Posts from the “travel” Category

03/30/2015 – Seoul: Yeongdeungpo

Posted on March 30, 2015

Here is the first of many South Korea posts. I spent 3 weeks in Seoul and South Korea with Kathy, from On the Prowl, who also happens to have an apartment in the heart of Seoul, in the neighborhood of Yeongdeungpo. It’s the financial center of Seoul, and home to the headquarters of many large Korean companies, such as LG and Lotte. After 20+ hours of traveling, with my entire life in two bags, it was so nice to be on the ground and with a familiar face.

seoul south korea halfdazed sarah kuszelewicz photography
My welcoming party!


yeongdeungpo seoul south korea halfdazed sarah kuszelewicz photography
The late night street food here is on POINT. Look at that selection… kebabs, fishfakes, corn dogs, soup, you name it, it’s here.


yeongdeungpo south korea seoul halfdazed sarah kuszelewicz photography
My welcoming meal: kimchi (a staple), tteokbokki (rice cakes in a sweet chili sauce), sweet pizza bread, jolly pong (a caramel puffed rice snack), and prawn chips.


 

Kathy’s apartment also happened to be next to the Times Square Mall (how fitting), that has the largest 35mm screen in the WORLD, where of course we saw a film (Kingsman, really exciting movie) and ate a ton of caramel popcorn (a Korean favorite).

yeongdeungpo south korea seoul halfdazed sarah kuszelewicz photography

yeongdeungpo south korea seoul halfdazed sarah kuszelewicz photography

yeongdeungpo seoul south korea halfdazed sarah kuszelewicz photography
Korea takes its malls prettyyyy seriously. Malls are as ubiquitous here as Starbucks are in NYC. You can find a mall every few miles, each one seemingly always packed. There are even malls that open only at night, for the hardcore shoppers (but that’s for another post.)


yeongdeungpo south korea seoul halfdazed sarah kuszelewicz photography
The makings of a delicious Korean breakfast sandwich from the food court in Times Square.


yeongdeungpo south korea seoul halfdazed sarah kuszelewicz photography
Look at this BEAUTY: egg, cheese, spring onions, bacon, on a fish cake bun, with sweet teriyaki sauce, kewpie mayo, and topped with bonito flakes. Yuuuuuuup.


yeongdeungpo seoul south korea halfdazed sarah kuszelewicz photography
Another type of mall, really known only to asia, is the underground shopping center. These elaborate mazes of stalls and shops can be found at nearly every major metro stop. They specialize in cheap/fast fashion, beauty products, cell phones, bakeries, pets, whatever you want, they have it.


yeongdeungpo seoul south korea halfdazed sarah kuszelewicz photography

yeongdeungpo seoul south korea halfdazed sarah kuszelewicz photography
The Yeongdeungpo metro station.


yeongdeungpo seoul south korea halfdazed sarah kuszelewicz photography

yeongdeungpo seoul south korea halfdazed sarah kuszelewicz photography
Yeah the Korean underground system is confusing as anything, but compared to the NYC subway system, it was a cakewalk.


yeongdeungpo seoul south korea halfdazed sarah kuszelewicz photography
Kathy in a sea of men.


yeongdeungpo seoul south korea halfdazed sarah kuszelewicz photography
Another mall, the Coex.


yeongdeungpo seoul south korea halfdazed sarah kuszelewicz photography
Yeongdeungpo central, and one of the many entrances to the Yeongdeungpo Market.


yeongdeungpo seoul south korea halfdazed sarah kuszelewicz photography

yeongdeungpo seoul south korea halfdazed sarah kuszelewicz photography

yeongdeungpo seoul south korea halfdazed sarah kuszelewicz photography
As opposed to the busy wide major roads of Seoul, the small side streets are packed with businesses toppled on top of each other.


yeongdeungpo seoul south korea halfdazed sarah kuszelewicz photography

yeongdeungpo seoul south korea halfdazed sarah kuszelewicz photography

yeongdeungpo seoul south korea halfdazed sarah kuszelewicz photography

yeongdeungpo seoul south korea halfdazed sarah kuszelewicz photography

yeongdeungpo seoul south korea halfdazed sarah kuszelewicz photography
Inside the Yeongdeungpo Market.


yeongdeungpo seoul south korea halfdazed sarah kuszelewicz photography
Fresh baked Korean treats and goodies, all for under $1!


Next up… Hongdae!

02/25/2015 – brooklyn and beyond

Posted on February 25, 2015

  I seem to be in this terrible habit of not updating my blog, but I’m optimistic that this will be the last time I take such a long hiatus…. The last 3 months have been some of the busiest and most hectic months of my life. Those who know me (or follow me on social media) know I have been going through some serious life changes. For starters, I left New York City and America (semi) permanently last Thursday. But let’s rewind….

Back in last April, I decided I wanted to move out of New York City. I’d been in the city for the last 5 years, and felt it was time for a change. NYC will always and forever be my home, but sometimes you need to leave the place you’re from to appreciate it even more. I’ve always been a believer in the “go big or go home” mantra, so I decided on not just leaving NYC, but leaving the States. Since 2012 when I studied abroad in England, I’ve always wanted to move back to the UK. However, one of the biggest factors of me staying in New York, along with my friends and family, was my job as a wedding photographer with Chellise. I approached her about my prospective move, and instead of me leaving the studio, we settled on me working for Chellise but in London. This was seriously the *best* possible outcome of our talk, and I was ecstatic. And thus set in motion a series of events to somehow get me across the pond. We researched different visas, scouring forums and blogs on what is best for our type of work, and spoke to many other ex pats and lawyers.

Fast forward 8 months to December. At this point, we had found a small business visa that we felt I qualified for, and had spent the last few months preparing all the paperwork that went into applying. I submitted my application right before Thanksgiving, and 3 weeks later in mid December, I received the email that my visa had been issued. After the shock and tears and high emotion calmed down, I began to realize… how the f*#$ am I going to move?! I had lived in the northeast my entire life, and this was going to be my first major move. Major in that I was going to be leaving all my friends and family, packing my life into 2 suitcases, and living in a foreign country for the first time. I was (still am) completely and utterly overwhelmed. But luckily I have the best support system around, and with the help of all my friends and family, I moved out of my Brooklyn apartment at the end of January. And on February 19, I said goodbye to New York City and boarded a plane to South Korea.

I’m sure you’re like “hey wait, that’s not London!” and yeah, duh, it’s not. I’m in South Korea now for the next 3 weeks, staying with my best friend Kathy, who’s from Seoul. I’m excited to explore another Asian city that I’ve never been to, before making my official move to London on March 10.

Now here’s a recap of what I was doing with my last 3 months in America…


miami beach halfdazed sarah kuszelewicz photography

miami story nightclub halfdazed sarah kuszelewicz photography

I went to Miami with Henah for New Years Eve. Got my last bit of warm weather and sun, ate all the Cuban food, and met a random assortment of celebrities on New Years Eve (including Jaleel White!).




bluebird denver halfdazed sarah kuszelewicz photography

denver biscuit company denver halfdazed sarah kuszelewicz photography

voodoo doughnuts denver halfdazed sarah kuszelewicz photography

denver tattoo halfdazed sarah kuszelewicz photography

denver halfdazed sarah kuszelewicz photography

I visited my cousin who lives in Denver with a group of my cousins. We ate all the Voodoo donuts, drank all the beers, some of us got tats, and explored beautiful Colorado for the first time.



style&air claire millar sarah kuszelewicz photography

style&air claire millar sarah kuszelewicz photography

style&air claire millar sarah kuszelewicz photography

I started shooting fashion and lifestyle again, and started collaborating with Claire Millar, stylist and blogger behind Style & Air. I hated having to leave the awesome gig I had going with Claire, but luckily she plans on coming to visit London this summer.



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A scene from my final wedding in New York City. It was an intimate ceremony in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, right around the corner from my neighborhood. It was the perfect ending to my wedding season.



halfdazed sarah kuszelewicz photography

halfdazed sarah kuszelewicz photography

halfdazed sarah kuszelewicz photography

halfdazed sarah kuszelewicz photography

Of course, having a final departure date set, my friends and family went all out to ensure I had an incredibly packed last few months in America and New York City. I truly soaked up all the city could offer, even embracing the slushy snow. I could not be more grateful for a better home and humans to surround myself with.

halfdazed sarah kuszelewicz photography


I am so excited to start the next chapter of my life, kicking it off in Seoul (during the Lunar New Year, at that!) Stay posted for more of this new journey.

12/02/14 – thailand, day 1: bangkok

Posted on December 2, 2014

sarah kuszelewicz photography travel thailand bangkok

Thailand. I’m not even sure where to begin. While my love and loyalty will always lay with the Philippines as my favorite Asian country, Thailand comes to a very close second. The beaches, the islands, the people, the food (!!!), are all so wonderful and amazing. Not to mention, I celebrated my birthday on this trip, reunited with my best friends who have been scattered throughout the globe. I started the trip off in Bankok. Before I had left, I had heard from many people that Bangkok was a city worth spending a day or two in, not much more. They didn’t like the size of the city (13% of Thailand’s population lives in its 600 sq miles), the casualness of the thai lifestyle, the traffic (jams that rival LA), the heat, the cockroaches, etc etc. However, all of these things are of no annoyance to a New Yorker, and I found Bangkok to be a vibrant, eccentric, and buzzing city. It’s filled with beautiful and historic temples, streets lined with shops and restaurants, the most delicious street food you’ll ever eat, markets that hold any sort of knockoff item you may ever want, and it’s all dirt cheap. Did I mention that before? Bangkok, and Thailand in general, is ridiculously cheap. Like, $1 best pad thai of your life cheap. Couple that with the friendliest people in the world (they can tell you’re a tourist and approach you on the street to offer directions and sightseeing tips) and markets filled with amazing (cheap) clothing, and I am in heaven. Delicious, trendy, curry-filled heaven.

sarah kuszelewicz photography travel thailand bangkokI spent only one night in Bangkok at first, since we were coming back at the end of our trip. I stayed in the Samsen Nai district in the northeast part of the city. It’s a quiet residential area, a bit away from the more touristy parts of town. The hotel I stayed at was the Baan Neung @ Aree 5, very cheap yet luxe.

sarah kuszelewicz photography travel thailand bangkokIt is common (and polite) to remove your shoes before entering Thai households and some establishments.

sarah kuszelewicz photography travel thailand bangkok sarah kuszelewicz photography travel thailand bangkok

– – – – – – – – – – – – Read on…! – – – – – – – – – – – –

09/30/14 – surprise trip to san francisco

Posted on September 30, 2014


It’s been a busy summer, but earlier this June, Alexis, Kathy, and I made a surprise trip to visit Sam in San Francisco. She had literally no idea we were coming, which made the trip all the better.

sarah kuszelewicz photography

sarah kuszelewicz photography

sarah kuszelewicz photographyChillin in the Tenderloin.

sarah kuszelewicz photographyDriving is crazy scary in San Francisco. Honestly how do people have small cars here?

sarah kuszelewicz photography

brenda's french soul food san franciscoBrunch at Brenda’s Soul Food Kitchen in the Tenderloin. Fried catfish benedict was the truth.

brenda's french soul food san franciscoPork belly cheesy grits… oh boy.

brenda's french soul food san franciscoBiscuits and chicken gravy.

sarah kuszelewicz photographyWalking on the water, wearing all back as usual.

sarah kuszelewicz photography

sarah kuszelewicz photography

sarah kuszelewicz photography

sarah kuszelewicz photography

sarah kuszelewicz photographyAlcatraz.

sarah kuszelewicz photographyLychees from an open air market.

sarah kuszelewicz photography

sarah kuszelewicz photography

sarah kuszelewicz photography

sarah kuszelewicz photographyTelegraph Hill.

sarah kuszelewicz photography

sarah kuszelewicz photographyGorgeous day and a picnic in Mission Dolores Park.

sarah kuszelewicz photographyGolden Gate Bridge, duh.

sarah kuszelewicz photography

sarah kuszelewicz photographyBeautiful views at Chrissy Field.

sarah kuszelewicz photography

sarah kuszelewicz photographySome authentic Korean in Koreatown.

sarah kuszelewicz photographyWolfpack, just chillin.

09/15/14 – #southernfriedtour2014: TN to NJ

Posted on September 15, 2014


This is the last post from mine and Henah’s southern road trip. We decided to make the drive from Nashville to New Jersey in one day, a total of 14 hours. We planned a few stops along the way, because 14 hours of straight driving is enough to make anyone insane.

abe lincoln birthplace kentuckyOur first stop off was Hodgenville, Kentucky, the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln. The thing about Kentucky is that it’s really quite beautiful, but it’s literally just farm after farm after farm.

abe lincoln birthplace kentucky

abe lincoln birthplace kentucky

abe lincoln birthplace kentucky

abe lincoln birthplaceThe log cabin that Abe Lincoln was *born* in, a tiny one room structure. It was preserved in this beautiful marble structure. Unfortunately, we couldn’t enter the cabin or touch it.

abe lincoln birthplaceI wonder why they changed the sign from “Please refrain from touching the cabin” to “Please do not touch the cabin.” I guess a sterner warning was necessary.

loretto kentuckyOur second stop was in the tiny town of Loretto, Kentucky…

maker's mark tour kentucky…the amazing and wonderful Maker’s Mark Distillery aka the adult Willy Wonka Factory.

maker's mark distillery

maker's mark distilleryThe whiskey is aged in these charred oak barrels.

maker's mark distillery

maker's mark distilleryThe bottles are all hand-dipped in wax.

maker's mark distilleryThe best part: a tasting of four different types of Maker’s Mark.

maker's mark distilleryGlass ceiling by Dale Chihuly.

lexington kentuckyOur third stop: Lexington, Kentucky for lunch.

hot brown lexington kentuckyAnd that lunch was an incredible Kentucky staple: the “hot brown.” It’s an open faced sandwich, with turkey and ham, covered in some sort of gravy sauce, smothered with cheese, baked in the oven, and topped with a fried green tomato. It’s only fitting that this was my last meal in the South.

west virginia sunsetAnd a beautiful West Virginia sunset to end one of the greatest road trips.

09/10/14 – #southernfriedtour2014: nashville, part 2

Posted on September 10, 2014


We started our second day in Nashville touring the Parthenon. No really, it’s a full scale replica of the Athens Parthenon, except it’s in the middle of Tennessee.

parthenon nashville

parthenon nashville

parthenon nashvilleNashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railway locomotive at Centennial Park.

parthenon nashville

peace love little donuts nashvilleDonut heaven at Peace, Love, & Little Donuts in downtown Nashville.

peace love little donuts nashvilleI got chocolate chip cookie dough, samoa, and maple bacon mini donuts. Mini donuts mean I can eat 20 and feel ok about it.

loveless cafe nashvilleThe famous Loveless Cafe. The wait was TWO AND A HALF HOURS, so we just stopped, took a picture, then bounced.

loveless cafe nashvilleA wall of famous celebrities and country music stars who have visited the Loveless.

jeni's ice cream nashvilleDessert that night from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream, a place known for its innovative flavors and insanely creamy ice cream.

jeni's ice cream nashvilleI got “Bangkok Peanut,” which was an elevated peanut flavor with thai spices and basil, and “World’s Milkiest Chocolate,” which tasted as decadent as it sounded. These two little scoops cost $5 but the ice cream was so rich, it was the perfect size.

pancake pantry nashvilleBreakfast the next morning at Pancake Pantry, arguably Nashville’s most famous breakfast spot. This was the line at 7am.

pancake pantry nashvilleAt least they provide coffee for the patrons.

pancake pantry nashvilleHenah’s nutella crepe. It was delicious, but nothing we couldn’t find at any creperie in NYC.

pancake pantry nashvilleMy sweet potato pancakes, however, were something really unique. They come with cinnamon cream syrup, a sugary milky housemade concoction. The pancakes had an interesting sweet & savory flavor, and mixed with the cinnamon cream syrup, they were extraordinary. Also, we shared a plate of the homefries, which were insanely good. This place is delicious but really only worth it if you get there early and beat the line!

09/09/14 – #southernfriedtour2014: nashville, part 1

Posted on September 9, 2014


Next stop, Nashville! The first spot we visited here was Parnassus Books, an independent bookstore that’s considered one of the best in the world.

Parnassus Books Nashville

Parnassus Books Nashville

Parnassus Books Nashville

Parnassus Books Nashville

nashville donut shopAmazing glazed donut from Donut Den, right around the corner from Parnassus Books.

downtown nashvilleBroadway, aka “Music City,” is the most lively/touristy spot of Nashville.

downtown nashville

downtown nashville

Rocket Fizz Candy Shop NashvilleRocket Fizz Candy Shop in downtown Nashville.

Rocket Fizz Candy Shop Nashville

downtown nashville

downtown nashville

downtown nashville

downtown nashville

henah parikh

marche nashvilleBrunch the next day at Marche Artisan Foods.

marche nashville

marche nashvilleCroissant french toast. Mhmmm.