Girl Friday: Jenn Wong
Photography by: Vanessa Maldonado
Jenn is a blogger, cocktail aficionado, globe trotter and owner to one of the cutest mini doberman/greyhound mutts on the planet. Effervescent and full of sass, Jenn is our trusted tech and web guru here at Move. She’s keen on all things cultural and always has stellar recommendations for pretty much any activity in Los Angeles. So without further ado, it is my pleasure to introduce you to the ever so enchanting world of Jenn Wong!
How did you get involved in Move?
Autumn, Ashley and I had previously started blogs, so we were meeting weekly just to motivate each other and hang out since we were all close friends and lived within a few miles of each other. We always wanted to collaborate on something together and it just kept evolving until it became Move. I am excited by the prospect of having a forum for intelligent, driven, and multi-faceted women to converse and learn from one another. I feel like we are on the verge of a renaissance of women reclaiming their femininity while not allowing that to diminish their position in the working world. I am impressed by what women have to offer and the way they are contributing to today’s conversation. I am excited by what that might mean for the future.
What first drew you to technology? What is your all time favorite gadget?
I think I fell in love with technology when I was introduced to the internet. I loved that technology could connect me to someone in a country I had only seen in pictures, even if it was only in a chat room. I loved watching that technology evolve from words to pictures to video to interactivity. I know it’s not a gadget but the internet, the cloud, the networks that are what allow computers to talk to each other. And the fact that I can have a device that fits in my pocket that connects me to the internet at all times, I think that’s pretty amazing. I can’t wait to see what’s next.
Do you have a favorite quote you live by?
I don’t know if I ‘live’ by this quote but I found it when I was a teenager, in a book of photography by Duane Michals, who, because he began as a writer, would write in the pages of his photography books. This phrase has always stuck with me and I think it’s indicative of how I see the world.
“I once photographed a young man who was beautiful, but one of his eyes had been damaged when he was a boy. But it was the poignancy of his flaw that saved him from the banality of perfection and made him exquisite.” – Duane Michals
How would you describe your style and what role does fashion play in your life?
I think fashion should be fun and have a bit of surprise. I like bold pops of color and unexpected combinations. I guess people would describe my style as urban, yet sophisticated – an Urban Ninja– a little bit rock n roll with some upscale elements.
How did you become the cocktail maven you are today?
Well, my father is a big wine geek, and because of him I was introduced to amazing wines, equally amazing food, and subjected to clippings from Wine Enthusiast in the mail. So, when the craft cocktail movement started brewing in Los Angeles, it was nice to have something equally geeky to share with my dad.
What’s your idea of the perfect cocktail?
I love when bartenders take a classic cocktail and update it. I love the mix of old and new. I know it’s gimicky but I also love gastro molecular cocktails. I think it’s the geek in me that loves edible science experiments. I also love savory cocktails. I like salt more than sweet so I love being able to drink something that reminds me of dishes I like to eat.
I love being able to drink something that reminds me of dishes I like to eat.
You’re a self-proclaimed ‘Urban Ninja’, if you had to combine two cities to make the perfect city, which would they be and why?
I love Shanghai because it already feels like it combines two cities, a classic European city and an Asian city. The architecture in Shanghai has elements of both cultures, like art deco and old Europe mated with chinese dragons. I love Vienna for similar reasons–because it was bombed during the wars, it has old and new architecture bumping up against each other. Baroque on one side and Bauhaus on the other and bits of the Ottoman Empire sprinkled in between. I am intrigued by the aftermath of when cultures merge. My perfect city would have a melange of cultures, would be full of activities, and naturally, will have delicious cocktails.
What has been your most influential trip you’ve ever taken?
I spent a summer in the South of France with a host family when I was 15. I was all by myself, far away from my family and in a country where I barely spoke the language. It was the scariest thing I had ever done and also the most exciting. Up until that point, I found learning another language to be both impossible and unnecessary. In that one summer, I fell in love with another culture so different from my own and realized that ‘speaking someone’s language’ was akin to that proverbial ‘walking in someone else’s shoes;’ it was the missing piece to really getting to know a place, a culture, a person, on a profound level rather than via postcard. After that, I wanted to learn everything about that language and many more, travel, and meet as many people as I possibly could.
What advice do you have for younger women who may be following in your footsteps?
I think I would like to tell them that they have more power than they think. Not that we don’t have a lot to fight for, but more that you shouldn’t give up the power that you have: to have an equal voice, to have a say in your relationship, to ask for what you want. You may not always get what you want, but don’t give up before trying.
You may not always get what you want, but don’t give up before trying.
You’ve been in a serious relationship for the past 14 years What are your thoughts on marriage and children?
Unlike many little girls I was never governed by the desire to have children even though I do relish the idea of being able to teach and nurture a little someone. I guess I have particular ideas about what I want to provide for a child and if I don’t think I can meet those requirements, I would rather leave it to other people to have children. I feel profoundly lucky to have met someone who groks me. Yes, that’s a word and yes, it is pretty nerdy. We’ve talked about marriage, but are put off by the way marriage has been co-opted to only include certain people and not others. Even though we’re a heterosexual couple, it doesn’t feel reflective of our relationship to declare our love in that way if it is not inclusive of all kinds of love and relationships.
How do you see your future?
Celebrating my 800th birthday by commuting from Mars in a retro-Jetson’s car and arriving at the Pacific Ocean for a swim with my great-great-great-great grandchildren to try out my newly implanted cyber gills.
Girl Friday is a phrase more common to the 1940s and 50s, defined as “a female employee who has a wide range of duties,” and is most recognizable from the film His Girl Friday. Here at Move LifeStyle, we’re resurrecting its saucy vibe for the title of our last column of the week which profiles inspiring women in the workforce.