Photos from here
Pimatgol: one of the loveliest little side-alley tangles in Seoul, is being razed.
Will be replaced with more of this:
and this: the La Meilleur building, and one of the more eyesorey eyesores in downtown Seoul,
and this: tossing a bone to the destroyed pimatgol with this mockery of the original back-alley (600 year history?...needs a 7-11)
I hate when Seoul's cool neighbourhoods get ruined by redevelopment or gentrification... in Dali (and that CHINA, folks, freakin' CHINA!) the municipal government has laws about certain neighborhoods, requiring new buildings to match the style of the old buildings, in order to maintain the local feeling, and a city that wants to be a world hub of everything can't even preserve one of the coolest alley networks in the city, and the kind of area that COULD BE MARKETED. Dumbasses.
Seoul is poorer for the loss of pimatgol. It was such a lovely area, and really should have been cleaned up rather than razed. I lived around here for 16 months, and it was one of my favorite times in Korea, and pimatgol is like a maze of wonders, but now it's been cleared right out, and if those homey, bustling little alleyways with their awesome hole-in-the-wall restaurants get replaced with another glass-and-steel abomination. I hate, hate, hate, how the local color gets bleached out for steel-and-glass, and I rue the fact Seoul was hyper-developed during the steel-and-glass era, which remains to my mind the ugliest architectural aesthetic out there.
Matt from Popular Gusts has written a lovely elegy for pimatgol: the kind of place where you might accidentaly have a bowl of makkeolli with a poet. At La Meilleur, you're more likely to accidentally brush shoulders with a social climber or a made-up gold digger.
King Baeksu, who connects with Pimatgol in a very personal way, has more.
And Korea is poorer.