It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood: The Non-Sketch Side of Itaewon

April 23, 2010

Don’t get me wrong: Itaewon is still the home for drunken bar fights and prostitutes in red-lit windows, but on a nice spring day, even Hooker Hill seems kinda pretty, no?

As I’ve said previously, the foreigner district of Itaewon is kind of an odd anomaly, a crossroad between the glamorous and the decrepit, a little schizophrenic place, with a mosque on top of a hill, flanked by brothels, bourgeois cafes, gay bars and tiny-person wide residential alleyways. I do like living here, it is pretty interesting place, and on a nice spring day, it’s a lovely place for a stroll.

Near the mosque is a street called Goblin Market Street (Christina Rosetti fans, heeeeeey), which has a few halal restaurants and markets. Apparently the Russian restaurant up there is pretty good,  and a friend and I went to Salam Restaurant yesterday (will elaborate on that later).

Also– did you know behind the main street of Itaewon (behind the alley market, take a left) there is a high-end fashion boutique street? Yeah, weird, huh? And if you continue on that road, there is an antique street, which seems like some college girl-with-a-tumblr’s rococo wet dream.

And while I was there, I smelt a familiar whiff in the air, of a lost childhood when me and my brother used to squeeze through the bars at the end of our street as a shortcut to Mexican pizzas…

I’ll tell you, I’m not too much of a drinker, but I do intend to be drunk when this opens.


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