31 December 2014

New Year's Eve

For New Year's Eve, I hiked up a mountain. Right around midnight, a big group of people came and fired off tons of fireworks, ruining the mood. They were up there for about 20 minutes, and left before the cops could respond. I was not involved with them, and Daehanmindecline does not support any illegal or disruptive activities. Here's for a crime-free 2015!

29 December 2014

Yonsei Under Construction

Has anyone noticed what a dump Yonsei looks like lately? Oh well, could be worse: you could be stuck in Songdo.

29 December 2014

Interview with Colin

Last summer, I was interviewed by Colin Marshall, an urbanist who was visiting Seoul for a limited time and interviewing anyone he could find, seemingly. He went on my RASKB walk of Yongsan, and afterwards we sat at the train tracks bar and did a one-hour interview that ended up being pretty thorough, touching on a lot of urban exploration and urban renewal issues, as well as the punk scene and how life in Korea has changed over the past decade. I can't say whether I recommend listening to it, but he is very thorough about what's in it, plus there's lots of train sounds.

27 December 2014

All Together Now

This show was the closest thing we had to a Christmas/New Year's show that I could find. There isn't that much to speak of happening on Christmas or New Year's Eve, but this one show between the two had a very interesting mix of older mostly punk bands and younger mostly hardcore bands. I was more focused on the zine, as well as the attendance of Verv, so I didn't start taking pictures until very late, starting at Rudy Guns and also getting Things We Say, Return Bois, and Find the Spot.

I also released the 19th issue of Broke in Korea at this show, which can be downloaded at the usual place, where you will also find almost everything you need for Hongdaepoly.

25 December 2014

A Very Merry Host Christmas

Though I consider visiting the Host on Christmas Day to be an annual ritual, I'm pretty sure this is only the second time we've done it on the day (the first being my original visit in 2009). Things have changed a lot under Seoul, but still the only monsters down there were the ones in our group.

24 December 2014


At the last minute, I guess Jeff and Trash decided to have people over for Christmas Eve. We ordered pizza, Korean Chinese food, and fried chicken, which is slightly odder a combination than it sounds.

21 December 2014

Abandoned Prison

This is something I expect to puzzle over for a while. A totally abandoned prison, seemingly as hard to break in as it is to break out of.

20 December 2014

Monkey Business

I finally made it to Monkey Business, the venue just one neighbourhood over, located in Seochon next to Tongin Market. Not a place you'd expect a venue for punk shows, and this comes from a guy who's spent a lot of time in Mullae and Chungmuro. The bar is pretty nice, with a wide selection of import beers, and they give a lot of different bands the chance to play who I don't see often.

I mainly went for Mateo, renamed Madox at the last minute, but I met up with the lead vocalist of Jungsig-i named Jungsik who used to play in an old punk band years ago called Empty Brassiere. And I also had my memory jogged for who Overall Impasse is; I heard their album online a few weeks ago and had intended to review it for Broke. Fortunately I made some last-minute changes and fitted them in.

20 December 2014

Around the Neighbourhood

Just a few pictures from around the neighbourhood. I heard someone had sighted Santa up on the rooftops, so I went up for a look myself.

19 December 2014


I've been working on getting my driver's licence, a long, convoluted process. This is where it is done. I passed the written exam with no trouble, scoring 77 (out of what?). I failed the first course test, which was held on the course seen here, because of a lack of understanding the exam protocols. I passed it on my second try and failed my first road test, mainly because I don't shift into neutral when I'm stopped at a red light (because it's bad on the transmission, bad for fuel efficiency, increases your reaction time, plus introduces the possibility you'll forget to shift back to drive).

15 December 2014

Party 51 Party

After the release of the documentary, the four main bands (Ha Heon-jin, Danpyunsun, Bamseom Pirates, and Yamagata Tweakster) put together a show at a small cafe in Hongdae near the former location of Dooriban. And for some reason it was on a Monday. Still, there were quite a lot of people there.

I decided to stop by the new Dooriban for supper first, and when I walked in wearing my construction worker's jacket, Ahn Jongnyeo looked alarmed. Probably not the best place to wear that jacket.

15 December 2014


It snowed again, so I went out during the worst of it to get more pictures.

13 December 2014

Kingston Rudieska CD Release

Kingston Rudieska released a double album at a show on Saaturday. It was held in MUV Hall, which I previously had been to for another reggae show. That time it was not a very nice place, and I saw staff mistreating JoshRoy's manager during his set, but this time around I didn't see anything going wrong. The show was overall very good, with Kingston Rudieska doing two sets with a ton of guest musicians stretching back to the early days of the band.

13 December 2014


Scaffolding went up over the wall of Changdeokgung so that workers could cut down branches. And so that I could practice trespassing on royal property.

12 December 2014

Woodstock Show

On Wednesday night after I'd already gathered up and promoted the weekend's shows, I got another invite for a show at Woodstock in Itaewon. This one was put on by Amy from S-Gerat, and one of the bands was Sato Yukie and Tyler Brown, so I decided to give it a try. I'd been having trouble getting in touch with Amy about doing an article for the zine, so I tried meeting up with her in person. As you can see in the pictures, it was a pretty weird show with plastic bags and gold glitter and a lukewarm audience drinking in a scummy dive bar.

11 December 2014

Party 51 Opening

If you ever went to Duriban around 2010/11, you should probably watch this documentary to see if you're in it. Every time I went there, I could see Jung Yong-taek running around with his video camera recording everything. Turns out, he finally did something with all that footage. Party 51 is a passionate film with a strong narrative arc from start to finish. Even if you disagree with the politics, you will probably never see a better film about Korean underground music.

For now, I'm saving my thoughts for the next issue of Broke, which should be released around Christmas. But go see this movie. Information about screenings all across Korea is here. Unfortunately there are no English subtitles yet, but there eventually will be. I saw it twice -- once on a computer screen with subtitles, and once in the theater in Korean only -- and it should be everyone's priority to see it on the big screen, which brings you right into Duriban up close with the Jarip guys.

9 December 2014


The strays in the area around my work have been getting a bit more desperate and a bit more bold, sitting outside this side door looking for any heat source or students willing to pity them with food. I took a few pictures in order to get closer to them. My tongsis came in very useful, allowing me to get real closeup video of them without being scratched. Well, these are with my DSLR.

7 December 2014

Santa Claus Conquers the Koreans

Santa was a bit too late to this neighbourhood to give presents to all the little boys and girls.

6 December 2014

Don't They Know it's Christmas?

Santa stopped in at AA Studios where there were two shows in one night. Unfortunately a good new venue was too large to fit in his sack, so we must wait and hope.

6 December 2014

Santa Claus Conquers the Koreans

Santa returns again this year, scouting out Korea due to the logistics of all the rooftops.

3 December 2014

First Snow

As I remarked a couple days earlier, snow is a lot like tornados. If it doesnt actually touch down on the ground it isnt really happening. It finally touched down on December 3. When I opened my window in the morning for Millie to take her perch, we were greeted with a thin blanket of snow over all the roofs.

I rushed to work and spent the morning wandering around campus taking snow pictures.

1 December 2014

Hamilton Hotel

I was surprised to see that the Hamilton is closed for extensive remodeling. Considering the Seokyo Hotel is currently being torn down, we're losing a lot of old hotels from a similar era all at once. It's kind of a major landmark of Itaewon. But then again, do you expect anyone to care when nothing was said about Yongsan Electronics Market being demolished or a sizeable corner of Insadong getting destroyed?

30 November 2014

Ska 4 Ensemble

After the penthouse party, I went to All That Jazz in Itaewon to see Ska 4 Ensemble, a new group that seems to be a side project for the jazzier members of Kingston Rudieska. Despite the name, it seems like they're more of a quintet, with frequent sixth and seventh collaborators. They did two sets, the second one with Danish reggae singer Philip Knudsen. I might still upload a couple videos from that performance if they are good enough quality.

30 November 2014

Penthouse Party

Dear Penthouse,
I never thought this would happen to me, but I
was invited to a get-together at a riverfront penthouse that a friend was housesitting at. It had a good view overlooking the river and a giant white dog. I spent a lot of time out on the ledge until my pants were soaked from the earlier rain. Anyway, this is what I saw up there.

29 November 2014

Totoro's Neighbourhood

I went back again to reshoot some things in Totoro's Neighbourhood, mainly Totoro himself. We also were surprised by a very large cat and found some wheatpastings that weren't there the week before.

28 November 2014 2014

American Thanksgiving

Jeff and Trash hosted an American Thanksgiving feast at their place. It was somewhat of a potluck, but using military connections we also had turkey, ham, gravy, and pumpkin pie. I made traditional Canadian Kraft Dinner, brought some backup pumpkin mix, and decided to include their cats by bringing some catnip. From now on whenever I'm invited to any kind of potluck at a place with cats, I'm bringing catnip, because it's unlikely anyone else will think of that. Unless they're reading this site.

Anyway, this American holiday was attended only by about four Americans. There were even more Canadians and we had three Europeans as well, not to mention Koreans. The original Thanksgiving was a coming together of white immigrants and Native hosts, and shortly after the immigrants mostly wiped out the locals. Read into that whatever you like.

23 November 2014

Catnip Party

Just a couple pictures of Millie and Buster on the nip.

22 November 2014

Totoro's Neighbourhood

We went hunting for roofwhales in Totoro's Neighbourhood. Well, there's one. There was a lot of other crazy stuff around there as well. It's impossible to see every part of this area. I doubt I'm even getting close. This time I wandered up a completely different street and saw a totally different side of the area.

21 November 2014

Redevelopment around Bukchon

Recently I was kind of surprised by the sudden shrouding of the old mokyoktang on my street. When I moved in, Tyler recognised it from articles online about its old preserved heritage. I've otherwise heard it's old and not so comfortable inside. Anyway, the blankets have gone up and the sign has been taken down. Will it be demolished or gutted and turned into art spaces like its neighbours? We'll see.

16 November 2014

Millie's Birthday Party

I missed Millie's birthday by one day, and she's been quite cranky with me. I brought out the catnip so she could forget about her problems with drugs.

16 November 2014


I met up with Paul and we scouted around a few places and hit a good roof in Hongdae. Also, it appears they're tearing down the Seogyo Hotel, which kind of surprises me.

15 November 2014

Billy Carter at Jogwang

We showed up late, just in time to catch the last of Gonguri and see Billy Carter.

15 November 2014

Abandoned Neighbourhood

Just another trip to a familiar abandoned neighbourhood. Demolition is progressing faster than I expected.

14 November 2014

RASKB Concert

In one week, I went to four RASKB events: I ran into a walking tour led by Peter Bartholomew on Sunday, then I attended a lecture on Tuesday, an excursion planning committee meeting on Wednesday, and this concert on Friday. Also on Saturday I ran into Brother Anthony at a bar after an RASKB colloquium. Is the RASKB turning into a secret society that's stalking me?

10 November 2014

SKKU Uphill

In case you aren't getting sick of pictures of the university, here are a bunch more. These show further up the hill, as well as a visit from Charlotte and a lot of Indonesians.

9 November 2014

RASKB Tour at Unhyeonggung

On an unscheduled walk, I ran into an RASKB walking tour. They were just about to finish, so I was allowed to tag along for a bit. It happened that the last stop was Unhyeonggung, the detached palace just south of where I live. I've looked down on it from roofs and I got a closer look at the renovations to the European-style building there, but it was my first time walking through the older buildings. It turns out Peter Bartholomew was intimately familiar with them and had visited while they were still inhabited.

8 November 2014

Iron Lung at Jogwang Photo Studio

I managed to avoid Hongdae this weekend and still make it to two shows. After the Funkafric show in Insadong, I went back to Jogwang Studio in Chungmuro for a big hardcore show headlined by the American band Iron Lung. It was a pretty intense show and I met quite a lot of people I should've met before.

8 November 2014

Cat Tail

What is Buster up to this time?

7 November 2014

Funkafric Bluestar

Every so often, Lim Ji-hoon of Funkafric Boostdah organises a show at Blue Star, the makgeolli Hanok next to Insadong. I think if they do them too often, there will be too many people. Last one was on Samil and there was a big bar-clearing brawl. This time they played three full sets, mixing in funk, jazz, and reggae/ska, with no unplanned interruptions. The only reason I might say the last show was better was because it was a force of nature seeing they keep on playing without missing the beat while the brawl raged on next to them. Otherwise, this was a fantastic show.

6 November 2014

Seoul Above and Below

I met up with Jessica and hit a few places around Seoul. One of those places was Tyler, and we brought him with us to more places. One thing I especially wanted to figure out was where this video was recorded. Sure enough, it was on a roof I've visited a few times.

3 November 2014

Fall at SKKU

More pictures of leaves on campus. Too lazy to pare down the pictures from this and the previous gallery.

30 October 2014

Halloween at SKKU

Here's a pretty large gallery of pictures from all over campus, ending with a costume party in the old campus. The original plan was to get a bunch of students together and film a Thriller-style video. I didn't have time to stick around for that, but I got lots of pictures of the students interacting with young children on a field trip and the ton of photojournalists who showed up.

26 October 2014

Cousin Visits

I got news that my cousin Elaine was coming to Korea for a few days. Her last time being in Korea was 1996 when she was around 12. Things have changed a bit. I met up with her on Sunday to show her around downtown, and I brought along Nels and his girlfriend Sohhee as well.

25 October 2014

Crying Nut at Club Spot

I took a lot of pictures that night, so here are the ones from Crying Nut's venue-closing set.

25 October 2014

Still Alive: The Death of Club Spot

Well Club Spot is closing down now, and the last show was a Halloween show. Well, there was a hip-hop show the next day, but who cares? I didn't have the chance to photograph all the bands, basically only getting Burning Hepburn, the Geeks, ...Whatever That Means, Skasucks, Pinheads, and one more. Ken was busy with a camera with a ridiculously bright flash setup the whole night, but who's going to take pictures of the Pinheads? That's why I was there.

25 October 2014


My friend Nels recently moved to Korea for a few months. The last time I saw him was 2007 when he visited me in Korea on the way back from a stay in Australia. He's pretty much exactly like I remember him from as far back as I can look.

19 October 2014

Hacking the City Festival

There was another big street festival in Sinchon with some hardcore bands, and I was interested to learn more about the organisers, so I showed up. Turns out I was the only one there not hungover, by the looks of it (well, Shawn and Eshe's daughter probably was sober). I hit some roofs with Paul and found one very good one.

Also, here's a recent article I did introducing 11 young bands. I didn't want to have too many bands so a lot regrettably didn't make the list. I actually had thought Green Flame Boys were on the list until I counted later. I also didn't include Scumraid because I didn't think they had formed in the 2010s. Oh well, in my next Seoul Magazine column, I call them Seoul's loudest band.

18 October 2014


I was told we would have a mandatory hiking day in Gapyeong with all the administrative workers at the university. I decided to spend the night before in Gapyeong to see what it's like at night. All things considered, I would've much preferred to spend the time in Seoul, but oh well, the air was clear and the hike was painless. Other than the huge blister on my right achilles heel caused by the shoes I was gifted by the university.

13 October 2014


Just a few pictures from around work and on my hike home.

12 October 2014


After the event ended, we went up on one of the roofs I'd visited earlier to sit and watch the bridge open, plus take in the second most impressive sunset I've seen this year.

12 October 2014


At around 3, with one hour left before the event ends, we went up and crossed the overpass. It was quite an interesting event, with tons of people walking across as well as several activities set up on the bridge.

12 October 2014

Seoul Station 284

I met up with Charlotte, Jacco, Jaeeun, and Matt at Seoul Station 284. They're having some sort of exhibit in there involving destroyed and found items.

12 October 2014


The overpass next to Seoul Station was shut down temporarily on Sunday for a few hours, allowing pedestrians to walk over and see what it's like up close.

I woke up on Sunday morning to find three separate invites to go. I decided to show up early and hit a few roofs first so I could get a better view of the overpass. These pictures come from three roofs, though one is just the top level of the parking lot for Lotte Mart.

11 October 2014


I spent the weekend hiking up out SKKU's back gate and seeing where the road takes me in the other direction. My dad previously found his way up here, but I took a different road leading down into Seongbuk-dong, a quiet old neighbourhood going through a similar development as it gets quietly discovered by young Koreans who open trendy businesses. I'd previously been driven by here and really wanted to come back to photograph that wall.

8 October 2014

Lunar Eclipse

To celebrate Hangeul Day, the Earth decided to get all up in the Moon's face and have a total lunar eclipse. Not that my camera is particularly useful for shooting that. But it was right out my bedroom window, where Millie and I could comfortably watch it.

7 October 2014


The campus has been a lot louder lately, due to the high number of kids visiting during the day. They're not the younger kindergarteners in Hanbok -- there's an increase in loud grade school kids now.

Anyway, I went looking for somewhere quiet, and I decided to jump a small fence into a little gap buffering the neighbourhood from the back of Changdeokgung. Apparently Sungkyunkwan students have climbed the wall into the palace for centuries, though I have yet to replicate their success.

5 October 2014

Abandoned Stuff

I mentioned recently how there are several brownfield zones in Seoul, one of which is said to house 388,000 cubic meters of industrial waste. Sounds like a fun weekend!

4 October 2014

Fireworks Festival

After last year's fireworks festival proved to be a good way to meet up with some of the other urban explorers of Seoul, I ended up going only with Jessica, the only one able to wake up in time for sunset. This time, we found one really nice roof next to the water, but about an hour before the performance started, everyone was kicked off the roof by residents. I tried another roof nearby, and we got lucky.

3 October 2014

Abandoned Neighbourhood

Walking home one day, I passed by a protester in a traditional costume protesting in front of Hyundai E&C. I first wrote him off as crazy, but some of the words on his sign stuck with me. I came back, talked with him, and got his picture.

He was protesting a redevelopment project in an old area I used to live near. That area in particular inspired a rough saying I have -- if you like a part of Seoul, I give it five years before it's redeveloped. This area was one of the more picturesque parts of the area back when I was living there, and it actually has taken about five years from my moving for it to go. It's still early in the process and it's hard to see from a distance what's going on.

30 September 2014

SKKU Festival

We had a three-day festival at the Seoul campus. The first night, the headliners were Kingston Rudieska, a band I'd always thought would be a good choice to play a campus festival, though this happened without my meddling at all. They also brought along Walter formerly of Stingers ATX and Brian formerly of Aggrolites, the latter who was in Korea to record an album for Kingston Rudieska.

The second night was a hip-hop show, and I showed up with my tripod to get some pictures of the festivities. I was much more interested in the festival than the acts. There was also an opera performance in front of Myeongnyundang, which may have been the first of its kind. The third night was going to feature a K-pop idol group, but the weather wasn't so good so I skipped it.

27 September 2014


Take a wild guess which city I visited with my parents. We initially planned to go to Jeju but were talked out of it due to not having enough time. So I looked at the train map, and decided I'd never gone to Mokpo at the end of the line. So that was where we went.

Mokpo presents itself as a sleepy seaside town with a strong fishing industry. Our first night there, we stayed in a tourist hotel overlooking the sea next to a fish market. We walked around and visited an old neighbourhood that's seen better days. Then, next day we moved to Hadang, a newer urban area "New Town" that actually has a symmetrical layout. It's also the venue for the Mokpo Dancing Sea Fountain, which has shows at 20:00, 20:40, and sometimes 21:20.

Our motel there was cheaper, had more comfortable beds, and a nice roof. The view from my window overlooked the fountain.

28 September 2014

RASKB Sungkyunkwan Tour

This Sunday, I'm leading a tour for the Royal Asiatic Society Korea Branch of Sungkyunkwan, starting uphill at the back gate and walking downhill through the campus. We will visit the SKKU Museum which is having a special exhibit for its 50th anniversary featuring the calligraphy of Korea's top Confucian scholars, including some that have never been publicly exhibited before. We will also visit the traditional 616-year-old campus. Originally the plan was to attend the Seokjeon Daejae festival held on this day, but on August 29 they quietly announced that it would be held instead on September 3.

The price of this event is 15,000 KRW, or 10,000 for students and RASKB members. The price has been lowered for RASKB events due to the reduced program. If you want to join us, please get in touch with the RASKB or me.

24 September 2014

SKKU Museum

The SKKU Museum celebrates its 50th year with a few new exhibits. I found some new history stuff, as well as an extensive calligraphy display. There is also an impressive photo exhibition (albeit not properly set up currently) showing pictures taken by a Japanese photographer in the 1920s and what the scenes look like now.

I led an RASKB tour through here on the weekend, so there might be more pictures by others soon.

22 September 2014

SKKU Sports Festival

I went to Suwon for a sports festival at SKKU's Natural Sciences Campus. This was talked about a bit more extensively (and somewhat fictionalised due to adding in pictures from other visits) for a larger blog post for the government. There were many sports competitions, and I was the only competitor in the rooftopping event. I didn't receive any medals though.

20 September 2014

Guerrilla Show in Sinchon

I wasn't up for going to Hongdae, but there was a show in Sinchon much more convenient to home. I missed most of it but showed up for the last three bands. Nothing heals the soul like a guerrilla black metal show in front of a church. And Christfuck.

18 September 2014

Thunderhorse Open Stage

After last week, we decided to have another open stage even at Thunderhorse. Ken did an encore performance, Paul played didgeridoo, and Jeff played a couple songs. While my dad was playing, a big mostly-Filipino group showed up and began singing along.

18 September 2014

SKKU Suwon Natural Sciences Campus

Work called me away to the Suwon campus, so I naturally brought my camera. Our meeting was on the top floor in the Samsung Library, and it happened to end just as some maintenance workers opened a door to the roof. I stepped out and asked them if they minded me taking a few pictures, and up I went. The roof surface actually feels a lot safer than it looks in these pictures, and traction was very good.

17 September 2014


Students are getting younger and younger every day.

14 September 2014

A few things

These pictures are from a few different days, mostly around Anguk. We went to the Modern History Museum and my mom made some arts and crafts.

10 September 2014

Cat Cafe

We went back to the same cat cafe in Sinchon that my parents visited the last time they were in Korea.

9 September 2014

Moses Barbecue

On Tuesday, we went to Jeff and Trash's place for a rooftop barbecue. We had to leave early because my landlord had invited us to his place for another huge feast of leftover Chuseok food.

8 September 2014

Deoksugung on Chuseok

For the day of Chuseok itself, we went to Deoksugung for a free performance. Right across the street in Seoul Plaza was an even louder Pentecostal event that often was louder than this one.

7 September 2014


For Chuseok, we stayed in Seoul. We spent Sunday night, the night before Chuseok, in Gwanghee-dong, which I recently saw rebranded as Gwanghee Silk Road. After an Uzbek feast, we parted ways with my parents and went up to a roof where we talked about our ancestors under the Chuseok moon.

1 September 2014


I met up with a couple of urban exploring punks travelling through Korea who have an interest in subway tunnels. I figured we might as well try to hit both tunnels in one night, going between an active one and one under construction.

Later on, one of them rode the rails to Busan and the other one ran into me when I was showing around escapees from a cult.

31 August 2014

Swiss Embassy

I had passed the Swiss Embassy on the way to the ska fest, and noticed an excavator demolishing one of the buildings on the property. That meant the fence was gone and it was time to get in. I got into the compound but the embassy building is still locked tight, and receiving power.

30 August 2014

New Generation of Ska Fest Part 2

I probably took more photos of the last three bands than all the earlier bands put together. Probably the main reason for this was that it was getting too dark for street photography.

After all the roofs I hit or tried to hit, I finally found the best one, which was on top of a single-storey booth thing right next to the stage. It gave me a perfect vantage point onto the stage so I could capture the last moments of Goyang's life.

30 August 2014

New Generation of Ska Fest Part 1

It's taken me quite a while to get through the ska fest photos, mainly due to work, Chuseok, and my family visiting. This gallery has Rudy Guns, Pegurians, No.1 Korean, Ska Wakers, Burning Hepburn, maybe some of Reska (I didn't intend to snub them here or in DoIndie), Beach Valley, Autocratics, and Lazybone. It looks like there is way, way more to go through for the last three bands.

29 August 2014

Cheondogyo and Confucianism

I showed up at work to find that our office was being renovated, so I wandered around and got into way more trouble than I could have expected. I went to a conference on the Donghak Movement and similar anti-imperial peasant movements, where I saw the leader of Cheondogyo give a welcoming speech. Then I went down to the old campus where I saw the bimonthly jesa ceremony being performed. I bumped into delegates from the Asia Conference of Religions for Peace, an interfaith organisation that actually works closely with the UN. Absolutely no relation to the World Alliance of Religions Peace Festival (either WARP Festival or WAR Peace Festival, depending on how hard Shinchonji is trying to appear UN-approved). Through them I met Seo Junkie, the president of the Sungkyunkwan Confucian Institute. Anyway, quite a productive morning.

Speaking of SKKU, I'll be leading an RASKB tour of the university including the old grounds on September 28. The original plan was to attend the major Confucian ceremony normally held on Confucius' birthday, but at the last minute they decided to hold it earlier in the month and not inform that many people. But there's a chance we'll witness a smaller jesa ceremony to Confucius. Like my Yongsan tour, all are welcome but this is not a free trip, and all the money will go to the oldest Korean studies organisation which is perpetually broke. You can read more about it here.

28 August 2014

SKKU International Orientation

There were two separate orientations for foreign students, the first conducted in Korean for degree-seeking students, and the second the next day for exchange students. Well, there was also a third at the Suwon campus for students down there, but I didn't make it to that. The exchange students got the most exciting orientation, which included a campus tour, a meal, and drinks afterward.

27 August 2014

Hoeshik in Jongno

I met up with members of the KOCIS Korea Blog for dakgalbi. After, it was too late to catch the bus so I had to walk home. Most of these pictures are from that.

25 August 2014

SKKU Graduation

One of the many ceremonies performed at the old Sungkyunkwan grounds is done twice a year during graduation. The university president leads a ceremony at Daeseongjeon in which he reports to the spirit of Confucius about the graduating class. This time around I was prepared for the graduation and knew I wanted to attend this ceremony.

I don't post all of my SKKU pictures on this site. More of what I do can be seen at the SKKU International Facebook page.

24 August 2014

Wandering Around Jongno

I figured I had to do something, so I went out and wandered around the neighbourhood. I headed over to check out the abandoned highrise behind Deoksugung, but it's still swarming with all sorts of people.

23 August 2014

Chungmuro Punk Part 2

Here's the rest of the Jarip show. This venue is also a photo studio, so it's very useful for trying out a number of tricks with a camera. Chungmuro will never replace Hongdae as the mecca of live music, not even the same way Mullae seemed to promise to, but it's a fun environment for shows and it's walking distance from home.

23 August 2014

Chungmuro Punk Part 1

Some weekends I just need a break from Hongdae. It doesn't mean I stop drinking or listening to loud music. Fortunately Jarip HQ in Chungmuro has great shows from time to time. This one was organised by Yongjun of Banran and it was a lot of fun. It was also one of Matt's final shows with Mixed Blood, and they played a great set as always. Matt's moving away, and Cliff will follow him next year. End of an era. This gallery only has Yuppie Killer and Mixed Blood.

22 August 2014


Graduation for the spring semester grew near. I got a few fortunate pictures around campus in advance. Also, free alcohol from work. But it comes in a nice bottle and it's from Andong, so not sleazy at all.

19 August 2014


If you stay in Korea the medium term, you get used to people leaving. If you stay long term, you get used to people who left returning.

16 August 2014

Taking Care of Business

The day after the Business show, I organised an afterparty show. The main idea was to give everyone a chance to meet the Business, and for them to see more Korean bands. The show ended up going exceptionally well, and I made sure all bands walked away paid and the Business stumbled away not having paid for a single drink. Unfortunately since I was working I didn't get much chance to take pictures.

15 August 2014

Business Korea Tour 2014

Well this was the big event. It was a pretty good show, but judging by Redboi's reaction, it could've been bigger. The Business may not have seen the Korean punk scene at its greatest, but they saw the best we could do these days.

14 August 2014

Business Associates

Well we survived the weekend. The tour is complete and the afterparty went down without any problems. I have a lot of pictures to get through, but for now here are some pictures from when I took the Business associates downtown for a walk around, then we went back to Hongdae for a blessing from Jesus and God and some beer.

13 August 2014

Business seminar

Apparently after I left them last night, the Business guys wandered around and found their way to a great affordable bar. Vent, across the street from where Roots Time used to be, sells Cass for 3000 won a glass, and Alley Kat for 5000 won. They also pretty well let you play whatever you want. I cleared the room by requesting "Drinking and Driving," and when I discovered that the owners wanted to play the whole album, I had to explain to them that bands really don't like listening to their own music.

We were joined by Janghyup from Resolute, then Jongo who brought along Attacking Forces CDs for the band, and Jeff, Trash, and Mizno as well. Plus we ran into some Germans who were probably pretty surprised to find themselves in Korea drinking with the Business. Good times and way too much alcohol.

12 August 2014

Business meeting

Yes, the Business is in Seoul. Redboi picked them up from the airport and I met them for dinner at This is Chicken. We walked around Hongdae and I discovered that the idea of drinking in the playground, or outside anywhere really, doesn't really appeal to the band members. Anyway, there should be more news to come over the next few days.

Also, Broke in Korea 18 is out. If the online PDF isn't good enough for you, and if you want to try the crossword without damaging your screen, you can pick up a copy at the Business show or the afterparty which has the greatest poster I've ever made.

10 August 2014


On Sunday I was going to visit one of these, but was stopped by the rain. Then around sunset, the rain started to let up and the clouds let in the sunlight. It turned the sky a very bizarre orangish colour, and I took a few pictures from my windows.

7 August 2014


Following the previous incident which involved outwitting a security guard, I returned to Sinchon and hit a number of other rooftops. And there was a subway tunnel involved at one point as well.

5 August 2014


I stopped by Mix & Malt where Joshua was having a birthday. There's only one picture to share, and it's of Morgan drinking gravy out of a gravy boat with a straw, along with one of Korea's main food bloggers.

2 August 2014


Saturday had the nicest sunset anyone can remember seeing in Korea, combined with a rainbow, and most of my Facebook friends had pictures of it.

When it was happening, we were 30-something floors up on a roof overlooking Sewoon Arcade. We only wanted to stay a few minutes, but the sky was so nice we just couldn't leave. Oh yeah, and that rainbow? Double rainbow.

2 August 2014

Yaksu Overpass

Following the closure of Ahyeon Overpass, the city was quick to also get rid of Yaksu Overpass. This one was removed in a much different manner, possibly due to improved construction techniques.

Unfortunately we didn't get a chance to walk on it, but we did visit an interesting roof nearby for a view of it.

2 August 2014


I met up with Mathieu, a French urban explorer currently on a trip around the world, and another guy whose name he wasn't comfortable sharing, and we hit up the abandoned neighbourhood near Hongje. This one is almost completely demolished, and what's left is in very rough shape. Also, this picture somehow makes them look like giants.

28 July 2014


Located in southwestern Seoul, the Magok District is an environmentally-friendly knowledge industry cluster where cutting-edge convergence indusries coexist with organizations specializing in international business. It is a future-oriented town that will connect Seoul to the rest of the world.

Or something. There's been a huge brownfield zone sitting here for as long as I can remember (which means about 2007). There has been talk about all sorts of redevelopments, often focused on industry, and while there is more growth, it still seems to be around the edges without a concrete plan for the whole area. All 3.6 million square meters of it, or 0.6 percent of Seoul's total area. Stephane at Seoul Village has much more to say on this area in an article from January 2013.

27 July 2014


After saying bye to Elaine and Inah, I managed to meet up with Chelsea in Sinchon. We hit a couple roofs, but things got a bit tense when the security guard for the McDonald's building came looking for us. He must've seen us on the CCTV and known that all the businesses in the building were closed, so he came up to the roof to look around, then returned to his post to wait by the elevator for us to come down. Instead, we took the stairs, which involved slipping through some metal bars right under his nose. It was a narrow escape that we somehow managed to pull off.

27 July 2014

Rooftopping with Elaine

I met up with Elaine, a Hong Kong urban explorer on vacation in Seoul for a few days. Unfortunately we didn't have time for her to meet the other Hong Kong urban explorer visiting right now, but we did manage to spend a couple hours hitting roofs in Dongdaemun.

26 July 2014


Brandon invited us to his area for a look around. Seochon is a few years behind Bukchon in gentrifying, but it seems to be appealing less to tourists and more to a younger crowd. The land price has rapidly and greatly increased, which means a lot of the residents are no longer able to afford their own homes. In one section up on the hill, there is a high vacancy rate, and I was told by one resident that there are 40 abandoned homes here. Apparently a lot of foreigners are buying land in this area. There still are many residents, so it's really not the same as visiting an abandoned neighbourhood. No redevelopment plans are known, so it should be interesting to see what happens with this area over the next few years.

24 July 2014


I don't know what this means, just that it's used as an expletive on Red Dwarf and that it sounds almost like a culture that only uncircumcised men are able to grow.

19 July 2014

Abandoned Neighbourhood

I revisited the abandoned neighbourhood with a few friends.

First, there was Colin Marshall, an urbanist who was in the country to learn everything he could about urbanism here. He'd already gone on my Yongsan tour and I didn't want him to leave without seeing an abandoned neighbourhood, and this one is the most happening these days. Colin is back in the US now and has published a series for The Guardian on urban Korea, but there's more to come and he's hoping to return in the future.

Also, there was Chelsea, who met up with Ivan and Kanghee when they visited her in Hong Kong. It seems like there are HK urban explorers everywhere these days.

Plus, we invited along a couple of contributors to a newly formed magazine about youth counterculture in Korea. They'd interviewed me for their upcoming first issue on punk in Korea, and I pitched to them doing something about urban exploring. The translator seemed very interested so she invited the editor along and we had an interesting walk around. Their editor knows a lot about the modern history of a lot of the furniture we came across, which added a very interesting dimension to the trip.

12 July 2014

DoIndie FWD Show

Lately I've been doing a lot of writing for DoIndie. I figure it's the best platform out there for promoting Korea's music scene, especially now when there are so many major events coming up. I've been working my way through a series on the bands playing at the New Generation of Ska Festival. Now that the fundraising is successfully concluded, it's a little less urgent. Here's a list of the articles I've done for them so far:
  • Patients English Korean
  • Team New Generation of Ska English Korean
  • Skasucks English Korean
  • Pegurians English Korean
  • Rudy Guns English Korean
  • No.1 Korean English Korean

    Anyway, DoIndie had a show at Club Ta which ended up turning into Rose's birthday. I stopped by but really didn't have the energy that night.

  • 11 July 2014

    Roots Time Closing

    Seemingly out of nowhere, Roots Time closed.

    10 July 2014


    I've been extremely busy all month due to work, thanks to the International Summer Semester. We have more international students come for this three-week course than we do for the rest of the year all together. On the bright side, one of the students inquired to me about rooftopping, which just so happens to be something I know a bit about. We only managed to hit one roof, but it's one of the best.

    10 July 2014

    Deoksugung Pungnyu

    Jocelyn Clark advertised on Facebook that she was performing at Deoksugung as part of their Thursday night Pungnyu program. This is a basically free concert series (you pay entrance to the palace which is 1000 KRW. I'd previously attended two years earlier with my parents and I figured this was a good opportunity to go back.

    It was a lot more popular this time, and there was pretty well no room to sit. We stayed for Jocelyn's set and heard her surprisingly amazing singing voice, as well as one more act, then it was time to head off.

    9 July 2014 2014


    At work, someone gave me three boxen of blueberries. They were very small of course, but depending on market value this could be worth anywhere between 15-30 000 KRW. And then I left them out on my desk, in an un-air-conditioned office.

    So, I hiked up over the hill at night back to the university to rescue the blueberries. This was my first time doing this walk in this direction, and it was strenuous. But at least the path was well lit.

    8 July 2014

    Wasted Land

    Why can't I ever just have a normal walk? All I wanted to do was investigate a brownfield zone in central Seoul, and suddenly I'm scouting out an abandoned highrise. Never mind the fact that there's been an abandoned highrise just sitting there in a prominent area in downtown for at least four years now.

    Anyway, this is a bit of footwork for an upcoming article I'm going to be doing.

    Update: Nikola at Kojects has scooped me on the Sogong "golden plot" pictured above.

    6 July 2014

    Sunday walk

    I went for a stroll around the neighbourhood, which led me to discover an interesting religion I'd never really known about before, and also have a rough encounter with a security guard. You know, just an average Sunday walk.

    5 July 2014

    Billy Carter Comeback Show

    Billy Carter apparently broke up a couple months ago, and before that could sink in, they decided to come back, this time with an actual drummer. Their music has changed, and some of their older songs no longer work because the drums obscure all their subtlety, but they have new material that works just fine. Also, they released an EP in their old style at this show, which is something I wish they'd been doing frequently over the last few years.

    5 July 2014

    AA Show

    I went to AA for a show with way too many bands for the small practice space. Unfortunately I was only able to see the first four bands before leaving, but if that was when they were just getting started, things must've gotten way crazier later.

    This show was a fundraiser for Shim "Black Commie" Jihoon, who apparently has suffered a bit of legal trouble due to his political activism. Oh well, as long as he isn't paying off public nudity charges or anything. They also released a compilation album that I'm looking forward to listening to.

    And yes, I have exactly one picture of Jihoon's junk. It didn't make it into this gallery in case he ever wants to run for political office.

    1 July 2014

    Hanok "Restoration"

    This is something I've been watching closely since April. Currently the roof tiling is almost done, and then all that will be left to do is interior work that I won't be observing. So, here is a rundown of the progress so far.

    Hanok restoration requires two steps:
    1: Demolish existing Hanok
    2: Build an entirely different one in its place.

    I've also put the pictures together in an animated gif so you can see the new one replace the old one.

    22 June 2014


    Still getting ready for the RASKB walking tour of Yongsan on June 28. This time, I went back and did a thorough walk around the railyard, following roughly the path I've been planning. It all took around two hours. Of course I made a few other pitstops that won't be on the tour, so it might actually go a bit faster. But probably not.

    The deadline for signing up is Wednesday I think. The more walking around I've done, the more confident I am this is going to be very interesting.

    21 June 2014

    Team New Generation of Ska Fundraiser

    Team New Generation of Ska (English) is working on putting on a free ska festival in Sinchon at the end of August. They're raising funds to keep the price at 0 despite the fact they're bringing in three bands from overseas. To that end, they put on a fundraiser at Thunderhorse on the weekend.

    I've also been working on an article series about the participating bands, and we just published one on Skasucks (English).

    I met up with Redboi and his wife after their return to Korea, as well as Walter and his daughter who also recently arrived back in Korea (Walter's daughter said this was her first day). She wore very big impractical high-heel shoes, so Walter sent her out barefoot into the street with some money telling her to go find new shoes. Somehow she did and even found her way back to us.

    The show went well, though I have no idea how much money they raised. If you haven't yet, there's not much time left to donate.

    16 June 2014

    From Mannam to IPYG: another Shinchonji cult front

    Remember a couple years ago when I attended the world's largest cult event? Here's an update on what everyone's favourite* Korean cult has been up to since then. Long story short: they created a bunch of new cult front groups, then suddenly pulled the plug on all of them. But they'll be back.

    *Hear me out. Their attempts at deception are hilariously easy to see through, and they're not quite as notoriously destructive as WMSCOG or JMS I'd say.

    15 June 2014

    Yongsan Electronics Market

    I returned to Yongsan, this time with a tripod and a respirator. Having the first makes a world of difference in photography, and having the latter makes breathing feel a little safer, even if you're not breathing as fast as you'd like sometimes. This time, the demolition has progressed respectably. I think they might have to slow down here as they take down the escalators. But I know nothing about demolition, and the hollow area might help them move faster.

    I'm preparing for my RASKB walking tour of Yongsan on June 28, and this demolition has forced me to change my plans. Originally we were going to walk through the market, but now that's pretty well impossible. I doubt the building will even be standing by the 28th. I'm committed to keeping this walk trespassing-free, so it's suitable for anyone who can stand all the walking. It's 20,000 won for RASKB members and 25,000 won for non-members. Also, we have a Facebook event page, but that doesn't mean you don't still have to register through the RASKB.

    14 June 2014


    I don't think there are many other people who would go to both a garden party and a Durchfall concert on the same day. Well, Durchfall will only be around for two shows anyway, before their drummer Chris leaves the country. This is Ken's second limited-time project, so I made sure to attend.

    14 June 2014

    RASKB Garden Party

    Every year, the RASKB has a garden party at either the American or British Ambassador's residence. This year it was at the British Ambassador's residence, which is on the grounds of their embassy. Basically, we drink a lot, listen to some live music, and socialise. Other than lecture afterparties, this is really the only strictly social event the RASKB hosts each year.

    13 June 2014

    Inside Bicheondang

    The doors of Bicheondang open fairly often, and the interior is much nicer than most of the other sealed buildings in the old Sungkyunkwan campus. A program is run for kindergartens to bring the kids over for the day and have them try a lot of different traditional events, including wearing Hanbok and participating in a tea ceremony. I just hope they aren't giving those kids caffeine.

    10 June 2014


    After work, I headed over to Somerset for the RASKB lecture on Korean stamps, which turned out to be more fascinating than it sounds, as I predicted. Only I missed half of it due to the extremely heavy traffic.

    Turns out this was the anniversary of the June Democratic Uprising. I ran into some Korean punks I knew in front of Insadong and they filled me in. They had hoped to march on Cheong Wa Dae, but that never works out for protest movements. This date also has a much older significance to Korea, being the anniversary of the June 10 Movement of 1926 when they protested against the Japanese occupation.

    During question period at the lecture, we heard a great deal of noise outside as the main body of the protesters marched by.

    8 June 2014

    Yongsan Redevelopment

    I'm in the process of preparing for an RASKB walking tour of Yongsan, but every time I go to the area to scout it out, I end up finding something new and bizarre. Now, the main building most of us know as Yongsan Electronics Market is being torn down. This building actually used to be one of Seoul's main bus terminals, but apparently that role changed with the opening of Nambu. The building was quickly turned into an electronics market as vendors moved here from Sewoon Arcade. I have no idea where they are now.

    I really need to return here with a tripod before it's too late. It looks like demolition will be pretty quick.

    7 June 2014

    Kitsches CD Release

    Here are some pictures from the Kitsches CD release. I showed up a bit late due to the gay pride parade. Fortunately I didn't miss Mixedfits, which made an unadvertised appearance. The Dead Gakkahs also played another great set, and the Kitsches ended the night with a strong performance. I really enjoy shows in Badabie and I like the lighting and weird wood paneled stage. Much more fun for photography than Spot.

    7 June 2014

    Gay Pride Parade

    On June 7, a bunch of moral degenerates filled Yonsei-ro. Of course I'm talking about the crazy Christians protesting the Gay Pride Parade.

    I was reminded this was happening when a number of my friends began posting about the crazy Christians trying to blockade the event. I went down there and didn't see that many Christians, but I did visit a couple decent rooftops.

    6 June 2014


    I forget who suggested that name, but hopefully it won't stick around. A while back, I was eating at a Korean galmaegi restaurant, and due to the sauce they used I thought it tasted sort of like a burger. I wondered what it would be like to substitute all the ingredients in a Korean barbecue meal with the ingredients of a hamburger. It still looks fairly Korean if you can get over the bright colours of the condiments; don't be surprised if you think this closely resembles tteokgalbi.

    There has been some discussion among some of my friends that this is basically an Atkins burger, but that overlooks the eating method. There have been mini-burgers done before in this style, but even that example treats the burgers as more of a salad topping rather than a lettuce-based delivery system. Still, that site has a few useful suggestions that would improve my own recipe.

    5 June 2014


    The subway holds a lot of secrets. Probably the best ones are around this station, which both has a secret platform I'm still unable to get to and a tunnel under construction.

    4 June 2014

    Election Day and Geeks Music Video Shoot

    We had Wednesday off for the elections, and I was registered to vote.

    Also, the Geeks were shooting a music video at Yogiga. I stopped by to make sure there was a guy holding a beer can in the background at some point in the video.

    Speaking of music videos, last month I went to the recording of a music video for ...Whatever That Means, which is now completed.

    1 June 2014

    Hangover Day

    Just a few pictures from early in the week. No relation to that new song.

    31 May 2014

    Pegurians at Ruailrock

    Quicker than I expected, the Pegurians started playing shows. This is the first time I can remember that a reggae band was started exclusively by members of the Korean punk scene. They're part of the New Generation of Ska Festival happening in August, which I wrote about for DoIndie here (and Korean here).

    I would never have expected a band like this to start in Korea. But sure enough, here it is, and it's amazing.

    This was Leon's last weekend in Korea, so we made sure he had a good time. Also, when we first met at This is Chicken, I was surprised to run into the wedding afterparty for Boram of Samchung. I wish I'd had a chance to go along for that. The GMC guys always seem to have the most fun at weddings, or at least that's the impression I always had.

    29 May 2014

    SKKU Natural Sciences Campus in Suwon

    I paid a visit to the Suwon campus of SKKU. I used to live right next to it way back in 2009, and of course my first year in Korea wasn't so far away either. The Suwon campus has a much more relaxed atmosphere than the Seoul campus, and I'm not sure whether it's just the differing attitudes of engineers/scientists vs business/arts students, or the more comfortable campus, or something else. Anyway, I was in no danger whatsoever in this picture.

    26 May 2014

    SKKU Roof

    I have visited almost all of the roofs at the SKKU Seoul campus. They range from nice gardens to fairly utilitarian, but I haven't failed at one yet. Apparently someone jumped off the 600-Anniversary Building a long time ago and the door is supposed to be locked. Didn't stop me though.

    24 May 2014

    Soondoongi Extreme Show

    It's nice not going to Hongdae. Jarip operates a venue in Chungmuro in a basement photo studio. It's a pretty decent place, and it's walking distance from my home. Of course, I had to go through some major political turmoil to get there, but still walking distance. I showed up a bit late and missed half the bands, including Jordan River, the band with Sohn Yisang, who's currently facing a bit of trouble with the police for taking pictures. Not as bad as using Twitter, but still dangerous. Or something.

    We did see Scumraid, as well as Gongguri and Sagal, and one or two other bands as well. It was a surprisingly fun show.

    23 May 2014

    Oi Resolute Digital Single Release

    Oi Resolute (or just Resolute now?) released some music via a digital single. I haven't heard it yet, but it seems to be available through a K-pop site. Really not sure what the deal is with that, but I'm planning to interview them soon and this should make for an interesting question.

    20 May 2014

    Around Home

    Just a few pictures from around Jongno.

    20 May 2014

    The Return of Korean Punk & Hardcore

    The Korean music scene has been a bit quiet lately, at least domestically, so we reactivated the weekly concert listings. I will try to get everything out on Wednesday. If you want updates on live music events, hit "like" on the page and show your support.

    Also in Korean punk news, I wrote about my first full show in Korea for the gummint. Be sure to click, share, and comment; if I get enough activity I'll do a sequel on the Skunk era of Korean punk.

    18 May 2014


    I went out for a walk around Bukchon on Sunday. Finally I ended up taking a closer look at a construction project just up the hill from me. It used to be an ambassadorial residence, but currently it's just a carved-out hillside.

    I recently read an article about Hwanil Middle School, placed uphill from a major urban renewal project. It looks like everyone's freaking out that they may have weakened the foundations by excavating the hillside. Well, this is a pretty common thing. The school isn't even the scariest example I've seen of that. This example in Bukchon is much smaller, thankfully. Likely all the adjacent buildings have deep enough foundations that they don't have to worry. Still, it would be weird to live next to that.

    17 May 2014


    I brought everyone downtown to go to a certain restaurant, but just before we got there we walked in on a rally/candlelight vigil for the Sewol sinking. Shortly after we arrived, they began marching, and we were separated from each other. The two visitors wanted to stay and watch the protest, but I chose to get out of the way. On the way home, I ran into a smaller group of the protest that had wandered off and gotten cornered by the cops in front of Hyundai E&C Headquarters. Getting into my neighbourhood was a bit daunting, but I made it and took the opportunity to watch the protest from a convenient rooftop. When I got home, I lived close enough that I could still hear the protesters down the street.

    17 May 2014

    Totoro's Neighbourhood

    I returned to Totoro's Neighbourhood for a more extended look around, with the cartoony cat-rabbit as my guide. This guy really took on a life of his own, and his cheery expression really imbued the pictures with something different.

    We also met up with Jackson, who's been doing a similar thing for a while now too and is one of the most active urban explorers in Korea. And later, my friend Soulkee came along with two couchsurfers he was hosting who had exploring experience in Detroit.

    16 May 2014


    Just some pictures from over the weekend. I stopped by a birthday party in the neighbourhood, and otherwise had a pretty quiet weekend. Well, except for being woken up early Saturday morning by continued work on the Hanok "restoration" project. Once the whole thing is complete, I'll gather all my pictures together so you can get a better look at how it all is happening. Shouldn't take too long.

    15 May 2014


    Remembering that they seem to hold a ceremony every 15 days, I wandered down into the old campus to get a look at the ceremony that was going on. I guess it was either a different ceremony or I arrived at the wrong time, when everyone was sitting in Myeongnyundang listening to a lecture.

    12 May 2014

    Redevelopment of Dongdaemun: the making of Dong Cult Park

    With the recent opening of Dong Cult Park, which now seems to be called DDP, that weird building has become the most-photographed building in Seoul, judging by my Facebook newsfeed. I find it kind of annoying, having watched the redevelopment project closely over the years.

    This article was made a lot easier thanks to Matt at Popular Gusts, whose reporting matched up almost perfectly to how I remembered this unfolding. Other than that, a lot of the online newspaper sources have disappeared. Also, Nikola at Kojects has a closer look at the newly opened building, something I don't really care to work on myself, as well as some of his own criticism of the project.

    11 May 2014

    Totoro's Neighbourhood

    On the way home from the countryside, I was getting a ride from a coworker. We went by this abandoned neighbourhood that had an admittedly seedy line of storefronts along the street, and he told me it was good that this area was being demolished. I remembered this area from when I lived nearby years ago, and knew there was more to it than that. I came back the day after and had a look around on my own, making a new friend along the way.

    10 May 2014

    ...Whatever That Means CD Release

    I really didn't plan to go to this, due to a "workshop" by the university where we went out to the countryside and stayed up all night. However, when I got back to Seoul I had a long afternoon nap and basically felt awake enough to go out.

    7 May 2014

    Life in Bukchon

    A few more pictures from around home. Most of these look at the ongoing Hanok "restoration" project across the street from me. There will be fast developments on this very soon.

    6 May 2014

    Buddha's Birthday (with Sauron)

    I met up with Sandra and Rudolf for a walk around Jongno and a visit to Jogyesa. I also wanted to show Rudi the Eye of Sauron, seeing as how he's here to lecture about the mythological influences of Lord of the Rings.

    6 May 2014

    Catnip Party

    I wanted to give the cats some more attention, so I busted out the catnip for them.

    5 May 2014

    OB's Cabin

    After the music video, I went back with Tyler for a look at some of the other buildings in Insadong. Then we went back to OB's Cabin, the bar with a lot of character that's right next door. During last year's fire, it just barely escaped the flames. Anyway, it's a fun place, even if the average age is over 50.

    5 May 2014

    ...Whatever That Means Music Video Shoot

    Well ...Whatever That Means finally released their latest album, and they're working on a video for the song "68, 22." The song is about their home in Korea, and the number refers to the distance from where they stayed in Pennsylvania to Hongdae Playground, something Jeff looked up while he was feeling Koreasick. They invited everyone to their home for the video, and there were about two dozen of us.

    4 May 2014

    Under the Eye of Sauron

    Over the course of only one week, I was able to convince Leon's two sons that the original Eye of Sauron exists in downtown Seoul, and I brought an expert on the Lord of the Rings to see it. I had no idea this thing would be such an imposing presence on my long weekend.

    3 May 2014


    On Saturday I didn't really have anything to do, so I wandered around. I headed over to Jogyesa hoping to find a convenient rooftop to view the temple from, but I ended up getting sucked into more of an adventure. And let's be honest, this is the worst slogan in the history of failures.

    2 May 2014

    Stephen Epstein

    Stephen Epstein was back in Korea and he had a preview of his latest documentary, Us and Them, a sequel to his 1999 Our Nation. I wrote an article about this back in 2013. Anyway, I can't say much more about the documentary now, other than the fact that it should be released sometime in the foreseeable future.

    1 May 2014

    Jogyesa with the Bakkers

    Leon is back in Korea for his second tour of duty, and this time he invited his wife and two sons to visit him. I showed them around Jogyesa while the lanterns were all on, and we walked around downtown a bit. Leon's sons are pretty much exactly what I would've predicted: somewhat smartass, very keen, and very respectful toward their father.

    I also took a few more pictures for an article about Buddha's Birthday.

    30 April 2014

    The Return of Sandra

    After last year's departure which turned out to be permanent, Sandra drifted away from Korea. She returned briefly as the personal assistant of Rudolf Simek, a professor from the University of Bonn who specialises in Germanic history and mythology. He was visiting Seoul University to teach a seminar related to the mythological roots of the Lord of the Rings series, and I managed to steal them away to organise a similar event at SKKU.

    29 April 2014


    Just a few more pictures around campus. We've been busy lately with visitors from foreign universities.

    27 April 2014

    From SKKU to Bukchon

    One of my coworkers told me about a path from the top of SKKU's campus down into Bukchon, so I took a lazy Sunday to figure it out. The path fairly quickly connects with a school campus, and once you come out the front gate, you're right by my home. I might have to rethink taking the bus home every day, as this route may require less climbing.

    26 April 2014


    At the start of the month, a friend passed away unexpectedly. I admittedly wasn't too close to Lex, having only seen him maybe five times, four of which were within the last year. However, I always saw a lot of myself in him -- a Canadian long-term expat in Korea, with an interest in punk music, who has gone urban exploring, who drives a motorcycle, who works as a professional editor. In fact, he was responsible for getting me one of my bigger freelancing jobs last year. So, his death still hit me close to home.

    A fundraiser was put together to help support his wife and children (Kara and Kal-el, because why not?), and I was asked to book the music acts. With a great deal of input from Doug Vatour, we booked GT Arpe, an odd one-man act that I'm pretty sure I saw at Yogiga years ago, and Slow Dress, an associated band whose singer I had recently run into by chance. Their drummer backed out, but Lauren had a second two-person act that was ready to play.

    Over the entire day we ended up raising a ton of money, and for those who missed out, there is still a donation page set up.

    26 April 2014


    This year's Buddha's Birthday lantern parade was extremely subdued due to the recent ferry sinking. Kind of a strange time to turn away from religion; it makes me wonder if, had this happened in December, they would have done the same to Christmas rather than embraced it extra hard.

    This year's parade did without the percussion music that would normally come with it. Instead, it created a unique atmosphere where you could hear the humming of the monks and the ringing of their wooden bells. There was also an increase in white lanterns, which serve as a memorial to the hundreds whod ied. This parade was far less attended than usual, but I'm glad it still went on instead.

    24 April 2014


    A picture I took recently of some Hanok "preservation" is looking like it's something worth watching. I looked through my old pictures and found what it previously looked like. This method of preservation involves total destruction followed by building something completely new and "better" in its place. Apparently the government doesn't believe this still happens.

    21 April 2014

    Jeff's Birthday

    When it was Trash's birthday, I was invited but didn't get the details and ended up accidentally crashing the party. This time, Trash invited me on the afternoon of Jeff's birthday party. We met up for food and then went back to their place to drink more. We saw one episode of the Simpsons, and we all cheered when it showed Mizno's spirit animal, Milhouse. Also, Jesse and Ken did a lot of cuddling. Jeff sure seems to like getting Lego for Christmas. All I could give him was the latest edition of Broke 17, with higher-quality images for their anniversary collage and information about the free outdoor ska festival that needs donations.

    20 April 2014


    We ended my weekend tour with a trip to an abandoned amusement park guarded by four dogs. Four very unintimidating dogs, who enjoy beef jerky and one of whom gives five. I ended up leaving there with so many fives, I might get banned from UER. I also took some videos of the dogs playing with me on my phone that have ended up on my Facebook page.

    20 April 2014

    Snow Castle

    Yes, Korea has its own indoor ski hill. The only problem: it's now abandoned. Apparently it opened around 2008, stayed open for less than half a year, and then closed and a bunch of people went to jail.

    I read a review of it that mentions how it would be cold inside through the summer, and water was constantly dropping from the high ceiling. Here are some pictures of what this looked like.

    Now, it's guarded by a group of very terrifying looking Korean guys in some pretty serious tattoos. No, not the same kind of tattooed people you'd see at Jeff's birthday party. A lot more study of this unusual place is needed.

    19 April 2014

    Craig and Choey

    For my trip, I reunited with a number of friends I haven't seen for years. I met up with Will again, who I last saw around 2010 in Daejeon at a music festival. And I met up with Craig and his longtime girlfriend Choey, who recently moved back from Canada and have a job outside of Seoul.

    Choey told me a very bizarre story about the time that Craig ate her taco. Apparently they went to Taco Bell, and he was very drunk and said he wasn't going to eat anything. She got a taco and went to the washroom, and when she came back Craig had eaten her taco. The evidence was all over her face. It's really something to hear her tell this story and watch Craig's awkward embarrassment.

    19 April 2014


    For a good while I've been watching this amusement park from a distance, well online anyway. Recently I had someone check in on it and we discovered that it was totally closed and there was no security whatsoever. I've been trying for the past few weeks to make time to get away, and finally I got around to it. It's not far from the coast, and the real estate here should be worth quite a lot. They've taken away all the smaller rides, leaving only the stuff that isn't portable. I'm curious how long this will remain standing.

    18 April 2014

    Lanterns in Bukchon

    With Buddha's Birthday just around the corner, lanterns are going up all over the city. Not surprisingly, Bukchon is a good place for seeing them.

    17 April 2014

    Sungkyunkwan University

    Just a few pictures from campus.

    14 April 2014

    Roof Reshoot

    It was a clearer day, so I revisited one roof during lunch and tried out another. Turns out it's still not perfectly clear, and I'm thinking I might need to wait until fall to get the right kind of air quality.

    13 April 2014

    Downtown and Jogyesa

    I went downtown to wander around and ended up on this roof I had considered visiting a while back. I'd decided not to back then because I ended up getting security's help to check on a homeless guy who'd collapsed outside and didn't want to go ahead and cause trouble. Turns out the roof is common access.

    From up there, I could see the lanterns on at Jogyesa, so as the sky was getting dark I headed over there for a few more pictures.

    13 April 2014

    SKKU Roofs

    After giving a PPT presentation last week with a fairly impressive photo of the university seen from somewhere high up, I headed back on the weekend to see if I could taint shot that image so I could just use my own. Of course the sky wasn't clear enough and I'll probably have to try this a few more times. I also found another roof that I think offers a slightly better view, compressing everything horizontally.

    12 April 2014


    I went to Hongdae to print the second edition of Broke 17. There were virtually no shows this weekend, so I mostly dropped them off at Zion Boat and Roots Time. This edition corrects some photo credit/caption errors I made in Tyler's story about Yogiga, adds his name to the list of contributors, deletes a number of unreadable characters, and adds some information about the initiative to create a free outdoor ska festival this summer.

    While I waited for the zines to print I hit one rooftop and met Tyler, then wandered around Hongdae for a while. Why was it so crowded this weekend? There were way too many restaurants where the line was unmanageably long, yet still people continue to line up and wait forever. What's wrong with you? There are tons of empty restaurants in Hongdae.

    12 April 2014


    A few pictures from the weekend at home, showing some of the neighbourhood as well as the usual cat pictures.

    8 April 2014


    Just some random pictures from around campus.

    6 April 2014


    Another trip to Gyonam, this time with more daylight. While I was in one building, I heard people outside, and when I came out I was relieved to see they were also photographers.

    5 April 2014

    Verv Visits

    Yes, I know that Verv is a fictional character, but that didn't stop him from visiting my apartment.

    5 April 2014

    The Third Window

    I cleared off a bunch of stuff on the counter and opened the window. The cats previously didn't show much interest in this window, but I guess now that they've gotten used to the other two, a third is like adding another TV channel. This one is also the only one where you can see people in the street.

    3 April 2014

    Moving to Jongno

    I had a lot of trouble with the procedure to register my address in Jongno. I'm pretty sure when I moved to Seodaemun, the district office was easily able to update my address. This time, it required more documents and a lot more confusion. They ended up sending me to immigration, but thanks to now living in Jongno, I can just go to the downtown immigration office in the Seoul Global Center. Waiting in line there took all morning and a bit more. I made the most of it by making several forays around downtown while waiting for my number to come up, and actually got some things accomplished.

    2 April 2014

    Spring Blossoms at SKKU

    Spring blossoms came to SKKU and I made sure to have my camera out to document it all.

    1 April 2014

    Baseball Game

    For work, we went to a baseball game. I'd heard that the audience at baseball games is a lot more fun than soccer games, but it didn't seem so much like it. They had all the chants for the main players, but the props rarely were more elaborate than those red balloon things. No giant flags or banners like at soccer games. Also, baseball is hard for me to watch. You have to really keep your eyes on it or you lose all concentration.

    30 March 2014


    Gyonam is looking more and more desolate, with the remaining buildings seeming more isolated as demolition increases. Probably what's remaining now will be there a while. There's also an embassy there that recently closed. However, its flag is still flying and there was one light that kept coming on behind the gate, so no way was I going to attempt getting in.

    30 March 2014


    I had a slow day on Sunday, eventually getting outside and wandering around the neighbourhood a bit, before Soulkee sent me a message asking where I was. I'd forgotten I had other plans to go back to Gyonam that day. There was still just enough daylight left to make it a worthwhile trip. I dropped what I was doing (rooftops in Bukchon) and headed out.

    29 March 2014

    Heimlich County Gun Club Last Show

    I decided to catch Paul and Yumi's last show at Thunderhorse. Paul is leaving behind Heimlich County Gun Club, and Yumi is leaving Chanter's Alley, who can probably replace her, and the Pinheads, who sound like they won't continue playing unfortunately.

    It was a fun show, and without the free cocktail hour we all stayed out much much later. I still can't find my hat.

    April Fool's Day 2014

    The Great Verv Hoax

    This year for April Fool's Day, I'm not going to fool you with some story about going to North Korea or anything. No, instead I'm going to unveil one of my longest-running pranks, something that's taken years of work and many accomplices in on the secret.

    Verv is a long, long-running April Fool's Day hoax. I invented Verv as a fictional character about nine years ago, and everyone who claims to have met him is either self-delusional or in on it themselves. Here's how I did it.

    27 March 2014

    The Camel's Way with Kim Miru

    Miru is back in Korea for another photo exhibition. This one was about where she's been living the past two years: in the desert, in numerous countries around the world. Currently she's set up in Jordan I think not far from Petra. I invited some of my friends and we showed up at various times, some of us seeing more of the live music than others. The older people came early, and then later there were a lot more younger people.

    26 March 2014


    More pictures of the university. I went out on an overcast day to get better pictures of some of the architecture, and I ended up witnessing the setup for a ritual, which included opening the doors to Daeseongjeon. There was also a larger ceremony a few days later.

    23 March 2014


    A few pictures around home. I went out on Sunday looking for rooftops, and discovered the failure rate around Bukchon is surprisingly high. The few rooftops I could get onto were clearly not meant for people to walk around.

    22 March 2014

    Heimlich County Gun Club

    Here are all the pictures from HCGC's set. You can hear some of their music here.

    22 March 2014

    Heimlich County Gun Club Album Release

    For Paul's second last show in Korea, he had a CD release in Spot. I was busy working on the next issue of Broke to come out next week, and collected signatures from people saying goodbye to Paul and Yumi, as well as a few saying they looked forward to seeing him in the US, and one wishing him a great summer.

    17 March 2014

    SKKU and KU Campus Tours

    For the APAIE conference, campus tours were organised. On Monday, one leg of the tour consisted of SKKU and nearby Korea University. They managed to get permission to open the gates of Sinsammun, which traditionally wouldn't even open for the king. I made sure to point that out to the guests. Afterwards, I joined in for the KU tour as well, to see how they do it and also to help them finish all the food they'd prepared for over 200 guests, who turned out to be almost half that.

    15 March 2014

    Dr Ring Ding and Kingston Rudieska

    This turned out to be one of the best shows I've seen. Kingston Rudieska backing Dr Ring Ding was in fine form.

    It was my first time meeting Nica, a Filipina-American who had moved to Korea to teach English. It turned out she was TDSTSE for her school (too dark-skinned to speak English) so she left the country the following week.

    10 March 2014

    Around My Neighbourhood

    A few pictures of my area, mostly after dark.

    8 March 2014

    Spot Second Saturday

    We left Zion Boat to stop by Spot, where we saw some of the usual bands as well as one or two new ones.

    8 March 2014

    Dr Ring Ding at Zion Boat

    Last summer, Dr Ring Ding stopped by Zion Boat for his farewell party from Korea. This trip, he arrived in time for their one-year anniversary, so he stopped by and added a bit of his own music.

    He'll be playing with Kingston Rudieska this Saturday.

    6 March 2014


    I recently bought bird seed in hope that I could lure more birds to our window. No luck yet, but I probably need a better way to offer the seeds for birds.

    5 March 2014


    Just a few pictures around campus. The weather cleared up and also got significantly colder again.

    4 March 2014

    Kids on the Move

    The Malaysian band Kids on the Move came to Korea recently for a tour across the country. I missed their Saturday show at the Open Your Eyes Festival because of the funk show, but I also knew there was a practice hall show on Tuesday I could see instead. So I went there and stayed out until about 1am. It was a pretty fun show, with ...Whatever That Means trying to stretch out their set by placing a few older songs and a few newer ones, and then there was Goyang melting into the floor during Skasucks' set while they were playing "Skinhead Moonstomp," and then there was Malaysian hardcore. Here are the pictures, and I hope Goyang doesn't kill me (I'm pretty sure those are short-shorts, not a miniskirt though).

    2 March 2014


    More pictures from my new apartment and a couple from my old one. What are these cats getting up to?

    1 March 2014

    Funkafric Bluestar

    It's been a while since Lim Ji-hoon had another concert in the very small Blue Star, and I suspect that may have been to kill the momentum and keep the audience at a more manageable size. It seems to have worked. Plus, there was a pretty big fight during the show, which saw a whole bunch of people shoving each other and grabbing each other. The band didn't miss a beat. I'd skipped the Open Your Eyes Festival in Hongdae that night, which sounds like it was far less violent than this funk show.

    1 March 2014

    Walking through Gyonam-dong

    I met up with a few friends for a walk through a nearly extinct neighbourhood. Both Jessica and Trevor are leaving Korea, so this was my farewell to Jessica, and possibly my farewell to Trevor. But the world's not that big a place, and over time people have a tendency of running into each other again.

    27 February 2014

    New SKKU Students

    The new semester of international students arrived on campus, and after a number of activities they had a pretty impressive buffet. Once they were mostly done, the rest of us had a chance at all this food.

    25 February 2014


    One picture from a lecture afterparty, one from a meeting at the RASKB office. I took this picture, while Robert Koehler took this one.

    25 February 2014

    The 10 Dos and 20 Don'ts of Urban Exploration in Korea

    I've spent a couple months too long putting this article together about some of the lessons I've learned firsthand while crawling around abandonments, tunnels, and roofs in Korea. Most of it is applicable to the rest of the world, although as one person pointed out, ugly striped blanketing is more likely a sign of fumigation in other countries. It's long, but it's extensive, and in it I link an even longer document solely about draining. A lot of my friends appear in the photos, although usually in an obscured manner, and I also had Paul and Jacco's help in editing this beast.

    25 February 2014

    Graduation Day

    On Tuesday when I got to the upper gate of the university, there were elderly vendors selling flower bouquets. Strange, but whatever. Down in the campus, there were more vendors, as well as food tents set up. It turns out it was graduation day, and soon campus was flooded with recent graduates and their families. Everything went quiet shortly after lunch, so I'm glad I went out and got these pictures when I did.

    24 February 2014

    Jrinking with Jru

    I considered the possibility that I would buy Jru's motorbike from him. I showed up to have a closer look, and it turns out it was a much more full-on motorcycle than I was expecting, complete with clutch and gears. So no, that's out. But we drank a fair amount.

    22 February 2014


    A few months ago, I went to a TBS eFM party where we ended up at this bar around the corner from Anguk Station. While looking for a good place to go with Tyler after moving, I remembered this place nearby and brought him there.

    It's run by Choi Eunjin, a fantastic singer who will play you her music if you ask (and everyone coming there seems to). Her music is hard to describe, and hearing her describe it, it's clear she thinks so too. Her voice is very classically Korean, but the backing music is very unusual and pairs very well with her. I might describe it as trot music as played by gypsies, and she frequently cites gisaeng culture as something that informs her music. You can hear a sample here. And here's a sample of her own version of Arirang here which I don't think I've ever heard elsewhere. This one was recorded in her own bar; that microphone standing there isn't just for show.

    Anyway, Tyler left early, I made friends with some Korean guys there, and we stayed late and ordered chicken. I bought a CD from her and was surprised to see it was released on Beatball of all places.

    22 February 2014

    Moving In

    The worst thing about living on the fifth floor is moving in. My new place is on the top floor, basically an extra unit built on top of a four-storey building. Bukchon is a very comfortable place to live, provided you can tolerate the steady stream of tourists in the daytime. I'm high up enough I never hear them. The cats really enjoy the place and have their share of windows to sit at.

    22 February 2014

    Moving Out

    Moving out is always a stressful process. I've lived in the same place for over four years, and was long overdue for a move. Fortunately my new apartment had some furniture, so I could leave behind some of my old stuff including the bed and the couch. We managed to fit everything into a very small moving truck.

    21 February 2014

    Africa Sound Party

    One of the student interns at my office mentioned she was going to see an African music show in Hongdae. Lately, the news was getting around about an African art museum run by a major politician that was treating its African employees pretty well almost as slaves. Their plight made national headlines, and then they were booked to do two sets at a fundraiser in their honour shortly before leaving country.

    I was moving the next day but I knew I couldn't miss this performance. I showed up in time for the second set, and it was fantastic. I really wish more of my friends could have seen them.

    21 February 2014

    SKKU Back Gate

    This is the route I take from home to the university. I take a bus up the mountain slope that swings down into the back gate of SKKU. It's high up in the hill and pretty scenic, but these days the pollution makes it hard to see much. Also, I don't go the same way to go home, because that's a pretty major hike. I continue walking downhill to catch a bus on the main streets.

    16 February 2014


    I'm getting ready to move, so I've needed to get a lot of boxen to pack my stuff into. I ended up raiding Emart and Saruga, which both have free boxen for anyone to take. I took them home and put them together, and instantly the cats declared this a new box-based neighbourhood, running in and choosing their own boxen. Then a bit of a territory war developed, and Millie exiled Buster, who came back and decided to smash the cardboard settlement. Quite an interesting conflict plays out in these pictures.

    Also, you can see how messy my apartment is prior to moving out, including some conspicuous cat barf that appeard in a place I can no longer reach due to boxen in the way.

    15 February 2014

    Shake Shop Volume 12

    It seems like it's become a monthly thing to have a show that features a lot of the usual Hongdae bands, but they're accompanied by bellydancers. They seem to be doing quite well, and have brought together a lot of surprising bands to perform a soundtrack for the bellydancing troupe Navah. The show is presented by Korea Gig Guide, as KGG editor Shawn is married to Eshe, the main organiser pictured here. This show featured Asian Chairshot, Galaxy Express, and Kingston Rudieska. I was coming from the Yuppie Killer show, so I missed Asian Chairshot and caught most of Galaxy Express and all of Kingston Rudieska.

    15 February 2014

    Party Like Shit: Yuppie Killer CD Release

    Yuppie Killer had a CD to release, so they booked a practice hall and invited a lot of good hardcore bands to play there. Unfortunately I was also planning to go to the Shake Shop show around the corner, so I was only there long enough to shoot Mixed Blood, Animal Anthem, and Something Fierce. It seemed like a fun show and I printed off 30 more issues of the latest Broke which all disappeared pretty quickly. Then I had to disappear. More pictures from that later, including when I met up with the Yuppie Killer afterparty afterwards.

    11 February 2014

    Sungkyunkwan Door Scandal

    Walking back from lunch, I identified a major safety flaw with the big glass doors at SKKU's international building. Turns out the handles are installed only in the glass. Also turns out a slight force exerted over one of the fixtures can turn the glass into a giant tessellated web of smashed glass. Fortunately it stayed together, but the noise it made post-smash was pretty nail-biting. It finally got fixed over the weekend as of Monday, February 17.

    10 February 2014

    Ahyeon Overpass

    Somehow I missed this post on Gusts of Popular Feeling about Ahyeon Overpass, Korea's first overpass, which closed on Saturday, February 8 with a sort of festival on the doomed overpass.

    I missed out, or maybe it's better to say it was my turn to go next. Tyler and I stopped by for a visit at dusk and managed to get some interesting views from the overpass, possibly the last to ever be taken.

    8 February 2014

    Steel Face Records Compilation Release

    I headed to Club Ta to see the Steel Face Records compilation release. It was a good mix of old and young bands, and Galaxy Express was dropped conspicuously into the middle of the lineup. It was a pretty decent show, and I met Leon, a Dutch skinhead who's staying in Korea for a couple months working for a Korean engineering company briefly. I haven't yet listened to the compilation but I'm looking forward to it.

    4 February 2014

    Sungkyunkwan University

    Recently I've been slower than ever at updating this site, mainly because I wasn't eager to revisit the unpleasantness of February 1, but also because I haven't had time or opportunity to work photo-editing into my daily schedule due to my new job.

    Speaking of which, here's a walk around Sungkyunkwan University, including the old campus which is mainly an on-the-spot replica of the original campus dating back to 1398. Also, I hit a couple rooftops in the newer part of campus, but things get less interesting the higher up the mountain you go.

    1 February 2014

    Seollal at Thunderhorse

    It was Lunar New Year's and I was a bit sick but I decided it would be a total waste if I didn't make it out. The show was at Thunderhorse, which I'd previously visited on their opening night. However, I heard that the previous week Jesse almost got in a fight there. That's right, Jesse, almost getting in a fight. Jesse wasn't there that night, but the guy that got in his face was. Things were mostly calm until I got Jeff to show off his new Jesse tattoo. Then things once again reverted to sane, once that guy left. I didn't mean to cause trouble for the venue and they reacted appropriately to what was happening, though I could've used more guilting in all honesty.

    25 January 2014

    Abandoned Oil Reserve

    A few months ago, a friend found some information on an abandoned oil reserve not too far from my home. After a few months nobody had gone to check it out, so finally I made the trip. This gallery is actually from two trips. The first time, I climbed a mountain and saw the tankers from above, then went down into one but I was a bit too on edge to take good pictures. The second time, I came back with Jessica during the Lunar New Year weekend for a second look. We visited two of the three smaller tankers out of five.

    It's interesting to see the plans for this area. Probably too ambitious to happen any time soon.

    21 January 2014

    Hwaseong Fortress

    We took a break from abandonments to spend a day in Suwon, where we walked around Hwaseong Fortress and had Suwon galbi.

    18 January 2014


    Barely a week had passed since Javin left, and I was again visited by a Chinese-Canadian urban explorer. Jessica is from Montreal and happens to have no contact with any of the Toronto community I've gotten to know from all the way over here. We met up and spent a few days going around to rooftops, abandonments, and tunnels.

    12 January 2014

    Vivisick in Korea

    I almost forgot to put these up.

    After running around all weekend with Javin, we headed to a hardcore show at Spot. I don't think Javin was planning on coming along, but he decided at the last minute to join us, bought some earplugs, and made it all the way to the end. I made sure to explain to him that when Pyha was shouting "Go back to China!" he wasn't talking to him.

    I also brought along the latest issue of Broke in Korea so this served as kind of the unofficial release. If you didn't get one, you might be out of luck, and if you did, congratulations: you have a collector's item.

    11 January 2014

    Javin 2014

    Last year I met Javin, a pretty good urban explorer from Toronto who's probably best known for his time lapses and for appearing in the photos of other Toronto explorers. He's back again, taking on another winter camp job to help fund his travels.

    Last year was a gruelling two days in which we pulled off the trifecta of rooftop, abandonment, and tunnel, and this year I didn't want him to think I was getting soft. This year's gauntlet was a little more focused on abandonments, and we had a good time in the quickly disappearing Gyonam-dong, soon to be known as Dongnimmun New Town. To make things even more confusing, we headed over to Dongdaemun for food after, going from one side of traditional Seoul to the other.

    9 January 2014

    Abandoned Factory

    Embarking on a business meeting in a part of town I wasn't too familiar with, I was keeping an eye open for an abandoned factory Tyler had mentioned. Turns out it was right in front of the subway exit I took. Anyway, I went to the meeting, hit a couple roofs, and looked around the factory. It's mostly empty inside.

    31 December 2013

    New Year's Eve

    For New Year's Eve I planned to get the zine printed, but the shop was closed. I met up with Verv and Zeinab and John Middlemis of Chanter's Alley and we went to Zion Boat for food, then Roots Time for midnight, where we ran into Tyler and a ton of Indonesians. Never have there been so many Muslims in Roots Time before.

    Also, as it's the end of the year, I'm unlocking all the 2013 archives. I don't know why I do it this way, but it's fun torturing visitors to my site.


  • DHMD 2013
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  • 2008 Chris Murray Combo
  • 2007 Slackers


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  • E-mail
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  • Please remember that these photos are all copyrighted to me. If you want to use them in any way, there's a 90 per cent chance I'll give you my permission, and be able to give you a copy with a higher DPI.
    Copyright Daehanmindecline 2014