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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

PaGA 2017: Day 24 Seoul Street Life and Oh! Carol

I awoke and quickly took a photo of the sunrise.  


While stories abound about how Korea became known as The Land of the Morning Calm, ranging from an early Chinese link to a British painting, the fact of the matter is that the English translation of the characters for Korea translates into that term.

My Feast breakfast was as terrific as ever:


Noodle soup, abalone porridge, two eggs over easy, salad with kim chee, assorted pickles, Fanta, water, grape juice and tea.  

I then caught the #1 line, conveniently located in the basement of this hotel, to the Gasan Digital Complex Station so that I could return to the Mario Outlet, where I have for a decade now being buying this really comfortable long golf shirt.  At one time it sold for $200.  The price is now down to a still pricey $30.  But it is so comfortable, and sold nowhere else in the world, that I plan a Seoul stop primarily for this reason.

However, just before getting there, I noticed there was now a Lotte Outlet.  So I went there instead and bought seven shirts.  Here is a photo of one of them, plus the 10th generation of my safari shirt from Jackie's Tailor:


After dropping off my purchases, I decided I needed some exercise, so found my way to Cheonggyecheon, a 7-mile walk along a stream by that name in the heart of Seoul.  It cost of a billion dollars to complete, and here are a few photos starting with the the beginning:


Some of the fish were 2 feet long.  I never quite made it to the end because I was running out of time, so walked through a food market and saw more sea and land land creatures:


I couldn't stand the smell, so quickly found my way back to the Sheraton on the metro.  Incidentally, each station has all kinds of masks and stuff:


I took a long bath:


Then made it to the Executive Lounge in time for my drinks and meal:


The staff at the Lounge is just so helpful.  Here are Katy and Anthony, who is particularly special:


Normally, I then go to sleep.  However, this D-Cube City location includes a movie complex on the 7th floor and a Broadway-type theater on the 9th.  Playing was Oh! Carol, a show based on Neil Sedaka's songs.  And seniors get 25% off.

I thought, geez, how did I miss this on Broadway.  Turns out that Seoul was the very first place where this musical was being performed, and there is now also a cast in London.  Everything here was in Korean, so I had no idea what they were saying, but the stars of the show were Sedaka's compositions.

Neil started writing at the age of 13 with Howard Greenfield.  They were the first to use the Brill Building in New York, and were followed by Neil Diamond, Carol King, Paul Simon and many others.  Can you believe Sedaka has written 800 songs?  What surprised me is that I did not realize he was responsible for what became hits for others, as for example Connie Francis' Stupid Cupid and Captain and Tennile's Love Will Keep Us Together.

This was the best broadway-type stage show I've seen in a decade or two or more.  The Korean performers were fabulous, and in the cast of twenty every female looked gorgeous, and even some of the guys.  Here is an interview with them.

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