When the sun goes down fast in late afternoon, the streetlights turn on one after another. The hundreds and thousands of light bulbs brightly light up the dark, like the fishing boats that light up the seas at night and quietly turn on the switches in the hearts of people. Seoul and New York are cities that turn into different places at night with light. Precisely speaking, Seoul and Manhattan have much in common. They have different histories in different places with the Pacific Ocean in between, but they both cherish beauty that is glamorous yet trifling and magnificent yet humble. They have blocks and blocks of skyscrapers, but people enjoy their free time by the rivers and in the parks. They have the latest trends and future-oriented contents, but their people communicate through tradition, vintage and retro sensibility. In these crowded cities saturated with people, generations coexist with the means of urban communication. Many people pick Manhattan as a city they must visit once in a lifetime. Seoul is also an ‘ideal’ city in the hearts of many people in Asia.
Manhattan has many small and large parks, including Central Park, Bryant Park, and Washington Square Garden, which add diversity to the gray city. Seoul also has many parks along Han River and is surrounded by many mountains because it is topographically a low basin. It boasts colorful beauty each season. Another charm of both cities is their alleyways. As they are popular tour destinations, their streets are filled with gorgeously ornamented signs of multinational brands, but you will see completely different faces when you walk a block or two away from the main avenues. You can taste the real romantic beauty and tastes of New Yorkers and Seoulistas, who are always busy. The subways of Seoul and Manhattan are as fast and reliable as hyenas that dash through the cities. The subways in Seoul run across Han River, and those in New York run across the East River and Hudson River to transport urban dwellers from early in the morning to late at night. You sometimes escape from the city and hide in nature, but you cannot resist your instinct to come back to the city because it never ceases to diffuse bright lights.