Two weeks ago I was on my way to my favorite Korean restaurant in all of NYC just like any other Saturday, but as I was approaching K-town, I could tell something was going on. When I got there, I was happy to discover that I had accidentally walked into the middle of a Korean festival!
The entire block was shut down with booths and food vendors lining each side, and multitudes of people crowding up and down. I took a stroll down each side, checked out the contents of each booth, got run over by a few 아줌마들.. You know, the usual things that happen at these events.. There were so many food options that I had a hard time deciding, but eventually settled on 오뎅 떡볶이. I was a little disappointed in my selection, but it must have just been the place I ordered it from - usually 떡볶이 is pretty tasty!
At the far end of the block, there was a huge stage set up. They had different events throughout the day, including, you guessed it.. a karaoke contest. It was actually quite amusing to watch - the singers were selected beforehand and were all quite talented, but I still have to laugh a bit at the idea of someone singing a Wondergirls’ song on a stage in the middle of the street.. in the middle of the day.. in central Manhattan. There were a few curious and slightly bemused random office people wandering by. ^^
At the entrance to the festival was another highlight: traditional Korean drums. I would estimate that there were at least 50 people in traditional clothing sitting on the sidewalk playing the drums, and it happened fairly continuously while I was there. I do not know much about Korean drums, but it was really awesome to watch! There were also musicians walking up and down the festival. I took a short video:
It was a very fun yet unexpected experience!