Waking Up With: Michael Pak
Michael Pak is the co-creator of the LA-based Koreatown Run Club, Love Hour, and Bicycle Meals. We’re constantly inspired by his ability to bring people together and create a strong sense of community. Here, we discuss his favorite parts of Koreatown Run Club, starting Bicycle Meals, and how to get involved in your community.
Hello! First off, tell us a little about yourself and what you’ve been up to lately.
I’m a kid from Virginia who fell in love with the Neighborhood of Koreatown here in Los Angeles. I’m also the Co-founder of Koreatown Run Club, Love hour & Bicycle Meals.
What is your morning ritual?
Coffee, breakfast, shower and then straight to the warehouse or office.
You co-founded Koreatown Run Club with your friend Duy Nguyen, what have been some of your favorite things about Koreatown Run Club?
Meeting new people for sure! But I think my favorite thing about run club is seeing everyone show up everyday and put in the work to become better in whatever goals they have.
You also started the group Bicycle Meals that delivers meals to people without homes in Koreatown, how did this come to be?
It started in the beginning of the pandemic as a means to lend a helping hand to anyone struggling through that time. We focused on our unhoused population in Koreatown and wanted to do our part in the community. Our goal with bicycle meals is to feed our unhoused neighbors 7-days a week and be able to provide resources for housing and long-term care.
You do so much to bring people together and help your community, what do you do to stay grounded?
I surround myself with friends from back home. Those friends keep me grounded and check in all the time. A good glass of whisky also helps.
Can you share some advice for people who want to get involved in their community but don’t know where to start?
So many ways to get started. Go to your local library, ban together with your friends and create what's missing in your neighborhood and ask your neighbors if they need help with anything.
Who and what inspires you the most?
My Father. I learned and saw him do everything possible to provide for the family. I hope I can one day do that for my family.
What are you reading / watching / listening to these days?
Lots of music lately. Check out Shinichiro Yokota.
Fill in the blanks:
The coolest place I’ve ever woken up in is: Japan. One of my favorite places to visit.
The best cup of coffee/tea is at: Document Coffee
A thing about mornings I’ll never get sick of is: Hearing the damn crows barking next to my window.