Just another lovely summer evening sky, this time over Deoksugung Palace. Deoksugung is something of an old friend of mine. I just love its many contrasts—old vs. new, Eastern vs. Western, nature vs. manmade. In a way, it’s a microcosm of Seoul itself.
The good weather just keeps on keeping on. After some rain showers yesterday afternoon, the sky really opened up nicely. If I’d had more time, I’d have gone up a mountain as I had the previous two evenings (posts coming soon), but by the time I left the office, there wasn’t much sunlight left, so [...]
Some Gangnam Fun Facts: Real estate in front of Exit 11 of Gangnam Station costs 43 million won (about US$37,500) per square meter (as of late May 2012). Some 70% of Seoul’s plastic surgery clinics are located in Gangnam-gu. I don’t know how many that is, but considering that one in five Seoul women get [...]
I’ve been a busy little boy—what follows is a miscellany of mini-adventures I’ve had over the last week or so. Jogyesa Temple from above Last week, I saw some photos of Jogyesa Temple taken by W.S. Chang and determined that, by Jove, I must have that shot, too. Sadly, however, when a friend and I [...]
Took a nice little trip to Cheorwon on Sunday with some friends and Mrs. Marmot. This is the Seoul neighborhood of Pyeongchang-dong, as seen from Mt. Bugaksan’s Palgakjeong Pavilion. Yep, it’s the iconic Nodongdangsa—the former Cheorwon headquarters of North Korea’s ruling Workers Party of Korea—a battle-scarred, Stalinist skeleton and a poignant memorial to the horrors [...]
After years of neglect, old Seoul Station has finally returned to the people. This week, Culture Station Seoul 284 opened to the public as Seoul’s newest arts and culture space. Culture Station Seoul 284, whose name refers to the landmark’s designation as Historic Site #284, is the product of a two-year renovation of the old [...]
Last Saturday — ironically, the 61st anniversary of the start of the Korean War — a section of the Old Waegwan Railroad Bridge, nicknamed the “Bridge of National Defense” for its pivotal role in the Korean War, collapsed into the Nakdonggang River. Since it collapsed in the middle of the night, nobody was hurt, thank [...]
Taking advantage of the fine weather Saturday, I went down to Jincheon, a pleasant little rural community in lovely Chungcheongbuk-do, to visit the charming Buddhist temple of Botapsa, known to aficionados of Korean traditional architecture for its majestic three-story wooden pagoda, the only one of its kind in Korea. While I was in town, though, [...]
If Korea is the “Ireland of the East,” the March 1 Movement of 1919 was its Easter Uprising. Granted, one can stretch the analogy too far — unlike the Irish armed uprising of Easter 1916, the massive independence protests in Korea three years later were peaceful, at least as far the Koreans were concerned. Yet the commonalities are striking: both movements failed when they were harshly suppressed by their respective colonial overlords, but their spirit lived on to inspire the struggle for independence even after the revolts were put down and their leaders arrested and/or executed.