adventures in the empire state

This summer in New York, I was able to do a few firsts, like riding the Staten Island Ferry and going to the Top of the Rock. I didn’t want to wait in line for the actual ferry to Liberty Island and do the whole touristy thing, so we decided to take the Staten Island Ferry, which happens to be free. It was definitely full of tourists doing the same exact thing as us, so try to get in front of the line to board and get a good spot on the upper levels outside! The ferry runs frequently and you can get there from the South Ferry station. The views of the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline were pretty good!  Now I can say that I’ve actually been to Staten Island.

I was playing tour guide for my cousin’s daughter that was visiting NYC for the first time. So instead of going to the top of the Empire State building, I decided to take her to the Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center. The views from the top were stunning. I think it might be my favorite view of NYC. I love that you can see the Empire State Building along with Central Park. I would highly recommend it! The food pics below are from Maison Kayser near the flatiron district, another yummy place for food and drinks. It’s always so hard leaving NYC…

 

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mokbar @ nyc

This summer, I had the chance to check out this new and delicious place called Mokbar located in Chelsea market. My friend recommended this place,and I’m glad she did. This is a new Korean-Japanese fusion ramen place, opened by a Korean-American, Esther Choi. They don’t have too many tables, so be prepared to wait if you have a bigger group.

We tried a whole bunch of different dishes. Their ho-cakes were interesting, as they put pork in them, making them taste more like a pa-jeon/pancakes then the usually sweet ho-dduk. I enjoyed their disco fries, because kimchi, cheese, and fries are some of my favorite foods, especially when they are combined! Their tteokboki had bacon and poached egg which was a unique twist on this classic korean dish. I ordered the kimchi ramen as my main dish, and enjoyed it! I would definitely recommend this place. Next time, I want to try out los tacos, which the taco place located next door!

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emily & victor {june 7.2014}

The recent trend these past few years has been to rush back to NY to be part of a wedding right after my school year ended. This year, I was so blessed to be able to make it back in time for Emily’s wedding.  I landed in NY on a Friday afternoon and had enough time to drop my bags off at home and shower (much needed after 24 hours of traveling) to make it to the rehearsal dinner. The next morning, I was up early in the morning to make it to the church to get our make-up and hair done!

Emily and co did a fabulous job of transforming our church gymnasium with their creative diy touches for the reception. All the meticulous details from the lemonade drinks stand outside, cute and practical fan like programs, lantern centerpieces, to the pinterest favorite- diy tassels, created a beautiful backdrop, for the real story. The story of a lifelong commitment, of God intervening and bringing two people together, and of a love that grows stronger in time.

For me, weddings are about those moments. I remember when the church doors opened, and the stunning bride, Emily walked down with her arm in her father’s. I remember  the groom, Victor was choked up and Emily had to dab at his tears. I remember the pastor trying to hold back his emotions. I remember the joy that exuded from the bride and groom as they face the audience as husband and wife for the first time. Thank you Emily and Victor for allowing me to be part of your beautiful wedding story!

Here are a few shots on my DLSR camera before the wedding. beach_jake-0476beach_jake-0463beach_jake-0465beach_jake-0468 beach_jake-0469beach_jake-0470 beach_jake-0472

Here are some photos, taken by my iphone 5s! IMG_0155IMG_0102 IMG_0131 IMG_0116 IMG_0127IMG_0179

a paris icon: the eiffel tower

When one thinks of Paris, the Eiffel Tower is one of the first things that most people think of. It’s an incredible icon of Paris. There were abundant reminders of this beautiful iron structure all over Paris. I must admit, I probably had close to 100 pictures with the Eiffel Tower in it.

One of the memorable parts of this Paris trip was actually going inside the Eiffel Tower to the upper levels. We must have waited for over an hour, and it was a chilly night, but definitely worth waiting for the elevator. Even though we didn’t go all the way to the tippy top (someone had a fear of heights, I won’t name names), it was well worth it. Now, I can say, I’ve been inside the Eiffel Tower. On our way down, we took the stairs, and I felt so bad for the people that were walking UP the tower! At one point, I started to encourage the people climbing up. I would not recommend walking up the stairs, especially on a cold day.

The last night in Paris, we of course went back to the Eiffel Tower and enjoyed the lights while eating Pierre Herme macarons. I didn’t eat them all, and brought the remaining ones back with me to Singapore! I think the next country in Europe I plan on visiting is Spain! I just found out that one of my friends will be studying abroad there. Anyone interested?! :)

Stay tuned for more posts on my summer in ny!  

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a few of my favorite things {paris}

To say that I’m a bit behind would be an understatement, but nevertheless I think it’s time to start posting my Paris pics from March, then I can post more current pics from NY. It’s hard to not fall in love with Paris after visiting. This was my second time going back (as an adult), and I felt like I could live here. Really, how hard would it be to eat delicious chocolate croissants, baguettes, and macarons everyday? I loved that the apartment we stayed at was walking distance to the Eiffel Tower.  Every morning, we grabbed breakfast from the bakery on our street and ate on a bench at the park next to the Eiffel Tower. So Paris definitely has a piece of my heart still there. Here are some of my favorite parts of Paris. Enjoy! xoxo.

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beach adventures with jake

One of the things I look forward to with coming back home for the summer is hanging out with this guy. He’s a constant reminder to me about God’s faithfulness when I see how much he has grown in 1 short year. We had a chance to take him to the beach for the first time! He absolutely loved it. From building sand castles, jumping the waves, and eating yummy snacks, seeing him zonked out in his car seat on the ride home with his stuffed giraffe as a pillow was evidence enough of a good first time. Not only did he have fun riding the waves, he was so fashionably dressed for a two and half year old! I will give him credit for being the hippest toddler I’ve had a chance to take photos of.

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And of course, some photos of us two via our iphone! 

mo-mo jee young loves you jake! xoxo.

 

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the good story competition

A friend of mine invited me to attend The Good Story Competition Awards Gala at the National Museum of Singapore last week. I’m glad that I said yes, because it was a night full of inspiration. The Good Story Competition was organized by Our Better World, a Singaporean NGO, which just started 2 years ago. Their vision according to their website is:

“We think stories are magical. And we think people are powerful. Both have the ability to touch the heart, challenge the mind and spark the soul.

So we tell stories, with a focus on Asia, to bring together the magic of stories and the power of people, to inspire change – to make it our better world.

Along with featuring people who are changing lives and whose lives are changed, we pull together a range of tangible, useful actions for you to join the journey.”

The Good Story Competition was the first big event that Our Better World was organizing. They had submissions from filmmakers, professional and amateurs, from all over the world, even though it focused on Asia.  Through this competition, they selected the top videos and many of the film makers came to the awards gala to receive their prizes. Not only did the filmmaker get prize money, but so did the organization that they made their movie on. These short films on various organizations and causes in Asia were all inspiring, heart warming and challenging. Here are some of my favorites from the night!

http://ourbetterworld.org/goodstoryasia/about/

This film that won for the professional category left quite an impressive on me. The storyline of this film tugged so deeply in my heart and what I feel passionate about: education, orphans, and Jesus. I was reminded me of the vision and hopes that I have as an educator. I would love to visit this school someday soon!

http://www.global-clinic.org/

These two other videos also resonated with me. As I watched the work of the people in the medical clinics in Myannmar, I was reminded of my brother Andrew and his wife, Esther. They both have a heart to do this type of work as doctors. They recently were in India, working with a doctor/missionary there and setting up mobile clinics. I hope that we can get more people in the field of medicine to be part of causes like this, because healthcare should be a human right for everyone.

http://www.crdev.org/contact.html

This last clip also really tugged on my heart as well. I love how he was helping the rickshaw drivers become self-sufficient, not just giving them money, but really putting in a system that helps them become actual owners. I’ve realized over the past few years, that it’s not enough to just give money to a cause or group of people, but we need to be giving them the tools that they need to be successful. You can check out more of the videos on the good story competition YouTube channel. I felt so inspired after this night, and I hope that if you felt inspired too, you will help by sharing these stories!