The long-awaited latest installment in the Grand Theft Auto video game franchise will feature the neighborhood of “Little Seoul” a thinly-disguised parody of Koreatown in Los Angeles.
In addition, a leaked clip for the video game, which hits store shelves tomorrow, shows a random bystander character in the game speaking Korean, albeit with a broken and almost unintelligible accent.
It’s been five years since the last GTA sequel from publisher Rockstar Games and the New York Times says the latest entry, described as “profane and hugely enjoyable,” is the best in the series and maintains the franchise’s hold as the “most immersive spectacle in interactive entertainment.” Continue Reading »
North Korea’s Kim Jong Un stays silent at military parade marking country’s 65th anniversary
AP via Washington Post
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waved to troops marching through central Pyongyang on Monday to mark the nation’s 65th birthday, but made no public comments before leaving the lavish event.
Flanked by generals and senior government officials, Kim stood in a high viewing area well above and away from the sea of onlookers who cheered and held up colorful placards in unison as the troops filed passed. North Korea watchers had hoped the young leader might address the crowd to shed some light on the isolated and secretive nation’s politics or diplomatic goals.
The military parade in Kim Il Sung Square featured mostly reserve troops and did not include displays of the kind of heavy artillery, tanks and missiles that the North rolled out in July to commemorate the armistice that ended hostilities on the Korean Peninsula in 1953.
Kaesong and the fate of Kenneth Bae
Does some good news about the reopening of a North Korean industrial park portend very good news for an American detained since November 2012?
Call it structural optimism, but I think in the world of diplomacy the bits and pieces of events, relationships and outcomes can add up to change. The sum of the parts is vital.
Bae, a former Lynnwood resident, was detained by North Korea when a tour group he was leading somehow offended the sensibilities of local authorities.
Englewood Cliffs man admits to working in identity-theft ring
Bergen County Record (N.J.)
An Englewood Cliffs man pleaded guilty in federal court in Newark Thursday to being part of an identity theft ring that stole millions of dollars before police arrested dozens of its members three years ago, authorities said.
Matthew Kang, 44, was part of a Palisades Park ring that was run by Sang-Hyun “Jimmy” Park. The operation sold identity documents to customers in an elaborate scheme to commit fraud against credit card companies and banks, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said in a statement.
The ring was uncovered after an associate committed a triple murder in Tenafly in 2008. Police arrested 54 people who allegedly participated in the ring, including Kang, in 2010. More than half of those arrested, including Park, have pleaded guilty to having a role in the conspiracy.
Soldier sentenced to three years for South Korea BB shooting
Stars & Stripes
A U.S. soldier was sentenced Friday to three years in prison for firing 10 shots at pedestrians with a BB gun in a crowded Itaewon intersection, then driving away and later hitting a police officer with his car.
The March incident, which attracted enormous attention here and sparked calls for the military to do more to prevent troop misbehavior, led the South Korean officer to take the rare step of firing his gun in the line of duty, hitting another soldier, a private, in the chest. The private did not face charges in the incident.
Seoul Central District Court head judge Kim Hwan-su criticized Christian Lopez-Morales, who earlier was court-martialed and busted from staff sergeant to E-1, for continuing to claim his innocence in two of the case’s most important aspects: whether he deliberately fired at people and whether he realized he was being chased by a police officer.
Reaction to Chen’s surgery secret: Empathy and outrage
The Asian American Journalists Association released a statement Thursday applauding Chen for speaking up about the incident.
“AAJA applauds Ms. Chen for sharing this personal moment with her audience. Her story chronicles some of the daily struggles Asian Americans face in the workplace across all industries, not just in broadcast journalism,” the group said in a statement. “Asian Americans are one of the fastest growing minority groups in the country. But Asian Americans issues are still rarely covered. Similarly, few newsrooms reflect this diversity among their staff. AAJA was founded more than three decades ago because of this problem. Ms. Chen’s story is an all-too real reminder of how crucial our mission remains today.”
On Twitter, reaction was split among those who feel badly for Chenand others who consider her a sellout for succumbing to racist demands.
“You looked fine b4,” user @Autumnbaby_NYC tweeted. “Too bad the self-hate & white-worship bug that plagues so many Asian Women bit u too. #sellout.”
Julie Chen’s disclosure about eyelid surgery draws praise, criticism
Southern California Public Radio
Reality and talk show host Julie Chen has become the highest-profile Asian-American to acknowledge undergoing eyelid surgery.
During Wednesday’s edition of The Talk, Chen said she had her eyes reshaped to advance her career, after a boss in Dayton, Ohio, told her sometime in the mid-1990s that she looked too ethnic to be relatable to TV audiences.
Chen’s admission has earned her a storm of Twitter reactions, ranging from sadness:
Big in Korea: Virtual Cafe Sounds
Wall Street Journal
Coffitivity, a U.S.-based website that allows users to stream ambient coffee shop sounds for free, is creating an unexpected buzz — in Seoul.
The site, which launched half a year ago, touts the slogan “enough noise to work,” based on research that shows a moderate level of noise is conducive to creativity. The result is a soundtrack of clanging dishware, muffled voices and the occasional unbridled chuckle—all at 70 decibels, the ideal level.
While Seoul has the highest concentration of coffee shops of any major city in the world, that hasn’t stopped locals from shunning brick-and-mortar cafes for an online experience in their homes and offices.
‘Big Brother’: Aaryn Gries apologizes to houseguests for racial slurs
Los Angeles Times
When “Big Brother” houseguest Aaryn Gries was first warned by a fellow contestant weeks ago that several comments she had made about minority members of the house were considered racist and hurtful, she was openly dismissive.
But, following her eviction from the “Big Brother” house two weeks ago, the 22-year-old college student from Texas was singing a different tune when she was reunited with two other evicted contestants — Candice Stewart and Helen Kim — she had insulted and mocked.
The reunion took place following an on-air exit interview in which host Julie Chen had shaken up Gries by confronting her with the comments.
“I just want to say I said some very insensitive and ignorant things this summer, and I just want to apologize to both of you,” Gries told Stewart, who is African American, and Kim, who is Asian American.
K-Pop Star G-Dragon Enters Billboard 200
America’s definitive albums chart gets a little Korean pop added to it this week. G-Dragon, leader of popular K-pop boy band BIGBANG, sees his new EP, “Coup D’etat, Pt. 1,” enter the Billboard 200 at No. 182 with more than 2,000 copies sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan. It also debuts at No. 1 on the World Albums chart.
Released digitally on Sept. 2, the five-track EP precedes G-Dragon’s full-length sophomore album “COUP D’ETAT” that drops Friday, Sept. 13.
A second seven-track EP, “Coup D’etat, Pt. 2 (EP),” hit retail on Sept. 5. It sold just under 2,000 copies and starts at No. 2 on the World Albums chart.
Karen O Wants to Know Where All of These Mosquitoes Are Coming From
New York Magazine
Name: Karen O
Occupation: Singer, songwriter, creative collaborator. Next Thursday, September 19, you can catch her band the Yeah Yeah Yeahs at Barclays Center, with Har Mar Superstar opening.
Who’s your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional?
Did someone say roller disco? Hands down the Central Park Dance Skaters! Few people can make me as instantly ecstatic.
What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in New York?
That’s easy: puntarelle at Bar Pitti. Available only in winter months.
Q&A: 2AM Chat Korean Ballads & ‘Passionate’ American Fans
Those who keep up with the K-Pop Hot 100 know how a great Korean ballad can obliterate the chart competition. The longest-running No. 1 is Lee Seung Gi’s melancholic “Return” ballad, which ruled for five weeks last winter. Los Angeles K-pop convention KCON featured a grand finale concert with acts representing all sects of K-pop music: boy bands, girl groups, soloists, hip-hop acts, and 2AM representing the beloved ballad genre.
The four-member act earned their first No. 1 on the K-Pop chart with 2012′s “I Wonder If You Hurt Like Me,” ruling for two weeks last spring. In March, the quintet found chart success again, landing six songs off new album “One Spring Day” on the K-Pop Hot 100, led by the No. 3-peaking title track.
Annie Choi Survived the San Fernando Valley and She Now Has a Book to Show For It
We all know that look.
You’re at a bar, a barbecue or a bar mitzvah, and you and your new friend are getting along swimmingly. That is, until he drops a bomb.
“Oh…,” you say, trying not to let your face betray your disgust. “You live in the Valley?”
Annie Choi knows that look. She lives in Brooklyn now, but she still feels ashamed when she has to admit that she grew up in a place best known for porn and tanning salons.
In her sophomore collection of essays, Shut up, You’re Welcome: Thoughts on Life, Death and Other Inconveniences, some of Choi’s funniest moments come in her warm, richly detailed tribute to the San Fernando Valley, written in the form of an open letter to the place.
The Gang Jung’s Chicken; Doni Burger Near Open
Western & 6th— A new fried chicken joint called Gang Jung Chicken opened Thursday to a curious lunch crowd. This location is adjacent to School Food, the third floor eatery at the large Madang mall. The popular Korean snack is based on whole chicken pieces that are fried, then covered in a sweet, gingery sauce, then served piping hot, crispy, and sometimes even spicy. Will it be the new Kyochon? Time will tell. At the moment, this place is so fresh that it doesn’t even have a Yelp page.
Touring North Korea: What’s real, what’s fake?
Visiting North Korea is a surreal experience.
It can throw visitors into a bizarre, dreamlike state for days — sometimes the entire trip.
Strange sensations — and paranoid thoughts — are so common they’re covered in orientation sessions offered by Koryo Tours, which leads trips to North Korea.
“Your hotel room will not be bugged, but if you want to believe it’s bugged — to have a sexy story to tell when you get home — then go ahead,” says Koryo Tours general manager Simon Cockerell.
Cockerell has made more than 125 trips to the Hermit Kingdom and says the most common question asked by visitors is: Where are the people going?
So long, suckers! Brave visitors to South Korean food festival tuck into raw octopus tentacles to promote local delicacy… eaten ALIVE
Daily Mail (U.K.)
Eating raw fish is a foodie trend that has been exported from the East and adopted across much of the world with open arms.
But eating live octopus might be taking things a little too far.
Not for these brave visitors to a food festival in Seoul, South Korea, however.
North Korea, South Korea to reopen Kaesong industrial park next week
North and South Korea have agreed to reopen their joint industrial park on a trial basis next week, nearly five months after it was shut down, according to a press release from the South’s Unification Ministry.
The Kaesong Industrial Complex is seen as a key symbol of inter-Korean cooperation.
According to the press release, “companies will begin re-operation from September 16 on a test run.”
The date was set after hours of intense negotiations between the two sides.
North Korean Soccer Match Fuels ‘Social Furor’
Wall Street Journal
A soccer match is meant to end with handshakes, appreciative applause from the stands and, perhaps, a photo with a visiting dignitary.
Even better — especially if the game is a critical one — is a see-saw battle on the pitch between two well-matched sides, perhaps a pair of dramatic equalizers and a round of extra time, culminating in penalty kicks.
That’s how one particular match went on Aug. 28, before taking a very North Korean turn. And by that, we mean that the game, held at Kim Il Sung Stadium in Pyongyang in the presence of leader Kim Jong Un, has descended into a murky morass of impenetrability.
South Korea’s Embattled Spy Agency Deflects Heat by Finding Reds Under Beds
South Korean politics has been paralyzed in the wake of allegations that a small group of left-wing politicians had been secretly planning to help North Korea take over the country. The scandal shows how the mention of North Korea can still flip South Korean politics on its head on short notice.
Parliament has been idle since last week when legislators voted by a landslide to have sitting lawmaker Lee Seok-ki arrested for his alleged role in plotting with members of his United Progressive Party (UPP), a small far-left party with pro–North Korea leanings, to take out infrastructure in South Korea in the event of a war with the North, in order to help North Korean forces win.
Having Lee arrested is apparently the only thing lawmakers from different parties have been able to agree on, with politicians on different sides of the aisle bickering over the details, as well as another bigger scandal, involving the body that brought the charges against him, the National Intelligence Service (NIS), the South Korean equivalent of the CIA.
North Korean hackers suspected of cyber-espionage attack on South
The Guardian (U.K.)
North Korean hackers are suspected of launching a covert cyber-espionage campaign against the South Korean government in an attempt to steal highly classified intelligence on defence and security.
South Korea’s ministry of unification and several leading Seoul thinktanks were targeted by the rare spy program, security researchers said on Wednesday.
Experts at Kaspersky Lab said it was the first time they had discovered a cyber-attack that directly points to hackers in North Korea. A detailed tranche of evidence has been handed to the Korean Information Security Agency and the computer emergency response team in Seoul.
More Korean Youths on Suicide Watch
New data show that 12 percent of all adolescents in the nation have had suicidal thoughts, driven by feelings of either deep sorrow or anger. In 2001, the suicide rate among Koreans aged between 10 and 19 was 3.2 per 100,000 people.
But this jumped to 5.6 per 100,000 in 2011, a near 1.8-fold increase. The rate of increase was the second-fastest among OECD nations after Chile.
While economic hardship is the leading cause of suicide among adults, the biggest issues driving adolescents to the brink include academic concerns and family trouble.
South Korea Offers Romance Help for Lovelorn Officials
When 26-year-old An Gi Hyue moved from Seoul to Sejong City last year as part of the South Korean government’s biggest relocation since the Korean War, it put a damper on her romantic life. Now, the state is offering help.
An joined more than 100 single public workers yesterday for a lecture by a romance counselor hired by the government on how to fall in love in their new home, Sejong, a city of 100,000 about 120 kilometers (75 miles) south of the capital Seoul, where more than 10 million people live.
“Opportunities to meet men spontaneously have been reduced because Sejong is much smaller than Seoul,” An said in a phone interview from Sejong yesterday. “Blind dates would also be called off because I now live far from Seoul.”
By the end of 2015 almost 14,000 government workers will have moved to the new city as part of an effort to develop the country’s central region. Ensuring South Koreans find partners is also crucial in a nation with an aging population and one of the world’s lowest fertility rates.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Karen O Has Big Plans for the Group’s Biggest Show
“New Jersey is so boring,” says the blonde whirlwind known as Karen O, hanging out at home in Manhattan. She’s reflecting on why she moved from the Garden State, where she grew up, to New York City a little over a decade ago. “To have something so close that you can touch it, something that’s sort of the epicenter of culture, excitement, and hedonism on your doorstep, it creates a tension and ambition,” she continues. “Maybe if I grew up somewhere else, I wouldn’t have had the tension of wanting to communicate or connect with something bigger than myself. It made living in Jersey all the more painful,” she laughs.
That tension has driven Karen O to push the boundaries of, as she says, excitement and hedonism, onstage with her Yeah Yeah Yeahs bandmates, drummer Brian Chase and guitarist Nick Zinner. Since forming in 2000, they’ve made case after case for being crowned New York’s Band. Even though they slugged out their early years playing their jagged anti-punk at long-gone venues like Sin-É, CBGB (“we played after a hair-metal band”), and even a junkyard Karen barely remembers, they’ve always mixed it up. They’d play Radio City as well as intimate venues like Union Pool as they ascended the charts, reaching No. 5 with their latest album, April’s dubby, dance-rock stinger Mosquito.
Can K-pop go mainstream in N. America?
The phenomenon known as K-pop has created a subculture all its own among young adults throughout Asia, but recently the world of K-pop is attempting to broaden its fan base, especially focusing on attracting a North American audience.
As an American I can say that my connection with K-pop is limited. Most Americans have probably only heard a few select songs, but there is one artist we all know, Psy.
Psy is the main connection between K-pop and the U.S., some may even say that he has led the way for K-pop to enter and reach a mainstream audience.
Something to Choo on: Will Mets again take big free-agent plunge?
The Mets have a couple mega contracts coming off the books this winter. Those contracts (Johan Santana and Jason Bay) will account for more than $50 million in savings at a time when the organization seems to have emerged from the Madoff debacle and has some obvious offensive needs and early targets. Shin Soo-Choo is one who “fits the bill” in the words of one Mets-connected source.
However, club higher-ups, as familiar as anyone with gigantic free-agent deals gone awry, are grappling with how to allocate their sudden and significant spending money, and specifically, how hard to try for the biggest free agents again after their notable recent signings flopped.
“There’s no question long-term contracts carry risk, and right about the time you’re clearing payroll you can wind up right back where you started if it doesn’t work out,” Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said in a phone interview. “On the other hand, you have some times where you have to roll the dice. I certainly haven’t ruled out a big-ticket item.”
With Hours of Practice and a Little Flour on Her Face, Park Grew Into a Star
New York Times
Inbee Park was 10 when she rose from her bed in the middle of the night back home in Seoul to watch her South Korean compatriot Se Ri Pak win the 1998 United States Women’s Open on television.
Three years later, Park, her sister, Inah, and their mother, Sung, packed up and moved to the United States while their father, Gun Gyu, stayed home to run his business. The Parks settled here in this suburb north of Orlando with fewer than 13,000 residents, where the girls went to school and learned English.
Inbee had just turned 13 and was budding as a golfer in 2001. Inah was starting to play at 11. They were enrolled in a golf academy for South Koreans run by Charlie Yoo at Black Bear Golf Club in nearby Eustis. Inbee progressed quickly.
Germany-bound footballer Hong Jeong-ho looks to enjoy self
Yonhap News via GlobalPost
Hong Jeong-ho, the latest South Korean footballer to join the Bundesliga in Germany, said Wednesday he will try to enjoy himself while on his new journey.
Hong, a 24-year-old defensive back, inked a four-year deal with FC Augsburg in the top German competition earlier this month. He joins Son Heung-min of Bayer Leverkusen, Koo Ja-cheol of VfL Wolfsburg and Park Joo-ho of Mainz 05 in the Korean contingent in the Bundesliga.
Koo played for FC Augsburg last season on loan. Another South Korean, forward Ji Dong-won, also spent the last season with FC Augsburg on loan from Sunderland in the English Premier League.
Crayon Pop remakes video
Korea JoongAng Daily
Girl group Crayon Pop has released a new version of their breakout hit “Bar Bar Bar” and its music video, redone with an emphasis on international audiences.
The new version shifts focus to the chorus with its English-language shouts of “Jumping!,” as well as more English graphics throughout the video.
The original “Bar Bar Bar” surprised many when it slowly climbed to No. 1 on the charts, powered by viral popularity and a video that most considered bizarrely simple but catchy.
A former resident of Los Angeles was arrested by law enforcement agents on Friday in connection with the alleged burning and beating of his girlfriend in 2010, the FBI said.
Authorities said Min Kyu Kim, 33, poured a pot of boiling water on his girlfriend, resulting in severe burns to her arms and back in an early 2010 attack in Los Angeles.
According to the criminal complaint filed in federal court, Kim then pummeled her with his fists and the empty pot when she attempted to escape. He was charged by the Los Angeles County District Attorney with domestic abuse, assault with a deadly weapon and false imprisonment. He reportedly jumped bail and fled to South Korea before his trial. Continue Reading »
Dennis Rodman must ask North Korea about Kenneth Bae [OPINION]
Dennis Rodman landed in North Korea Tuesday and is reportedly backpedaling on his earlier promises to personally ask his friend, Kim Jong Un, to free American prisoner and former Lynnwood resident Kenneth Bae.
Pay no attention to Rodman’s public statements so far. Judge his actions after he returns. Who can blame him for saying he’s not in North Korea to save Bae? Look at what happened to the U.S. envoy Robert King, who explicitly stated he was visiting Pyongyang to secure Bae’s release. The regime told him not to come.
Rodman was smart to say he was just entering North Korea to have some fun with Kim. They let him in, right?
Pyongyang, where ordinary life will surprise you
Global Times (China)
As the green train slowly pulls out of Sinujiu station after some two hours of security, the bars on my Chinese cell phone begin to drop off, one by one, until they all disappear. No service.
Welcome to North Korea.
Before making our way to Pyongyang, the capital of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), commonly referred to as North Korea by the international community, we were stopped at Sinujiu. The North Korean border city just minutes away by train from Dandong, Liaoning Province in China is a major trading city that has welcomed Chinese visitors for years, but only recently opened to Western tourists for day-trips in May.
We hadn’t arranged to have a look around though. We were simply there for a security check. At this stop, there are no X-ray machines and every piece of luggage in question is physically checked by a North Korean officer.
Like entering any other country, we were required to fill in an arrival form. Though it was a different case not long ago, visitors are now allowed to bring in pretty much any electronic device, so long as it doesn’t have a GPS function.
Kelly Aramaki — 2013 Visionary Award Recipient
Northwest Asian Weekly
Before he’d taken his SATs, driven a car, or even knew which high school he was attending, Kelly Aramaki had a profound experience that would influence his future career.
It happened during his years as a student at Hazelwood Elementary in Renton.
“[My teachers] instilled in me a belief in myself — in my abilities, in my unique talents, and in the power of hard work and determination,” Aramaki said.
Educators at all levels of education are critical. But Aramaki was drawn to the influence one can have in a child’s earliest years of education.
The half-Korean and half-Japanese American has made a lasting impression on the students, families and colleagues he’s encountered in his 14 years in education.
Andrew Choi of Springfield, Va. pleads guilty to producing child pornography
WUSA 9 (Virginia)
A man has pleaded guilty to charges of production of child pornography after authorities reportedly found 600 videos showing underage boys performing sex acts.
U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride of the Eastern District of Virginia says 35-year-old Andrew Choi of Springfield, Va., pleaded guilty Firday to charges of production of child pornography.
According to court documents and court proceedings, Choi had online video chats with at least 10 boys under the age of 18 between May 2012 and January 2013, say MacBride. In a press release, MacBride writes: “The underage boys performed sex acts on camera and Choi recorded it using a screen capture program. Approximately 600 of these types of videos were discovered on Choi’s computer.”
Prodigy trades her musical career for the Army
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — Soldiers seem to always have an interesting story for why they joined the Army but if you heard Spc. Pyungan Cho’s, a native of Los Angeles, you would probably be left a little stunned.
Cho is assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 15th Sustainment Brigade “Wagonmasters” based out of Fort Bliss, Texas, and is currently on her first deployment in Afghanistan.
What makes her story so fascinating is the successful music career she walked away from to join the Army.
Cho was born in Seoul, Korea and started playing the piano at the age of five.
Mnet America Kicks off New K-Pop Biography Series with Feature on PSY
Mnet America has started its new K-Pop biography series with a special on the artist who blew up the K-Pop scene with his unexpected hit, “Gangnam Style.” Mnet shared a preview of “Headliner” on YouTube and the full episode can be viewed on their website.
“Headliner” is a monthly biography series that profiles top K-Pop stars such as PSY, G-Dragon, Big Bang, 2NE1, and Girls’ Generation. The show will give English fans a behind-the-scenes look into the lives of the most famous K-Pop stars and follow them on their journey of success and hard work.
S. Korea defeats Haiti in football friendly
Yonhap via GlobalPost
South Korea defeated Haiti 4-1 in their football friendly on Friday, aided by three unanswered goals in the second half.
In a rare display of offensive onslaught at Incheon Football Stadium, west of Seoul, Son Heung-min of Bayer Leverkusen scored twice and South Korea converted two second-half penalties, giving head coach Hong Myung-bo his first win with the national team.
Since Hong took over the national team in June, South Korea had previously managed three draws and one loss, while scoring just once.
Shin-soo Choo reaches 20-homer mark for third time in MLB career
Choo Shin-soo of the Cincinnati Reds reached the 20-homer plateau for the third time in his Major League Baseball (MLB) career at home on Thursday.
At Great American Ballpark, the South Korean center fielder took St. Louis Cardinals starter Lance Lynn over the center field in the bottom of the fourth for his 20th home run of the season. The solo shot gave him 48 RBIs for 2013.
He finished the game 2-for-3 with two walks and two runs scored. The Reds defeated the Cardinals 6-2.
TNA Knockout Gail Kim likes getting physical
Gail Kim is a talented artist. Unlike Picasso’s, her canvas is 18×18 with steel, wood, foam and mat.
Kim is a pro wrestler, one of today’s best, and her base is TNA Impact Wrestling, contracted as a TNA Knockout.
The artistry she creates is in the squared circle against many shapes and styles — big, small, fast, strong, technical.
It’s because of women wrestlers like Kim that women as wrestlers can be believable, comparable to their male counterparts.
Korean Fashion Designers Are About to Take Over New York
While Korean fashion has taken Asian markets by storm, it has only recently has it begun to expand to New York City’s fashion scene, where Korean brands are mostly featured in high-end Fashion Week runway shows and pop-up stores. But permanent stores are also opening in Manhattan, such as Boyoung Kim’s boutique, which will debut on the Upper West Side. From classic-chic fashionistas to Lower East Side hipsters, young New Yorkers are constantly searching for the latest in fashion, and Korean designers might satisfy their craving.
Korean brands feature prominently in fall 2013′s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, from Son Jung Wan’s elegant pastel colors to Beyond Closet, which could be described as “Tommy Hilfiger with a distinctly Korean sensibility.” Both designers’ pieces allude to their Asian roots without being overwhelmed by them.
The designers’ universal appeal isn’t unprecedented. Phillip Lim, the cofounder of the fashion label 3.1 Phillip Lim told the New York Times that Chinese American designers have been successful because their work is tailored towards the “global citizen.” Take, for example, Taiwanese American designer Alexander Wang; the Huffington Post found that his “minimalistic” contours appeal to “every stylish woman in America.” Popular Korean brands have managed to blend their influences, making their clothes marketable on a global scale.
Designer Kim Hongbum Brings Korean Fashion To NYC
On the night of September 4th, Korean Fashion designer Kim Hongbum revealed the Spring/Summer 2014 collection for his brand, CRES. E DIM. The designs are edgy, but highly wearable. Move over, K-pop, and make room for K-fashion!
The event took place at the X’Tige showroom in midtown Manhattan. Attendees included Korean government officials and Concept Korea representatives. SHK (Seen Heard Known) Magazine, a blooming digital fashion forum, hosted the party, which included live models sporting the garments atop pedestals that were sprinkled throughout the showroom. SHK also created the CRES. E DIM. Spring/Summer 2014 lookbook, which is available online here.
Hongbum, a former Project Runway Korea contestant, has been focused on introducing his CRES. E DIM. fashions to the U.S. marketplace over the last year. “I’m very excited to get my brand’s name out in New York, to buyers and other investors,” he told Meniscus Magazine last fall. Hongbum was one of five designers to participate in New York Fashion Week’s Concept Korea show in February 2013, an instrumental step toward his goal of international expansion.
This Isn’t a Korean Fashion Magazine, It’s The Sims 3
When I think of The Sims 3, I don’t think great hair. Sure, there are plenty of serviceable options, but they aren’t the kind of locks you’d see on celebs in, say, South Korea. Well, there are now.P
Korean digital artist “Hooney One” creates polished, attractive tableaus by modding and reshaping Sims 3 characters and textures to make them look all pretty—like K-pop stars or famous actors. Just check out their hair!
Unique Situations You’ll Have with Korean Toilets
If you’ve never travelled in Asia, there are some thing about the bathrooms here that you may notice are… different. You may need to adjust your toilet-going habits a little, so hold on to your butts, it’s going to be an interesting ride!
If you are unaware of what a squatty potty is, count yourself lucky. It’s literally a small porcelain basin in the floor which you need to… squat over! You’ll find these in older buildings, schools, and many subway stations. These toilets take some getting used to, but eventually you’re reaction will be: “Oh, a squatter… oh well.” These are mostly in public buildings, not in apartments or homes.
‘Room Cafes’ for Amorous Korean Teens: Dens of depravity or a necessary evil?
Sex, however, is still a different matter, with young lovers having no more options — and probably much less free time — than their parents did at their age. Not for nothing did a 2006 study of over 70,000 13-18 year-olds find that only 5.1% had sexual experience, and just last week I would have wagered it was still in single figures.
Then I read about ‘room cafes,’ and for a moment I was no longer sure. I learned that, paralleling developments in the prostitution industry, where ‘kissing rooms‘ — the Korean equivalent of massage parlors — have proliferated to avoid the 2004 Special Law on Prostitution, but in which it is “highly likely that after kissing, additional, actual sex might be arranged,” these establishments likewise avoided love hotels’ legal restrictions against admitting teens by being classified as food establishments instead.
However, judging by image searches, many room cafes — perhaps most? — are indeed cafes or coffee shops, and it’s telling that the following, alarmist article doesn’t mention those. Instead, it focuses on rooms’ lack of locks, and all of the smoking, drinking, and wild sex allegedly occurring within.