In Seoul’s central Jongno District lies one of the city’s last pojangmacha alleys. Every day around late afternoon, hired workers take apart around two dozen wheeled carts lining both sides of the alley. Tents are thrown over steel frames; five-gallon oil containers filled to the brim with
After climbing a dusty, graffiti-strewn staircase to the entrance to Seoul Pub, one encounters a handwritten sign hanging on the glass door: “No drunken, fighting, sleeping, bothering, picking up.” Inside the bar, owner Jung In-chul explains that the sign is an expression of his desire to maintain a family-like atmosphere
Like most youngish South Koreans, Kim Min-seob is spending his Friday evening seated with his neck craned downward, glued to his smartphone. But Kim isn’t scrolling through social media feeds or looking out for text messages from friends or love interests. He’s looking for his next driving gig.
The central district of Jongno is synonymous with high-rise office buildings, language academies, the bustle of Insadong, street barbecues, and end-of-week drinks. But a closer look will reveal another world unfamiliar to even veteran Jongno-goers, tourists, and residents alike: gay Jongno. Many are unaware that the streets of Jongno
For many who make up Seoul’s gay scene, Saturday night begins on a narrow strip of a road, up a short but meandering incline behind the Itaewon fire station. “Homo Hill,” as this place is unofficially known, is a consortium of multiple bars and clubs serving cheap drinks and