I'm going to start posting on this here blog more regularly. One of my Facebook friends put me on to Young Adventuress, and I tell you: it's hard to find a cooler travel blog. I've visited lots and they were all pretty insipid, or were glorified travel brochures, or spent way too much time trying to look cool instead of focusing on the important stuff like quality writing. YA doesn't bother too much about that crap. And she belongs to the same philosophical school of blogging that I do: nice, long, wordy, florid, descriptive, opinion-driven posts with scads of luscious photos, breezy language, profound ideas and whatnot. So hey, follow along. She's gotten some intense recognition for her blog 'cause she works darn hard at it.
Anyway, she also offers advice for wannabe travel bloggers, and part of it is to blog frequently and build a platform (Instagram, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest...everything). Awful similar to the advice I keep reading for wannabe novelists, too. Build that platform, build that platform. Create ways to get seen and get contacted.
So I decided to get serious. I now have a Twitter account, and I went through and revamped my Google+ pages (both my writer's page and my blog's page). As soon as I get home and get a smartphone I'll update my Instagram account and start posting photos regularly there and let you folks know how to find me. I've updated my contact info on this page, too—see the about me page just underneath the big title up top.
So...what to post? I don't believe I've shown you nearly enough of South Korea or Seoul. So here's some pics from another long walk I took on Saturday, November 8. All told it was about 7.3 kilometers, or 4.5 miles, on a grey, misty day that couldn't really decide what it wanted to be and just sort of hung there like it was waiting for its ship to come in.
I love walking around this town. Since I started doing all these long walks last month, I've discovered so many strange and wonderful things hiding just around the corner. A couple of weeks ago I saw a guy sitting on a bench by the Jungang Stream with a big blue macaw on his wrist. No explanation, no signage, nothing. Just a guy and his parrot. This particular Wednesday, as I walked from my oneroomtel to my new favorite burger joint in Oksu-dong, Seongdong-gu (near Oksu Station on Line 3), I saw this—some kind of dredging operation going on near the northern bank of the Han River, about level with Seongsu-dong, not far from Seoul Forest.
|Looking east along the bicycle path on the northern shore. You can baaaaaarely see the incomplete Lotte World Tower in the misty distance, in Jamsil.|
|Looking west, downriver toward the Seongsu Bridge.|
|Han River Park beneath Gangbyeonbuk-ro (North Riverside Road) in Oksu-dong.|
Now I simply must tell you about this burger place, kids. It's called Bartwo. It's a beer-and-burger pub, and one of the absolute finest places in Seoul to get a goddamn good burger. It's right at the interesection of Deoksodang-ro and Hallimmal 3-gil, just a few steps up a hill from Oksu Station (go out Exit 4, turn right, pass the Paris Baguette on the left, and walk up the hill; it'll be on the right at the T-junction). I've been there a few times and have never been let down. The owner, Jeremy, is a gyopo and speaks really good English. He's a friendly dude and he keeps his bar stocked with excellent West Coast craft beers like Ballast Point and North Coast, and some I'd never seen in Korea before (Widmer Brothers anyone?). The Bartwo draft beer is only ₩2,500 a pop and tastes surprisingly good. The extensive menu includes stuffed peppers, tortilla pizza, chips and salsa, hot dogs, burgers, sandwiches, and salads. Also these, the fried mandu (Korean dumplings) with homemade salsa, three for ₩7,000:
|One word: INCREDIBLE.|
The crowning glory is the Oksu Burger, ₩9,000. Beef patty cooked to perfection before your eyes, fresh red onion, lettuce, dill pickle (not sweet), tomato, melted cheese, fresh bun, a pile of fries, and all the ketchup and mustard you want. Add in the seasonal import beer (Sam Adams OctoberFest, ₩8,000) and the pickles I got as a side order (₩2,000) and my total bill came to ₩27,000 for one evening's debauch.
How's that for a slice of fried gold?