October 16, 2014
On Saturday we ventured up to Paju to check out Heyri Art Village. Paju is north of Goyang, where we live, and as you can see on the map it is also closer to North Korea. Heyri is even closer! It’s a mere 6km (3.7 miles) from the DMZ.
Heyri is a community of artists, musicians, architects, photographers, writers, and sculptors. The village is relatively new. Although the idea was in the works for quite some time, the village began materializing around 2001. It’s quite striking. The design is meant to be both aesthetically pleasing and environmentally friendly. None of the buildings can be more than 3 stories tall and residents are encouraged to use native plants and flowers in their green space. It was a gorgeous fall day to stroll around and duck into any shop or gallery we fancied. Heyri is a place we will visit often while we live here.
Zach had one place in particular that he wanted to visit: Music Space Camerata. I’ll let him tell you about it:
Music Space Camerata is a unique and austere building constructed by Byoung-soo Cho. The building is divided into two parts with a private residence on one side and the cafe/listening room on the other side. There’s a ₩10,000 per person fee to enter and that includes coffee with refills and however much cake you want. The real draw is the listening experience. Inyong Hwang, a famous, retired anchorman runs the joint and DJs from a cozy and hidden space in the front with his collection of 15,000 records. I believe around 90 percent are classical and most of the rest are jazz. The music is given its due by the amazing collection of 1930’s stereo equipment from America and Germany. There are a few different Western Electric horns and the German Klangfilm horn, Altecs. I may have to own my own place like this one day in the states! There are notepads and pencils on every table so you can write requests to give Inyong. I made one request for a Faure tune and he promptly found it in the stacks and soon had it on for me with a smile. We had to leave at 6 because there was a chamber music concert coming up at 8 and they needed to prepare the space. We’ll definitely try to get tickets in the near future. It was such a respite from the normal Korean coffee shop scene where snapping selfies is the constant pastime. People were genuinely there to listen to music and relax. It was truly quiet and makes for a perfect place to spend an afternoon reading, working on the computer, or just listening and caffeinating. Here’s a little taste:
The Paju Premium Outlets are really nice. It’s clean, spacious without being too big, and has some cheap, tasty food in their food court. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves which is not something I would have expected. Compared to anytime I’ve ever visited the outlets in San Marcos (TX,USA) this was exponentially more pleasurable – and I didn’t even buy anything! If we ever need anything while we’re here we’ll probably check out the outlets first.