Never Forget

Today is a tough day for me, made especially tougher by the fact that I no longer live in the city that shaped and molded me for 6 years during my undergraduate and graduate semesters at NYU.

To not walk the streets of those vibrant neighborhoods in downtown Manhattan, to not feel the pulse of the greatest metropolis in the world brings a very real pang to my heart. 2 years ago I left my first love for Los Angeles but today I feel especially proud to be a new-yorker. What will you understand about my city if I don’t tell you? How will you know that it’s darted with hard-working individuals making honest money, chasing that illusive American dream. How will you know about that steak house in Brooklyn that’s completely worthy of riding the 7 train out of the city? How will you know about the way it smells after a thunderstorm and how beautifully quiet it is during the first snowfall of the year? Have you heard about the fashion Mecca it transforms into every September? Designer worshippers from around the world flocks to the city in droves dressing it up with gliteratti and socialities and models and designers. Did you know that it was here that I met my best friends and soul mates? Did you know in this city, I accepted Jesus as Lord of my life?

A few years back, while I still lived in the city, our church paid tribute to our home during a particularly memorable 9/11 service. Our preacher put together a video of testimonies of members of the New York City Church of Christ (my home ministry), some of whom worked and lived in the heart of the financial district where the twin towers once stood on that fateful day:

Today I remember, not only the horrific attack on my beloved city over a decade ago, but also how the city and the country unified under circumstances inflicted by lost souls. My heart hurts for the pain that the city has suffered but also for the ongoing pain that many cities are enduring currently. I hurt for the those who have witnessed death and destructions and suffered the heartache of parting with loved ones. I hurt for all those walking in darkness, without the truth, without love, and most of all, without God.

My prayers go out to all the families who lost friends and loved ones. My prayers go out to the city in mourning and uniting today. I pray for peace and forgiveness. Peace for New York and peace to all. Forgiveness for new yorkers and every beating heart who is in pain.

“Now God be praised, that to believing souls gives light in darkness” – William Shakespeare

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” -Philippians 4:7

God bless America, God bless my beloved New York.

Screen Shot 2014-09-11 at 2.38.41 PM

-a quieted Lucy in Los Angeles…missing her home

7 months.

We made it to month number 7…holy moly. It’s been a tough(being honest) BUT AWESOME (being honest) 7 months. Marriage is work and every day that we work through our difference and adjust to being teammates, I fall more deeply in love with this man.

Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 10.42.14 PM

Mike,honey:

Thank you for your endless patience and grace. You give me so many second chances daily. Thank you for your endless support and protection. You are my hero in every way. I’m learning so much about you and learning how to fit into you. I look back on the last 7 months and know, for a fact, that God is good. This is me that Sunday months ago getting ready to see my groom. I was so excited I barely slept the night before. I promise to love you tip death do us part but more importantly, I promise to be your eye candy every day that we have together just like the day I said, “I do”.

 

 

Michael-ism

There’s a well known and extremely popular NYC based blogger, taza, formerly known as rockstar diaries, who blogs about some fun interactions that she has with her toddler daughter, Eleanor. She titles it Eleanorism. Even though Mike is a couple decades past 3 and a half, I find he says and does some of the darnest thing …

Screen Shot 2014-04-20 at 5.50.27 PM

-when asked how he’d rate himself on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the hottest man alive and judging purely on looks, he replied matter-of-factly, “a solid 9″

-when I asked him, 죽을래? (jugulle?) which is a playful way to say “wanna die” after being annoyed, he replied, “bibimbap”

-“who’s that boyyyy, who’s that boy?!?!…..it’s MICHAEL!” (singing to new girl’s tune)

-when there’s a kissing scene on tv/movie, “BABYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY” and hides behind me

-when the lights automatically turned off one Saturday that we were at his office because of his overtime, he did a cartwheel in the hallway to reactive them

-after touching a piece of bread that just came out of the oven, *scream!* “I hurt myself”

-when I have to fish the keys out of his pocket to open the door because his hands are tied up holding bags and stuff, “are you trying to eat my tofu” (all the asians should get this one)

Mikewang, thank you for making me laugh.

The secret is out: best tacos ever. EVER!!!

I think NYC is the end all and be all city for foodies. LA really has nothing on Manhattan in the culinary arena except Korea Food anddddd Mexican. But THIS taco place, blows every other place out of the water. Just how good you might ask? The night Mike proposed to me, I asked to gather with our closest friend at Ave 26 (more affectionally known to us as Fletchers Tacos as that’s what the friend who introduced it to us called it). Since then, we come here, on average, once a week for date night.

Before I get to the rave, I mean review, let me caveat: I’m not hispanic nor have I ever had a taco in Mexico so I may not have the most ethnically authentic palette for tacos. With that said, I know good food – and this. is. good. food.

Screen Shot 2014-04-20 at 12.06.49 AM

^grilled onions right by the grill, separated from all the other condiments/toppings.

Ave 26 Taco Stand is a food stand, not truck. The taco guys/gals literally set up on the street, next to their van. They’re there 7 days a week, rain or shine (except when it pours) and set up from around 6pm to about 11 (on weekends). Their description is painfully limited on yelp so I’m going to give you all the information I gathered from coming here at least once a week for months. The employees speak very limited English but you can order by pointing at stuff (it’s what I do). Mike likes to settle the bill in spanish so needless to say, we’ve gotten really good at numbers in the teens. You order and eat standing around, in your car, or wherever else you like then settle the bill when you’re done (with the lady by the big boiling pot). You can also pay in the moment but if you want to act like you know what you’re doing instead of how you really feel, which is a complete and utter sense of overwhelming wonder, then order, eat, and pay. HONOR SYSTEM PEOPLE!

Now speaking of paying, they charge….get this…$1 a taco. I mean….what a STEAL! HONOR SYSTEM PEOPLE! Mike usually gets 8 and I’ve slowly upped my number from 6 to 7. They also sell this lemon soda and water but Mike and I bring our own *wink*. A good beer with ave 26 tacos has to be what heaven feels like.

Screen Shot 2014-04-20 at 12.09.49 AM

^cabeza is in the box with the lid slightly off of it

Screen Shot 2014-04-20 at 12.11.00 AM

My favorite favorite favorite one is the cabeza (they have it in the container all the way to the right covered up, so make sure to ask for it in Spanish or know where to point). I had it before I knew what it was….brain….but now that I’ve tasted it, I can’t not get it. So if you’re squeamish with non-chicken meats, just order and eat before you ask your friend to translate what you ate into English. Besides their incredibly flavor and tender selection of meats, they offer free grilled onion (by the grill) and unlimited toppings/salsas. Note: the salsas are all extremely spicy but I have a monstrously high tolerance for spice so not only do I rain all three down on my tacos but I’ll get a plastic cup of the green one in the middle to dip my free potato in.

Screen Shot 2014-04-20 at 12.12.24 AM

Speaking of, they boil baby potatoes inside that bubbling pot of I-don’t-know-what-it-is. All you do is walk up to the lady with your plate and ask for a potato. You don’t have to count that into your total bill. How they make money…I’ll never know.

To top all of that off, when the sun sets, the taco-ers turn on the lights and music: ahhhh festive food nirvana. We usually eat in our car with our beers and a movie on Netflix on my phone. If we bring friends (and we bring a lot of friends), we’ll dress warmly and bring lawn chairs to eat by our cars. Because here’s the thing, even after you’ve stuffed to the point of stupidity, you can eat more if you just sit around a couple of hours sipping on your beer amongst good company.

Screen Shot 2014-04-20 at 12.16.33 AMScreen Shot 2014-04-20 at 12.18.05 AM

In Summary….

Pro:

$1 taco c’mon
unlimited condiments
free potato
BYO
7 days a week
amazing flavors
great atmosphere
when there’s a line it moves at lightning speed bc they’re pros. I tried to grab an action shot above
Screen Shot 2014-04-20 at 12.15.07 AM
and many others that I can’t quite think of because my mouth is salivating uncontrollably

Con:
cash only (who cares though? I’m not even bothered, only because you’re the king of all places that’s cash only)
closes relatively early (who cares again? eat at 7 then take some to go for when you want it at 1am)

We love you so much “Fletcher’s Tacos”. How you have only 40 some reviews on Yelp I’ll never know. You are LA’s best hidden secret.

I Miss Entertaining…

One of my favorite things about being married is being able to host with Mike in our home. There’s something wonderful about preparing a meal for friends. There’s something even more wonderful about having a husband who does the dishes after. When I was a child, the family got together over big meals. Over those meals, we bickered and laughed and shared stories. During those meals, we remembered loved ones who were no longer with us and planned for a future that seemed so out of reach. My grandpa would cook for us during those get-togethers and poured his love into dishes that tasted like home.

I started cooking in the 5th grade and have been perfecting my craft since. It’s my conviction that food is not only the way to a man’s heart but what solid friendships are built upon. Since starting my 4 months sabbatical, I’ve been on a mission to host as much as I can. Here’s a collage of all of our dinner guests. I’ve thoroughly enjoying having all of you over and hope that we can have you guys over again. For new friends I’ve not met/invited, I can’t wait to cook for you and yours. I already can’t wait to best friends forever.

Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 11.57.05 PM

let’s get that calendar filled up again. Have you been over yet? Let’s chat! After 4/15….though. haha I’m still a public accountant after all ;)

*edit* I’ve had so many people ask me this question so let me share the awesome source of our dining table: ETSY! No joke, I was looking at one on west elm and it was just so exorbitantly priced. I had a really hard time pitching to Mike! Anyway, I expanded my search and found a seller who custom makes picnic style tables to measurement and even stain! I love him so much. Everything ships in pieces so you just put it together once he sends it. He also sends you progress pictures. I loved working with him. He comes highly recommended and his etsy site can be found below:

Witusik2000

Tomasz, I love doing business with you. Thank you so much for our gorgeous table, we use it every single day! Hopefully I’m sending a few more customers your way. You deserve it!

#yelpingWangs – Holy Grail Ramen: Kanpai Ramen

who knew my favorite ramen place in LA would be in Glendale, and yes I’ve tried the “top hits” in SGV and Little Tokyo.

Instead of listing what I like about this place, I should list what I don’t like and that’s nothing. This is the perfect bowl of ramen and if I had to be picky at something, maybe it’s that the pork belly could be a little more caramelized and that the egg yolk could be a little more runny but every ramen connoisseur judges on two components: the soup and the noodles and on those, I’m floored.

1. The soup – OH THE SOUP. It’s the creamiest, most decadent soup I’ve had west of Ippudo in NYC (still the best Ramen of all time). It doesn’t have the pieces of floating fat (thank goodness) so if you think that’s the mark of true tonkotsu soup, um…you’re wrong. It’s so rich that after you eat a few bites, you can actually feel the corners of your mouth sticking together because all the bone marrow and gelatinous goodness that dissolved into the soup starts drying on your lips. AMAZING.

Screen Shot 2014-04-03 at 11.12.42 PM

^Left: Pork Belly vs Right: chicken

2. The noodles, full of body, hearty, and al-dente just as ramen noodles should be. Amazing again.

There is a private lot out front (that fits maybe 6 cars) so I suggest you park in the lot of a gym right before you get to the corner that the restaurant is on. We came here on a Thursday night and didn’t have to wait. The place did fill up at one point but I also think it’s because it hasn’t blown up yet. I’d definitely wait in line for this place (waited at Silverlake Ramen and it was nothing special).

THE STAFF WAS AWESOME. Our waitress was polite and patient and sweet. We took our time getting to the bill and she never rushed us once. I’m so impressed with her.

Other highlights: the baked green mussel was totally on point and will definitely be something I order every time I come here. They also give you complimentary Yakult. If you didn’t grow up drinking it then um…you missed out.

Lastly but certainly not least, they have a house pickled jalapeño that’s bomb. I couldn’t stop myself. I kept reaching for more pickled garlic/onion/jalapeño pieces inside this little jar they brought out. If they don’t bring it, DEFINITELY ask for it.

Thank you Kanpai. I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

#cookingWangs – Tea Eggs

this has to be, hands down, my favorite to pack on picnics or to the beach. I’m not a huge fan of eggs (my husband is) but this preparation brings out this rich soy sauce taste that is hard to describe. I’ll be sharing my mom’s recipe but feel free to adjust to taste.

Screen Shot 2014-03-22 at 5.38.01 PM

^ the marbling and color comes from cracking the entire surface of the egg. The yolk develops this blueish hue on the outside – that’s what you want. It brings out the flavor like CRAZY.

Ingredients:

eggs (I use 10 because that’s how many fits in the pot I use)
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 star anise
1 Tbsp of salt
1/8 cup of loose leaf tea (either black or green works)

Direction:

1. Put eggs in pot and pour enough cold water in the pot to cover all eggs
2. Put in all other ingredients and turn stove on high until boiling
3. Boil for 5 minutes then turn to medium for another 10
4. turn the heat down and smash the egg shells with the back of a metal spoon, flipping eggs over since you want to crack the whole surface (that’s how you get that beautiful marbling)
5. Turn heat off and let sit in liquid for 30min-2 hrs

serve hot/warm/or cold – it’s all so good.

I’m now salivating and must go fix myself a snack. toodley-loo

Night Market in LA

If there’s one thing we missed the most about our trip to Taiwan, it’s the many night markets we visited during our trip. In case you have never been to one, it’s an area filled with vendors ranging from gadgets to pets to drinks, food, and dessert.

the one in Taiwan

the one in Taiwan

The ones in Taiwan also has arcade games and sells clothing/shoes. I’ve known a few night markets in LA but in a month L.A. hosts its first Ktown nightmarket. The Wangs are besides ourselves.

photo credit: laist

photo credit: laist

KTOWN Night Market will take place from April 18 to April 19 at Robert F. Kennedy Community School. For more info on the event, click here.

we’ll see YOU there. nom nom nom.

photo credit: laist

photo credit: laist

Oh you know…

guess he was tired…

IMG_1129

Honey…I love you so much. You make my heart dance and my breath catch in my throat. Most importantly, you make me laugh, through all the bad and tears, you make me laugh from within my soul. Thank you husband. You make this life so funny.

I love you.

Your Lucy Goosey

 

My Oh My, I cut Mike’s Hair.

Did you know that men need to get their hair cut, give or take, once a month?! Holy Moly that’s going to get expensive fast. I’ve been going to a Korean salon here in LA and even took Mike there a time or two. We truly love Etude. The set up is incredibly modern and impressive and they give you tea, chocolate, and Madeline cookies during your appointment. I did a quick, back of the envelope calculation, and announced that I would become Mike’s new hair dresser.

This, he vehemently vetoed.

Screen Shot 2014-03-09 at 11But convinced him I did. And last night, while marathoning Dexter on Netflix, I took some non-thinning shears to my husband’s sexy locks. By the mercy and grace of God and through praying nonstop in my head, I did it! I didn’t end up using any of Mike’s links…but did reference this SUPER helpful video from YouTube. For all wives attempting this for the first time, it comes highly recommended.

Before

Before

Screen Shot 2014-03-09 at 11.52.27 PM

After

But more importantly, I had so much fun doing it. I’ve always cut my roommate’s hair in college and some girls’ on the tennis team back in high school but now I’ve tackled and concurred a men’s cut. I caught myself starring at my husband all day today. I love you, my Korean popstar.

~Lucy Wang, CPA & Professional hair stylist