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growing up half

remembering snow

remembering snow

January 4, 2014 |  Category:   growing up half life remembering

This has got to be the longest Christmas vacation ever.   Girls were back in school Thursday, but as snow started falling that evening, I had a feeling that school would be closed the next day. At 6am, Mark popped his head in as he was leaving for the kitchen to let me know that public schools were closed. I promptly rolled over to his side of the bed to shut the alarm off and went back to sleep. 2 hours later I heard one of the kids running into the room in a bit of a panic because she thought that we had overslept and we’d be late leaving for school (we are all a bit anal retentive about… CONTINUE READING

one weekend, two festivals. And hold the “hove”.

one weekend, two festivals. And hold the “hove”.

June 17, 2013 |  Category:   dining out family growing up half life outings

I think we might be all festivaled out from the past few weekends. We didn’t set out to spend Father’s Day weekend at 2 festivals. Actually, I was looking to recreate the tradition that we started last year – spending a peaceful day strawberry picking at a farm. We did decide to go to a strawberry festival on the North Fork, but we didn’t realize what a carnival-type scene it would be, crowds and all. I thought it would be more of a quaint, relaxed country type affair – you know, where people judge the best pie and race little piglets or something, but it ended up being more like Coney Island, but in the middle of farm land. We… CONTINUE READING

eat, pay, leave. it’s not that complicated.

eat, pay, leave. it’s not that complicated.

January 11, 2013 |  Category:   cooking dining out favorite posts growing up half life nyc remembering

I don’t know why we don’t eat in Chinatown more often. Believe it or not, it’s been well over a year since we’ve eaten at any Chinatown restaurant which seems so utterly crazy since dumplings and dim sum are probably Mia’s favorite food (Claudine, not so much). We do eat plenty of dumplings and have even made our own quite a few times, but dim sum only seems to be a once a year thing for us. Why is that?   But sometimes when you have a craving there is no stopping it, which is what happened last weekend with soup dumplings. We decided to go to Shanghai Cafe again on Mott Street above Canal because we almost always get… CONTINUE READING

life in the burbs

life in the burbs

July 27, 2012 |  Category:   family growing up half life

We’ve been spending most of the week in the burbs at my parents’ house. My mom’s been doing a lot of cooking and we’re getting our fill of Korean food. Even Claudine is coming around to some dishes she’s rejected in the past. The kids take walks with my dad to the post office and he always buys them some sort of sugary treat (and tells them not to tell me). The evidence is on their faces, however, covered in traces of powdered sugar or chocolate.   I’m sure that when the girls grow up they’ll remember their regular visits to grandma’s house fondly. It’s not an experience that I had growing up. The one and only grandparent who we… CONTINUE READING

easter

easter

April 9, 2012 |  Category:   family growing up half holidays life

Some traditions evolve naturally over time. We first started spending Easter with Mark’s Russian side of the family 3 years ago when we came up to visit his dad who was gravely ill in the hospital at the time. We’ve been driving upstate every Easter since then, staying at Mark’s uncle’s house which is full of old family photos, good food, and lots of stories. This is now what our Easters look like.… CONTINUE READING

“everything tastes better when you make them yourself”

“everything tastes better when you make them yourself”

November 29, 2011 |  Category:   family growing up half holidays life

Some dumpling making action over Thanksgiving weekend with my mom and the girls.   My mom claims that she hasn’t made homemade dumplings in 20 or so years. I do remember making them with her and my grandmother. She was telling the girls that when I was a kid, there weren’t that many Korean grocery stores and that they would have to make all the foods that are readily available now at stores, like dumplings and sheets of salted, toasted seaweed – you know, the kind that you can buy now already cut up in 2″ x 3″ rectangles in a foil packet. My grandmother would brush sesame oil on each large piece of seaweed, sprinkle some salt and then… CONTINUE READING

the mixed race project

the mixed race project

October 10, 2011 |  Category:   growing up half photography

I have a new project to share with you today, something that I’ve been working on for a few months that finally launched on Friday. I got the idea for The Mixed Race Project earlier this year and I swear, sometimes I’m surprised that I managed to put it out there at all. Have you ever worked on a project where you over think the concept and idea to the point that you start doubting yourself? There have been so many doubts and reservations with this project from the start. I wasn’t confident in my photography skills and was afraid I wouldn’t do these families justice. I didn’t necessarily want to focus on the politics of race because it’s such… CONTINUE READING

new bridges

new bridges

July 15, 2011 |  Category:   family growing up half life parenting

I’ve referred to my mom quite often in recent posts about childhood and parental role models, but not much about my dad. If you’ve been here for while, you may know that my relationship with my dad has been complicated and I keep it generally vague, partially because he started reading the blog about a year and a half ago (you think it’s awkward to get a Facebook request from your parents? Try having your parents read your blog!! Awkward x 10!). But as I’ve written before, the kids have been a great “buffer” in our relationship and he adores them. We see my parents quite often, every 3-4 weeks, and summers are particularly fun because my dad teaches the… CONTINUE READING

the other half

the other half

April 26, 2011 |  Category:   family growing up half life parenting

Technically 1/4. I always wonder if mixed race people identify more with one side of their racial makeup than the other. I also wonder if you become influenced by how you identify yourself based on how you look, mostly because that’s what other people see first – your outward appearance. I’ve written about my identity confusion growing up, but my struggle wasn’t about race or ethnicity, but rather, nationality. My girls are undoubtedly American (as I am too), but I wonder if they’ll ever feel confused about what race or ethnicity they “belong” to. Will it matter by then? Does it matter now? They have stronger ties to their Korean heritage than their Russian, Norwegian or Italian side and that… CONTINUE READING

short holiday road trip

short holiday road trip

April 22, 2011 |  Category:   family growing up half holidays life travels

We traveled upstate last night to spend the weekend with Mark’s dad’s side of the family. We seem to find ourselves up here the last few Easters and the girls get a little dose of their Russian side. I like coming to stay at Mark’s uncle’s house because there are a lot of objects and photos here that’s tied to family history which is really cool because I feel like my mom’s house, which they moved into about 10 years ago, is pretty devoid of that kind of stuff. We don’t have old family heirlooms like these beautifully intricate pysanky eggs from the 60s and 70s. We plan on doing Easter eggs tomorrow. I think one year we attempted to… CONTINUE READING

neither one, or the other

neither one, or the other

March 24, 2011 |  Category:   family favorite posts growing up half life me remembering

When I wrote that Tiger Mom related post last month, I was reminded of the identity struggles I grew up with as a first generation Asian-American. I often felt that I was straddling between 2 cultures, never completely one nationality or the other. Often I felt like I was expected to behave one way with my family, which sometimes conflicted with what I felt was the “American” way of doing things. I’m a US citizen, but I wasn’t born here. I came to NYC in the 70s with my dad when I was 3 and reunited with my mom who had already been working here as a nurse for 2 years when she left Korea when I was a year… CONTINUE READING

scooters and a lesson about race

scooters and a lesson about race

March 1, 2011 |  Category:   growing up half life parenting

We’ve pulled the scooters out now that the weather has been exhibiting Spring-like tendencies. Claudine was barely able to ride it when we put it away 4 months ago, but something must have happened during those few months. Maybe she’s grown into her body a bit more (or her “big fat head”, as she likes to call it), or maybe she’s a bit more coordinated. Whatever it is, she hopped right on there and started zooming down the street like she’s been doing it for years. Have to admit, it sort of makes me nervous seeing her go down a hill so fast. I mean, we didn’t have scooters when we were her age. We rode around the sidewalks in… CONTINUE READING

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