Friday, April 1, 2016

"Gwangju has more Korean food than Pittsburgh".

Street scene in Chungjangro (충장로), Gwangju's busiest commercial district.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ran a profile yesterday on infielder Jung-ho Kang (강정호) and his transition to life in Pittsburgh, ahead of his second season in the Major Leagues.
When he arrived in Pittsburgh, he liked what he saw.

“I was impressed by the city,” said Kang, the first position player to jump directly from the KBO to Major League Baseball. “More than I expected.”

As Kang broke out on the field in his first year with the Pirates — finishing third in the National League’s rookie of the year balloting — he also took the time to explore his new home.

Those trips were often documented on his Instagram account. One day walking down Walnut Street in Shadyside, another relaxing outside Constellation Coffee in Lawrenceville.

His favorite discovery, so far, has been the brisket taco at Smoke Barbecue Taqueria in Lawrenceville.
Last June, Sports Seoul took a look at Kang's new life in Pittsburgh, his English study, and his apartment:

As a former Gwangju resident---운암동---I would disagree with Sam Werner's opening, though:
There actually are some similarities between Gwangju, South Korea, and Pittsburgh.

They’re about the same size, have similar climates — though Gwangju gets a bit more rain, if that’s possible — and both are defined geographically by intersecting rivers.
Gwangju is a city of about six times the population of Pittsburgh and is defined geographically not by two rivers---which are basically streams that have numerous footpaths across and which cannot support boat traffic---but by a mountain range to the north. It's history dates back two millenia and its skyline is dominated by new construction and high-rise apartments.

Gwangju's baseball stadiums, the current (left) and former (right) homes of the Kia Tigers.