Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Singing Man

This was another sculpture at the Contemporary Art Museum that I loved. It was titled "Singing Man" because as the man's jaw moved up and down this melodic tone resonated through the sculpture. I also have to say that it was very Jay Keller-esk; robotic art for those of you out there that may not know Jay and his dancing asparagus suit.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Seoul's Contemporary Art Museum

Kwang was meeting friends for lunch one Saturday so I took the plunge and went out to explore Seoul's Contemporary Art Museum. The museum is located on the far side of Seoul Park which is this great big park that houses a large lake, zoo, botanical garden and amusement park along with the art museum.

This large sculpture was near the entrance of the museum. I love that it's made out of wood. It has such a soft feel to it. I also love that my camera was able to get the crisp detail of the contrast between the stained wood and the exposed cut cross-sectionals.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Kwang's Off to Gather Firewood

Watch out, Kwang will poke you with that stick.

This kid also got into it as well. He looks pretty amused that I'm taking his picture. Kwang had to help him get on the straps because the structure is so heavy.

This was a device used to gather firewood in the mountains. The firewood was then brought back to the village to heat homes and cook food.

A New Backyard Game

We walked around a traditional village that this set up as a tourist destination in Seoul. It was family day so there were quite a few old traditional games set up. Kwang went back to his roots and attempted this game where you have arrows into a ceramic pot with three small openings. He was 1 for 3, not so bad. As you can see even the little girl was impressed.

Ok Sorry But More Kitties!

Sleepy cute cat awwww. Why won't you play with me?

Apparently this guy had some issues, but we still love him!

Look at that face.
Ok this would not be allowed at home buddy, but in the Giocat Cat Cafe it's ok. Know your boundaries.
Ok you just won me over. That cone looks charming on you.

Jennie and the Kitties!

Ahhh no kitties wanted my love. I have so much love to give too! I've been in pet ownership withdrawal for years now. Maybe one day...

Finally, success! Ok, ok I half picked up this cat. It was on the bench right next to me and it just needed a little encouragement making it up onto my lap. Sometimes it's necessary to bend the rules.

Kwang and the Kitties!

Finally, success after many tries although apparently she was a little smelly ;(

I would have to say Kwang is happiest when petting cats. He makes me have a good time just watching him pet cats. Needless to say he was in cat heaven.

Warning: Cute Cats!!!

Kwang in front of the Giocat Cat Cafe!
The cat above looks like Pumpkin, my cat from childhood.

Kwang and I went to the Giocat Cat Cafe last weekend. You pay $8 and gain entry into cat heaven plus a delicious cappuccino. There were between 20-30 cats sleeping, walking around, and playing in the cafe. There were quite a few admirers too so getting a cat to come cuddle was quite the accomplishment. We were successful though in the end. There were all of these funny rules too at the cafe. You could not pick up the cats. They had to willfully jump into your lap. At one point I did break this rule and was not kicked out, phew. Also you weren't suppose to wake up sleeping cats. Kwang continually broke this rule as he could not help but pet the sleeping sweethearts. We decided that this was a brilliant business plan, but one that would probably not work in the US. Hot beverages and cat hair really don't stand up to code very easily.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Little Delicious Birds

Kwang claims these are quail, however I feel like they are smaller than quail. Quail eggs are commonly used in Korean cooking so he is probably right. The first picture was of a food display. I especially like how the birds are posed with red pepper in their mouths.

The Biggest Vat of Bubbling Sogogi-guk I've Ever Seen

Kwang tells me Sogogi-guk is a traditional Korean soup made from radish, beef, bean sprouts all in a spicy broth. This gigantic vat of the soup lined the stalls at the Cherry Blossom festival. It was steaming hot and waiting to be eaten. Often the restaurant stalls had a vat on each side of the main display. Unfortunately, we had just eaten at Kwang's house so we did not sample any of the soup.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Cherry Blossoms in Jinhae

There are cherry blossoms everywhere in Jinhae, Kwang's hometown. As they fall to the ground people scoop them up and throw them in the air. We saw a bunch of older ladies doing this and having a blast. Apparently, Jinhae is a prime cherry blossom spot because the Japanese brought them over and planted them along the streets during the occupation time period. Sort of a bitter sweet reminder of that time period.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Yes, We Concured the Steps

We walk a lot here. Just to show you how much we walk this special set of stairs up to a pagoda-like structure was numbered. Therefore, we needed to take a picture to document. Kwang tricked me in the beginning of the climb by telling me there were 1000 steps. I was relieved to see the top at a mere 365 steps. Note we could have taken a cable car instead of hiking but we are hard core walkers.

Soccer Game at Olympic Stadium

Kwang and I attended a soccer game at Olympic Stadium a couple of weekends ago. I have to say the fans give the Portland Timbers a run for their money. We were handed these red clapper things when we got off the subway. As you can see I'm a big fan.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

My Favorite Festival Game

At the Cherry Blossom Festival one stall had this game set up. First you pay $1 and pick one fish from the bucket. Next you drop it in the center of the wheel. Which ever spoke the fish swims to declares the prize you win. Every spoke is labeled with a different prize. It's a win-win kind of game!

Our Compost Pile

In Korea you have to buy special trash bags for your normal trash as well as for your perishable food scraps. Kwang tells me the food scraps go to the pigs and to farmers for their fields. It's a pretty good system though sometimes it's hard to put everything in a little bag like this. Also the full bags are left outside with the normal garbage, which does not exactly paint a pretty picture outside of our apartment.

Over the Top Italian Dining

Kwang and I ventured out into our neighborhood to find this Italian restaurant. There was not a nook nor cranky that was not covered in faux flowers or pink gauze. It was just like we were in Italy, wink, wink. However, the food was pretty good, spicy, but good. Plus we did the meal deal and both got a glass of wine.

Kwang Woo and Chang Woo: The Lee Brothers

Kwang's brother Chang Woo met up with us for dinner one evening. Not only did he show me the fine art of mixing beer and soju, but he told me some good stories about Kwang. Apparently Kwang was a very quiet kid. Shocking, but true. He also told me that I could call him Brian, his English name, but I think he'll always be Chang Woo to me. Chang Woo's great. He's also my number one texting buddy.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Seoul Tower, aka the Love Tower

On top of Seoul Tower the walls are covered with these little tiles that couples have decorated and glued to the wall. Of course Kwang and I had to do this. Can you imagine us coming back to Seoul 40 years from now and having our tile still glued to the wall, too cool. So we went into the gift store and procured the appropriate tile and special pen. Most of the tiles were written in Korean so I felt pretty special to leave our multi-cultural mark.

The View From The Top

Of course we had to take the elevator ride up to the top of the tower. It was quite the spectacular view. I think I even was able to figure out where our apartment is in perspective to the tower. Oh and of course I had to take a picture of me being 11,061.86km away from NYC. That heart is for you A & L.

One Year Strong

This is a belated posting, but Kwang and I celebrated being together for a whole year by going to Seoul Tower. We had to take a gondola up the mountain to the base of the tower. It was beautiful at the base. There is a light show that projects against the tower and a sort of strobe light music show that goes along with it.