That’s usually the process when I’m (trying to be) productive.
My dad always tells me the state of my room reflects the state of my mind (or heart? —it was one of those vital parts…); I feel this sentiment holds merit. My room reflects me quite accurately — all over the place and lazy. Needless to say, my room is always a bit on the messy side, clothes strewn on the bed frame like it was a hanger of some sort, days worth of socks on the floor cause I’m too lazy to put them in the laundry basket, and piles of papers, notebooks, and photos.
I will admit I work better in a tidier setting; an organized room = an organized mind. So I don’t know why I can’t keep my room clean for more than a few days. Thanks to writing this entry though, I did decide to clean my room so I didn’t offend anyone with photos of my messiness. But as you can see my room is pretty straight forward, with no real decorations or anything. There’s a bed (yes, I sleep on a California King bed alone..! I used to roll around a lot as a kid), an exercise bicycle (for my physical rehab due to leg surgery from last year), drawers for my questionable clothes and quirky socks, and my desk filled with junk ranging from polaroids to snacks, hidden in various drawers.
This is the simple room that also doubles as my creative space; where I’m always thinking of new ideas or doing/learning/teaching myself something for OPPA BLOG. I guess you can say the idea for OPPA BLOG was conceived within these walls. But there are those days where my room becomes more of an obstacle and distraction than a vessel of creativity.
When I need to refresh my mind, a change of setting from my room is always the best solution. That’s when I go to Future Mine (미래광산), a small cafe tucked away in the side streets a short walk from Sangsu station (shout out Yeon Won oppa for introducing me to this place!). I'd easily say Future Mine is my favorite cafe in Seoul, both to be productive and to relax. The overall aesthetic and atmosphere makes it a great place to get work done (one of the owners once told me people will sit there for 5~6 hours doing work) but also the menu, service, and music (they play things from Korean indie to underground hip-hop, and then artists like Rhett Miller and Tom Waits, which I feel is rare in Korea) just adds the greatness that is Future Mine.
I’ll sit there with my milk tea (I don’t drink coffee at all, but I do like coffee flavored things!) and a slice of cake while working on whatever I need to.
It’s pretty minimalist at Future Mine -- mixed material furniture (wooden table with ironing board as table leg support) and walls (exposed brick and white concrete walls), artwork from local artists showcased (I’ve noticed they’re a big supporter of the local arts/music scene in Korea), and the people that usually come here seem to be café/coffee enthusiasts, artists, designers, musicians, just creative people overall.
... and then there’s people like me, who wish they were as cool as the typical clientele.
But also, Sangsu, where Future Mine is located is a nice quiet neighborhood. It’s fun to roam around, there are lots of cafes, good pubs/izakayas, and it’s close to the infamous Hongdae. Maybe I can find a way to include more posts about my favorite neighborhoods on the blog in the future! There's so much to discover in these small backstreets.
I actually thought of the idea of introducing various people whether it’d be café owners, students, or anyone else as a part of OPPA BLOG while I was at Future Mine. Doing a mini Q&A mixed in with a mini instax photo shoot filled with mustaches, and showing glimpses of their workplace, living space, creative space, and maybe even closet? I would like to be like Future Mine in a sense. Just as they promote and support local talent in their cafe space, I would like to do the same on more of an international scale; using my blog as a space where others are introduced to wonderful, creative people in Korea.
All in all, I hope Future Mine rubs off on me in all the right ways… here’s to hoping (and striving for awesomeness).
If you haven't and would like to please check out OPPA BLOG on these SNS related sites via the contact page (I will probably post some exclusive stuff on certain outlets!).
All photos are my own.