I explored Seoul’s nightlife and its vibrant streets without an itinerary

The Galaxy Z Flip5 remains a trusty companion throughout my sojourns in the dusty streets of Itaewon and the Bukchon Hanok Village, a 600-year-old Korean traditional village in Seoul perched on top of a hill between Gyeongbok Palace, Changdeok Palace and Jongmyo Royal Shrine. It helps that I can reply to urgent texts streaming in from a Vogue India cover shoot without opening the flip phone—the 3.4-inch cover screen, or the flex window, presents the full QWERTY keyboard along with the views of your calendar and daily schedule.

The famous Kalguksu knife-cut noodles served with a side of kimchi at Cho Yonsoon’s stall in the Gwanjang market

I end my adventures in a jazz bar aptly named Tokyo Jazz Bar at the end of a quiet alley in Gangnam, as the city gleams some more in the July rains. Raindrops fall like little pearls onto the little bowls that hold the sweet pumpkin salad and the gelatinous mung-bean jelly topped with sesame seeds and scallions. The bassist from New York, drowning in the rain of his own soul, doesn’t hold back. The vocalist, a trained opera artist, adds some of her pain to Etta James’s ‘Stormy Weather,’ mocking the rains outside:

When he went away

The blues walked in and met me

Oh, yeah if he stays away

Old rocking chair’s gonna get me

All I do is pray

The Lord will let me

Walk in the sun once more

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