Singil-dong, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul

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Let’s take another trip down memory lane, shall we? Singil-dong is a massive redevelopment zone located in Yeongdeungpo-gu, the district that I happened to live and work at the time. It was quite a spectacle to behold; four separate sub-neighborhoods within walking distance of each other. It was easy to access, and I felt secluded enough to explore without the worry of being discovered. Unfortunately, I missed out on one neighborhood. During my first visit on February 25th, 2017, I found most Singil 7(chil)-dong cleared and flattened. Luckily, I still had Singil 3(sam), Singil 4 (sa), Singil 5(oh), and Singil 6 (yuk)-dongs to survey.

In total, I explored Singil-dong six times. I wish I would have devoted more time to the place. Still, I already had my hands full investigating the redevelopment near Ehwa Women’s University Station and other locations throughout Seoul. A few weeks before my visit, I heard that resident or police confronted some fellow foreigner explorers, but nothing of that sort ever happened to me. In my six visits, I never had a run-in with a local.

This first set of pictures are from my first visit from February 25th. I didn’t take many pictures, as I was scouting out the area and possibly photographed out after spending the morning and afternoon at the Nightmare Lab.

Singil3(sam)-dong
Singil5(oh)-dong. It was around this area the other foreign explorers were confronted.

On March 4th, I returned in the afternoon after exploring Ehwa Women’s University area. I spent a couple of hours hovering around Singil 3 and Singil 5-dongs. It was still getting a feel for the geography. I didn’t go into too many places.

Two weeks later, on March 18th, I arrived early to explore. Again, I spent my time walking around Singil 3 and Singil 5. After this visit, I began to take an active interest in the site.

I love the patterns.
It’s nice day for a White Wedding.
I regret not going inside that Shaman’s house.

April 8th, I wandered new parts of the redevelopment zone, Singil 4 and Singil 6-dongs. These were where I found my favorite artifacts. Demolition had begun on Singil 3 and Singil 5.

Tapsa, located in the Horse Ear Mountains. I’ve been meaning to visit this temple for quite some time.
Mom-and-Pop Shop #1, Singil4(sa)-dong.
This was before I took an active interest in film photography, but the old film signs still caught my eye.
Mom-and-Pop Shop #2, Singil6(yuk)-dong

Towards the end of the day, I wandered back to the subway station and saw Singil 3 in the process of being turned into a rubble field.

April 15th was my penultimate visit. I came across a closed-down Simpson-themed bar called “Hello, Simpson.” As a fan of the show growing up, I wanted to see any remnants of Simpsons-themed decor inside. Sadly, I couldn’t find a way into the place, so all I have is pictures of the exterior.

Later that day, I walked around Singil 5 to check out the progress of the demolition.

Chance saved the best for my last visit on May 14th. I found two hanok clusters in the same area of Singil 6. These areas were definitely where the oldest houses of the neighborhood stood. I was fortunate to see them before they went away.

The first cluster is shown in this picture. The second group is on the other side of the hill.

Nothing beats wandering down tight pathways like these:

And then coming across scenes like this.

This was an interesting house. The person who lived here was a clothes maker. The former resident left behind lots of fabric samples and tools of their trade.

Fast forward three years later, the high rise apartments planned to take over these neighborhoods are almost complete. Despite the mass redevelopment plans, some buildings have survived, like the Nam Seoul and Shin Mi Apartments. Who knows how much longer they have?

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