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    Architecture Snacks

    Nick Sowers
    Mar 3, '09 2:40 PM EST
    Tasty Koolhaas

    Snacking in Korea rules. If you are the type that enjoys grazing on the street, this is one country you need to visit. Pochang machas (street food stalls) are sometimes so numerous they make it very difficult to move around. They are purveyors of fried things, crunchy things, and squishy things. You can make a meal out of snacks. Koreans like to eat quickly, so a log of kimbap (Korean sushi) or a plate of spicy noodles are wolfed down in under a minute. is right, the mandu (steamed dumplings) will be missed when I leave. Odeng are also extremely popular, though it is indeed a Japanese snack. Then you have octopus legs, squid, fish jerky, and that sort of thing which is always good for an energizing chew.

    I dare say corn dogs are better in Korea…

    Seoul Snacks

    Sweet crunchy things also abound. They are crazy about waffles. Who knew? I finally broke down and tried one from a stall in the subway, and it was GOOD! There many kinds of pancakes too, sweet and savoury. And they make donuts filled with red bean paste right on the street too…ah, you see I could keep going on but this is an architecture blog.

    Seoul Snacks

    Well I've been thinking about what to say about Korean architecture, both domestic and imported, and I think 'snacking' befits the architecture culture here. As snacks are stacked up on street vendor carts, so too is Korean Architecture stacked up along the street.

    Koreans definitely favor a crispy, fried exterior for their buildings, while contents may be as homogenous as a hot dog. It doesn't really matter what the building is. Just stick in the big architecture deep-fryer, and you will enjoy the results.

    Paju CityHeyri Art ValleyPaju City
    Heyri Art ValleyHeyri Art ValleyHeyri Art Valley
    Heyri Art ValleyHeyri Art ValleyAnyang Art Valley
    Anyang Art ValleyAnyang Art Valley

    There are a few examples of more finely crafted confections, but they are amidst a sea of pachong machas always selling the same stuff. Some of these sweeter objects can be found in the Heyri Art Valley and the Anyang Art Park.

    Then there are the imported consumables. Like the Swiss chocolates and English cookies that sit on the shelf of the Family Mart, these come with shinier wrappers than their Korean counterparts. I found the triumvirate of Botta, Koolhaas, and Nouvel at Leeum to be rather amusing. Cacophonous in a delectable sort of way. You could taste one chef, then immediately compare and contrast with the other two.


    Anyang has a Siza, actually the first building I've been to of the Portuguese master, and I have to say I was disappointed. The construction was a little shotty, the current exhibition was awkwardly blocking part of the windows, and the overall form just seemed goofy. The MVRDV pavilion nearby, however, is of the chewy variety: a 160m ramp to the top of a viewing tower. Like a good piece of squid jerky, continued mastication squeezes a bit more flavor out.

    Anyang Art Valley

    On a final note of snacking, I decided to prepare 31 10 second clips from the last 7 days of traveling, as a sonic pecha-kucha, my own pochang-machas if you will. Listen:

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    • mantaray

      hehe, when he mentioned ANYANG did anyone else think of this?

      Mar 4, 09 7:54 pm  · 

      hey i really enjoyed this post- although now i wish i could try all those snacks!

      Mar 5, 09 8:36 am  · 

      YES, Korean corn dogs are the best. it's like 50% deep-fried magic!

      Mar 6, 09 2:41 pm  · 

      I actually collect old time snack machines. Its been a hobby of mine for over 30 years. I work for a bathroom studio company to help me pay for my passion. Thanks for showing me a little bit about your life.

      Jan 27, 10 11:59 am  · 

      My father collects these machines also. We have a used computers shop and he has filled the back rooms with old vending machines. He is a real collector and I know they are worth good money.

      Feb 6, 10 3:46 am  · 

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