Friday, March 11, 2011

Back from Menilmuche

I somewhat reconciled with my other hometown. I love Paris as much as Seoul, but its charms look sometimes too polished...

I guess all I needed was to ride a bike across the real Paris, off the usual tracks.

And I enjoyed the ride, even as I struggled on Menilmontant heights with my heavy Velib', shaking all over on unevenly paved alleyways. I felt home again, like I do when I enjoy an animated neighborhood in what's left of the real Seoul.

Cities have souls, not just one. Priceless urban and human assets. Seoul is starting to realize the value of some of its most magical spots, but just like Paris has a tendency to gentrify or 'boboize' them. A few manage to survive the right way : neither by turning into micromuseums where everybody seems to be conserved in formol, nor by turning into fakely cute but actually impersonal coffee shop / boutique tourist traps, but by evolving in more respectful and inclusive ways, where new entrants in the community make the ecosystem richer and more diverse.

Back to Seoul Villages now.

Seoul Village 2011

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