Friday, February 26, 2010

Walkin' Around the Neighborhood

Today was a no work day and so instead of keeping myself inside I went for a little walk. I took my camera with me to see what I could find.

There were the familiar sights.
I enjoyed this image of the old woman's shoes near her umbrella. As well as 'gumball' machines selling trinkets.
The following is an image of a popular kim bop (Korean sushi) restaurant that I like to frequent. It's the one with the big red sign and white words.

Basically these are the everyday sights that are seen when I walk around my area.  The next one, where the yellow cart is, shows what I call the "Yogurt Lady". You can find them on many street corners in neighborhoods, where an older woman wearing a yellow jacket stands next to her yellow cart selling liquid-drinkable yogurt. I have always enjoyed this little aspect of Korean culture.
Street-cart food ~
The usual drying towels in front of a barber shop.

Then there is the reoccurring theme of the towering apartment complexes that seem to fascinate me. I couldn't help this time but venture into one of the complexes and take some pictures.

Next, what would you know? I ventured into one of the buildings and made my up to the top floor.

There I was on the 16th floor getting my pan-optic look out onto the complex.  Actually I have had this idea for quite some time now, because when drawing these apartments as a subject I seem to have trouble with my perspective. 
What keeps me intrigued is how every window is the same. In the West, especially in America, people typically live in houses. Some are lucky enough to live in large houses, while others in small ones. Either way it is typical for Americans to decorate the outside of their homes to distinguish themselves from their neighbors. In Korea, since there are so many people in a small area, it is truly impossible for everyone to be living in houses in a row. Instead they live in these types of buildings. 

From what I gather apartment living in Korea is a serious matter. Neighbors know each other and keep tabs on which hagwon so-and-so's kid is going to. It is an organized and clean society of living. Recycling and trash sorting is taken seriously and diligently. Also I find the landscaping around these complexes to be of interest, as well. Usually in the center or nearby are little parks with equipment for children and adults. 

When I was walking around noise pollution was reduced and it seemed like a serene place to live. Yet, as a westerner from America, I can't help but feel so small amongst these giant buildings. It is my aspiration to somehow create works of art that speak to my thoughts on these living complexes.


  1. Your comment re: American housing isn't quite so....yes, in rural or suburban American people live in single or two family type houses (buildings designed w/two units). However, perhaps you haven't visited enough cities/large urban centers (megalopolis') in the U.S. to see that hi-rise apartment buildings are the norm in those environments!

    I'm also surprised that security was so lax in these buildings that you were able to enter & prowl around. That would definitely not be the case in New York City or other U.S. cities in affluent or middle income apartment building neighborhoods. Most apartment buildings of any size in the U.S. have security features or gated single housing communities (for what they're worth)!!

    LOVE the fotos keep 'em coming!

  2. There are security in these complexes. But I chose a complex that was not so ...hmm Usually in front of the building, at the entrance is a security guy.

    In some complexes you need to type a number in to get inside.

    But this was a very simple building with little security. However I think the best security is neighborhood people watching. I came in during the day time on a weekday so not that many folks were home.

    The doors to the roof had big signs on them probably saying don't enter. But they weren't locked. Around the roof was a very big fence for safety.

    Korea is a safe place but that doesn't mean there aren't bad people. I would agree that some buildings do need more security. In general Korea could use more police coverage on the streets for bad drivers and bad people. Instead they rely on cameras more.

  3. Hi, I just wanted to say I've been following your blog for the last couple of months, and I am finally leaving for Korea on Monday...your informative posts and great photography have made me really excited to arrive. Thanks!

  4. Aba ~ that is good to hear and have a safe trip and happy arrival. It is a bit cold here and rainy but things will warm up later on. :)


Leave Your Thoughts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...