Seoulmate in an alleyway in Insadong as we were looking for a place to get some good kimchi chiggae. While Andrew was looking up the restaurant on his iPhone, the girls (Mindy, Liz and I) at once all looked at this little scene and collectively let out an, "Ooooh let's take our picture here!"
I was having a discussion with a friend a few weeks ago and he said that Seoul, while not known for its great architectural style and aesthetic beauty from a bird's eye view, actually flourishes in "micro design." Now I'm not sure if this is the correct or designated term (I just Googled it and got zilch) but the idea is that while Seoul's broadstroke landscape is gray shoebox apartments and boring buildings, there are corners and small scenes close up that offer an aesthetic "breath of fresh air."
Seoul does have its sense of humor in that regard. Areas around Hongdae are a given with an abundance of murals and street art. But it's those unexpected places (around a business district or in a historical place) where it really is refreshing to catch these charming tableaus.
While Austin does have its fair share of, if you don't look twice you'll miss it, I will truly miss all of the small surprises you get when you just take a peek into an alley. Unless you accidentally peek at a guy pissing in an alley. That's just gross.