Picture it: New York City, 2018. It was a whirlwind day of driving to Newark from Pittsburgh, which should have only taken about 6 hours but when does it ever work out that way, you know?
We had tossed around the idea of possibly taking the train into NYC from Newark if we got in early enough because honestly what the hell is there to possibly do in Newark on a Friday night that’s family friendly? I mean I’m sure there is something but I didn’t care enough to look because I wanted to take a train somewhere lol.
The LiveBlog from Friday already told you that we did indeed make it into Newark early enough for a quick foray into NYC to be worthwhile. It only cost about $20 for round trip tickets for the three of us so that was a delightful surprise.
Anyway, that’s neither here nor there. I will have a post just for that portion of the evening but today I am here to talk about the happiest of all accidents.
We were just casually strolling down a street toward Times Square, Chooch rambling on about how we’re so mean for not trying to get him a ticket to Hamilton, me trying to avoid falling into potholes or puddles of puke (I almost always walk with my head down because I’m so clumsy), when Henry clamped his meat-hand down on my shoulder and said, “LOOK.”
I was annoyed for a second and bristled visibly at being man-handled, but then my tune changed drastically as my eyes finally focused on what Henry saw.
FREAKING KPOP ICONS SUPER JUNIOR.
Real quick, a condensed history to give you some perspective on how cool this was: Super Junior is one of the biggest Kpop groups in the world. They’re one of the SM Entertainment godfathers, debuting back in 2005 and they’ve been heavily credited for helping spread the Hallyu Wave. From wiki:
Super Junior have earned thirteen music awards from the Mnet Asian Music Awards, sixteen from the Golden Disc Awards, and are the second singing group to win Favorite Artist Korea at the 2008 MTV Asia Awards after jtL in 2003. In 2012, they were nominated for “Best Asian Act” in MTV Europe Music Awards. In 2015, they won the “International Artist” and “Best Fandom” in the Teen Choice Awards.
They currently have seven members in their lineup, but one of them (Heechul, my favorite) doesn’t perform with them anymore due to health issues, but he does appear on a ton of variety shows and he’s awesome. I think two members are currently in the military, 2 are inactive, and two other original members have permanently left the group. It’s really hard to keep up if you’re not a super fan (or an ELF, which is what their fandom is called. Duh.).
So yeah, back to this surreptitious run-in with SUJU!
The first one I saw was Siwon, looking totally unapproachable and regal in his black suit. I started trembling immediately and just kept murmuring, “Oh my god, holy shit” over and over, because OMG HOLY SHIT SUPER JUNIOR IS STANDING ON THE SIDEWALK IN FRONT OF ME AND THERE IS NO BARRICADE SEPARATING US.
Honestly, this is what I wanted to happen when we were strolling about Toronto last summer before the G-Dragon concert but I think I thought about it too hard and it broke the Fate Fairy’s wand.
In the striped shirt over there is Eunhyuk WHO JUST FILMED A DANCING REALITY SHOW WITH ..:::TAEMIN:::.. IN LA, UGHHHHH. And the guy in the suit with his back toward to the camera is the most handsomest one, Donghae. I didn’t even notice him until moments later when he took off his jacket and speed-walked past me, taking my BREATH WITH HIM.
Also, I guess I don’t feel too creepy salivating over these guys because they’re all in their 30s like me and not questionably underage like some of the boy groups out there, lol.
The girl in the yellow pants is Leslie Grace, who sings on Lo Siento with them. I never heard of her, but she is apparently an American tropical singer. She made a special appearance the next night at KCON to perform Lo Siento with them and it was really exciting! I figured they would probably just have one of the girls from Red Velvet fill her spot.
Ugh this dumb broad had the worst photobombing timing ever — this was the best photo I could get of Donghae and he is seriously the best handsome one, in my opinion. I already thought so (ask Henry, he’ll roll his eyes) but good Lord seeing him that close, as he walked past me, it made my knees buckle. What a perfectly gorgeous man, it’s almost unfair.
I replayed this moment over and over again in my head.
Here’s a picture of his whole face so you can see his flawless visage:
Since this was America, the throng of fans was pretty scant, with us being the only non-Asians. But we all kept a respectful distance. One young Asian girl had this huge-ass paparazzi camera though so that was pretty funny.
Look at all the people walking by, oblivious to their proximity to Korean greatness!
Here is the portion of the event where my hands were shaking so bad that I slid my camera options to square format. The guy over there in the yellow on the left, you see the sliver of him holding the birthday gift bag? That’s the leader of SUJU, LeeTeuk. I unfortunately didn’t notice him at the time, so this is the best picture I could get.
I also missed Yesung, which sucks because he is so fucking adorable.
I did manage to work up the courage to ask Shindong, who was standing alone at the moment, for a picture and he was so nice to us! I wasn’t sure if this was breaking any rules or what, because I didn’t notice any of the other gawkers and oglers asking for pictures, but I saw the opportunity and had to pounce on the now-or-never moment. If he was talking to someone, I wouldn’t have asked. But he was just chilling there, so I took a deep breath and just went for it and he was so nice! “Picture? Sure!” he said and I was like, “Is this is a dream.
I pushed Chooch over there because he is my proxy when it comes to posing with celebs, monuments, landmarks, statues, Welcome to [State] signs….But look at Chooch’s face! Even he knows how unexpectedly magical this moment was! Shindong was so nice and I stupidly said thank you to him in English instead of Korean because my brain was causing my motor functions to run backward at that time and honestly, I’m lucky I was even able to say it in English and not some make-believe Alien jibberish. Also, I didn’t drop my phone either, which is a miracle because my hands were shaking so badly. I couldn’t get my nervous system to shut the fuck up for a good solid three hours after this happened, and I just kept saying over and over, “I can’t believe we saw Super Junior. I can’t believe Shindong put his hand on Chooch’s shoulder.” And then it was “SHINDONG PUT HIS HAND ON CHOOCH’S SHOULDER. SHINDOG IS FRIENDS WITH TAEMIN. SHINDONG HAS PROBABLY DEFINITELY TOUCHED TAEMIN 100S OF TIMES. CHOOCH LET ME RUB MY FACE ON YOUR SHOULDER” and you can guess how well that went over.
Also, before I close this chapter, can we just talk about how adorable it is that Henry is the one who recognized them first? Henry unabashedly loves Super Junior though and I think he was honestly a little sad that he wasn’t going to the concert the next night.
Here is their recent music video for Lo Siento with Leslie Grace, in case anyone cares.
When you posted that one pic on Instagram I thought OMG I’m SO excited for them!!!!!!
You are so sweet, Val! Thank you :) :)