Author

Christina Kwan / tide & bloom

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local collections

When I see something engaging, I have to take a photo. The moment of intrigue that compels me may very likely become inspiration for a drawing, be it a week from now or a decade from now.

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// random building(?) in Castleberry Hill, Downtown Atlanta

Flowers blooming in Druid Hills, Atlanta GA

// springtime blooms on the way to Festival On Ponce

And sometimes stuff is just adorable and I can’t resist capturing the sweet moments in life.

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// spicy fried green beans at The Republic in Grant Park

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// this little guy! in his backyard playground

still looking “to the wonder”

One of my favorite weeknight activities is to go see a movie alone. Without the pressures of outside opinion or the expectation of reaction, the entire experience becomes infinitely more personal – a choice to experience something with myself and only myself. Everything I feel as a result is mine and only mine. It’s a rare sort of film that reserves this impulse, but it usually falls into the category of intense emotionality or poignant cinematography. These are two elements I’m particularly partial to and when weaved together, it’s a no-brainer. Such was the case with To The Wonder.

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The trailer to Terrence Malick’s newest film promised me everything I could want for such an experience. I never had the chance to see Tree of Life, but I kept hearing how visually stunning it was. So when I saw that To The Wonder was playing at one of my favorite local theaters, I knew I had to make the time to go see it.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTAzcTZTY1g]

“Emotions, they come and go like clouds. Love is not only a feeling; you show love. To love is to run the risk of failure, the risk of betrayal. You fear your love has died and perhaps is waiting to be transformed into something higher.”

drawing my future

It’s been almost three full years since I’ve graduated, and almost three years since I’ve made any “works of art”. I’ve always been my harshest critic when it comes to producing work so I’m constantly having to tell myself that it’s okay to ease back into it. It’s okay to do a little bit at a time.

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The most difficult obstacle for me is that I can visualize greatness in my mind and it always ends up feeling so far away.

lines to live by

NPR has kicked off their “exploration of the changing lives of women” by asking one of their founding mothers what sort of advice she would give to her younger self. The article has of course ignited a plethora of comments containing valuable advice from the readership. Here are a few lines that I personally need to remember:

Worry more about what you think about yourself than what other people think about you.

Sometimes being honest is more important than being nice.

Speak up, don’t be afraid to make mistakes, and own your successes and failures.

Acquire experiences over possessions.

Be who you wish to be in the world and recognize that you are responsible for this choice.

secondhand saturday

Gorgeous days equal fun activities with friends!

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Kelly and I took the liberty of spending a Saturday exploring Salvage Atlanta at Ambient Plus and The Revival of Vintage at The Goat Farm. She was hunting down new patio furniture plus other miscellaneous items to fill her delightful new home and I was looking for things to somehow craft a makeshift studio in the neglected sun room of my apartment.

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in the garden*hood

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Atlanta continues to surprise me by how much I’ve left to discover. A few weeks back, I stumbled upon Garden*Hood Atlanta while driving around the Grant Park area. One could say it’s a run-of-the-mill nursery, but to me it was like uncovering a treasure trove.

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you’re invited: kelly & rod’s

Let me introduce you to Kelly and Rod. They are budding Atlanta professionals with adorable style, award-winning charm, and a new Grant Park home to match. I’m completely jealous of how cute their new home is and I think you will be too!

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I’ve known Kelly for quite some time now so when she told me she was interested in buying a home, there was no question in my mind that she and Rod would settle on something oozing with history and spunk. Though they are not quite finished decorating, I simply couldn’t wait to share pictures from their housewarming get-together. Forgive the absence of Rod in these pictures, as he was giving my own beau a tour of the house while we did our little shoot!

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seeing it through

When I noticed the seductive ad for Push Push Theatre’s newest show, “See Through”, I felt excited about the prospect of going to an art exhibition for the first time in a long time. Unfortunately I’m so often disappointed by what the Atlanta art scene has to offer (more on that on another day) that I had unconsciously slipped into a period of art show abstinence. The ad itself was mysterious and cryptic. I couldn’t figure out if it were going to be a performance, an exhibition, an installation… or all of the above? I believe the words “party” and “maze” were also used somewhere. It held my gaze long enough that I was actually willing to purchase a ticket to experience it. The interactive cross-disciplinary foundation appealed to the adventurer in me, so it felt like just the cure to my malaise.

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When I drove up to the show, I could already feel judgment brewing within me. The windows revealed a sparseness that felt unfinished and large bean bag chairs on the ground. I told myself that I needed to be more supportive, so I consciously made an effort to open up my mind to accept what might be hiding behind the white walls.

random atlanta delights

Take pleasure in the little delights all around you. The more effort you put into recognizing and appreciating beauty, the more often you’ll realize your life is actually beautiful.

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// window display of antiques in Palmetto

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// a peach bellini and a lovely friend at Stone Soup Kitchen in Grant Park/Cabbagetown

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// the abundant florals outside of the bf’s apartment

good italian, pure and simple

Have you ever met someone who doesn’t like Italian food? Me neither. Because how does anyone not like bread, pasta, cheese, and tomato? That’s what we think of when we think Italian – spaghetti, bruschetta, garlic bread, and tiramisu (and Giada of course). These dishes have been popularized and Americanized in such a way that many people think of Italian as easy or simple. And to a certain degree, it is. But there’s a difference between so-easy-nothing-really-matters and so-easy-in-its-beautiful-simplicity. Thankfully, I had a divine experience of the latter at Sotto Sotto.

I had been waiting to sample this 12-year-old Atlanta mainstay ever since I moved here. You see, I’ve never considered myself a fan of Italian mostly because I never seem to find a truly exemplary Italian restaurant. It seems that the key to good Italian – and maybe just all good food in general – is great ingredients. Sotto Sotto wields this key with humble finesse and presents beautifully pared-back dishes that allow the ingredients to shine.

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With everything cooked to perfection and a decadent creamy rum-infused dessert to finish, this was one of the top dining experiences I’ve had in the city. The only thing I was mildly annoyed by was how close the neighboring tables were, making me feel like I was in 3 conversations at once. But such is the small price when you’re a party of two.

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Yes, I love innovative concept restaurants and new fusions of diverse flavors. But Sotto Sotto reminded me that