Post #0 - Welcome To Aisle Seat Please

Welcome to my new blog! I hope you'll enjoy my style of photography, and if you want a bit of a sample since this is only the first post, feel free to check out the galleries. I'll be posting all my new images to Aisle Seat Please as often as I can, so subscribe and follow along. The engineer in me couldn't resist to start counting from zero, thus the post number (it was a toss up between that and "Hello, World!"). Right now the site is still pretty new, and the dust hasn't settled yet, so as I have time you can expect numerous tweaks and improvements will be made in the weeks ahead.

Today's Photo - Adrift

For two weeks each November, the Cheonggyecheon stream in downtown Seoul is transformed into an outdoor art festival. The stream itself has an interesting, if not slightly ironic, modern history of transformation. After the Korean War, people coming to Seoul built makeshift houses along the stream, contaminating it with waste, and eventually turning it into a symbol of poverty. The government decided to cover the stream in concrete for roads and even built an elevated highway over it in 1968, demolishing the shanty houses in the process. Finally, in 2003 the then Mayor of Seoul (whom later became President of Korea), Lee Myung-bak started a massive urban renewal project and restored Cheonggyecheon into a beautiful stream and park. Ironically enough, Lee Myung-bak got his start as an engineer at Hyundai Engineering and Construction which had built the highway over the stream in the first place. Whether it's truly ironic, or a story of redemption, I'm not quite sure.

Either way, I first went to the Seoul Lantern Festival back in 2009, which was the first time it was held. It's since become a pretty popular annual festival, and when I went last, everyone was practically herded like cattle through the entrance. It's rather impressive how many people are willing to show up in the cold to view all the different themed lanterns.

Hundreds of personalized lanterns float through downtown Seoul in the Cheonggye stream. 2012 Seoul Lantern Festival.