10 Quick Facts About Korea

Korea

In light of the breaking news this week that North Korea’s weirdly androgynous leader has passed away, I thought I would do everyone a public service and put together ten key facts about Korea so you can seem smart without having to wade through all those newspaper articles.

 

  1. Korea is believed to have been written between the years 610 and 632.
  2. Contrary to popular belief, Muhammad is not believed to have written Korea, instead it is believed that he dictated Korea to his companions, who then transcribed it.
  3. Scholars of Korea believe that it contains prophesies that can exist in no other book written by humans.
  4. Korea…what? What do you mean I researched the wrong word?
  5. Look, just shut up, I’m doing my thing here.
  6. Korea is divided into 114 chapters, known as suras, which…wait that doesn’t sound right.
  7. What the fuck is a Koran?
  8. Where is Korea again? It’s up by Russia, right?
  9. I don’t know…they probably eat fish or something.
  10. Stop looking at me! What am I, the tour guide?! For the love of god I try and do something nice for you people and this is the thanks I get…just forget it!

Your Holiday Guide to New York

It’s that time of year again, when going below 55th street means participating in a mosh pit and traffic stands still for about four weeks. Ah, yes, the holidays in New York.

I have a handy guide to help me keep my sanity through these times..there might be some secondary benefit for you as well but that isn’t really the point:

I have lived on the island of Manhattan for ten years now and every year there is a massive influx of tourists and visitors and merry-makers during the holidays.  People come for many reasons and to enjoy a wide variety of activities and so I’ve decided to put together some of my thoughts in order to help out all these weary pilgrims who make the journey to my fair city.

1.  STAY THE FUCK AWAY FROM THE TREE:

Seriously.  Please. It’s a tree.  Yes it’s actually quite pretty and yes it’s very large but you don’t understand what you’re doing when you go visit the stupid thing. The foot traffic around Rockefeller Center creates a chain reaction that snarls traffic up in all directions. I don’t want a bus ride across the park to take two hours just because you want to see some lights.

Look.  Here is the location of the tree:

tree-location

Now here is my estimation of the area that becomes affected by congestion due to tree traffic:

tree-traffic

Please don’t go near the tree. I’m sick of telling my cab drivers to take the long way through Nicaragua to avoid traffic when I’m trying to get across town.

2. STAY THE FUCK AWAY FROM CHINATOWN:

Chinatown isn’t known for it’s fast moving foot traffic under the best of circumstances but during this time of year it becomes another thing entirely. Somehow all of humanity stopping and pointing at the little shops that sell weird toys and disgusting fruits manages to bend time or something so that I seriously think the foot traffic actually starts to move backwards. And if you’re in a car just forget about it.

You think I’m kidding?

Here is a shot of Chinatown in June:

Chinatown Dialogue

Just try to imagine it when it’s crowded with holiday traffic. Occasionally I like to go there and get dumplings with family this time of year. Off limits.

3. STAY THE FUCK AWAY FROM ANYWHERE I MIGHT WANT TO GO DRINKING:

There is a bar in Murray Hill called Rolf’s. This is what Rolf’s looks like (this was taken with my phone so sorry for the quality):

rolfs

You’re waiting for a punchline, aren’t you?

There isn’t one. Rolf’s is its own punchline. Around the holidays the owners go completely out of their minds and put up more decorations than, to be honest, the actual tree probably has. Rolf’s is known far and wide as the bar where Christmas goes to projectile vomit then die.

You may go to Rolf’s. The heat from the lights and the general creepiness of the dolls they hang up make it hard to last more than two beers there during the holidays.

Oh. Here are some of the dolls:

rolfs-dolls

One year some of the dolls had mustaches.

Maybe lasting two beers would be stretching it.

Feel free to crowd into this place as, even if I do go there, I won’t be staying long.

Otherwise the rest of the bars are off limits.

4. NOW THAT I THINK ABOUT IT, JUST STAY THE FUCK AWAY FROM NEW YORK ENTIRELY:

Honestly. It’s closed or something. And they built a wall around the tree this year. Here look:

tree-wall

It’s bedlam.

Stay away.

If you want to you can gaze at this picture of the tree. That should satisfy:

the-tree

It really is pretty, isn’t it? And when you catch a glimpse of it as you turn the corner and look down that long alley of evergreens and statues and then walk in close to where the skating rink is and smell the chestnut vendors…

God damn it.

Okay. You can come to see the tree.

Just, you know, try and keep it down while you’re here.