invisible cities

April 4, 2019 - Seminar




Architecture, person
Every time when I walk to 32nd Street in midtown of Manhattan, I feel loneliness in the Korean Way due to I left from my mother country, China. The stores that settle at Ktown with full of crow and busy people. I didn’t have a close friend that I can hang out with and talk to it in New York City. One day, when walking at 32nd Street, at that moment, I pop out one idea that I want to change myself as a happy person. I can’t stay memorized the past when I in China. I have to get involve and use to a new condition that I living now. Ktown (Korean Way) in New York City is a street that replaces spiritual style of Myeong- Dong, Korea. In the street, you can see many small restaurants, a food court, a Korean supermarket, and other glossier stores. There are multiple stores in one building. For example, the 1st floor of the building will be a bookstore, but the 2nd floor or third floor will be restaurant and basement will be a bar. In a street, you can see many of logo or sign of the store. Therefore, I’m planning to try different restaurants, activities and get around with new people around me.


Social groups
It’s been a while for me to getting used to the life here, New York City. The surrounding I’m living in is a busy place. There is so many stuff down there for me to explore. Other than this, Koreatown is the right place for me to meet new friends. Everyone is very enthusiastic there. I feel that this is a place for different ages of people. I can see people wearing business suits come here for lunch; a group of students comes to Koreatown together after school. When I’m in the restaurant, I see younger people are dining together; they talk nonstop with laughing. When I go to the bakery, I see older people picking bread and cake. When I go to the cosmetics store, I see girls choosing what they like. Other than the restaurants, there is a place where you can see all ages of people inside the store; which is the H-Mart. Every time I visit there, I see all kinds of people; it’s really interesting when you observe the people around you. At night, Koreatown is still a lively atmosphere. Music, lights, also people standing outside of the store. I remember once I came back from China, and I went there looking for dinner; inside the restaurant, waiters are still busy. Many people are having a midnight snack. Koreatown is also a place that never sleeps.


The place I live in is a place where cultures meet and merge. I like this place a lot, but there still have something I don’t adapt to. I come from a laid- back seaside city. KTown is too busy and prosperous compared with my hometown. Everyone walks so fast, I don’t know the reason why they walk so fast. I always feel get lost in crowds that will make me think I am tininess. Also, I don’t like the smelly puddle on the street and the rats are always fleeing along the street. By comparison, I rather like the smell of the sea from my hometown. Sometimes when I want to sleep during the school day, I always hear the noise from fire engines ring, ambulance ring, or Karaoke from downstairs. However, my love of the place allows me to accept and forgive these adaptations. I don’t have to worry about I will starve during the night time because there have hundreds of restaurant will open 24 hours downstairs. But more important is this place taught me how to grow up. My mom always does anything for me when I was in my hometown. I never need to worry I will forget to pay my electricity bills. I think independent is the biggest disparity between my hometown and KTown. KTown is the place the first time I live along. I went to Ikea buy the furniture along and set up everything. And I learn how to cook and how to do housework. I become real independent here.


Korean town is a super different and crowded place compare with other places in New York City. It can pack more than 100 shops just in one block. And the restaurants are not only on the first floor but also at a higher level. It’s a hard thing for me to find those hidden shop when I first come here. Korean BBQ is the most signature dish in Ktown. All of my friends have been to Ktown all had tried the BBQ here. Jongro BBQ is one of my favorite shops. This is a hot spot also in Korean. It will give a lot of free side dishes. You can always see people are waiting outside the store during meal time. Also, the dessert in Ktown is tasty. The bubble tea shop, Spot, and Paris Baguette are all popular. I feel having dinner with my friend is the most cheerful activities after busy weekdays. We will wait for the spot to eat together and we will chat. It always makes me less lonely. Also, there are some Korean makeup shops which Asian students really like. Their package is more cartoonist. They used more delicate pattern and cute shape to catch girls, heart. Because I’m a design major students, I will always stop and check which kind of new design they made recently. For my daily life, my favorite place to go is the H market near my apartment. There is some special Asian food I only can but at this shop. It always gives me a feeling of going back to hometown. Shopping at that shop really inspired me the desire of cooking by myself since the food there are familiar. The life in Ktown won’t be boring for me. There is so many places are suitable for hanging out with friends. Also, there are so many places can heal me when I go by myself.


Interview Questions:

What time do you usually get very busy?
What time do you usually eat a meal? (when there are many customers)

Cosmetic Store:
Will you come to this store often? Why did you choose here?
What is the most attractive thing about Korean cosmetic?

Can you find everything you need at H-Mart?
How often do you come to H-Mart?

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