The Neighborhood

I love my neighborhood.

Just wanted to share the eclectic stores around me, that keep my walk home never so boring.

2 cute cafes side by side. 2 (omit cute) men side by side. (foreigners. by the way, there are a lot of non-Koreans in my neighborhood)

a shoe store. Look carefully. It says “Cheaper than North Korea”.  Hilarious.

There’s even an Irish pub. I’ll go try their beer some evening.

A quaint little foreign book store owned by a very nice Korean couple. I bought a French book here. (hopefully I will finish it!!)

cutest Korean bbq house I’ve ever seen.

Real dandy boys shop here.

To dress up like a free-spirited country girl in colorful flower-printed shirts and dresses, gotta shop here.

Uphill way to Itaewon main street. Can you see me? (and my roomie)

Despite my hometown being Irvine, California, Seoul isn’t really a “new” city to me, as I was born in Korea and I’ve always had plenty of Koreans around me, but being in the area that I am in now, I feel at times that I am in a foreign city, a place in which I am a newcomer, with a lot of diverse explorations to be made. I love it. Last night when I was at a cafe, I was reminded by one of the first few days in Paris, when I was at a cafe and was overcome by the bitterness of the espresso and nervous emotions of being in a famous foreign city. Definitely a good feeling to revive.

오래살던곳이 한국이 아닌 미국이지만, 서울은 언제나 그다지 “새로운” 도시는 아니였다고 믿었다. 하지만 이번 서울 삶은 왠지 새로운 곳, “외국”에 왔다는 느낌이 들게 됀다. 내가 사는 곳이 이태원 쪽이라 그런지, 그래서 외국인이 많으니까 그런지, 가끔 내가 새로운 나라에 있고, 다양한 경험이 기다리고 있다는 좋은 느낌을 받는다. 어제 밤엔 동네 카페에 앉아있는데, 내가 파리에 있었던 때가 생각이 났다. 그때에, 파리 온 지 얼마 안됐을때, 혼자 카페에 앉아 이 에스프레소 라는 커피는 왜이리 진한지, 그리고 파리라는 엄청나게 유명한 도시에 내가 와있다는 떨리는 감정에 취했던 그 생각이 난다. 다시느끼기 참 좋은 감정을 또 맛봤다.