“Eleanor was right. She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.”
I came across Paper Street via an off-hand comment from a person whom I had just met. It seems fitting that this is how it would happen. Paper Street Cafe is oddly shaped, all angles and awkward lines, a nightmare for the photographer who likes clean, straight interior shots. But for those looking for a place full of warmth, meaningful conversation, and fresh perspectives, this cafe is a unique, whole universe that can exist nowhere else.
Criss-crossing patterns of dizzying design are unapologetically used all over the cafe. Splashes of color and random items carefully placed in dents and corners seem to reveal characteristics of the cafe owners. My eyes rove over the the whole cafe, taking it in, and I feel that the more look, the more my curiosity is piqued. It is the living room of a collector of oddities, the experimental laboratory of world-travelers, and a safe place for those asking hard questions. In other words, it’s the living canvas of an artist.
Paper Street Cafe serves all kinds things – their menu is extensive and carries unique items like their South African pies and creative drinks of their invention. I sipped my Spanish Latte with the rainbow sheen on top of the milky foam as I gazed outside the second floor window. It’s not particularly beautiful outside. The cafe is located on the corner of a big four way street, leading towards factories and concrete buildings. I certainly could not claim Paper Street’s interior is classically beautiful, either. But that’s art. Art isn’t supposed to look nice. It’s supposed to make you feel something.
The third floor of the cafe is under renovation, but already serves its purpose as a unique space ready to be filled with music and guests. The cafe hosts many kinds of small events; if you’re looking for a venue for your project, I recommend contacting the cafe. Both English and Korean are possible.
Cafes spring up from the most unusual places- essentially, wherever community exists. The two concepts go hand in hand. Coming across @paperstreet_seoul was a moment of clarity – community embodied in the owners, in coffee cups, in upholstered furniture and photographs on their walls. It was a good and interesting day I found you, Paper Street – Since then, many more good and interesting things have unfolded and I have a feeling it has only begun.
Hours: Mon through Fri 10:00 am to 11:00 pm / Saturday 12:00 pm to 11:00 pm
Location: 206-24 Ojang-dong, Jung-gu
Plastic-Free (plastic straws are offered to guests who prefer them to paper ones)
I hope you’ll stop by someday and snap a few photos. If you do, tag me @sincerelybeckyw on instagram so I can see how your hunt was!