Why I Love My Neighborhood: Hyehwa

  • Photo by Photo by Yaeri Song for Seoulist

    The ebb and flow of show foot traffic. Photo by Yaeri Song for Seoulist

Photo by Yaeri Song for Seoulist
My neighbor’s tragic flower. The sign above the flower is even more heartbreaking and poetic. It essentially says: Flower / Please do not take it / I implore you. The best part is that it works!

Photo by Yaeri Song for Seoulist
Walking along this short section of the Seoul Fortress Wall.

Photo by Yaeri Song for Seoulist
This unexpected view under Hyehwa Gate.

Photo by Yaeri Song for Seoulist
Hanok everywhere. Hyehwa-dong lies in one of the oldest districts of Seoul, and there are all sorts of hanok homes, ranging from sad decrepit ones no cares for to renovated posh compounds. And then there’s this one that’s ornate, but a bit discombobulated.

Photo by Yaeri Song for Seoulist
The Hyehwa-dong Office and Community Center. Most city neighborhood centers I’ve been to are unmemorable, and I love that my local center has a hanok annex for exhibitions and community events.

Photo by Yaeri Song for Seoulist
This view.

Photo by Yaeri Song for Seoulist
Cafe SaHeul. I love the two owner-baristas here because they’re not like those who display framed certifications and awards and scorn at customers who order lattes. They’re very eager for everyone to drink their coffee and they get so happy when I ask about their specials. This week, they recommend beans from Nicaragua and Papua New Guinea.

Photo by Yaeri Song for Seoulist
Cafe SaHeul’s menu. I’ve never seen a hand-written menu sign as perfect as theirs.

Photo by Yaeri Song for Seoulist
The idea that any random building could have a little black box theatre in the basement.

Photo by Yaeri Song for Seoulist
Always knowing what’s going on. Posters line the streets. They’re plastered inside restaurants and even taped to trash bins. They’re always changing and I have no choice but to discover more and more of Seoul’s cultural offerings.

Photo by Yaeri Song for Seoulist
The ebb and flow of foot traffic. It’s nice to be able to anticipate and work around theatre traffic. The streets swell up around 6:30 p.m. on weekdays with the pre-show crowd. But after 7:30, restaurants empty out and cafes calm down, so that’s when I’ll go get a bite to eat.

Photo by Yaeri Song for Seoulist
The 3,000 won street cocktails served in a plastic bag. This stand has a surprisingly extensive menu that people line up for.

Photo by Yaeri Song for Seoulist
The food stands at the Sunday Filipino Market. I love the sticky rice.

Can’t get enough of Daehakro? Read more from An Actors Map of Seoul.

Tell us why you love your neighborhood!
Snap up to 15 photos (Instagrams welcome!) that highlight the best of your neighborhood and e-mail them to submissions@seoulistmag.com. Keep everything within a 10-minute radius of your home base and keep all image width to 690 pixels.

Yaeri Song

About Yaeri Song

Yaeri Song is a closeted filmmaker based in Seoul who enjoys long walks in the park with her celebrity Pekingese.

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