When I was a high schooler, asking me to go to Koreatown in LA was like asking me to sit through a root canal without anesthesia. I didn’t like going because it was rustic, too “Korean”, not modern etc, etc. I think I’ve matured some since then. Now, the things I very much detested about Koreatown is what actually draws me there.
Because my love for Korean food has grown over the years, I now make frequent trips to Koreatown. And with each visit, I am all the more comforted by the old town Korea feel. I feel as though I enter through a haven of good food, comfort and ease. The familiarity of the aged buildings and signs adds to the enjoyment of my trips. This is why I had mixed reactions when I read this article about the rise of new buildings with sleek designs in my beloved Koreatown. While I agree that change can be good — and I love new things just as much as the next person — I couldn’t help but to feel that sleek, flashy buildings might rob Koreatown of some of its charm. It also saddens me that this new development means that some small-scale comfort food filled Korean restaurants I have come to love will have to close to make way for new, sleek, and highly profitable ones. The more I think about it, the more I’m apt to say this change may not be the best change for my beloved Koreatown.
(Photo credit: Racked LA)