Like many big cities with extreme seasons, Seoul has all kinds of tunnels and underground shopping centres dotted about the place. They provide a haven in Winter when it's -16°C and icy out, or in Summer when it's stinking hot and pouring with rain. And - being filled with all kinds of quirky and surprising shops - they're also just a fun place to explore. This is Hoehyundong, my neighbourhood, under ground.
I love the Hoehyundong Underground Shopping Centre. From a purely practical perspective, it means I can leave my apartment and do the grocery shopping, go out for lunch - five dollar soup noodles with tofu and kim chi; or perhaps sushi, bibimbap or my favourite 만두 (dumplings) - and post a package or two without ever stepping outside.
Each underground shopping centre seems to have it's own specialities, and ours seems to be perfectly matched to the things I love. There are fun little clothing stores (granted, I can't fit in to most of it but they're cute to look at); tiny coffee shops and restaurants; hand crafted shoe stores; more vinyl than you could possibly imagine (and a wonderfully crazy mix too!); wool emporiums with little groups of knitters and hookers working away; vintage cameras and books and stamps (I hunt out the ones with dachshunds on them, of course); and more camera accessories than a happy snapper could possibly ask for (like this camera bag).
Basically - we live on top of an underground shopping centre devoted to vintage, photography and craft. A perfect piece of serendipity, yes?