The+Joy+of+Walking


Photos and description by Kevin Thurston

I am a pedestrian, and I am pedestrian. I love being (a) pedestrian. The only times I have enjoyed my life are when I have not had to own a vehicle (while in Baltimore, and presently). I spent most of my life in Buffalo, NY, which means I had to own a vehicle, much like the cities that 360 Main Street serves. I did, however, have a wonderful window of time in Buffalo two summers ago when I wasn't working—the similarities between Great Lake cities in many ways are too great to list. Everyday I would take long, leisurely walks from one end of the city to the other. So many things you miss when you aren't meandering.

Now I live in Seoul, and I walk to work. I take the subway when things are farther away, but that still has a pedestrian feel to it as I am walking to and from, and often standing. These photographs come from a Saturday afternoon when my friends and I were short on cash, so we decided to walk around and take photos.

It is difficult to know if this area of Seoul (Hongdae) is a designated street art/graffiti zone, or if it is just that Hongdae is teeming with youth culture. NANA is the most western-style artist, but even with their work, you still get the feeling that you aren't in the West anymore. I am not looking to romanticize anything; however, here you see more influences besides hip-hop (animation, a willingness to be cute, even ornate as one of the photos of stencil work shows).

Anyway, this is all a way to say, get out, slow down, get lost, and look around.

© Kevin Thurston, 2010