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© John Holstein
A house in a disappearing "moon village" (dal dongnae). This one is Seongbuk 2-dong. They are called dal dongnae because, like the favela Ciudad de Deus in the movie City of God, they are high up on the hills (which used to make access difficult before most people could afford a car), affording the residents a better view of the moon. See more photos of Seongbuk 2-dong here. And see other moonvilles here.
A common scene in Seoul: highrise apartments nestled in foothills of Seoul's surrounding mountains
Association of Aunts and Mothers for Nurturing Narcissism. Hongdae-ap neighborhood.
Wired Seoul
This restaurant's walls are made of old cheongjong (rice wine) bottles. On the road to Mangweon Temple.
Stationary store in Hyehwadong
Giving the finger to cleanliness. The garbage on the sidewalk is not an unfamiliar sight on many streets of Seoul.
Summer in the park. More photos of Maronnier Park here.
Free Market near HongIk University. See more photos here.
Rennovating a building owned by Seoul Women's College. In Myeongryundong. See more views of Myeongryundong here.
Entering the eclipse of 2009.
No, the photo isn't touched up.
High school students use their notebooks in the Baekiljang, a poetry contest at the Seonggyun'gwan, the progenitor of Seonggyun'gwan University, in a centuries-old Confucian tradition. See more of the Sunggyun'gwan here.



A well-secured wheel.
A "billa apatu" (4-flats) canyon in Seoul. (Dongsungdong)
A home repair shop in Jeongneung. More views of Jeongneung here.
The old littered by the new. Myeongryundong. More about Myeongryundong here.
One section of Jeongneung.
Vendors clog the sidewalks of downtown streets.
This scene from Donamdong is typical of Seoul's neighborhoods: highrise apartment complexes and 4-flats.
Affluent Pyeongchangdong, northern Seoul
Another part of Pyeongchangdong. It's in the foothills of the Bukhansan range.
High-rise apartments loom in the future of Korean traditional homes. It's surprising that these houses have lasted this long.
This is a photo of a historical moment -- Seoul isn't known for great sunsets.
Wired Seoul.
A relatively comfortable "moonville" (dal dongnae) in Jeongneung, in the foothills of Mount Bukhan. This village is unique, not only because it's one of the few remaining such villages but also because, with its trees and vegetable plots, it reminds one of a small village in the countryside. One day, when I was taking photos of this village with its nostalgic allure, a resident challenged me because she thought I was focusing on their poverty. For photos of other dal dongnae, click here.
The moon still shines on the West Sea even as it did in 1980, when this photo was taken...
...and bamboo products have not yet given way to plastic.
Old and new, ever-changing Seoul. (Donam-dong)
Korean clans of aristocratic lineage maintains their ancestral estates built when the clan was in its peak in social status. This is the women's quarters of a Yu clan house in Andong. (2006)
In an apartment building's elevator. The graffiti for the sign on the left says "Jang-pung Prohibited." (Jang-pung is a magical martial arts move that knocks an opponent over by a wind emanating from the open palm.) The graffiti for the sign on the right says "Leg-crossing Prohibited." (Crossing ones legs is considered rude in Korea, because it's a casual posture, to be the sign of a brazen attitude if struck in the presence of one's "betters.")
A philosphical profundity: To get inside, you have to go outside.
A city bus in Seoul. Note the card reader by the door. When you get on at the front door, you pass it over the reader; and when you get off, you do it again. This gives you a free transfer. (2005) No more bus girls, like we had in the good old days (below).
The bus had one door, and the bus girl collected fares, watched the back for oncoming traffic (and signalled it by slapping the side of the bus loud enough for the driver to hear), and "helped" the passengers on and off. The bus girls disappeared in the 1980s. (The photo is from an exhibit held at the National War Museum.)
Getting away from the city crowds on the weekend; hiking in the mountains around Seoul. (Courtesy of the Korea Herald, circa 2005.)
"Night Train," a place for female companionship. Just a couple doors down is a similar bar, named "A Chorus of Solos."
Merry Christmas.
Arirang Goge, Donam-dong