by EUGENE YI
There will be one fewer person vying to be Los Angeles’ first Korean American city councilmember next year.
BongHwan Kim announced he will be stepping down from his post as general manager of the city’s Department of Neighborhood Empowerment to accept a position as vice president/executive director of civic engagement with the San Diego Foundation, a philanthropic organization.
“The timing of this opportunity at the San Diego Foundation collided at exactly the same moment as my plans to become the first ever Korean American city councilman running on a public participation vision,” he said in a written statement released online this afternoon, declining to further explain his decision to pursue the foundation position. He did not immediately return a phone call for comment.
The announcement came as a surprise to many Korean Americans in Los Angeles. Continue Reading »
Photo via New York Post
Myungsuk Lee, a candidate for the New York State Assembly and editor of the Korean American Times, has admitted to running advertisements in his newspaper for massage parlors that were fronts for prostitution, according to the New York Post.
Lee, 49, is currently running for a seat in the 40th District in Queens, N.Y. But now, he’s running from criticism for the “racy” ads published in his newspaper.
North Korean military official relieved of all posts
Los Angeles Times
Vice Marshal Ri Yong Ho, 69, rose out of obscurity to become a mentor to Kim, the country’s supreme commander, and an integral part of the leadership’s inner circle after the death of dictator Kim Jong Il last year. Ri accompanied the younger Kim as they walked alongside a hearse carrying the body of Kim Jong Il at his funeral.
North Korea’s official news agency said Ri was removed because of illness. The decision was made Sunday after a meeting of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Worker’s Party.
Experts on North Korea Can See a Lot in a Hemline
New York Times
Keeping track of women’s hemlines is, admittedly, an unusual way to judge the mind-set of a country’s leader.
But that is just what veteran North Korea watchers have resorted to in trying to peer into one of the world’s most isolated countries and divine what its new young leader, Kim Jong-un, is thinking. For weeks now, those analysts have puzzled over photos of women sporting miniskirts and heels in downtown Pyongyang, a stunning change from the years when Western wear was mostly shunned in favor of billowy traditional dresses or drab Mao-style work uniforms.
Is This North Korea’s First Lady?
Wall Street Journal
On Sunday, Korean Central News Agency showed the woman accompanying Mr. Kim on a visit to a kindergarten in Pyongyang. In a dotted yellow one-piece and a Chanel-style white tweed jacket, matching with ivory toe-open high heels, the woman gave the image of a confident – and fashionable – First Lady.
She looked at ease and natural with Mr. Kim. In some photos, she was standing right next to him when he was talking to a group of children. Other officials, including Mr. Kim’s uncle Jang Song Thaek, were several steps behind. She also appeared to send Mr. Kim affectionate looks.
Union Efforts Over Conditions at Grocers Split 2 Immigrant Groups
New York Times
In the past two years, workers in two dozen midsize independent supermarkets across Brooklyn have accused their employers of unfair pay and poor conditions. With the organizers’ help, they have sought to unionize or have filed lawsuits seeking wages they said they deserved.
The clash has shaped up into a test of wills between two immigrant groups: Most of the workers are Latino immigrants and most of the owners are from South Korea.
53 South Koreans face fraud charges in Essex County
Newark Star-Ledger (N.J.)
More than 50 South Korean nationals are facing fraud charges in Essex County after applying for state driver’s licenses in Newark using a government form they had purchased illegally, the county prosecutor’s office said today.
The 53 defendants in Essex — 151 have been charged statewide — were arrested as part of a federal investigation into a multistate fraudulent-document scheme that allegedly helped mostly South Korean citizens obtain driver’s licenses and visas in the United States.
Greystripe Founders Michael Chang And Andy Choi Join Digitization Company YesVideo, Invest $5M
Michael Chang and Andy Choi, the founders of mobile ad network Greystripe, are taking the reins at a new company. However, it’s not the hot new startup you might be expecting. Instead, they’re joining YesVideo, a company founded back in 1999.
The pair has invested $5 million in the company. Chang is now YesVideo’s CEO and has joined the company’s board, while Choi is the new CTO.
TBS sitcom ‘Sullivan & Son’ created with plenty of ties to region
Mr. Byrne, a stand-up comedian who next brings his act to the Improv at the Waterfront in Homestead Aug. 23-26, stars in “Sullivan & Son” as Steve Sullivan, a New York corporate lawyer who decides to move home to Pittsburgh and buy the bar from his parents, played by Dan Lauria (“The Wonder Years”) and Jodi Long (“All-American Girl”).
“Growing up in Pittsburgh, going to school in Ohio and now living in Chicago, I appreciate my roots in the Midwest and having blue collar values. I wanted that to be very reflective in this show,” said Mr. Byrne, who was wearing a Pirates hat as he chatted while taking a break from rehearsing an upcoming episode. “Steve gives up the rat race, because in the corporate world you could achieve benchmarks with work and get a sales trophy, but if you don’t have anyone to appreciate that with, what’s the point of that?”
Former Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Hines Ward stars in key scene in ‘The Dark Knight Rises’
New York Daily News
The former Pittsburgh Steelers receiver stars in a key scene in “The Dark Knight Rises,” opening Friday, as the Gotham Rogues player who runs back a touchdown while the football field behind him collapses in a terrorist attack by Batman arch-nemesis Bane (Tom Hardy).
Though the destruction of Heinz Field is clearly the work of CGI, Ward had to run through a gauntlet of pyrotechnics to film the scene.
“Oh man, just being able to be in the new Batman movie was a big honor for me,” Ward told the News via email. “Filming my scene was like being in another world. Seeing Heinz Field with the entire movie set on it and with the field raised up was unreal. And doing my run with the explosives was like nothing I have ever done before.”
Kim Hee-sun to Return to TV After 6-Year Hiatus
Actress Kim Hee-sun is returning to TV after a six-year hiatus to star in the upcoming SBS drama “Faith,” which is scheduled to be aired in mid-August. In the drama, Kim plays the role of a plastic surgeon who is abducted by a warrior, played by heartthrob Lee Min-ho, and taken back 700 years in time to his era.
Video: The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus and Steven Yeun Size Up Their Zombie Survival Skills
Norman Reedus and Steven Yeun of The Walking Dead came out to support fellow AMC show Breaking Bad at its Comic-Con premiere, and we chatted with both of the guys on the red carpet. Listen in as they talk about the best — and worst — thing about filming the hit zombie series, and who they think will be the last man standing when all the other characters are killed off.
The Walking Dead’s Steven Yeun on Glenn as New Group Leader: ‘He Needs to Step Up’
At Comic-Con, Yeun swung by to talk about how even a recent jog turned into a wake-up call about the AMC drama’s insane amount of devoted fans.
Stinky, Spicy, and Delicious: The Radical Reinvention of Asian American Food
They grew up in tough neighborhoods and trained in refined European kitchens. Now these brilliant young chefs want to show you what’s really in their refrigerators.
Watch: Jeremy Lin Inspires Video Shot at the Palace Restaurant
Echo Park-Silver Lake Patch (Calif.)
The Comediva video shot at the Los Feliz institution features actress Cynthia Addai-Robinson and is produced by Broadway and “Hart of Dixie” star Deborah S. Craig.
Ms. Craig originated the first Korean-American character in a Broadway musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and currently plays “Shelley Ng”, TV’s first Southern Asian character on CW’s hit Hart of Dixie.
After dining, Craig approached Palace owner, Toni Li, about the possibility of using the restaurant as a location for a video production inspired by Jeremy Lin, the basketball star.
“Korean Jersey Shore” Finally Debuts … Straight to YouTube
San Francisco Weekly
The oft-discussed but never-picked-up reality show K-Town — dubbed “the Korean American Jersey Shore” — has finally debuted as an online series on YouTube pop culture channel Loud. K-Town follows a group of mostly Korean Americans as they live (and drink) in L.A., airing in weekly 10 minute episodes.
Oliver Wang provides a comprehensive roundup of the controversies surrounding the show since its production was announced two years ago, as well as the criticism of its ethnic/cultural reality TV brethren, such as Bravo’s Shahs of Sunset and The History Channel’s Swamp People. While some consider these shows to be progress, others question the representation: Are marginalized groups being subjected to buffoonery for mainstream consumption? Is this another notch in the media’s “let’s demean people who we think are different” bedpost?
Jennifer Lee is Bluesfest’s techno monster
Los Angeles beat maker TOKiMONSTA, actual name Jennifer Lee, stands out among the roster of artists featured on the Full Flex Express tour, which stops in Toronto Friday July 13, at Ottawa Bluesfest Saturday July 14 and culminates in Vancouver Sunday July 22.
She’s obviously female, Korean-American and her modernistic hip hop music is nothing like what you’ll hear Skrillex or Pretty Lights pump out.
The tracks found on her full length debut, Midnight Menu, range from chill-core (“Sweet Day”), to disco-driven (“Death by Disco”), to slippery, hip hop-infused beats (“Look-A-Like.”)
Multitasking BB skin creams becoming popular in U.S.
Los Angeles Times
Given their pedigree as a beauty staple for South Korean actresses, it may seem odd that BB creams would find their way into American beauty boutiques.
But the products — originally known as Blemish Balm — are among the hottest new additions to the U.S. beauty scene, with a growing number of both small and internationally known brands clamoring to launch them.
Eat asparagus to prevent a hangover
Mother Nature Network
Figuring out how to prevent a hangover while hungover is no fun. While there are plenty of folk remedies that people use to prevent a hangover — drinking through a straw, taking an aspirin, eating lots of bread to absorb the alcohol — a new study documents a hangover remedy that may actually work. In research to be published in the Journal of Food Science, Korean researchers found that extracts taken from the leaves and shoots of asparagus boosted levels of key enzymes that break down alcohol after heavy drinking. And if you don’t usually keep asparagus extract on hand, the good news is eating asparagus before or after drinking can also serve as a hangover remedy, according to the study’s lead author.
Coming to America? Kia K9 Flagship Sedan Spotted on U.S. Soil
BMW 7 Series drivers beware – the Kia K9, which many have pegged as the German flagship’s Korean doppelganger, has just been spotted in America. The K9 officially launched in Korea a few months ago, but the automaker remains tight-lipped about its decision to offer the rear-drive sedan to American customers.
These photos were snapped and sent to us by a friend of Motor Trend, who saw the K9 sedans on display at Kia’s Southern California headquarters. The two K9s, one in silver and the other in black, appear no different from the Korean-market models that recently went on sale. The front end features Kia’s signature tiger nose, while the headlights reveal a full-LED setup. The side profile is simple and adorned with side vents, while the rear is still a display of styling cues that remind many of the BMW 7 Series.
Korean Stereotypes: Blood Type Personalities
According to Korean stereotypes, a person’s blood type tells can tell what kind of personality a person has. These stereotypes are really fun conversation topics in Korea, and if you’re traveling to Korea or trying to make Korean friends, you should definitely find out what kinds of personalities people think you have!
This is not comprehensive list, but here are a few personality traits for blood types according to Korean superstition:
Korean people stereotype people with blood type A as introverted, considerate, self-conscious, patient, unable to express emotions well and tend to be perfectionists.
Korean people stereotype people with blood type B as creative, individualistic, self-centered, inconsiderate and passionate.
Korean people stereotype people with blood type AB as critical, indecisive, unpredictable, emotional and are most likely to be geniuses.
Korean people stereotype people with blood type O as being leaders, easygoing, friendly, outgoing.
Golf Pipeline starting to fill with Korean men
To chase his dream, K.J. Choi had to climb a mountain.
His arms were too long for a future in powerlifting, and baseball was just starting to take off in South Korea when he was a teenager. Without money to buy a baseball and a bat, Choi went to the nearest mountain, cut down a pine tree and fashioned his own bat. He played with a tennis ball, but it just wasn’t the same. So imagine how he felt when he went to a driving range for a golf demonstration.
Benson “Smooth” Henderson wants to be the greatest fighter ever. He’s already on his way.
by EUGENE YI
photographs by YANN BEAN
Benson Henderson has never won a fight. No, really.
“My buddy and I got jumped … for like 45 seconds tops, maybe a minute. And they ran off. And we were like, ‘No, no, don’t leave, come back. We’re not done yet, guys!’” Henderson said, laughing.
That he lost this one street fight back in college is, of course, irrelevant, now that he is the champ of the toughest division of the biggest mixed martial arts league in the world. He tells me this story in the lobby of the hotel near the studios of Fuel TV, where he has finished taping his first few minutes as a television commentator. It is a logical next step for a fighter whose career is ascendant. He won the lightweight UFC belt in February, after breaking Frankie Edgar’s nose with a vicious upkick before a reverent crowd in Saitama, Japan. He stands undefeated in the Ultimate Fighting Championshp (UFC), where he made his debut in April of 2011, five years into his professional career. His overall MMA record is 16 wins and two losses, and he’s never lost twice in a row.
Name: Tonie Lee Mattina
Location: Vancleave/Ocean Springs, Mississippi
Occupation: Licensing/Compliance Manager for Pilot Catastrophe Services
Describe your background?
I was raised by a very Southern Caucasian family, including three brothers and two sisters. I flew from Korea when I was 3 years old and lived in Kentucky for a short period of time. We moved from there to Gautier, Mississippi and then Escatawpa, Mississippi (where the band 3 Doors Down started their career).
This is the only life I knew and I was never made to feel out of place, not loved, or not wanted! They opened their entire home to me and showed me morals, love, respect, and most importantly, it didn’t matter how I looked; they loved me unconditionally. I was their “Asian redneck”!
If you could have an endless supply of any food, what would you get?
Any type of takeout! I do not like to cook. I was spoiled rotten as a child when it came to food. I give my husband total respect for cooking!
What is one goal you would like to accomplish during your lifetime?
Raise my son to be proud to call me his mother!
Tell us about a unique or quirky habit of yours.
I move my feet like a cat, my husband states, when lying in bed.
If you had to describe yourself using three words, it would be…
Analytical, structured and loyal.
If you could be anybody besides yourself for a day, you would be… Continue Reading »