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VisitSeoul.net

Government Website. READ MY REVIEWS! SEE MY PHOTOS! WHY SEOUL?

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Weekend Photos/ October in Seoul

I often write event listings for Visitseoul.net. Why not share with you? Here are my write-ups for October in Seoul:

THEATER

The Donkey show is a hoot! It is a disco version of a Midsummer Night’s Dream, in Korean. It is being staged in the round at a theater in North Seoul , garnering attention as a musical with a twist. The feeling is that of being in a club. Audience participation is highly encouraged. Dance, sing and act along! Grab some friends and head out for a night at the theater you won’t soon forget. Admission is 40000W. To inquire, call 02-3443-6487 or visit http://www.donkeyshow.co.kr/ The theater can be reached via Hyewha Subway Station, line 4, exit 2.

The Batsheva Dance Company is back again, this time with ‘Deca Dance,’ the impeccably choreographed routine often described as, “daring and provocative,” and, “Three,” an exciting addition to the show. Seoulites were impressed by the company when they performed here in 2002. Batsheva is now in its 40th year of production, and the contemporary dance troop continues to tantalize audiences worldwide.
Admission is W 30000, W 50000 and W 70000.
For more information call 02-2005-0114 or visit http://www.lgart.com/
LG Arts Center is accessible from Yeoksam Station, line 2, exit 7.

The LG Arts Center is thrilled to present, Twelfth Night, a Shakespearean classic directed by the influential Declan Donnellan. His Moscow theater company is staging the work in Russian with Korean subtitles. The window is small, so book tickets now. It only runs from October 31st until November 3rd, and is bound to be popular.
Tickets range from W 30000 to W 60000 for
For information, visit lgart.com or call 02-2005-0114. LG Arts Center is accessible from Yeoksam Station, line 2, exit 7.

‘Burn the Floor 2’ is the sequel to, ‘Burn the Floor,’ an explosively popular dance show staged at the Olympic Hall, Seoul , in 2006. The production was inspired by Sir Elton John’s opulent birthday party at the Hammersmith Ballroom in 1997, and is raw with energy, showcasing a pallet of dance like waltz, chacha, salsa and tango. It is a full on visual spectacle, boasts champion dancers, and will set your pulse racing.
Admission W 40000 to W 80000, VIP W 100000 and W 150000.
For more information call 02-548-4480 or visit www.seoularts.com
The performance is staged at the Sejong Center, which can be accessed by taking the subway to Gwanghwamun Station, line 1, exit 1 or 8.

ART EXHIBITIONS

DoART Seoul presents Channel 1, a new multimedia exhibit at the single-channel, high-tech multimedia artwork company now located in the affluent Apgujeong area, near Rodeo Drive . The art is a legacy for the legendary Nam-june Paik. Artists showcasing their works include Susie J. Lee, Lee Jin-june, Shin Gi-un, Park June-beom, So-yoon and Ryu Ho-yeol. For further details, visit http://www.doart.co.kr/ or call 02-738-2522.
The gallery is located across the street from Cheongdam High School.

“Nostalgia kills.” “Sweet side.” “Half bucket of blood.” These are the names of some of the pieces Todd Norsten is showcasing at Arario Seoul gallery, until October 7th. His art is simplistic and childlike, humorous with an edgy undertone. The solo exhibition displays imaginative works, “with a drawing-like hand.” Red and black paint drip smiles and eyes on the white of the canvas. Anguk Station, line 3, exit 1. For information about the event call 02-7236190 or visit http://www.ararioseoul.com/

TRADITIONAL KOREAN EVENTS

Have you ever wondered what a Joseon-era wedding was like? Twice a year, at Unhyeongung Palace , the Seoul Metropolitan Government hosts a re-enactment of King Gojong and Queen Min’s wedding. The ceremony is historically accurate, arranged in accordance with the research department at the palace. The King and Queen were married on March 21st, 1866, at the age of fourteen. The event is an opportunity to experience the majesty and grace of Korean royal culture.
For more information on this historical event please call the palace direct at 02-766-9090.
The palace is on line 3, Anguk Station, exit 4.

SPECIAL EVENTS

Armin Van Buuren, The 3rd best DJ worldwide, as selected by the DJ list magazine, is gracing Seoul with his presence this weekend! The Kayagum Hall, Sheraton Grande Walkerhill Hotel will no doubt be filled to capacity on Saturday, October 6th, 11pm - 6am. Favorites of international clubbers like ‘The Sound of Goodbye,’ ‘Eternity’ and ‘Shivers’ will bring the house down. The world class DJ is elusive, so book your tickets in advance if you want to feel the vibrations this Saturday.
Admission is W 50000 and clubbers should contact http://www.o2pro.com/ for purchasing. Barring a prior sell out, tickets will be available at the door.
To access the venue, take line 5 to Gwangnaru, exit 2. You will need to take a direct shuttle bus or taxi upon exiting, as the hall is 2km from the station.

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Hi, Tae Hun.

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"Stylish" photo houses are popular in Japan, so Hiroko and I checked one out in Gangnam. It was 5,000 W for a sheet of photos - much more expensive than it is in sushi land. She said in Japan, friends write things on the photos like "shopping, boat ride, movies," as a reminder of the night.

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This guy had been waiting his whole life to be photographed. As soon as I put my camera up to my face, he struck a killer pose... and held it.

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Tae Hun and Hiroko talking about Japanese animation. Is there Japanese animation directed by Woody Allen? No? I don't know then.

In Korea privacy and quietude are embraced. I poked my head in the door of Tin Pan (Hongdae) and said, "oh, it's dead," just as Min piped, "great, we have the bar to ourselves!" Norebang and DVD bangs? Privacy. So there we were, the 4 of us, alone with our small talk and whisky.


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We ate sausage, sweet potatoes, noodles, egg, peaches, rice and cabbage salad with our beer, at a Korean-style bar before Tin Pan. Could the selection get any more random?

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On the bus ride home, Tae Hun and I drew each others portraits without looking at the paper. I laughed so hard when I saw my drawing of him.

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Friday, September 28, 2007

Korean Quotes as of late!

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"hey sweetie.
did you just slept 2 hrs?
you must be more tired than me (me 2 and half hrs. lol )
sometimes your life style looks so korean.
i'm so surprised compared to early of this year." - e-mail from friend, Tae Hun

"When boys are young, like 8 or 9, they like their Moms best but when they get old, like 10, they prefer their Dads because Dads can play sports like basketball and soccer." - 10 year old boy

"Sorry, I don't read much. There are more efficient ways of getting information, like the Internet." - A coworker

"On Chuseok we were so tired from the drive to Grandma's that Dad and I slept all day while Mom cooked. The next day we woke up at 6:00 in the morning, ate our big meal, and I went back to bed because Dad let me have a drink of Soju." - 15 year old boy

From the mouths of teenage girls:

"My family left me home alone on the holiday because I have midterms in 3 weeks. It was boring and lonely and I secretly watched TV instead of studying."

"I would rather go on vacation with my family than friends because it would be more exciting."

"If I could go anywhere in the world I would go to Machu Picchu because the air looks good and it is mysterious."

"I want to visit Switzerland because chocolate is my favorite food."

"My boyfriend doesn't have good face but he is kind."

"My boyfriend won't hold my hand and we've been together for 2 weeks! We went to norebang 3 times already. When we were friends he acted normal but now he acts so weird.?"

"Dad is soft for tears. When my younger brother cries, Dad takes me aside and asks me to let him win at the computer game."

"I forgot to get a haircut so my teacher used scissors to cut it and then hit my legs with a ruler, in front of everybody."

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Two Lists of Complaints, by Stuart Zehner

Well, it's 3:55 AM. I can't sleep. In order to extend my VISA I need to buy a plane ticket to Hong Kong tomorrow. I was just listening to crickets and turning over my pillow for the millionth time when I decided to check my e-mail. I got a link to this Korea-themed list poem. Made me laugh. Thanks, Greg:

Timothy McSweeny's poetry site.

Two Lists of Complaints.
BY STUART ZEHNER
- - - -
1. Complaints My Middle-School Students in Korea Had About Our School's Food.

"The rice is cold."
"The kimchi is dry."

2. Complaints American Middle-School Students Would Have If They Were Served Korean Food.

"There's an entire fish in my soup."
"The fish in my soup still has eyes."
"The fish in my soup with eyes is full of fish eggs."
"What is this?"
"They made me eat off a metal tray with chopsticks."
"I was served a vertebra."
"This salad is clearly made from the bush in the front of the school."
"I told you last week I don't like fish eggs!"
"The menu says we're having chicken anus for lunch."
"The live baby octopus you served me stuck to my throat and died."
"This is dog meat."
"It's too spicy."
"The rice is cold."
"The kimchi is dry."

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Magnetic City Hall

3 Sites within walking distance:

City Hall is the heartbeat of Seoul, a magnet for Seoulites and tourists alike. It is a place to catch a colorful reenactment of the “changing of the guard,” enjoy a concert, stroll through the leafy grounds of a palace, or take in a musical.

The area, considered downtown Seoul, is home to government offices, financial institutions and business hotels like the Seoul Plaza Hotel, the Westin Chosun Hotel and the Lotte Hotel. Tourist information is available at the newly renovated Seoul Information Center, located on the 2nd floor of City Hall – or by calling the hotline: 82 2 731 6337 .

The neighboring area is beautiful with its juxtaposition of sky scrapers and historic landmarks, including the Seoul Anglican Cathedral dating from 1926. But what’s best about City Hall is there’s always something current to see or do.

The Seoul Plaza, an oval green space in front of the building, has become a popular spot for concerts, public celebrations and demonstrations. It was reestablished in 2004, and is now used to host cultural events like the “Hi Seoul Festival.” The hall’s clock and fountain are lit by floor lights, adding luster to the nightscape.

Entertainment, fine dining and a pressed pillow can be had easily. But what are the must-sees? Here are 3 main attractions within walking distance: Deoksung Palace, Chongdong Theater and the Seoul Museum of Art (SEMA.)

1.Merging the old and new is Deoksugung Palace, a stones throw away from soaring skyscrapers. It is one of the five grand palaces in Seoul: a beautiful, walled oasis in the center of the capital.Deoksugung, “palace of virtuous longevity,” is an example of the royal architecture of the Chosun Dynasty (1392 – 1910). It is also home to an art museum and a pond. Admittance is 1,000 W or less. Businesspeople use the picnic area to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.

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2. Beside Deoksugung is the Seoul Metropolitan Museum of Art, a personal favorite of mine. It showcases a revolving door of International exhibitions, as well as contemporary Korean art, earning itself a place among the world’s art museums.Modern, spacious and convenient, it strives to be seen. The general fee is minimal (under 1,000 won) but special exhibitions cost up to 10,000 won.

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3. Chongdong Theater is located a few minutes up the street from SEMA. It was built in 1995 as a reproduction of Wongaksa: the first national theater in Korea, and was later designated a “tangible cultural asset” by Seoul City.

The artsy locale represents traditional performances, staging regular shows of all 4 categories of Korean performance: dance, pung-mul, musical instrument performance and so-ri, and also hosts traditional games to engage its audience, all the while fostering an appreciation for Korean culture. Tickets are very reasonably priced, from 20-30,000 won. Call now to reserve a seat. 82-2-751-1500

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KOREAN ANGLICAN CHURCH-
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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Samgyupsal, Kimbap and Cocktails

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Tonight was "family time" in Korea, so the lonely Japanese and Canadian girl got together for dinner and drinks.

We ate galbi (beef) and pork belly, at a restaurant in Gangnam. 8USD ea. Tip: There are a lot of good restaurants, bars and clubs near exit 6, Gangnam station. We got "service" (free dwenjangjiggae and cups of cider, which is basically gingerale.)

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WA BAR, Gangnam - Western style (meaning you don't have to order food with your drinks, and foreign imports and cocktails are available.)

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PS - What's your favorite kind of kimbap?

I used to be a chamchi girl but lately, I prefer "cheesy" kimbap, at 2USD a pop. Buy one at any kimbap world near you. (Ingredients: kim - dried seaweed, rice, carrot, root, egg, raddish and processed cheese.)

Monday, September 24, 2007

Holiday Weekend Myeongdong

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Seoul's first GAP cut the grand ribbon Aug. 24th. A T-Shirt costs about 35$. The store is only 2 floors high, catering mostly to men, but that brand name fix is all yours. Plus you'll be the envy of the guy in the middle with his arms crossed.

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This stylin' Korean dude could pass as a French man from behind. Don't you dig his earthy look?

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It feels like there is a Starbucks on every corner in Myeongdong. My short coffee of the day (the cheapest thing on the menu) was approx. 3 USD. I paid for the view though, got to people watch from the 2nd story window.

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Lotte Department store. (Chanel is out of my price range but my camera wanted to roam!) "Department stores" are the shopping malls of Korea. Most of them are high-end so youth usually prefer to shop at boutiques and markets.

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Cute Korean girls, by request.

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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Visiting Deoksugung Palace in Seoul

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During the Joseon Dynasty, Deoksugung Palace was one of the "Five Grand Palaces" built in Seoul. It is located near City Hall subway exits 1& 2, a busy intersection in the heart of the city. Admission is only 1,000 W, and the grounds are beautiful.

The neighboring area includes the historic Cheongdong church, the Cheongdong Theater and SEMA. I photographed all of the sites and will post/write in depth soon.

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Sushi at an affordable little restaurant to the left of the main gate (heading in the direction of SEMA.)

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Chuseok in the eyes of Young Koreans

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"One of the major foods prepared and eaten during the Chuseok holiday is Songpyeon (송편), a crescent-shaped rice cake which is steamed upon pine needles." - Wikipedia.

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What's going on in Seoul during the holidays? Click here! (shamleless promotion of the Seoul Government site.)

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Yes, my bites always come out heart-shaped. Happy Chuseok (Thanksgiving) to us! The staff got 5 KG boxes of apples today. I felt crazy lugging home 10 pounds of fruit. What am I going to do with it all? I have no oven here, just a stove-top. I suppose I could make homemade apple sauce.

This was better than our New Years gift shocker: a crate of SPAM, considered a joke by some, but a luxury in Korea. I re-gifted it pretty quickly.

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Hanbok for sale in a shop window, South Gate Suwon. Just to get the festivities going.

PS- Tae Hun's wedding photos from Saturday night. It was pretty Westernized- steak dinner, white wedding dress. There were huge screens on the wall, showing up-close video footage of the couple: Tae's best friend's sister and her fiancee. The guy was displeased his younger sibling was marrying before him. I told Tae Hun that Canadians aren't eager to rush into marriage. I'm allowed the odd generalization.

Without further ado, the Wedding photos:

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Have you been to a Korean wedding? What did you think?

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Plus, For Jack. HAHA!