects from the main square of Old City to Ruins of St. Paul. You know what that means, that little street gets quite crowded but maybe it was the very best kind of touristy spot I had so far! About 50 feet long walk will give you the best taste of what Macau can offer as far as their savory Jerkies, Fried Pork chop sandwiches and delicious Macau cookies. It’s overwhelming and so much fun!
These are all sort of different meat that is dried and seasoned. They are gooey tender sweet savory and sticky! There are plenty of little shops lined up on this street giving away little samplers. They cut and pack to each order while you wait.
There is High Competition selling these delicious crunch Almond Cookies on this alley. They seemed to be steamed on a steam tray, but amazingly crunch it feels like they are baked. The cookies also called ” Chess Cookie” as they are in a shape of Chinese Chess. This guy is a sample/sales man.
Before they get on to the steamer. They have this system they can steam, a few trays at a time by stacking them tall.
This guy got them all! Jerkies and various cookies. Another sample man.
There are 33 churches, 44 temples and 100 banks in Macau ( think gambling). This is a small temple off the market.
I am thinking it’s in lychee family.
I assume this is a kind of plum. It’s me that I don’t speak the language… They told me what it is but I didn’t understand.
This Oh-so-smell-good fried pork in a bun is Everywhere!
One more look at Egg Tarts!
This sign sort of sums up a vibe of Macau to me. It feels like an outskirt of what old HK could have been. It feels old school and quite sweet despite all these crazy Casino business they got going on. There are plenty of little streets and churches and temples and little signs. Lush trees in between old buildings. I like it.
Getting into the heart of Old city. Apparently all these building are 500-700 years old! There are plenty of weekend visitors from HK and China.
The main square where the church ST. Joseph is. Check out the tiling! Just like Rio.
Quite humble interior of Church. Here I was going for the second round of stop and pray.
One of the most popular ways to get around in Macau.
Bean, Tofu and dessert place.
Cute Macau moment.
Main downtown with lots and lots of banks.
Heading back to Ferry station. The white and cream building with wild windows are one of many high rise Casino/Hotel buildings.
Two things that I didn’t do this time visit to Macau were 1. Gambling and 2. Proper meal as I am not interested in gambling at all and I actually hate it and I was quite exhausted from the heat so I kept drinking water rather feeling for any food. So I have one good reason to visit Macau one day again. Food!!
But click Here to see where you can eat in Macau and watch Anthony Bourdain’s 2 day visit to Macau!