I stopped by the playground, which actually was looking about as crowded as I imagine it would be with no pandemic. Click for full size.

There was tape everywhere, like some kind of spider web.

Only a few people were actually sitting around.

And there were dog walkers.

This is where I used to sit the most.

Apparently there's a meerkat cafe nearby.

I followed the alley along the playground. Up ahead was the ice cream waffle shack, presumably the same one that's been there as long as I can remember, dating back at least to 2005. If you've heard my anecdote about my Air Force friend asking where Hongdae actually was and being afraid, we were getting ice cream waffles at the time.

Here's the former entrance to Club Spot.

I went over to the former Parking Lot Street, where there is now what looks like a postmodern Christmas tree.

A closer look.

I wanted to get a closer look at DGBD. Fun fact, there used to be a back entrance where you could slip in without paying or let others in if the door was locked. I checked again and the door was locked, and the elevator couldn't go to the basement, so they closed that breach.

Anyway, in the process of checking, I found a seemingly discarded DGBD sign.

The building has an escape room. Someone should make an "Escape Hongdae" escape room.

The neighbourhood has a new profile with a new giant department store/hotel towering over it.

Looking the other way. I still don't understand what this tourist information center was built for.

Around the other side of AK Town, where you can see the gigantic clock face.

Last, I went looking for a place to get takeout. I tried Tom's Pizza but there was a line out front. So I went to Bob's Barbie in Yeonnam-dong. This place opened right across the alley from the ice cream waffles in a little two-pyeong storefront, back in early 2008. At the time it was very welcomed, serving foreign street food so close to the playground and Spot. They had meat pies as well as the Black Dog, which is basically the current Double Cheese Dog but with a squid ink bun. They lost those for whatever reason after a few years, and in 2017 they closed the location and focused on their others. For a while the place was getting pretty big, with franchises across the country, TV appearances, and one time I remember going to a company party where everyone got a free hot dog from them. But now they're down to two locations in Yeonnam and Sangsu.

It still tastes as good as ever (minus the sad loss of the squid ink buns), but there's so much more competition in Seoul. Not in Hongdae -- I don't really know where you'd get food that competes with that these days. Click for full size.

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 2021