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Monthly Archive: June 2011

Pride explosion!!

June 27th, 2011 Alina Guzman Misc No comments

Must watch music video alert! My best friend, Aneta, was asked to be featured in a music video by Amarfis from the Spanish band ‘Amarfis y la Banda de Attake’ and Papi Sanchez. I’m still freaking out about it, I love the video!  So have a watch and enjoy!

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Bloghopping

June 25th, 2011 Alina Guzman Fashion No comments

lovin’ it, all of it.


via adventuresofyoshi


via trendspace.ru


via Rue du Tabac

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Yelp – my humble beginnings with Ktown

June 24th, 2011 Alina Guzman Dining out, Yelp Reviews 5 Comments

One fateful day last summer, I went online to, once again, pour over 100′s of reviews on Yelp to find the perfect place to have dinner that night. From the collection of Zagat’s sitting on my desk to the tabs of restaurants sitting on my browser, I realized I know a thing or two about food. Anyone who knows me knows my obsession with New York. I’m grateful out of my mind for having grown up in this city, there’s never a dull moment. Restaurants with every cuisine you can imagine fill the streets and I pretty much dream of trying every single one of them. So back to that day last summer, when I got the idea in me that I’d share my experiences on Yelp. Everyone’s gotta start somewhere. Well I decided to start with something I know best – Ktown.

You can read all my new and old reviews on my Yelp profile, but I thought I’d start sharing some of them here. So far I have three lists up. The first one is Ktown Adventures! Here are a few of my reviews of this list.

“Koreatown is definitely one of my favorite places in the city. Here are the spots I just love to obsessively frequent.”

Shilla

I really like Shilla. Probably because it was the restaurant that popped my Ktown and Korean-food-in-general cherry many years ago! Its nothing super exciting or stand out great. Its just a normal Korean restaurant, one of many others on the block.

The food is very good, the price is very decent on the Ktown spectrum, not the highest, not the lowest, and the service is good. My very first time, I didn’t know what I was ordering or doing with the food and the waiter saw me struggling and went out of his way to explain things to me. What more can you ask for?

You won’t wait long, or at all, for the table- its a big restaurant. And it’s comfortable. Its basically a good choice if you’re looking for a moderately priced Korean restaurant in the city.

Pocha 32

REALLY fun place if you come with a group and order a ton of drinks. Beware, there will most likely be a wait. Unless you go at 6pm or something. I’ve actually gone so early that they were barely open and I somehow managed to stay until late at night- the change in crowd was amazing. It went from empty and quiet, to drunk, drunker and super drunk and crowded.

Anyway, when there is a long wait, you can just give your number down to the waiter who calls when the tables available. But if you’re in a hurry, don’t go there at night! Even weeknights were crowded, its a popular place.

The service isn’t fantastic. It gets really really really crowded in there and its loud and pretty dim so I can maybe understand it. I find that screaming out “excuse me” in Korean while they pass by really gets their attention! If you’re American, or just don’t speak Korean- its ‘jeogiyo’ pronounced more like “cho-gi-yo” for the American ear.

It gets pricey if you stay for a long time and keep ordering soju, as I find myself doing quite often. It won’t be expensive if you’re looking for a place to just eat some meat or soup though. Food’s not bad.

Be sure to leave a soju bottle cap on the ceiling, you will know what I’m talking about if you go.

I recommend it if you’re looking for a cool Korean experience (its definitely not an American style bar, for one thing- theres no bar).

 

Kang Suh Restaurant

This is by FAR my favorite restaurant in Ktown. I have been here dozens of times over the years and it never gets old. Its very big (two stories), so you can expect to get seated really fast- the only times I’ve had to wait was during dinner rush when I had a medium sized group, and even that wait was under 10 minutes. They also offer two large and private rooms for parties that I’ve used a few times (call in a reservation to make sure you can get it).

Its open 24 hours so its the first restaurant I think of after I’m exhausted from dancing. Been here several times at 4 or 5am and I’ve never been disappointed.

The prices are slightly higher than some of the other restaurants in Ktown but the food is worth it.

Dinner~ I’d say that the average amount I pay when I go there is $40 per person for dinner- counting drinks, two bottles of soju and up. Without drinks, you can pay as little as $15-$30, depending what you order of course. Side dishes are great. Pajeon and galbi are my favorite dishes to order. If you are ordering bbq, make sure you have at least two people who want it because its a two-minimum order for a table (but you can combine the meats- 1 galbi and 1 samgyopsal, for example, is fine).

Lunch~ Coming here for lunch is nice. Its not very crowded and they have a nice lunch menu. It ranges from $10-$20. They have great boxes! My favorite is the bulgogi box. It comes with salad and some other things that vary, like little fish balls.

They also have an amazing sushi bar to sit at. Over all, great place. Might get a little pricey, but foods good, and so is the service and the atmosphere.

4. Woorijip

Woorijip warms my heart. I love Ktown to death and I spend most of my time there but the prices do catch up with me! I’m a broke college student so sometimes, grabbing a bite in Ktown before debauchery doesn’t mean going to a restaurant, it means going to woorijip (which, if i’m not mistaken, means “our home” in Korean….i think).

Why 4 stars and not 5?

I’m the kind of person who prefers a restaurant atmosphere to a deli/buffet atmosphere- which is how Woorijip is- but you can’t play with these prices! I can order enough to fill me up so much that I can’t even finish eating for only $8-$15 bucks. Theres a microwave too. I like the kimbap (little Korean style sushi rolls) and bulgogi meals, for example. But theres a huge selection.

They also have cheap soju, which is the cheapest I’ve found in the city. (Go to Queens for the super super cheap soju). So grab a bottle, and the window seat if you’re lucky ~very crowded place~ and look at the passersby before the real fun of Ktown begins.

Space Billiard Café

||| I’m happy to say that my review of Space Billiard Cafe was featured in Yelp’s Weekly New York newsletter! Probably next to one of the most exciting days of my life when I saw it. |||

Best place ever.

It’s open 24 hours. It’s cheap ($15 per hour for the whole group, tiny bit more if you have more than 4 or 5 people). Its got free hot tea, cheap beer ($4!), and a door that leads to a scary fire escape for smokers! Win. Just don’t get drunk and fall off, please.

It offers normal tables and the no pocket tables for Korean style billiards games. I tried to play those…not easy, I’ll just stick to pocket ball haha. And theres also a bar if you just wanna sit and have a drink while your friends play.


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You can read the rest my reviews of Ktown Adventures here. :)

Disclaimer: Photos featured here were taken from the public profiles of these restaurants on Yelp.com which are thought to be public domain.

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Songdo International Business District- the stuff of dreams becomes reality

June 23rd, 2011 Alina Guzman Misc 2 Comments

South Korea MAJORLY steps up its game in planning and executing a MASSIVE 10-year, 35 million dollar real estate project – the creation of the Songdo International Business District. Gale International, a global real estate development company, partnered with Korean construction&steel giant, POSCO E&C, to undertake this huge project. Construction began back in 2003 on reclaimed land on the Yellow Sea off Incheon. Its going to be connected to the Incheon International Airport by just a 7 mile long suspension bridge.

Songdo “officially opened on August 7, 2009 as the first new sustainable city in the world designed to be an international business district.” It’s positioned to be the hub of all of Asia. Centralized at a strategic location to be just a few hours away from 1/3 of the world’s population of China, Japan and Russia. The design of the city also incorporates well known elements of foreign cities. A Central Park modeling New York, a canal system modeling Venice, and the wide boulevards of Paris just to name a few will be included!!

The city aims to be an entirely GREEN city, 40% of it will be green space with bicycling and walking encouraged by design. A 10 million square foot space for retail and an international school is already set in the city plans. The school will be comprised of 70% foreign students, 30% Korean students. 22,000 have already planned to moved in and construction is nowhere near completion yet! This project is certainly one of the future. This city will be the first of its kind and will perhaps pave the way for future generations?

A look at Songdo’s Central Park




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Interior design dreams

June 23rd, 2011 Alina Guzman Interior Design No comments

Lately I’ve become obsessed with interior design. Watching Bravo’s new show, Million Dollar Decorators, might have had something to do with it. Open, clean, and simply decorated spaces are abso drool worthy. Refinery29 often runs stories about various people from the fashion industry and their apartments. I like to imagine that my future apartment would look something like theirs… and now I have something to go by other than Ikea catalogs.

Now if only the contents of my closet could match theirs, I’d be set.

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New York in staples??

June 22nd, 2011 Alina Guzman Misc No comments

Yes!

I didn’t think it could get better than the metrocards but boy oh boy how wrong I was.

Check out this artists take on our beloved city here.

Korean Movie Nights

June 22nd, 2011 Alina Guzman Films No comments

The Korean Cultural Service in New York is hosting a series of (FREE!) Korean movie nights this summer. Tonight, I went to the premiere of Cafe Noir with my bestie Hikalu. Now, before I say anything else, let it be known that I’m a BIG fan of Korean culture, films, food, etc. Its pretty obvious if you know me well enough. Despite all that, I just HATED Cafe Noir. I have never ever left a theater before finishing a movie, no matter how dull it was (except for that time there was a family of rats nested around my feet), but I just couldn’t sit through this! It could have had something to do with a horrible woman sitting in front of me blocking my way. But no. It was everything. It was too long (198 minutes!), too weird, and too dull.

But maybe its just me, don’t let this keep you from experiencing the rest of the movies! Or even this one. I hated it, you might love it.

“The Hollywood Reporter calls it “enthralling” while other trade papers have violently rejected it like a bad cheeseburger, but either way there’s nothing else out there like film critic Jung Sung-Il’s epic CAFE NOIR. A sprawling, multi-character feature in the vein of a postmodern Robert Altman movie, the film tells the tale of a rejected young lover and his married mistress, juggling visual styles, points-of-view and references to everything from Korean monster movie THE HOST toDostoevsky’s White Nights and Goethe’s The Sorrows of Young Werther. Truly unique.”

Decide for yourself but I fully intend on going to as many of the movies as I can this summer. (:

They’re played at the Tribeca Cinemas at 54 Varick Street.

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Healthy as a horse

June 21st, 2011 Alina Guzman Dining out, Food No comments

Had probably the healthiest breakfast at Emphasis diner Sunday morn. Yes, thats waffles with whipped cream AND ice cream, covered in chocolate syrup with a side of fried onion rings. The waitress was taken aback, I’m sure.

Emphasis102 reviews powered by Yelp

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Worrisome

June 21st, 2011 Alina Guzman Home 2 Comments

image image

Camera shaking because I was laughing too hard. Thank goodness the aquarium has a cover or else we’d have no more fish left.

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