LUNCH WITH GRANDMA

July 20, 2015

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My grandmother is one of the most important people in my life. At 86 years old, she lived through the most difficult parts of South Korea's history before deciding to start a new life for her children (and grandchildren) here in the United States in the 80s. I love these long talks with her over Korean food⎼ I'll ask question after question about her past in Korea, and she also lets me pick her brain on any topic I want to discuss: life, love, family, health, and even money. I've noticed that she really comes alive when prompted for her stories and pieces of wisdom⎼ she never answers a question before laughing with a twinkle in her eye.

I have many memories with my grandma, too many to recount here. However, if I had to share my favorite thing about her, it's the fact that she wakes up at 4:00AM every weekday morning to go and swim laps at the pool. Her discipline for this example of self-care through exercise is something I deeply admire. I love that she's 86 years old and is working out more than anyone else I know... and isn't about to slow down anytime soon.

One of our rituals during these meals together is to order two very different dishes at the restaurant, and then share them with each other on smaller plates (as seen in the first photo). As soon as her own order of piping hot kalguksu noodles came out, she started to make my own separate bowl. Small moments like these remind me of her first instinct to always serve others and give selflessly, long before she thinks of herself and is taking her first bite of that kalguksu.

SATURDAY IN BROOKLYN

July 12, 2015

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It's hard to believe that summer is almost halfway over. This past weekend felt like one of those quintessential summer weekends in NYC with good friends — amazing eats at Smorgasburg in Williamsburg, catching the sunset on a rooftop in DUMBO, then topping it off with Shake Shack burgers in front of the Manhattan skyline. Definitely my idea of a perfect summer day in Brooklyn.