Julie Chang is the entertainment reporter for Fox 5 News in New York. I love her thirst for life, her boundless energy, and her sense of humor. We easily bonded over our mutual love of travel, food, adventure, and New York. Julie took some time away from interviewing celebrities to talk about her favorite New York restaurants, things she loves to do and the one experience that changed her life. Here is what Julie said…
MB: You’ve interviewed some of the biggest celebrities, who were you the most surprised/impressed by?
JC: This is a tough one since so many of them have surprised me with either disappointment or wonder. Meryl Streep sang with me once…So did Garth Brooks. Johnny Depp gave me one of the warmest hugs and somewhat unexpectedly. He was in the midst of signing autographs for about 50 people when I said, “Hey Johnny, I know your kids mean a lot to you so I wanted to wish you a Happy Father’s Day.” He dropped his pen, waltzed over and gave me the most sincere embrace. He said, “I’ve been interviewed by a hundred reporters today and you’re the only one that wished me that and my kids really are everything to me.” So yeah, as if we need one more reason to swoon over Johnny…he’s a loving family guy. Ryan Gosling also wowed me with his devotion for his dog, George. He practically travels everywhere with George…who’s no smaller than a pony and carries all of George’s belongings like his cushion bed, dog treats, toys, and etc. No assistant! As to who surprised me in bad way…well…that’s for my tell-all book that I will write when I’m 70:)
MB: You had me at Ryan Gosling…
MB: Who do you want to interview that you haven’t before?
MB: You’re Korean, what is your favorite Korean restaurant in New York?
JC: I love Hahm Ji Bak in Flushing, Queens but I heard that it closed…and that there’s another one named Ham Ji Bak that’s just as good if not better in Queens. I gotta go investigate. In Manhattan, I like Silla for Naeg Myun, Kang Suh for spicy soups, Arirang for Sam Gae Tang, Gum Kang San for lunch specials…wait…I think I pretty much named all of 32nd street!
MB: What are your favorite restaurants in New York?
JC: There’s a clear #1 but I will never name it publicly because the wait for a table is already insane and has been for years. I enjoy the usual suspects such as Marea, Balthazaar, Torrissi Italian Specialties but I also love no-fuss neighborhood jaunts such as Mooncake Foods, Pho Nha Trang, Souen and Rubirosa.
MB: OooOOoo I have to try some of these!
MB: What do you do on the weekends in your free time?
JC: I’m a hobby nut! Playing the guitar, knitting, and most recently, I’m learning how to edit video and use photoshop on my laptop. I also blog my brains out check out TrulyJulieChang.com!! On Sundays, I hang out with my sister, brother-in-law and their awesome 4 year old son.
MB: What’s the best part of your job?
JC: I interview people who are living their dream.
MB: How long have you lived in New York?
JC: 8 years!
MB: What neighborhood do you live in?
MB: What’s your favorite thing about that neighborhood?
JC: That it actually feels like a neighborhood:) I live on a quiet street with almost zero stores…so it’s quite residential.
MB: How did you know you wanted to be a reporter?
JC: I went on a trip that took me around the world in college. It changed my life, broadened my mind and yet sharpened my perspective. So I started thinking of ways to vicariously take people to new places, meet different people and voila! The power of TV was my answer.
MB: What’s your advice to young ladies out there who want to make it in your industry?
JC: Only go into it if you have an unwavering passion. It’s a tough industry that’s not for the faint at heart. I made $17K/year at my first on-air job. I’ve had bosses tell me to my face that I’m not attractive enough…sounds horrible I know.
MB: What are your vices?
JC: Boys 🙂
MB: What’s one thing you can’t live without?
JC: Boys 🙂
MB: What’s one thing you’ve always wanted to do?
JC: Dive with whale sharks. Report from the DMZ or N. Korea…when Korea reunifies.
MB: You love to travel too, what’s next on your hit list?
JC: I think Argentina and Uruguay! Then, somewhere in the States. I’ve been extremely blessed to have traveled to more than 50 countries; however, my domestic travel is embarrassing. I’m trying to expand to more places than Vegas, LA, and Miami. That’s an exaggeration…(but not by much). Ha!
MB: You wear some fashionable duds on air, who are your go-to designers and brands?
JC: Up until my sister, Grace Sun, took a hiatus from designing…99% of what I wore on-air was her stuff. I still wear a lot of Grace Sun but now I mix in a lot of other designers/brands. On the red carpet, I love Temperley London, Prabal Gurung, Nina Ricci and Bensoni. For normal on-air days, I love Sandro, Maje, Tibi and any brand that has a lot of jewel tones and bold prints. For big interviews, I reach for my Roland Mouret dresses.
MB: You appeared in the Smurfs, is a movie career in your future?
JC: Sure why not! I’m a Korean girl who moved to the states at 9, grew up in Michigan, been on my own since I was 15 and now (for the last 8 years) living out my dream in NYC. Anything is possible if you believe…just look at Jeremy Lin!!
Julie’s blog TrulyJulieChang