Seoul Ascending – NYT – I like the article, overall.

Thanks to Adam Turner for pointing me to this.

I like this article overall. It paints a good picture of Seoul, and one that I think is accurate. It’s a picture of a city (and country) that is emerging quickly as a global powerhouse. This come complete with the requisite tensions that come with such a metamorphosis: personal, social, corporate, and so forth.

The article itself is certainly a slanted view of the city and larger culture of Seoul and Korea. The author seemed to be hanging out with the urban bohemians and yuppies that, while representative of one part of the culture, are surely not representative of the greater Korean culture. If one spends their time primarily in the cafes of Gangnam, they will get the culture marketed both at home and abroad. Affluent, trendy, and not so much different than any other urban area.

A friend pointed out that the author should have spoken more to expats. I don’t really agree with that, though many knowledgeable and thoughtful expats could provide excellent insights into Korea and Seoul. However, I do believe that the author should have spoken to some people who don’t live on the 20th floor overlooking the Han.

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