In May, I shared with you my explorations of a small working-class neighborhood in the process of being swallowed up by highrises, Gangnam-style. I remember visiting this area ten years ago, and it looks completely unrecognizable now. In June, workers erected fences, and, in late July, workers got to work scraping the metal out of the buildings. Here are photos from my visits in June and July; I was able to get into the hanoks I hadn’t been able to while on previous trips.

On my most recent trip, towards the end of July, I arrived in the late afternoon. Workers were still on the job, restricting access to the entire area. I went in a roundabout way, making it too hard for myself; if I had waited until after six p.m, I could have entered more effortlessly. Patience is not my strong suit; I roamed a small portion of the area for a bit before going out to get a coffee.

I reckon some good samaritans put down the blankets for the stray cats living in the abandonments. The pathway led to a feeding station for cats, protecting them from getting shards of glass in their paws. After leisurely consuming a Starbucks coffee, I proceeded back to the area, where the coast was clear, and I saw buildings and hanoks once inaccessible, now wide open for exploring. Like this former mover’s business. I assume it was also a mom-and-pop store in a former life.

This next set of pictures are a mash-up of two hanoks. Both former residents studied palm reading/fortune-telling. Along with books on the subject, one person left behind their certification in the field.

Finally, another love of mine is documenting old film brand advertisements around the city. Almost all the major film brands back in the day are here: Fuji, Kodak, Konica, and Agfa. These ghost signs call back to the pre-digital camera days, where you’d have to wait and develop your images before seeing the results. Despite analog’s recent resurgence, film photography is now niche.

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