EMILIANO & JAEHEE
emiliano@lacasapark.com  917 406 2854
jaehee@lacasapark.com  917 373 1548
Take the C train to Clinton Washington | Map

IMG_2757Chow 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!!!

IMG_2752First, 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.

IMG_2793Thanks 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!

IMG_2744It’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.

IMG_2746Chili paste version. Spicy and sweet.

IMG_2764Down 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.

IMG_2705Sample station.

IMG_2704So much memories with my Ttuck boki. It’s Korean way of comfort food.

IMG_2700Perfection of Dumplings!

IMG_2748Serious set of All kinds.

IMG_2755Post Soju and lots of food face.  We hit already 2 banquets!

IMG_2761Sashimi Section!

IMG_2767Korean Style Sashimi. Cooked and uncooked are mixed. Cooked Octopus, Shell fish and raw salmon and flounder.

IMG_2787Next we are at the BEST Mung bean pancake house.

IMG_2790Yummmm! Yoon and Hun say this is IT!

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IMG_2783Cheap and Deep!  Crispy around the edges with hearty and satisfying fillings. Delicious! Gael just loves loves loves!

IMG_2784Pickled sweet Onions in Soy and Kimch on the side!

IMG_2983It’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!!

IMG_2999One 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.

IMG_3008Coals are in!

IMG_3006First, 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.

IMG_3014Ah ha! the Egg wash goes over the Kimchi! It makes steamed egg from the heat!  Grill’s busy with chopsticks!

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IMG_3016Eggs 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!

IMG_3009Dad 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.

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IMG_3013Serious grilling here.

IMG_3017Gael learned how to sharpen Scissors from dad. The first tip from grandpa!

IMG_3020The second tip from Granpa. Now you pour with 2 hands to dad. Another beautiful tradition. I love this moment.

IMG_30033 generations together. Love you dad!

IMG_3141Now 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?!!!

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IMG_3108The market.

IMG_3118Calling it all!  Avalon, Conch, Cockle, Clam and …and …and!

IMG_3122King Crabs!

IMG_3125Bass. They are big and totally fresh. I mean they are in the water swimming up to the point you purchase it!

IMG_3130Popular wild caught flounder! Great for Sashimi!

IMG_3139You pick one and pay for it . They Sashimi for you right there on a plate to go.

IMG_3110They look like from Mars.

IMG_3146This 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?

IMG_3148Sashimi Bass.

IMG_3153Steamed Flower Crab. They are plump, juicy and Sweet! The best!!  And of course Soju to accompany.

IMG_3152Mixed steamed Shell Fish.

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IMG_3156The owner will make this sort of fried rice with crab meat and crab juice and sesame oil. Yum!!

IMG_3199After 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!!

IMG_3191Digesting.

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IMG_4959Happy!

IMG_4427For 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!

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IMG_2637Yay! It’s about to Start!

IMG_2641Thinly 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!

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IMG_2648The miso is here!

IMG_2647Cabbage, 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!!!

IMG_1393Strolling the night of  Venice with Emi…

Venice was the very first place where Emi and I took a real trip to.  20 years have passed since then. We were just starting to date with Emi’s very little English and my almost none in Italian. We carried my little yellow covered pocket sized dictionary everywhere. So I always remember Venice romantic. It was November then? Venice was sitting firmly under heavy mist and feeling sort of mysterious and so beautiful. We held our hands and walked every little streets getting lost countless times. We stopped for a glass of wine and some good food. Little shops and canals… I remember the first time stepping into Piazza San Marco. Ahhh, a complex beauty, I recall. Thousands of pigeons and little children’s giggles chasing them. Gold trims and the most luxurious contrast of Black against to it then aged grey wash showing long history of the city where the last and the most enduring immigrants came to Venice in year 568. It felt so magical. It felt like I was a heroine standing in a scene of old historical film. I’ll never forget.

After amazing time visiting 55th Venice Art Biennale , We knew what we have left to do. Stroll through little streets and get lost again in Venice…!

IMG_1223The only way to get around in Venice. Water bus/ Water taxi. There are about 118 small islands in Venice and what’s in between islands? Water divides them and foot bridges connect them. There is no such Cars existing in Venice.

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IMG_1230How would it be possible to build a such city above the water? It’s unbelievable.

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IMG_1244Typical isles and streets. Years of history drips down.

IMG_1251Emi stopped for 2 minutes of GPS.  Completely by chance, we stumbled into a very little street we had one of the most amazing Venetian food 4 years ago ( totally going back for dinner!). Next time we come, we have to remember to bring just a small back pack. Quite of walk to get around in the city and you will face constant bridges with steps.

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IMG_1257Here we are at our 2 night home base. It’s in the quiet and residential part of the city, which is something always what we are looking for. This is a historic castle turned into a bed and breakfast. It’s so beautiful.

IMG_1264Court yard.

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IMG_1294Loving the neighborhood! Low key and so authentic at the same time. This old wine shop is just perfect.

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IMG_1323Only in Venice.

IMG_1329You will get into plenty of narrow alleys in Venice. We had passed through even much narrower than this one. We are heading out for bit of walk and dinner!

IMG_1331You MUST Eat Here! Enoiteca Mascareta. A typical Venetian Cusin. We are talking about sardines, fresh cods and so much more.

IMG_1353Love Love Love the leather aprons servers wearing! Apparently locally made and hand made. Can we talk about the quality and the style! And the Classic Chambray shirt is a just perfect match.

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IMG_1332Baccala Mantecato & Alici Marinate. Anchovies marinated in olive oil and vinegar.  And couple scoops of soft Cod spread. And young and bitter rucola leaves. So Delicious! Cicchetti ( Chi-Ket-tii) is must try in Venice. Cicchetti is tapas of Venice. Little dishes.

IMG_1333Sarde in Saor ( cipolla) : Pan fried fresh Sardine with sauteed onions and vinegar. It’s SOOOO GOOOD!!!!

IMG_1352Emi sitting in front of wall full of small drawings. Portraits of owner done by regular customers and local artists.

IMG_1346Tortellacci ripieni al Branzino: Oversized Tortelli filled with Brazino ( Italian Sea bass). It had lots of fresh black pepper which I thought went so well with it!

IMG_1355The night came down. It’s peaceful.

IMG_1365Night Canal…

IMG_1366Piazza San Marco.

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IMG_1377Caffe Florian in San Marco. Italy’s the oldest Caffe. Caffe Florian was open in year 1720.

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LOvE VEniCe,  LOve U, Emi

IMG_9789Sequoia National Park, Gael standing tall under a fallen Sequoia tree root.

Day 7. Here we are at Sequoia National Park. “Sequoia” means ” Big” in Native American language.  When I was growing up in Seoul, South Korea, I would hear some people traveled to America came back and bragging about how “Big” everything is in America. The road, people, land, river…  And Now, here I am standing in front of one of fallen Sequoias, I myself experience the moment of the truth that the bragging I heard is real!

The park is located in Southern Sierra Nevada, CA. Not only it is vast spanning 404063 acres but also it encompasses a vertical relief of nearly 13000 feet ( 4000m) of height, the park reaches the highest point in the contiguous 48 United states, Mount Whitney, at 14505 feet above the sea level!  So the park makes the perfect home for World Largest Trees, Sequoia.

IMG_1204Ahhh it’s a beautiful day! The ride leaving from Palm Springs to Sequoia was ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL! Coming out of such hot and deserted surrounding to have experiencing all different layers and progress of changes of vegetation along the elevation and temperature is a wild experience. Something that you just can’t feel or even imagine reading such information through a text book. Here we are at near the town underneath the park.

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IMG_9708Here we are at Gateway, about 6 miles to the Park Entrance. We are going to have a nice dinner before a big day to the Park next day.

IMG_9710Looking over a small brook, we are seated at terrace. It’s lovely here.

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IMG_9717Tasting Gateway’s own vino. The town’s main income source is Farming. There are ton of Orange farms to Tree nuts and Wineries.

IMG_9726It’s getting dark and we are having a good time… I see my Brother in Gael’s smile. Love you both!

IMG_1210It’s a beautiful day! we are up early and ready to hit the park.

IMG_9734Next morning. Loving the Visitor’s guide! We are So excited to go in. We are about to have a Life Time experience!

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IMG_9847They are enormous but we were told we have not seen anything yet!

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IMG_9822We stop to look out and take moments. Clear air and clear mind.

IMG_9831Here we are hiking up on Moro Rock, a gigantic granite dome located just off the Generals highway near Giant Forest. There’s a 1/3 mile staircase from the ground level that ascends more than 300 feet to the summit. The reward is spectacular views of the western half of Sequoia National Park. It’s leg shaking walk up but it’s definitely worth it!

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IMG_9837Planet Earth is Magnificent.

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IMG_9858Here we are in front of  “The World Largest Tree”, General Sherman!

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IMG_9857Studying the tree.

IMG_9853The Tree’s diameter is 36.5 feet. Our brownstone home back in Brooklyn is 17 feet wide. So this tree is about twice big as our home. That’s impressive!

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IMG_9796You will see a few of these Sequoia tree Tunnels at the park. This one is quite popular as you get to climb up and cars can pass under. It’s so much fun!

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IMG_9767We all got to hug lots of trees including the world largest one. We inhaled and exhaled cleanest air and opened our eyes to what’s out there. There are such powerful lessons when you see yourself in this world. This beautiful world.

IMG_9692After 2 days of amazing experience of Sequoia trees, now we are on the road again to hit the south tip of San Francisco to explore much beloved California Highway 1 and Big Sur! We are talking about 8 hours of drive!

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IMG_1234Here we are Finally Hitting Highway 1!!!

IMG_1283We stopped countless times to sock up these amazing views. So grand and So beautiful!  Here we are at the point of Big Sur!

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IMG_1284Here we are for our Easter Lunch at Sierra Mar on Big Sur.  I just got on line while we were on the road and made a quick reservation. They are known for the most amazing view of the ocean!

IMG_1286Beautiful estate with sculptor garden and high end guest houses. It’s an amazing place. Sierra Mar restaurant is part of Post Ranch Inn.

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IMG_0029Wow, we didn’t know what we were getting into. This place is absolutely beautiful overlooking never ending horizon of pacific ocean and open layout with natural light and subtle and tasteful decor.

IMG_0031A private dinning rom is also very lovely.

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IMG_0005The way this restaurant is built overlooking the ocean is breathtaking! You feel like you are up in the air floating sort of.

IMG_9979The Lunch Menu. Lunch is a really nice way to experience Sierra Mar restaurant. You will be sitting in natural light setting, which enables you to gaze out to the ocean and it is quite a good deal to have beautiful full course meal including dessert at $40 per person. We are also doing wine tasting today. It is Easter!  Loving the Wood Sheet menu and the name of Chef is represented.

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IMG_9991Gael with his pretty appetizer. Mmmmmm Happy!

IMG_9993House cured goose prosciutto with wild huckleberries, acorn bread ( crunch flat), creme fresh and touch of arugula.

IMG_9994Emi and my choice of Appetizer. Dungeness crab meat salad. They are plump and juicy. They are Soooo Goood!!!

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IMG_0021YuuummM!  This is my main dish! It’s so pretty to look at. Amazing green off dark purple on white back ground. I had to stare at it for a while and eat slowly. Braised Sonoma Lamb. Fried Black wild rice and green peas.

IMG_0023Emi’s choice was Local Sand Dabs in cockle broth with braised fennel. Delicious!

IMG_0019Gael’s dish. Ione Mountain Ranch Wagyu steak with crispy Pork Belly. So tender!

IMG_1295On a little break waiting for dessert. Gael’s out on the deck. Wonder what Gael has on his mind looking out to this big ocean. It’s always a priceless moment to see you provide such experience to your child.

IMG_0013The view of the restaurant from the deck.

IMG_0012Guest Homes around.

IMG_0026The sorbet was so delicious. Light and delicious! Hibiscus flower sorbet and Mayer lemon meringue.

IMG_0027A cheese plate. Loving the plate itself.

IMG_1564Cheese! before we leave this wonderful lunch!

IMG_1565Love you guys!

IMG_0041Mr. Post, the owner and founder of the Post Ranch Inn.

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IMG_0053Heading back to LA, we can’t believe what we are seeing here. Thousands of Elephant Seals!!

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IMG_0060They are Fabulous!

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The trip is almost coming to an end. But we are very present Now to be there for every moment. Living at fullest. That’s who we are even if it means wiping the front shield of a car. There is no Someday. Why not Now?  Being in right at this second fills up whatever it is to be Whole.

Do something Now! Live Every Second!

LOvE being in the NOW!

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Emiliano turning 40 was just Delicious for all of us!

Thank You All so much for coming! We were about 150 or even more friends and  more than 100 pizza pies were freshly baked by Chicco, Leo and Giorgio at Union Pizza Works!  And, Oh Boy, they Flew Off the Shelf so fast!

We like to specially thank to Chicco and Paola‘s awesome friendship and we pay a huge respect for your Passion for Doing it all and Having it all in Life!

Thank you All of You again for coming and hanging out till drop!  We had this beautiful energy and friendship flowing through out the night for both Emiliano and Union Pizza Works!

We do what we do to have these little moments in our lives. Thanks Rosita and Richard for your song, Gael and Ercole for your super cool magic tricks for everyone!

We wish for many awesome nights and prosperous business for Union Pizza Works!

You can find The New Kid on the Block, Union Pizza Works at 423 Troutman Street, Bushwick, Brooklyn.

Love to you all.

I LOvE YoU Emi!

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Thanks to you all for coming and having a lovely dinner with us and Emi!  Who couldn’t make it, you were there with us at heart. All the wonderful gifts ( especially this year’s trend DIY wonderful foodie’s gifts! YUm YUm) , Hugs and chats… That’s what friends are for and You Friends are Our Family.

And Special thanks to Chicco, the Chef and Owner of  Celestino for Wonderful and Generous Full Course Meal! Wow.

Happy Birthday Emi! LOvE you So MuCh.

IMG_3287Sam 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!

IMG_3267You 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.

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IMG_3232Comme Des Garcons Flag ship, Hannam dong, Seoul

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IMG_3411Doo Ta, Dong De Mun

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IMG_3801Dapsimni Antique Market. The Best Antique market in Seoul!! Smaller scale but it’s enough and it’s a real deal.

IMG_3341I got a small set. SO excited! Korean traditional bronze wear.

IMG_3342Traditional pillows.

IMG_3446Traditional wooden flat spools for yarns and threads.

IMG_3349Wooden stamps to make motives on rice cakes and traditional cookies. So pretty.

IMG_3431Wedding costumes. For her on the left and him on the right.

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IMG_3869With 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!

IMG_3878Gael already digging into picked Raddish. Oh boy, He Can really EAT. Best imobu, Hun!

IMG_3879All ready to go!

IMG_3886Busy cooking!!

IMG_3872Woooo, can’t wait! excuse my shiny forehead…!

IMG_3897Busy Hongdae street, Saturday Afternoon.

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IMG_3912A land Outlet in Hongdae. Cool space.

IMG_3916aA Design Museum , Hong Dae. Impressive collection of International mid century furniture and industrial interior design is here. And of course, an Amazing Coffee Shop.

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IMG_3927The Cafe.

IMG_2806Night 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.

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IMG_3949Now Grilled Eel Dinner with Mom, Yoon and Hun, Heyri.  Ahhh, it hurts me that you can’t taste it!

IMG_3948This is thickened Soy ( different from teriyaki) version and thinly sliced Jin seng chips on top. OMG.

IMG_3943What a beauty! Sea salt Eel. On the side, simply sliced potatoes, Ginko, fried eel bone chips.

IMG_3640Myung Ga Ram, Paju.  The last big meal with whole family.

IMG_3642Suk mo, ( little aunt), Gang hun, my cousin little brother.

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IMG_518511 family members today! Yoon on the camera. Little cousin sis, Yujin and my little uncle, Jerim.

IMG_5203My 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.

IMG_5207_2Another Grand meal and family. . Ahh it’s coming to an end…

IMG_5219Gang hun and Gael. Can you believe Gang Hun is Gael’s uncle?!! They are only 2 1/2 years apart!

IMG_5230About to kim chi all together!

IMG_3860Gwanghamun Square!

IMG_3849Sanmotungi Cafe, Buam dong.  Seoul is such a lush city. So many little mountains and lots of trees everywhere.

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Emi, only with You would be this much fun!!!

So Much More to Come for Many Many Years!

VivA FaMily!!!  VivA KOreA!!!

IMG_2374 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.

IMG_2376It’s always good to see Tang and Brandy.

IMG_2377Emi 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.

IMG_2381All 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.

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IMG_2435Beautiful and modern Heyri. Click Here for More Pics.  Now we are about to explore!

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IMG_2396The 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.

IMG_2384In 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!!!

IMG_2387Gael having fun!

IMG_4246Inside 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.

IMG_2402The family.

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IMG_2407Now we are exploring Artists’ space in the building where the Cafe is. Light fixtures.

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IMG_2409Creative Open Space.

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IMG_2420Now here we are where Aunt regularly works on her Ceramics.  Gael’s abut to experience Ceramic making!

IMG_4277Gael getting ready!

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IMG_2425After 20 minutes, Gael had made his Noodle bowl and a Tea cup!

IMG_2428Gael 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.

IMG_2429Thank you So much Master Choi and Thank you Aunt!  We will be back again!!

IMG_2433Now moving on to a Traditional market next door. It says “From the farmers”.

IMG_4295Mini legume samples and sacks contain them for sale.

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IMG_2439Back home at Aunt’s Studio for power rest. Then we are off for dinner! Some of Aunt’s small work.

IMG_2440Emi on a nap… Zzzzzzz

IMG_2454OK 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.

IMG_2453A 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!

IMG_2458Made to order rice is just prepared and served right at the table on  rice cart.

IMG_2459YUUUummmmmm!  Ginko, chestnuts, red beans and rice.  Delicious! So nutty!

IMG_2462Spicy and Sweet Chilli paste Grilled Pollack! Yum Yum Yum

IMG_2455Uncle, Thank You!!! for the great time and all the generous treats!  ( two little legs behind Uncle are Gael’s. He fell on a sleep…)

IMG_2380Aunt 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!

IMG_1615Ben and me at Va Beh’ Brooklyn.

Tuesday, 6:45 pm at Bam for Woody Allen’s “To Rome with Love“, Then A dinner. A typical date night to anyone yet we don’t get to do this so often. So I was quite excite to see Ben!

I heard  mixed reviews on this film, but in general I throughly enjoyed the film. A perfect Summer movie. The scenes totally brought me back to my second home, Italy and it got me all missed Emi and Gael who are in Italy for the moment, and it put me in those sexy fun filled summer traveling vibe. Ahhh Beautiful Rome! Then there’s always Woody!

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IMG_1643And after many laughs and roaming around Rome, here we are at a small Italian restaurant in Park Slope, Va Beh’ for little bites.

IMG_1641You can see a grand view of new Sport Arena, Barclays Center Brooklyn from the inside of the restaurant and I have to say, it’s quite interesting. I do think this area is turning out to be way more handsome than what I expected.

IMG_1619The signature detail of the Restaurant will be this white marbled wall at the Bar area. This totally brings me back to Italy. The Current cities. It reminds me of those bigger cities in Italy. Milan, Rome… The owner of the place is from Milan if I am not mistaking.  The most of small appetizers like crostini, panini and cold cuts are all prepared right in front of you at this open bar.

IMG_1617And my favorite detail of the restaurant!

IMG_1618The Built in ever flowing wine fountain!  House wine, chilled Prosecco that is in place of White wine for summer and Aqua Naturale and Frizante. I just Love this Idea! Brilliant!  Va Beh’ also offers a fine list of various Italian wine.

IMG_1635Yes they are for Ben and Me!!

IMG_1616OK. Start with Classic! Crostini al Pat’e di Fegato! Perfetto!

IMG_1632You will enjoy quiet yet right amount of details at the restaurant. Everything seems just about right and cozy.

IMG_1636Busy Cucina.

IMG_1624Paper wrapped Oven roasted Orata. After share of Crostini and delicious Arugola salad, here’s our main. Peeerrrectly cooked juicy Orata was one of the best one I ever had!  Capers, lemon and touch of cherry tomatoes. All boned but head on. My kind!

IMG_1625Grilled Zucchini as Contorno. (side)  Yum Yum Yum.

IMG_1622And homemade Ravioli with Salmon and light tomato sauce. It was one of special dish for the night. I have to say, Orata was the winner!

IMG_1626And… I Bel ragazzi, friendly Va Beh’ staff.

IMG_1650Super airy, fluffy, melt -in-your-mouth Va Beh’s Tiramisu!

IMG_1652Happy belated Birthday Ben!

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IMG_1655We were the last few till the end.  Leaving feeling full and happy…

For little taste of excellent homemade pastas and all other Italian good eats,

Va Beh’  446 Dean Street, Brooklyn 718)678-4200

Ben, happy belated Birthday again and Cheers to our good times, Love you!

IMG_0435Cutting edge clothing store ALCHEMIST at 11 11 Lincoln Road, Miami, Florida.

It has been like 12 years the last time I went down to Miami. Since then, a few things have definitely changed. If you still like to talk about Ocean Drive in Miami, Please, Talk to the hands. Because that is So over. Ocean drive and the crowd is there. So what?  Let People have fun. But that is Not my first interest when I Now talk about Miami. Why?  Because I saw and I was there for real interesting things. Not in the past. I was having a ” Design Moment” in Miami.

Miami is moving forward.

IMG_0301A Court Yard at MOCA, 770 NE 125th Street, North Miami

A small scaled Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami is located way out of the way from Miami Beach. When I was researching what I need to see in Miami, I assumed MOCA was in Design district but this is even little more out of the way from Design District. Sort of middle of nowhere but I love how handsome the building is. I was envy of space imagining us 3 living a modern life. A beautiful Court Yard, plenty of space to hang our favorite arts, parties with friends… It’s that cozy yet chick and modern. As soon as Atsuko has arrived from NY, we headed off to MOCA for little Art moment.

IMG_0303Yes. It’s a Paradise.

IMG_0327Outside of MOCA.

IMG_0312Current exhibition : Ragnar Kjartansson’s “Song” May 17-September 2.

A room size of about 400 square foot housing multiple screens showing the artists play different part of One song that is being played in physically different locations. Each screen and location plays each layer of components of the song but they complete each others as a whole in harmony. It’s an interesting concept. And the room is surprisingly relaxing and chilled. We were all sitting there on the floor for a while.  It was quite beautiful.

IMG_0309Atsuko and Gael.

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IMG_0320Here in a different room. The artist’s 3 nieces sing a gentle folk song that is written by Kajartansson in Carnegie Museum of Art’s Hall of Sculpture. Those pretty faces singing in such angelic voice… I was having a ” Virgin Suicide”  and “Tavi” moment here. Bit spooky and quite beautiful.

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IMG_0498Again, 11 11 Lincoln Road on Lincoln, Miami

Here’s the Quote from their site 1111Lincolnroad, “Envisioned by Wennett and Designed by Herzog & de Meuron, 11 11 Lincoln road represents the collaboration of renowned architects, landscape architects, artists and designers to create a unique shopping, dinning, residential and parking experience for Miami’s residents and visitors.”  You should really check out the site. It’s a beautiful thing.

IMG_0437Atsuko walking around bit.  Actually the building also reminds me of  Shanghai’s 1933.

IMG_0436Approaching the shop,  Alchemist on 5 th floor. The only store in the building off the ground floor.

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IMG_0429Beautifully edited collection of Balenciaga, Rick Owen, Proenza Schouler…. And amazing jewelries!

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IMG_0443A view from the second floor of 11 11 Lincoln. The multi colored glassed building is a cinema.

IMG_0484Now we are at JUVIA restaurant for Cocktails! A pent house restaurant right next to the building of 11 11 Lincoln.  The penthouse deck with a grand view to Miami beach. Ahhhh  It’s a real ideal Miami experience here. The breeze, people, design, relaxed vibe, even to the right volume of music like Atsuko says. All in A Style. Swanky and Smart. Just Perfect.

IMG_0465Sitting Bar. The beautiful planted jungle wall,what ever you will call is out of the world. Emi treated us with yummy cocktails!

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IMG_0479How much I love those chairs!

IMG_0477Indoor dinning area.

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IMG_0329Here we are now at Design district.  The Art installation called ” The Living room”. Then it used to be attached to low rise commercial building.

p104750-Miami-Living_Room_BuildingThis is photo taken by Ally at IgoUgo.com back in year 2004. See then it even had a curtain!

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IMG_0339There are many little low rise commercial spaces in Design district. They are all sort of different architectural style from industrial to Art deco to this sort of to super Modern… all mixed in.  But Always with lots of plants and flowers.

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IMG_0341Lots and lots of galleries and design shops.  Check out Miamidesigndistrict and DesignDistrictMag

IMG_0343Here there are couple cute boutiques and One of the Best Restaurant in Miami, Michael’s Genuine. And around the corner from here, there are shops of absolutely beautiful Martin Margiela and Marni.

IMG_0346Inside of Michael’s Genuine.  There’s cute little outdoor space and airy and simple indoor space with this boxed red lighting.  We are having Sunday evening dinner here!

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IMG_0347Slowly caramelized Pork Belly sitting on top of a Kimchi bed!  Miami loves kimchi for the moment!  All ingredients are Organic and they are all well priced.  Super low key vibe with great hearty food. Thanks to Anthony Bourdain for the recommendation!

IMG_0356Savory was savory and good. but WOW! Dessert at Michael’s Genuine is Out of the World!  So delicious. Here 2 donuts with buttered Pop corn Ice cream and lemon zest and and and…!  It sounded bit strange to hear the buttered pop corn ice cream, but the chef had nailed the flavor in such nice way. They were amazing.

IMG_0403Beautiful Monday Morning, Atsuko and I are hitting Miami by foot leaving boys by the beach. Palms, Sun and Breeze. It’s really nice!

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IMG_0402Checking out Hotel Delano for a cool shop we heard about.

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IMG_0412Such an elegant bar at Delano. I love it.

IMG_0413A Wall by the shop, Base at Delano.

IMG_0418A must Check out Concept Store, Webster.

IMG_0417And here’s a good old Miami moment with an Art Deco building…

IMG_0388Our last night at W Miami. There are many great arts in W Miami. Damien Hirst, a few of Basquiat… Usually I associate W with “Trendy” and “Lively” but  W Miami one felt more chick and relaxed. Grown up.

IMG_0391Bar Restaurant, Dutch at W.

IMG_0389I like the shot of soft grey stripe running down the middle of the pillars. Without it, it would have been more of NYC.

IMG_0376Our swanky deck to the ocean.

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It was more of an eye opening trip to me personally to learn about where Miami is heading to and was a really pleasant experience of Start of Modern Design in Miami. Something that just will stay in my skin for a long time. Not just pretty clothes. Not just another store.  Me sitting there at pent house of Juvia having one cocktail completely settled in me. The vibe and situation really inspired me heading into Summer research. A life style. But I really hope Miami will carry on and preserve their Art Deco heritage and turn it into the best form they can. I mean where in the world, can you find such a setting? All these deco buildings by the beach!

Hope you enjoyed Miami in My way and hope this gives you a different perspective about Miami.

(By the way $10 meal at Puerto Sagua was Puerto Sagua. It brought all back to me!)

LOvE  Design!

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Beautiful people. Beautiful mind. Beautiful food. This hidden gem in Brooklyn, Celestino will melt your heart with all the charm you can’t ask any more!  If you haven’t been yet, you should.

Celestino

562 Halsey St, nr. Stuyvesant Avenue, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn

Auguri Paola!!!  Bravo Chicco!! Grazie per l’invito!!

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