Two Days in Hong Kong

The final leg of our Hawai’i trip was a two-day stop in Hong Kong.  A former residence of mine, it is one of my favorite cities in the world and a place I always enjoy returning to.  Thankfully, we still have many friends there are were hosted by a former university classmate and her husband.

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This couple has three adorable children and two days wasn’t enough time to properly visit with them.  The older two were keen on showing off for the camera, seeing what funny faces and poses they could make!  Next time we’ll be sure to leave extra time so we can do some exploring of the city with them.

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One of our stops was breakfast at Lan Fong Yuen along the Central Escalator.  I wrote about this place almost exactly a year ago.  The full entry (with loads of food porn) is here.

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It was mighty crowded and we were placed at a table shared with two other couples in the back corner of the restaurant.  Ordering is always a bit of a challenge because the level of English spoken isn’t as much as it used to be, and our Cantonese is basically nonexistent.  Nonetheless we were able to work it out and were rewarded with some comfort food.

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Drawing on the memories of so many school children throughout East Asia: instant noodles and broth with chicken on top.

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And toasted buns with sweetened condensed milk on top, to accompany the milk tea that is just at the edge of the frame.  Nothing fancy here but certainly a tasty way to start your day.

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Most of the two days was spent wandering around, with Tawn doing some shopping and me chilling out in cafes, reading magazines.  Above is a small street in Lan Kwai Fong with some pretty flowers.  We passed by on our way to dim sum with a friend I had not seen since the day Tawn and I met in January 2000.  By coincidence, I ran into this friend and her mother in Hong Kong Airport that same day, as they were on their way to India and I was on my way to a fateful meeting with destiny.

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Lots of galleries in the Hollywood Road area.  This work is called Imperial Pig and it is by Chinese artist Huang Cheng.  It shows a pig receiving a traditional Chinese medicinal treatment known as fire cupping.  When I lived here, I actually had my own not so good experience being on the receiving end of one of these treatments, which left me bruised for months after!

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One of the coffee shops where I spent some time: Holly Brown Coffee, located on Stanley Street.  Fantastic coffee and ambience.  Their gelato is supposed to be pretty good, too.  I like the graphics on their cup.

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Walking around Central, I noticed this store.  I think the metal screens on the facade of Harvey Nichols are beautiful.  There is so much interesting architecture and design in Hong Kong.

We also had the opportunity to meet up with some Xangans.  By sheer coincidence, Jason and his husband Daniel, exiled from Tokyo for the moment, were in town for the weekend.  While they had visited Bangkok just a few months ago, we were excited for the chance to spend some time with them again.

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Photos borrowed from Jason’s facebook page (without permission – yikes!).  On the left, Tawn, Jason, and Daniel.  On the right, me, Jason, and Tawn.  You should check out Jason’s blog.  He isn’t posting as often these days but has some of the spectacular music he has written and performed.

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Following a tip from Gary’s blog, the four of us sought out this retro Starbucks.  Located on Duddell Street, which dead-ends off Queen’s Road in Central, it is designed as an old bing sutt, literally an “ice house”.  The exterior doesn’t give anything away…

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But once you’re inside, you feel you have been magically transported back to the 1950s and 60s.  A bing sutt was the coffeehouse of the old days, where people could take a bread, enjoy a beverage or trendy Western treats such as soda pop and ice cream.  The design was a fusion of East and West even back in those days.  It feels even more fusion seeing a recreation in the context of the modern day.

This particular project was a collaboration between Starbucks and the Hong Kong brand G.O.D. (Goods of Desire) and the location was chosen because it is very close to the city’s arts community.

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While we were there, some photographers started a fashion shoot.  My lighting isn’t that good but the model’s cheongsam fits the interior of the bing sutt perfectly.  Feels very much like the Wong Kar Wai film, In the Mood for Love.

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New shopping area at the tip of Tsim Sha Tsui in Kowloon called 1881 Heritage.  The developers took the former Marine Police Headquarters (which closed in 1996) and restored it, creating an interesting mixture of history and commerce.  Worth a visit, more for the sights rather than the shops.

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A ride on the Star Ferry remains one of my favorite ways to see the city, and one of the least expensive, too.

The other Xangan we met with was Angel.  He splits his time between Hong Kong and Vancouver, so we’ve been able to meet before.  Didn’t get a picture as we met in a crowded coffee shop.  You should stop by his blog, too, as he recently wrote about a stay at the new W Hotel in Taipei, which is beautiful.

We did a lot more with our two days, but those were the highlights.  On Sunday evening we headed to the airport and flew back to Bangkok, arriving just before midnight.  Of course, all this happened two and a half weeks ago.  I’m so far behind in my blogging!  So now I’ll get back on course and catch you up with what’s happening here in Bangkok.

 

When I Am Through With the Hong Kong MTR

Before doing a final back-up of my November 2010 photos and videos and removing them from my laptop’s hard drive, I realized I had an unfinished project from my most recent trip to Hong Kong.  I was in the Tsim Sha Tsui MTR station on a Friday evening during rush hour and shot some video of the mass of humanity.

At the same time, I had just completed the third season of the Glenn Close TV show “Damages” and they have an interesting effect in the title sequence that I wanted to try to recreate: they show a crowded intersection in New York in fast-motion and then suddenly cut the clip to slow-motion.  (If you want to see the original, a link to it is here.  The shot I’m talking about lasts all of one second and takes place at about 0:08.)

As an homage to my inspiration, I “borrowed” the same title song, “When I Am Through With You” by The V.L.A.  It is an energetic, guitar-driven song which I crudely edited to just over one minute.  I hope you enjoy it.

I’ve been making an effort to post on a daily basis.  Right now I have a backlog of several entries and am trying to work through them.