December 6, 2010


Changsin-dong Toy Street – A.k.a Toy Alley

Dongdaemun Station, Line 4, Exit/Way Out 4

At the top of Exit 4’s stairs head left down the street and Toy Alley is the first right

Toy Alley sounds like a fictional place right from the pages of Harry Potter.  Truth be told it exists and is just as magical.  I heard of Toy Alley from some friends in passing and immediately knew that I had to see it for myself.  My 4-year-old nephew’s birthday was just a few weeks away giving me the perfect excuse to venture out.  It was exactly what I had been told.  An alley just with one toy shop right after the other.  A bit odd since in the United States when opening a store people tend to find what is not in a location and try to fill a gap.  This philosophy does not ring true in South Korea.  Here if one toy store exists then why not a hundred.  I have come to prefer this when I am purpose shopping though it does become a little overwhelming at times.  The beauty of toy store after toy store is that I just hit up ten shops within a 500 foot span and easily found my nephews gift in a timely manner.  I have returned to Toy Alley three times since its discovery!  In addition to toy stores this street is full of stationery stores, stuffed animal stores, children’s umbrella stores, kids toy sports stores and party stores.  If you are looking for party supplies such as paper plates, table clothes, balloons, table decor then look no further.  These party stores during Halloween had an impressive selection of costumes and now that it is Christmas they sell all sorts of holiday lights, decor and ornaments.  This is a cool place to visit whether you have a designated need or not.  Just a warning though that if you peruse with children you better be ready to whip out the wallet!

Note: Most of the stores preferred cash.  Many accepted cards but only with an additional fee to the purchase.

August 2, 2010


A few weeks ago I attended the Boryeong Mud Festival which happens to be one of the biggest festivals in South Korea.  This festival has a lot of hype surrounding it and many people spend a lot of money traveling to attend.  Overall I’d say it was a good time.  I’ve never been to an MTV Bash in Miami or Mexico but I would guess that it has a lot of similarities.  The festival was mostly made up of 20-30 somethings, tons of foreigners, lots of drinking which of course means lots of partying.  I can tell I’m getting old because my group only went to the actual festival for about three hours, part of which was spent swimming in the ocean and then headed back to BBQ at our digs and have a quieter evening.

The festival had a number of pools filled with mud for wrestling, then buckets for mud painting, some obstacle courses, and then a stage set up for music.  My main suggestion for the event coordinators next year would be to spread out the festival just a little because it was a lot of people in a small space and the ground that we were walking on was filled with trash and bottles and a little nasty.

My group’s main mistake was that we ended up getting accommodations a little too far from the events and so the taxi added up.  The place we stayed rocked though and I’d go back for a quiet weekend get away but I wouldn’t stay there for this festival.  There are a ton of hotels right along the boardwalk and I have some friends who stayed in one and said it was super convenient.  In the end I suppose if you’re looking for crazy drunk people who like to party and have a good time, mud included, then this is a festival not to be missed!

April 1, 2010

Summertime Sangria

Filed under: 365 Days of Seoul Searching — Tags: , , , , , , , — beckylanglais @ 4:34 pm

After days of rain the sky finally cleared and there is a glimmer of light shining down on Nashua, New Hampshire.  This sudden inset of decent weather creates visions of warm summer nights filled with friends and laughter sitting in the backyard near the fire pit indulging in good food and of course good drink.  I can almost taste those summer nights now and with those nights comes one of my favorite drinks, Sangria!

Sangria is a wine punch traditional of Spain and usually consists of a fruit forward red wine and chopped fruit.  Not to gloat but my Sangria gets rave reviews and the funniest part is that it’s about the easiest thing you could throw together.  If you want a traditional Sangria receipt from scratch feel free to google how to make one because at my house the last thing I want to do when I have company is slave away in the kitchen.  Check out my 10 minute receipt (time mainly due to chopping fruits) that you can throw together in the morning, leave cooling and blending in the fridge all day and pull out for your summer gathering.


  • 1 Gallon Jug of Carlo Rossi Sangria (Can be found at almost all liquor stores)
  • 1 Liter Canada dry Ginger Ale
  • 1 Jar Maraschino Cherries
  • 2  Oranges
  • 2 Granny Smith Apples
  • 2 Peaches
  • 1 Lemon


  • Pour the Carlo Rossi Sangria into a large pitcher
  • Add Ginger Ale to give it a little kick (add to taste…some people like theirs sweeter than others.  It is not necessary to use the whole liter unless you’d like)
  • Add as many cherries as you’d like.  I also choose to add the juice from the Maraschino jar but this too is optional.
  • Peel and section the oranges.  Cut little slits in the oranges to let the juice seep out better.  Take out the seeds if they are easy to get to.  Add to the pitcher.
  • Peel and slice the Granny Smith apples.  Add to the pitcher.
  • Peel and slice the peaches.  Add to the pitcher.
  • Slice the lemon.  Add to the pitcher.

Put the pitcher in the fridge to chill.  (If you have kids in the house it might be a good idea to mark that it’s adult only and not juice!)

Make sure that you either buy a large enough pitcher to hold all of the contents or equally divide contents as you go and make two pitchers worth.  Don’t worry about making too much…trust me it will all be drunk by the end of the night!

December 14, 2009

IBM Project End Party

Filed under: 365 Days of Seoul Searching — Tags: , , , , , , , — beckylanglais @ 2:11 am

The party was at this amazing restaurant called Sabur in Somerville, MA.  I’ve driven by it a thousand times and always wanted to stop but never have.  I finally got my chance and the food was everything I had wanted it to be…Amazing!  Also they had the craziest juices like Currant, Blueberry & Strawberry.  Current was the best.  Check this place out:


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