I had to stop by the office this morning, and as I was coming home on the Namsan Beltway, I saw the fog and haze over the cityscape and thought, hmm, maybe I should come back up here with my camera.
The Yongsan district is pretty gritty even in the best of weather; inclement weather just accentuates the grit. Some of the hillside neighborhoods like Haebangchon might be little more than glorified daldongne, but the topography and hectic built environment possess a unique urban beauty, especially when seen from above.
I converted these photos into black & white using Aperture. Honestly, I really don’t know much about black & white photography—heck, I don’t know a whole lot about color photography, either—so feel free to criticize away.
Ah, Haebangchon (“Liberation Village”). Founded right after Korea’s liberation from Japanese colonial rule by North Koreans who had fled communist oppression, Haebangchon was one of Seoul’s representative daldongne, and truth be told, it’s still got a bit of a daldongne feel. Of course, it’s got a lot more Westerners, Nigerians and Filipinos now than it used to have. Real estate developers hope to turn the place into “Seoul’s Beverly Hills” when the nearby US Yongsan Garrison moves. I’ll believe it when I see it.
My wife liked this photo, so I kept it. I guess it really is spring.
Well, you’ve got to stick the clay jars somewhere…
You won’t find cityscapes like this in Gangnam.
The skyscraper in the background of the last photo you’ll no doubt recognize. The one in the photo above that, though, is the Seoul International Finance Center, which has made a rather nice addition to Seoul’s skyline.
Mrs. Koehler asked me to pick her up a coffee from Starbucks in Itaewon on the way home. I’d seen this sign on the overpass by Noksapyeong Station a couple of months ago—oh, those clever foreigners…