Scenes from a Saturday morning: the kind where you sleep in till 10, stare at the ceiling for a moment too long, fix a careless breakfast on your sheets, page restlessly through half a book, make cavernous blanket sculptures, roll around to the ends of the island that is your bed, all the while disregarding the state of your bedhead because the shower seems worlds away.

Posted by : Michelle Cho

New York | in motion

If ever there were a city that begged ambivalence - romanticism, volatility, frenetic energy all at once- it would be New York. The city gathers momentum from all its bustling pockets and hits you with unapologetic force, like a train on the tracks. And the movement is ceaseless; always somewhere to whirl through, always something new to see. Even whilst walking, one must crane their necks up to take in countless skyscrapers puncturing the skyline, all the while maneuvering the jostle of passersby. Thus, the best way to compress the memories of my trip was to encapsulate the constantly moving spirit of the place: New York in motion.

Some of our favorite stops in the city:  

     to eat | ABC Kitchen, Freemans, 5 Leaves, Ippudo, Halal Guys, Levain Bakery, Burrow Bakery, Momofuku Milk Bar
to unwind | La Colombe, Stumptown, Gasoline Alley Coffee, AP Cafe, McNally Jackson 
to see | High Line, Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park

Missing my favorite New Yorkers @fannieseo and @squeakyhsu & my soul/solemate @junebugkim right about now. Hoping to revisit the city sooner than later! 
Posted by : Michelle Cho

Portrait of a Mother

In attempting to paint a portrait of my mother, I chose not to highlight the extraordinary sacrifices she has made for our family- which are many in number. Rather, I see her love most profoundly in the simplest of acts: the fact that she wakes up to prepare breakfast for each member of the family, every morning without fail. 

From the slow weekends of makeshift brunch to the wee hours of the morning that shed no light to greet her, she has always made sure that no one leaves the house with an empty stomach. And it's the dutiful repetition of this act that shows her depth of love. What is said passionately evaporates; it's what is done as a matter of fact that is telling and lasting and precious. 

Amazing woman, she is. Thanks Mom. 

"Do not think that love in order to be genuine has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired. Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies." -Mother Teresa

Posted by : Michelle Cho

The Art of Breakfasting

Breakfast was always a meal that, more often than not, went neglected for the sake of a few more moments under the covers with the snooze button relentlessly ticking away. I was lucky if I managed to hastily scarf down a piece of burnt toast as I rushed off to class.

But things have changed now. The post-grad life welcomes morning hours that stretch into a pleasant expanse of quiet. And with that comes the realization that breakfasting can be so much more than a matter of physical nourishment. Recently, I've found that taking a few moments to collect your scattered thoughts over a cup of tea can make all the difference. When your day is an endless momentum of movement, the intervals of stillness act to create a rhythm out of the blur. 

It seems that the art of breakfasting deserves some more credit from us all.

Soundtrack to my most recent breakfastings
pear & almond butter toast w/ honeykale, egg, soy ginger vinaigrette over ricehazelnut chocolate toast
Posted by : Michelle Cho

A Week in Gyeongju

I spent the past week in a small, coastal city called Gyeongju, far removed from any signs of city. Instead, we were surrounded by unobstructed blue skies that stretched as far as we could see- a much needed relief from the endless concrete terrain that is Seoul. Deemed the "museum without walls," Gyeongju's main attractions comprise of ancient folk villages, temples, and historical sites. It almost feels like you've stumbled upon a frozen point in time when you visit the palaces that have withstood whole centuries. Needless to say, we kept busy with much to do, see, and eat. My favorite memory had to be biking around rural Gyeongju alongside my mom (after some persistent cajoling on my part). With sun on my face, wind in my hair, music in my ears, and mother pedaling by my side, I remember feeling unabashedly happy.

Although I thoroughly enjoyed playing tourist, I'll always be a hopeless introvert who prefers quiet moments to constant activity. The condo we stayed in was the perfect combination of clean architectural lines and light-filled space, which called for plenty of lounging around in the tearoom- book in hand. Some of the most savored moments of a vacation can take the simplest form.

On another note, I've been working away on several side projects and personal projects that I can't wait to share- I'm going to really make an effort to post more often about these things. Stay tuned!

Posted by : Michelle Cho

Grateful to be with family this Christmas. Here's to the holiday season!
Posted by : Michelle Cho

"How does it feel?"

"How does it feel to be free?" 

At the beginning of the semester it's, "What classes are you taking?" Around the closing days of the year, "Any new year's resolutions?" Such are the expected questions. Implicit safety zones for avoiding any talk other than that which is trivial and uncluttered. An answer is readied, neatly packaged for standard recitations to any number of recipients. Safe, clean-cut. 

This week marked the culmination of my time as an undergraduate. Naturally, I've been asked how it feels to finally be done with school more times than I can count. And I know the question begs no more than a surface level reply; something along the lines of how I'm both relieved and excited for the next chapter of my life. But every time I'm asked this simple question, I'm overwhelmed by an amalgamation of emotions and thoughts that are complex beyond my understanding. 

I always read in the novels that feelings came like a tidal wave; one second it's looming in the distance, the next it's crashing over you and engulfing everything in sight. I thought that's what it would feel like to graduate. But this feels more like a thick cloud of mist, with a subtle tangibility that's barely noticeable until you're in its quiet midst. Unassuming little droplets of emotion, but collectively they make up a swelling mass that's hard to ignore. 

I'm excited beyond words for the newness of another beginning.

I'm mortified, almost crippled by the multiplicity of paths set before me; as if I might go down one road, only to find myself filled with regret for the other lives I could have lived. 

I'm already filled with nostalgia for people and places with the sobering knowledge that I can never revisit this time in my life again. 

I'm confused. I'm curious. I'm scared. I'm naive. And most of all, I feel stuck in between the person that I am and the person I want to become. It must be an impossibly human trait, to constantly be romanticizing the past and idealizing the future- leaving no room for a full existence in the present. I guess I have this hope that the future me will be everything I'm not yet: more sure of herself, less prone to make mistakes, and better at seizing happiness. So I guess my long-winded answer to the question of how it feels to have graduated: a lot. It feels like a lot. 

For some reason, I'm convinced that the future me will feel just as lost as I do now. And I'm coming to accept that that's okay. 

Posted by : Michelle Cho