Neighbor Noah Lang lives in Precitaville, and he runs the wonderful Electric Works fine art press in SoMa. He’s a terrific fellow with superb taste, and I suspect he’d be a great travel companion. That’s important, because Neighbor Noah would like you to join him on a tour of North Korea.
Yes, just imagine the surreal sensation you will feel as you compare notes with Neighbor Noah about your favorite Cortland Avenue boutiques while taking in the art and architecture of exotic Pyongyang!
There’s an informational meeting about the trip happening at Electric Works (1360 Mission St., first floor) on Thursday, January 30 at 6:30 pm. Until then, Neighbor Noah writes:
I took my first trip to North Korea, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in 2008 as a side trip from Beijing while attending the Olympics. It was an amazing, eye-opening trip.
The DPRK is perhaps the least-well understood country of our times. And while relations between the US and the DPRK are strained, travel there is relatively quite safe.
While traveling in the DPRK, we will be under auspices of Koryo Tours. They are by far the most experienced, most trusted company that offers travel to the DPRK. Their connections go back over 20 years and they offer access to this secretive country that no one else can or does. During this art and architecture tour, we will gain access to buildings and sites that have previously remained closed to all other Western travelers.
The people behind Koryo Tours are responsible for, among other things, several interesting films on the DPRK. Several of these films, including “A State of Mind,” “Crossing the Line,” and “The Game of Their Lives” offer a look into this mysterious country. I highly suggest watching what you can before the tour. All are available through Netflix.
But I’m inviting you to travel with me on a once-in-a-lifetime tour to a country like no other.
The sights in the DPRK are unlike those in any part of the world. Many people who have traveled there have compared it to stepping into a time machine. Pyongyang is an amazingly clean, modern showcase city: the jewel of the DPRK. During the tour you’ll find a sparkling city, lined with trees, fountains and parks. The architecture is what caused me to take a second look while traveling there. These were not your typical Stalinist-era concrete monstrosities. That’s when I first thought of a trip devised to have a focused look at its idiosyncratic design and often surprisingly playful nature. The public art, while all supporting the vision of the DPRK’s founders, is quite powerful; the mosaics, statues and painting all impressive.
Dates are April 12—19, 2014. Travel is from Beijing to Pyongyang and back. Please visit the itinerary page for a detailed description of the tour. We need to be in Beijing on the 10, and flights can be scheduled home as early as the the evening of the 19th.
PHOTO: via Noah Lang