Meeting New People in Chicago

I would say it’s actually a lot easier to feel lonely in a bigger city like Chicago. There are so many people, restaurants, and places to explore that you would think everyone is on the go. On the contrary, I’ve witnessed a lot of lonely people on my ventures to big cities like New York and LA. But I’ve actually managed to meet some really great friends.

On my first day at work, I met two other coworkers my age, Claire and Ella. One started a week earlier and one started on June 1st with me. All of us had lunch together every day, often in nearby restaurants or the basement which is full of eateries.

We soon realized that after rent, food, and work clothes (the best excuse to buy clothes), our salary would wither quickly, so after two weeks of eating out and spending ten dollars a day on lunch, we began packing lunches.

Since we were all the same age, it was nice to have acquaintances and luckily, three of us girls clicked extremely well. We worked 9 to 5 and eventually we  became so close that we would spend every waking minute together. But after one month of interning, they both left to see their families for the summer and I was left with the constant cycle of helping other interns adjust.

This is the view from my office… 🙂 2015-06-07-20-04-46_deco

Now that I have a new and very outgoing coworker who sits next to me, I’ve been laughing more and meeting more people. I often hang out with his girlfriend and friends. One of them is teaching me how to play bass, which I never thought was cool, but now it’s one of my favorite new past times.

After two months, I still haven’t brought myself to go to a meet-up. I just have this lurking feeling that there will be a ton of people there to find a partner or people desperate to find friends. I’m not brave enough to be set up with a guy, much less friends. How awkward is it introducing yourself to someone with the intent of becoming best friends? Or being like, ‘let’s grab dinner sometime! since we both know we will be cuddling with our sofa pillows in front of our TVs shoving handfuls of popcorn into our mouths.’

But a couple weeks ago I went to a school alumni meet up for people in our area of study. The meet up was small and I’m glad I went because everyone was nice and professional and I think some of them would genuinely like to help me out with my future endeavors.

I also joined a volleyball league that I had in the back of my mind since I first passed the beautiful beaches along Lake Michigan. Even though I’m on the recreational league, it’s the level of competitive fun that I love. All four guys and four girls on the team are somewhat new to Chicago, ranging from 22 to 28. We always go to a bar after games and realized that we’re all still figuring out what we want to do with out lives and have realized that graduating college doesn’t mean we know what we’re doing or that we’re ready to settle, but rather, ready to go on bigger adventures by throwing ourselves into new cities where we don’t know anyone and start doing childhood sports again.

#Chicago !

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Housing in Chicago

Since I didn’t know the Chicago neighborhoods and the rent prices well enough, I signed a 3-month lease in a quieter area by the Loop so I could get to know the neighborhoods before I signed for a long lease. I have two roommates, an older girl around 27 who works in IT and a college intern. Our 2-story condo is more than big enough to hold us all, big enough for us to comfortably host ten guests to lounge around our living room. None of us knew each other before sharing our condo because we all signed on separately with our landlord.

The Loop is the square that holds all of the big corporate buildings, Michigan Ave, Navy Pier, and is sided by Michigan Lake. Basically, you don’t want to live too far from the area, especially if you work here.

If you’re looking to live in Chicago, here’s a brief list of the areas that I’ve explored and are very close to the Loop.

  • Gold Coast: Nice luxury high-rises, expensive rent, fabulous restaurants
  • Streeterville: Between the Gold Coast and the loop but on the lake
  • New East Side: Nice luxury high-rises, quiet, expensive rent, and right next to Navy Pier / The kind of place that I would like to live if I were rich and spent a lot of time at home and wanted to be sure my children were safe.
  • River North: Expensive rent, very pretty restaurants, great shopping. Although Michigan Avenue is known for shopping, River North has all of the high-fashion name s
  • Loop: Older apartments with decent rent since it’s a little noisier, but best location if you’re working here and want to party a lot / Next to Michigan Avenue and beautiful Millennium Park
  • Logan Square and Wicker Park: hipster and cheaper
  • West Loop: Previously Oprah’s neighborhood, and now the up and coming foodie haven on the pricier side.
  • Printer’s Row: A quieter neighborhood since it’s just below the loop, also known as the area that’s newer and the transition to the ‘dangerous’ South Loop. As part of the New Chicago campaign, nice apartments with pools and amenities are popping up along with shopping districts

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Photo credit: Executive Dogs

College Grad moving to Chicago

Almost three months in and I feel myself falling in love.. with life, the city, the food…

I know that this post is quite late, but in celebration of making great new friends, a new outlook on life, and graduating, I thought I would share some of my life with long-distance friends, family, and other soon-to-be Chicagoans. Of course this will include many difficulties that came with moving to a big new city as a fresh graduate and also probably a lot of food.

Unlike most other kids my age, I grew up dreaming of living in Montana. But not just Montana. It was a huge beautiful house nestled on the side of a huge hill surrounded with trees and lots of land to ride horses on. After living in Seoul and changing my outlook on people, that disappeared.

I was excited to move to Chicago. Although I’ve been an introvert since birth, I’ve always excelled at meeting new people, going to music festivals alone, and making the most unpredictable decisions despite having lots of anxiety and worrying about everything that could go wrong. I think I’ve fought it off long enough that I know when to save my energy and when to spend it. Mostly, it’s my curiosity about other people’s lives, the differences between everyone, and my yearning to experience other cultures that has allowed me to overcome my shyness and embrace new experiences. If I’m not comfortable around someone or don’t enjoy someone’s company, I will spend a fun vacation doing everything everyone else typically does but by myself, and enjoy the heck out of it. So basically, being alone in Chicago for a few months was not lonely. I’m letting you know ahead of time, because you may wonder who I’m doing many of the activities with.

Cheers to sharing my life with you!

xoxo

-M

I love SEOUL giveaway!!

Let us know why you love Seoul and we’ll be sending TWO of you an ‘I love SEOUL’ t-shirt in your choice of white, gray, red, or black. Enter to win here.

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With its huge mix of nature and urban life, Seoul attracts people from all over the world. Most visitors can’t pick what they like more and end up staying for much longer than they originally intended to. While it has the biggest underground shopping center in the world as well as countless mountains surrounded by ocean, there’s little one can miss while living in this gorgeous vibrant city.

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From inside out, right in between

“Summer or winter,” whenever someone asked, but it’s definitely shifted over to spring and autumn. I wonder if it’s age. A chill has suddenly come about in Seoul. One day it was 15 at the low and the next it was 7 as the high. Today I saw people wearing long down jackets while others wore short skirts and cardigans. But the beauty of the seasons also bring about so much variety in fashion. Since the weather affects our mentality, and the colors we wear, I tried to mix in some print in color as I’ve been attempting to hold off pulling out my entire winter wardrobe.


Photographer Michael Song

True to Blue

Blue is definitely considered a safe color that’s not always so fashion forward. I love it nonetheless, and it’s really not a color we can avoid if its every slightest change in shade can change one’s style. On this chilly gray day I wore my royal blue side-pinned jacket from Sweet Soup. I wear it whenever I want to give a pop of color during chillier days when I don’t feel like being a raging red, orange, or yellow.

My knit gray poncho peacoat from ValleyGirl. If I pull down the neck, the top section turns into a poncho! I love the toggles on knit which is quite a rare find, as well as the waist cinch which gives the billowing jacket more of a line. This is probably the best fall/winter item I’ve ever found.

Knee-high black suede boots that have lasted me three winters and of course, look great with anything.
Photos by differentcands.

Pool time

Before the chill takes over with gray skies, I thought to share some swimsuit photos in the sun’s warmth. I don’t do bikini shots often, not because I don’t feel comfortable with my body, but because I usually don’t feel comfortable baring lots of skin. However during this shoot I had a wonderful time; it wasn’t just about showing the suit, advertising the pool, or being sexual. Even though it was completely my pick of what kind of suit to wear, I chose a  two piece bikini that I thought was one of the classiest I had seen in the bikini category. I loved the simplicity of the halter bandeau and the engraved gold pieces really made the suit shine. 

I also love this two-piece swim apparel. For some reason I feel that the term ‘bikini’ is too slang for it’s edgy cut and high design. It’s sporty and I especially like the extra bands on both the top and bottom as well as the wide cut of the suit bottom. This is by Substance. 

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Color photography by Dante Dante