Category Archives: Lifestyle

07.25.17Date Night in Koreatown (Featuring KBBQ)

One thing we love about NYC is that there are so many vastly different neighborhoods within one city. It’s so exciting to find pockets of stores, restaurants, and people that are so different from our own neighborhood. While my parents were in town, we had traditional German food in our own neighborhood, Yorkville, and Italian food on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx. Both meals were incredible, and it was fascinating to see cultures thrive in this melting pot that is America.

After eating German and Italian, I was reminded of how much Rob had been wanting to try Korean BBQ. It was my turn to plan a date, so I did some research on Korean food and restaurants in Manhattan’s Koreatown. Koreatown is nestled between 5th and 6th Avenues, going from approximately 32nd street up to 38th street. I finally settled on a Korean BBQ restaurant for us to try: Jongro BBQ. It included grilling on the table and all kinds of meat selections, which I knew Rob would like.

Jongro BBQ doesn’t take reservations and can be a little tricky to find. Here’s my tip: go on the early side (we got there at about 6:45pm) and look for the Citibank on the south side of 32nd street (across from Wongo), go into the stark bank lobby, and take the elevator to the 2nd floor. It will empty you right into the vivacious restaurant where you can put your name down with a hostess.

The wait time was approximately 45 minutes, so we headed back out to the street and popped into several Korean shops and markets. First up: a Korean bookstore and music store. We found one of our favorite authors, Tim Keller, in Korean! We had fun trying to recognize various books based on cover imagery.

Next up: a Korean beauty store. Korean culture is known for high standards in beauty; women in Korea spend more money on cosmetics than women in any other country! A massive difference between American and Korean beauty is how they achieve beauty. Americans mostly have a three step beauty regime (cleanse, tone, and moisturize). Korean women, on the other hand, have a ten step beauty regime, including makeup remover and oil cleanser, water-based cleanser, exfoliation, toner, essences, serums, booster and ampoules, sheet masks, eye cream, moisturizer, and sun protection. It was fun looking through all of their products. I had heard about a baby foot peel on a blog, and was so intrigued when I first read about it. The product in store caught my eye, so I had the sales clerk tell me about it. She had me sold! I picked it up for my Koreatown souvenir. I’m a little nervous to try it, but I’ll report back once I do!

After the beauty shop, we popped into a Korean market. It was packed (with food and with people), but we perused the aisles checking things out. We wanted to try green tea mochi, but were afraid of it melting before we got home. A spicy wasabi dried pea snack also caught our eye, and Rob brought those home for his souvenir. We’re excited to try them!

Finally, we got a phone call that our table at Jongro was ready, so we made our way down the street to the restaurant. We were seated at a large booth that included a grill and heater in the center of it. After asking some questions about the menu, we settled on a beef platter to share (it included a few different cuts). The order also came with Korean accoutrements: kimchi, scallion salad, pickled onions, bean paste, soy sauce, macaroni salad (?!), and a tofu soup. Our server brought over the meat and cooked it for us in batches. Then we assembled lettuce wraps with the meat, rice, and sides. It was delicious! To be honest, I was hesitant about many of the sides, but I loaded my lettuce wrap with them anyway. So glad I did! We enjoyed our messy, flame-filled, fun dinner in Koreatown and would wholeheartedly recommend a visit to the neighborhood. Next time we’ll have to do karaoke, too!

06.30.17Friday Finds

White Lake, NC

Fridays before a holiday weekend are always extra exciting! I happen to love, love, love the 4th of July. We’ve got a lot lined up between visits with family and soaking up summertime fun with friends. Whatever you’re up to, I hope you have a happy 4th!

Ambassadors selected the one book you should read before visiting their country.

Where to take out-of-towners visiting NYC, broken down by type of guest.

I’m a sucker for soft pretzels and want to try this recipe asap.

Eagerly awaiting Dan Brown’s newest book, to be released this October.

Podcasts are really having a moment. Here are some of the year’s best.

Put this on your “Summer in NYC list” of things to do.

Eyeing this adorable gingham top.

I love straw bags for summer, and this Etsy shop knocks it out of the park.

I finished this entertaining read this week, and I’m eager to get to the rest of the series.

06.21.17Summer Fun List – 2017

Happy summer solstice! In honor of it being the first official day of summer, I thought I’d share our summer fun list. Each season, we come up with a list of things we’d like to do. This summer, we printed it out and put it on our refrigerator. We’ve been having fun crossing things off our list together! What things are you looking forward to this summer?!

  • US Open with Steph and Rob
  • Day trip to Rockaway Beach via ferry
  • Movie in a park
  • Picnic in Central Park or Carl Schurz
  • Rooftop at the Met
  • NYC Philharmonic free concert in Central Park
  • Friday night cocktails on our roof deck
  • Host a dessert and cocktails night on our roof deck
  • Smorgasburg
  • Cha Cha Matcha for matcha soft serve ice cream
  • Lobster roll from Luke’s Lobster
  • Mostly Mozart Celebration (Lincoln Center)
  • Summer Swing Party in Damrosch Park (Lincoln Center)
  • Central Park Garden Party
  • John Legend concert at Madison Square Garden
  • Celebrate our anniversary in DC
  • See the Great Comet
  • Make fruit pizza
  • Make frozen strawberry lemonade
  • California trip!
  • Bike ride
  • Visit Riverside Park
  • Baseball game
  • City Winery on Pier 26
  • Make s’mores over our stove
  • Day trip to Montauk lighthouse (LIRR)
  • Jazz & Chihuly Night at NYBG