THE FIVE MOST UNDERRATED DISTRICTS IN BUSAN

SEOMYEON IS the new Nampo, Kyungsung is the new PNU, Haeundae is where white people live, yadda yadda. If Busan is starting to feel a bit stale (i.e., you’re sick of hearing “Want to go to Seomyeon?” / “Sure, meet at The Spot?” or “Fuck it, let’s just go to Thursday Party”), you should know that there is, in fact, a world beyond Blue Monkey and the Wolfhound. It is with this in mind that I have scoured the city, literally walking from Seomyeon to Sasang (it took two and a half hours, but—but—journalism!), riding across the “Who Actually Uses This Thing?” Blue Line to deliver what I consider, in no meaningful order, the five most underrated districts in Busan.

“The market maze is divided into specific retail areas: the Jewelry Wholesale Market, for example, or the Beomil Tool Market, which is really just three blocks of men hoarding mountains of seemingly obsolete power tools who will furiously overcharge you for a screwdriver if presented with the opportunity.”

Put up a few days ago on Busan Awesome as part of my post-vacation efforts to get out of my house. This is coupled with the above post, “Notes on My First 10k”.

CROWD CONTROL: THE POLARIZED SHOPPING CULTURE IN BUSAN, SOUTH KOREA

IF YOU WANT TO BUY AN APPLE in Busan, you have basically two options. You can go to a department store—Lotte Mart, Hyundai, Shinsegae—which are 12-floor goliaths offering everything from Gucci products to a park on the roof. Your other option is a street vendor, a wizened old Korean who will offer often-bruised produce surrounded by flies.

What’s amazing is that, in Busan, the lower classes have banded together to create their own Centum Cities—booming, popular marketplaces that are both mirror images and polar opposites of the luxury department stores.

My latest piece for The Mass Ornament, and my first photo essay. It took me a few weeks to compile all the pictures—there’s about six locations in Busan that I jaunted through to see what they were like. Almost every shot was taken as incognito as possible, just walking and holding the camera by my side (which is why so many shots are profile-oriented instead of landscape/horizontal).

I’ll also put up a link to my Flickr here, for those interested in the shots that didn’t make the cut/anything else I’ve shot over the years.