19 August 2017


NGOSKA Fest 7: Skasucks and Suicide Machines

I don't know how Jinsuk did it, but after performing once earlier in the day, not to mention basically masterminding this whole thing, he got on stage a second time to front Skasucks. A herculean effort for what as best as I can tell was a perfectly executed free street festival.

By the time Suicide Machines came onstage, my memory formation was not doing so well, but yes: I watched Suicide Machines from the ledge of a roof.

19 August 2017


NGOSKA Fest 6: Last Roof

I wanted to go up to that roof again before Skasucks started, to get photos of the sky in blue hour. It was nice.

19 August 2017


NGOSKA Fest 5: South Carnival

South Carnival has been a highlight of these festivals for me. Their sound is more general Latin-Caribbean than ska, and they always bring an interesting rhythm to the proceedings. Plus, the lighting was perfect as they were performing.

19 August 2017


NGOSKA Fest: a roof

I found out a roof very near the festival was wide open. I should've tried some of the lower buildings closer to the stage. But it was open enough I invited a few friends up covertly, primarily so they could bring me beer.

19 August 2017


NGOSKA Fest 3: Coquettish, Ska Wakers

Coquettish were more of a punk band, and their lead singer was a very skinny Japanese guy who was fun to photograph.

Ska Wakers from Busan were a little more ska-ish, and I probably took too many pictures of their sax player.

It was also good lighting so I got lots of pictures of people in the street.

19 August 2017


NGOSKA Fest Part 2: a roof

I slipped away to hit a nearby roof. There's a rooftop garden and you can just climb up a little higher to get to a very good ledge. And from there, since I was alone, I tried to climb a little higher, but eventually got seen by people on the roof. A guy came out to get me, but seemed totally unconcerned about any security problems and just wanted to make sure things were cool. I got out of there and went down to the festival.

It was my first time getting to the side of the roof looking toward the rotary and the river, which proved to be an interesting perspective. Worth it.

19 August 2017


NGOSKA Fest - Rulerz, Rollings, Burning Hepburn

There's something great about taking pictures of a street festival in Sinchon, with punks violently moshing (seriously, ska is the most dangerous live genre in Korea) with a backdrop of all these commercial chain businesses. No offence to Hollys Coffee, but here's a guy flying past your windows.

I showed up late, having missed Lazybone. I photographed Rulerz, but discovered my camera battery was on death's door. So I rushed back home, grabbed my recharger and returned, only to find I'd missed Rudy Guns, who I really wanted to see. I should've stayed and seen a couple songs of theirs, but I hoped I could return to see the end of their set, because ends of sets are always more exciting.

This is at least my third time seeing Rollings in Korea. They're a fun, dependable Japanese ska band and their sets are always fun.

Burning Hepburn seemed like the high point of the whole day, judging by the crowd reaction.

18 August 2017


The Room of Death

After seeing an article posted about the "room of death," a former KCIA torture room, I realised exactly where this was: the former location of TBS eFM.

I went there immediately, around midnight. Climbing over the gate was easy enough, but I didn't have the equipment for night photography. I came back the next evening after the workers left but before dark, to find the front gate wasn't properly closed and I could squeeze through without much effort.

The Jeju thing was a gift from Tyler who wanted me to take pictures with it in various Seoul locales; the room of death seemed like a perfect choice.

After that, I stopped by Kyobo Bookstore where I confirmed a bizarre edition of Mein Kampf had been taken from shelves and replaced by a book that did not praise Hilter[sic].

I spent most of this day reviewing a book about Trump, so to round off the tour of atrocities, I also visited Paradis Island to see if the Eldians had defeated the cop titan yet.

12 August 2017


Seoullo 7017

After a meal with friends, I stopped in Seoul Square to use the washroom. My friends waited outside, knowing I can be slow. But anyway, I was fast, and as I was coming out I noticed the security gate was opened so a new business could move in, coincidentaly on the top floor. I went up for a look around and tried a couple roof doors. The workers here and there never got a good look at me and didn't seem disturbed by my presence.

I found an open door and went up to the corner ledge where I could see Seoullo spread out below me. I hate fisheye lenses but one could have really come in handy here. As well as a proper tripod.

11 August 2017


Under the Cop Titan

I returned to Donuimun Museum Village and looked around one alley I had neglected on previous visits (but remember from back when it was an abandoned area). This area is developing fast and will probably be fully open by the end of the month.

10 August 2017


NST and the Soul Sauce Album Release

NST and the Soul Sauce had a CD release on a Thursday night in Sangsu-dong, which was different. The venue was nice enough and seems to have more and more events like this, though the crowd despite being appreciative really didn't get close to the band, instead mostly watching from a safe distance, with many people staying seated. It was otherwise an interesting show, especially as I didn't have to wake up the next morning for work.

9 August 2017


Across the Street

Commercial alleys dying due to development
Jung-gu Office wake up!!

There isn't much left of the area across the street from my office, and I'm told some of the alleys on my side of the street are next.

8 August 2017


Seoullo 7017

I had to meet someone in Malli-dong after work, so naturally I took Seoullo. That evening was a particularly intense sunset, and with the blue lights of Seoullo beneath, it created a pretty dramatic effect. Pictures from this sunset taken at other locations, such as along the river, popped up all over social media.

I found the best place to drink in Malli-dong, which is uphill from the previous place I went with Margarita, Daniel, and Coco. Then after a long night, I walked home across Seoullo, deserted except for a few workers at one end.

7 August 2017


Yongsan Legacy

I went to Camp Kim for a Yongsan Legacy talk on the Korea Service Corps, a civilian combat support formation started during the Korean War. They were especially deployed to carry supplies and munitions up hills to military units. One friend claims they were capable of disassembling an entire jeep, carrying it in pieces over rough terrain such as a mountain, and reassembling it on the other side.

The KSC is still active, and we heard from Jungyoon Schorr who is its SPO, whatever that is.

After her, Korea Times columnist Nam Sang-so took the podium to tell his own childhood war story of basically being conscripted to help North Korean soldiers, then later South Korean soldiers. He helped carry large shells up to the top of a hill, where he found an injured war correspondent. The correspondent wanted him to deliver a report, and his duty in doing this freed him up from doing more of this highly dangerous operation.

The picture was used in this article.

6 August 2017


Korea Photo Review magazine issue 1

My friend Joseph decided to start a magazine dedicated to photography, so I came out to support him along with a few other friends.

Here's a Korea Times article about the project and here's where you can get a copy of the magazine for yourself.

5 August 2017


Wirye New Town

Just south of that last area, I found plenty of construction fences. I knew there was something to see down here, but wasn't really sure what, just that it could be military and I had no idea of its current status. So I found a wide open gate and drove on in. There were workers here and there, and plenty of construction equipment, meaning stuff is being done here even if I came on an off day. I ended up finding a second open gate where I could enter and did some off-roading on my scooter before seeing a fast-moving black car headed in my general direction; it turned out they weren't heading for me but it was enough to scare me off.

This whole area is reminiscent of what Magok Wasteland was like several years ago, except that place was allowed to fester and large bodies of water developed there, whereas this area is just carefully curated lumps of earth that seem to have been moved here temporarily in advance of the next stage of some massive urban project I don't have the heart to look up.

5 August 2017


The "Other" Ant Village

I set out to drive to a remote part of the city I'd never seen. The drive down there, I worried about the weather. Then as I neared my destination, there was a light sunshower. I crossed under an overpass, and suddenly everything was bright and lucid, like I'd just woken up from an urban nightmare.

My destination was an old area with the nickname "Ant Village," but not the one I previously knew in Hongjae. This one is a slum built on flat land, and judging by the carefully arranged street grid and the presence of sewage infrastructure, I think it's more likely it was a planned neighbourhood that fell into disrepair, rather than an actual moon village. Presently it is largely abandoned, with only a few people still active in the area. Likely its end will come after enough residents leave on their own, rather than being forced or bought out. The end can't be too far. You know a neighbourhood is in rough shape when the nicest building you can find in the whole area is a public washroom.

2 August 2017


Cop Titan at Night

Due to high activity, it seemed the only time to revisit Museum Village was late at night. A wise strategy, as the cop titan subsists off solar energy and is inactive at night (but this also makes his wanton destruction of human lives all the more cruel).

1 August 2017


Retreat

Following a Yongsan Legacy talk and a news article, I drove around a bit and scouted some more former USFK properties. Specifically, I remembered driving by the front gate of the 8th Army Religious Retreat just days earlier and noting it, so I decided to go back, see what was behind the gate, and try to get on top of the building next door. The gate was locked but unmanned, and the apartment roof was locked but I'm a wizard. I decided it was safer to take my chances with the roof than with an unfamiliar military property, anyway.

Once I got to the roof, I noted not just that the whole base was laid out below me, but how phenomenal the view looking toward the river was. It was about an hour to the blue hour but I wasn't going to go anywhere and miss the opportunity, so I stayed put and occupied myself while I waited for the magic time, which means I took quite a lot of pictures.

31 July 2017


Return to the Cop Titan

The immediate day after my previous visit, I returned to the cop titan to reshoot stuff with my DSLR. Unfortunately as this was not a Sunday, there were more workers during the daylight and my access was far more limited. I was additionally impeded by ongoing work, such as concrete pouring and bricklaying. If you see footprints in the cement in front of the vinyl cafe you know who to blame.

Anyway, despite my limited access, I noted the progress of construction and got to a decent roof to view the whole area. Then I drove up the hill to have a look at the utopian community of Donuimun New Town, which while having a more appealing shape, still has some of the dullest colours a human being could imagine.

30 July 2017


Under the Cop Titan

One of the few times I left my camera behind, I went out for my supper break and passed by the cop titan, to discover the neighbourhood next to him that was abandoned and fenced up is now becoming exposed to the public. Armed only with my Note 7, I jumped the front fence and wandered through.

This area is going to be called Donuimun Museum Village, and it's supposed to be a recreation of an early modern neighbourhood, probably in connection with the nearby Seoul Museum of History. It's an interesting but puzzling endeavour, one that should be interesting to investigate farther.

30 July 2017


Water Gun Festival

When they aren't building giant slides here, they're turning Sinchon's car-free Yonsei-ro into a battle royale of water guns. After an interview with Professor John Frankl on traditional Korean alcohol, we walked back along this route to get to his office/my scooter.

We didn't partake, but the weather was right for it.

29 July 2017


Bye Margarita

Margarita had one final night in Korea on a Saturday, and it worked out that we met around Seoul Station and walked across Seoullo to find a place to drink on the Malli-dong side. On the way I ran into Coco and Daniel of Yongsan Legacy, and I invited them along.

We went to a place where you can easily sit out front, I think called something like Bottleneck. Later I would find out there is at least one better bar in the area with a significantly better beer selection, as well as food.

29 July 2017


Cat Business

Just a bunch of pictures of Buster. I don't actually know why I mostly take pictures of Buster these days, as he is no sillier than his older niece.

27 July 2017


Hooker Hill

One of my friends posted some grim pictures of Hooker Hill, showing some of the establishments clearly closed. I went for a look, and found one cluster of businesses all shut down. They're next to another lot where a bunch of them were closed down and a fancy hotel was built in their place. There are still several places open so you can't just wander around here.

17 July 2017


Driving South

I had wanted to scout out some apartment complexes undergoing remodeling down south. Around Gangnam, one complex seemed to not be changing, but right next door there was a tall fence around a different complex. I found a way around the fence and spotted a worker getting in a car which then raced in my direction. I took cover underneath the balcony of an apartment as the car came over, stopped short of coming within eyesight of me, did whatever, and backed out of there. After that, without having gotten inside any buildings, I just said fuck it and retreated.

Then, scraped up and covered in dirt, I drove south, looking for another apartment complex, only to find it a crater. But right around there, I caught out of the corner of my eye a construction fence, and I found not one but two apartment complexes that are being remodeled. One is totally fenced off and only workers are going through, and the other is not so much, and when I tried to drive in, I was immediately turned around by concerned citizens. It is probably too late to go back now.

15 July 2017


Hongdae

We went to Hongdae, or more accurately Danginri, where it looks like the power plant is finally being shut down. Apparently the plan is to convert it to just a thermal source, and then once additional facilities are built, the whole thing will become a park. At that point, Hongdae gentrification will push this community into the river.

15 July 2017


Amusement Park Part 2

A couple days later, I arranged to return to the amusement park with some friends. It was raining, but there was no rescheduling, as this was my farewell with three good friends: Paul, Ryan, and Margarita.

13 July 2017


Nude Viking Adventure

Shortly before I returned to Korea, I picked up on a tip of an abandoned amusement park within the capital region. It has actually been years since the last time I came across an abandoned amusement park, the last one likely being Yongma Land, so a fresh one was welcomed. This one is divided in two parts in corners around a sports field. While I was here this night, people were doing sports things in the sports field. As it got dark, the field lights turned on which really brightened the area, making it even more photogenic than during the daylight.

11 July 2017


Returning Home

I got home to find my cats were very happy to see me again, and didn't seem traumatised at all from my absence. One of the drains on my roof had clogged up, giving me a rooftop swimming pool, which Millie seems to enjoy.

9 July 2017


Last Day

My last day in Edmonton, we did a number of various things, including visiting my Korean War veteran friend Jean-Pierre. This time I got to meet his wife May, who is taking good care of her husband.

7 July 2017


River Valley

One night, I decided to actually go down to the North Saskatchewan River. Edmonton is sort of inverse of Seoul, where if you want to return to nature you have to walk downhill, leaving the hard part for the end. I went out around 9 and came back around 11 when it was getting dark.

7 July 2017


Sisters

I visited my sister and her cat, now known just as Miss Kitty.

7 July 2017


K-Cults

I reconnected with a professor at my old university whose expertise was religious cults. Turns out he was very interested to hear about my experiences with Korean cults, and he even knew they were having trouble with Korean cults in Edmonton. Anyway, if you want to know more about what I said, tough.

5 July 2017


Rocky Mountains

We spent a couple days to drive out west to see the Rocky Mountains up close, stay in a motel in Rocky Mountain House, and drive back in the morning.

While we were on the road, Jebus asked my sister to send "the odd picture" but she wasn't sure if he meant just send odd pictures, so we decided to play it safe and send odd pictures.

4 July 2017


Cats

Just more cat pictures.

3 July 2017


West Edmonton Mall

I knew I had to take a more serious look at the mall this time, as it's been appearing in my dreams and getting more distorted as my memories get more distant. This is still North America's largest shopping mall, but somehow Lotte World Mall has surpassed it, presumably with the opening of Lotte World Tower.

Also, from what I observed of construction sites in Edmonton, of which there seem to be many right now, they tend to ignore securing the whole site and just secure the base of the cranes, which is bizarre and ridiculous.

3 July 2017


CJSR

A huge impetus for me returning to Edmonton is the chance to reconnect with CJSR. There is community radio in Korea, I guess, but nothing on the scale of CJSR, which covers the entire city area and is also online. In my time, our schedule was pretty thorough, with maybe an hour of flipping on the BBC World News from 6am to 7am, but these days it seems like the station shuts down at midnight.

Last time I passed through, I got permission to do an unscheduled late-night show and I went to town.

This time, I approached the hosts of The History of Punk, explaining I was the one guy who had both a CJSR connection and a historical understanding of Korean punk. Anyway, I met up with Brittany and we did radio stuff. I was almost 10 minutes late due to not understanding their schedule, as I thought it started an hour later, which means anyone following my directions online to listen live would have missed it. Fortunately they posted the show here. We had about four misfires where we played the wrong song, but that just means I embarrassed Suck Stuff and Skasucks, played a Dead Gakkahs song I can't name, and almost played Green Flame Boys twice.

2 July 2017


Whyte Ave

I didn't get the chance to reconnect with as many old friends as I had hoped to, and I didn't see a lot of people. I crossed a few off my list this night: Chris on the left who I've always seen at shows usually recording audio for seemingly compulsive reasons (but want to know more!), and Aaron AKA Jebus, on the right, who I discovered had just started dating my sister.

Later we also passed Megan on the street, who visited me in Korea in 2006, and I went with James, an old university friend, to the basement of Black Dog where I walked in on a bunch of skinheads spinning reggae vinyl. It seems like Edmonton has more skinhead-run reggae/ska/soul DJ operations than actual skinheads these days.

I actually came to know the event was happening thanks to Jonny, saxophonist of Mad Bomber Society, and quickly thinking I gifted him a solo CD of Kingston Rudieska saxophonist Song Nock-won, which I acquired over an Uzbek dinner as payment for letting me hold his sax.

Speaking of Mad Bomber Society, here's one of their best songs set to a slideshow of which I provided some pictures. Gah, probably all the low-res shots. And the ones of Rich hucking bottles at me. One or two of them, he actually hit me.

2 July 2017


Gus

Last visit in Edmonton, I helped my parents choose a new cat. Over the next four years, he would be terrorised by his adoptive cat relatives, and his personality became sadly very defencive. Though he initially reminded me of Buster, he did not grow up to be like Buster, who found himself getting bigger than his older sister and took pleasure in physically overwhelming her. Still, I think he and Buster would have been best of friends.

I was warned Gus doesn't like strangers, and he did hiss at me many times, but I was able to break through his defences many times, partly through eye motions and keeping my hands away from him. He's still a gentle cat and unlike Buster would never scratch you, even if he hisses at you and wants you to get away. And his coat of fur is long, thick, and luxurious. Someday maybe 15 years from now he'll make my parents a very nice rug.

1 July 2017


Canada Day Fireworks

Around 10pm, we headed out to Callingwood Park for the Canada Day fireworks. The main fireworks were downtown, but knowing the logistical nightmare that would be without knowing any good roofs or me having my scooter, we opted for the smaller event.

Except the Callingwood Park they meant wasn't Callingwood Park but an obscure school hidden behind a highrise complex. Which strikes me as pretty shitty.

Turns out the official reason is it was moved from a Muslim-organised festival to a Jewish-run schoolyard. Typical Canada.

It was disappointing but not heartbreaking, although having missed out on this 150th anniversary event, which I happened to be there for in my first time back to Edmonton in four years, I kind of felt deprogrammed after and weirded out by the excess of maple leaf flags everywhere for the holiday.

1 July 2017


Urban Explorers

Last visit in 2013, I met up with two local urban explorers in my hometown. I technically had urban explored in Edmonton since I was young, as I frequently visited condo construction sites around my childhood neighbourhood as well as one smashed-up farmhouse on the edge of town, plus getting into a government building undergoing renovations during a return trip in 2008, but I only got into urban exploring after moving to Korea.

From what I knew about urban exploring in my hometown, I think I probably couldn't cut it if I had never left the city. These guys face a lot of security threats, as the authorities seem especially interested in catching them, and exploration sites are few and far between.

So the Alberta guys I met impressed the hell out of me. We filled two cars with urban explorers and drove around Edmonton scouting places. I think I was the only one there foolhardy enough to have business cards and an action figure of myself, but I think my "geographic immunity" has made me useful to them at times, as I can provide a safe local point of contact and suss out newcomers. The fact I'm a UER moderator and a freak magnet helps.

I edited these on my dad's computer so that's why some of the control fill didn't work.

30 June 2017


Trade and Commerce: The History of New York Edmonton

Back when I was in university, I was always suspicious of the local telecom company Telus, which had its sights set on our souls on campus. They put up some public art around 1999, which did not age well. Picture airplane-vs-Twin-Towers not aged well. Well, just look left, or click the link.

I'd been fixing to come back to Edmonton, verify this thing's existence, and see what I could do about it. Turns out, that amounts to the same thing I did in 2002, just with more swears.

30 June 2017


Edmonton

So I'm back in Edmonton, four years after my previous visit. Before that, it had been four years since my earlier visit, so I was expecting to feel a bit more reverse culture shock than 2013. But maybe since my previous thoughts were so thoroughly catalogued, I was expecting them and I never felt particularly out of place.

Also, in exchange for the pottery I brought, my mom knitted me a blanket with a familiar pattern to any regular visitors to this site. The colours are a little more vivid than I usually observe them in nature but I likely rarely see fresh construction blankets and this one will likely fade over time.

29 June 2017


So long Korea

So apparently some of my pictures were used in a documentary about 747s. On an unrelated note, I flew in one. More next time.

29 June 2017


Bye

The cats knew something was up when their table moved from the kitchen to the hallway. But they can't say no to food.

24 June 2017


Two Stupid Sights

First, more Koreans marching waving the American flag. Second, more idiocy about how users are the problem with escalators.

23 June 2017


Action Figure

I went to Dongdaemun Design Plaza a few weeks ago, where I stepped into a machine that scanned me and created a miniature version. I was planning to give my mom some Korean pottery as a gift, and this technically counted.

23 June 2017


Sun Plaza

Driving around the south side of the city, I came across this odd building, which at first I thought was a church, but then turned out to be a supermarket, wedding hall, and so much more. I had to stop by just to admire its shape.

23 June 2017


Bamgol Village

A quick stop by Bamgol Village, where it seems all the work that can be done without removing the last remaining holdouts has been completed. So that one nail house is now surrounded by a sea of blue.

21 June 2017


Hongdae Playground

I've been soliciting people to tell me their memories of Hongdae Playground, which has recently been transformed...into a wider open space, with more fortifications to keep us from climbing on top of that award-winning washroom.

21 June 2017


Tidal Wave

Something that's come out in a number of my photos, especially taken this day, was the use of blue tarps to cover up the bare land after buildings are demolished. It creates a weird effect that looks like water within the urban landscape. Anyway, I basically confirmed a number of urban renewal sites are demolished, and that project up on 104 Hill in Yeonhee seems to be slowly developing, but into what?

20 June 2017


RASKB Business and Culture Club on Seoullo 7017

Now that Seoullo 7017 was open, I figured our B&C club should visit. The problem was, I didn't really want to lead it. Instead, I threw Colin on it.

19 June 2017


Seun Sangga Remodeling

I stopped by Seun Sangga for a better look at the remodeling happening here. So far it doesn't seem like they're building over anyone who was already there, only remodeling areas that had been cleared out over the past couple years. The bridges over Cheonggyecheon are weird, and it probably heralds more powerful forces taking hold, but beyond this I don't know what the problem is, and I don't think it compromises the original architect's vision.

17 June 2017


Green Flame Boys CD Release

I stopped by Club SHARP, where Green Flame Boys were having their CD release. While I was there, I saw about five cop cars respond to the show, ushering everyone back inside. It was almost as if Green Flame Boys orchestrated it to get us all inside to see their set.

17 June 2017


Black Stones

The night after I got my new camera, we went to Hongdae to see the Black Stones, a new band made by one of the two remaining Sanullim brothers. The other also showed up for a brief acoustic set as an intermission from the main act. It seems like they really don't want to perform together anymore. Anyway, they had Kim Wan-sun instead.

17 June 2017


New Camera

So I got a new camera, a Nikon D-something. So far it seems pretty good, although it's taking a while to get used to certain buttons being in different positions.

15 June 2017


Malli-dong Missing You with Yamagata Tweakster

I managed to find out about a Yamagata Tweakster show on top of Seoullo 7017, and found him right at the starting point. The show took us from the eastern side over to the west and down to the plaza underneath, including one point where people were dancing in a major intersection during the walk signal.

Later I interviewed Han Vad about Seoullo, finding out he actually lives in Malli-dong. I hope that interview sees the light of day soon.

11 June 2017


Around

I went out for a drive around the west side of the city and saw some interesting sights, then bought a lot of very cheap beef.

10 June 2017


RASKB Garden Party 2017

I'm quite disappointed I didn't have a real camera for the Garden Party this year, especially as I ended up reliving this year's April Fool's Day joke for real: the US ambassador's residence was unoccupied, and I had a quick chance to duck inside and have a 30-second walk around.

7 June 2017


More Phone Pictures

Still forced to use my Galaxy S4 phone as my primary camera. Meanwhile, I'm surrounded by almost 100 DSLRs. These pictures are from over a few days in early June.

28 May 2017


Camera Phone

My camera developed some battery problems, and when I tried to fix them it turned out the problem was deeper than I thought. Rather than spend more money trying to fix the problem I gave up on the camera, but I couldn't stay away from taking pictures for long and I reached for my phone camera, which isn't great quality as part of my elderly S4. But, hell, I saw what I needed to. The time since, I reshot a lot of the sights I saw during this time. I was also busy travelling. Before I can update this site further, I have a lot more editing to do.

This site hits a sort of renewal time whenever I'm between cameras, as well as whenever I visit my hometown, and since both have happened, it will take a couple weeks to pick up all the pieces and post updates of the many adventures I've been having in the meantime.

Also, my scooter developed some critical problems, seconds after taking the preview image here. Almost two months later, the thing is still running, somehow.

24 May 2017


Gongdeok

Jung Yong-taek, the director of Party 51, posted a story on Facebook about an eviction happening near Gongdeok Station, claimed to be the first eviction of the Moon Jae-in administration. I have my doubts considering this process is always happening. Also, this urban renewal project has been ongoing for some time; I even wrote an opinion piece mentioning the numerous Hanoks demolished here early this year. I returned to see what was going on. One of the larger buildings on the edge of the area was being evicted; I think I even went inside this one once to see if I could get to the roof, which I couldn't. There were a few big buildings still there. The large book-related one is now at least half-demolished.

Apparently there was a protest earlier in the day but it's all over now.

Gongdeok incidentally is the locale of the first abandoned neighbourhood I ever explored. I think it's where the Brownstones are now, uphill from Emart. The area has faced heavy redevelopment over the past 12 years.

21 May 2017


Reggae at Seoul Music Week

I don't really pay attention to Seoul Music Week, but someone made a helpful guide to all the reggae and ska bands playing this year, mostly at outdoor venues around Sejong Center. I worked that day, but I showed up early to see a song by Oriental Showcus at the start, and arrived after 10:30 in time to see NST and the Soul Sauce end the night.

20 May 2017


Seoullo 7017

After walking around Yongsan, we headed north to see Seoullo 7017 on its first day. This was my first time being legally up there since Christmas Day 2015. It looks pretty different now.

I wrote an opinion piece standing up for the project a little, comparing it favourably to the two main previous mayoral vanity projects which required violent evictions to make happen. Having seen it open now, it has been intensely popular, attracting a quarter of a million visitors on its first weekend, which makes it hard to form an opinion. After its second weekend open, someone committed suicide there, which was always inevitable.

The nicest thing about the overpass that I wasn't anticipating was the number of facilities down on the ground on the western end, places that look like they'll be used for performances that I was totally unaware were being prepared while prowling around over there. The most unfortunate thing is a lot of the materials on the bridge seem insecure and unsafe. I examined a ladder on the side of the overpass and a volunteer ran over to warn me away and that it was dangerous. There are little slits in the surface of the road that they seem to have tried to fill with sort of a long block, so people won't step in it. But that thing they put in is unstable. A lot of the concrete surfaces seem tacky rather than smooth, and their condition will be something to watch.

For now, we just need time to wait and see how the people incorporate it into their lives.

20 May 2017


Yongsan Legacy

I recently interviewed Daniel Oh of Yongsan Legacy, a project to gather the personal history of people on Yongsan Garrison and how it has affected the surrounding area over the decades. All this is being done in anticipation of the base's nearly total closure later this year.

After the interview, we met up at Samgakji to wander around some of the alleys nearby, seeing some old homes built right up against the base wall and eventually wandering over to the former site of the Japanese POW camp for allied prisoners. They've built a new building on its spot with the slogan "more than you see."

16 May 2017


RASKB Business and Culture Club

We had a Business and Culture Club meeting with Jihoon showing us around familiar parts of the city between Boshingak and the Somerset. Somehow Jihoon knows every part of downtown. At one point I was standing on a rock and asked about it, and he knew its dramatic history. I remarked I could point at any dip in the curb and he would have a story behind it. I've been pretty intensely visiting the city for ten years and I still have no idea how he does it.

14 May 2017


Namsan Park

We didn't have anything in particular to do on a Sunday, so we climbed up to the park on the slope of Namsan for a look around.

11 May 2017


588

After running an errand in northern Seoul, I took a quick pass through Cheongnyangni 588 to see how things were coming along. There are still active businesses and plenty of people passing through, but it seems very inactive now.

10 May 2017


Jacob's

A few weeks ago, I was in Jacob's before an RASKB lecture and I met some middle-aged women who seemed to be taking great interest in the workings of the restaurant and our satisfaction there. One introduced the other as the prospective buyer of Jacob's. We had been wondering for months what was happening, as there was a for rent sign in the window. She told me the former owner had cancer and was in the hospital. Now, Jacob's is boarded up and undergoing renovation. I'm hoping no surprises are covered on the left side of that banner, but maybe it'll be open May 20?

10 May 2017


Across the Street

More buildings across the street from work are being demolished, so I stopped by for a quick survey while I was in a rush.

7 May 2017


Haemiupseong

The morning after the festival, we wandered around Haemi waiting for the bus to Seoul. It turns out Haemi is well-known for its old fortress, though the interior was mostly empty space. It was a pretty major historic place, particularly as this is where they used to bring Catholics for execution.

6 May 2017


Sansuri

Kim Jong-un lured me out into the middle of nowhere in Chungcheongnamdo, where there was a concert held at an old house owned by the father of singer Song In-hyo. I met a couple of good dogs and I spoke to a guy who claimed to be the Lion King. Quite a lot of people showed up, young and old, and there was a lot to drink.

3 May 2017


Commuting to Work

It turns out, close to where I park my scooter is this plaque. This is apparently where Joseon's diplomatic missions to Japan started out, over a period of 400 years. Pretty exciting place to leave your garbage.

2 May 2017


Stuart

I got a surprise visit from a guy I know through UER from years ago. We walked around downtown Seoul one night and he ended up going to Hongdae where he stayed until after 3am, then we somehow were able to meet the next day for a lunch of fried chicken and beer.

30 April 2017


Nail House

I invited a reporter to join me on a visit to Bamgol Village, with the intent on knocking on doors and talking to whoever was left. People were happy to talk to us but not on the record.

29 April 2017


Yeondeunghoe

This year we went back to the same restaurant for the Buddha's Birthday Lantern Parade. Too many people ended up coming, and we were pretty crowded. The bar treated us a little differently, expecting us to buy expensive bottles rather than individual drinks. Though what we actually spent was, as usual, formidable.

The parade went well again this year, starting at a late enough time and running quite a while past nine.

29 April 2017


Cats

Millie and Buster have been having lots of adventures with Kim Jong-un.

28 April 2017


Sinwol 6

I also came here in 2015, upon realising I'd been to abandoned places in every city district except Yangcheon-gu. At the time this area had vacancies moreso than evictions, and it was clear what direction it was headed. Now it's been mostly demolished, with a fair number of buildings still standing. It is still heavily visited by people passing through.

28 April 2017


Sinjeong Market

My last visit here was almost two years ago, when I observed the neighbourhood being pretty active. Evictions have started and been pretty thorough, unless you count the one lively market street running right through the middle. It is the path people living uphill and on the other side of the hill take walking to and from the nearest subway station, ensuring it still gets a lot of foot traffic.

23 April 2017


Around Home

The buildings across the street from my office are pretty well all gone now, and an old house across the street from my home is also changing. Workers came in through the front and began removing materials from inside. One night on my way home I found a gate that wasn't locked in any meaningful way and wandered in.

23 April 2017


Bamgol Village

I returned to see the state of Bamgol Village. There are five occupied buildings at this point: a supermarket at the area entrance, two mid-size brick buildings, one old church, and a sole house right in the middle of all the destruction.

21 April 2017


In the Garden with Buster

Last year sometime, I found these shelves at the curb outside my home. I took them upstairs but they were both too filthy to be inside. They were okay out on the roof, but one of them rotted to the point where probably it would collapse under a cat's weight. I decided to repurpose it as a shelter to put bird seed, but this idea proved to be shortlived. Anyway, Buster took great interest in it and helped me throughout the process.

16 April 2017


Downtown

As I made my way home back to Kim Jong-un, I took a few pictures in downtown Seoul showing some mildly interesting developments.

16 April 2017


Moon Village

I powered through and made it across northern Seoul to my destination, a moon village tucked away on the edge of the city. This place has some abandoned structures throughout but is otherwise relatively active compared to other moon villages.

16 April 2017


Wedding Hall

Riding onward, I passed by what appeared to be an abandoned wedding hall with a high fence around it. I stopped and ran the perimeter, finding an easy way in after a close encounter in a populated neighbouring apartment complex. The interior was mostly empty minus chairs, but there was enough to see to have meant my time was not wasted.

16 April 2017


Flagrant Story

I found these apartments on Instagram due to an image showing a street address, so coming to visit them I discovered they were pretty well where I expected. They were interesting enough but repetitive, and it wasn't until after when looking at the pictures I noticed they seemed to be made entirely of bricks, which seems a little strange.

15 April 2017


Baedari

I haven't been back to Baedari in years. I believe I drove past it a few years ago on my way to Wolmido or Songdo, but since 2009 I haven't spent much time here; life became immediately tougher after I had a photo exhibition here in 2009.

These days, Space Beam is celebrating its tenth year in this space, while facing pressures to pack up and leave. Likewise, a few days after I visited, the park area nearby was damaged by hired goons apparently sent by a local government.

Although it was refreshing to revisit Space Beam, our main reason for visiting was the Sudoguksan Moon Village Museum, which was more an oddity than anything as it was primarily meant to communicate to young kids the conditions their grandparents endured.

13 April 2017


RASKB Culinary Club

After months if not years of planning, the RASKB Cuisine Club finally met for the first time. We went to Jeondaegamdaek, a makgeolli house in Seochon along the market street. It's a beautiful place with a nondescript entrance leading through the former car hole into a hanok madang out back. It's a place that hits you with its layout then finishes the job with an impressive menu of food and alcohol.

Anyway, people who want to participate should join the group. It is unspecified yet if this is for RASKB members only, but the fact we all pay our bill equally at the end of the night should leave room for everyone.

8 April 2017


Butt Goats

A trip that started with me going down south to look for some abandoned apartments quickly turned into a hunt for butt goats. I discovered many of the apartments down here were rife with butt goats, and tourists -- many of them on the way to the river and likely also unsuspecting they would see such a sight -- stopped by for pictures. On my way home, I stopped by what turned out to be one of the dokkaebi markets.

7 April 2017


Mr Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Across the street from my office was an old neighbourhood of mostly commercial buildings. It was mainly restaurants but there were a few other businesses, including a "phone room" and a "kiss cafe." My goal was to get inside the kiss cafe, and while I never was able to before the building was brought down, I saw a lot of the rest of the building, including one floor above the kissing room that had a lot of sleazy beds.

4 April 2017


Opera at Severance Hospital

I went to Severance for a regular check-in with one of my specialists, and while I waited for a prescription to be filled I was entertained by an opera performance that happened right in the atrium of the hospital. I don't recall anything like this back when I was using Canadian healthcare.

1 April 2017


Sky

Unlike the last two entries, this actually was photographed on April 1. Not everything that happens that day is fake, although these days, what is real anyway?

April Fool's Day 2017


The Abandoned US Embassy

The US Embassy building was first constructed in 1962, based on a design by famous architect Kim Swoo-geun. Back then it was one of Seoul's most modern and tallest buildings. But soon after, the Americans outgrew the building, and have been trying to plan to move out since 1980.

When Trump took office in January, he fired all US ambassadors abroad. Ambassador Mark Lippert was sent home after a very eventful time here. Since then, the US Embassy has been empty.

The cops had their hands full with a large-scale protest, so I took the opportunity to attempt entry.

April Fool's Day 2017


Infiltrating Cheong Wa Dae

Now that the president has been removed from power and put in jail, we have over a month to go until the election to find her replacement. In the meantime, what's happening at Cheong Wa Dae? Repairs, renovations, and not a lot more, really.

I wandered in and had a look around while the compound was empty.

29 March 2017


Club Steel Face

At the previous show at DDP, the crowd was mostly fashion people who passively watched bands play on a big stage. Seeing the same bands play in a tiny Hongdae club was way better.

29 March 2017


Abandoned Cafe

Not far from where I live, this cafe recently closed. I'd stopped there once before when I was wandering around looking for an open cafe that had fruit juice, and this did the job for me right when I needed it.

Now that it's empty, it's really mainly interesting just for the view out back.

27 March 2017


Seoul Fashion Week

The night before, a poster went online about this show, featuring the Japanese bands Hat Trickers and Erections, both which I've seen before I think once each. It turns out, the show was organised by Bajowoo as part of Seoul Fashion Week. Bajowoo was a regular at Skunk years ago, but moved to Japan and became kind of a big deal. He probably had to return to see his dentist.

26 March 2017


Abandoned Seodaemun

I went back to CCTV Town, as there was a third abandoned neighbourhood across the street from that one. This one was fenced off with metal construction fences, making it harder to get in. The only proper entrance was across from a repair shop that is only closed on Sundays.

25 March 2017


Farewell Yellow Building

I stopped by the Yellow Building, only to find the thing half-demolished. It was one of the most interesting buildings around, so this is pretty sad for a lot of us.

25 March 2017


CCTV Town

The last time I was here was back in September, but I didn't share more than one picture because the police came at me and started questioning me. I'd given it a wide berth until suddenly remembering it and wondering what was going on there.

24 March 2017


The Circus is Back

I came outside, only to discover a new circus lion in the tent. In this picture she roared and charged me. She didn't care about the tent last year so this is an interesting change in her behaviour, and maybe their sibling relationship.

21 March 2017


RASKB Business and Culture Club

I led the monthly event for the Business and Culture Club, in which we simply went up to the roof and had a look around at the locations of note in the area. I was mainly talking about ongoing and recent urban redevelopment, but we also had Jihoon, a Korean history major who knows the major historic sites visible from the same place. We ended up with basically two different stories to tell about the same areas.

18 March 2017


From Gangseo to Gangnam

I went down to the southeast to look in on an abandoned apartment complex, but high worker traffic meant this was not going to happen.

17 March 2017


Abandoned Progress

I drove around to a few sites to see how demolition was progressing. It was.

15 March 2017


Across the Street

Across the street from my work, demolition started on another block. I got through the fence but it was too late to see that one building. More to come in the future. My ultimate goal is to get into an abandoned kissing room.

12 March 2017


Abandoned Pirate Ship

Whenever you're down in Honam, you can't avoid the pirate ship. It was originally a wedding hall shaped like a ship, but whenever Kanghee is on board, it's a pirate ship.

12 March 2017


Abandoned Neighbourhood

In the morning we all met up and went to an abandoned neighbourhood where they're knocking down a variety of buildings, from public apartments to traditional houses and a few things that are somewhere in between. It was different in style from Seoul, although the demolition was pretty much the same.

11 March 2017


Toy Store

Anjee had spotted this abandoned building but wasn't into climbing fences. It was only about six feet high so I jumped over and found out what was inside. The answer: not that much.

11 March 2017


Palbok Art Factory

We went to Jeonju for an art exhibition held in an abandoned factory.

It was run by Anjee, who I've known for years but only ever met one time before, when we went to an abandoned neighbourhood in Seoul.

The exhibition was a lot of fun and there was free alcohol. Kanghee's car was filled with toy guns so we ran around the factory shooting at each other.

10 March 2017


South of the River

I went on a quick ride south of the river, tracing my previous journey down there somewhat. Previously, I went looking for an abandoned neighbourhood two of my friends had visited, and the one I found turned out to be a different one. So I returned and found that, yes, there is one more abandoned neighbourhood here, not far from the one I was in. I also stopped by the new Noryangjin Fisheries Market building, which is not just a concrete shell like the old one, but has floor materials that are slippery and wall and ceiling materials I imagine could be vulnerable to the extra moisture. I was looking for an ATM so didn't explore further.

10 March 2017


Impeachment Day

I came into work on Friday morning despite not being scheduled for that day. I just wanted to be in a newsroom when the impeachment ruling was announced. Contrary to what I feared, the justices ruled unanimously in favour of impeachment. After that, I headed to Gwanghwamun to see how things were going there. It was relatively peaceful though I was there early in the afternoon. I skipped the Park Sa Mo counterprotest where three people died, including one or two who died of natural causes.

A lot has been accomlished and a lot more needs to be done to fix society. But on the bright side, now a lot of prominent figures who were actively seeking to harm the public have been stripped of power.

8 March 2017


Bamgol Village on TBS eFM

Colin recruited me to join him and Kurt Achin on the TBS eFM radio show Koreascape for a walk around an abandoned neighbourhood. I was uncertain about doing this, but then demolition at Bamgol Village happened so fast, I decided this was the ideal place to go.

We went there on a Wednesday afternoon for which I took an extra-long lunch break. We walked all the way up to the top, which Kurt did despite being on crutches after I think a skiing accident. Then we walked down through the area.

I came across three stray cats: Snowy, Wheezy, and Skinny. Paul had earlier visited Wheezy and remarked on how friendly he was and how great his meow was. Unfortunately, by the time I visited, he was having severe respiratory problems. Fortunately I had enough cat food for everyone.

You can read Colin's blurb and hear the show on Colin's site. In case that's gone, you can find a download link on my radio page.

5 March 2017


Under the Cop Titan

A quick stop by the Cop Titan, where the abandoned neighbourhood that is there has been surrounded by a tall fence. Also, oddly, it looks like the buildings are not being so much demolished but deconstructed for possible renovation. Whatever is happening here doesn't seem to be the usual destruction and appearance of something totally new. I need to keep watching this place.

4 March 2017


Seoul Station Overpass

After we ate, we climbed one of the new access staircases to Seoul Station Overpass, where construction has advanced to the point where they are now planting trees up there. It still has a lot of work to go, but with two months before its opening, I expect this to happen fast.

4 March 2017


Roof

We met up with the gang and went up on my work's roof, followed by dakgalbi.

4 March 2017


Margarita's Old Home

Margarita used to live in one of the abandoned neighbourhoods we visit a lot, but hadn't been back to see what it was like now. We made a quick detour there and saw that, yes, it is within the redevelopment zone and seems more recently cleared out than other parts of the neighbourhood. Just when I thought this area might start to lose its interest, I discover a whole other section I'd never seen before. At this rate it will soon swallow the whole city.

4 March 2017


Bamgol Village

I wet to Bamgol Village again and met Jeong Myung-sik, a carpenter with a lot of knowledge about traditional Korean architecture. We had a look at some of the nice examples of architecture down on ground level, then ascended up through the moon village.

1 March 2017


Sungkyunkwan Seokjeon Daeje

I co-led an RASKB tour to Sungkyunkwan for the first of this year's two Seokjeon Daeje ceremonies to Confucius. They inexplicably decided to start it at 11am instead of 10, but there were no other surprises. Unless you count the charyeju we were served for free afterwards.

1 March 2017


Ministry of Unification

What if they tore down the Ministry of Unification and nobody noticed?

27 February 2017


RASKB Council Meeting

After an RASKB meeting, Tom, Jenn, and I stayed out after midnight, encountering an anime character and a full choir that sang in the street.

25 February 2017


Saruga

After years of shopping at Saruga in Yeonhee-dong, I was curious to see if the Yeongdeungpo one was as good, and which one was the original. The Yeongdeungpo one incorporates more of a market area, with a very nicely rendered market street with food stands. So I'm guessing this one is the old one.

25 February 2017


Southwestern Seoul

Two friends had stopped by an abandoned neighbourhood in southwestern Seoul, where they were basically chased away by a worker who demanded they hand over their memory cards. I went in search of it, finding what I thought was the right area. But it turns this is a completely different abandoned neighbourhood, just east of the one they visited. I also stopped by two more abandoned neighbourhoods in the area, one newly abandoned and the other mostly gone.

25 February 2017


Noryangjin Fisheries Market

The new fisheries market building is complete, but the marketers are mostly refusing to move out of the old one. I stopped by to see what was going on. The old building is basically abandoned with all places with doors closed down, but the open market area is still quite active.

25 February 2017


Demolition Begins in Bamgol Village

I stopped by this old moon village, where I discovered the abandonment rate was extremely high and machines were starting to take down the houses at the top of the hill. I knew this would bear repeat visits very soon.

25 February 2017


Heukseok New Town

I stopped by Heukseok New Town, expecting it to be totally demolished. I was right. Someday, yuppie families here will have a very good view of the river here.

25 February 2017


Millie and Buster

Millie and Buster declare Catifest Destiny all around my apartment.

23 February 2017


Russians

The Russians were in Korea to do a high amount of exploring in the freezing cold. We met up on my roof and went to Dongdaemun for Uzbek food and more roofs.

21 February 2017


Bank of Korea Museum

I went with the RASKB Business and Culture Club to the Bank of Korea Museum, where they had a miniature of a good portion of downtown Seoul. I got into the position where my office building would be built and got a familiar picture.

19 February 2017


Grey Day

It was a depressing grey day, and I needed to check some locations for an upcoming project. I checked in on a far-gone abandoned neighbourhood that is now a brown slope, and I wandered into a newly opened highrise apartment complex that was as grey as the sky.

18 February 2017


You Partied Like Shit

As Tim and Ian are leaving, Yuppie Killer had one final show at GBN. I got some especially good pictures of KJP47, which is basically Tel taking his anger out on a very badly damaged two-stringed bass guitar, as opposed to his other previous bands where he'd turn his aggression on the audience. My pictures of Yuppie Killer were out of focus and smeared with colour, which sort of depicts how I experienced the show at the time.

18 February 2017


Abandoned Waterworks

We visited an abandoned waterworks facility I hadn't been to in a couple years. It's been sitting here in this state, clearly out of use since at least 2011 when I first visited. This time, barbwire had been put up around my entry point, but it hadn't been exactly set up competently and we were able to outsmart it. Inside the grounds, I found an unattended security shack with live CCTV footage beaming into it. Presuming we were on camera, I decided it was best to act normal and avoid approaching certain buildings. After a good amount of time there, we left without any problems.

17 February 2017


My Son

I stopped by Sewoon Arcade to get my record player fixed, bringing Alex along for the ride. While sitting in the shop, one of the odd men there asked if Alex was my son. I would have been 13 or 14 when he was born, so this was biologically feasible for sure. I spent the rest of the weekend referring to him as such.

11 February 2017


Abandoned Neighbourhood

We had two goals this weekend: get into the yellow building again, and track down an abandoned piano for Kat to play.

I confirmed that our way into the yellow building was a little too sketchy for my taste: it involves getting on top of an abandoned apartment building where there's a definitely not abandoned rooftop house, as confirmed by a pipe emitting steam. Still, three of us made it in and out without disturbing anyone. However, treading across actively inhabited property is not my idea of recreation. As for the piano, it was badly out of tune which made Kat playing it sound even eerier.

7 February 2017


YH Chang Heavy Industries

Long ago, probably in my first or second year here, I was introduced to YH Chang Heavy Industries, a bizarre website of black-and-white text presentations set mostly to very good jazz music. It turned out the artists were having an exhibit at Art Sonje Center, and although I didn't have the time to attempt to interview or even meet them, I visited the exhibit and wrote up an article about it. Plus got to the roof.

4 February 2017


The Rulerz CD Release

Korea's latest ska band, the Rulerz, brings something new to the country that had previously been sorely missing. It's a 2tone ska band that takes the best points of both Skasucks and the Pegurians and magnifies them. Admittedly their shows aren't quite to the high level of energy of Skasucks shows, but their four-song demo CD is destined to be a rare collectors' item.

For their release show, they booked Kingston Rudieska, a gutsy move and a hard act to follow. Kingston Rudieska, who I didn't photograph at all, sounded great on SHARP's sound system, proving the organisers there know what they're doing. It was still, as I said, a tough act to follow, but I look forward to seeing the Rulerz again.

3 February 2017


Neil Ta Returns

Neil Ta came back to Korea, following up his previous visit in 2015. This time he made it even more clear he was fucking done with rooftopping, although we did hit a few roofs together anyway. We also went for Chinese food, and bringing along an actual Chinese person made the experience much more comprehensible; just like anywhere else, bringing a Chinese person to a Chinese restaurant definitely results in a better experience.

29 January 2017


Seollal Day 3: Snow Day

There was a major snowfall this day, and our first idea to visit the abandoned Godeok apartment complex revealed that all the buildings had been destroyed, leaving behind a large empty lot. I tried to find the site where the mannequins, used in the earthquake drill, had been, and eventually we started noticing pieces of plastic body parts on the ground.

After, we visited Guryong Village, a place that causes some apprehension as it is still an inhabited neighbourhood.

28 January 2017


Seollal Day 2: Underground and 42 Storeys Up

We hit the same tunnel, but didn't bring fireworks this time. Philip K provided some live music for us though. After, we ate at the street food tent village mini-mall, then the night took us into an active construction site which we climbed 42 storeys up to the roof.

27 January 2017


Seollal Part 4: Hongdae

Off to Hongdae, for Philip K's song release and Nice Legs' farewell show. Plus, pro wrestling at Freebird!

27 January 2017


Seollal Part 3: Yellow Building

We crawled into this abandoned building, which turned out to belong to some sort of seniors' center and had facilities for children. It was quite something. But there was a guy living or working in another building on site, so we made a daring escape out a window.

27 January 2017


Seollal Part 2: Badasses and Cats

We stopped by Badass Bomi's to wish her a happy new year. Then we went out to another abandoned neighbourhood and met a bunch of stray cats, who I had cat food for.

27 January 2017


Seollal Part 1: Cat Sex

We wandered into one isolated corner of an abandoned neighbourhood, where we found a neat cafe and a very deep basement with religious stuff left behind. My theory is it was for a cult or one of the more vampirey churches that go door to door.

26 January 2017


A Few Pictures

Just a few random pictures, including of Millie who has decided the best place at home is on my pillow.

21 January 2017


Thunderhorse

Shortly after I arrived, my battery died, just as I was taking pictures of Paul in the snow. This heavy snowstorm kicked up and the night sky became so white it looked like daytime.

21 January 2017


More GBN

Here is the last bunch of bands, which most notably includes Bamseom Pirates.

21 January 2017


Strobe at GBN

For one act, "Dr. Pang," some of the guys got on stage and sang as the strobelight went off. This I guess was a tribute for Pyeong-an/Pang, who is moving to Australia. I took a lot of pictures of this and greatly enjoyed the effect, so here is a whole gallery of them.

21 January 2017


GBN 20 Bands Show

Here is the first bunch of bands from GBN's show. Octopoulpe started the show off again, and there were a few joke acts that were thrown together to buffer the lineup. In the end, I had a lot of trouble identifying many of the bands.

21 January 2017


Grey Dawn

On my way to the subway station, I passed through a fairly large counter-protest of Korea's elderly out to stand by their impeached president. Since Trump was newly inaugurated there were many US flags here, as well as signs decrying the media and artists as leftists. I also am pretty sure I caught one banner going by that spoke about the artist blacklist positively.

So anyway, this is what a pro-US demonstration in Korea looks like.

21 January 2017


Cats

I managed to open the window so Buster could sit next to Millie and watch the snow together. It worked well, for about a minute at least.

20 January 2017


Sinchon

The plan was to go to Sinchon to meet another Vietnamese photographer she'd contacted. We had some time to kill though, so first I took her to a roof I hadn't visited in over a year.

20 January 2017


Abandoned

I had the day off and Kat was on winter break, so we decided it would be a good chance to return to the abandoned neighbourhood and see everything under a blanket of snow. Kat also got to make her first snow angel and did some disturbing things with icicles.

20 January 2017


Snow

My scooter was blocked in at the parking garage, so while I waited for the driver to return and move his car, I retraced my steps from last night.

20 January 2017


Snow

It was snowing so I went out around 4:30am and took a bunch of pictures. First I just planned to stay on my roof, but then I had the idea to return to that old apartment complex nearby.

19 January 2017


Yongsan Disaster Anniversary

The city government released a report on the Yongsan Disaster and set up a display in City Hall's lobby about it.

I also went by the original site, which has changed somewhat since I wrote this. Almost immediately after that was published, a fence started going up around the area. It sat empty for a long time, and seemed pretty inactive last November. They've moved some heavy machinery in now, and the project seems to have a name, but it looks more like they've been covering up the ground rather than excavating.

According to the company:

Hyosung obtained the 647.9 billion won construction order of the urban environment arrangement program for district 4 near the Yongsan International Building, in December of 2015, and is obtaining a series of orders in 2016, too. Hyosung's construction sector accomplished 813.6 billion won order record as of May and is anticipated to easily accomplish the 2016 goal of obtaining 1 trillion 600 billion won order record.
Still no idea why they've taken so long to get started.

14 January 2017


Abandoned Neighbourhood

I took a different turn and wound up in a completely different part of this neighbourhood I'd never seen before, despite having visited numerous times. I also ran into my old friend Totoro, who last I saw living in Singeumho in a building about to be torn down. I guess he moved out and got some new roommates.

At one point I wanted to avoid some older dudes staking out the base of a building I was in, so I slipped through some windows and over a few roofs to find a creative way to get out of there.

13 January 2017


Buster

Buster has been extra needy lately, probably because I haven't been letting him outside as much these days. Sometimes he goes to the regular door to be let out into the stairwell, where everything is cold hard surfaces he can slide around on.

I did that this week, without my camera on me, and he found an apartment where the door had been wedged open. Worried that someone was about to scream, I knocked on the door but no one answered. The apartment was pitch dark and when I opened it, all I could see was Buster's eyes glowing at me. He seemed pretty proud of his find, a totally empty apartment with no heating, no furniture, and no lights. We looked around a bit until Millie came searching for us, in a bad mood.

This morning (the 16th), I walked by the door and heard a dog barking on the other side. Buster's not going to like that.

8 January 2017


Return to Songdo

Javin is back, and we decided it was time for him to finally see Songdo. He brought his drone there and we met up with a local friend. Two roofs I had previously visited now seem inaccessible, as security features on the roof doors have been improved.

7 January 2017


No Safety No Tomorrow

I had a long book to read, and I wanted to look in on a couple remote abandoned places that I wasn't sure would pan out (or be particularly interesting). The first I had previously identified as an old Korean military installation, though it seems more industrial in nature. It was a bunch of empty buildings without much to attract anyone there. Then I went to an abandoned villa I hadn't seen in years, only to find it in the same state with (at least) one resident remaining after all these years.

5 January 2017


Excavator Attack!

On my way to the hospital, I saw this excavator at the hospital entrance. Is Choi Soon-sil being treated here?

3 January 2017


Brother Anthony's Birthday

It was not only Brother Anthony's birthday, but also poet Jeong Ho-seung's as well. So we met up for alcohol and cake.
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    Copyright Daehanmindecline 2014