Sunday, August 25, 2013

paju book city

The first Sunday of August, I made the day trip out to Seoul to meet Kevin and Jaimie. We had planned to check out the publishing mecca that is Paju, so we met at the bus stop by Hapjeong station exit 2, hopped on the 2200, and although the estimated bus ride was 45 minutes, it only ended up taking 25 as far as I remember. Paju Book City is an entire district dedicated to printing and publishing. You'll find bookstores (new and used), galleries, publishing houses, and cafes (although a majority of these are "book cafes" and serve vending machine coffee or small snacks only, so BEWARE. The three of us had quite an extended adventure trying to find one to sit in, which wasn't the most fun in the blistering heat). What makes this place special is its buildings. Clean and modern. Lines and angles. Concrete and metal. Wood and glass. I also really loved and appreciated all the green space that they've incorporated into every block of the neighbourhood. That just about sums it up. Sadly, many of the businesses were closed the day we visited, so I'll definitely have to return to check out more of the printing houses and galleries here.

Upside down S
Abandoned gate booth, perfect cube
Future Korea indeed
"Beautiful Peoples"
A bear riding a bike

One of the area's highlights is the Asia Publication Culture & Information Center, a massive space with multiple venues, rooms, and levels. I'd love to do a shoot here.


So vast and a little surreal because of how deserted it was at the time, save for us and a few other visitors.

Even the GS25 (convenience store chain) is stark and modern here
Golden sculpture of poo, only in Asia
Gorgeous river marsh running through the middle of the city
Mary Poppins
Sinister mopface!

After Paju, we met up with Jaimie's "adopted" parents, John and Maria. They took us to the military base (which was really like a drab piece of suburban America in the middle of Itaewon, so interesting and surreal to drive around in) for dinner at the Navy Club. It was such an experience and the first time having authentic western food (and western portions to boot) without any of the Korea twists.. in a long while. Pizza, pasta, pot roast with mash.. crazy!

Such a trip! Felt like we'd been teleported to America

We left with bellies full and hearts content :)

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