Aug 032012
Jisan Valley Rock Festival - A Photo Review

BY MICHAEL FRAIMAN Best Use of Technology – Radiohead The British Friday night headliners turned their backdrop into a series of high-def TV screens, overlaying images of their faces with their instruments, dissolving into static, racing green lines and other aptly trippy shit. The show itself was solid but a bit dry; I don’t think […]

Jun 282012
A Weekend in Gwangju

BY MICHAEL FRAIMAN It seems every city in Korea has a ‘thing’—Pyongchang has skiing, Danyang has caves, Chongdo has bullfighting. City tourism officials tend to take these ‘things’ and clutch onto them with a vice grip; one sees billboards for the tea fields as soon as one enters Boseong, for example, or can’t help but […]

May 092012
A Weekend in Southern Gangwon-do

BY MICHAEL FRAIMAN There is no particular reason that Korea’s rural northeast is often overlooked. Rather, there are several small reasons: it’s out of the way from any significant city, the bullet train doesn’t run there, winter brings heavier snowfalls than it does most the rest of the country, and it’s not proximally close to […]

Mar 062012
Notes on Running My First 10k, Both in Korea and Ever

BY MICHAEL FRAIMAN In anticipation of Busan’s upcoming 5k/10k/half-marathon race near Bexco on March 25 (application deadline Mar. 9; no English website; roughly 30,000 won), some friends and I traveled north to Ulsan on March 1, Korean Independence Day, at the too-early hour of 7 a.m. for an early Spring taste of what running is […]

Feb 292012
The Five Most Underrated Districts in Busan

BY MICHAEL FRAIMAN Seomyeon is the new Nampo, Kyungsung is the new PNU, Haeundae is where white people live, yadda yadda. If Busan is starting to feel a bit stale (i.e., you’re sick of hearing “Want to go to Seomyeon?” / “Sure, meet at The Spot?” or “Fuck it, let’s just go to Thursday Party”), […]

Dec 052011

BY MICHAEL FRAIMAN It is inevitable that expat Westerners will miss expat Western luxuries: good beer, a cheap pepperoni slice, fish fillets that don’t surprise your gums by stabbing them repeatedly while you chew. In my case, jazz was that tall order, that distinctly smoky, late-night, sombre music that permeates small coffee shops and my […]

Nov 082011
Shit Ain't Right: A Polemic in Defense of Squatty-Potties

BY MICHAEL FRAIMAN In my school, the nearest boys’ bathroom offers two styles of toilet: one is a Western, “regular” style; the other, squat-style, common in Korea and across Asia. These two roads diverged in a white porcelain mark, for me anyway, a significant leap in cultural immersion, and for weeks I wilfully ignored the […]

Oct 182011
A Walk Through Igidae

BY MICHAEL FRAIMAN To Westerners, Yongho-Dong’s Igidae Park is one of Busan’s lesser-known scenic trails. It’s basically the city’s “other coastline”—look straight and you can see Haeundae beach; look left and you face the Gwangali bridge. It’s also teeming with native Koreans out for a two-and-a-half-hour afternoon stroll, or setting up fishing posts along the […]

Oct 012011
BIFF - Top Ten (eleven) Movies

BY MICHAEL FRAIMAN Also check out our BIFF FESTIVAL GUIDE. BIFF Overview: Movies Worth Keeping Your Eye On One must be superficial when choosing what movies to see at a festival. It sounds harsh, but aside from the name and maybe a trailer on YouTube, there’s very little to effectively distinguish one film from 306 […]