Snapshots of the East Side Gallery, originally painted in 1990 to commemorate the falling of the Berlin Wall. Taken summer 2009.

I was aware there was restoration work going on, but it was odd to me why stretches of wall were being completely destroyed??

Screenshot 2014-02-20 17.20.08

Yesterday I was in Korea for the first time! I’m always excited to experience a ‘new’ city: to people-watch, navigate a different subway layout, admire unfamiliar typographical forms, explore local convenience store offerings, enjoy losing my way…

Unfortunately it was a super-short stay. Though I did still manage to have yummy ‘purple’ rice bibimbap, meet up with two friends from Swarthmore (hi Han and Sung!), take in Seoul’s dynamic vibe and its countless cafés, disorient locals with my nonexistent knowledge of Korean, drink a carton of delicious cocoa milk, and get cognitively weirded out by T-shirts with price tags reading ‘59,000’.

I didn’t have time to soak things in and take pictures that do the city justice. Just a few quick snapshots.

Bizeun at Insadong had all sorts of beautiful rice cakes and desserts. They term themselves a ‘riceteria’, a word which I will wholeheartedly help them spread. : ) Unfortunately the shop window reflection spoils the second picture; I need to learn the technical tricks to get around that…

They’re really too pretty to eat aren’t they?

Quite a few Starbucks branches in Seoul have their own unique look. This one sheds its US corporate identity almost completely (at least facade-wise), and blends in with its street:

A few minutes of overcast sky…

…and then it cleared for the rest of what turned out to be a lovely afternoon