Truly Julie in front of Floralis Genéricain Buenos Aires. The flower closes shut at night!
It’s important to stop and smell the flowers…especially if it’s a gargantuan metal one that moves:) I’m in the business of words/communicating…and yet…I’m having a hard time accurately describing the magic of Buenos Aires. Yes…as you’ve heard…it’s the perfect blend of Europe meets Latin America. But…it’s so much more! To me…BA is eating steak so tender that the server cuts it in half with a spoon (seriously!)…drinking buckets of velvety Malbec…tangoing till 3AM…hitting a beach rave till 6AM (only to have my new Argentinian friends boo me for leaving so early)…admiring the ridiculously good looking people everywhere (holy gene pool jackpot!)…and having men be so generous with their compliments that for a split second I thought I was _____ (insert celebrity crush of choice). I mean…the only downside to the constant praising and fawning is that once you return to the States…you feel like chopped liver. Every inch of BA is brimming with color. The plethora of graffitied walls are electric and beautiful in that pop art, urban way…you feel the vibrance of people REALLY enjoying their life as you see the whole family including grandparents and toddlers enjoying 3-hour dinners that linger past midnight (it’s so bizarre seeing 2 year olds with pacifiers hanging out that late!). And the fashion among the younger crowd is a resurgence of the 80′s/early 90′s (think Depeche Mode/Cure/Erasure)…so lots of home haircuts (never seen so many crooked bangs…and asymmetric cuts since middle school!). And really…even if BA wasn’t 5-stars, I still would’ve had a good time because as the saying goes: it’s not where you go…but who you’re with. I got to experience this charming, passionate, gritty city with my sister Grace...who is just as ambitious as I am about vacationing right. We woke up each day with one goal in mind: how are we going to have the best time ever! And for 8 days…we did just that! I’ll always look back on my 4 days in BA and 4 days in Punta del Este, Uruguay in the fondest light. I’ll fill you in on Punta in a little bit but in the meantime…please enjoy the picture gallery of BA and my list of recommendations. You only live once…but if you do it right…you only need once. –Mae West
1) Stay in the Palermo neighborhood. It’s the “Soho” of BA with lots of cute cafes (my fav, Cafe Oui Oui, is in the pic gallery), boutiques, yummy eats, and a nice mix of bars/lounges/clubs. I stayed at the Palermo Place Hotel and loved it! The girls that work the desk…Florentina and Leticia are awesome.
2) Visit the La Recoleta cemetery and you’ll wish you were dead:) Yes, this is where Evita along with the who’s who of Argentina are buried. You’ll be amazed by the stunning grave stones that are more like mini-mansions. I charmed a grave keeper to let me take a peak inside one of them and it was three stories…with a marble spiral staircase. I’m ALIVE and dreaming of a space like that! The Recoleta is a stone’s throw from the Floralis Generica sculpture (the petals close shut at night…and re-blossoms in the AM…so cool!) and it’s also walking distance from my new favorite shoe store, Comme il Faut. They have a terrible website, but an amazing BA store. You walk into a beautiful empty room…the women take one look at your feet and know your size and shape..then they just start rolling out 30 or so pairs. Proof of serious credit card damage in pic gallery. You should try to bang out these three together to be efficient.
3) Stroll along Casa Rosada/Puerto Madero. This pink house is the Argentinian White
House. You’ll see the famous ledge where Evita (AKA Eva Peron) graced her people. I highly recommend you see it at night when it’s lit in pink lights. Much more dramatic. Right after…you can take a short cab ride to Puerto Madero. Gorgeous pier area with a cool needle sculpture and an old ship.
5) And I save the best for last….La Viruta tango club. The cafeteria-like space was an eyesore at first…but once they dimmed the lights…fired up the tango music…I was swept away. Literally and figuratively. This place was packed with local gentlemen who had enough tango swagger to make any rag doll seem like she knew what she was doing (i.e. me!). The early portion of the evening is a free tango lesson…fyi. I will cherish this night for as long as I live.
My hair moves (no hairspray helmet!). My hemline…99% of the time above the knees. My shoes…none would be described as “pumps”. I have and will never wear nude hosiery. Yeah…my “look” is not that of your usual newsperson. I’ve always reveled in dressing in a way that expresses my colorful personality…and with that…sometimes I get the raised eyebrows and blank stares of “what the heck are you wearing”…and luckily…more often than not… lots of virtual high-fives on going against the grain. And no…I do not have a stylist. Though…my designer sister Grace Sun has always been my fashion “whisperer”. I’ve been asked time and time again to blog about what I wore and which outfits I adore…so here we go!This futuristic outfit is one of my favs. Fashion front: Helmet Lang Jacket (the high neck and tuxedo tail on this coat are genius), Grace Sun beanie (it’s cashmere so it feels divine and it slouches perfectly. Plus, never leaves a hair dent), Min-K dress (it’s wool so super warm), Rag & Bone leather leggings (I live in these the minute the temperatures dip below 30), Christian Louboutin boots (one of the best boots purchases ever! I got them at a consignment store so I didn’t pay the usual ridiculous Louboutin price. Plus it’s a wedge, so super comf). Photo credit goes to my sister Grace Sun…who took a slew of pictures of me for her own fashion project. My style sophistication pales in comparison to Grace…and the fashion portion of my blog certainly can’t put a dent in her high-fashion blog MamaisHaute.com…so if you’re more advanced…check out her site:) Expect to see more of Grace’s lens work in upcoming Truly Julie Fashion Front posts. As RuPaul would say Sashay Shante!
Truly Julie with bangs! And the one and only RuPaul….”You better work….wet your lips and make love to the camera!”.
So much to wish and hope for in the new year…but I guess the most immediate would be to make sure “Tonight’s
gonna be a good night”! (Truly Julie with Black Eyed Peas’ Taboo on the left) And to lead a more purposeful life such as Jane Goodall…who’s devoted her whole life to preserving our wildlife. Oh…and since I am a giggle maniac…I’d love to embrace more humor a la Kathy Griffin or Chris Rock. I’d also like to be more bold and fearless e.g., Ricky Gervais. And on the career front…I’d love to mix it up all the while never mince a word i.e., Ryan Seacrest.
And in 2012…I’d also like to embody William W. Purkey’s quote: “You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching, Love like you’ll never be hurt, Sing like there’s nobody listening, And live like it’s heaven on earth.”…case in point…the Glee cast!
Work ethics wise…I aim to not settle for complacency…such as Steve Carell. He walked away from his hit show “The Office”…because he felt unchallenged and wanted to grow. That’s inspiring. Oh…and I hope to be as hard working as Joan Rivers…who at age 78 could still kick my butt. Also in 2012…I hope to continue crossing paths with those who are the best in their niche i.e., Simon Cowell & LA Reid…and who knows…maybe their “X factor” will rub on me:)
Health wise…my wish is to be as strong, supple…and..auh…sexually vigorous…as sex therapist Dr. Ruth! Also in the new year…I hope to be as innovative as James Cameron and fashion icon Patricia Field. These folks always think outside the box. And I also aspire to be an urban super woman…a la my sister Grace Sun and Rosanna Scotto. From designing to blogging to mothering…Grace is always 10 steps ahead. Rosanna is the unofficial mayor of NYC all the while getting up at 4AM everyday to co-host Good Day New York…she is the ultimate mother hen at Fox 5…and to her nuclear family at home.
I’ll also continue to refine my dorkiness …because like Zooey Deschanel…it’s cool to embrace your inner nerd. And I figure what makes me different and quirky…will be the unique factor that takes my game to the next explosive level…maybe like Paula Patton! From starring in “Precious” to “Mission Impossible” to being married to Robin Thicke…she’s on it! Life is about finding “Your Song”…and I hope mine becomes a hit like one of Elton John’s master pieces:) Hmm…what else…maybe in the new year…I’ll cook more…e.g., Guy Fieri. OK…now that’s just crazy talk…so I better end on a strong note. My goal for 2012 and beyond is to have the kind of lasting love found by my parents 40 plus years ago and raise a healthy family! Happy New Year!!!
Truly Julie (left) at age 5 with sister, Grace Sun (MamaIsHaute.com).
Yeah, yeah, that’s a home haircut alright. Truly Julie (left) knitting at age 4.
I often think about what a weird profession I’m in…fun and exciting…but strange. I mean, I realize the minute I pop up on TV, someone is probably criticizing me. Imagine thousands of people being able to see you do your job at work. Wouldn’t you feel like a fish in a tank? There are countless ups to my job, but there is one significant downside of doing such visible work: it’s an easy target for searing scrutiny. But I really don’t think I could’ve been anything other than a broadcaster…or what I like to call a “very vocal storyteller”. My family, including my sister Grace, who’s in these pics with me, says from the minute I was born, I was effervescent, energetic and beyond extroverted. Grace says that I’ve always had an old soul, which made me quite a precocious kid. At the the playground, I would not only befriend other kids, but their parents as well. Some of my mom’s closest friends now are the once random strangers I brought home from the playground. Even now, I have friends who are in their teens to those in their 60′s. What can I say…I was knitting at age 4.
As to how I survive the subjective, fickle TV business? I have two older sisters who always keep me in check AND I have been raised on what I call “Korean tough love”. For example, my dad (may he rest in peace) would call me after my live shots and say, “What happened to your hair?” That was his way of saying, “Hey, I’m proud of you and I’m up at this early hour to watch you.” I realize I work in a cut-throat industry, but storytelling is like my air. I’d rather be scrutinized than not be able to share.
If you haven’t noticed…there’s a void of Asian male faces on TV. I forgot the exact stat, but there are apparently 7 or fewer Asian male reporters/anchors in the top 5 TV markets. So, it is my absolute pleasure to see Richard Lui anchoring every morning on MSNBC. Before that, he was on CNN Headline News. And for one night, Richard was my co-emcee for an OCA (Organization of Chinese Association) fashion and food event. Despite me being Korean, the Chinese-American organizers welcomed me with open arms and all together, we applauded fashion designer, Zang Toi. The Malaysian native has been designing beautiful clothes in the US for more than 20 years. He’s dressed countless celebrities…but most people recognize his face from a few of the “Real Housewives of New York” episodes. At the OCA show, held at the historic Surrogate Courthouse in downtown Manhattan, Toi shared his all-star designs from past seasons. If you notice a sweat bead or two on the models(and everyone else!), it’s because the building wasn’t air-conditioned and it was sweltering! That didn’t stop Zang Toi from showcasing some of his best fall and winter designs. The jovial designer was wearing a wool kilt himself!
I have to say,though…the highlight for me was sharing the night with my sister, Grace Sun, and my mom, who came straight from the airport to catch me emcee! From my awful 5th grade plays to my daily on-air spots, my mom has always been my #1 viewer. The fabulous night was wrapped up with some humble dining. We chowed on galbi (Korean BBQ beef) and nang myun (cold potato noodle soup, sort of like gazpacho) at Silla restaurant in K-Town. It was a “Truly Julie” night of dichotomy….wearing a beaded dress from a black tie event straight to a divey dining place. What a delicious combo.
Kevin McHale (AKA “Artie” of Glee) stopped by the Good Day New York studio. He was promoting the Glee 3D movie. We asked him about characters being written off the show as they grow older and more unlike high school students. The always witty Kevin had a funny response, “I’m waiting for Glee: the Senior Home edition.” His character Artie is already in a wheelchair…so I guess he’s ready to roll!