This week I’m back in Seoul, visiting with friends, welcoming a new baby, eating delicious food and marveling in the joys of public transportation. Being here is a good excuse to share with you some photos I took last fall on my friend Youngdoo‘s ailing Rollei XF35. I usually focus my cameras on the prettier [...]
It is safe to say I spent the better part of my first six months in Seoul alone. Yes, there were co-workers, there were several dozens of nine-to-thirteen year olds, there was a German visitor, and there was Wayne. It wasn’t until a fateful summer evening when I attended my first Flickr in Seoul gathering [...]
In case you were worried that all this bittersweet nostalgia was getting to be too much, I’ve got some of the dirty underbelly of reality for you. It’s important we maintain perspective and keep things balanced here. So here are a few things that I shall not miss in the least. At least there are [...]
I’ve been composing this list for quite awhile, as I’ve known since last November that 2010 would be my final year in Korea. The fact that I’m moving to Japan automatically eliminates some items from the list – bowing, no tipping, polite customer service, pigtailed children – as those all remain in plentiful supply across [...]
For the last month, I have been preparing to leave Seoul for a destination unknown. As if moving from one foreign country to another is not enough, I have to go and add mystery and intrigue to an already challenging endeavor. I didn’t intend it that way; that’s just what life had in store for [...]
Yes, I promised you four year retrospectives and sappy, sentimental, eye-roll-worthy nostalgic interludes. I claimed it is how I roll, and I promise you, it is. But you see, after four years there are some 10,000 + photographs through which I must sort. There is also the making of arrangements, the packing, the selling of [...]
I’m spending a lot of time at and near home these days. Rather than exploring the places I’ve yet to visit, I’m a bit more keen on soaking up as much as I can before I leave of the normal everyday that has been my life here in Seoul. Running along the river, coffee from [...]
Let me just get this right out of the way and explain something about the Korean dong. Did you just giggle? I’m sure you did. She said dong. Yes, yes she did. It’s not the first time, and I promise you it will not be the last. In the West, in primarily English-speaking countries I [...]
This is my fourth October in Seoul, and as always, it has so far been a fine month indeed. Autumn is by far the best season to be in Korea, and after this year’s brutal, never-ending winter, a non-existent spring and reportedly oppressive summer, it is a relief to ease into a season that is [...]
I returned to Seoul just in time for the wedding of my good friends Mel and Hyunyo. You should know that Korean weddings are essentially a two-hour photo shoot to which your friends are invited. And most Korean weddings can be likened to an afternoon at Cats: The Broadway Musical, complete with all the special [...]
Last Friday was a public holiday in Korea, and Youngdoo and I met in Hongdae to drink coffee and play with toy cameras. It was a summery day, begging for hot dogs and ice cream cones, so instead of coffees we opted for late afternoon beer and sausage sets at Cafe 1010 (www.cafe1010.co.kr) So cute! [...]
Each spring, Seoul comes alive with glowing lanterns strung along the streets and among the temples in celebration of Buddha’s Birthday. The Lotus Lantern Festival is a 2-week affair of temple events and lantern making, culminating in the famous Lotus Lantern Parade through downtown Seoul, a particular favorite among expats and visitors.
In two weeks time, this dog and pony show will return to its regularly scheduled programming. Though I’ve not been around here much, my cameras have been very busy in the background. And while work has been on the consuming side of things, there has been a lot of fun and canoodling going on in [...]
I’ll admit it. I’ve been bitter. I was overly optimistic when I returned from Singapore and stood outside Incheon Aiport in only my wool sweater; when I returned to my sunny apartment and found no reason to turn on the heat. As someone who gets cold at 20ºC, this was a marvelous revelation: Spring has [...]
While my New Year’s Oath, taken in October of last year, was to slow down and enjoy a quieter 2010, Life As I Know It is having none of that. To cope, I have taken up the habit of acquiring new cameras. Plastic ones, to be precise. It all started with Santa,
The Coffee Lab in Hongdae serves fresh roasted beans, a mean affogato and a perfectly quiet Sunday morning.
I love lists. I always have. So while enjoying a perfectly simple holiday-birthday weekend, I was quietly concocting a way of sharing some of my favorite bits of the last year. A Little Miss Year in Pictures, if you will. And then the Queen of List-Making, the irreplaceable Andrea, made this list. And it made [...]
I moved a large marble table to get the perfect framing. I moved the lever back and forth endlessly until I was certain the focus was perfect. But when I pulled the tab on the polaroid, the film came out sliding on the emulsion and a gooey, unfortunate, light-leaking mess. Not so perfect. On New [...]
Today it snowed the most it’s snowed in seventy years in Seoul.
Sinchon Rotary :: Seoul, Korea December 2009
There have been flurries and snowsqualls, but this was the first one to stick. It made everything in Seoul so, so quiet. Well, except for the screaming college girls. They weren’t very quiet. But their excitement and snowball fights and giggling almost made up for the screaming.
Last Friday I left my apartment in the dark hours of the early morning to take a bus to the southwestern corner of Korea to scout the location of the show I will be producing in the spring. The scout was supposed to include a helicopter tour of the area, yet true to my theory that [...]
Ganghwa Island, just 90 minutes and 4,200 Won west of my front door, is a lush and quiet landscape of rice paddies, verdant mountains, Buddhist temples and mud flats on Korea’s western shore. The island lies just at the edge of the North Korean border and has a long history of blah blah blah invading [...]