The View from Kerry Park

Seattle experienced the most beautiful three-day Easter weekend, and I’m glad we took advantage of the sunshine and stumbled upon cherry blossoms in full bloom! Two very rare events happening at the same time. Incredible. We hitched a ride in Phil’s convertible with the top down, enjoyed the view of the Space Needle from Kerry Park, then wandered into a secret garden of sorts with very old, and very large cherry blossom trees. If we were to stay in Seattle long-term (as this article seems to suggest would be a wise decision), I’d seriously consider Queen Anne as a new home — if we could afford it. Continue reading

Kakao in South Lake Union

Though we technically had Good Friday off, we all decided to hang out together as team, at a quieter local cafe. That choice was Kakao, an all-in-one venue, cafe, and chocolate store with minimal signage and an humble exterior. The comfortable seating invited us in, beautiful ballerinas graced the wall, eclectic chocolates on display drew us closer, and the extensive hot chocolate menu pretty much sealed the deal as we approach the counter. We sat next to the windows to maximize the beautiful sunshine, before heading to Queen Anne afterward! Continue reading

Around Capitol Hill

While exhilarating, the startup grind can take its toll on daily life, sucking away precious quality time, so every other Saturday is marked “Date Day: Do something fun!” on our shared Google calendar. Last Saturday, we decided to explore Capitol Hill — the neighborhood every friend and magazine has been recommending — for good reason. When we first moved to Seattle, I felt like I was just living in a much more sparsely populated San Francisco with very similar demographics but fewer dining options and hipster hangouts. That is, until I really explored Capitol Hill. The neighborhood feels much like the home I once knew! Streets are much more vibrant and densely lined with tasteful cafes, bars, and boutiques like those we’d find in the Mission or Castro, but also Pac Heights. I’d say, Capitol Hill is somehow a fusion between the grunge and swank — with a much more positive attitude. Continue reading

Brunch at Mistral Kitchen

Who knew such a gem existed in the construction-laden business district I not only work but also reside in? On weekends, there is very light foot traffic in our hood, so all the usual lunch spots are closed for business — Starbucks included. Mistral Kitchen is a surprising exception. With such an unassuming entrance around a corner, I probably would’ve walked right past it on Saturday, had I not found the recommendation on a Seattle tourism website earlier (even a new local’s gotta start somewhere, right?). Having been to Macrina in Belltown on a Sunday (and missed the brunch slot after 40 minutes of waiting), I was very pleased to be seated right away though also a bit wary, given the vacancy on a Saturday afternoon. However, the menu soon turned our caution to relief and joyous anticipation. Continue reading

Seattle Central Library

About a month ago, our good friend, Steph, and her sister visited from San Francisco, so we decided to go check out the Central Library — a well-studied gem in the architectural world. (Steph’s sister, Christina, also happens to be an architecture major from Cal, thus the great choice in “tourist” attraction!) I knew we would ride up the yellow escalators, peek out through the Red Room, and wander along the Spiral; what I didn’t imagine was that we’d end up spending a good hour in a special section housing historic records ranging from Seattle’s yearly city directories (dating back to 1898!) to early census reports, to neatly compiled books full of newspaper clippings (sorted by topic). We flipped through gigantic insurance maps of Seattle proper, trying to figure out what used to be where (a lot of shipyards!), and I briefly browsed through a Japanese directory from 1955 listing every single Japanese business in America (from the Bay Area to cities in Utah! with street names I recognized in San Francisco). My ultimate favorite was a “Blue Book” of some local elite organization, featuring socialites (who probably paid to be listed), stating their prestigious college affiliations, spouses, and addresses. Can we say, the original Facebook?! Continue reading

New Heights, New Widths

Ryan and I moved to Seattle mid-January to co-found a health-tech startup here, and ever since, I’ve been obsessed with decorating our new home… in our wedding colors. The subtle mint/teal accent wall in the living room was just asking for it! After spending many months living out of suitcases and moving boxes back and forth (from San Francisco to Walnut Creek to Fremont…) I just wanted to feel at home again. This is the first time I’ve ever lived outside the Bay Area (and more than a BART-ride away from family), and much to my own surprise, the transition was painless and “settling in” took no time at all! Seattle is very much like San Francisco — dullishly foggy yet colorfully eclectic at the same time. On the contrary, people here are unpretentious about their coffee, more diverse in industry, and slightly more fashionable than The North Face plus jeans (men wear peacoats!). The greatest shocker? We pay inner East Bay prices to live on the twenty-second floor of one of the nicest high rises, two blocks north of downtown (think Union Square), two blocks south of South Lake Union (think SOMA but Amazon’d out), a ten-minute walk away from Capitol Hill (think Mission/Castro)…and a fifteen-minute walk to/from work. I DON’T HAVE TO DEAL WITH ANYTHING LIKE THE MUNI!

As I’m pretty much three months behind on the blogging (with thousands of photos waiting to be edited), I finally decided to widen up my blog to feature more photography and less distraction. I hope to be more deliberate with my shots and a little more selective with what I post from now on. To kick off, here are a few sneak peeks of our new living room! Continue reading

Gangnam and everything spicy!

Day 50: Wednesday, November 28, 2012
The first thing we do in the morning is head over to Kimchi World to learn their much anticipated secret recipe…or so we thought. The kimchi “making” class turned out to be a “rub our proprietary blend of kimchi onto this giant cabbage” and tada! kind of deal. We also made bugolgi chapchae in a similarly no-skilled-required fashion — but it was still a lot of fun and I’m glad we went! Continue reading
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