Thursday, May 17, 2007

Chunui Mountain

Chunui Mountain is situated in scenic Chunui-dong, East of Jung-dong and North of Wonmi-dong. Check out the red X on the map. The Mountain is covered in artwork. In fact the gate leading to the mountain itself is made out of elaborate metal flowers. That's about three blocks and a bunch of not so scenic factories away from the actual beginning of the scenic mountain trail.

No trip to anything scenic would be complete without a sighting of Mama Kimchi, the ubiquitous Korean equivalent of the 'Keep on Truckin'' guy.

This is an interesting view of the small half-assed attempt to apartmentalize Chunui-dong, with the looming and seemingly ever-present Doosan We've apartments skulking in the background, um, looming and skulking at the same time. In the foreground is the electrical pole accoutrement graveyard serving the Bucheon area.

The first really scenic and mountainy thing we meet on our way up is Wisteria House (등나무집). No fooling, right nest door there's gingko house and across the street there's some other plant themed house. The menu at Wisteria house is topped off by dog soup, followed by several duck dishes.

This is the first sight we get of the mountain as we round the bend. To the left of the path you can see there are a lot of pieces of sculpture, which all serve roughly the same role as jungle gyms for most of the people hiking this mountain, i.e. children climb all over them and adults ignore them entirely.

On the right: giant cherry made of CDs. In the back: giant cherry tomato made out of IUDs.

These two statues appear to me to be perfectly positioned. The sun-dappled ideal of Bucheon as the perfect place to raise a shimmering and perfect family, and the reality lurking in the shade of the salaryman trudging, and I mean like super speedwalker trudging to work, umbrella in hand, because, as if life weren't dismal enough, the guy on TV said it's supposed to rain.

Here's some more hackneyed social commentary cum gymboree equipment.

I really like the layout of this hillside here, it's like some kind of mid-nineties test film that Pixar made to woo investors or something. Unfortunately the paint is chipping off of the red steel parabolic curve on the right, slightly detracting from the effect of the thing.

But enough sculpture, excelsior!

Another nice metaphor: the big broad paved road here is a complete dead end, winding up at a locked gate to a field full of pipes somehow vital for Northwest Bucheon's municipal water system. The tiny right turn is the way to go.

I lack the vision to be able to tell whether or not this scene would be nicer without the giant pinwheels.

Here's a grave or two.

And your back on your way.

Inside this head there is an honest to god jungle gym of the real kind, but it seems, to me at least, to be unenjoyable. This is no abortive attempt at a joke.

Here's my favorite piece of sculpture on the mountain. Manhole cracked, bass writhing, bald man in a suit jacket holding an enigmatic flute/paintbrush/'tool' cigarette-style and appearing to be reeling from the fishing trip. Why?

This is more or less the adult jungle gym portion of Chunui Mountain. On the right is some more low-key sculpture and on the left is some untarnishable indestructible public-use exercise equipment.

Seesaws, waist-twisting machines, and arm swinging machines.

Here's Bucheon stadium, seen from afar. If Mad Max comes to pass, this will be someone's stronghold.

Time to mount the summit, really really.

Oh, not yet, here's a rest stop. OK, now it's time to reach the top.

We're getting there.

Tada, Chunui Pavilion (춘의정). This is the catbird's seat from which to get hazy pictures of all the Bucheon landmarks.

On the left, the much talked-about Doosan We've apartments. The cream colored building on the left is the GS Square Department Store.

Cracking through the trees, it's Bucheon station (and Emart).

Pulling out, we can once again see Chunui-dong with Doosan We've in the background.

Here's the view off to the Northwest, and a bunch of stuff I don't recognize, including some of Incheon.

This is what the inside of Chunui Pavilion looks like.

On the way down I passed a woman swinging a farcically large hula loop, apparently under the impression that this was some sort of exercise.

And just as it began, so ends our trip up Chunui Mountain. Do check it out if you're in the neighborhood.

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