Lost in Paradise

Lost in Paradise

My fascination with historic buildings all started from a book that my housemate lent me, titled “Honolulu: Then and Now”. It actually sat on my nightstand for a while, until I accidentally found myself taking a self-guided walking tour of the historic part of downtown. Yes, I was lost … both literally and in a deeper sense, feeling a little misplaced experiencing reverse culture shock after having spent the past 9 or so years in Asia and trying to adjust…

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Lessons Living Abroad: Sustainability

Lessons Living Abroad: Sustainability

With the growing number of “sustainable” products on the market, sustainability is misconceived as a value that can only be “bought” and lived out with a high balance bank book. While these corporations should get credit for being environmentally mindful and carrying out their social responsibility in a way that meet our comforts, mind you, this isn’t the only way to be sustainable. Truth be told. You don’t have to break the bank to help save the environment. Responsible lifestyle…

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For the Love of a City

For the Love of a City

4.29 (April 29) is recognized as “saigu” in the Korean American community. It commemorates not a battle hero nor an independence movement, but a “wake-up call” amidst the 1992 L.A. Riots.  People familiarize the event as a “racial” outcry, after the Rodney King verdict brought protestors to the streets that escalated into massive looting, violence and property damage in South Los Angeles and Koreatown (popularly denoted as “Ktown”).  The four police officers—who had pulled a black man from his car, beaten…

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Jindo Jipbap: Home Cooking

Jindo Jipbap: Home Cooking

Jipbap (literally “home rice” in Korean) is basically home cooking or comfort food made from basic ingredients that take you to that Ratatouille moment (for those who haven’t see the movie … http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0382932/). Of course this tear-jerking nostalgic food looks (or rather tastes) different for everyone–depending on the region in which you were raised, your family influences and what you primarily ate through your growth spurt phases. Jindo is a rural farming-fishing village, but having Hawaiian-Californian influences, my family has brought some unusual twists to…

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The Secret Trade of Dumplings

The Secret Trade of Dumplings

Somewhere outside Dongdaemun History & Culture Park … I decided to go on an excursion with some friends to Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) and the Russian-speaking neighborhood of Seoul in Guanghuidong (exit 5, 7, 8 of Dongdaemun History & Culture Park Station). It is commonly believed that Korea is a homogeneous country, but a closer look reveals several pockets of Filipino (Hyehwadong & Dongsungdong in Jongno), Chinese (Chinatown in Incheon & Seongsudong near Konkuk University) and Central Asian (Guanghuidong) communities where you can…

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White/Black Day & Story of Jjajangmyeon

White/Black Day & Story of Jjajangmyeon

Uh, Valentine’s Day was last month … so you may very well be thinking what’s with all the candied hearts and stuffed animals?! Well, in addition to the veneration of St. Valentine or Valentinus (whomever you believe to be the true martyr behind this very misunderstood holiday), many Asian countries (China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, etc.) celebrate another day of love called White Day a month later on the 14th of March … Koreans (as they so often do) take…

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Sustainable Impact: Infrastructure for Healthy Living

Sustainable Impact: Infrastructure for Healthy Living

How Urban Infrastructure Influences Our Health and Environment. City & regional planning can support fresh food access and active lifestyles that affect not only our health, but also the Earth’s ability to support our livelihoods. //ISSUE POINTS According to the American Heart Association, nearly 70% of American adults are overweight or obese—this means 7 out of 10 of our constituents are at high risk for chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and diabetes. Heart disease, alone,…

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What Remains of Hawaiian Sugar?

What Remains of Hawaiian Sugar?

How the story of food, culture, and family intertwine. The next time you peruse the aisles of your local grocery store, snag a bag of Hawaiian sugar as it may be the last time you see it on the shelves—well, the last time you see REAL Hawaiian sugar. The last batch of cane sugar was shipped aboard the Moku Pahu with the closing of the last remaining sugar plantation on the Islands this past January, marking the end of an era that…

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