On Friday night, the KCON team traveled from the #KCONLiveChat to the KTOWN Night Market (if you were wondering why we were so excited to eat dinner during the chat, it was all about the KTOWN Night Market!). As we approached, we were fearful of the absolutely massive crowds (a true illustration of how successful this event was) spilling out onto the sidewalk and across multiple blocks. But of course, the line moved quickly and that fear was abated by the fantastic smell of something fried. While we are still not sure what the smell was, it was absolutely glorious. So, let’s jump into the KTOWN Night Market.
The lineup included: Chad Future, Lydia Paek, JReyez, and Dumbfounded. While we didn’t get the chance to see all of the artists perform, we witnessed the true fan girl love for Chad Future while he performed with his squadron of backup dancers. The other star of the night was the food. Koreatown has a reputation as a food destination where one can explore family owned restaurants, underground spots, and adventurous cuisine. The KTOWN Night Market gave attendees a piece of that culture.
When Hoon and I meet you at KCON 2014, fellow hallyu fans, you might realize how much our minds are completely consumed by food. So, of course the Food Truck Alley is the first place we went. I really think that we met all 80,000 attendees in the gargantuan lines for some of LA’s most famous food trucks. Seoul Sausage, Belly Bombz, East Los Angeles Tacos—the gang was all there and it was well worth the wait in line. Many of you may know that Seoul Sausage was the winner of the Food Network’s The Great Food Truck Race and it really does live up to the hype! There was also a non-line option: The Free Choco Pie Booth!
As child who thought “Moon Pies” were a food group, this, by far, was the thing that made me jump in the air with glee the most (the thing that made me want to crawl into a fetal position: Stinky Tofu. Why is your smell so strong and why does it waft so far?!). This was a really great promotion for a product that is both quintessentially Korean and American. Much like the KTOWN Night Market itself, the magic lies in the variety of cultures and people it brings together. Fun fact, Choco Pies are seriously amazing when they are frozen.
No trip would be complete without a trip into Crunchyroll’s K-Drama tent to pick up some swag. A swanky, calm mirage surrounded by the energetic chaos of the Night Market, which promoted Crunchyroll’s new Korean drama streaming website Kdrama.com.
We hope that the KTOWN Night Market continues because not only was it an excellent way for people to experience Korean-American culture, but also it was a wonderful event for this community. Koreatown is a neighborhood with a special, gritty, late-night-loving, exuberant personality and I can think of no better event than the KTOWN Night Market to showcase that spirit.
Our prayers go out to the families and victims of the Sewol ferry tragedy in Korea. We sincerely hope for a miracle.
Last week, we asked you to send us your “Hallyu Story” and we were overwhelmed by the fantastic, detailed, thought provoking peeks into your K-Pop listening, K-Drama watching, K-Food making lives. Thank you so much for your submissions. This is the first story, but it certainly won’t be the last one that we share. They truly made our day so much brighter. Keep sending your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will publish them right here.
This first “Hallyu Story” was sent by Vanessa G (What a coincidence! Internet high five, fellow Vanessa). She asks a question which I’m sure many of us have asked, “How did my Death Cab loving, X-Files raving, cooking impaired self get into all this?” Let’s jump into Vanessa’s story and find out:
On Friday’s #KCONLiveChat we revealed the winners of the Favorite K-Pop Female Artists/K-Pop Male Artists Poll. In order, your favorite female singers were Girls Generation, 2NE1, and IU. The dramatic race between the men saw Super Junior placing first, followed by EXO and BIGBANG. We loved watching all of the twists and turns in this close race. Thanks so much for voting!
Watch the #KCONLiveChat show this week on Friday, April 11th (5:30PM PT // 8:30PM ET)! We’ll be announcing the results on our recent poll on “Your Favorite K-Pop Group/Artist.”
WATCH #KCONLiveChat HERE
Make sure to tune in at the start of the show for the Hallyu Pop Quiz segment where you will have the opportunity to win a special prize!
It’s hard out there for a…fictional character.
These days, more and more people have begun using apps like Tinder to meet, date, or otherwise. But, what if our favorite leading men were thrown out of the high school K-Drama bubble and into the harsh world of social media. Would they choose the right photo? Would they reveal too much about their personal lives? Would they use too many “clichés”? Let’s jump into this writer’s imagining of the Tinder profiles of some of K-Drama’s most handsome men and take a look at the do’s and don’ts of Tinder profiles. K-Drama—a goldmine of dating lessons.
When I think of the phrase, “what’s your story,” I imagine a guy rocking some serious bravado shimmying next to women in a bar. In the same way, we as fans had this kind of “meet-cute” with hallyu—where we were seduced by the shiny world of K-Pop or K-Dramas and said to ourselves, “I’m not sure what a flower boy is, but I’m pretty sure I could get into it.” Like each new love that starts whether it be in a bar or at a school or on the internet, each of us has our own unique hallyu story.
What’s my hallyu story? Like many people my age, I graduated with a humanities degree from a super cool (and super old!) university and moved back home without what many people would call a “plan A, B or C.” When I returned to America, the culture shock of not living in a country where sheep outnumber people 3:1 (shout out to Scotland!) was…shockingly difficult. And yet, not having to ponder the possibilities of a genetically engineered sheep leading his/her massive population in a William Wallace-style rebellion was some consolation.
And then came this magical “homecoming party” where what should be playing but “Boys Over Flowers.” If I could summarize all of my friends’ expressions, it would be somewhere between “WTF” and “wut” on the confusion scale (“WTF” being a 10, “wut” being a solid 5, and “huh” being around a 2). But, if there was an omniscient narrator telling my story, he would have said, “and this is where it all began.” He would have also said, “After 25 episodes and one special, she wished the song ‘Almost Paradise’ would light on fire.”
For “research” and “curiosity’s sake,” I binge watched an entire year of “1 Night, 2 Days,” ate ramen while watching “Flower Boy Ramen Shop,” and by some twist of fate started working for a Korean company. Shakespeare says, “What’s past is prologue.” I’m sharing with you my hallyu story, “my prologue,” but I hope that intertwines our futures together as a hallyu fan community.
The special thing about hallyu fans is not just our passion, but the fact that we don’t just support a group, or a drama, or an idol, but that we are small and mighty community who support each other regardless of our friends’ “wut” looks…and then together we plan ways to convert them. *commence mustache twirling*— *commence remembering that I don’t have a mustache* Just because we don’t solely listen to St. Vincent (who I love btw) doesn’t mean we don’t have feelings. Right!
Now it’s your turn, dearest followers. What is your hallyu story? Share them with us via email@example.com and we will publish the most interesting ones on the blog.