All tagged Chicago

S. Korea & I – a LOVE & hate kind of relationship

I like to pretend that Korea & I are dating seriously. A few weeks ago, I vented and aired her dirty laundry, or what I think are some of her flaws. But being in a healthy relationship entails accepting a person (or a country in my case) for who they are, fully. And sometimes it’s good to focus on their positive qualities rather than dwell on the negative. Although, I haven’t experienced a honeymoon stage with the ROK, there are plenty of aspects that I do enjoy. In the follow up to the love & hate series, I share some of what I deem to be Korea’s virtues…

McKensie Mack: Creative / Entrepreneur / Communication Strategist

McKensie Mack is a creative, entrepreneur and communication strategist who hails from the South Side of Chicago. Her work today ranges from satirical campaigns, to language learning, to community building for women and people of color. Her interests also lie in empowering young women as she works to foster a community of strong, diverse, badass women for future generations to come. A self-proclaimed night owl with a Southern soul and a ‘bad’ attitude, she is a force to be reckoned with. 

It’s Complicated… between S. Korea & I

I knew that living and working in Korea would be a challenge in many ways. When I told people about my plan to live in Korea for a year, I got a lot of puzzled looks. The common response was something like ‘but you’d fit in so much better in Vietnam, Thailand, anywhere in South East Asia.’ And they had a point. My personality would mesh a lot better in a country whose culture is less rigid. But my goals were clear. I wanted to focus on my writing and traveling while earning a decent income that would allow me to do the latter.  I’m doing exactly that and it’s totally worth it. Nonetheless, I’ve felt homesick plenty of times. Here are some things that I either dislike about Korea or miss from the US. 

Plenty of Art + Film to Discover This Fall

October in Chicago marks the transition into cooler weather, the change of color in tree foliage, and the beginning of fall. During this time of year, I like to mourn the brutal winter that lays ahead and commence my hibernation period. My Latin blood kicks in and orders me to say “no” to fun and remain indoors, because it’s warmer and cozier. This is when I try to accept and cope with the fact that I will be miserably cold for the next 5-6 months. I know, dramatic, but true. However, this year I am bowing not to give in to this depressing behavior as this month brings the Chicago International Film Festival and Artists Month. Both offer an incredibly exciting array of films, exhibits, and a plethora of must-attend events. I plan to remain active in the wake of the looming winter and I hope you join me too.

Chicago’s Joong Boo Market

I recently ventured to Avondale to explore Joong Boo Market and get my fix on authentic Korean grub. Located in the northwest side between Kimball and Avondale, the Korean grocery store + restaurant easily met and exceeded my expectations. First of all, they have a dumpling stand outside which sells massive buns for $2 apiece. This is my kind of deal! They offer pork, spicy kimchi with pork and red bean fillings. Sadly, I was too excited eating the tasty snacks and forgot to snap pics.