20150423

nyc in april








i dropped into new york city for a few days. i was there for my university's admit weekend, but in the end that wasn't what stood out to me the most; instead, it was eating around the lower east side with friends, wandering campus in the dark, exploring the city by metro, and visiting museums by myself.
i guess that's the cool thing about NYC. you go for one thing and end up experiencing a thousand and leave feeling like a different kind of happy.

20150407

new old books




in downtown, there's this little used book shop that i never would have looked in had they not given me entirely store credit in return for a hundred or so books i tried to sell them in january. perusing the stacked shelves of this shop becomes a pastime in its own right once you realize that all these books ended up here in a sort of curation-by-coincidence; perfectly interesting (yet in some way excess) books bestowed upon this happy little place by all different kinds of strangers. there are are about 9 shelves of german-language books as opposed to 3 shelves of spanish which i find very curious -- and there's an entire row of science nonfiction as opposed to a third of a row of philosophy and a single shelf of cookbooks. they also sell maps (USA & world) and pages of old comics (which i found are on sale for $1 each this week). not many young people in here but that's expected & okay -- after all, i'm just here to find cool things and spend my store credit and have fun.

last time i was here i bought a few philosophy books (+ some CDs), but today i branched out. i've been thinking i need to put my spanish to use again, so i found an anthology of some verse by lorca and a novel by carmen laforet (whom i've never read before). i picked up a cute little copy of franny and zooey even though i already own one -- my english teacher told me that paperbacks were popularized by soldiers in WWII, as reading was the only entertainment in the trenches and these things fit right into the coat pockets of army uniforms. this novel was published after the war, but i was thinking of this whole coat pocket thing when i saw this one (it's tiny & perfect for carrying around). the find i'm most excited about is the OST to wong kar wai's in the mood for love, which is my mother's favorite film. i saw fallen angels a few weeks ago and fell absolutely in love. next is chungking express, and then in the mood for love. even though i haven't seen the film yet, when i saw this CD i just had to have it.

my favorite scene from fallen angels:


next time, i'm going to come back with my friend ana, and we're going to explore the philosophy shelf more closely. she loves existentialism so hopefully there will be a lot of sartre when we go. (i can't imagine sartre being in high demand in this tiny technology/VC-focused town in 2015 so i think we will be fine.) i'm hoping to find foucault and maybe umberto eco (my mother's recommendation). today i tried to look for alain de botton but no luck. anyway, i'm playing the in the mood for love OST right now, and i'm really glad to have found this one.

20150320

confessions of a wannabe barista






so when my mother and i moved towns last month, we shipped off a lot of our "nonessential" belongings to our flat in korea to make the job easier. it did make the process very manageable, but included in what i deemed unnecessary were a lot of my clothing that i miss now that seniors are uniform-exempt, my copy of a pale view of hills which i had been hoping to get signed by the author himself when i attend his Q&A session in april, and, most regrettably, our beloved nespresso. so, like, thank god we retained our glass coffeemaker... buying caffeine every morning/afternoon would bankrupt me. i don't know how i'll survive next year in the dorms, where coffeemakers are considered contraband, but that's a challenge i'll address later.

i've also realized that i may prefer our little hario drip decanter to our nespresso machine -- brewing might take longer and require a bit of practice, but the pour-over process really personalizes my daily coffee experience. folding up the filter, smelling the earthiness of vittoria espresso blend (a gift from a family friend in australia) as it fills the kitchen, watching the perfect tint drip through to the carafe -- then the feeling of satisfaction as you pour the brew into a mug of warm milk and watch the colors swirl into a creamy sepia. it's not your grab-and-go grande cup from starbucks, but if you think of the process as a caffeination session and a meditation session combined, it's actually quite a smart way to start the day. even though this ritual has made me late for morning class a few times (oops), i've fallen in love with it (it's not you, nespresso, it's me).

20150309

how i spent christmas in tokyo




(fujifilm superia Xtra ISO 400 35mm // lomo LC-A)


tokyo had been settled for a long time on my list of places i want to explore before i die before i finally had the chance to visit last winter over christmas. the weather was perfect (warmer than seoul winters but still brisk), so we spent the night wandering shinjuku, which is a district of tokyo's sprawling metropolis. the streets weave in and out and under and over each other, and people-watching here is an entertainment in itself. past dark, you get a real motley crowd: stylish 20-somethings smoking on curbs, locals who pace the pavements like they'd stop breathing if they didn't, roving bands of giggling high school students, buskers with guitars, doomsday evangelists who drone from the roofs of black-and-white vans, blue-eyed foreigners clutching huge maps and looking lost, and drunk businessmen tripping out of bars.

my mother and father first dragged me to doutor coffee, which is a chain that they used to frequent on their many business trips to japan in the 90s; sipping their americanos, they chatted about other things they remembered. then, drinks in hand, we walked through malls (my idea), bookstores (mom's idea), ski shops (dad's idea), and arcades (my idea again). there were christmas decorations everywhere. my dad's friend had recommended a tempura restaurant in the area, so we went there for an excellent dinner. because we couldn't resist panoramic city views, we took a long elevator ride to an observatory point in a government building. the officials were very kind to us. on the long & cold walk back to the hotel, we dropped by a familymart and bought a christmas cake to share; we ended the day by eating the cake in bed and discussing our agenda for the next day. this is how the chois do vacation.

20150308

i wonder if i'd care as much


  • nylon jp feb 2015 issue -- picked this up at narita int'l airport last winter as i was waiting for my flight to ICN. i saw kiko on the cover and couldn't resist. in this issue, titled "what do you usually do?," they ask a lot of young people in the beauty/fashion/art industry about their day-to-day lives. it's really interesting to me and i've been rereading it on and off for the past two months. plus it's been giving my crumbling japanese language skills a much-needed workout.
  • marie antoinette OST -- before we left for february break, a friend hosted a viewing of this movie at her house, and it really rekindled my love for it. during february break i dropped by my local used media shop to make my rounds, and i picked this CD up (lucky find!) along with some nietzsche, hegel, and bertrand russell volumes (i'm taking an introductory philosophy class this semester). anyway, the soundtrack is so iconic.
  • dior crème abricot& other stories hand cream -- yeah i don't know. my hands have been really dry lately.
  • "i wonder if i'd care as much" // tashaki miyaki -- a track that has been on my mind lately.

seasons apart (an intro)

  • i miss my old room and how it looks in autumn vs. how it looks in summer.
  • i'm looking forward to summer (thrift shopping @ hongdae, used book store @ gangnam, sleeping in, reading, resetting, &c) but i'm not looking forward to the rest of this school year (stress of a different kind).
  • anyway, hi! i made this blog to talk about the lazy things in life. i'm quite idle and i'm the best at it. despite this, i find that lazing around can get pretty difficult from time to time (because responsibilities to things besides yourself exist -- life is crazy like that); hopefully, recording the little things i do and love can be a way for me to practice mindfulness. i'm just gonna post what i want to post. so if you're here, thanks!