drinking


난 칵테일을 좋아하는 편인데, 끈적끈적하고 아주 단 시럽이나 향료를 사용한 칵테일은 정말 질색이다.   신선한 과일을 사용하여 만든, 데킬라나, 보드가, 진, 럼 베이스로 만든 칵테일을 좋아하는데, 너무 알코홀 농도가 독한 더티마티니나 코스모폴리탄은 개인적으로 별로이다.   서울에서 신선한 재료로 만드는 칵테일바를 찾기가 참 힘들던데, 호텔 바에 가야만 있는지 의문이다.  물론 호텔 바는 난 별로 가고 싶지는 않다.  뉴욕에는 창의성 높은 칵테일을 자랑하는 칵테일 전문 바들이 몇개있는데 입소문으로 많은 사람들이 찾아가서 바텐더의 현란한 움직임과 아름다운 결과물을 넋을 잃고 바라보는 데, 다운타운에는 PDT(Please Don’t Tell)와 Death & Co.가 맛과 예술성에 있어서 가장 대표적인 바라고 할 수 있다.  그 외에도 보통 바에 가도 간혹 칵테일을 잘 만드는 곳들이 흔하다.  어떤 곳은 나의 취향을 이야기하면 바로 그대로 제조해 주는 친절한 바텐더들도 있다.  난 라임과 신선한 오이즙과 보드카와 민트를 넣은 칵테일을 선호하는데, 달지 않고 신선한 맛이 좋아서 메뉴에는 없지만 가끔 만들어 달라고 바텐더를 설득할 때도 있다.

이러한 칵테일을 즐기기가 아직은 서울에서는 어렵기에, 뭐 궁한 사람이 해결책을 찾아야 하니, 집에서 몇잔 만들어 피곤한 오후에 나른하게 한잔 만들어 마시기도 한다.

Bloody Hudson: 블러디 허드슨

블러디허드슨은 칵테일에 일가견이 있는 내친구 소냐가 칵테일 쉐이커와 함께 선물한 레시피로 만든 칵테일이다.  흔히 숙취로 뉴욕에서 즐겨 마시는 블러디메리의 변형된 칵테일이라 볼 수 있는데, 상큼하고 단맛이 특징이다.  뉴욕 트라이베카(Tribecca)에 있는 허드슨호텔의 바에서 개발한 칵테일로 맛이 꽤 괜찮다.  블러디메리는 토마토주스나 V8쥬스를 사용하여 만들기에 좀 걸죽한 맛인데 비해 블러디 허드슨은 신선한 토마토와 허브를 사용하기에 맛이 신선하고 산뜻하다.  하지만 신선한 바질 잎이 필요하기에 서울에서는 항상 바질 허브화분이 있어야 가능하다.  (작은 토마토, 신선한 바질, 레몬, 심플시럽, 매운 토바스코소스, 신선한 후추 + 보드카)

fresh watermelon cocktail

Watermelon Cocktail #1, Untitled: 수박칵테일

이 칵테일은 여름에 수박을 사고 먹다 너무 많이 남아서, 칵테일을 만들어 마셔보았는데 꽤 괜찮아서 종종 해 마셨던 칵테일로 아직 이름은 지어주지 않았다.  몇 명의 친구들에게 맛을 보여보았는데 반응이 꽤 괜찮았다.  (칵테일잔이 없어서 그냥 물잔에… 좀 멋이 없긴 하다.) 이 칵테일은 색이 참 예쁘며, 너무 달지않고 시원한 맛이 그만이다.  지금은 추운 겨울이라 얼음이 가득 든 칵테일 쉐이커를 들고 흔들기에는 꽤 부담스럽고 또 수박을 구하기 힘드니, 여름까지 기다려야 할 것 같다.  (수박, 레몬, 보드카, 탄산수)

Samsung Leeum Museum of Art

Entrance floor at Leeum

I’ve been thinking about visiting this Samsung Leeum Museum for months. It is conveniently located in downtown Seoul, considerably near my place. Anyway, Anna and I decided to go this friday… of course, I forgot about it until she brought it up on Thursday… I’m so forgetful these days that I can’t remember anything I said after 20 min. This is what happens when you fly 14 hrs of round trip flights three times in two months. (that’s not including 3-6 hrs of domestic flights)I’ve heard that this museum is all about architecture so I guessed that it would be worth just for that. Most of my friends weren’t impressed with their collections so I didn’t expect much.

However, I actually liked their contemporary arts selection… the quality and quantity are no near LA Museum of Contemporary Arts but, I was surprised to find Damian Hurst’s, Mattew Barney and other renouned artists. I really liked the entrance piece by an Indian artist but, I don’t recall his name. They had Damian’s piece with pills which I really liked. That reminds me of the medical cabinet piece in LAMCA – also ‘Crown of Glory’ from a series of stainglass art-like piece that are made of dead butterflies. They were also showing curated exhibition that is titled “void” They meant to emphasize on “negative space” in artworks – which is a very eastern characteristic but, using a word, “void” seems to be misleading. Anyway, below is the photo of installation by contemporary artist. The was wet and oily… I made Anna touch it & she was discussed by its oily feel. 🙂 That was a great birthday gift, thanks anna. If you want to learn a bit more about Leeum museum, read her insightful blog.
Detail of Damian Hurst

Itaewon & Food

Since Leeum Museum was near Itaewon, I got to go to this really cute pancake house, “Flying Pancake” Itaewon is a neighborhood where many foreigners live, shop and hang around. They have international school so you will see more foreigners than Koreans in that neighborhood. I’ve heard about the foreign cusines there but, I needed to research before I look for good Indian, Turkish and French restaurant in that neighborhood. I was surprised to see shishikabab stand in the street there…Back to Flying Pancake, this restaurant has not only cozy atmosphere but, the pancakes were amazingly delicious! One of the best pancakes… I’ve had pancakes in numerous brunch restaurants in NYC and LA so you just have to take my words for it. I drank a glass of wine and my friend drank a cup of macchiato. I found their Latte Art was elaborate but, coffee cup on the cafe? We were laughing as it reminded me of “TV Buddha” by Namjun Paek in Leeum- one of my favorite artwork by Mr. Paek.

Pancakes with Pear + CinnemonLatte Art - flying Pancake

more food in Hongdae area

It was raining Saturday night. What a yucky night! After watching “The Other Boylan Girl” (I have nothing to say about that movie, btw) we decided to move to Hongdae (Hongik University) area so I suggested this cute Japanese restaurant once my NYU sunbae took me. It’s near Saamzie Art Space but, you have to cross the street and walk to the alley it seems like nothing would be open there as right side is a large construction fence and left are all residential houses. But I was proud to find that place in that rainy night, although I couldn’t recall what it was called.It’s called “Gwang” It’s the same character for “star” you see in whatoo (Korean Gostop cards 😉 ) The weather was yucky so there were several seats available. (it’s really tiny so it’s possible that you have to leave if there isn’t any seats.) I drank two full glasses of warm sake, “Wallgaegwan” and some oden from oden bar, salmon sashimi with capers… It was a cozy night & I think I drank the most since I arrived in Seoul. Deliciousness. 🙂

Oden bar @ GwangSalmon sashimi + a cup of warm Sake

* after note: Surprisingly, I lost like 1 Kg in one week despite of indulging yummy foods like these.

Looking down at Lake Isabella from our camping site

Group shot in the middle of desert with Jay and his friends (from left: Jay(Fire Poker), me(guest of honor 😉 ), sasha(Skinny Raven), mike(Squirrel Chief), Joe(Snow Legs), Pedro(Sky Pointer) and Melissa(another guest of honer) –  I think Zelmo, Diane and Debbie already left at this photoshoot.)

As I was giving my brother the news that I would be heading to LA to visit him early August from NYC, he told me that he was planning to go a camping trip with him friends (who I met them at Karaoke party in LA about a year ago…) I said, ‘alright… I guess I’m going to camping. ‘ My brother loves camping and I do like camping as long as it’s less than 3 nights. I thought it would be really comfortable to camp in a nice weather in LA area… guess what? I was wrong – but just to be straight before going into the detail, I did enjoy camping with these cool friends – including my brother. Fun group of people!

When Jay picked me up at the airport… he didn’t seem so happy. It looked like something was bugging him. I was optimistic enough to know that it wasn’t me. 😉 Later, I heard that the camping site they reserved got on wild fire and was closed until September and they were looking for the camp site at the last minute… or cancel the whole trip. After finding about hundred mass emails among, umm, them – I’ve learned that we are going to camp and the day we were leaving, I learned that we are heading to “Lake Isabella.” By the name alone, it sounded very promising…

With Joe in the back seat, we got in Jay’s car and after driving about an hour… It was getting really hot, I meant 100 degree. I looked at Jay as feeling the hot wind over the opened windows of the car. “Jay, is your AC broken?” “I didn’t have a time to replace the gas” “oh……!!!” After learning that we are going into the desert (the lake is in the middle of desert) and after not seeing any green for two hours of driving – while looking at the temperature at 110 F… I just knew I had to drink lots of water. Then I learned that we have to drive one more hour.

OK, from that point, my dream of camping like the green Maine forest… was stumbled down like sand. I was thinking… ‘it must be like this driving in Africa.’ After about 3 hrs in the desert heat and hot wind which dries my sweat immediately, we started to see some green… pointy leaved trees that look like half cactus and half tree. I was picking up my hope… then I saw some thin lines of stream… Yay! At least, we are not camping in the middle of desert with no shade… When we finally arrived at the camp site, it was around 6 pm. The sun was still strong. There were few trees with skinny branches which forms some kind of shades… but, at least breeze was nice. After few struggle of agreeing where to camp…, we all started to settle. Of course, when Jay’s friends learned that he drove in the desert without an AC in his car for 3 hrs in the middle of day, they were really shocked. Thanks, Jay!

It was a dry land where wild fire catches up so easily with any friction. Setting a camp fire seemed easy although Jay deligently kept fire going well(that’s where he got his Indian name, “fire poker.” Also, we were looking at this low but large lake in the middle of this desert area. Further more, there was a river in 6 miles up… very refreshing cold water with real trees!!! Drinking several bottles of dequilla and beer with great BBQ hamburgers… we talked and laughed. The camp host was exceptionally friendly to us as well and wanted to learn about us. What a nice guy… he was also very funny.

The night sky was astonishingly beautiful. You could see milky way with your bare eyes…I tried to take photos of them but no success. I saw about 2 to 3 shooting stars but, only managed to make a wish once. No matter what, it was a great camping trip with a great company of people at the end.

(Well, well, I haven’t posted any blog for days. That’s because I had so much going on and a bit stressed etc, etc. Let me catch up some postings.)

So here we are again, annual BBQ picnic at East River Park near Grand street with a bunch of my Thai friends… The official title was “Tina’s Farewell Party” – Tina, how many farewell parties have you had so far???? 😛 In any case, it was great to see that many Thai friends of my Thai friends at one place. (friends who Tina claims that they are not really Thai…I was a bit confused but whatever.) Also it was my last day at NYC so, my dear old friend, Lawrence walked with me to the East River park and stay with my friends. Tom showed up much later after we forged all the yummy foods such as Green Papaya Salad, asparagus wrapped with bacon, mushroom wrapped with bacon, corn, Korean Ribs, Pork Ribs, Sausage, spicy marinated Pork, sticky rice, water melon and fruit pie – not to mention they are all home prepared… 🙂

We also had lots of beer but couldn’t consume much due to the no-bathroom-in-the-park problem. I was really really full by the end of the picnic. Bryan told me then, “You know when asian folks do BBQ picnic, it means a lot of food and when white folks do BBQ picnic, that means a lot of beer.” Hmmm… is that true? In any case, we had enough food and beer.

When we decided to wrap up the picnic around 7 pm, (more b/c of we all had full bladers due to beer) everyone acted on magically efficient and everything was cleaned and packed in such a short time. 10 min? We all walked to East Village together and I wanted to drink at bars since it was my last night at NYC this summer so, we started with other lately joined friends as well on avenue B and that’s another story.

More List:

The Back Room

This hidden bar owned by an actor has a secret room in the back of The Back Room. The cocktails are really good and good crowd during weekdays. I haven’t checked this place during weekend so can’t tell.

Rockwood Music Hall

A good indie music venue on Allen street where you can appreciate American Indie band scene.

Freeman’s

This is an awesome restaurant located at the end of alley at Freeman’s Alley on Rivington street (Note that this alley is not on the google map) Their foods are great, one of the best Bloody Mary I’ve tasted and the restaurant decoration is quite odd but, it works. I had a brunch, “smoked trout” with a cappuccino and a Bloody Mary…and I thought about going back there for a dinner.

Vbar

Their WiFi is unstable but, it’s lovely to sit there with my laptop and a glass of wine and work during late afternoon. Great selection of beer and wines and coffee.

OK, just to see how insanely I’ve been exploring around New York City last 10 days, I’ve decided to list where I have been so far… this list will continue on:

Lady Sovereign & DJ guy

Lady Sovereign 07.07.07

It was at Spiegel World Theater, a strange place in South Street Seaport… near the deck where you can recline to see brooklyn bridge over East river. It was supposed to start at 11 pm (no opening band, yup!) but got delayed to after 1 am… right! But, beer and brooklyn bridge water front view kept us all from complaining too much. Once the DJ guy spin some music, Lady Sovereign came out. She seems really young and small but, her performance was awesome. Since it was a small theater and a small crowd, I was able to stand pretty close to the stage. The crowds were very very young… like high school kids. Hmmm… if you want to learn more about this artist, go here >>>

The Boredoms / 77 Boa Drums 07.07.07

With every free concerts in NYC, it always involves with long lines and a park. However, 77 Boa Drums sounded really cool especially with the group The Boredoms… As I suspected, there were lines of people waiting in line from early on that circled the park.  I was with some people who I barely knew but, it was alright.  It was 7 pm but, sun was really strong and hot.  I looked around and the crowds were, you know the crowds I expected to be at this event.  New Yorkers… some with notebook, some with camera.

My feeling was that it would have been better to listen on the Brooklyn Bridge but, oh well, I was just following my crowd. 🙂

The Golden Bridge 07.08.07

My friend and I decide to meet up for Sunday brunch… then instead of brunch, we decided to go dim sum in China Town.  Hank picked “Mandarin Court” and I’ve invited Tina to join with us.  5 min to Mandarin Court, I got a phone call from her. “Dude, it’s close for sanitary violation”  Hmmm… When we all gather together, Tina said she has an idea & we decided to trust her due to her Taiwanese friends & she probably went to dimsum more than I did.  So she picked “The Golden Bridge”  We walked in through red carpeted staircase.  “You know, red carpeted staircase is a good sign of real dimsum place…” Tina said & we gave her 1 point.  Oh, unfriendly middle age woman hostess who will yell at you to wait and point you where to go… Tina, you got another point…We also found that place is for the chinese wedding bangquet scene… Wow, we didn’t have any doubt that this is the place to be.  Dimsum was delicious by the way.

Bar Pitti

Strangely enough, this lovely Italian restaurant has different treatment toward customers. When I went there with my american friend, they served us sensibly but, when I went there with my two other Korean girlfriends – apparently we spoke in Korean, the waiter was pushy and unpleasant. (big rolling eyes here)

Core

Happy Hour Brunch Bloody Mary & Mimosa for $3… It’s a hard deal to break in LES. Not to mention they have back garden which is a trend for restaurants and bars nowadays. (Poor residential neighbors who have to put up with noises on their back gardens..)

Grotto

A pleasant Italian bar / restaurant with great Mojito. Food was delicious and service was great and the backgarden was lovely with Chinese red lanterns hanging(??) I would say it’s a bit pricy but, it’s LES… Nothing is priced moderate here. It’s either cheap or expensive here, no middle ground.

I have gotten about 8 mosquito bites at the garden by the way.

Essex

I always wondered how that place would be like whenever I passed by and finally, I’ve managed to go there for some bites with Sonia. Salmon was delicious but, magrita was too sweet to my taste.

The East Side Company

It’s a hide bar established on Essex street near Rivington street. They specialized their signature cocktails with fresh fruits and stuff. It’s cozy and nice but, don’t ask anything else than the cocktails on the menu. 😉

1492

My favorite Spanish(Portuguese?) Tapas bar in LES. They do have back garden and friendly staff who spoke (I think Portuguese… not sure though) Anyway, great tapas food and Sangria! I’ve been there twice already and I would go back. This place writes over Sala on Bowery street

Heathers

Low profile bar with worn out wooden floor, bar and tables… my E. Village friends like this grundgy bar where it isn’t too crowded during weekend. Cheap Beer.  I prefer the 4 seat table next to the window.

Boxcar Lounge

http://www.flickr.com/photos/absurdee/761543001/My friends’ by far favorite bar on Ave B. Their Happy Hour is great with Stella draft – not to mention back garden. I used to go there a lot during winter and sat by a fire place with my friends to drink late at night. Now, it seems to be more popular.

Esperando

Great Brazilian/cuban restaurant. Great wine, Mojito, seafoods dish. Everything I had tasted for multiple occasions were delicious. I’ve visited there twice already…

The Cake Shop

This free WIFI coffee shop on Ludlow street reminds me of Seattle whenever I visit. I don’t know why but, old vinyls and old chairs, indie bands posters and etc. They do have their own cup cakes which I’ve been addicted since I tasted for the first time.

88 Orchard

I’m hooked to this lovely free WiFi coffee shop with large windows all around and high ceiling. I go there almost everyday for their capuccino… mmmm, also pretty comfy to sit there for hours and work on my laptop. It gets a bit too crowded around 11 am though.

Guss Pickles

Right across 88 Orchard… Their pickles rock! Especially freshly made one reminds me of cucumber kimchee. If you think pickles tastes like those you buy in the bottles and cans, you should try to taste Guss Pickles. You would never go back. This is what Korea truly is missing. Pickles they served at Italian restaurants weren’t really pickles… awfully weird tastes – somehow my friends who were trained with that taste seem to like them.

Jeeb

Please read “Back in Lower East Side, NYC

Hasaki

By far, the best affordable sushi place. I love sitting at their bar.

Clinton Bakery & Co.

Great food and generous amount but, you need to wait really a lot for them.

Pink Pony’s

My regular brunch, late night drink place… I visited again to have a brunch on first Sunday I got here.

All photos are taken by David Cuartielles. more photos at here>> Note that everyone is Kim except David.

Last weekend, I spent my Friday night(actually thursday night, too) with two of my friends visiting from abroad, one from NYC and the other from Sweden(well, Spain, too) then with the regulars at Bar Da…who became familiar to me & vice versa. I think they are mostly producers, photographers, filmmakers and well, geeks like me. This is what happen when you put all these geeks, media artists, filmmakers, photographers, animators into a small bar with a bowl of peanuts and dried baby anchovy and drinks. They start to make faces and play with beer caps (actually, I’ve started to play with them first) then so on… David and I were competing to get the last peanuts in a bowl and he managed to get another bowl full of peanuts from a bartender. Well, he is a true foreigner so everything is forgiven and allowed here(well, almost)

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