Thursday, November 05, 2009

Mais où sont les 골목 d'antan?

Back in December I posted photos of Gindeung Maeul, an older neighbourhood near my house that was mostly abandoned, where I had enjoyed riding my bike through the maze of paths and streets. One of the ways I figured out where some of the paths connected was watching kids play one day. As I took photos in one spot, I'd see the kids run down a street in front of me, only to reappear behind me a minute or two later. It was kind of like injecting radioactive dye into the streets to see where they flowed.

I also posted photos of the neighbourhood's progressive destruction, and now that Google Earth has a new map, we can see what it looks after the demolition of most of the planned redevelopment area:



What's interesting is that if you look at the satellite photo above and a panorama I took below, they look rather similar:

The same pathways through the soil, the same two excavators. Also, a building in the center, near the top (in the distance) is still standing. The photo above was taken on October 19, while the photo below was taken November 23 (with the distant building gone).

At any rate, it seems the Google Satellite Map for the area new Gimpo Airport dates from late October last year. Here's another photo from January 17 of the area, with no change.

I took the photo below on May 26. I had no idea if the people living in the house in the center above were still there, but it was easy to see that the people living in the building below had left, and they were one of the last families to leave. I remember sitting on the now overturned platform in front of the 'Supeo' or corner store below and talking to some of the few remaining families back in June of last year, prior to the start of demolition. As they shared watermelon with me and chatted, you could still get a sense of the community (dwindling as it was) that had once existed there, similar in some ways to the alleyways depicted in Kim Ki-chan's photos (such as in the excellent book 그 골목이 품고있는 것들 (The things the alley embraces).

'Happy Corner Store'

There aren't many alleys now, though.


Helen said...

I just realized that 알라딘 is cheaper than 교보문고. foolish!
I like the concept of the book.
Our house has been here for 31years. Most neighbors have left the alley. Every houses are rebuilt into villas. Maybe our house is the only place which has all memories of the alley. I love here because of the momeries..

Debbie said...

In my little town of Yeonggwang, (Jeollonamdo) there is also much demolition of old houses. They are crumbling, but they formed alleys that I loved to explore when I first came here in 2007. Now the alleys are gone and wide streets are in their place. I also posted on my blog about how this saddened me.

matt said...

Didn't know you lived in a house, Helen. Very cool.

Debbie, feel free to link to your posts on the disappearing neighbourhoods in your town.

Helen said...

Feel free to come and see the old and worn house. I hope it can be kept as long as possible..

Kelsey said...

I saw this and thought of you and your posts about the disappearance of 하놐 neighborhoods:

Kelsey said...

I used to live in a 하놐 for a few months, while they were renovating my apartment on Jindo. It was small, extremely drafty, and moldy, but it did have character.