Top 10 Things I Did While in Korea

1) Seoul Metro transit system. My routine would normally be take the bus to Gyeongbokgung station and take the subway. Typical travel time would be 30-45 min to get you where you need to go to most places but can take an hour or more depending upon distance and waiting on the train. Also, it can take a few minutes to transfer to different lines because you have to walk awhile to get there and then there’s stairs and crowds.

2) Korean traditional style food and teahouse. I ate a lot of good food and tried traditional style dishes about 3 times or so. I still prefer K-BBQ but the tea house at Kyeung in in Insadong was a pleasant experience.

3) Partied in Hongdae til 6am. I made new random friends. Theres so much nightlife but Thursday Party, Cocky Pub, Club FF and Mike’s Cabin were foreigner friendly and tons of fun. You just need an ID or passport. I always used my US passport card.

4) Korean war museum (Free). You need a good 3-4 hours because it’s very comprehensive. I got to learn a lot about not only the Korean War but prior to that as well.

5) Train to Busan. The KTX which takes you from Seoul Station to Busan Station takes 2 hrs; 45 min and makes like 4 stops along the way. Costs like W54,000 one way. I recommend the Yongungsa Temple (Free) and the BUTI bus tour W15,000.

6) About over a year ago, I met a Korean waitress at a restaurant in DC. I talked with her for a bit and thought she was really cool so I got her contact info. Fast forward to my time in Korea, I end up going out for someone’s going away dinner and connected with a Korean girl there who is coincidentally the best friend of the Korean waitress I met in DC over a year ago. She moved back to Korea and I ended up reuniting with her again in Seoul! Reminds you that it’s a small world!

7) I went to two Korean music festivals: Greenplugged Seoul Festival in Nanji Han River Park and the Seoul Jazz Festival in Olympic Park. I got to see my favorite Hip-Hop and R&B artists such as Jay Park, Dean, Crush, Zion.T and Zico.

8) Inwangsan Mountain. I went hiking on the mountain a few days while in Seoul and it gives you a great scenic view of Seoul from the top. Don’t forget your camera!

9) Shopping in Seoul. You goto Insadong for art and antique souvenirs such as name stamps and handmade bags while you goto Dongdaemun for expensive and cheap fashionable clothes. Sellers in Dongdaemun malls can be more aggressive in getting you to buy their stuff. Itaewon has pretty cheap leather stores and a lambskin jacket can run you $250.

10) Met Talk To Me in Korean’s host and founder, Hyunwoo. I’ve spent many hours listening to their podcasts, watching their Youtube videos and studying from their lessons. With this, I was able to practice my Korean with local people. Although, I still struggle with listening comprehension and pronouncing certain things, it was nice exposure and only motivates me more to become fluent.

Top 10 Things I Learned in Korea

IMG_1148
Worst quality selfie taken at Gold Bar in Itaewon

Hey people! I’m back from my three week trip in Korea where I spent it mostly in Seoul and a few days in Busan. It was my first time since I was born in ’85 when I was “sold and exported” aka adopted from my motherland (I kid, but not really). There’s a lot of places to see like museums, mountains, palaces, bookstores and markets. I’m so jealous at how efficient and clean the Seoul Metro system is. The DC metro has nothing on it. There’s so many good food options, mostly Korean food and it’s cheaper than back home and it’s a lot more better tasting and customer service is better.

It was a great experience to finally be closer to my roots and see how the culture is nowadays. I must say it’s a great feeling being part of the majority crowd for once. I don’t think most people know how that feels to be on both ends of the spectrum. But I got to meet a lot of interesting people throughout my time in Seoul but the most appealing to me was the opportunity to talk to fellow Korean adoptees from all over the world such as the Netherlands, France, New York, Colorado and Minnesota to name a few.

It was such a relief to be able to talk to other adopted people you can relate to and that understand where you are coming from. I believe this is a rarity back home in the DMV. Amongst some of the adoptees, we’ve had interesting discussions on the progress of their birth family searches, revealed how unique each of story is and talked about how challenging the process for birth family searches can be for most people. In addition, I got to see the perspective of many Korean adoptees living in Korea and how difficult it may be to adapt from not being fluent in the language and adjusting to the economy and the culture. It’s so intriguing to see how different each of us were raised but how some things are so similar to develop us as individuals to a certain point where we’re socially aware of who we are and of our surroundings.

Based on conversations with many people that live in Korea, the country still seems to be very prejudice, classist and sexist society. We had agreed that this is mostly due to the older generation’s way of thinking. Korean Americans (or gyopos, as I’ve learned while there) and adoptees are still slightly looked down upon but it has become more open than what it has been because of the millennial generation being more prevalent nowadays.

IMG_1094.JPG
Hongdae at Night

But anyways, here’s the Top 10 Things I Learned in Korea:

1) Seoul Metro. The subway is cleaner and more efficient than the Washington, DC metro. You can well informed displays of what the current stop is and what the next one is in, English, Korean and Chinese. Also, they give you a status of where the next train is, if it’s nearby, how long ’til the next one and pretty funny safety drawings on what you shouldn’t be doing. Inside of each subway station, there are convenient stores, shops and restrooms inside! You can buy that new Samsung phone case while also picking up a coffee while you transfer.

2) Meet Ups. People use metro stops and their exits as reference points for meeting up. But keep in mind the exits because there are multiple ones that can take take time to walk to each one as each exit takes you to different directions on the road.

3) Curfew. Although bars and clubs stay open anywhere between 3a-10a the metro always closes around 12a even on the weekends, therefore you’ll have to know how to ask a taxi driver to take you home because they run all night. But you can also wait til 5a for the metro to open or take a rest at a jimjilbang which is a Korean spa and sauna.

4) Plenty of 24/7 Convenience Stores. Korea has 7 Elevens, CVS and GS25. The CVS is called CU because the V is difficult to pronounce in Korean. Inside these stores, you’ll find a decent selection of beer and liquor but a wider selection of types of instant noodles. Also, you can find snacks to include: Pringles, shrimp chips, kimbap, spam-infused food.

5) Western Food with Korean Flair. Most Western-style restaurants that serve American food will often add a Korean-style taste which is either some type of sweet sauce or added sugar. For instance, bulgogi burgers and bulgogi pizza can taste pretty sweet. Even the chicken quesadilla I ordered had some sweet and savory sauce on it. Surprisingly, the guacamole tasted fresh and legit!

6) Safety. Koreans perception of safety and danger is different from the US. When walking around Seoul and Busan, I noticed it being real safe at night. You’ll see women walk by themselves quite often. I’ve rarely seen homeless people (maybe 2 or 3) and seen like two fights amongst locals and foreigners but this is typical anywhere you go out late at night in a party scene. I talked to a few local women and they say its really safe however rape has occurred from time to time based on what they read and see in the news. But more commonly is sexual harassment in the workplace. People seem to think metro cities in the US are more dangerous, which is probably true. I was asked if I had owned a gun which is a strange question.

7) Cider vs. Sprite. The Korean version of Sprite, Chilseng Cider (칠성사이다) tastes wayyy better than Sprite, because it uses natural sugar. You can’t find Sprite in as many places at restaurants and convenience stores but they do serve Sprite on Korean Air though.

8) Name Stamps. Koreans still use name stamps, called dojang (도장) when signing official documents. You can find shops all over Insadong that can customize engrave your stamp with wood or stone. Costs anywhere between W30,000-W150,000 won. You can get cool designs with dragons and flowers and get to pick your stamp made of wood and choose amongst ten or so different types of stones. I ended up getting a wooden one with a dragon design and had my Korean name done.

9) Yellow Dust Ain’t No Joke. If you have sensitive lungs or get sick easily, be prepared! The quality of air can change dramatically through out the day because of the Yellow dust and pollution from China and Korean. I would definitely consider on buying a mask that’s KR95 or N95 rated and above. These are the white looking ones. Don’t buy the black ones unless you wear it over the white masks. The black masks are simply used for fashion purposes and does nothing to protect you from the pollution. You might start noticing the air change when you’re out and about during the day when it’s warm. You might smell something like chemicals or have trouble breathing and have an itch in the back of your throat. I recommend downloading the AirVisual app and keeping a mask on your person when going out. Masks can cost about W1500-W3000.

10) Dating Scene. Last but not least, a few number of Koreans use the online dating apps, Coffee Meets Bagel and Tinder in Korea. This is mostly to meet other foreigners. There are some Korean dating apps strictly for locals as well but I never got to around using them because they’re probably only in Korean. But I had gotten way more matches on CMB within 3 weeks than I had ever received through my three years living in the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia) area. However, most Koreans seem to still do blind dating, called sogaeting (소개팅) but a lot of Koreans don’t seem to like it. Some Koreans are cautious on online dating and therefore don’t use it because they don’t know the person and some are open because it’s common amongst foreigners and they’ve tried it before. When meeting Korean people in-person, it may or may not be difficult. It really depends upon the dynamic and if you and the other person are sociable (or speak enough Korean). Many of the foreigner-friendly clubs and bars are open so you can do the bump and grind and talk but still remember your manners and don’t act like an idiot!

Less Than 3 Weeks ‘Til Korea

Seoul-Palaces-8937

The countdown has begun! I am 3 weeks away until I’ll be stepping foot in Seoul, South Korea, the city of birth, the home away from home, my motherland. I haven’t been back for over 30 years since I was born! That’s a loooong time I know! The reason…well… there are multiple reasons why I haven’t been back:

1) Because my parents are cheap and never wanted to pay for my plane ticket. A roundtrip plane ticket from Baltimore/Washington, D.C. is about $1,200 USD each. Ok, I can’t put all the blame on them but I was broke for awhile too so there…

broke

2) The second reason is because I wanted to brush up on my Korean language skills because before I planned to goto Korea my language skills were horrible. For about two years now, I’ve been taking Korean Language classes through a language institute and at the Korean Embassy as well as studying through different resources such as Talk To Me In Korean (TTMIK), How To Study in Korean, YouTube, Hello Talk, language exchange sites and etc. It’s tough when you’re not immersed into the culture.

56139927

Here in D.C., you don’t have many Korean folk. When I say D.C., I mean D.C. proper…in the city. It’s mostly interns from China and Korea. There’s some out in Rockville, MD and the most would be around Annandale, VA since it’s known as Korean Town because of many Korean businesses residing out there but it’s not metro accessible and I don’t have a car anymore so naw….that’s not going to work. Plus those Koreans I engage with, we end up talking in English anyway. It’s not like Spanish where you have an abundant amount of Latinos everywhere and were born speaking it in there families. It’s funny how it’s not quite the same for Asian people. But anyway…

3) The third reason is because I wanted to save up some paid time off to be able to stay in Korea for awhile. I was shooting for 4 weeks but ended up settling for 3 weeks but I think that’s a decent amount to start with to see if I like it and to interact with the people there and become immersed into the culture.

Funny-Travel-Memes-1

It’d be interesting to see how I’ll fit in since I do, obviously, look Korean but I’m not Korean, I’m a Korean-American who was born in Seoul but raised in American culture. Also, it’d be cool to see a change for once where I’m not a part of the minority as I’ll be part of the majority! If you ever intend to visit Korea, I highly recommend studying the Korean language, 한글 and the nuances that’s part of the culture. It’s very different from American culture and those outside of the Asian countries.

There’s one book by Seoulistic and TTMIK called, “Survival Korean”. I highly recommend it as it gives you just about everything you need to know to navigate Seoul when at a restaurant, cafe, taxi cab, subway, bus, shopping mall, hair salon, hospital, browsing the web and etc. It also gives you a crash course on how to read and pronounce! I kind of wish I bought this a long time ago because it took like a month to get here and I’ve only been reading for about a week now. A lot of words that I’ve learned are sometimes hard to remember when you don’t attribute to something can be used on a repeated basis. But the book applies grammar and conjugations to everyday language. It has a lot of useful information although I was a disappointed with the dating section as it was only two pages. Like, really guys?

maxresdefault

A second book I recommend is the Lonely Planet Korean Phrasebook & Dictionary since it can fit in a back pocket or purse which makes it easy for traveling unlike the Survival Korean book. It has at least two more pages on dating but there’s even more content squeezed into this smaller book! One thing that bothers me though in the book is when they include the word “dongshin” (동신) which means “you” in English but Koreans don’t use this often. You’ll hear it when someone is angry and is cussing at someone or in a K-Pop love song to express their love but that’s about it. In Korean culture, you address someone by their name or title.

My Trip to Colorado

지난 주말에 빨리 갔어요! 근데 재미있었어요! 저는 지난 목요일에 덴버, 콜로라도에 여행 갔어요. 덴버는 별로 안 나쁜데 놀랍게도 음식을 좋았어요. 콜로라도 스프링은 아름다운 산들 있었어요. Garden of the Gods하고 Seven Falls에 봤어요. 그리고 날씨에 추운데 친절한 사람들을 만났어요. 콜로라도에 날씨 추워서 저는 콜로라도에 살지 않을 거예요. 여러분 그럼 다음에!

This past weekend flew by fast!  But it was fun! Last Thursday, I traveled to Denver, Colorado for a work trip. I thought Denver was alright but the food was surprisingly good. Colorado Springs had some beautiful mountains and I checked out the Garden of the Gods (meh) and Seven Falls (recommended!). The weather was cold but I met some friendly people while I was there. Because of the weather, I couldn’t see myself living there. Until next time!

P.S. I am planning to goto Korea this May, so I’ve been practicing my Korean more. I figured my blog would be a good place to start. Therefore, you might see English and Korean posts.

Thailand… My First Trip to Asia

Just got back from Thailand ya’ll! What a crazy trip! I had six days, six nights to go exploring and thanks to my friend, we got quite a bit accomplished in short time. I had spent my time in Chiang Mai and Bangkok to see some temples, watch the elephants play, try out some food, watch some Muay Thai and party a bit (not a lot and there’s a reason why that I’ll get into later). It was really humid there and I thought D.C. was bad but it was great that it didn’t really rain while I was there (I think it did once while I was indoors somewhere). It was cool to see my money stretch out as it is approximately 36 baht:1 USD so I was able to save quite a bit because my friend let me crash at his place (which was a high end hotel).

Anyways, as far as food goes, you can’t really go wrong with restaurant choices in Chiang Mai as there were less American restaurants in comparison to Bangkok where there’s plenty. Bangkok was kind of a hit or miss on food choices and it was kind of a struggle in finding good ones since they don’t use Yelp and rely on Trip Advisor or Google Reviews. The local food carts were everywhere around Thailand and it was cheap and good! I think you start seeing them around 7ish in the morning. Don’t expect to see pancakes or sausage biscuits with egg and cheese but more of the same food you would find throughout the afternoon such as pork, chicken or beef on a stick with sticky rice packs that makes it easy to munch on or fresh fruit like mangos (mmm…).

For those on a budget, I’d stay away from the tourist traps like the upscale malls (in which there are plenty but really nice inside), Hooters (ok looking women but pricey), Subway, Starbucks, McDonalds, Burger King and etc. They’re about the same price, more or less in comparison to America. A lot of the local spots will have fresher ingredients and you’ll spend way less. But after exploring around different provinces around the city, I did notice a lot of locals (not just expats and tourists), usually the middle to upper class going to a lot of these types of American places. But for myself, I wanted to experience what I can’t find back home, even though I did end up going to some of these American places. Shame! What can I say, these companies have capitalized and are indeed everywhere you travel to! I tried pad see ew, pad thai, spicy Thai curry chicken, curry soups, fish and ginger chicken dishes at about 4 different restaurants and they were all good.

I was surprised to see so many 7-Elevens around Thailand! Apparently, according to Wikipedia, they’re the second country to have the most 7-Elevens in the world. It was convenient and definitely different from the ones back here in the states as you’d find brands and foods that you wouldn’t normally find (Thai coffee and green tea flavored everything). Also, they have an interesting rewards program where they give you Sanrio stickers to use for 7-Eleven credit towards a lunch box or pencil holder.

On another note, sex tourism is definitely high in Thailand. I didn’t want to get caught being drunk around the streets at night because of two reasons: 1) ladyboys and 2) being robbed. Apparently, it was quite calmer than usual because of King Bhumibol’s mourning where people wear black and neutral colored clothing and do good deeds to pay respects to the Thai King. Many establishments would close early like 11 or 12 AM instead of 2 or 3 AM or even 6 AM. But many of the strip club bars and massage parlors would still open early like 9 AM and close around 1 AM to 2 AM. Around Nana province, there were a lot of ladyboys standing around in front of parlors trying to lure you inside or freelancers around bars and corners. Many of them you can tell that they are a ladyboy while some are pretty passable and I wouldn’t want to end up in the awkward situation (insert creepy eye emoji here). But apparently, there is a huge market for them, hence the heavy saturation around Thailand. Not my cup of tea…

As a social experiment, I used Tinder to see what the online dating scene was like. I never go beyond seeing what the match results are because I’ve had bad luck with online dating and prefer face-to-face approach but to each is own. Of course, using guesstimates, 50% were ladyboys while approximately 40% were local women and 10% were tourists or expats. Many of the ladyboy profiles will use terms like: LB, ladyboy, trans while Thai females would use terms like: 100% Thai or Not a ladyboy. Also, many of the ladyboys and women that are soliciting sexual encounters would include a Line ID/number. For the male that’s looking for love that’s a female, don’t go expecting to find Ms. Right in the streets of Thailand.

As for the culture, it was great to see the architecture of Buddhist temples in Chiang Mai and the Grand Palace. These are easily one day trips but the elephant park felt a little long and could be cut down to a few hours rather than the entire day. But there are definitely many places to go shopping whither it is night markets or malls. If you’re looking for a deal, stick with the night markets where you’ll have to haggle. That’s one thing about Thailand. Everything is about haggling whither it is taxis, street vendors, tourist attractions and etc. Be prepared to talk them down. But as for the locals that I met, they were generally friendly people but many of them were very money driven and social status is a big thing and the color of your skin is as well. I guess most metropolitan areas has its pretentious side to it and as a first time visitor in Thailand and Asia in general (not counting my birth), it was interesting to see how it’s very similar to places in the states.

On a final note, I had a great time and would gladly come back again but would have to see more of the country side but before I return I must explore its surrounding countries like Cambodia and the Phillipines.

My Visit to Chicago

Last Wednesday, I finally got a chance to explore Chitown, the Windy City formally known as Chicago in Illinois where Al Capone was known to run the Chicago Outfit and is home of the sports teams, Chicago Cubs and Bears and home of the egotistical yet talented Hip-Hop artist, Kanye West. It also has a high sales tax of 10.25% which is higher than New York and Washington, D.C. with many food shops claiming to have the best or original Chicago-style Hot Dog, deep dish Pizza or Italian Beef.

I had about five days to check out some places with three of them having to spend time at one of my field offices for work. But I would say I got a solid taste of what Chicago had to offer. I was able to go see the Navy Pier, the Bean, The Riviera and Green Mill Cocktail Lounge. I highly recommend all of those. On Thursday, I got to see a performance by the electronica band, M83 at the Riviera which had a nice venue but was packed full of people. The Pier is great for getting an awesome view of the city landscape and it was decent weather on that Saturday that I went. The Bean is the Bean and I don’t think any other city has a Bean that’s like this one. But my favorite attraction was most likely Green Mill because of the nostalgic decor from the ’20s and such a great ambiance and diverse crowd of music lovers. However, my top priority for visiting Chitown was to see what the hype was about with the food!

First restaurant I got to try was Aloha Poke (1st pic) and I ended up going there like three times for lunch. It’s located in the Chicago French Market accompanied with various restaurants you can try out See my Yelp Review!  Next, was Portillo’s for their Italian Beef which is so tender and juicy! I had meant to go back but I had other spots on my list to check off. On that Thursday, I finally got to try a deep dish from Art of Pizza which sells by the slice. I discovered later on while at Giordano’s that it was a bad move because you get fresher pizza as a pie but you have to wait like 45 minutes. I had wanted to try Lou Malnati’s but I don’t think I could handle pizza for three days. So I can only compare Giordano’s and Art of Pizza in which I thought Giordano’s was a little better because it was fresher, crispier and cheesier. The last restaurant I went to was on Sunday, Saved by the Max which is a gimmicky pop-up restaurant that models the Max diner from Saved By the Bell. Inside was pretty small and not busy but had 90’s swag all around. The Eggs Benedict were actually good but they had such a limited menu and their fryer was broken!

Overall, it was a fun time and I was able to experience the Cubs winning their first championship since 1946 so there were a lot of drunk and energetic people after the game.  The train system was efficient, reliable and ran 24 hours which is a plus. I was able to get around the city via train and bus majority of the time but traffic can suck during rush hour and events. For my stay, I had done two nights at The Gwen hotel which is under Starwood (since I’m a SPG) and another two at HI Chicago Hostel in downtown which is probably the cleanest and spacious hostel I’ve ever stayed in. As for the people, they were relatively friendly but it isn’t really diverse within the city when comparing to Toronto, New York or D.C. I noticed that Asians mostly stayed outside of the city like in Rosemont and that poverty was bad and majority that I had encountered were Black people. The weather was quite chilly during October and if I were to move to a colder area it would be Toronto or New York. So yeah, I don’t see myself living in Chicago but it was a nice visit.

 

Places To Go

I feel like work is overbearing me, and what is life when you are not even living? ~ Yuna

Have you ever felt like you needed to get away from it all? “Places To Go” by Yuna is a good R&B-Hip-hop tune that summarizes the wander lusting individual that could use a change in their life because they may find work to be stressful at times or whatever you may be doing is occupying your time from what you rather be doing.

For instance, I’ve lived on the East Coast of the U.S. for nearly all of my life with majority of my time being raised in Maryland and living around the D.M.V. area. I would always hear stories of friends and acquaintances that had traveled to various places, studied abroad and lived here… lived there. I’ve always envied those people and had felt stuck to my surroundings. Why? Well, when I was younger, my parents would work hard to maintain in middle class living with a conservative lifestyle to save up for a decent house, my college fund and any contingencies that would arise. My parents would never take me anywhere on a plane and rarely anywhere out of state via car because they would always be working and rather save that money for future plans. Even then, it took me awhile to get on my own two feet with completing my education and finding a decent job.

At this point in life I’m all about living my life by traveling. Years 29 and 30 have been some of the most memorable years in my life because I’ve traveled to a lot of places I’ve never been to before such as Colombia, Brasil, Greece, Chile, San Diego, CA, Austin, TX, Montreal and Toronto. I got the opportunity to meet new people and have different experiences that I never had. My initial New Year’s Resolution for 2016 was to travel to a different destination on a monthly basis. I had to change this goal to a monthly average because I had begun to run out of paid time off and obviously, it gets expensive to travel after awhile. But I intend to do another post at the end of the year that summarizes all of the destinations I visited throughout December 2015 and all of 2016.

One thing is certain… I can use a change of scenery. Like I mentioned above, I’ve always been an East Coaster and am considering on becoming a West Coaster (by living in SoCal) or even a Far East Coaster (living in Seoul, South Korea). Most importantly, I’ve never grown up in a Korean community. I’d like to immerse myself in the culture. My potential game plan is to live in Seoul for about 3 years and then move to Los Angeles or Orange County for a few more years and see where I stand then.

Lets compare the advantages and disadvantages with moving to SoCal and Seoul:

1) SoCal has nice weather and beaches. They also have excellent food and a heavy Korean population. Oh, but there are also a lot of pop culture conventions that I can attend and most people seem more laid back than here in D.C. I also have friends all through California so I wouldn’t completely be alone. On the downside, I’d have to purchase a car again to drive everywhere while inevitably getting stuck in traffic. But… this would also allow me to get a bike again. Oh, how I miss riding my motorcycle! As for work, there aren’t a lot of IT jobs in comparison to San Francisco and D.M.V. area so it may be more difficult to land a job quickly.

2) Seoul is a way more efficient city with subway stops everywhere (more than NYC and DC combined) so I wouldn’t have to buy a car. I hear the food is great and is cheaper while clothes can be bit more expensive. I’d be heavily immersed in the Korean culture but would be away from my family and friends. Although, it’s possible that I’ll have military buddies that are stationed nearby. But I’ve always been the “lone wolf” persona. Probably because I was raised the only child and an adoptee at the same time? But I’m pretty good at making new friends so I don’t see an issue for short term. As for jobs, there are plenty in Seoul and having federal government experience and being bi-lingual will play as an advantage.

Dragon Con 2016 Summary

It has been a few days since I’ve posted! I just got back from Atlanta, GA for Dragon Con 2016 and back to work I go. Oh, how Tuesday now feels like a Monday today *sighs*. But it was another awesome year of seeing many creative and clever costumes. Some of the ones that stood out to me the most were: Galactus-Deadpool mash up, Asajj Ventress from Star Wars, gender-bent Joker from Batman, Mysterio from Spider-Man, comic version of Ra’s Al Ghul with the League of Assassins, a very detailed Armored Batman from Batman v. Superman, an electrocuted rendition of Darth Vader from Return of the Jedi and some cosplays from Diablo. Based on what I’ve seen this year, the popular theme seemed to have been Pokemon and Harley Quinn with the Pokemon Go craze and the release of the Suicide Squad movie. Surprisingly, there weren’t as many Deadpools as last year. I had cosplayed as Ben Reilly-Scarlet Spider and was in the Superhero Costuming Forum Marvel photo shoot and the Spider-verse one on Sunday. From walking around all of the hotels, some of the popular cosplayers that I noticed were: Yaya Han, LeeAnna Vamp, Riddle, Hip-Hop Trooper and Lonstermash. This year I had stayed at Hotel Indigo which was built earlier this year. It was really nice inside and the rooms are spacious and bathrooms were  as well plus it’s conveniently located right on Peachtree Blvd. so it’s a short walk to the con hotels like the Hyatt and Marriott. It was good seeing some friends I made last year and making some new ones! Check out some of the photos I shot from Dragon Con and for more, visit my Flickr.