Jiwon Lee, Missing New York Dental Student, Found Dead In Hudson River
by STEVE HAN
Lee, 29, was wearing a sweater, underwear and boots as she was floating in the river off of West 86th Street, the New York Daily News reports. Prior to going missing, she reportedly suffered from depression and attempted suicide. A medical examiner is looking into the cause of her death, a NYPD spokesperson said.
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New York Woman Still Missing After More Than a Week
by JULIE HA
Authorities are still searching for a Columbia University dental student who has been missing since April 1, when she left her New York apartment and never returned.
Jiwon Lee, who was just weeks away from graduating from dental school, was last seen at her West 98th Street apartment at about 8:30 p.m. last Tuesday night. Her roommate and family reported her missing the next day. Authorities said they tracked the last ping from her cell phone to 179th Street, near the George Washington Bridge, according to local news reports.
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March Issue: Barn Joo Offers Korean Gastropub Fare in New York
by MICHELLE LEE
Opened in March 2013 in New York City’s Flatiron District, Barn Joo is the latest Korean eatery to break away from the mom-and-pop restaurants that dot 32nd Street. And by putting a modern spin on Korean cuisine, this gastropub, on Broadway, has quickly established itself as one of the best places to consume specialty Korean chicken wings and signature mixed drinks like a pomegranate and soju martini, as well as a lychee and makgeolli cocktail called a Silk Hanbok.
Barn Joo is the latest venture from Charles Chong, an entrepreneur who started from scratch after immigrating to the States in the late 1980s, with limited English and only a few hundred dollars in his pocket. But he eventually opened a duty-free shop in John F. Kennedy airport, and he has taken the experience gained in airport merchandise to expand into other businesses, such as hotel management. Barn Joo, in fact, is located on the ground floor of the Hotel Verite, a boutique establishment that Chong also owns.
More on March stories available online at KoreAm Journal!
Artist Creates Whimsical Pictures From Lost Objects
by RUTH KIM
How many lip balms or Metro cards have you lost in your lifetime? Have you ever wondered what these little objects are doing now?
Graphic designer Yoonjin Lee asked the same question. In her series, Little Lost Project, she scours the streets of New York City for lost and abandoned items and gives a heartwarming voice to these otherwise forgotten and often overlooked objects.
In a video documenting the project, the senior at the School of Visual Arts scurries around the pavement, picking up miscellaneous and misplaced items. At home, she constructs tiny arms and little cardboard posts that express what these sad little objects are feeling after being abandoned.
Get more on this story at iamkoream.com!
Police: High-end drug and prostitution ring busted on Super Bowl week
The 18 operators of a high-end escort service allegedly banking on Super Bowl week to deliver “party packs” of cocaine and prostitutes have been charged with drug and sex trafficking, New York authorities said Thursday.
The nearly year-long undercover investigation discovered that in addition to selling the “party packs,” the ring allegedly laundered the illegal proceeds through front businesses that included a clothing wholesaler, a wig wholesaler, a limousine service and a beauty supply wholesaler, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement.
The ring targeted wealthy customers in New York for large events, authorities said. Last week, a text message was blasted to frequent customers noting that “new sexy & beautiful girls R in town waiting for u.” The enterprise also ran numerous advertisements on the Internet and on public access television.
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For the past few years, certain Korean parents in New York have fought hard to get public schools to recognize ”Seollal,’’ or Lunar New Year, as an official holiday. Now that the new city mayor says he, too, wants schools off for the major Asian holiday, many Korean parents are beginning to have second thoughts.
”Another holiday? I didn’t ask for it. Maybe stay-at-home moms want their children home for Lunar New Year, but not working moms,’’ says Nancy Choi, 42, a dentist with two daughters in elementary school. ”Who’s going to watch the kids when we’re all at work?’’
Like Choi, many working parents aren’t welcoming the idea of Lunar New Year becoming an official school holiday.
”There are already enough holidays aside from all the winter snow days,’’ wrote Kim Jee-ae on Mizville.org, a popular online community for Korean women in the U.S. ”These parents behind the campaign aren’t considering people like us who have to go to work.’’
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New York Politicians Unveil Second Comfort Women Memorial
By Young Rae Kim
New York lawmakers worked alongside Korean American groups to help raise a second monument dedicated to the women forced into sexual slavery by Japan from the 1930s through World War II.
The monument was unveiled at Veterans Memorial in Nassau County on Long Island on Friday by New York State Senator Tony Avella, Assemblyman Chuck Lavine, Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel and leaders of Korean American and human rights groups.
The monument consists of two stone tablets that are inscribed with the comfort women resolution stating that the Japanese government “officially commissioned” the sexual servitude of “hundreds of thousands of young women from Korea, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines,Australia, the Netherlands and elsewhere.” The resolution was signed by the New York State Senate and Assembly in 2012.
More on the story about a second memorial for Comfort Women here!
Dumpling party marks Korean New Year with hundreds of mandu and dozens of eaters
Grace Hong is pretty sure her mother would be appalled. Not at the fact that she and her husband celebrate the new year with traditional lucky mandu, dumplings made the Korean way. But possibly at every other aspect of their celebration. With 600 dumplings, 60 guests and an unmentionable amount of wine and beer, the annual fete they call Dumplingfest violates most, if not all, of her mother’s holiday traditions.
Hong, 40, grew up in Lyons, N.Y., not far from Rochester. “We were the only Asian family in town,” she says. And every New Year, for a small, family-only gathering, her mother would make duk mandu guk, a traditional Korean soup. She would fill a large soup pot with beef bones and aromatic vegetables to make the rich broth, in which she simmered meat-filled dumplings and glutinous rice cakes, symbols of prosperity.
Who doesn’t love dumplings? Read more about this and more stories at iamkoream.com
Artist Creates Photorealistic Portraits Using Just Steel Wire
By James Kim
From far away, Brooklyn-based Korean sculptor Seung Mo Park’s creations look like black and white photos. Closer examination will show that it is in fact made of stainless steel wire mesh, layers upon layers of crossing wires. It is the latest series of work for Park, who is known for his ability to craft all sorts of wire into all sorts of different things.
Entitled Maya, the portraits were made by layering the crossing wires of the wire mesh. Multiple layers result in deeper shades, and Park has an uncanny ability to capture the shadows perfectly.
Check out more on Seung Mo Park and this article here!
The current brouhaha involving seniors at a Flushing, NY, McDonald’s had a déjà vu quality for KoreAm readers. Here why:
Under The Golden Arches
By Bill Stephens
It’s mid-morning at the Koreatown McDonald’s on busy Western Avenue just north of Seventh Street. Outside, a dozen older Korean men sit under a large red canopy at small Formica tables. They clutch coffee cups, read Korean newspapers, chat and play Korean chess, called janggi.
The area is around 1,000 square feet and less than inviting. Nails stick up from the roof to prevent vandals and a sign on the wall reads: “Private property. No trespassing, loitering, drinking. Violators will be arrested and prosecuted.” Minor landscaping and a lone palm tree soften the nearby asphalt parking lot, but not much.
Young men and women of various ethnicities rush in and out of the fast food restaurant, located next to a hotel. But the Korean seniors here on the patio are in no hurry. It’s a hot day, but the red canopy shades them as a cool breeze flaps the American, California and McDonald’s flags.
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Dude, Where’s My Seat?
By Soomi Rho
If Gramps lives in Los Angeles Koreatown, it’s likely he frequents a bench outside McDonald’s on the bustling corner of 7th and Western. Or rather, he did—until the fast-food franchise recently took that bench away. Why take away an old man’s chair?
“The city was requiring more parking spaces so that’s why we removed it,” explained Paola Gianacpulos, the site’s manager.
During its zenith of popularity, Korean elders would gather at the bench to eat, drink, converse, play games—and of course, bust each other’s chops. It wasn’t always an idyllic scene. Fights, chain-smoking and gambling flourished. According to witnesses, it was quite the raucous crowd. Yet even with the bench now gone, Korean elders still venture there like moths to a flame. They just don’t have a place to actually sit.
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To read more on the current events occurring at the New York McDonald’s, click here!
Korean American Community Leaders Call for McDonald’s Boycott Amid Elder Dispute
By Young Rae Kim
Korean American community leaders in Queens, N.Y., have called for a McDonald’s boycott after news broke that a McDonald’s in Flushing had appeared to mistreat several elderly Koreans who loitered at the restaurant for hours.
Over the past few months, management at the fast food chain has run into problems with older Koreans who spend up to 10 hours at the restaurant, arriving as early as 5 a.m. When asked to leave, the elderly citizens would purchase a single cup of coffee and continue to sit. When McDonald’s resorted to calling the police to remove these group of elders, it sparked outrage in the Korean American community.
On Thursday, Korean community leaders went to the McDonalds on the corner of Parsons and Northern Boulevards to hand deliver a letter expressing their anger over the situation.
Get more information on the McDonald’s boycott here!
Shin-Soo Choo Turns Down $140M Offer From Yankees
By Steve Han
Coveted free agent Shin-Soo Choo reportedly turned down a seven-year, $140 million offer from the New York Yankees, according to a report by Yahoo Sports.
The Yankees were considered the favorites to sign Choo this summer, as they have the deep pockets to offer a lucrative deal, as well as a potentially large Korean American fanbase, which are two of the outfielder’s priorities. But Yahoo Sports reported that Choo and his agent Scott Boras declined the Yankees’ offer and demanded a higher salary, believed to be $153 million over seven years.
It is widely believed now that the Yankees will no longer pursue Choo, as they signed outfielder Carlos Beltran to a three-year, $45 million deal, a paltry sum compared to the South Korean outfielder’s request.
Get more on Shin-Soo Choo’s $140 million turn down on iamkoream.com.
Graffiti Artist Uses Traditional Korean Patterns to Turn Heads in New York
By Young Rae Kim
When Rag & Bone, an American fashion label, opened its doors in 2010 in Manhattan’s Nolita neighborhood, it was met with an unwelcome surprise. The white walls of its building were vandalized by locals and tainted with scribbles and markings. Out of this initial eyesore, the owners decided to transform the wall into a creative space for artists to showcase their artwork.
This month, Korean graffiti artist, Yoon Hyup, is showcasing his mural titled “Wishing a Bright, Sunny Day” on the walls of the fashion brand store, the Korea Times reports.
The street has become a tourist attraction and many passers-by have stopped to take in the artistic beauty of the piece. Notable artists who have also displayed their artwork on the store wall include Meres One, Brian Alfred, Erik den Breejen and Aakash Nihalani.
Read more about the phenomenal Yoon Hyup and his artwork here.
Despite a bright start to the New Year, many Korean senior citizens feel lost and without hope.The number of elderly Korean immigrants has been increasing gradually, yet there are not enough places for the elderly to spend their leisure time. Below is a description of the problem, and a proposed solution.
Current Situation: Six elderly people were thrown out of McDonald’s on Parsons Boulevard in Flushing, Queens, by police officers on January 2. The restaurant was in absolute turmoil with their complaints and other Koreans’ denunciations, and the police left quickly. “We were just dispatched to the site upon a report from McDonald’s,” said the officers.
McDonald’s explained that they could not help but call the police. “There was no space for other customers because they occupied a table for almost 10 hours from 5 a.m. We asked them to leave the restaurant, but they ignored our request.”
Read more on this article here.