Friday, July 15, 2011

Why I live here, parts two and three

I wrote last year about why I live here. These pictures give some more reasons.

This is the under-construction Dongdaemun History and Culture Park. This will put the exclamation mark on the transformation of Dongdaemun from a gritty market district to a shiny Myeongdong-style shopping district, albeit all night and with a higher intensity. The grittier elements, of course, remain.

When I take the bus home at night from Jongno, I go by here sometimes. I'm struck at how blindingly bright the lights are.

This is an Uzbek restaurant at Dongdaemun, found next to a dog soup restaurant in a gritty alley. Samarkand is fast becoming one of my favourite restaurants in Seoul.

Yes, Starbucks is everywhere, but this Starbucks incorporates nineteenth-century architecture and sits directly across from Deoksugung.

A blurry shot of a seafood market next to World Cup stadium coming alive at 6 in the morning on a Sunday.

Whether you hate it or simply dislike it, the Jongno Tower certainly gives you something to look at. However, this site used to be one of the first department stores in Seoul, a much better building to look at.

The other reason I live here is the simplicity and convenience of life here, one of them being the possibility of living here without a car, not to mention the ease of walking to work and walking to a dozen restaurants or cafes. Toronto, on the other hand, just took the time to take bike lanes off of Jarvis Avenue because it increased travel times for drivers by four minutes, thereby keeping residents from eating dinner with their families. I'll keep using one of the fourteen subway lines and hundreds of bus routes here, thank you very much.


André said...

Still not that bad biking around Toronto, though I can't believe they are doing that.

I've noticed that Starbucks that have opened recently are doing a better job of incorporating existing architecture. One opened in a former bank near where I used to live (actually, both former TD banks near where I used to live have been converted to Starbucks) and they've furnished the safe. It's great.

Adeel said...

It's not that bad, but certainly this year has been a setback for anyone in Toronto who doesn't have a car.

André said...

I'm not sure if that's true, as this is also the year that brought Toronto residents Bixi bicycles.