Have a fabulous 2012


Gaga: Rest in Peace (b.2002 - d.2010)

Friday, March 8, 2013

Itaewon's New Face!

A number of foreign tourists visit Itaewon for shopping and food as it is undoubtedly one of the most popular tourist attractions in Seoul. Itaewon is an international district with different cultures mixed together, creating a unique atmosphere. However, the neighborhood used to get a little bit of negative reputation as the heart of the nightlife with bars and clubs.
In recent years, the area went through a major shift and it did change a lot. Itaewon is now emerging as a new hangout for the young who are always keen on the new trend since a flagship store dealing high-end fashion opened in the area. The street between Itaewon Station and Hangangjin Station earned the nickname ‘Comme Des Garcon’ street after the upscale flagship store opened here. The street stretches from Comme des garcon to the IP Boutique hotel is creating a lot of buzz nowadays, and stylish and unique restaurants and cafes are springing up, adding a great vibe in the new cool neighborhood.

Next to the avant-garde high-end boutique store is a narrow alley that leads to a private museum which is owned by one of the major conglomerates in Korea. It is ‘Leeum’ Samsung Museum of Art which boasts a rich collection of art works, from Korean traditional art pieces including some national treasures to modern pop art installations. The first masterpiece at the museum visitors will see is the famous sculpture of two gigantic spiders ‘maman’ made by the artist Louise Bourgeois. Maman was created as a tribute to Bourgeois's own mother. The French-American artist is known for her contributions to both modern and contemporary art and her famous spider sculptures are found in many cities like Ottawa and Tokyo including the first one at London's Tate Modern museum. The Museum Complex itself is a grand masterpiece. It’s made up of three buildings designed by three internationally renowned architects, Mario Botta, Jean Nouvel and Rem Koolhaas.

Another landmark for art buffs in the neighborhood is Blue Square, the largest performing art hall in Korea. The theater is dedicated to musicals and performances and the world’s famous musical Phantom of the opera and Arsene Lupin are playing at the moment. The street is expected to live up to the expectation of the art lovers as another performing arts theatre will be built here by 2013.

A feast for eyes and ears is enjoyable but the most pleasant feast is to satisfy your taste buds. With dozens of restaurants serving a variety of international cuisine in the area, the International Food Street was formed in a back alley off the main road. There are quite a few restaurants specializing in certain type of foreign food across the city, but Itaewon is the place where you can find authentic tastes from many different cultures and regions such as Southeast Asia, Africa and the Middle East. In addition, it is one of the few places you can find halal food as Itaewon is home to Seoul Central Mosque.
For those who are looking for fine dining experience, luxurious restaurants present a paring of excellent food and atmosphere. In Itaewon, you can soak in the ambience of a European café appreciating contemporary art by European artists at the same time, or taste healthy organic desserts that fulfill your cravings for the sweet at a stylish French bakery.
With a unique vibe and colorful personalities, the new hotspot in Itaewon is attracting more visitors including international tourists by word of mouth. Go out experience the city's coolest new hang-out before everyone discovers it!