Saewoon Arcade and Nagwon Arcade were once Seoul's glorious landmarks but now a twilight zone. For you in your 20's, how did these places appeal to you?
As a college student I used to visit the crowded arcades in Jongno and watched movies at Holleywood Theater, Cinematheque, Joongang Cinema, Myeongbo Theater, Scarla Theater. A cabaret, playground and apartments co-existed in Nakwon Arcade at that time, and the way cars drove through the tunnel-like entering of the building was fascinating. While the majority went to multiplex cinemas like Megabox and CGV, I sticked to theaters and cinemas in Jongno and Chungmuro which eventually led me to explore the significant area. Unfortunately, Korea's very first theater Dansungsa has gone to ashes, another historical Piccadilly Theater is now absorbed by a mega-chain cinema. So these days I head to Daehan Theater instead. You can often spot the elderly asking the ticket guy 'tickets to whatever is playing now'. They're just killing time. Daehan Theater is near Euljiro and there are couple of very local and famous naengmyeon(korean cold noodle) place there.
We can tell that you really like naengmyeon when we see your SNS feeds.
I've been in love with naengmyeon for 2 years. Pyeongyang Naengmyeon was where I stopped by when I browsed through Euljiro and soon became my favorite along with Eulji Myeon Ok. I'm actually not that picky. Naengmyeons are always good.
Jongno speedily transformed into a different place with old streets replaced by modern office buildings. How does it feel to see your main and memorable place change?
I'm worried for my regular stores that might one day be gone, and when I do come across one, I feel very sorry for it. There are a couple of bars and restaurants that I go to once in a while every year and I just love how they keep their places firm, as they have for many years. And it feels really nice to see the unchanged interiors and the owners' familiar faces.