Seoul: Doing it right.
Seoul: Doing it right.
In the old Omonoia subway station the future is now and it’s pale blue.
Flashbacks of basking in the weekend streets of Gung-dong. One of the many dense nightlife areas. All them being countless cafes, bbq’s, chicken places, karaoke and video rooms, arcades and cosmetics shops thrown together in the midst of old residential areas.
Outworldly new residential areas. But never too far away from the above-mentioned.
My visions of spring under way in the campus of KAIST polytechnic.
Also good spot for last days of cherry blossom viewing.
Outside Yuseong bus station, connected by memories to several other towns.
Every place can be reached from Daejeon in a few hours; combine this with the ubiquitous motels, baths and convenience stores (and credit card usage) and you had me toying with the idea of just stepping out of house and returning after a dozen towns.
Not that Daejeon lacked places. Gyeryongsan mountain (and the national pastimes of hiking and undecipherable cornucopias of dry snacks).
Or, the temple with the curvy statues which name I was never able to find again.
Winters can be cold (and every campus has dull sides) but what do we do when the weather gets bad?
We get out of course! …Although this peek is only a hair salon in Dunsan-dong. Oh, I omitted hair salons before. Include hair salons in the nightlife areas.
And a glimpse of Yuseong spa district’s pulse by night. Attractive and mysterious in its neon cladding, and made to look more and more distant by my nostalgia now.
Greek version of the convenience store: the periptero. Here, a specimen of the glitz downtown persuasion.
The top tip is: just go. It won’t be the futuristic Babylon that you expected but more the projection of the 80s which dreamt of it, and it will be unparalleled (also might not stay this way forever).
Walking down some well-documented neighborhoods -Shibuya, Akihabara, Ikebukuro, Shinjuku and the like- is enough to dose you on vertical neon, food stalls, high fashion, sararimen, shrines, crazy trinkets, nylon umbrellas. Assuming you’ll evening stroll through one or two of those, here are a few extra, focused, things to look up or under for.
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Alleys jammed with tiny izakayas, real sararimen nests.
Celebrated ones: Piss alley in Shinjuku, Nonbei in Shibuya, around and under the railway bridge at Shimbashi.
The artificial islands and the bay
Where you realize that everything solid in your field of vision is manmade.
Radio Center electronics mall
Radio Center is a sensation. A small passage close to Akihabara metro station (35.698316, 139.771861). And an old, half-used, three-storied narrow building next to it. Grab it while you still can.
Nativity, “Basil cakes”, piles of Christmas sweets,
sponges and spices in the old downtown,
cured meat, neoclassical buildings, end-of-year shopping in the sun.