In case you didn’t see it, I’ll link NPR’s recent story on Itaewon:
Itaewon is a neighborhood in South Korea that locals used to avoid because it attracted a high number of foreigners, especially young American soldiers from the U.S. Army Garrison just down the hill. But Itaewon’s image has changed in recent years — it’s now a trendy hangout for young Koreans, attracted by its relatively liberal atmosphere in a culturally conservative nation.
No doubt Itaewon has changed a lot—lots of Koreans visiting on the weekends, including families and all the Gangnam girls doing the “Sex & the City” brunch thing. On our alley near Gyeongnidan alone, we’ve recently gotten a German bakery, a microbrewery and a Greek place. Things are certainly looking and feeling better.
That said, I do wonder how the people who actually live in Itaewon feel about the changing face (and faces) of their neighborhood. I’d be keen to see some survey numbers.
(HT to reader)