Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Le Painer

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On my 31st birthday my sisters came over to spend the day with me. Ian was away on a trip and they didn’t want me spending my birthday alone. The older I get the more introverted I seem to become so the idea of a birthday alone wasn’t terrible. I didn’t mind it at all but having the company of my sisters is always a great time.

The day consisted of my favorite weekend activity: brunch and a visiting to the market. They insisted I should have cake for my birthday but I didn’t want cake. I felt it was too formal and stuffy for the day I was having and the mood I was in. Instead I suggested macaroons from Le Painer. We picked up about a dozen, one in each flavor and brought them home. Over a cup of hot tea we enjoyed the macaroons, cut in half, family style to share and exchange tasting notes. It was perfect.

This past weekend we stopped by La Panier to pick up a few thing: macaroons for a Christmas party with friends, a turkey sandwich for lunch and chocolate croissants for my sisters. I brought my camera with me; something I’m not proud to admit I haven’t done in awhile. I take so much joy in thinking of different ways to photograph a place I frequent or to see it through the way of the camera. However the best thing for me, as I was looking through the photos I took, were the memories that came up, such as my 31st birthday spent with my sisters.

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Le Panier is located at Pike Place Market. Everything I’ve tried has been delicious but my regulars are the macaroons, the turkey sandwich made on their classic baguette and the chocolate croissant. It doesn’t matter what time of the day you go, you will always find a the line starts at the front door but it moves fairly quickly.

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La Panier // In Pike Place Market
1902 Pike Place
Seattle WA 98101

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Kimchi Jjigae


Cooking for others stresses me out. Cooking for myself is therapeutic. Recently I figured out why: cooking is experimental. I enjoy playing with ingredients and figuring out my own way of make something to my liking, or in this case, taste.

On most days I don't cook. For lunch I'll either grab something to go or dine at a restaurant enjoying a meal in solitude. Dinner is typically spent with Ian somewhere in our neighborhood. We're blessed to live in a city with a plethora of different cuisines. Cooking is reserved for moments when time is a luxury such as nights when I'm alone.

The idea to make something in my kitchen usually sparks when I'm dining out and have eaten something really delicious. So delicious it will entice me to attempt it at home so that I can always enjoy it whenever I want.


This Kimchi Jjigae (and many iterations of it) was inspired by Kang Hodong Baekjeong in Koreatown. My dental hygienist recommended the place but warned us about the long wait. She suggested we go as late in the evening as possible. After a full day of work, Ian and I arrived in LA around 10pm and starving. The restaurant was a few blocks from The Line making it the perfect time to go. We were there for the Korean BBQ which deserves mentioning as it was also memorable and delicious but the jjiae stole the show.

After a few spoonful of jjigae I turn to Ian with wide eyes and asked, "Do you think we can make this at home?" He quickly tries the jjiage, "Of course!" And he starts listing the ingredients. He has a talent for breaking down ingredients through taste. I think it's magical and am always so impressed.

With the colder weather upon us, I've been spending the last few months perfecting my take on Kimchi Jjiae. The first try was passable but tonight's was exactly how I liked it: the perfect level of sour and spice.


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Joshua Tree

It’s after dinner the dishes are in the wash and Ian and I have retreated to our respective corners in the condo. He’s working on his painting of Joshua Tree and I’m reflecting on the photographs I took this past summer. This household is thinking of warmer days on this fall evening.

Visiting Joshua Tree was Ian’s idea. He had gone last year to take photographs for the painting he’s currently working on and for some reason I was unable to go. On our last trip to LA we were going for an extended time and decided to squeezed in a day trip for me to see it.

The great thing about going somewhere new with someone who’s already been is knowing what to anticipate. The park can be explored by feet, bike or car. I picked car. It made for a leisurely drive throughout the park. Anytime we saw something interesting we’d pull over to have a closer look: a valley full of Joshua Trees, boulders (which we bravely climbed like mischevious children) and the panoramic view at Key View.

Joshua Tree | September 2017

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Resemblance to Reality

Here it is: my annual still life shoot of peonies I photographed with my Pentax. I showed Ian the photos I took and he was a little surprised, "They don't look like something you'd shoot." That got me thinking two things: one; I may be getting closer to establishing my style (yay!!!) and two; it's not what I would normally go for but I wanted to try something different. I wanted these photographs to portray the reality of our spring. It was brutal, it was harsh and then one day the sun came out and summer was here. Completely passing up spring and showing all the damage it had done. If not to mother nature than to human nature specifically in Seattle. I was about to lose it at some point. Snow in March? Unheard of!

Just like I do every year I picked up these peonies at the market and brought them home to watch them bloom. Except they never fully bloomed. And I couldn't figure out why. They had sufficient light and water and the apartment was warm. Over a span of a week they began to opened up, wilted and then fell apart. Again, it has been one strange spring. I thought about going back to the market to buy some bloomed ones just so I could photograph them but I stopped myself. Not everything has to be mask with beauty. Bruises, imperfection and growing pains should also see the light of day. They deliver something different; more meaningful I think. It's messy and it's real.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

I've been trying to squeeze in a trip to New York just to see the Irving Penn Exhibition. Unfortunately we are quickly approaching July 30th, the last day of the exhibition and I don't think it's going to happen.

Today's blogpost is dedicated to The Metropolitan Museum of Art; one of my favorite museums. It holds so much art and the space itself is art. I've spent hours roaming the museum from one wing to another finding myself being transported to a different part of the world each time. I love having a view of Central Park during water breaks in the American Wing Cafe. The museum is always so busy making it a wonderful place to people watch as well.

Here are photographs I took on black and white film during my last visit in January. 

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10028

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Our Anniversary

Hand in hand waking home from dinner one night Ian and I were talking about the ways we’ve grown together. Typically our after dinner conversations are more political than romantic however this evening we were reminiscing about a past experience: hiking Koko Head. What started as an innocent pursuit to sweat out the food and alcohol we had been excessively consuming while celebrating our anniversary we decided to hike Koko Head Stairs. I frequently forget I’m not an outdoor person and always commit before I could remember. So here we were half way up the Koko Head Stairs. I’m out of breath and pretty close to giving up. Ian notices (and I’m sure everyone and their dog does too), how tired I was getting. He asks me if I want to go back. Stubborn and in denial of course I say no. It was my idea therefore I was determined to see it through. Wanting Ian to have a much better experience I ask him to go on ahead without me. Besides there was only one way up and it was easy enough for me to spot him. As he picks up speed I start to leisurely climb taking my sweet precious time and occasionally stepping aside to stop and admire at the view. Soon enough I approach the part of the trail that looks like the sand had caved in trees deep. This trail is on an abandon railway and the railroad ties were being used as steps. Terrified of heights I step aside to think: should I or should I not climb it? I couldn’t decide so I watched the people who were more decisive try. Some were fearlessly bouncing over the bridge while others were on their hands and knees scared and shaking. After observing several people turn back I raised my white flag.

Back to our after dinner conversation with Ian talking about that moment: “I was worried you’d try to climb the bridge but I just knew you weren’t going to do it,” he said. “How did you know?!” I asked astonished at his guess. “I just did. You’re like an extension of me. I just know when you’re going to do something.” Right then and there in the middle the side walk I stopped us in our tracks and gave him a big kiss. I told him, “that was the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard you say.”

Being with someone for six years has its pros and cons. It is comforting to know someone so well you can predict what they want or need before they even ask and having someone do the same for you is even better. On the flip side, the game of life: work, home and sleep and everything in between can become mundane, at least for me. I've learned that staying in love requires work. And it’s not so much a bad thing. Anything you cherish in life requires some amount of love and work.

Over time as Ian and I continue to practice being in love our hard work is rewarded once a year with a celebration better known as an Anniversary. This past anniversary we decided to celebrate in New York City. A city with character that we both appreciate and love: delicious food, inspiring art and a pace of speed we didn’t mind.

After a red eye flight we touched down at JFK early on a Friday morning and took the subway into the city. I am always surprised at how quickly I can adapt to a different time zone with little sleep. After checking into our hotel we went on a search for breakfast in our neighborhood. We stumbled upon the Egg Shop as they were still setting up shop. Luckily it was next door to Cafe Integral where we waited and woke up slow over coffee and tea. I cannot sit down for a proper conversation without first taking photographs of everything. And did I mention how much I love Ian for being supportive of this terrible obsession I have of photography? He is a saint!

After breakfast we headed towards the World Trade Center. It was January and so cold. This was our first time seeing the shiny new tower and visiting the 911 memorial. Afterwards we ducked into the Westfield World Trade Center to admire the architecture.  I remember feeling very somber watching the ebbs and flow of people.

We continued walking around and discovered Eataly on the third floor. To keep warm we planted ourselves at the bar over a bottle of wine and our normal topic of choice: politics. And then we toyed with the idea of living in this city.

The rest of the day was a blur. Before I knew it the sky was dark and the city was lit. The temperature continued to drop and the wind picked up. Once again we found ourselves holding hands (freezing!) and walking home from dinner.

Sixth Year Anniversary
New York City | January 2017