|Students explore the unique shops, cafes and restaurants of the renewed Ewha 52nd Street. Photo by Jeremy Desjardins.
After the renewal of Ewha Startup 52nd St. into Ewha 52nd Street, the alley now greets visitors with brightly colored pink pear blossom paintings on the sidewalk. The alley beside the main gate is back with new fruitful startups and traditional shops, providing diverse products for everyone.
Ewha Startup 52nd St. began as a project by the Center for Entrepreneurship, aiming to expand start-ups and education beyond campus.The project provided students with hands-on business experience in a neighboring area of small shops and retailers. Successfully revitalizing the local economy, the street has undergone a makeover since this summer.
The biggest change is the establishment of Ewha Shelter, a covered resting area. In Ewha Shelter, students and the members of the local community can enjoy a wide array of themed events. On Nov. 16, Ewha University-Industry Collaboration Foundation held the Malang Malang Alley Film Festival, a follow-up of the Malang Malang Flea Market on Nov. 2.
Ewha Shelter is surrounded by many shops that catch the visitors’ eyes. From a Mediterranean salad shop to a casual gardening shop, eight stores are managed by Ewha alumni out of the 22 that were selected as youth startups. Although there is no financial incentive exclusively for Ewha students to enter the alleyway business, the proximity to school and word of mouth seem to be huge merits to Ewha students startups.
“Going to Ewha 52nd Street is really nice. I’ve had several meals there with my friends,” said Jimmy Hoang, an exchange student from Germany. “I think the alleyway is very pretty as well.”
Some of the more well-known shops are Urban Jungle, a casual gardening and plant designing shop; and Caphe Cozy, a small café established by an Ewha sophomore from School of Business, which has recently made its name with their very popular signature drink, Coconut Coffee Smoothie.
Also in Ewha 52nd Street, there are many places where people can have traditional experiences. Atelier Mimyo is an open-spaced folk painting shop where people can experience traditional painting and Korean culture. The handicraft workshop teaches folk crafting, Korean painting and gives one-day art classes in which visitors can create traditional folding fans and mugs. Moreover, a hanbok shop, Danjang gives visitors the experience of wearing traditional Korean clothing.
“The hanboks were really pretty. I love hanboks, so seeing them makes me happy,” said Stephanie Yu, an exchange student from University of North Carolina. “Since I’m Korean American, every New Year my family gets together in hanboks to do sebae. I love the different styles, especially the transition from summer to winter.”
With numerous events coming up, a visit to Ewha 52nd Street will no doubt bring delight and great memories.