bike @ bakery

파티세리. 비 patisserie, Bi is a small french bakery store across my building. I biked to Cinecube this afternoon to buy movie tickets then strolled a bit. It was a bit hot but, there were enough breeze to cool my sweat. This cute pastisserie has good sandwiches. I had an egg sandwich & capuccino. It was a lovely sunday afternoon.

Indian restaurant, Dal in Chungdamdong, Seoul, Korea.

I’ve been having Indian food craving so Jia took me to this newly opened Indian restaurant near Dosan Park area. There are several decent restaurants in this area. The prices are steep but, you never get disappointed.

Dal was also great. great food, great presentation. We sat at the balcony and talked some more about new book idea together. It was a lovely evening…until she drove me to my neigbhourhood.

Every road on the way to my neighourhood were all closed with the military policemen’s buses – again. I asked her to drop me off at the closest place where I could walk home. After walking along a wall of mp officers and buses, I found an open spot where they let me pass. It was so empty and quiet when I across the police line. I could walk through empty 16 lane wide roads which is usually filled with running cars. wow, it was so surreal – like NYC with black out in 2003. I felt like being in the eye of hurricane. In that surreal setting, I walked home leisurely. Oh, I eat beef anyway.

“I’m Not There” – Cinecube Theater

Are you a Bob Dylan fan? Then you should definitely go see this movie. This 135 min Mocumentary style movie was pretty experimental. It’s not the best film but, it was interesting enough to see how the director, Todd Haynes created 6 characters who are not Bob Dylan but has characters of Bob Dylan in different times and names. Still, not as interesting as Bob Dylan’s music itself but, it’s definitely worth watching it. I guess I liked this movie better than I would have… which means I had a good company to watch with. Someone who is like my long lost twin.

It wasn’t so bad tonight. I mean the rally. They usually block more streets than tonight. I passed by Sejong theater center and saw a policeman kindly taking some photos for tourists in the middle of military policemen and their buses. We couldn’t help not laughing. The breeze was really nice tonight. I wish I could have taken a long walk but, it was too late for that.


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.

homemade porridge

Above: Home made porridge, Below: Japchae


After visiting doctors’ offices, taking western medicine and taking eastern herb medicine, an acupuncture session and realizing that I’ve lost 10 lbs in a week, I finally decided that it’s a time to take care of myself as if I’m living with another me.

My major problem which I couldn’t solve is the lack of sleep. There are more and more task increasing that requires me to get up at 6 am (ungodly hour) and going to bed at 2 am, so I guess the best I could do is sleep a lot during Sundays & hoping the winter break comes soon.

Eating out alone can be pretty harmful in a long term. Especially alcohol drinks where elderly colleagues yells “One shot!”(meaning drinking it all up) can really ruin your stomach and liver. Although I’ve managed not to get wasted with alcohol drinks so I’m suspecting my stomach problem is from the conbination of stress + irregular meal timings + very spicy foods & a lot of coffee in my empty stomach. Anyway, so I got many list of curfew from doctors and I don’t know how long I have to keep this. Some people says over 3 months… damn!

I need to avoid: coffee, alcohol, cold drinks, cold milk, dairy food, greasy meat or fatty food, spicy food, bean pastes, pastries, any food by flour, chicken, pork. Ummm, that rules out almost everything I eat! 😦

In fact, I could hardly digest regular rice and some eggs… of course, no Kimchee. what a bummer! From not eating those list above, I went down to eating porridges only. Whenever I’m stuck in a work party / dinner thing for couple of times, I could only eat plain rice in a water or clear soup and look around for anything I could eat in side dishes while watching others grilling meat and drinking soju.

Anyway, I bought different kinds of porridge from restaurant(본죽) to take out and I have taken them to work last week but, they weren’t tasty enough… Unfortunately, my taste bud is good and alive. So, I’ve decided to cook porridge at home. I gave a first try along with Japchae today and they were pretty good. I also told to my sick self that I would take care of myself until I get better. If somebody has to take care of me, it should start from myself. Also, cooking is fun and delicious. 🙂

Good coffee, wine and spicy foods are things I enjoy a lot in my life so this curfew is making me unhappy but, I look forward to enjoy them soon.

(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.


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.


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)


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..)


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.


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. 😉


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


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 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.


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.


Please read “Back in Lower East Side, NYC


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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