Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Cheonggyecheon Stream

Pronounced 'Chongy Chon', the Cheonggyecheon Stream runs through Seoul along with the Han river.  It used to be a very dirty slum and dangerous part of the city.  The stream was extremely polluted and housed many of the homeless. The previous mayor of Seoul spend millions cleaning up this part of the city, environmentally and socially.  It has taken many years to complete, but is largely considered to be a success.  Ironically, the stream runs through a very affluent part of the city, and is close the the center of Seoul so the Chronggyecheon project has brought the city closer together and many restaurants and stores have opened in this area. There was a festival going on the weekend I went, the "Hi, Seoul" festival. Yes, spelled like that. I picked up from the exhibits and shows going on that it was an internationally themed festival. So, I guess knowing that, the festival's name becomes more acceptable. Apparently, there are different festivals held in Seoul every month lasting one to two weekends. Wonderful news for me! I won't have to travel far to do or see something new. Anyhow- here are some photos of the place.
The Cheonggyecheon

Sick Seoul Truck Art


Man in traditional costume telling the story the tiles are telling

(super awesome)

The Museum Under the Bridge
Told the history of the Cheonggyecheon through photos. It was a really amazing exhibit with some seriously historical  photos of what the Japanese did to the place and the city during their occupation of Korea.  I liked this place. A lot. No trolls under this bridge. Well,  I guess that will depend on the crowd and who you talk to. 

I loved all of these, and I especially loved that red one with the eyes. 

I have no idea.

Members of a world famous (Or so we were told by the announcer) Japanese drumming band. 

They were absolutely ....  I don't know the right word for it... captivating. Their performance  demanded all your attention. You couldn't look away. You could feel their drumming vibrate through your chest cavities. I was standing on the busy sidewalk in Seoul, watching them, and wasn't bumped into once during their show. Even the busy passerbys  slowed to feel their music. I don't know what it was, maybe that this music is so foreign to me, or that is was so seemingly simple, or that it is so old, or maybe all three. I was affected by it, and as I looked around I could see that I wasn't the only one.  Maybe it was the sound of pure passion, and no one could resist getting wrapped up in some passion for only a few songs. 

I love this, always the old with the new. Its nice to feel like not everything will completely fade away into history. Or into nothing at all. 



  1. Elephants! Also, I love Love LOVE the multi-colored ribbony things covering the sky. Know what I mean? lol. very cool.

  2. There are so many things here to want to go and see...I love that the idea of opposites is so well sed , like the ribbons in the water or the art being placed in and around the moving water...and that the drumming is FELT as well as heard...and the alien thing is easy. In Jamaica, there was a drug lord named Sharif...like the movie actor Omar Sharif....and he got shot during a police raid.-The drug lord, not Omar- Now, Bob Marley was trying to explain this to Eric Clapton one night (and both of them were TOTALLY stoned!)and Eric couldn't understand Bob. He thought Bob was saying that he had shot the sheriff, when Bob was trying to say that THEY-law enforcement- had shot Sharif. The entire story is so strange , er, alien, to the Eastern thought pattern, that here you have a space guy with with a bullet hole in his head. Go figure!

  3. I just reread the post about getting the notice on your door. Isn't it funny how the Universe works? You have probably been the recipient of some Korean Billionaire Sweepstakes or something like that. Did Ed McMahan move to Korea?? Or it could be so many positive things...like Welcome Wagon or some cute creeper guy living next door (or there abouts)who is inviting you to lunch for eel-head soup or something like that. One never knows! I saw a beach picture in N.Korea (Google Earth!!) where instead of sand castles, they had sand pyramids! Que pasa with THAT?! Pyramids in N. Korea? It's those damned sneaky aliens again!! What's next? Crop circles?? Anyway, the note on the door might be something very cool and positive, like an invitation to a barn dance or a neighborhood karate match or a buy one pound of "Jimmies Sun dried Squid", get one free certificate...y'know? Gotta go. Bubb-eye.