Condencity_21 Jongno Transformation

today collide in Seoul's historic center. The Jongno district represents at once the history of Seoul and also its ambitious (albeit at times controversial) commercial and financial interests. A form of eastern / local gentrification is erasing parts of the old city to the demise of service providing residents. Struggle for fair representation and compensation ensues regularly as people are forced to move from home and business.

Single story structures sit momentarily idle awaiting demolition. Shuttered and marked for removal, the tattered buildings give emphasis to the stark impermanence of urban form and circumstance.

Yellow Monday (황사)

A fine silty dust coats my apartment window. The stainless steel rail outside of the window has now become a dull luster under the yellow cloaked sun. [Hwang Sa] literally translated yellow dust, has overcome the city of Seoul and my memory of past Korean spring times becomes clear on this obscured Monday morning.

Spring time in Seoul can be a dirty time. Shifting jet stream winds lift and carry fine dust sands from the Gobi Desert in Mongolia and China to blanket the Korean Peninsula. The air is thick and heavy with this gritty nuisance lasting for several days at a time. As the Gobi Desert continues to expand and contract annually so too is the mirrored alteration on the face of this city hundreds of Kilometers away. 

Departure time_in between

Rift between here, then
now, there
easing moment
casting destiny


Condencity_20 urban love

Yes it's true, I am now a full time resident of Seoul. Consumed in its myriad complexity and infinite mysteries. This aspect to life here never seems to waver. Lucky for me it's usually instant inspiration. Recently, I penned a short piece for Flavorwire on Seoul's (and Korea in general) social addiction to the love hotel. Sure you have heard of them. Possibly from their proliferation in cities such as Tokyo. Here in Seoul they too have a presence as well; being just about everywhere.

The love hotel is a significant part of the urban (and rural landscape) here in Korea; making and defining space. There are districts here in the city with an abundance of these discreet escape accommodations. In their growing numbers, I liken them to being trees in a forest. It can be difficult to find focus on any one as urban density tends to cancel out any single place. Focus falls on knowing your destination.

Flavorwire article link.