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boccalupo

Inman Park. Italian food. Covered patio. These are all words that entice me and probably every other 30-something living in Atlanta. 

Despite what my Instagram may have you think, we actually don’t eat out really all that much. Save for BuHi, but that doesn’t count! Asian food is my comfort food so BuHi is like going to a cozy mom and pop shop down the street. At least that’s what I tell myself. For Ben’s birthday, we decided to revisit a restaurant we had remembered enjoying – BoccaLupo.
I can’t remember what was in this cocktail (this is how old I’m getting) but I do remember that it was tart, bright, and Florida themed. I really really enjoyed it. The cauliflower appetizer was delicious but I was disappointed by how much it cost given that it wasn’t a huge amount and the flavors weren’t revolutionary. A roasted cauliflower is always good, but when you pay double digits for a vegetable appetizer, you kind of want it to be extraordinary. Or at least a healthy amount. The picture above is the full amount that was given to us.
What we DID feel was worth it was the pasta. Oooohhhhh that pasta. I’m a real sucker for flat wide pasta; something about the mouth feel I think just really hits the spot. With the ragu, it was just delectable. I finished the whole. Thing. Ben’s pasta (below) was lovely but mine was totes better.The good thing about not ginormous portions is that there was plenty of room for dessert. And it was Ben’s birthday so that called for TWO desserts!! What can I say. I like to indulge.

All in all, BoccaLupo was good but I think our choices from the menu were just not the top notch ones. I guess that happens when you don’t frequent a restaurant often – you are more likely to stumble onto some things that are not their best. I think it’s also a challenge given that the restaurant scene is growing exponentially in Atlanta so everyone is asking themselves, what is gonna make me come back here? I like this place, but do I love this place? Hard to say.

jang su jang

Oof. I’ve been taking some long breaks in between blog posts. To some degree it’s willful but I also think that time has just been zooming past me. Since the last time I wrote, I’ve been breaking in a “new” job. Well technically it’s an old job I used to have, but I’m new to it again. I’m in the process of figuring out my true routine and also wondering if there exists such a thing. But that’s for another post.

THIS POST is centered around a delicious Korean dinner I had out in Duluth. I’m trying to get back on the train of trying new stuff instead of wading in my comfort zone. Tasting and experiencing new things is a big part of my life and something that really motivates me to blog, to instagram, and ultimately to make art. I can’t make new work unless I feel new myself.

Jang Su Jang. SO GOOD. I’m not an expert in Korean food – like by far one of the asian cuisines I’ve had the least experience with – but this shit was bananas. We were a table of two but we ordered four dishes because… because. Thankfully I had a friend of mine who is actually Korean guide us in our choices. This led us to try many a dish we definitely wouldn’t have just picked out ourselves. 

summer vibes: cropped and wide

Well, this outfit was certainly a surprise. I saw this top online before I saw it in stores and it didn’t occur to me that it would be flattering let alone something I would actually want to purchase. I think it might have been the color that got me.

A lot of women seem to believe that this “cropped top” trend is not for them. I beg to differ. At some point within the last two decades, women were convinced that a longer top meant that she looks longer and leaner herself. This is not always true though and in fact, it can often do the opposite and truncate your figure and make your legs look stumpy. Crop tops, when selected and outfitted properly, are much more flattering because they don’t require any tucking! You can let your pants be your pants and your top be your top and that’s it.  And so I’ve found myself purchasing many a top that is cropped of all different shapes. Some will flare out like this one, others may come to a knot at the bottom. Either way I’m pretty glad that trends cycle back and around again and again.

tropic feels

Maxi dresses will never ever ever not be in style. Jumpsuits are obviously having a moment (as evidenced by how many retailers are upping their jumpsuit game) so I had to tell myself I needed to cool it on the jumpsuit front and find other kinds of pieces. This maxi dress is one I resisted for weeks and then finally gave in to.

The ease of the fit plus the boldness of the pattern equaled perfection for me. It floats away from the body, allowing me to feel comfortable. I love that you can wear this casually or dress it up with the change of a hairdo and jewelry. As I’ve said before, I’m striving for a wardrobe that will take me through my 30s with ease. I think I’m getting there. 

dress / anthropologie
earrings / anthropologie
sunglasses / anthropologie

the new star provisions

Change can be scary, but ultimately I think it’s usually a good thing. Change forces us to re-examine original intent and think towards future progress. When I first heard that Star Provisions was going to be moving, it scared me! To think of such a beloved and charming spot disappearing was hard. I’ve lived in Atlanta for 7 years now which means I’m starting to see a lot of this happen – places that made me fall in love with Atlanta are changing. Some for the worse, but many for the better as well.
This move makes complete sense but it still makes me a little sad. Given the nature of the ever-changing landscape of Atlanta, it was bound to happen but it just felt like this would be the last place it would happen to. Star Provisions and Bacchanalia continues to stand at the top tier in the food industry of Atlanta so it is shocking to hear that they would be financially pressured by the development happening in the city. Thankfully they definitely know what they’re doing so the new space is gorgeous, spacious, and maintains the integrity that so many people respect them for. The Star menu has also expanded, making me a very happy camper.
I ordered the breakfast baguette with prosciutto and brie… everything I could have hoped for. Damn, they know what they’re doing. I could have lingered for much longer with the amount of room they have. I expect to be making many more trips here on my days off and I’m crossing my fingers REAL hard for a trip to the new Bacchanalia. Maybe for my birthday… 

8 arm bar

When one of your favorite coffee spots opens up an al fresco bar, you go. So I went to 8 arm for some coffee and saw the bar open and instead of a coffee, I got a cocktail. What a treat! Twas a gorgeous day outside and we could’ve sat there all afternoon if not the need to beat traffic.

And those sweet vintage glasses?! Ugh, they just get me. Oh and don’t worry – the cocktail menu during the day wasn’t super strong. The drinks were appropriately light and fresh. It also didn’t hurt that there was an adorable pug laying down next to us. 

apron dress

Okay so by now, I can own up to it – I have a shopping addiction that is completely facilitated by the fact that I need to look good and fresh at work. While in my heart of hearts I know that new clothes are completely unnecessary and it contributes to the overall waste of the world, I also know that new clothes make me feel new inside too. Like when I feel stale and weird, a new piece can really pick my mood up. Superficial, maybe. But it’s just honestly what happens. Do you feel the same way?

headband, apron dress, seychelles mules / anthropologie

goat farm open studio

Not very much to say here, just some fun pictures to share. I had the pleasure of touring the Goat Farm open studio days two weekends ago and it was pretty much the best day. I love being able to explore artist studios, no matter what the work looks like. It’s always inspiring to me to see the physical spaces inhabited by creative minds. It didn’t hurt that it was a beautifully crisp day either!

sequined pencil skirt

Wish there was something interesting for me to say about this outfit… but there isn’t. It’s simply a classic pairing for me – off the shoulder top and a pencil skirt. People know me for loving jumpsuits and pencil skirts. Can you blame me? 

what art has done for me

Art has helped me figure out who I am.

Is there something you’ve loved your entire life? That sounds like a big question because it is. Human nature and survival instinct demands that our personality and sense of self evolves with the world around us. However out of all the phases I’ve gone through, one thing I know that has always been true about me is that I love art. I love recreating, creating, and everything around and in-between. In elementary school, that looked like drawing an underwater landscape that got proudly displayed in the hallways. In adulthood it looks like… well, this. Out of all the words people have used to describe me, the only one that has always felt right has been “artist”. My relationship to this identifier continues to grow stronger with every stage in my life and it’s where I go when I lose my sense of self in other pursuits whether academic or professional. I come back to this word because I know it and I live it. I know who I am as an artist and it is exactly who I am as a person – complex, emotional, meticulous, compassionate, beautiful, and always yearning for connection.

Art has given me the tools to manage my emotions and learn how to communicate.

Maybe all of us go through this, but I think when I was younger I was often overwhelmed by my emotions. I don’t think it’s in the parent handbook to teach your child how to manage anger, sadness, grief, or envy. And when you’re a naturally shy and introverted child, these emotions can really wreak some havoc on your heart especially when you hit puberty. When I read my old livejournal blog posts, they’re like… insanely depressing. Like ridiculously melodramatic. But that was my reality! That’s really how I felt in that moment back in the day. This is when I truly found sanctuary and solace in art. My art teachers were sort of like second mothers to me, teaching me how to express myself effectively and manifest my energy into something worth sharing.