Idle Mulling Of Seoul’s Haebangchon Versus NYC’s Brooklyn

by Shelton Bumgarner
@sheltbumgarner

I lived in Seoul a few years, specifically in the Haebangchon, or HBC neighborhood. It was all a long time ago and I have romanticized the experience so much that it’s virtually a daydream. But what is interesting is when I finally managed to find myself in Brooklyn, I found it rather meh compared to HBC.

HBC, at least when I was there, was a small and intense community of creative types from all over the world. It was almost like a really, really small college town. There were a lot of older guys dating younger women. Lots of sex. Lots of booze. Lots of drugs. But all of that has very much changed as best I can tell.

It’s all a very different experience now. The place has gentrified to a great extent and I think native Koreans have largely lost their unwillingness to live near expats. So, things are different. It used to be you could get a decent apartment for about $300 a month with an amazing view of the Seoul cityscape. This is, alas, not the case anymore I don’t think.

I really miss my time in Seoul. It was a lot of fun. But that moment in my life is over. I can’t go back. I’ve gotten older and all the energy I felt back about 10 years ago is long gone. I sometimes idly think about one last trip to Asia at some point in the future before I turn 50, but that doesn’t seem likely at this point.

But for the want of a nail, I would still be in Seoul. But it just wasn’t meant to be. My future is — if anything — one of a novelist. It will be interesting to see how things work out.

Idle Rambling About My Visits To NYC & My Love Of The City

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I’ve reached a singularity where boredom, frustration and lack of inspiration meet, so I find myself struggling to think of something to write about.

So let’s talk about my visits to New York City. The origin of my visits to New York City is so completely bonkers that you couldn’t make it up if you wanted to. Now, I’m a big city guy. I lived in Seoul for a few years and I kind of think if your city isn’t big enough to have a subway it’s not a real city to begin with. I love the subway — at least in Seoul — and so New York City is definitely somewhere that I would love to not only just visit on a occasion but live for the rest of my life.

But back to how my first visit to New York happened.

Let’s go back to a weird time in my life. I was barely employed — much like now — and had a lot of time on my hands. I noticed pretty randomly the wit and beauty of fashion It Girl, Alexa Chung and started talking a lot about her online. I have an obsessive personality and as such kind of went off the deepend.

I wasn’t threatening or hostile, I was just write a lot about her from different angles as I have been about the #FOTUS scandal theory.

Well, all this writing got the attention of a troll who decided to play a cruel little trick on me. He made it seem to me that Alexa Chung herself was mad at me or some such. Regardless, the point is, at some point I got really mad at what the troll had said and suddenly had an absolute desire to visit New York City to prove a point. The point being — don’t fuck with me.

So, I took the Chinatown Bus and found myself in NYC on morning in the middle of a minor winter snowstorm. It was like Normandy Beach 1944 when bounced out of the front door of the bus in Chinatown that morning. I visited HQ of the then-existent Gawker and eventually found myself in Brooklyn. I was rather underwhelmed by Brooklyn. I thought it was supposed to be the coolest place in the world, but, alas, compared to my experience in the little area of Seoul called Haebangchon, I found Brooklyn lacking.

If I were to hangout in the general New York City for a while I might grow to like Brooklyn more, but from my limited experience to date, I’m much more of a East Village person. I want to live in the East Village, drink beer and sing at Sing Sing Avenue A and stagger home with my new best lady friend.

I specifically got a smartphone for the first time since Seoul for my first visit to NYC. All of this change my life, to say the least. But I only stayed in NYC for about a day, but I realized I loved it. I love it with all my heart. The reason is, Seoul and NYC have a lot in common. Form follows function as they say. Seoul is like NYC with training wheels. You really are on your own in Seoul as an expat and the skillset you develop in Seoul is easily applicable to NYC. In Seoul no one will talk to you because they can’t speak English, in NYC they won’t talk to you because they don’t care.

If you’re really all that interested in my first visit to NYC, look at my Instagram account and go to the VERY BEGINNING. It will take you a while to get to it given how much I’ve used my Instagram account in the years since, but it’s fairly interesting documentation of my first, personally historic, visit to The Big Apple.

Anyway, I visit NYC every once in a while now. Not nearly as often as I would like and because of changes in my life it’s likely I’m not going to visit anytime soon for no other reason than I’m flat broke. I like to say that if you put me in New York City with access to the subway for six months I’d be a minor celebrity at least in the city within a month or two. But, then, I’m prone to hyperbole.

V-Log: Dwelling On My Recent Trip To #NYC, While Eyeing A Trip To #LA

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I went to NYC recently and had a blast. In this V-log, I talk about what I did as well as my thoughts on maybe going to LA soon as well.

Looks Like I’m Headed To #NYC Next Week

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I did a lot of heming and hawing over the last few days, but I finally decided to plan on going to New York City next week. At least, I’ve bought my hotel rooms for a few nights there. It will be interesting to see if I actually endup there, or if some unexpected disaster strikes and I can’t do it. Anyway, ideally what I would do is offer to buy a subject dinner if she’d do a really casual little photo shoot with me in the streets of NYC using my Galaxy 8+. But I just don’t see that happening. No one is going to take me seriously just using my camera phone.

‘Times Square’ — #Lyrics To A Pop-Rock Song

Just screwing around. Feel like trying to tell stories in verse. No expectations. Just enjoy writing lyrics.

Times Square
lyrics by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls
please give credit if you produce or perform

swarm of people around me
none of them want to speak
the cross roads of the world
you sit there and experience the feat
the energy makes you leap to your feet
things happen all night til they peak

Times Square
Times Square
Times Square
there’s nothing that can compare

what happens during the night
is anyone’s guess
people from all over here and there
want to look at the lights and stare
but what can you say
when people are ready to pay, pay, pay
for theatre tickets

people want to laugh
people want to cry
at the stories the city tells by and by
just hold on tight
things are just about to rise
to a level you’ve never seen
you’ll never want to say goodbye

Times Square
Times Square
Times Square
there’s nothing that can compare

[bridge]
the women in their little black dresses
give the boys pause for thought
what happens next
is anyone guess
will their boyfriends get lucky
or go home feeling unhappy

we’re all in this together
at least I like to think
surrender the pink quick as can be
so we can all go home feeling lucky

Times Square
Times Square
Times Square
there’s nothing that can compare

‘Canal Street’ — #Lyrics To A Pop Rock Song

This is just me screwing around. Just have a concept and a story to tell in verse. I just came back from New York City and was hanging around Canal Street.

Canal Street
lyrics by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls
please give credit if you produce or perform

walking the street
you never know who you’ll meet
sometimes people are lost
ask meekly for the place
where they’re supposed to meet

we’re all from somewhere else
on Canal Street
we’re all looking for our fate
on Canal Street

the Chinese touts know what it’s all about
they’ve got watches without a doubt
ones for sale that never fail
just don’t get them wet
or at least that’s what they say

tourists bump against each other
looking for their ride home
they hope they don’t get lost
before the bus sets off
they don’t want to be left alone

we’re all from somewhere else
on Canal Street
we’re all looking for our fate
on Canal Street

[bridge]
there’s an excitement that can’t be forgotten
the hustle and bustle of the crowd
can leave you a little stressed out

we’re just a number I’m afraid
stars on the street
hoping to make ends meet
we’re all fleet footed
until the sun sets in the distance
of Canal Street