Have your cup of joe surrounded by unique stationery goods
There are tons of Instagrammable cafes in Seoul with unique coffee and ambience, but cafe Young and Daughters stands out as one dedicated to making its own coffee culture.
Bassist-turned-barista and composer-turned-coffee bean roasting manager are in charge of this cute, small cafe -- there are only three standing tables here -- located in Gongdeok, Mapo-gu, where a good mix of office workers and residents pass through everyday.
The signature menu varies by the season. In winter, they serve a deep caramel latte using homemade caramel and crispy nuts to elevate the deep and soft flavor of the fresh roasted coffee bean. In summer, they serve a latte made with strongly brewed coffee ice cubes topped with vanilla bean steamed milk.
Aside from the visually appealing signature coffees, the cafe also sells small stationery goods designed by a good friend of the owners. From stickers to mugs and saucer sets, many will have a hard time passing by without buying one.
Prices range from 4,000 won (Americano, Vanilla Milk) to 4,500 won (Flat White, Cafe Latte) and 5,500 won for seasonal items like the deep caramel latte. Milk can be substituted with oat milk for an extra 500 won. The cafe is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends.
Relaxing afternoon with books, music at Nodeul Island
Nodeul Bookstore at Nodeul Island reopened on Jan. 7 after Leandro Erlich’s five-month “Batiment” exhibition.
The bookstore has added an elegant grand piano in the middle of the space for mini concerts to be held every weekend throughout February. Each "Weekly Live" concert has a different theme and is held at 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
For this weekend’s “Acoustic Week,” two acoustic bands will fill the two-story book cafe with their sweet voices. Singers Chan and Mine will perform together on Saturday, while the duo Out of Campus will sing on Sunday.
Stay tuned for next week’s “Pop Week” and “OST Week” the following week. More performances will be scheduled for March.
Books from various genres -- poetry, essays, fiction and travel -- have been curated as well. Visitors can enjoy a read at the bar table or a sunny spot by the window.
Make sure to check out the drawers below the bookshelves for a hidden surprise.
The book cafe also offers free activities such as creating your own bookmark, postcards, book pouches and calligraphy writing.
The Nodeul Bookstore opens from noon to 8 p.m., from Tuesday to Sunday.
Discover beauty beyond folding screens
Koreans often ask, “Why are you standing like a folding screen?” when observing friends standing unexpectedly idle or motionless.
Folding screens, or "byeongpung" in Korean, are most frequently used as backdrops and are rarely the center of attention. In modern times, people are most likely to associate these screens with memorial rites for their ancestors.
“Beyond Folding Screens 2,” an exhibition at Amore Pacific Museum of Art in Yongsan-gu, Seoul, trained its lens on these often forgotten elements to prove they are much more than set dressing.
By bringing them into the foreground, the exhibition shows how folding screens once functioned as picture books, maps, historical documents and status symbols. What makes the exhibition special is that visitors are allowed to take a closer look to more thoroughly examine previously unobserved details within the paintings, which boast exquisite and sophisticated aesthetics of traditional Korean art.
The latest exhibition is the second edition of the show with the same name from 2018. This year, it introduced 50 new folding screens from the Joseon period and modern period.
Seven spaces, of varying size and themes, attempt to celebrate the distinct and diverse characteristics of folding screens. The largest space presents folding screens as they were used by commoners, including literati officials. Historically, they were used to represent wishes for good fortune and decorated both everyday rooms and ritual sites.
More modern folding screens are introduced elsewhere in the exhibition, enabling visitors to recontextualize traditional elements of Korean art within a contemporary setting, examining how they've evolved over time.
The exhibition runs until April 30, from Tuesday to Sunday. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Booking is required, and can be done via Amore Pacific Museum of Art’s website. Regular tickets are 15,000 won, and an audio app offers both Korean and English guides.