Category Archives: Travel

My PyeongChang Diary (Part 7)

Those who know me know that I like meat. I’m an unrepentant carnivore.

26So, naturally, I have spent much of the scant recreational time I have during the Olympic Games in search of the best Korean barbeque available in the PyeongChang area.

Living in Los Angeles, I’m acquainted with the tradition of Korean barbeque – but I figured that, being in the motherland, I could treat myself to the very best. My first two attempts at local Korean BBQ dining were good – but neither was a meat-eater’s home run.

1aAnd then, last night, I found — and enjoyed — Korean BBQ heaven.

Our cameraman Corey found the place. It was a 20-minute cab ride from our Phoenix Park hotel – but we were hungry for adventure (and barbequed beef) so we were down for the excursion.

What follows is a pictorial progression through a beef lover’s Korean BBQ pilgrimage. Vegan’s need not apply…

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This is the downstairs dining area. You’ll note that there are only Koreans here at this point in the evening. That is absolutely a good sign. We’ve come to the right place.

5This night was Korean Lunar New Year. And the South Koreans were enjoying one of their biggest annual holidays. (See Vietnam’s Tet.) Does the Tet Offensive ring a bell?

We didn’t realize it when we set out, but the restaurant would get very, very busy — and we would have to wait a while to be seated, unlike these folks who shared a special Asian room, with no chairs.

(No shoes, please.)

After dinner, we’d be unable to get a cab ride home because of the busy holiday, but that’s another matter.

The whole evening took 5 hours. But, all in all, it was well worth it!

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The first step in traditional Korean Barbecue is to visit the butcher and buy your cuts of meat.

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This woman knows her meat. She explained that the steer we’d be eating was raised organically, with no hormones, grass fed — and A #1. She was not bullshitting.

We bought our beef BEFORE we cooked it. That’s the way it goes. You buy your meat first, then you get seated — and your drinks and everything else are billed later. Meat is Job #1.

With cameraman Corey in the lead, we hauled out cuts of beef to the upstairs dining room after a 20-minute wait. We were famished — but we anticipated beefy, tasty, spicy joy in our near future.

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The upstairs dining room. It’s getting busy. The meat is about to get cooking…

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Unlike our cold, steel and glass hotel in Phoenix Park, this Korean BBQ place features warm wood and delightful crystal chandeliers — which we would later learn are from the United States!

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Seated across the table from me are my AP, Agatha, and my EP, David. We’re all hungry.

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First come the condiments: onions, garlic, chili paste, peppers, sea salt & other culinary joys.

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Next, they fire up the tabletop grill. The main meat-lovers event is about to go down…

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As the meat grills, you combine ingredients into your bowl — in my case, chili paste, peppers, onions and garlic — so you can plunge your beef bits deep into this spicy heaven.

Next, Corey pulls down the exhaust fan. Otherwise, we’ll all be asphyxiated….

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Our waiter provides some assistance. Everyone is helpful. They all want us to have a great time.

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As our first beef course sears on the grill, our crew poses for a pre-meal photo. We’ve all been working hard — and we’re eager for a great meal. Luckily, David & Corey are Korean BBQ experts.

Corey took over as grillmaster. For those of you who know me from Greek Easter — you can appreciate how much I respect Corey’s Korean BBQ chops!

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Each cut of beef was better than the next — and the last course was the best of all…

Corey was far too modest. His grilling of that last fabulous cut of beef was superb. But our meal was not yet complete. Corey had another great idea…

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At Corey’s suggestion we ordered this. Somehow, all of this tasty goodness boiled down into an incredible, sweet beef and veggie soup.

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And finally, here’s our host. Jean went to college and spent a lot of time in Los Angeles (as have a lot of educated South Koreans we’re met). She returned to South Korea a year ago  and started running this restaurant — recognized on Trip Advisor as the best in PyeongChang.

I’m awarding her an Winter Olympic Gold Medal for the Best Korean BBQ.

All hail, Jean!

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My PyeongChang Diary (Part 6)

It’s Valentine’s Day here in PyeongChang, South Korea (though not in the U.S. quite yet) – and I began the day hoping it would turn out to be a love fest for Shaun White, the greatest Olympic snowboarder who ever dropped into a 22-foot halfpipe.

I could tell right away that the tempo of movement and people and energy here at our Phoenix Snow Park venue had ticked up noticeably from previous days.2

3The view from just outside our edit bay showed that folks were starting to head toward the halfpipe to see if Shaun White could win his third gold medal in four ties. Or whether his Japanese rival, Ayumu Hirano, would carry the day.

Or who knows? Maybe some dark horse rider — perhaps one of the other three young American boarders who qualified for the finals — would surprise us all and snatch the gold medal from the favorites.

4I tramped through the snow toward the halfpipe, negotiating the crowds that had come to share in the excitement – and to be present when Winter Olympic history might be made.

It’s good to be a credentialed member of the press. You get to pass through your own entrance, and skip the lines to a degree.

But, even with credentials, there are times when you’re packed in with the fans. And that’s cool, too. You can feel the buzz.

Small wonder. People have traveled from all over the world to be a part of this day. This event. This moment.6

9I managed to skip the longest section of the line and take an express route to the pipe – passing a Korean band that must have just played to warm up the crowd. There’s always a musical performance before these events. I wished I had gotten to the venue in time to see these guys do what they do.

Arriving at the base of the halfpipe, the size of the crowd was large – and growing. This was clearly the biggest live audience I’ve yet seen at our venue. They all know that Shaun White is in the house. And something cool might be happening.1011

Here’s the halfpipe. If Shaun’s on today – he’s going to write the greatest chapter in the history of Olympic snowboarding in that pipe. Or, maybe he won’t. After all, he finished fourth at Sochi in 2014, just missing the medal podium.Flags

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The people massing at the foot of the halfpipe are an international combination of tourists, athletes and rabid sports fans from around the globe. They come ready to cheer on their national teams — but they appreciate every Olympian’s effort. You really do feel that world peace is possible when in you’re in a group like this. Which may also be part of why these people are here.

CrewAfter the first run, I spotted my camera crew posted on an overlook above the crowd.

Taking advantage of my trusty press credentials yet again, I joined my talented cameraman, Corey, and my excellent associate producer, Agatha, on their perch to witness the final two runs of the finals.25

red gerard gold_1518317350621.png_12905470_ver1.0.jpgIn these finals, the 12 riders get 3 runs. The best score in any of those runs is the one that counts.

Shaun White threw down a great first run, which put him at the top of the leader board. Then Ayumu Hirano posted a score that knocked Shaun down to #2.

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Ayumu Hirano in action in his 2nd run in the PyeongChang halfpipe .

Soon after Ayumu Hirano took the lead, in Shaun’s second run, the Shaun White Coronation Express went off the rails.

27You may not have been able to see it in that video – but the sound of the crowd surely clued you in to the fact that Shaun wiped out mid-run. He would need a clean, stellar third run to best Ayumu Hirano for the gold.

Hirano fell in his third run – and was thus unable to improve upon his lead over Shaun White. To a killer competitor like Shaun, that’s putting blood in the water for a halpipe-eating shark. Here’s my view of Shaun White’s final run of the competition.

imageThat was it. Last ride of the day. Best score of the day. Step up, Mr. White, and accept your third Olympic Gold Medal.

After witnessing that legendary Olympic moment, I was peckish. Luckily, the NBC commissary is not far from the halfpipe, so within minutes I was treated to this…IMG_6209

IMG_6211A Valentine’s Day party!

It always feels like we’re on some far-flung military base and they’re trying to remind us of the comforts and traditions we enjoyed back home.

It’s nice though.

Here’s to all my darling girls: Maura, Emilia, Eva – and most especially, Victoria! I miss you all.

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My PyeongChang Diary (Part 5)

Dateline: Phoenix Park, PyeongChang, South Korea – Sunday February 11, 2018.

Today, on the Olympic Slopestyle snowboard course, two guys from Cleveland shared a moment of Olympic history. To be sure, one of us did far more than the other. But in the end, your author may have played a larger part than anyone might have imagined.

1We begin in the morning. I went through security at Phoenix Park shortly before 10:00 AM – the scheduled start of the men’s slopestyle finals.

As always, after the screening software read my credentials — and my shabby, unkempt photo and vital info flashed upon the screen — I was granted passage onto the venue.

I could tell right away that the environment at the venue was very different from the days before.

There were a LOT more people — many, many more.

An Olympic finals event was about to take place.

Medals were going to be earned.

And many people from across the world were gathering to see if their beloved athletic countrymen would lay claim to gold, silver or bronze.5
7Up until today, there were no crowds at our venue. The only people I saw were NBC employees, OBS folks (Olympic Broadcast employees) and Olympic athletes and coaches. Now, I joined masses of enthusiastic fans as we made our way up the mountain to the grandstand erected at the bottom of the slopestyle course.

As I schlepped my way uphill, I was gratified to see that the police were in force.

They walked up the hill with us and they were stationed at the base of the venue. Nobody seemed concerned for their safety. I didn’t even think about it. The world was gathering to have fun and share the joy of winter sports. And we all appreciated the vigilant security folk.9

8I also appreciated the woven burlap mats that were laid out for us as we made our way up the mountain. Back in Mammoth, California a month ago, I must admit that I did a lot of slipping and sliding on my way up to the halfpipe finals. These burlap mats made our ascent so much easier – and safer.

Up and up and up we went.

This is a mountain we’re climbing, after all.

And if our climb wasn’t as steep as it was — just how dramatic would this slopestlye finals run be?12

Every step we took promised greater drama on the course above.

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Arriving at the base of the slopestyle run, I could see both the course above…

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…the grandstand below.

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And, of course, the boisterous international crowd — proudly representing their counties and getting psyched up to cheer on their nation’s athletes.

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24Unlike many Winter Olympic events, it’s impossible for the live audience at the slopestyle venue to watch the athletes as they make their way through the course.

Those of us in live attendance at the event must watch on video as the athletes make their way down the course.

red gerard gold_1518317350621.png_12905470_ver1.0.jpgWe can catch fleeting glimpses of the boarders in the distance far above us – but it’s only when they launch themselves into the air on that final jump that they come fully into view, rocketing down the hill to the finish.

Sometimes they arrive at the finish upright. Often, they crash land right in front of us. It certainly makes for a dramatic finish.

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1Of course, I was primarily interested in the prospects of the one American in the final: 17-year old Redmond “Red” Gerard.

I met him this past January in Mammoth, California.

When we interviewed Red in Mammoth, the Cleveland native (Rocky River, to be exact) told us that he wasn’t all that into the Olympics.

He was all about the X-Games and the Mountain Dew Tour.

As far as he was concerned, the Olympics were just another contest.

Red’s first two runs spoke to his blasé Olympic attitude. He wiped out both times – displaying none of the free-spirited style, talent, tricks and focus that earned him a spot on the U.S. team – and his berth in the finals. Meanwhile, over the next two rounds, the Canadians in particular were putting down runs that left Red Gerard at the very bottom of the standings going into the final round.

Then Red uncorked the magic in his final run…

gettyimages-916757406red gerard 5_1518324187546.png_12921684_ver1.0.jpg17-year old Red Gerard – too young to vote in the United States – earned our nation’s first Gold Medal in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.

Sure, he put down an amazing final run.

But what part did Red’s fellow Cleveland native play in his unlikely Olympic victory?

This was the shirt that I was wearing underneath all my layers today…

Wahoo

Chief Wahoo’s days may be numbered – but he hung in there long enough to give Red Gerard the winning edge.

Go Red! Go Tribe! Go Cleveland!

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My PyeongChang Diary (Part 4)

I’ve been in South Korea for almost a week now.

Every day, I’ve been tramping to and from our hotel to the Phoenix Park resort where the Olympic snowboarding events are being held – and where we’re making our brief documentary on the 20-year history of Olympic snowboarding. (To be shown before the closing ceremony.)

I’ve also been taking advantage of the hotel’s gym, knocking off some kilometers on the treadmill – and working up a sweat.

Between my gym clothes and the various layers I wear each day to insulate myself from the chilly winter weather in the snow-covered mountains of PyeongChang, it’s time to do my laundry. Two bags full.

But nothing is easy for this innocent abroad.

And, as you’ll see below, the simple task of washing my clothes turned out to be an adventure…

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To do your laundry, you must first FIND the laundry room. My journey of discovery begins in the 6th floor lobby of The White Hotel. Outside, there’s a haze obscuring the mountains. The location of the laundry room will prove no less obscure.

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The sign next to the elevator indicates several points of interest. The laundry room is not among them. In retrospect, that may only seem to be the case because I can’t read Korean.

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The signage in the elevator gets me no closer to my goal. At left, it’s clear that I should not lean up against the elevator door — and that, perhaps, I shouldn’t stick my hand in it. The sign at right is anyone’s guess. Though not a Korean, of course. A Korean would’t have to guess. But I’m at a loss.

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Emerging from the elevator on the lobby level, I arrive first at this room. But it’s clearly not the laundry. It’s the hotel gift shop. It’s very pretty — but I’ve never seen anyone in it: not a customer or even a clerk. Many very artsy objects are displayed. The whole setup is a mystery to me. So is the location of the laundry room.

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Next to the gift shop is the business center. I have never seen business stuff being done there. Usually, I see one or two Koreans reading there. (Perhaps enjoying Sendak?) And this morning, I saw a gold medal skier walk into this room with a fifth of scotch and a glass. Business? Maybe.

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Moving down the hallway, the signage directs me to several rooms — but not to the laundry room.

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Past the restaurant and banquet rooms — at the end of the hallway — is another elevator. Convinced the laundry room is not on the lobby level, I descend into the basement.

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I rode the elevator with this Korean man. He was bringing kegs of beer to the lobby beer garden. Alas, it was his first time at The White Hotel — so he couldn’t help me find the laundry room.

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As the beer vendor exited to the parking lot, I turned my head to the right — and there it was!

Wash

It looks simple enough. A washer and a dryer, clearly labeled, complete with instructions.

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This may look like a lot of money — but it will take most of it to get my one load of laundry done. The washer is 5,000 South Korean won — and so is the dryer. 5,000 won is about $4.61 in U.S. currency. Detergent cost 500 won — or about 46 cents. Same for a sheet of fabric softener.

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Now, the real trouble begins. After I insert my 500 won coin, I discover that the vending machine is OUT of detergent. The bottom row has laundry bags. The next row up has fabric softener. But the two top rows dedicated to detergent are empty. Completely empty.

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I take the elevator back up to the lobby level and ask these ladies for help. The girls on the right are sweet and want to help — but they have no clue what I’m talking about. Luckily, the older lady on the left (obviously a manager) knows just who to call. Interestingly, when she makes the call, I notice that, as she spoke, the Korean word for “detergent” appeared to “detergent”.

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This fellow was dispatched to assist me. He came down with me to the laundry room, opened a utility closet and presented me with ONE packet of laundry detergent. But he didn’t re-stock the machine. He checked to see that it was, indeed, empty — but evidently stocking vending machines is not in his job description. I was very grateful nonetheless.

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The helpful man instructed me to put the detergent into the bin on top of the machine. However, a sticker on the machine told me to put the detergent in the drum. I took the machine’s advice.

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In went my 5,000 won…

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And now, another conundrum. Instructions on top of the washer clearly say “Press start button”. But there doesn’t seem to be a “start button”. There is, however (written in English!) a “stop/pause” button. I press it — and the washing machine lurches into action. Go figure.

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Success at last!

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After getting my laundry done, I walked down — as I do every day — to The Phoenix Park Hotel: our entrance to the extreme sports Olympic venue.

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As I enter the hotel lobby, bundled against the cold, I ask myself, “How soon will these clothes need to be washed?” and “Do I really need to wear so many layers?”

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My PyeongChang Diary (Part 3)

I’ve been in South Korea for less than four days – and I find that I must already issue a personal apology to the good merchants of PyeongChang and the entire South Korean nation.

IMG_6059But first I must satisfy my wife’s desire for photos taken from inside the “convenience store” that has vexed me since my arrival in country.

CU, which opened in 1990 as FamilyMart, has more than 10,000 stores and is the largest chain store in South Korea. The signage suggests there is some relation to the American chain CVS – but my hasty, haphazard Internet research has not turned up a connection.

IMG_6060The CU store looks like it should have a lot of stuff that you want. It’s crazy colorful, with rows of tantalizing packaging – but nothing is quite as good as it looks.

It’s 85% snacks — and 15% beer. From what I’ve seen, South Korea is a beer drinking culture.

To be certain, there are Ramen noodles for days. In fact, this particular CU store features a display of noodle containers stacked to resemble a Mayan temple complex. Sort of.

IMG_6061And then there is this strange machine, which I suspect is either a lottery machine or something to do with cigarettes.IMG_6066I must admit that I am simply a befuddled American peering into the smallest window of South Korean culture – and unable to see what would be apparent to a wise traveller who actually prepared to go to South Korea beyond bringing warm clothes, thermal socks and two bags of toe warmers.

IMG_6062But, looking at the beverage cases in the back of the CU, we come to the reason for my apology.

In my previous posts I have decried the absence of Diet Coke in PyeongChang. Full of righteous indignation and good old American superiority, I have maligned the CU for not stocking a decent Chardonnay – and for not having Diet Coke.

But let’s look closer at these two Coke bottles side by side. They look almost the same. But if one looks closer (which Americans rarely do) it is clear that these bottles are not entirely alike.IMG_6063 One, in fact, subtly but clearly states that it has “Zero Sugar”. And, if one bothers to actually read the front label, it’s also clear that it has zero calories. It is, in fact, Coke Zero. Not Diet Coke exactly — but entirely deserving of an apology.

I can at least wash down the heaping helping of crow I must eat with a diet beverage, full of caffeine and that great cola taste.

WineOn the other hand, my only Chardonnay options continue to be a terrible Chilean wine – and a semi-potable concoction foisted upon the Koreans by an unscrupulous California vintner.

Then again, maybe I’m not looking closely enough.

Travel is all about learning — and being open to what you don’t know. After four days in South Korea, my education has barely begun.img04

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My PyeongChang Diary (Part 2)

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Today’s diary entry is a walking tour from my spartan room at The White Hotel to our extreme Olympic sports venue headquarters at Phoenix Park. The trip, traveling by foot, takes only 20 minutes. But the memories will last a lifetime.

Room 1

This is my room at The White Hotel. As befits the name of the hotel, it is relentlessly white. And spartan. Clean lines. 90 degree angles. The bare essentials. The rumpled condition of the bed is my fault and not to be attributed to the hotel staff. I just woke up. The staff is very tidy.

Room 6

The bathroom has positives and negatives. Again: clean lines and an almost ascetic sense of spare efficiency. The negative? You may be able to see that I have been unable to drain my sink for two days. I can’t find the control to lift the plug up. I hope the maid will fix it tomorrow. The positives? The shower head and water pressure are first rate. Thus, showering is a joy!

Room 5

You don’t often see such signs in your hotel room. Of course, I dutifully remove my shoes before entering the room. And I wouldn’t dream of using the stove. But why is there a stovetop that cannot be used? One does not ask such impertinent questions. What am I — an ugly American?

Room 4

When the prison at San Quentin was brand new, its hallways may have looked just like this. But I don’t think the view from San Quentin’s hallways was quite so lovely. (Please note: that is not a UFO hovering over the mountain in the center of this picture, though I wish it were.)

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The White Hotel. My home for the month of February. Our walking tour begins.

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Walking toward Phoenix Park from The White Hotel. This is a winter sports resort, so there are many hotels in the hills surrounding the ski resort. The hillsides look very much like California. That’s why Malibu Creek State Park ably stood in for Korea on “M*A*S*H”.

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It’s the craziest thing: all the signs in the area are in Korean. Go figure. Evidently, this hotel features a spa — but beyond that, it’s all Greek (or actually, Korean) to me.

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At the bottom of the hill that our hotel sits on is this water park. It was no doubt built to give vacationers something to do in this area during warmer weather. However, I think the IOC is missing an opportunity to stage a whole new Winter Olympic event here. Mini luge, perhaps?

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A fellow Olympic employee trudges toward Phoenix Park along the town’s main drag. With competition in this area still several days away, we Olympic staff are the only people on the street. In the coming days, I expect the town to get increasingly crowded and kinetic.

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Guess who?

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Ah! C’est un restaurant français en Corée! Ou une boulangerie au moins. Je me demande si le service Coke Diet – ou si on peut y puchase un verre de Chardonnay?

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The Center Plaza has been a major disappointment to me. From the outside it appears as though it’s a place where one may purchase a few essentials — like Diet Coke or a decent bottle of Chardonnay. Or maybe even some Advil. But no. It houses a bowling alley, a KFC, a beer garden, a toy store, and a miserable “convenience store” that sells very little that is convenient for me.

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Walking past the disappointing Center Plaza, our destination comes into view: the Phoenix Hotel — gateway to our Phoenix Park Olympic venue. I will soon arrive at work.

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Shuttle buses are lined up outside of the Phoenix Hotel. These shuttles take Olympic staffers to the other far-flung sports venues in the greater PyeongChang area. Some go East toward the coast where the skating events are held, others go to the alpine sports venues and the International Broadcasting Center: the nerve center of the Olympic media operation.

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The security checkpoint in the lobby of The Phoenix Hotel. If you like going through airport security, you’ll love going through this every day.

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And when you go through the security gates, the sensors read your ID badge and this hideous image flashes onto a big screen. That way, everyone can see that you didn’t bother to shave or brush your hair or find a clean backdrop for your ID photo. It’s a daily punishment for sloth.

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Having gotten through security, I enter the venue. This place is a work in progress. Big things are about to happen — but nothing is really happening yet. Preparations are underway.

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I have no idea what goes on inside this building, though I pass it every day. All I know is that it’s big and festively decorated. Part of it is a youth hostel. Maybe young Olympic employees are housed there? Maybe this is where they are hiding all the Diet Coke and decent Chardonnay?

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This is the 2018 Winter Olympic theme: “Passion. Connected”.

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The mogul run. My knees ache just thinking about it.

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Somehow, this cartoon guy works against the whole “Danger” idea.

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Here’s our lovely NBC commissary. We watched the Super Bowl here. Not exactly fine dining.

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This is the sign on the NBC commissary door. Is everything in Korea named “Kim”?

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Inside the NBC commissary. It’s still early. It gets pretty crowded by lunch time. All the cool kids sit at the table near the two clocks. The jocks sit at the tables on the left. The theatre kids sit in the center — and the Dungeons & Dragons geeks sit at the table in the foreground. (Just kidding.)

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These coolers mock me every day. They hold no Diet Coke. Sadly, I must drink water.

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This snack table entices me every day. I must stay away. Must stay away. Must stay away…

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Here’s the NBC venue HQ. This nice lady is helping me program my NBC cell phone. That way, NBC can notify me by text when they’re bumping me from the edit bay because something else takes precedence. Since my project is not “day and date” — we’re lower priority. Alas.

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This is our documentary unit’s office. It’s not much, but it’s relatively warm. We haven’t engaged an interior decorator yet — so please forgive the lack of charm. It’s all about utility around here.

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The author at his desk. The fun is just beginning.

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Our associate producer and editor in our edit bay. — not far from the commissary. I’ll be spending lots of hours in here. Once we figure out what we’re doing, this is where the magic will happen.

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Step outside our edit bay — and this is the view. looking East toward the slopestyle and snowboard cross runs. It’s all pretty quiet now — but in a few more days, it’ll be hopping!

So, that’s the report from outer PyeongChang today. More to come in the days ahead.

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My PyeongChang Diary

Banner 2Banner 1On the 2nd of February I took a 14-hour flight to South Korea – and my first Olympic experience.

IMG_5996I don’t normally talk about my television work on this blog.

I post a great deal about my theatrical passion projects, performing comedy onstage – but making TV is what I do to pay the bills. It’s fun. But it’s basically comfy factory work.

However, my latest TV gig is a real adventure. So, I’ll try my best to share what I can about my experience in PyeongChang for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.

I’m here as part of small crew tasked with crafting a short documentary on 20 years of Olympic Snowboarding. It’ll air before the closing ceremony. I’m used to writing and producing documentaries – but being a tiny part of the vast Olympic media machine is a whole difference scene.

IMG_6008IMG_6009The venue where we’re doing our work is called Phoenix Park. It’s where the extreme sports are happening: snowboarding, moguls, freestyle skiing – the stuff that’s really nuts!

I’ll be following the mad snowboard action in halfpipe, slopestyle, snowboard cross – and this new, truly crazy event called Big Air.

At the moment, the athletes haven’t started their practice runs yet, so the Phoenix Park compound resembles a hastily assembled military installation. Large vehicles parked side by side, folks in uniform bustling around from mobile unit to pre-fab trailer, passing thru security checkpoints, flashing IDs, and talking in a jargon that’s sometimes even harder to understand than Korean.

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The nerve center of the International Broadcast Center. I think they need a few more monitors.

5a772526fc7e93fb628b4567Point of information: When my father was in Korea in the early 1950’s — he really was in a military installation. If that’s what you’d call the front lines of the Korean War. Lucky for me, North and South aren’t trading artillery volleys like they were in my dad’s day. In fact, I watched the North and South Korean unified Olympic women’s hockey team play on TV this morning. It was a great thing to see.

IMG_6004Unlike my G.I. dad, who spent his time dodging mortar rounds and freezing his butt off in a tent pitched in what is now the DMZ — I retire each day to the White Hotel, a comfortable, if entirely antiseptic lodging just a short walk from Phoenix Park. Each night the hotel hosts a beer garden in the lobby. Koreans are big on beer. Chardonnay not so much. In fact, I’m still in search of a good Chardonnay. (Okay, so my father’s wartime hardships were worse — but then again, he was never a white wine guy.)

IMG_6001In a couple days, the snowboard events get underway.

In the meantime, I’m trying to figure out how our little documentary unit fits into this whole operation.

Soon enough, the real Olympic adventure will begin.

Stay tuned.

And now a Korean word from Dr. Suess…

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