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Hipster Heaven

Published Date : Aug. 18, 2015 / Edited Date : Feb. 13, 2019
Hipster Heaven
 
Hipster Heaven
Once forgotten and neglected, the Ttukseom-Seongsu-Konkuk University axis is now one of Seoul’s hottest neighborhoods. Young, creative entrepreneurs and social enterprises have brought an edgy, dynamic vibe, turning empty, disused spaces into spaces of culture and commerce. Pop-up shopping complex Common Ground may be the most spectacular example of the transformation, but it’s hardly the only engine of change.
 

 

 

Creative Connections

 

Seoul’s answer to London’s Boxpark, Common Ground was founded earlier this year by Korean conglomerate Kolon in a bid to bring economic life to this gritty district of eastern Seoul. The concept is simple -- some 200 shipping containers have been stacked, arranged and renovated for use as “pop-up” shops -- short-term retail spaces whose low rents allow young and up-and-coming entrepreneurs a chance to market their wares. Pop-up shops have become all the rage overseas, especially in the fashion industry, where even major global fashion brands have gotten in on the act.

One of the largest container markets in the world, Common Ground seeks to build “creative connections” by fostering communication among people, brands and the local community. What you won’t find here are the ubiquitous major franchise clothing, cosmetics and coffee shops. Instead, the mall is full of small but unique brands with significant representation by new designers and subculture players. Needless to say, it’s a very youthful place.

Common Ground also serves as something of a neighborhood playground. On the weekend, it hosts a special “CG Market” in its central plaza, and the market is accompanied by a variety of fun and interesting events with themes that change weekly. For instance, to celebrate International Go Skateboarding Day (June 21), the mall held its own contest, accompanied by shops selling boards, clothing and all your other skateboarding accessories. To improve the local living environment, Common Ground also hosts community events and programs, including “guerrilla gardening” programs to turn disused land into urban gardens. Along with cultural content brand Toy Republic, it also hosts “sub-culture” exhibits and culture classes for the toiling masses.

 

 

Food trucks and Neighborhood eats

 

One of Common Ground’s biggest draws is its collection of food trucks. Yes, like pop-up stores, the food truck phenomenon has reached Korean shores. Unfortunately, local regulations forbid food trucks from actually moving around. Some might say this defeats the purpose of a food truck in the first place, but even from a stationary position, these joints offer (usually) simple yet (often) artfully prepared eats in an urban outdoor atmosphere -- or something approximating an urban outdoor atmosphere.
 

There are several food trucks to choose from at Common Ground, including one serving classic American eats and another doing some rather bizarrely presented fruit beverages. One truck of particular note, however, is the Kimchi Bus. Founded by three chefs in 2011 with the noble goal of spreading the joys of Korean cuisine abroad, the Kimchi Bus has taken their show to 186 cities in 32 countries. They’re in Seoul now, however, and dishing up delightful Korean-inspired Mexican eats prepared from Korean ingredients. The Donam-dong Tacos, made with house-marinated pork galbi with seasoned Korean wild greens instead of cilantro, are especially popular, but really, everything here is good.
 

In addition to the food trucks, Common Ground also hosts branches of popular local eateries from some of Seoul’s hottest neighborhoods including a brew pub from Gyeongnidan famous for its American-style pizza and craft beer and a dessert cafe from Garosu-gil that specializes in picturesque rainbow cakes. 
 

① People enjoying the food trucks.

② Bingsu in a mason jar, Seongsu-dong.

 

Shoe Republic

 

A short walk from Common Ground brings you to Seongsu Station, the heart of the up-and-coming Seongsu-dong district. This old, unpolished neighborhood has, in recent years, been getting a hipster makeover as young creative types move in and open studios, workshops and cafes. They’ve also added engaged in urban beautification efforts, based on the colorful graffiti and murals cropping up around the area.
 

Prior to becoming “Seoul’s Brooklyn,” as some of the local press has labeled it, Seongsu-dong was best known for its many small-scale shoemakers. In the 1980s, this was the place to go for handmade shoes, and at one point, around 1,200 shoemakers plied their trade here.
 

Cheap imports led to the near collapse of the industry in the early 2000s, however. Herculean efforts on the part of manufacturers to upgrade their products -- and support from Seoul Metropolitan Government -- has allowed the industry to survive and, in fact, experience something of a renewed boom. Once again, the area the neighborhood is the place to get high-quality but moderately priced handmade footwear.
 

One place to check out is From SS, a stylishly designed arcade directly underneath Seongsu Station. Opened by Seoul Metropolitan Government in 2013, the arcade has seven shops operated by local shoemakers where you can pick up as fine a pair of shoes as your credit limit will allow. Also nearby is Seongsu Handmade Shoe Town, a floorspace/ workshop/ training center operated by local shoemakers.
 

As noted earlier, the influx of young creatives into Seongsu-dong is gradually giving it a Williamsburg-like feel. If hipsters take one thing seriously, it’s their food, and Seongsu-dong does not disappoint. Especially around Ttukseom Station, you’ll find a wide range of chic eateries and cafes -- often renovated residential or industrial facilities -- frequented by the city’s young, creative class. Keep your eye out for a handmade burger joint, a soup and pie cafe and a Korean eatery seemingly ripped from the pages of Kinfolk. One place, a four-story brick cafe/culture space hidden an alley near Exit 2 of Ttukseom Station, not only looks the part but serves the part with a menu of shaved ice desserts, or bingsu, served in mason jars a la hipster. The cafe hosts exhibits and provides support to local artists, too.

Shoe Soles

③ Shoe soles.

④ Wall mural, Seongsu-dong.

 

A Walk in the Forest


Another short distance from Ttukseom Station brings you to the entrance of Seoul Forest. One of the finest expanses of green space in the city, the collection of gardens, trees and walking trails was built on the former home of Seoul’s horse racing track, completed in 2005. It bills itself as Seoul’s answer to New York’s Central Park, and it’s certainly true given the number of grass fields, pleasure ponds, playground and leisure facilities and, naturally, lots and lots of foliage. There’s also a small community of Formosan sika deer that you can feed, or at least toss food at. An architectural highlight is the scenic pedestrian bridge linking the park with the hiking and biking trails along the Hangang River.
 

While you’re at the park, be sure to check out the Seoul Waterworks Museum. Founded in 1907 by two American businessmen commissioned by the Korean government, Seoul Waterworks introduced Seoulites to the joys of clean, running water. The old pump house, a lovely Victorian brick building dating from the original founding of the facility, now houses displays of old machinery and historical photos. The old sand filters used to purify the water – large, concrete caves with pillars and arched ceilings – are open to the public, too.

 

⑤ People enjoying the parks.

⑥ Sika deer, Seoul Forest.

예약 전 안내사항

  • 예약은 관광일 기준 최소 3일 전까지 가능합니다.
  • 기존 등록된 예약 중 그룹별 정원을 초과하지 않는 예약에 한하여 1일 전 17시까지 추가예약 가능합니다.
  • 최소 출발 인원은 3인부터 입니다. 관광일 2일 전 17시까지 누적예약인원이 3인 미만일 경우 예약은 자동 취소되며, 출발 및 취소 여부는 문자와 메일로 안내드립니다.
  • 다음달 예약은 전달 15일 이후부터 가능합니다.
  • 주말 및 공휴일, 봄 가을 성수기에는 예약이 조기 마감될 수 있습니다.
  • 해설 진행 시 발생하는 안전사고에 대해서 도보관광 사무국과 서울문화관광해설사는 책임을 지지 않습니다.
  • 보호자가 동반하지 않는 만 14세 미만의 하동 관광객의 경우 현장에서 취소됩니다.
  • 미세먼지 비상저감조치 발령 및 기타 기상악화(폭염, 태풍, 폭우 등)로 인해 도보관광 운영이 어려운 경우 모든 예약은 일괄 취소됩니다. (관광일 전날 기준)

예약 전 안내사항

  • 예약은 관광일 기준 최대 6개월 전부터 최소 5일 전 까지 신청 가능합니다.
  • 희망하시는 날짜 및 코스에 활동가능한 해설사가 없는 경우 예약은 취소될 수 있습니다.
  • 특히 주말 및 공휴일, 봄(4~5월) 가을(9~11월) 성수기에는 예약이 조기마감 되오니 이 점 유의하여 주시기 바랍니다.
  • 예약확인을 위해 도보관광 사무국(02-6925-0777)에서 확인 연락이 진행됩니다.
    (최소 5일~한달 전)3회 이상 전화통화가 이뤄지지 않을 시 예약이 취소될 수 있습니다.
  • 경복궁, 창덕궁, 창경궁, 덕수궁 35인 이상 관람 시, 해당 궁궐 사이트에서 15일 전 단체 입장신청이 필요합니다. (2014.1.1.부터 시행)
  • 해설 진행 시 발생하는 안전사고에 대해서 도보관광 사무국과 서울문화관광해설사는 책임을 지지 않습니다.
  • 보호자가 동반하지 않는 만 14세 미만의 하동 관광객의 경우 현장에서 취소됩니다.
  • 미세먼지 비상저감조치 발령 및 기타 기상악화(폭염, 태풍, 폭우 등)로 인해 도보관광 운영이 어려운 경우 모든 예약은 일괄 취소됩니다. (관광일 전날 기준)

예약 전 안내사항

  • 예약은 관광일 기준 최소 1주일 전까지 가능합니다.
  • 덕수궁의 경우 복지카드를 지참한 관광객에 한하여 무료입장이 가능합니다.
    ※ 중증(1~3급) 동반인 포함 2명 무료※ 경증(4~6급) 장애인 본인 1인만 무료
  • 보호자 또는 보조자가 동반하지 않을 경우 이용이 불가능 합니다.※ 별도의 보조자가 없는 경우 사무국으로 문의 바랍니다. (02-6925-0777)
  • 희망하시는 날짜 및 코스에 활동가능한 해설사가 없는 경우 예약은 취소될 수 있습니다.
  • 예약확인을 위해 도보관광 사무국(02-6925-0777)에서 확인 연락이 진행됩니다.(최소 5일~한달 전)3회 이상 전화통화가 이뤄지지 않을 시 예약이 취소될 수 있습니다.
  • 해설 진행 시 발생하는 안전사고에 대해서 도보관광 사무국과 서울문화관광해설사는 책임을 지지 않습니다.
  • 미세먼지 비상저감조치 발령 및 기타 기상악화(폭염, 태풍, 폭우 등)로 인해 도보관광 운영이 어려운 경우 모든 예약은 일괄 취소됩니다. (관광일 전날 기준)

예약 전 안내사항

  • 예약은 관광일 기준 최소 1주일 전까지 가능합니다.
  • 덕수궁의 경우 복지카드를 지참한 관광객에 한하여 무료입장이 가능합니다.
    ※ 중증(1~3급) 동반인 포함 2명 무료
    ※ 경증(4~6급) 장애인 본인 1인만 무료
  • 본 프로그램은 수화해설 중심으로 진행되며, 수화가 불가능한 경우 이용이 불가합니다.
  • 희망하시는 날짜 및 코스에 활동가능한 해설사가 없는 경우 예약은 취소될 수 있습니다.
  • 예약확인을 위해 도보관광 사무국(02-6925-0777)에서 확인 연락이 진행됩니다.
    (최소 5일~한달 전)3회 이상 전화통화가 이뤄지지 않을 시 예약이 취소될 수 있습니다.
  • 해설 진행 시 발생하는 안전사고에 대해서 도보관광 사무국과 서울문화관광해설사는 책임을 지지 않습니다.
  • 미세먼지 비상저감조치 발령 및 기타 기상악화(폭염, 태풍, 폭우 등)로 인해 도보관광 운영이 어려운 경우 모든 예약은 일괄 취소됩니다. (관광일 전날 기준)

예약 전 안내사항

  • 예약은 관광일 기준 최소 1주일 전까지 가능합니다.
  • 본 코스는 보행약자(거동이 불편한 고령자, 장애인, 유모차 이용자 등)를 위한 코스입니다.
  • 보호자를 동반하지 않을 시 이용이 불가능 합니다.※ 보행약자 1명당 보호자 최소 1인 이상 동반
    ※ 전동보장구(전동휠체어, 전동스쿠터 등) 사용자의 경우 보호자 1인당 보행약자 최대 4인까지 동반 가능
    희망하시는 날짜 및 코스에 활동가능한 해설사가 없는 경우 예약은 취소될 수 있습니다.
  • 예약확인을 위해 도보관광 사무국(02-6925-0777)에서 확인 연락이 진행됩니다.(최소 5일~한달 전)3회 이상 전화통화가 이뤄지지 않을 시 예약이 취소될 수 있습니다.
  • 해설 진행 시 발생하는 안전사고에 대해서 도보관광 사무국과 서울문화관광해설사는 책임을 지지 않습니다.
  • 미세먼지 비상저감조치 발령 및 기타 기상악화(폭염, 태풍, 폭우 등)로 인해 도보관광 운영이 어려운 경우 모든 예약은 일괄 취소됩니다. (관광일 전날 기준)

Read before Reservation

  • Reservation shall be made at least 3 days before the tour day.
  • Reservation for the next month is available after 15th of the previous month.
  • Reservation may be closed early during weekend, holiday, and peak season in spring and fall.
  • Seoul Guided Walking Tour Office and Seoul culture and tourism guide are not liable for the safety accidents during the Seoul Guided Walking Tour.
  • Reservation for unaccompanied tourist under 14 will be canceled on site.
  • All reservations are canceled when Seoul Guided Walking Tour is unavailable due to Particulate Matter Reduction Measure or other weather conditions (heat wave, typhoon, heavy rain). (As of the date before the tour day)

Read before Reservation

  • Reservation shall be made at least 1 week before the tour day.
  • The course is for tourists with mobility problems (Senior, people with disability, stroller user).
  • You may not use the course without an assistant (or companion)
    ※ At least one assistant shall accompany a tourist with mobility problem
    ※ In case of electric assisting device users (electric wheelchair, electric scooter users), one assistant may accompany up to 4 tourists with mobility problem
  • Reservation may be canceled when a guide is unavailable on the desired date and course.
  • Seoul Guided Walking Tour Office (02-6925-0777) will contact you to confirm reservation.
    (At least 5 days~1 month before tour day) Reservation may be canceled when Seoul Guided Walking Tour Office cannot reach you for more than 3 times.
  • Seoul Guided Walking Tour Office and Seoul culture and tourism guide are not liable for the safety accidents during the Seoul Guided Walking Tour.
  • All reservations are canceled when Seoul Guided Walking Tour is unavailable due to Particulate Matter Reduction Measure or other weather conditions (heat wave, typhoon, heavy rain). (As of the date before the tour day)

予約前の案内事項

  • 予約は観光日を基準として少なくとも3日前まで可能です。
  • 翌月の予約は、前月の15日から可能です。
  • 週末及び祝日、春秋シーズンには予約が早めに締め切られる場合があります。
  • 解説を進行する時に発生する安全事故に対し、徒歩観光事務局と
    ソウル文化観光解説士は責任を負いません。
  • 保護者を伴わない万14歳未満の児童観光客の場合、現場でキャンセルされます。
  • 微細ホコリの非常低減措置発令及びその他の気象悪化(猛暑、台風、暴雨など)によって徒歩観光の運営が困難な場合、すべての予約は一括キャンセルされます。
    観光日前日基準)

予約前の案内事項

  • 予約は観光日を基準として少なくとも1週間前まで可能です。
  • 本コースは、移動弱者(移動が不自由な高齢者、障害者、ベビーカー利用者など)のためのコースです。
  • 補助人(或いは同行人)を伴わない場合は利用できません。
      ※歩行弱者1人当たり少なくとも1人以上の補助人を伴う
      ※電動補助具(電動車椅子、電動スクーターなど)使用者の場合、補助人1当たり歩行弱者最大4人まで同伴可能
  • ご希望の日付及びコースに活動可能な解説士がいない場合、予約はキャンセルされることがあります。
  • 予約を確認するため、徒歩観光事務局(02-6925-0777)で確認のための連絡が行われます。
    (少なくとも5日~1ヶ月前)3回以上電話が通じない場合、予約が取り消されることがあります。
  • 解説を進行する時に発生する安全事故に対し、徒歩観光事務局とソウル文化観光解説士は
    責任を負いません。
  • 微細ホコリの非常低減措置発令及びその他の気象悪化(猛暑、台風、暴雨など)によって
      徒歩観光の運営が困難な場合、すべての予約は一括キャンセルされます。
     (観光日前日基準)

预约前说明事项

  • 观光日基准最少3日前方可进行预约。
  • 下个月的预约可从前月15日开始。
  • 周末及公休日、春秋旺季的预约可早期结束。
  • 进行解说时,对于有可能发生的安全事故,徒步观光事务局和首尔文化观光
    解说员概不负责。
  • 未伴随保护者的未满14岁儿童游客,会在现场取消观光。
  • 因发布微尘紧急低减措施及其他气象恶化(暴热、台风、暴雨等),无法运营 徒步观光时,所有预约会批量取消。
    (观光前日基准)

预约前说明事项

  • 观光日基准最少1日前方可进行预约。
  • 本线路是为了行动不便者(行动不便的高龄者、残疾人、婴儿车利用者等)的路线。
  • 无辅助人员(或同行人)伴随时,不可利用。
    ※ 步行不便者1名至少需要1名以上的辅助人员陪同。
    ※ 电动辅助器具(电动轮椅、电动独轮车等)使用者时,每一位辅助人员最多可陪同 4名步行不便者。
  • 希望观光的日期及线路上无解说员时,预约有可能被取消。
  • 为了确认预约,徒步观光事务局(02-6925-0777)会致电进行确认。
    (最少5日~一个月前) 3次以上无法连接时,预约将被取消。
  • 进行解说时,对于有可能发生的安全事故,徒步观光事务局和首尔文化观光解说员概不负责。
  • 因发布微尘紧急低减措施及其他气象恶化(暴热、台风、暴雨等),无法运营 徒步观光时,所有预约会批量取消。
    (观光前日基准)

預約前說明事項

  • 觀光日基準最少3日前方可進行預約。
  • 下個月的預約可從前月15日開始。
  • 周末及公休日、春秋旺季的預約可早期結束。
  • 希望观光的日期及线路上无解说员时,预约有可能被取消。
  • 進行解說時,對於有可能發生的安全事故,徒步觀光事務局和首爾文化觀光解說員概不負責。
  • 未伴隨保護者的未滿14歲兒童遊客,會在現場取消觀光。
  • 因發布微塵緊急低減措施及其他氣象惡化(暴熱、臺風、暴雨等),無法運營 徒步觀光時,所有預約會批量取消。(觀光前日基準)

預約前說明事項

  • 觀光日基準最少1日前方可進行預約。
  • 本線路是為了行動不便者(行動不便的高齡者、殘疾人、嬰兒車利用者等)的路線。
  • 無輔助人員(或同行人)伴隨時,不可利用。
    ※ 步行不便者1名至少需要1名以上的輔助人員陪同。
    ※ 電動輔助器具(電動輪椅、電動獨輪車等)使用者時,每壹位輔助人員最多可陪同 4名步行不便者。
  • 希望觀光的日期及線路上無解說員時,預約有可能被取消。
  • 為了確認預約,徒步觀光事務局(02-6925-0777)會致電進行確認。
    (最少5日~壹個月前) 3次以上無法連接時,預約將被取消。
  • 進行解說時,對於有可能發生的安全事故,徒步觀光事務局和首爾文化觀光 解說員概不負責。
  • 因發布微塵緊急低減措施及其他氣象惡化(暴熱、臺風、暴雨等),無法運營 徒步觀光時,所有預約會批量取消。 (觀光前日基準)